A Novice Stakes for two-year-olds over one mile on Standard going.
Twelve juveniles take part: an equal measure of raced and unraced. A number of leading trainers.
We will be looking at one horse.
Gronkowski is trained by Jeremy Noseda in the ownership of Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited. This bay colt is a son of Lohnro and 300,000G 2yo breeze-up purchase. This February foal has been on our radar since before debut, noted by the excellent website Group Horse. This juvenile is reputed to be one of Noseda's better prospects given three significant entries which suggest he is in the top 10 talents. In many ways, Gronkowski has given the impression he is lazy. Ryan Moore was booked to ride when making this horse's debut over 7f at Newbury. Starting odds of 5/1 detailed a big run was expected. A slow start concluded proceedings. He plugged on in the closing stages but never looked competitive finishing seventh beaten over eight lengths.
It was a disappointing display. However, debutantes can reveal the good, bad and ugly. That was a moderate effort but punters still held the view he had latent talent which would soon be shown.
I fancied this colt would go well on his second start when stepping up to one mile at Newmarket. Gronkowski was markedly weak in the betting drifting from an opening show of 15/8 - 11/4 SP. I had this horse in an each-way double and wasn't impressed to see him tardy from the stalls then taking a keen hold which saw him even further off the pace. It looked an impossible task as the odds-on favourite scooted clear. Gronkowski rallied in the final furlong to finish second defeated by an easy four lengths plus.
So what do we make of this juvenile's chance today?
This is an intriguing horse/race. Gronkowski is held in some regard by connections but there is little doubt he has his own ideas. Blinkers have been applied to kick-start a lazy devil but a wide draw on this turning course could be a problem waiting to happen. Will Sean Levey try to get to the rail? I wouldn't like to bet on that point or consider it would be a good idea to try. This colt will most likely settle behind the leaders and hope to run on in the closing stages. You'd think he must hold fair each-way claims if drifting to a backable price. A horse that may touch much bigger odds in running if still looking a touch lazy. I would expect to see him running on in the closing stages and hope that is enough to hit the frame.