Eleven two-year-olds take part: seven with racecourse experience and four debutantes. The betting suggests there are five major contenders which make for a fascinating race.
Drawn in stall 1 we have Airshow who is has raced four times with a mix of good, bad and indifferent performances. I made up the indifferent part for poetic prose. Make no mistake Rod Millman rates this son of Showcasing. In truth, this chestnut gelding has been unlucky not to have lost his maiden tag but for finding a couple of smart performers in his last two starts at Chepstow when runner-up behind Klosters and the talent that is Barranquerro.
Airshow has enough ability to win and has another opportunity. The most interesting aspect here is the drop back to the minimum trip. He has shown ample pace in his last two starts although there is a marked difference between these trips. If able to lead from this low draw it would be a plus. There is a possibility he could be a touch outpaced but running on with verve.
Expecting has valuable course and distance experience. This son of Bated Breath is a good-looking colt and 90,000G yearling purchase. The form of his debut over 6f has been franked. Once again, this February foal wasn't disgraced when making a return this time racing over 5f in what turned out to be a fair race. A wide draw isn't the best starting point although Charlie Hills' youngster is fast so it will be no surprise to see him attempt to get to the rail.
Andrew Balding knows his two-year-olds and although he hasn't been in the form of previous years he is a trainer to be respected with juveniles on their second start. Golden Salute was fancied in the betting on debut at Windsor when racing over 6f. He faced a stiff opponent in Clive Cox's Grand Zoonta who started 1/2f and crushed the field with a strong final furlong winning well. In some respects, finishing 7th beaten eight lengths was something of a disappointment. The ground was on the soft side which may have been a reason, disappointing or he could have been in need of the run. Connections are dropping back to the minimum trip which may be a telling move. I wouldn't lose hope because this colt has respectable win and place claims if fancied in the betting.
A couple of debutantes are worthy of respect.
It is worth noting that these juveniles will need to be smart and primed to beat opponents who have proven ability.
William Haggas has plenty a quality string of juveniles and bookmakers are generally careful when pricing his horse on their first start. It is wise to let the betting settle rather than jump in with both feet unless you know for a fact this horse has ability or likely to be backed.
Awesometank is a son of Intense Focus and not the most expensive filly when purchased for 25,000G as a foal. It will be interesting to see how she figures in the betting. The stable's juveniles have respectable win and place claims when priced 13/2 & less SP although a good number are better for the race. This course isn't the best starting point if slow from the stalls. She will need to be decent to win this on debut.
Gay Kelleway was quoted earlier in the season as having some ''bigger'' owners and I am pretty sure she was referring to Dr Johnny Hon. Global Rose is definitely one of the stable's better two-year-olds if not the best. I would consider this daughter of Dark Angel has been showing up very well on the gallops. She cost 135,000E when purchased at the breeze-up sales in May. A relatively wide draw isn't ideal. Kelleway can ready a two-year-old to win on its racecourse bow and I imagine this youngster will be primed to show her stuff. Even saying that it will take a fair talent to defy a number of speedy opponents.
Conclusion: An intriguing race. A couple of debutantes are well found in the betting against form horses who set a decent level.
Airshow has ability. If not struggling to go the pace, will have sound each-way claims. Dropping back to the minimum trip may blunt his abundant pace. If outpaced, he will finish with a vigour. It may be a blessing if this is run at a frantic pace.
Expecting may try to lead. A wide draw may force the hand of Buick. This horse has been a touch keen so it could be a positive if stealing an easy lead.
Golden Salute needs to improve after his debut. I suspect connections expected more that day and there could have been a reason for a lacklustre showing. Balding must feel this drop to the minimum trip is a positive move although it is difficult to say from that first start. From a betting point of view, this colt has decent each-way claims. It is one of the reasons why I think an improved performance may be seen.
Awesometank hails from a smart stable but not the most expensive of purchases. She will need to be a talent to defy these more experienced horses. I would let the market settle just in case she is a marked drifter in the betting. I would rather take a watching brief if short odds.
Global Rose is interesting. A filly against a field of mostly colts and on a debutante makes life hard. She will need to be a lively type to start on terms. I am pretty sure this daughter of Dark Angel has a fair level of ability and will be fit and ready to roll. Whether I would want to bet her to win is open to question, but I would fear her as an opponent if betting on a form horse. A tricky race.