IN SUMMARY: Only one horse with previous experience in the line up, but that was an impressive win and ROCK OF ESTONIA is our tip to maintain his 100% record. He looked like he would improve for the run before his last race, and there should be more to come with Jamie Spencer booked to ride the horse again. Ghepardo represents powerful connections and will be worth noting in the market.
1 Rock Of Estonia – Weak in the market before his debut having looked like he would improve time, this 90,000 guineas purchase made all and dug deep to come out on top. That was an impressive debut performance and he looks set to be an exciting two-year-old for connections. He has to give weight away all round but has the benefit of racecourse experience and his unraced rivals will need to show something special on debut to beat him here.
2 Joe’s Spirit – This unraced son of Swiss Spirit was purchased for £42,000 in August having been sold for 17,000 guineas in November 2015 as a yearling. His sire has made a good start with his offspring in his first season with a winner and four places from his first seven runners. Joe’s Spirit’s dam is a full sister to a six furlong two year old winner and market support would be interesting for a yard who don’t have many debut two year old winners.
3 Cranworth Phoenix – Her sire Lilbourne Lad is a good source of gritty juveniles but her trainer Brian Barr is not noted for two year olds with just two runners in the last five years. A middle distance suggests she will be better seen in handicaps later in this season and anything she does over this trip should be a bonus.
4 Ghepardo – Sire Havana Gold has had just five runners from his first crop of runners so far with two second places the best results so far. He was an exceptional two year old, winning four times, and while Ghepardo’s dam struggled on her three starts under rules she was a half sister to a number of very smart two year olds. However, Richard Hannon Jr has just a 10% strike rate with two year olds on debut in the last two seasons and his runners often improve for their first racecourse experience.
5 Polly’s Gold – Also sired by Havana Gold, her dam placed over six and seven furlongs as a two year old although her family are predominantly milers. She is likely to be better over slightly further next year and while her yard have had only nine winners from 139 two year old runners, she should have enough speed to be of interest if supported in the market so worth wtaching.
6 Watch Tan – Sired by Harbour Watch who was unbeaten in 2011 on his only three starts, including in a Group 2, on a range of grounds. Her half sister Boutan was a soft ground miler who now predominantly races over jumps, and the middle distance influence in Watch Tan’s pedigree suggests this trip will be too sharp. Trained by George Baker, she doesn’t come from a yard who have many two year old maiden winners, but they are adept at winning nurseries and she may be one to watch through the season for when she receives her handicap mark.
5 Polly’s Gold.