A ten-runner sprint over 6f on Standard going. A fair selection of two-year-olds, a few been given significant entries.
Always go to see Mick Easterby have a decent horse. Not particularly known for his two-year-olds, he has hit something of a purple patch this last month or so with two or three juvenile winners. Jack Berry House pulled off a surprise when victory on debut when winning at Newcastle at odds of 80/1 (it wasn't a fluke). A fine judge of horses, Easterby started Brandy Spirit at the deep end when making this gelding's debut in an All-Weather Fast Track Qualifier. To most, it would seem a bold, if not foolish, escapade against quality opposition. However, this son of Charm Spirit - a 50,000 guinea breeze-up buy - was nibbled in the market from 50-1 - 33/1. Taking advantage of a few horses with win penalties may have been a wise move. This February foal dwelt but soon moved up with panache. Trouble in running didn't help his cause, but connections must have been pleased to see him hit the frame. The Racing Post comment ''promising'' detailed an exciting horse in the making.
It's a rematch with an old adversary Fares Kodiac who was just half a length behind for Marco Botti. This is one of the better two-year-olds in the stable (a lean year). A nose-winner on debut and far from disgraced in this better company since. Has been entered at Listed class.
Michael Bell has a fair number of juveniles in his stable this year. A few have proven very capable (Pretty Polianna, Lady Aria & James Watt). Regular, in the ownership of The Queen, ran well on debut when finished second at odds of 3-1. It wasn't a bad run next time out at Doncaster when fifth, although I had expected more. He drifted markedly in the betting, before having the corners chipped off near the death. Interesting to note connections are dropping this gelding back to six furlongs.
Andrew Balding's Grandstand has raced five times to date with an element of success. The best of those efforts came when running at Windsor on his third start when second best, losing by one length. Looked to struggle on his last two starts at nursery class. An official rating of 76 detail a horse with the ability to win a race but susceptible to a horse with a touch of class.
Legend Island has run twice for Ed Walker in the familiar red/black striped silks of owner P K Siu.
Robert Cowell fields one of two debutantes. Turquoise Friendly is an Irish-bred son of Holy Roman Emperor. This 40,000 guineas breeze-up purchase is out of an unraced dam. The stable can win on debut although often difficult to pinpoint when. If backed it would add to confidence.
The other horse making its racecourse bow is Patrick Chammings' Opportune Moment. This gelding is a son of Slade Power is out of an exceptionally good mare named Carry On Katie, who was trained by Jeremy Noseda/Saeed bin Suroor, winning her first three starts, including the Lowther Stakes (Group 2) & Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1). She returned in the ownership of Godolphin to compete at the 1000 Guineas, finishing sixth, although beaten just three lengths. Then retired to stud after a disappointment at Longchamp, France. This horse must have looked a weak link at the yearling sales selling for just 14,000 euros. Interesting to see what he can achieve on this debut. A wide draw is negative.
Brains, Tunky and Isabel Red are best watched.
Conclusion: An intriguing race. A couple of potentially decent juveniles in Brandy Spirit and Fares Kodiac. The latter is no slouch and a proven winner. These win penalties make life harder although he wasn't too far behind Mick Easterby's charge last time out. There was a lot to like about Brandy Spirit on that first start. It spoke well that connections plumped for that option because to many it looked illogical. There should be ample improvement although not much meat on the bone at 6/4. May drift in the betting, which could give some value. Regular needs to show more for dropping in trip. Opportune Moment is bred like an expensive horse but cost ''pennies'' at the sales.