Another big maiden. Six furlongs on soft going. These giant races sap my energy. I will try to keep this brief as feeling tired from last week.
Perhaps less is more... [it wasn't]
Chipping is an interesting colt. Trained by Michael Dods and owned by David Armstrong. I think this may be the first horse to be trained by this knowledgeable handler. This Irish-bred son of Dark Angel was well backed on debut when starting 5/4f. However, he always looked slightly tapped for toe [outpaced] but made a fair debut finish third. Dods can win with debutantes but equally so the second start. For a two-year-old, it was a very short favourite which suggests he has the ability. Most juveniles, if good enough to win a race, do so in their second start. The horse to beat.
Black Salt is worth noting in the betting and if starting 10/1 & less has each-way claims.
Devil's Guard may be better than seen on debut. This son of Dark Angel was relatively fancied in the betting on debut at Ayr over 7f but never competitive after a slow start. I had my eye on this juvenile because I had heard it had been showing up well on home gallops. It could well be the case it disappointed that day and today we will see more. It is intriguing to note that Dalgleish beat Chipping with El Hombre last time out at huge odds. Devil's Guard is similarly owned by Weldspec Glasgow Limited. He cost 80,000E at the yearling sales which is no small amount of cash. Dropping back to 6f after a month on the sidelines. I can see money coming for this brown colt and although a speculative hunch, it could go well.
Sheikspear has claims on his recent second to Intrepidly. This drop back in distance shouldn't be a problem after leading until close home at Kempton.
Bithynia hails from Hugo Palmer's stable who have done exceptionally well this season and firing in the two-year-old winners. This daughter of Kodiac has run five times and been fancied in the betting on just about every start. She was a narrow loser last time over course and distance. An official rating of just 67 suggests one or two should beat her and this race may need to fall apart to get that win although it isn't beyond the realms.
Harvest Moon wasn't fancied in the betting on debut which is unusual for one of Richard Fahey's debutantes. She is either limited or needed the run that day. This daughter of Mayson finished a creditable third and has claims if priced 13/2 & less SP.
Conclusion: Soft ground always brings a few questions. Chipping was a short price on debut and that must be a sign of confidence. Better should be expected and probably the horse to beat. Sheikspear has pace although that may be tamed a touch for dropping back in distance. He ran a decent run last time out when second to a juvenile held in some regard. Looks the type to battle and definitely a threat. The betting is the best guide to Black Salt & Harvest Moon. If they are in single figures, they have each-way claims. Devil's Bridge looks poor judged on his debut at Ayr but I have a feeling this son of Dark Angel has some ability. You may need to take a speculative punt but if available at big odds may be worth a few quid each-way. Could be backed, too. I think it is more than a coincidence he is opposing Chipping. Wait for the betting to settle before jumping in with bets on any of these as it looks a tricky race and the testing ground may be a problem for a few.