An EBF Maiden Stakes over 6f on good to firm going. Nine two-year-old taking part: seven with race experience.
Mucho Applause is a bay colt, a son of Acclamation out of a winning mare who enjoyed a trip. This April foal was purchased at the yearling sales for 100,000E by trainer Andrew Balding in the silks of Transatlantic Racing. He ran well on debut when a promising third at Newmarket on testing going behind Marco Botti's Unabated. Just five juveniles contested that Novice Stakes over 6f and Mucho Applause looked in need of the experience when slow from the stalls, outpaced, but run on well in the closing stages to be beaten less than one length. In some respects, it is difficult to assess the level of that form and whether today's faster going will suit. He wouldn't want to be a slow starter on this course which often benefits horses who lead. On the other side of the coin, he should be wiser for that first effort and statistically has sound each-way claims although the tissue price suggests punters will be very lucky to get anywhere near those odds.
Clive Cox is a classy trainer who should always be respected when it comes to two-year-old thoroughbreds. Tis Marvellous was fancied on the exchanges early doors but drifted markedly in the betting to start at odds of 14/1 when runner-up at Newbury over 6f on good to soft going. This son of Harbour Watch is out of a winning mare who was trained by Bryan Smart. Cox purchased this bay colt at the yearling sales for £52,000 [origianlly purchased as a foal for 48,000G by Yeomanans Town Stud]. Tis Marvellous ran well on his first start although never threatening the easy winner. The form of that race has taken a few knocks which suggests it wasn't the strongest of heats although a horse to respect.
Interesting to see Mrs Maureen Gittins has a horse with Ed Walker. Both are worthy of note as owner and trainer. Silent Assassin is a son of Shamardal out of a once-raced mare who came last. A late May foal, this juvenile must be a good stamp of a horse because he was originally sold for 30,000G at the yearling sales but achieved 270,000E when sold in May this year at the breeze-up sales. Gittins is more associated with Karl Burke so this makes interesting reading for Ed Walker. This Newmarket trainer has fair win and place claims when priced 10/1 & less although his juveniles feature much better strike rate second start [hardly surprising when this is the case for almost all trainers]. Would bring added confidence if substantially backed. Gittins has debut winners but I do associate her with more success second time out.
David Evans is a canny trainer, who certainly doesn't train horses for the everyday punter. In that, I mean that he will do his best to mask the talents of a good horse to get the money on at bigger odds. Log Off is an Irish-bred daughter of Sir Prancealot is owned by the trainer's wife and cost 10,500E at the yearling sales. Evans has a good strike at this course although I often find juveniles racing in his ownership are best watched on debut.
Richard Hannon has two representatives here: Sans Souci Bay & Rita's Man.
Sans Souci Bay is a home-bred son of Medicean. He was fancied to go well on debut at Bath when starting 5/2. As it happened, that turned out to be a decent Novice Stakes but this youngster failed to shine nearer last than first. This bay colt was backed from big odds when heading for Sandown second start over the minimum trip but once again showed little ability. I think connections held this horse in some regard but clearly, things have not gone to plan. This step up in distance may be the key to finding improvement. It is a worry when a horse has shown limited ability on two starts that they will be heading for nurseries and for that reason I would take a watching brief.
Rita's Man has stronger claims. This son of Lawman cost £62,000 when purchased at the yearling sales by Peter & Ross Doyle. Racing in the familiar silks of Middleham Park Racing, this February foal started his career in a hot maiden at Kempton where the betting detailed he was second string [33/1]. That was a fair effort over 6f although a few lengths behind the main protagonists makes it slightly difficult to assess his performance. A horse that could improve although needs to figure here. It would bring more confidence if backed.
George Scott has really made an impact with the two-year-olds he has sent to the course this formative season. A few have been well backed but failed to inspire. It is still early days to assess the stable. Saxagogo is a chestnut daughter of Dutch Art and cost 50,000G at the yearling sales when bought in by the vendor. She ran in a decent maiden at Yarmouth on debut over 6f. The winner that day, Urban Fox, looks a fair talent and the second and third are not far behind. The main aspect of that debut for Saxagogo is how much she drifted in the betting that day from 5-1 - 10-1. Clearly, someone realised this filly had very little chance. Whether that was simply because it was a hot race, inferior ability or needing the run she finished 7th. Worth noting if seriously backed but a horse I would watch.
White Chin wasn't fancied at all in the betting on debut when starting 66/1 but was far from disgraced when tenth behind Rodaini beaten less than six lengths. This son of Mayson is owner/trained by Tom Dascombe and relatively fancied on his second start at Sandown behind Sans Souci Bay in eighth place. This £20,000 breeze-up buy led that day but tired rapidly in the final furlong to finish a distant last. Difficult to know what to make of that performance other than agreeing he went too fast. If seriously backed it would bring some enthusiasm but another horse which is probably sent here for a good nursery mark.
I can't help but wonder if Jamie Osborne has been left frustrated by the performances of many of his two-year-olds this season. I know for a fact I have! Gentleman Giles is a son of Dutch Art and a pretty expensive yearling purchase at 90,000E. This bay colt wasn't fancied on debut at Wolverhampton but had trouble in running and will improve for that first start. The betting is imprtant with this juvenile and if backed to 13/2 & less SP would fingure. However, I have been disappointed by many of their juveniles when I have been sure they would run very big races and time and again disappointed to a point I feel the stable are just not running as expected. Best watched.
Conclusion: A comprehensive post for a funny old race. A lot of these have something to prove and far from easy to assess. The betting will tell the story for most. Tis Marvellous and Mucho Applause both hold strong claims but their odds seem to detail little value. If the later drifted in the betting and available at each-way prices may be worth a small bet although Balding's juvenile will need to be quicker from the stalls. In many respects, Silent Assassin is interesting. Ed Walker is a talented trainer and Mrs Gittins an owner who knows a decent horse with many winners over the years. As far as I know, this is the first two-year-old the Newmarket trainer has fielded for these connections and a breeze-up purchase of 270,000E is a lot of money even for this outfit. Could be worth a bet in anticipation of a gamble. Gentleman Giles was a costly purchase who will progress with racing and may have claims if backed to 13/2 & less. However, I have a feeling the stable is not quite hitting the spot this season and until horses show improved form I will continue to watch. A few others have shown little but not without hope of improving. A trick race. If I was going to bet it would be Mucho Applause if possible at each-way or a speculative punt on Silent Assassin.
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