A Maiden Stakes over 5f 42y on good to firm going. Eight two-year-olds take part in this Plus 10. Three juveniles have race experience with a solitary race under their belt. A number of leading trainers heading to the Norfolk coast.
Roger Varian went close to winning with a debutante the other day and To Wafij races in the familiar silks of Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum. This son of Kodiac cost 130,000gns at the yearling sales. Varian ran train his debutantes to win at the first time of asking and the shorter the odds the more likely a bold effort.
Interesting to see how Michael Bell's Choice Encounter goes after being pretty weak in the betting on debut at Nottingham. This son of Choisir was ring rusty that day but gave the impression he was sent out needing the race. The jockey didn't touch the horse with the whip and he made pleasing headway in the final furlong. I would expect to see a marked improvement on that initial start.
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City Guest is priced at big odds but has been noted by his trainer George Margarson as having some ability.
Contribute hails from a great trainer in Martyn Meade. He was relatively fancied in the market but somewhat disappointing in eighth place. I imagine connections thought they would figure a little more prominently that day. Perhaps better may be seen on this second start. This son of Bahamian Bounty needs to show much more here.
Dean Ivory isn't known for two-year-old debut winners and *Hugs And Pats is priced at 33/1.
The Hope Partnership will have their fingers crossed that Indian Warrior is raring to go for Ed Dunlop. This son of Sepoy may have claims if strong in the betting but if on the weak side in the market may be best watched today.
One of two fillies in the field, Kodiac Express finished fourth on debut at Kempton behind Plunder. It was a fair debut if nothing too inspiring. Experience is a plus but this may be a stiff task.
William Haggas always catches the eye at the seaside track and Validator is well owned by Cheveley Park Stud. This daughter of Kodiac has a fighting chance, especially if strongly fancied in the betting.
Conclusion: Intriguing race. The likes of To Wafij and Validator look likely. Choice Encounter didn't achieve a great deal on debut in ways but I feel he is likely to show marked improvement. Maybe an alternative to the two favourites but would need to be priced 13/2 & less SP to give confidence. Contribute may be capable of better but I'd take a watching brief with that one today.
Hugs And Pats NR