A 7f Novice Stakes on Standard going.
Ten two-year-olds take part. Nine with racecourse experience and the solitary debutante.
If the betting is anything to go by, this is out of just three horses.
Simon Crisford has been in good form with his two-year-olds this season and a very talented trainer. Ostilio is a chestnut colt sired by New Approach out of a three-time winning mare. This homebred races in the familiar silks of Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. This April foal was quite fancied on debut when finishing runner-up at Leicester over today's distance. Considering he pulled hard it was a fine debut to lose by half a length. It is difficult to assess the level of that race although for a first outing connections must have been pleased with what they saw.
Illusional made an encouraging debut at Brighton when racing over 7f on good to soft going. Trained by Mark Johnston, this American-bred son of Bernardini is out of a talented mare who was trained by David Loder for Sheikh Mohammed. Winner of her first two starts, including a Group 3 success on her second start, placed a Group 1, concluding her career when fifth in the Falmouth Stakes Group 1. Illusional ran green on debut, outpaced by the winner but clear of the third. It was a fair effort although the quality of that form may be questionable.
The sole debutante in the field is King's Shield. John Gosden has a powerful string and been finding success in these last few weeks with a number of form horses and juveniles making their racecourse bow. This January foal is an American-bred son of Scat Daddy and expensive breeze-up purchase at two for 675,000G after being a $65,000 yearling. This looks a significant buy for Qatar Racing Ltd.
Conclusion: A tricky race to assess. Ostilio and Illusional both ran well on debut and likely to improve a good deal for that first effort. King's Shield cost a lot of money and Gosden's debutantes often go very well on debut when 5/2 & less SP. If outside this betting guide it might suggest a slight weakness although even priced 13/2 & less SP his debutantes feature sound each-way claims. He can pretty much guarantee it will be fancied. This straight 7f is easier than a turning course. I would have to take a watching brief.