Monday: Just a quick post to detail my thoughts about this race.
12:25 Windsor -
A 5f Novice Stakes. Ten juveniles take part on good going. A relatively difficult race to assess and best to let the betting settle - sure it will find a few weak links.
Roger Charlton hasn't had many juveniles race this year and very few have figured at the business end. Creedmoor is a filly, taking on a few colts, so that may be a challenge. A wide draw isn't ideal on this dog-leg sprint. The betting is key for Charlton's debutantes, although he is one of those trainers who can win at speculative odds. However, the chances of this well-bred daughter of Invincible Spirit out of a Group-winning mare would be greatly increased if she started favourite. The stable's debutantes have the tendency to win or finish unplaced. Not the easiest of horses to assess but could be a powerhouse if strong in the market.
Lothian is well respected by Michael Attwater who doesn't have the best string of two-year-olds and never has. However, that doesn't mean he cannot train a winner if he gets the ammunition. This son of Coach House was half fancied on debut, running well from the front, and just outbattled in the closing half furlong. The form of that race has worked out well although he may be better suited to auction class, as, in theory, this is a step up in class. Little went right last time over this course. Time may tell this gelding simply ran his race and wasn't good enough. Certainly, the front two that day looked fair juveniles, with the winner [Tanfantic] running well at Listed class. It looked to me as if Lothian and Eve Johnson Houghton's Coco Bear went a stride too fast. Connections are dropping back in distance which may be a plus or minus. It is never as easy to drop back a furlong as it is to step up. There is always a fear he will be slightly outpaced.
Night On Earth ran at this course eight days ago and was relatively fancied in the betting. This son of Kodiac found himself in a very stiff race and wasn't really involved behind the easy winner, and a very good-looking colt, Supremecy, trained by Clive Cox. I'm pretty sure connections expected more and they must fancy this drop back in trip will be to his advantage. The Balding stable has been in flying form and that adds to the hopes this colt could have each-way claims if priced in single figure odds. I wouldn't want to bet unless I could get around 7/1 because this could be a hard race to win. A low draw is a positive. I would definitely let the betting settle before betting in this race.
Nurse Florence is a good-looking filly. She was fancied to go well last time over course and distance but found racing against the colts and a competitive race too much. She was a touch keen and just didn't look as though she was enjoying herself and hanging. The stable has been in good form with their two-year-olds and I am sure they rate this filly better than we have seen so far. This better going could help but she does have something to prove after last time and I wouldn't want to be betting at relatively short odds.
To add to the dilemma we have a few debutantes from stables who can ready a winner.
I'm not sure how Marco Botti's Atalis Bay cost just 800 guineas but the stable can go well on debut and win at speculative odds.
Mick Channon can send out a decent juvenile as seen with Cairn Gorm who won nicely here on debut and followed up under a penalty second start. The betting for Danzart should tell the story. This £18,000 yearling purchase may hold claims if priced 13/2 & less sp. If weak in the market is best watched.
Silent Approval has a wide draw. Gary Moore can do well with debutantes and money is often a good sign. Very few debutantes win if priced over 10/1.
Jazzy Socks is well owned and well-bred. Robert Cowell has trained a winner this two-year-old season and has a line to a fair mark from that horse. However, he is a trainer who often seems to struggle to win and I would take a watching brief.
Power On was fancied to go well on this second start at Newmarket after showing a glimmer of promise at Yarmouth on debut. Paul D'Arzy's colt is a fair-looking juvenile but disappointed last time out and connections have opted for the blinker which may work or be a sign of desperation. He was given an Ascot nomination by connections which may show some sign of confidence but a horse that needs to spring back to life and would have to be big odds to consider.
Luke Dace's Friday is the rank outsider although he has done well with debutantes at big odds.
Conclusion: A race I would be careful with. If you don't let the market settle you must need your brain testing. The only reason you wouldn't do that is if you are convinced you have found some value and your horse is likely to be backed. The betting may detail a few weak links which help with the assessment. I will be keeping an eye on Night On Earth as a potential value each-way bet. However, if Creedmoor is strong in the betting it would be enough for me to keep my money in my pocket. This race has a bit of everything going on. In addition, if a few of the debutantes are strong in the market it may be a race to watch.