An EBF Novice Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10) over 6f on standard going. Twelve two-year-olds take part all debutantes bar Sir Mark Prescott's Boost who showed promise on her racecourse bow over course and distance.
As mentioned, Boost, who runs in the silks of Cheveley Park Stud, made a fair debut when very well backed just before the off to start at 2/1. This daughter of Pivotal is out of an exceptional mare, Hooray, who was similarly trained and owned winner of five races including the Lowther Stakes Group 2, Sirenia Stakes Group 3 & Cheveley Park Stakes Group 1 at Newmarket where she trounced the opposition by over four lengths. This homebred would have cost a small fortune if going through the sales ring. Inexperience cost her dear on that first start although she fairly clawed the ground running on with purpose in the closing two furlongs from a few lengths off the lead. It is significant that she was strongly fancied on her racecourse bow and will take some beating. Unless the debutantes are sharp they will do well to depose this well-bred juvenile on this turning course.
The debutantes hail from a mix of high-profile trainers. Sir Michael Stoute fields a representative from Cheveley Park Stud. Textured is a daughter of Dark Angel purchased by Cheveley Park Stud at the yearling sales for 100,000E. She is a full sister to Strike Of Midnight who showed a glimmer of ability last year for Richard Hannon. Stoute does quite well at this course and if priced 13/2 & less has respectable each-way claims. Very few of their debutants win if unfancied in the betting. Not the easiest horse to assess considering their first two-year-old racing in the same colours drifted badly and disappointed when racing at Nottingham yesterday.
Hugo Palmer fields Bee Case who runs in the familiar silks of K Abdullah. This daughter of Showcasing out of an unraced mare is worthy of respect as her handler can ready a two-year-old to win at the first time of asking. If priced 13/2 & less SP has fair win and place claims.
John Gosden has a powerful string of juveniles and another trainer who can go well with horses fancied in the betting. Hawana is an American-bred daughter from War Front out of an unraced mare. This bay filly cost $350,000 when purchased at the yearling sales by Ashland Park Management after being withdrawn as a foal. The betting is the best guide to this March foal. In addition, Gosden has a respectable strike rate with his two-year-olds at this course.
Ralph Beckett sent out a nice filly to win on debut at big odds at Nottingham on Wednesday and Sibilance will come here with some expectation. This grey filly is a daughter of Bated Breath. The stable has been in good form and they have a healthy strike rate with their juveniles at this course. Worthy of respect.
Fair Head is a representative of Ed Dunlop's stable which has been in sparkling form this season. This daughter of Iffraaj is a relatively cheap yearling purchase at £27,000. The betting is key here and if priced over 7/1 I would take a watching brief. The stable has some strong form lines to decent juveniles so if the money comes it would be a good sign. A wide draw is negative.
The Roger Varian two-year-olds have been a little quiet but sure to spark into form sooner than later. Halinka is a daughter of Dark Angel out of a winning mare. This grey filly cost £52,000 at the yearling sales and races in the ownership of Mrs H Varian. A relatively wide draw isn't ideal although the betting is the best guide.
The others are best watched.
Conclusion: Boost is an exceptionally well-bred filly and was fancied to go close on debut. A turning track is never ideal for debutantes and that may have been her undoing but her opposition today will probably feel the pain of those tight bends and fast-approaching first bend which afford those with speed from the stalls. The betting was significant that day and it will be a great surprise if she doesn't start a warm favourite. If by some chance this daughter of Pivotal drifts to an each-way price she would be a cracking bet. There will be a good deal of improvement and this course and distance runner will most likely try to set the pace. The horse to beat. The betting is the best guide for the major hopes. Hawana cost a lot of money although among a few of the more fancied to suffer wide draws. The betting is key and if Textured, Bee Case, Sibilance. Fair Head & Halinka are priced 13/2 & less they should be considered. If you can get anywhere near 11/4 for Boost, she looks value.
NR - Fair Head, Dashing Poet