All three races today have a consistent theme with each field split as
roughly half and half as newcomers and those with experience. You would
be hard pressed to nominate any of those with previous runs as likely future
winners of open maidens on what they have acheived and a number have looked
moderate physical types as well. Fortunately, each race has at least two
debut runners with solid profiles and the races still have the potential
to produce better class winners.
Benato The Great (B Smart, March to May). Trainer has lived
up to his billing of starting with a solid batch of 2yos before June and
they are well enough prepared to win if the ability is there. This will
be his 8th debut runner and the previous 7 have included three winners
and a strong second. This is his fourth runner for Sheikh Mohammed's son
and the previous three have (in order) won FTO (Go Nani GO), been inexperienced
FTO and won well STO (Spin Cycle) & run a strong second (Excellent
Show's second to Haigh Hall in what looked a good fillies' 5f race at Thirsk).
This one is a reasonably expensive son of Acclamtion and a half brother
to two juvenile winners (on on debut in late season) by Fruits Of Love.
Unless Sweet Smile improves notably his strongest opponent would be a Mark
Johnston's Takaatuf and another expensive purchase for the Maktoum
family. The Smart record tips the balance and puts his 2yo top of the profile.
As a general comment you can look at maidens like this and it looks a complete
mismatch. With Johnston & now Smart both tooled up with deluxe purchases
they are incredibly big fish in Northern maiden terms. Kevin Ryan and Howard
Johnson (Wylie backed) can compete to some extent but few others. You would
almost feel that stats like 'FTO Strike Rate' need to have a Northern &
Southern split given that if you start most of your 2yos in the South you
are going to run into a wider range of well resourced opposition.
Tropical Paradise (P Winkworth, Long Shot). This Sandown 5f maiden
for fillies has a good record of producing useful runners. In 2002 the
French Group 2 winner Never A Doubt won from the inaugural Albany Stakes
winner Duty Paid and Speed Cop (5f Listed success). In 2004 the Albany
Stakes winner Jewel In The Sand won FTO for Richard Hannon and in 2005
the Albany Stakes victress La Chunga was beaten into fourth (Jeremy Noseda
was less sure with his debuts then than this year). The last two editions
have been empty and opposing last year's field in later runs proved a good
Unless Streets Of Hope moves well forward from debut the best chance
of some quality should be the newcomers and Hannon's Miss Fritton
is an obvious possibility given the trainer has used the race before and
has had three debut winners in the last week (including with a filly at
Windsor two days ago).
The 'Winkworth Project' will be known to those who read this section and
he introduced another duff one at Windsor where Hannon's Baileys Cacao
won well. Again, his juvenile was very for FTO and well forward in condition
but too lacking in ability to compete. On profile this runner has a bit
more to recommend her and is well drawn if she does have the physical presence
and may be a value alternative.