By Kevin O'Malley, www.tote.co.uk
Today we have a Archie Watson-trained filly worth keeping a close eye on in the 3:15pm at Beverley, along with a pair of evening fancies at Chepstow - all three running in novice or maiden company.
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This Sea The Stars filly was green on her debut at Chelmsford and definitely left the impression she’ll be just the sort of Archie Watson-trained runner to improve from her first run.
The time recorded for the race was nothing out of the ordinary, but there were a few promising looking horses in the field and the form may turn out to be quite useful in the weeks to come.
Hidden Sky makes her turf debut today and also steps up in trip by two furlongs - both of these elements are a positive to her chances. A Racing Post Rating of 69 on debut gives her a good bit to find with The Queen’s Lightness, and Hugo Palmer’s Golden Pass, but today’s conditions should level the playing field and Hidden Sky will have every opportunity to show herself in a better light.
Of the newcomers, I’m interested to see how Keith Dalgleish’s Finally Mine gets on first time up. In fact, I’m interested in all Dalgleish runners at most times of the year, although at the moment he is on the cold list.
He did have a winner at Ayr yesterday, but it went off at long odds-on and only managed to win by a neck. It often pays to keep a close eye on when his runners start to run better than their return price suggests, because when that starts happening some nice winners are usually close by.
An interesting little novice stakes over the six-furlong trip and there’s little question David Loughnane’s Chica Bella will be tough to beat on her Leicester fourth last time.
A Racing Post Rating of 72 for that run was backed up by an RP Topspeed rating of the same number, meaning it was probably a truly run race and an above average effort for this grade.
In as the likely second favourite is Archie Watson’s Hattusa, who ran to RPR/TS of 58/36 on debut at Chelmsford earlier this month. An ordinary enough effort in isolation, the prices are suggesting Watson’s charge will improve a good bit and prove the chief thorn in the side of Chica Bella.
Cast your eye a little further down the racecard though and you’ll come to KATIE’S KITTEN trained by Mick Appleby. In all likelihood, this two-year-old will be seen to better effect in nursery handicaps down the line.
However, she did run to an RPR/TS combo of 53/40 when finishing fifth of seven at Chelmsford on her debut. This puts her on a relative par with Hattusa on the bare evidence of what they actually achieved on their last runs, yet Katie’s Kitten is in the early betting forecasts at around 33-1 and is likely to be a big price on the Tote.
There is a reality of profile here. Watson’s horse probably will improve quite a bit, while our selection probably won’t be sharp enough to display that progression second time up. However, if we cast that aside and take those perceived track achievements for what they appear to be on paper, Katie’s Kitten is the overpriced runner in the line-up.
Less of a form case here and more a feeling that Hughie Morrison’s BOGEYMAN might prove to be just that in the closing maiden at Chepstow. This race may well turn out to be the best novice/maiden race of the day, with Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, Godolphin, Juddmonte and the Mariscotti colours for trainer Andrew Balding all represented for this 1m2f contest.
I must admit, I’m not in the habit of suggesting unraced horses for a bet, but Bogeyman looks a type to go well on debut. The early markets are suggesting he isn’t a complete outsider here, which is encouraging. If he was trading at 33/1-100/1 on debut you wouldn’t give the horse a second thought. Pedigree wise, we know his sire Garswood handled some ease in the ground, while his close relations Dutch Law and Dutch Art Dealer both displayed very useful ability on good to soft ground, so the conditions should be fine.
Hughie Morrison’s yard does well at Chepstow, while jockey Tom Marquand has fired in 13 winners in the past fortnight and remains a riding prospect of the very highest order. All told, Bogeyman is one to keep an eye on. Even if he isn’t quite sharp enough to land a placed effort here, he’s one likely to pick up a race or three down the line.
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