An EBF Novice Stakes (Plus 10 race) over 6f 16y on good to firm going. Very little time to spare so I will try to keep this brief. I rarely achieve that goal. A pretty hot race no doubt many trainers have their eye on this plus £10,000 bonus, which makes the potential win of nearly £15,000.
Sterling Silva has won and ran well at Ascot. He carries a penalty which makes life more difficult but could hit the frame. I have a feeling one or two may prove a challenge. Richard Hannon's stablemate Logi was favourite for the Brian Yeardley and ran a sound race in fifth considering that was a stiff race this will be less taxing.
Devilish Guest is interesting. This son of dark Angel is a good-looking colt who was sent off favourite on debut at Haydock. He was very well backed into 5/4f but ran no race finishing last behind Prince Of Cool. He cost a 180,000G at the yearling sales and I would draw a line through that first run because I would be very surprised if that betting guide wasn't a significant indicator that this two-year-old has the ability to go well. Channon's juveniles have been in decent form and at odds of 8/1, I'd be tempted to have a bet in anticipation of a gamble.
Another horse to keep an eye on in the betting is Brian Meehan's Asfaar. This bay gelding, a son of Sir Prancealot, cost 110,000E at the yearling sales and strong in the betting but done very little trailing home last. That performance looks pretty moderate and huge improvement would be needed to figure here. However, the betting could well detail if this two-year-old has a chance. If there is money for this horse I would sit up and take note. If priced 7/1 & less SP I would expect this horse to be transformed and go very well. If friendless in the market take a watching brief.
David Simcock's stable is firing in a good few winner so Alcazar could go well if backed. This £68,000 breeze-up purchase could be a talent if priced 13/2 & less SP.
Conclusion: A competitive heat with no hiding place. With the likes of Sterling Silva and Logi showing a winning level of ability, those mentioned have a stiff task but if the money comes for Devilish Guest, Asfaar or Alcazar I would take note. It would be a sign of confidence which would suggest they are going to run a big race. I would be tempted to back Devilish Guest if touching big odds on the exchanges and hope to lay at a shorter price if the market moves. An intriguing race.