Saturday 29 October 2016


An EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10) over 6f on standard going. Nine two-year-olds take part: six with racecourse experience with three debutantes, one from a high-profile trainer in Saeed bin Suroor. 

Dealer's Choice is trained by Roger Varian who is making up time with his juveniles after the stable suffered from the virus for much of the year. This American-bred filly is a daughter of Exchange Rate. She cost 33,000G when purchased at the yearling sales by Hetland Hill Farm. Now running in the familiar racing silks of J Shack, this grey went well on debut. 

Shack has horses with a number of leading trainers including Mark Johnston. Many readers will remember Secret History winning the Musidora Stakes Group 3 [2005]. 

Dealer's Choice wasn't fancied in the betting on debut at Newcastle starting at odds of 25/1. She belied those fractions running a mighty race pressuring the odds-on favourite all the way to the line, pulling five lengths clear of the third horse. 

I doubt this March foal needs to improve to win this contest. 

Even money may be value!

Saeed bin Suroor sends out a newcomer. First Priority is an Irish-bred daughter of Street Cry and homebred from Darley. 

A handler who can ready a debutante.

Philip McBride is a fantastic trainer and someone who has made me good money over the years. I was interested in Millie's Kiss last time out at Kempton. She was a biggish price and looked to hold every chance but faded quite markedly in the final furlong. This bay filly hasn't been seen for a couple of months so there may have been an issue with her that day or since. 

She ran with credit on debut at Yarmouth behind a highly-touted juvenile Ernststavroblofeld who is trained by Martyn Mead. This drop back to 6f should be more to her liking and a professional horse. Could well have each-way claims.

William Jarvis doesn't have as many two-year-olds in his string. Spinnaker Bay has raced four times and shown ability. This step up to 6f shouldn't be a problem and one of the more likely types to bowl along in front. With an official rating of 72, she has a level of ability but the likes of Dealer's Choice must have a good few pound in hand. 

May need one or two to disappoint to take the spoils. 

The others are best watched.

Conclusion: Interesting to see how Dealer's Choice goes after an eye-catching debut. She drifted markedly in the betting that day but perhaps layers took that weakness as a sign of limited ability or being in need of the run. She didn't lack in any department when a narrow loser to one of Sir Michael Stoute's talents. Must take the beating here. Difficult to assess First Priority but she will need to be primed to win on debut. Millie's Kiss may run better after a layoff and dropping in distance. She may hold each-way claims but could need the favourite to falter to pick up the grand prize.