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Thursday, 8 September 2016


horse racing, Salisbury,
A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 1m on good to soft going.  

Quite a restricted race type which often implies a form horse will take the beating. Prerogative has been a model of consistency placed four times from seven races for Richard Hannon. This bay colt has been denied that elusive win by a couple of talents in Mailshot & On Her Toes. With an official rating of 82, this race should be his for the taking although there is a proviso. As with all juveniles, with a few hard races behind them, there is always a slight concern this may be one race too many. In addition, it will be interesting to see whether this step up to one mile on softer going help or hinders. The Royal Ascot Racing Club will be hopeful of that first victory for this son of Rock Of Gibraltar. Fingers crossed this honest horse enjoys a tidy success. 

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Other major contenders include Joseph Tuite's Dark Destroyer. This bay colt is a son of first-season sire Helmet who cost £32,000 at the yearling sales. Making his debut at Newmarket over 6f, this bay colt was fancied in the betting and finished a creditable third place. I don't think that was the strongest of contests but a fair effort for the grade of this race. He stayed at 6f, beaten six lengths when competing in the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes at York. By all accounts, that was a sterling effort. This step up in the distance by two furlongs is an intriguing move. The mare was a very talented horse over a trip competing up to Group 1 class. If this extra yardage brings further improvement, he could make the favourite fight to the line. 

The two horses detailed set a good standard for the debutantes to achieve on their racecourse bow. This race type does highlight some limitation although auction races can feature exceptionally talented juveniles.

There look four horses of interest.

Andrew Balding can send our debut winners although they are usually some of the best talents. Atkinson Grimshaw is owned by David Brownlow, who is a trusted patron of Kingsclere Stables. Leontes has proven a smart juvenile for him this season, while Mymatechris was a sensation last season with prize money totalling almost £100,000. Atkinson Grimshaw is a chestnut son of Rio De La Plata who was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for 40,000G. The stable can win on debut although most are priced 10/1 & less SP. I will take a bold show to deny the two form horses.

Michael Bell falls into a similar mold as Balding when it comes to his debutantes. They can be impressive winners, while the majority are likely to need their first run. The betting usually tells the story. Peace Telegram is a son of Henrythenavigator, gelded, out of a poor winning mare who was trained by Walter Swinburn. This juvenile wasn't sent through the sales but catches the eye being owned by Saleh Al Homaizi & Imad Al Sagar. Has respectable claims if priced 13/2 & less SP. 

After a great riding career, Richard Hughes is probably still finding his feet when it comes to training. As an analyst, I am still making my judgment one this season's juveniles. I can't help feel they have fallen a little short of what I imagined, although I am probably being a little hard on him. See Of Rome is a grey colt and son of Irish stallion, Pour Moi. John Lund purchased this yearling at the sales for 75,000G which certainly catches the eye. He is owned by John & Jordan Lund. Worth noting if strongly backed. 

Last but not least of the debutantes mentioned in this preview is James Tate's Thomas Crown. Tate is an exceptional handler who often send his juvenile to the track full of fire. This bay colt is a son of Helmet out of a poor mare. He cost 28,000G at the yearling sales. Saeed Manana does well with his relatively cheap purchases. Definitely one for the shortlist. 

Conclusion: The form horses have valuable experience and in this race type outstanding chances. Prerogative is a decent juvenile for a maiden let alone this class and if not feeling the affects of a long season must hold every chance. This step up in distance is a slight concern. I am always very careful with two-year-olds with a string of runs because they can sour quickly and then you are looking at a losing favourite. I hope for this honest horse he prevails. Dark Destroyer is the fresher horse and will be primed to go well here. This step up in the distance could bring further improvement. He is a well bred horse. Could make a viable each-way alternative to the favourite. The four major debutantes notes have claims if fancied in the betting but need to be pretty smart to win this at the first time of asking unless the race falls apart.  

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