A Median Auction Stakes over 5f on good to soft going. A restricted race type but a field of two-year-olds who look better than the limited nature of this event. Nine two-year-olds take part five with race experience. I will try to keep this as concise as possible as I don't have time to ramble on (famous last words).
Quite an interesting race in its own way. We'll go from the top.
Charlie Victor is trained by Clive Cox who knows how to win with his debutantes. This colt cost £20,000 at the yearling sales. The betting is key here. If priced 4/1 & less it would be a clear indication of ability. If relatively fancied has fair each way claims.
Diable D'Or ran well on debut. This grey son of Clodovil was professional and lead fro a long way at Newbury before tiring in the closing stages. This drop down to 5f is a slight unknown although shouldn't be a problem especially if there is some cut in the ground. Time may tell that was a decent race on debut and by race type alone this is a lesser contest but a few other trainers clearly thought the same as this looks a competitive heat. Eve Johnston Houghton does well with juveniles on their second start and another with sound each way hopes.
Racapity Alexander is a small filly who has ability although no good thing. She was put in her place on debut when I think connections went to Kempton thinking they would win. This daughter of Dandy Man had little chance of beating Chupalla who is a beast of a girl. David Evan's filly was very well backed last time out at Nottingham and ran her race but had no chance with the winner and Marco Botti's Magical Forest was unlucky not to have robbed her of second place because she was terribly hampered. Rapacity Alexander is likely to set the pace but I feel if one or two of these have ability she may lose out. At the odds [15/8f] I would take a watching brief because it doesn't look value.
Zaatar ran at Goodwood on debut which is worthy of respect, especially for Mick Channon, who isn' the type of trainer to send a donkey West Sussex. This daughter of Fast Company is an attractive horse and a decent purchase at £20,000. It is difficult to assess the form of that debut although Latest Quest looked to run well on debut and finished third at Goodwood which may be a measure of some ability. Physically, a few looked okay with size and scope. Zaatar was pretty fancied and wasn't given a hard time giving the impression she was just starting to find her stride all too late. This youngster racing in the familiar silks of Box 41 makes a quick return but a filly I would respect in this field.
Jim Boyle doesn't have many two-year-olds in his string but El Torito looks a determined colt. He did well to finish as close as he did on debut after a terrible start. This son of Tagula was fancied to go well when returning back to Bath but over an extra half furlong. That extra distance seemed to catch him out on testing going and was a little bit too keen mid-race to finish the race. At big prices, he may belie his odds and battle for a place.
George Ravenscar wasn't fancied on debut when outclasses by Sea Of Snow, Legendary Lunch et al. This son of Pastoral Pursuits is a homebred and it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see a much better performance in this second start.
The others are best watched.
Conclusion: For a restricted race type this is a tricky contest. I imagine most trainers came here looking for a weak race and that is far from the case. At least five of these juveniles deserve respect and trying to pick between the lines is no easy task. Rapacity Alexander looks a fair chance in ways but at relatively short odds I would be careful because a couple of these, if not more, will be no pushover. The betting is the best guide for Charlie Victor. If fancied in the betting I would consider this colt a danger and if priced less than 4/1 SP I would expect a big run. Diable D'Or looks professional and showed good pace on debut. If this drop back to the minimum trip doesn't take the edge off that pace I would be expecting a bold show. The form of that debut is yet untested but it could well be decent. If that is the case this juvenile will be difficult to keep out of the frame. This comment applies to Zaatar who looks a decent juvenile for this grade and I would expect her to improve on that debut. El Torita may find one or two of these too good but he may be the joker in the pack at fancy odds. He has valuable experience and this drop back to the minimum trip will help. He is a gritty sort who has plenty of pace and could well battle for a place. I can see five of these fancying their chances and while you may not got far wrong betting each way I doubt there is much value going astray. If El Torita drifts to huge odds on the exchange he may be worth a small speculative bet at each way odds but I feel he may need a touch of luck to win. A fascinating race but bloody competitive for the grade.