A Maiden Stakes over 1m on Standard going. Fourteen runners for this 3yo+ contest. I'm certainly not writing about all of these.
At the time of writing, five horses are fancied in the betting. In fact, all these are priced 7/1 & less. A couple of older horses are fancied.
I will simply detail the three-year-olds.
Entangling is of interest. I had my eye on this bay gelding when making his debut for Chris Wall. This son of Fastnet Rock is owned by Ben CM Wong who isn't afraid of putting his hand in his pocket. That was the case with this January foal who cost 380,000E when purchased as a yearling. By all accounts, this may be the most expensive horse Wall has ever trained. I always root for the smaller trainers to get a decent horse so I was a touch bemused/disappointed when Entangling vacated the stalls as if he was sauntering around the yard at the speed of a stable lad's broom.
He was very well supported on debut over course and distance. Backers must have been pretty peeved at the lacklustre response. It's a classic case for many debutantes that winning often takes time. It was simply a case of being inexperienced. Turning courses are never the easiest place to start. To be honest, he wouldn't have been any better on a straight course for those first two furlongs.
Entangling simply didn't understand what he was meant to do!
I often quote that sometimes the worse a horse looks on debut the better it is. After such a tardy start it wasn't a bad performance. He ran on in the closing stages to be beaten just over seven lengths.
I'm sure connections expected more that day and probably left Sunbury with mixed emotions. It has been just over two weeks since that introduction and you can guarantee Wall has been working hard to blow those cobwebs away. Ted Durcan takes the ride. A low draw is a positive.
Today should see a fitter and more experienced horse. There is always a fear that a slow starter on debut may still be a touch ring rusty on its second start. On balance, I would think that is unlikely but it is an aspect you need to consider. It is a positive to see Entangling make his return holding firm in the betting. That is a significant factor worthy of note. From a statistical point of view the stable hold a good strike rate with horses fancied on their second start. In truth, I would rather consider this three-year-old as an each-way bet than a straight win.
The other three-year-olds are worthy of interest and could well be a force to be reckoned.
Ed Walker's Sabador hasn't been seen since last October. This grey gelding, a son of Kendargent, was relatively fancied that day but wasn't helped by a slow start. He was a relatively cheap 2yo purchase at 35,000E. He is well owned by P K Sui. I would keep an eye on the betting with this horse. If priced 13/2 & less SP I would expect a big run. If weak, best watched.
Paul Cole fields another three-year-old named Wonderfillo. I like Cole with his horses on their second start. It is interesting to note this bay colt was formerly trained by John Gosden and moved stables before his racecourse bow. This son of Teofilo made his debut over course and distance earlier this month. The starting price suggested he was in need of the run. Running wide, trouble in running, but staying on strongly gave a positive impression. A wide draw is far from ideal. If priced 13/2 & less SP hold fair each-way claims. The draw will most likely add a point or two to the price.
Conclusion: A big field. I've stuck with the three-year-olds because they have fair claims. Entangling is interesting. A costly buy. He will improve a good deal for that first start but it pays to be careful with relatively short priced horses with a slight question mark. On potential, I wouldn't knock this horse. Being practical, there is a slight concern he could be tardy from the stalls. He may well be fine but it is a point worth noting. Wall has a good strike rate with his fancied horses on their second start. However, they are more likely to be placed than win. In that sense, I would rather bet on this horse at each-way prices. Looks a better option for an each-way double or treble. The betting for Sadabor and Wonderfillo needs to be assessed because this information will help bring some clarity to the chance of Entangling. This pair may well make stronger bets, especially if priced at each-way odds. If priced 13/2 & less SP I would take note. If both are outside this price guide it would give additional confidence to the favourite. However, if either or both are in the best betting guide I can see them going well. Let the betting settle. Whatever the circumstance on these three horses, I would be looking to bet each-way rather than straight win.