A Novice Stakes over 7f on Standard going.
Fourteen three-year-olds take part. A mix of lightly-raced horses with a few intriguing debutantes.
Ghost Serge, trained by Archie Watson, is a class, experienced, opponent, competitive at Listed class, achieving a highest official rating of 99. This grey colt has the burden of carrying a win penalty which makes this task a little harder than connections may have thought. This dual winner from five starts is a good measure for some of the debutantes who come here with reputations.
Sometimes, you have to wait a long time for a horse to make its debut. That is the case for Jeremy Noseda's colt, Walk In The Sun. In the ownership of Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited, this American-bred son of Street Sense cost 1,400,000 euros when purchased at the breeze-up sales at two. We had this talent on our radar early in its two-year-old season via our exceptional Group Horse (which details the best unraced and lightly raced 2yo horses in training). This April foal is definitely one of the better three-year-olds in the stable. The betting suggests that thing horses hasn't gone unnoticed. It is probably as much to do with the price tag although a string of Group entries suggest this runner has always been considered worthy of note. Ryan Moore is booked to ride. A good draw if starting on terms. I would keep an eye on the betting as the tissue price of 1/1 really doesn't offer much value. It could be the case, he drifts markedly in the betting which would bring a few concerns. I would watch the betting to get a feel for this horse. Even if fit, against experienced opposition, he wouldn't want to be slow from the stalls on this turning course. Noseda does well with fancied horses on debut, especially if strong in the market. However, I wouldn't jump in at odds-on if the money comes.
Charlie Appleby has been a true power this juvenile season. First Contact kept on well to win on debut at odds-on. He has to shoulder a win penalty and a wide draw. A horse which is likely to improve. Could go well but will need to be pretty smart in this race.
Andrew Balding's Luna Eclipse has been fancied in the betting on both starts to date but flopped back in June when behind the talented Nyaleti. Not seen for over 200 days, Balding probably holds this colt in some regard. A good draw. Needs to improve a lot but stranger things have happened.
Conclusion: A race worthy of your time. For lowly price money, this could well be a top-end Novice Stakes. The winners are decent horses who will not lack for experience or most probably fitness. Those factor could be enough to defy the penalties of Ghost Serge and First Contact. The latter, Godolphin horse, has more on his plate with a wide draw. You have to feel Adam Kirby will try to get to the rail. It is slightly off putting. The talking horse is Jeremy Noseda's Walk In The Sun. It is exciting to see this horse making his debut and I'm confident it is a talent going places. However, turning courses are never easy for debutantes. A slow start would bring problems, so that is a problem. For those who enjoy betting in running, they may be hoping for a few hazards and just hope class prevails. I couldn't bet at 1/1 because if he is slow from the stall you will be feeling the pressure. If drifting it may bring more hope but you have to be fearful that a big drift may relate to inexperience or needing the run. Noseda does well with short priced horses on debut but you may be wiser to watch unless the odds appeal. Luna Eclipse has a lot to prove but may hold each-way claims. On balance, I would just watch the race and enjoy it from a purist's perspective.