A Maiden Stakes over 1m 1f 103y on Standard going.
Seven runners including a five-year-old, two four-year-olds with the remainder of the field aged three. The older trio has to shoulder an age penalty which makes life hard.
Jamie Osborne's Long John Silver was fancied to go well on debut for loyal patron Micahel Buckley & Tim Hyde. This bay colt cost 160,00E at the yearling sales. Certainly a fair sum for this Irish-bred son of Rip Van Winkle. This March foal was fancied on debut although a little weak in the market from his opening price drifting to 7/2. That was most likely due to Osborne not featuring the best stats for his debutantes. By all accounts that were a sterling effort, denied by a neck, rallying in the closing stages. This extended nine furlongs should be ideal. There is a lot to like about this horse although I wonder if even money details value. Time will tell.
John Gosden trains a barrage of horses for Godolphin. Chippenham is a chestnut colt sired by Casamento and £140,000 yearling purchase after just 32,000E as a foal. He was made favourite on debut [11/4] when little went right. A slow start soon pushed along and ran green in rear, ridden and weakened. It didn't fill punters' hearts with joy. Sometimes debut efforts are best forgiven and forgotten. Whether that is a truthful statement about this Irish-bred is a matter of opinion. However, Gosden has a decent strike rate with his fancied horses on their racecourse bow so it is logical to consider connections were somewhat peeved themselves. Blinkers have been applied which suggest this three-year-old is a touch lazy or spotted someone in the crowd. The shades will, at least, keep him focused on what is in front of him. The betting is the best guide. If weak, weak, I'd be slightly concerned he is a rogue character. But if priced 13/2 & less SP would give me greater confidence. In that sense, keep an eye on the betting and wait for the market to settle. You may need to wait until just before the off. If fancied has claims and may come back to life.
Mark Johnston's Laureate hasn't raced for over 200 days. This bay filly has run five times, finishing second or third on four occasions. With an official rating of just 71, you would hope the other fancied hold some advantage. However, these maidens can often fall apart if one or two disappoint, which means you cannot, ever, be too dogmatic.
*Wallangarra is the most fancied of the older horses at the time writing. Jeremy Gask's four-year-old has raced eight times. With an official rating of 69. The apprentice takes off 5lb.
Hazamar is there about in the betting but makes a return from racing over the National Hunt.
Mr Magill & Oxford Don are best watched. The latter may have claims if backed hard.
Conclusion: On the form, price tag and potential there is a good reason why Long John Silver has been made the favourite. I certainly wouldn't knock Osborne's charge. As with all bets, it is important to try and gauge where value starts and finishes. A winner is always good value! Unfortunately, we can never be sure of the result. Horses on their second start make very good bets because they are usually primed to go well and not been tarnished by too many hard races. I would wait and see how the betting goes. If drifting to bigger odds it could tempt. It is interesting to consider Chippenham. He was fancied on debut but ran no race. If as poor as that the favourite would be a great bet. But it is possible he is much better than seen. I must admit the blinkers are a touch concerning. He could be a lazy horse. He could be poor. However, he could be decent. The betting is key. If priced 13/2 & less SP, I would regard this colt as a threat. If outside this betting guide I would take him as a lesser light. You may need to wait to see how the betting goes as it could help clarify.
* NR - Wallangarra