The Class 5 maiden at Musselburgh looks a low quality race on profile.
Unless one of the runners is notably better than they appear a range of
runners can reach the 20s rating that might be all that is needed to win.
Three horses have run and the best form shown is probably the third by
Just The Lady at Folkestone. She appeared a small and ready type
and was professional for debut and made the running on the advantageous
rails. She showed some response when pressed before fading in the final
furlong. She should improve her fitness for the run but will be vulnerable
to a stronger finisher again. Her trainer seems to send 2yos to the course
(a long way from his West Country base) in an attempt to find a weaker
race they can win and he seems to have found one here. However none
of his 10 2yos to have run at the track since 2002 have won with three
second places the best results. Perhaps similar here.
Kevin Ryan has made a slow start to the season and his
only runner to date has been Count Almaviva at Southwell who
finished a moderate third, as favourite, in a poor race at Southwell. That
race was run in a much slower time than Bahamian Babe's race 5 day's later.
Even allowing for possible differences in track preparation it looks a
poor performance. In the last two seasons Mr Ryan has started out with
a few lesser types before showing some better types on debut in mid April.
He doesn't tune his early runners for debut so Count Almaviva has scope
to improve his rating but from a low base such that he just competes for
the top profile rather than being a strong profile.
Dispol Mulofky has a poor profile and managed to finish in front
of Count Almaviva at Southwell and limits to upper end of that form. You
would expect her to finish behind the Ryan colt here.
Which brings us to the newcomers and we can work from the bottom
up starting with a pair of horses with different sales backgrounds but
low ratings. Maigh Eo cost 32,000 guineas and is the first runner
for new sire Elusive City who made his name with his juvenile sprint performances.
He runs for a trainer with no record with 2yos so it is difficult to know
how the debuts will be prepared. We saw with Musical Bridge (24,000gns
and backed from 33/1 to 17/2 before a nose defeat) at Bath how these newer
trainers can surprise. However, the sales report was pretty negative about
him and couldn't see what the money was for so it seems unlikely he will
provide a surprise.
Mel Brittain's Polish Pride failed to attract even
the minimum bid when offered at the tail-end of the Tattersalls October
yearling sales (when the lesser types are most numerous). He seemed to
select the competent 2yos to run early in 2007 in his first year with a
range of runners but their lack of class showed through and they couldn't
turn that advantage into wins. More of the same here.
Both Russet Reward & Lady Fantasie run for reliable northern
trainers and the Stubbs yard has already had a winner with Saxford (STO).
Both get odd FTO wins and in this sort of race a win for them is possible.
The strongest all-round profile with the debut runners is for Eoghan O'Neill's
Especially For You. He has made an earlier than normal start and
his first runner - Red Cell - was notably fit and forward in condition
but could only finish 2nd of 4 because of his lack of ability. If she's
running now we can assume his filly here will be ready enough to compete
if she is good enough and this race may be easier than going up against
Bahamian Babe as Red Cell did.
In summary, more a race to use to assess the strength of the previous
form and the quality of the newcomers with a lack of an angle to identify
a likely better performance. Just The Lady brings the most solid previous
form and should run well but a solid debut performer could wear her down
late on. Especially for you had the best prospects to be the one but the
low ratings level mean that Lady Fantasie, and perhaps Russet Reward, could
also compete for the win.
The Preview for Saturday's two races at Doncaster & Wolverhampton will
include some paddock notes from the events at Bath & Folkestone over
the last two days (including an interesting 'lurker' in the Bath field).