An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f on good going.
Eleven two-year-olds take part. All colts/geldings bar the solitary filly. Five horses have race experience including Brocklesby Stakes winner Santry, trained by Declan Carroll.
Santry is a son of Harbour Watch who was well backed on debut at Doncaster. He just held the late challenge of Last Page. This bay colt hasn't been seen since the first day of the Flat turf season. Interesting to consider the reasoning behind this absence but I imagine connections have been waiting for this race. Assessing two-year-old form is still in a process of transition although there has been a number of pleasing performances from the Brocklesby. Whether Santry will be able to shoulder a penalty is difficult to know.
Rocket Man Dan was fancied to go well in the Brocklesby when comprehensively beaten by Santry. This son of Dandy Man, trained by Keith Dalgleish, was expected to run a big race but connections must have looked on in disdain when their jockey led a death-defying pace when challenged by Dragon's Teeth only to see both horses fade in the final furlong. Both jockeys got those race fractions wrong.
This March foal was made favourite on his second start at Ripon detailing the regard he is held. Much better was seen when finishing runner-up to Black Orange. Gay Kelleway trained the victor who had shown promise in the second division of the Brocklesby Stakes and then second best to another smart horse in Corinthia Knight. Black Orange showed that form was decent when recently taking the Lily Agnes Stakes. By all accounts, Rocket Man Dan sets a respectable level. Punters shouldn't read much into Santry's many-length defeat on debut.
Richard Fahey's The Right Choice ran at Beverley on Tuesday when finishing fourth and unlikely to make a quick return.
The stable are also represented by It Don't Come Easy. Fahey has been in sparkling form this season although that shouldn't be any surprise to his followers. As I have stated on many occasions, his win strike rate for his horses on the debut is very similar to those on their second start. That may seem nothing out of the ordinary. It'is a hugely significant factor which is very unusual compared to other trainers. Paul Hanagan takes the ride on this son of Kyllachy out of an unraced mare. This horse didn't go through the sales ring. Could be a fair type although has to give experience away to respectable form horses.
One trainer who is pretty selective with his York runners is Kevin Ryan. Savalas is owned by loyal patrons Mrs Angie Bailey who has some outstanding horses in her armoury. This grey colt is a son of Zebedee and purchased in April at two for £100,000. He looks fancied in the betting and I would expect a big run.
Bryan Smart has a nice prospect in his Musselburgh debut winner Excellently Poised. He fields Palmer here who is a diminutive colt sired by Acclamation out of a talented mare, formerly trained by John Gosden, who achieved an official rating of 97 and placed in Listed class. This youngster was fancied on debut, pretty short for one of Smart's, and expected to go well. He was given quite a hard race only to weaken in the closing stages to finish sixth beaten three lengths. The winner is held in some regard and the second horse won well next start at Beverley. The form of that Pontefract race looks decent although I don't think Palmer will improve a great deal from that first start. What may help, is racing over this easier five-furlong trip. He is a small colt who may well look less imposing than most. I can see him setting a bold pace and hoping to hold any late charge.
Mark Johnston has not quite achieved the supremacy of the past two seasons with exceptionally talented two-year-olds. He has done well with his runners without pundits shouting ''Royal Ascot''. Knockout Blow is owned by A D Spence who is one of the leading owners for Kingsley Park Stables. This bay colt is a son of Lethal Force out of a durable mare who wasn't any great shakes but raced forty-two times. Knockout Blow was a relatively cheap yearling purchase at just £16,000.
David O'Meara trains Consequences who runs in the ownership of Nick Bradley Racing 15. This son of Dandy Man is out of an unraced mare. A £31,000 yearling buy. The betting is the best guide.
Furze Boy has a mountain to climb.
Dyson's Girl needs to find improvement.
Conclusion: Not a race I will be betting. Interesting to see if Santry can defy the winner's penalty. I suspect it won't be the easiest of burdens. The form of Rocket Man Dan looks decent with Black Orange winning the Lily Agnes. With such a dire performance against Santry in the Brocklesby, it may bring a few ifs and buts leading to a bigger price. I doubt it though. Looks the horse to beat on the form. Palmer is a speedy horse and this course is better suiting than Pontefract. He is a small colt which makes me wonder if he will be limited in that regard. I can see him making a bold show and desperately holding on. The form of that race has been franked so it may give some hope although I am not so sure. Savalas may go well, being trained by Kevin Ryan. He does exceptionally well at this course and you can guarantee this horse will be primed. Knockout Blow didn't cost a great deal which slightly tempers my enthusiasm. I would watch the betting to see if this horse drifts. It may be priced a touch short on the tissue. Johnston's debutantes are either easy winners or poor losers. I would take a watching brief. The betting will detail the chance of Consequences. I would enjoy this race and take a watching brief.