A Novice Auction Stakes over 5f 42y on good to firm going.
Just five two-year-olds take part: three with race experience, including two winners, and two debutantes.
Chatburn is trained by David O'Meara in the familiar silks of David Armstrong. This bay colt is a son of Dream Ahead and purchased for just £12,000 at the yearling sales. An exceptional buy. This March foal has been a consistent juvenile displaying ample speed. He is proven to be a talent over this minimum trip and has the pace to make average horses come out in a sweat. With an official rating of 82 he sets a fair standard for these to aim. The win penalty is the major point of contention. Will it take its toll?
John Ryan is a talented trainer who does well at this course. He has a decent string of juveniles this season which adds to confidence. *Pranceabootthetoon did just that when starting his career at Brighton over 6f. This chestnut son of Sir Prancealot was another inspired purchase at the breeze-up sales for just 15,000G. He wasn't overly fancied in the betting on debut but won in ready fashion over a previous winner. The third horse has franked the form by hitting the frame next start. A win penalty is negated by the use of an apprentice. That may be a wise move. This isn't the easiest horse to assess but a ready victory is worthy of praise. It will be interesting how he shapes up dropping down in distance. There is a marked difference in the pace between five and six furlongs. He may have the pace to hold steady but there is always a chance he could be outpaced in the early stages.
One handler who doesn't have many two-year-olds in his string is John Butler. However, the stable always held Haveoneyerself in some regard. This son of Requinto was earmarked for the Lily Agnes Stakes at Chester but made his debut at the course in a stiff Maiden when showing promise to finish fifth. He ran a respectable race when finishing second to the talent Dahik. Recently losing out by a head at Hamilton when clear of the third. In truth, that race fell apart with the two favourites regressing but this bonny colt has just about enough ability to win a small race. He has the advantage of not shouldering a win penalty like the leading contenders.
The two debutants will need to be fair talents to win here. Kevin Ryan is an infrequent visitor to the course and a trainer whose two-year-old debutantes usually start at 13/2 & less SP. They can win on debut. Fyre Cay cost just £12,000 when purchased at two in April. It looks like the stable sent him back to the breeze-up sales in July but wasn't sold. That brings something of a question mark. It may suggest they were looking for a quick profit or just get rid. One of three rides for Jamie Spencer on the card. Unless seriously backed, I would take a watching brief.
Interesting to see what Fortunate Vision can do on his debut. To be fair, David Brown has had a pretty poor time with this season's two-year-olds. Very few have registered as having much ability which can have a knock-on effect to the whole string. This son of Libranno was noted earlier in the season as having ability. A very cheap yearling purchase by the trainer for just £2,800. That doesn't inspire confidence. What is intriguing to note is the fact this horse has been entered to run a couple of times but withdrawn when poorly drawn. That aspect is interesting because it could be interpreted as having ability. If it was talentless why would they worry about a wide birth? At least that information details we are dealing with a fit horse who has been ready to roll for some time.
Conclusion: A restricted race type which usually goes to horses with form. Certainly, the two debutantes will need to be primed and feature a decent level of ability even if the previous winners have to shoulder win penalties. It is interesting to see if Fortunate Vision is held in some regard by connections. It isn't beyond the realms but it may be a red herring. The only blessing for those who like a speculative punt is that you will get a price. I would have to take a watching brief but intrigued. Haveoneyerself has ability but may find the two favourites tough nuts to crack. He is a likeable colt who will battle hard and he gets in at a decent weight. I just wonder if something will be a little too good. The two favourites are decent juveniles for this grade. They have to defy win penalties which isn't the easiest of tasks. Pranceabootthetoon has a seven-pound apprentice to try and negate that burden. That may be a good move. I just wonder if this drop back in distance will be suiting. It may be the making of the horse but he could find this run at a frantic pace and if not up to speed could be outpaced. That isn't good news over this minimum trip or at this course which isn't the easiest to peg back those who achieve an easy lead. Chatburn is the most proven horse and an out and out sprinter. If connections think a few of these will struggle for pace or ring rusty they will try to gain a nice lead and hang on for grim death.This colt is fast, sturdy and strong. If betting, I would go with him in favour of the field. A win penalty does make life harder and although respecting his chances I wouldn't be betting at short odds. On balance, I would take a watching brief.