An EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes race Plus 10 over 6f on good going. Eight fillies take part: five with race experience and a few fair types. In its own way quite an intriguing race. Limelight has been made favourite after being placed on debut at Goodwood behind the talented Romantic View and stablemate Pepita, who went to Ireland next start and not disgraced when finishing 7th in a Listed race at Naas. This daughter of Dark Angel doesn't look the biggest of fillies and I have little doubt the first two home that day held the others with some ease. It is difficult to assess the form of those in behind.
Chica De La Noche ran in the same race and although a 50/1 outsider ran much better than those odds suggested. This daughter of Teofilo is out of a winning mare. Simon Dow doesn't have many juveniles in his string but a capable trainer and just over a couple of lengths behind Limelight without being pressed and slightly hampered when getting into a barging match with Moondust who come off worst. There is one thing I noticed about this filly. She is big and strong with plenty of size and scope to progress with racing. When many fillies can look weak she is a marked contrast. She cost 62,000G at the yearling sales racing in the familiar silks of Robert Moss who owned Hombre Rojo. Considering she was beaten by Limelight that day her odds are likely to be much bigger with regard to a psychology angle called the contrast principle. It isn't beyond the realms this bay filly will test the favourite and it wouldn't be a shock to see her run a big race. It's a shame one or two of these in opposition look fair types. However, if drifting to ridiculously big prices on the exchanges I would definitely have a bet on this filly to hit the frame. If less than 10/1 it would slightly temper my enthusiasm but a horse who will be winning this year.
Toy Theatre is another filly who is likely to improve a good deal from her debut at Newmarket one month ago. This daughter of Lonhro is trained by Mark Johnston and wasn't fancied in what has turned out to be a strong race. This homebred was slow from the stalls and always playing catch up but far from disgraced in seventh. This step up to six furlongs will be a positive and I can see much wiser and fitter horse returning today. She was one of a few two-year-olds pencilled in for the Lily Agnes Stakes but I'm sure connections realised that would be much too fast. I think Toy Theatre will run well and another with decent each-way claims. In many ways the horse to beat.
Henry Candy has been rather quiet this early season and Rebecca Rocks represents Hunscote Stud. Candy can win with his better two-year-olds but most are priced 13/2 & less SP and on average they don't have the greatest strike rate. If in the best betting guide has win and place claims but if outside, I would take a watching brief.
Ralph Beckett has been in good form with his two-year-olds and Cotinga ran on with purpose when finishing fourth on debut at Kempton. This homebred daughter of Paco Boy is out of a Group-placed mare (who cost just £500), She was relatively fancied on debut but settle at the rear of the field running on in the closing stages but making ground rather than threatening to get involved. The form of that race is respectable and Cotinga could well improve for that first start and another with claims.
William Haggas is a trainer to respect and Her Terms ran in a hot race at Ascot on debut. This daughter of Pivotal is out of a four-time winning mare who won the Queen Mary Stakes Group 2, Lowther Stakes Group 2 and fifth when made favourite for the Cheveley Park Stakes Group 1. This chestnut filly cost 330,000G at the yearling sales. The form of that debut over 5f looks strong with plenty of winners not only coming from that race but racing at a high level with credit. It's not beyond the realms she needed the race that day and clearly connections feel this step up to 6f is to her liking. From a statistical point of view, she holds decent each-way claims if priced 13/2 & less. The type to improve.
Royal Melody and Ginger Truffle are best watched.
Conclusion: This looks a pretty hot race with a few horses who could show marked improvement from their debut. Limelight sets the standard on recent form but I wouldn't take 1/1. I would have fears three or four of these will put up a challenge. Chica De La Noche may be the type people cross off the list because she was beaten by the favourite. That could be a mistake. Dow's filly may not reverse the form but she will improve a good deal and is a good-looking sort. She is a strong, robust two-year-old who cost a fair amount of money for this stable and I wouldn't just take the attitude she has been beaten once so she will be beaten again. If forgotten in the betting (possible) I would have a small each-way bet. With regard to this horse, it is a shame a few of these have turned up. Cotinga should improve and although has something to prove most likely will. Then we come to Toy Theatre. I think this filly is a lot better than seen and will appreciate this extra furlong and go well. Her Terms ran in a good debut at Ascot and she is bred to be a talent. She needs to improve but this extra furlong looks ideal and if fancied in the betting has each-way claims. So we have about three or four horses which look primed to run a big race. The fact it is so competitive puts me off in ways because I would like to go each-way and feel confident of a place at least with a couple of these. If Chica De La Noche drifted to huge prices I would have an each-way bet but I can't quite see that happening. If Her Terms and Toy Theatre are priced 13/2 & less SP I think they will be hitting the frame. I wouldn't back the favourite at 1/1. Looks poor value to me.