An EBF Novice Stakes over 6f on good going. Nine two-year-olds entered to race although Klaremont is likely to be a nonrunner after making his debut at Hamilton on Wednesday.
Mark Johnston's juvenile string continues to show good form and White Tower, a son of Cape Cross out of an unraced mare, is certainly well supported at 5/4f. The betting is usually a fair indicator for Johnston's debutantes, especially when short odds. However, there are a few horses here which may put down a challenged and this bay colt will ned to be fit and ready.
Await The Storm has the ability to win a race this term. This Irish-bred son of Fast Company has shown promise in start starts to date against decent opposition. This compact chestnut gelding has pace to lead and has simply lost out in the closing stages over five and six furlongs. Brian Meehan has had an indifferent season with his two-year-olds and most likely frustrated by a lack of juvenile winners. The blinkers have been applied today no doubt in an attempted to find a little more improvement. I wonder if this horse would be better over the minimum trip although I doubt there is much in it to be fair. If he can gain an easy lead could hold each-way claims but one or two may be too good.
Zamjar is a fair horse for Ed Dunlop who have been in imperious form this season. This chestnut son of Exceed And Excel cost 110,000G at the yearling sales. He found himself in a hot debut maiden and looked a touch disappointing but ran well at Wolverhampton on his second start when pipped at the post. There were a few respected juveniles behind that day and this April foal has good claims.
I find David O'Meara a difficult trainer to assess but Bear Essentials made a pleasing debut behind Masham Star, who won with ease. If priced 13/2 & less SP has each-way claims.
A couple of outsiders worth a second glance are Ocean Princess and Lucy's Law.
The former is trained by Michael Dods, who does well at this course. This daughter of Acclamation cost 48,000E. Racing in the familiar silks of Geoff & Sandra Turnball. Dods' debutantes have not been hitting the high notes as in previous years which slightly tempers enthusiasm. Although from a statistical point of view they often go well on debut at a price.
Lucy's Law is a relatively cheap filly. Tate can spring the odds surprise on debut although he seems to have very few two-year-olds these days. At huge odds, may have a glimmer at speculative odds
The others are best watched.
Conclusion: White Tower must be a talking horse because odds of 1/1 seem very short for a debutant against one or two fair juveniles. I would respect this horse but not a bet for me at short odds. Zamjar is a decent opponent and if somehow drifting to an each-way price [next to no chance] it would be a cracking bet. The type of horse I would put in an each-way double. This looks the major opponent against the favourite. I quite like Await The Storm but he seems to be a length or two behind winning. Meehan's has obviously applied the blinkers to eek out a fraction more ability and I can see this colt making a bold attempt from the front. May touch shorter odds in running if you fancy a bit of trading. I can see this gelding making a big effort but I still fear he will be picked off in the closing stages. Ocean Princess could hit the frame at big odds.