Friday 24 February 2017

8:15 Wolverhampton Racing Tips (24th February) Maiden Stakes (Class 5) (3yo)

A Maiden Stakes over 5f 20y on Standard going. 

Six three-year-olds takes part. All lightly raced. 

Jack Blane is trained by Daniel Kubler. This son of Kheyeyf wasn't fancied on debut at Chepstow when 33-1. Perhaps better was expected on his second start when priced 13/2 at Pontefract over the minimum trip. 

He failed to deliver. 

There is a chance this April foal is capable of better. If so, I would imagine this gelding will be much shorter odds than 20-1, which he is priced at the time of writing. 

I thought Ebitda may prove more fancied in the betting when making her second start at Wolverhampton over 6f. Scott Dixon's stable like to gamble (very much like his father) but the bookmakers could give away this daughter of Compton Place. Handicaps look the better option.

The four major opponents are priced as though all have some aspect of hope.

George Scott fields the once raced Jack The Truth. This son of Dandy Man cost £40,000 when purchased at the yearling sales. He was quite well backed that day, returning 15/8 second favourite. This chestnut gelding finished fourth without every threatening the leaders. The winner, Berryessa, won well and looks a progressive filly, while the second, Mercers, won in tidy fashion next start although detailing a poor official rating. That race was run at auction class so this race type could be a step up in class. Whether this is a tougher race is a matter of opinion. I'm always quite critical of Scott, denouncing his ability with debutantes because they often lose at short odds. However, it could be positive this horse was fancied on debut. Horses can make huge improvement first to second start. A difficult horse to assess. If strongly backed, I would consider connections fancy their chance today. 

Logi is the most experience of these with six runs to date. This son of Kodiac used to be trained by Richard Hannon, showing ability in his earlier starts before disappointing in two handicaps. He was purchased by his present trainer, David Barron, for 15,000G and now racing in the silks of Let's Be Lucky Racing 11. This gelding had a highest official rating of 81 but now sits on 75. Logi had ability in those early starts. He either soured or was bogged down by a harsh handicap figure. Barron has been in good form so punters may be hoping this three-year-old can follow suit. There needs to be some vigour pumping through Logi's veins after those last two starts. If well backed it would give greater hope but if weak in the market I would take a watching brief.

The Richard Hughes-trained Zavikon is a son of Compton Place and quite an expensive yearling purchase at £75,000. This bay colt wasn't disgraced on debut over 6f, only tiring in the closing stages to lose a few places to finish sixth, beaten less than four lengths.  He dropped down to the minimum trip when priced 9/2. Zavikon couldn't get to the leaders, finishing fourth. This January foal hasn't been seen since last September. Not the easiest horse to assess but may be capable of more if fit and ready. 

Lostock is one of the more interesting horses. He was originally in training with Richard Fahey but now with Michael Dods, who is a very capable handler. David Armstrong is a significant owner. This son of Kodiac cost 68,000G when purchased at the yearling sales. He was backed when making his debut at Chester over 5f from a relatively wide draw. It is a difficult place to start your career against experienced opposition. Turning courses are far from ideal for debutantes and sprint distances magnify problems. Lostock missed the break, raced keenly, and stayed on well in the closing stages to be beaten by just over six lengths. On balance, that was a creditable performance. The prize money was decent and there was a number fo talented juveniles hitting the frame that day. Mehmas won a shade cosily going on to win twice at Group 2 and placed twice at Group 1, Madam Dancealot won at Group 3, while Full Intention achieved a highest official rating of 93. It is interesting to consider why Lostock has changed stables. There was a lot to like about that first start, giving the impression there would be much more to come. It is a slight worry returning after almost three hundred days absence. I would imagine Dods will have this colt primed. He wasn't the best away on debut and there is always a worry he will do the same again. I would put it down to inexperience but these things should be considered. Also, perhaps, six-furlong may be more suiting.  

Conclusion: Not the easiest race to assess in ways. Quite a few have something to prove after disappointments. Lostock is interesting. He ran in a very good maiden on debut and finished well after not having much go right. The form of that race is strong and if he improves - which he should do - could be a fair prospect. David Armstrong is a good owner who doesn't waste his time with horses who won't be competitive. Interesting to see this colt is now trained by Michael Dods. There is always a concern about horses returning from a break. The betting should be an indicator of his chances. If very weak in the market best watched. I would imagine he will be primed. He may well appreciate further in time. Looks the most likely winner.