This is a competitive maiden over 6f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: The Kevin Ryan trained HITCHCOCK sets a good standard on form and he should take some pegging back on just his second career start. He had a 69-rated rival in-behind on debut and having attracted plenty of market support, has likely been doing some pleasing work at home. The newcomer Snow Excuse has an interesting profile and could run a nice race whilst Wild Acclaim should be capable of better than he has shown so far.
1 BLACK ISLE BOY – Purchased for £36,000 as a yearling and he showed some promise on his sole start last season. He made his debut in a 6f Novice Stakes at Newcastle and was ridden prominently before hanging left which effectively ended his hopes of winning. He’s been off the track since then which is of slight concern and he may be best watched here for a yard that have only sent out six winners from 107 runners here.
2 HITCHCOCK – £33,000 purchase as a yearling and he was heavily supported on debut, having been sent off the 10/11 favourite. He was ridden to chase the eventual winner 2 furlongs out and he couldn’t match his pace but the form doesn’t read poorly given he had a 69-rated rival in behind. There should be more improvement in him following that run and he sets a good standard here based on form.
3 NOBLE SWORD – £21,000 purchase and he’s a half-brother to some modest types over this trip. He’s probably going to need this initial racecourse experience for a stable that aren’t renowned for sending out racecourse debutante winners. He’ll be much better suited to handicap company in time for a stable that do well here (18% strike rate).
4 OUR KIM – Well-beaten on debut in a decent enough maiden at Doncaster earlier this month. He was always towards the rear that day and he will find this race significantly easier although it’s unlikely he will have improved enough to get competitive today. Paul Mulrennan is an interesting booking (16% strike rate past fortnight) but the percentage call is to oppose him and he may be one for handicaps.
5 SHEEPSCAR LAD – The most exposed runner in this field, he’s been kept in maiden company on all bar one of his 11 career starts. He sets a very low standard with an official rating of 65 in this although he has shown plenty of pace in two 5 furlong contests lately at Newcastle and Southwell. Stall 8 isn’t ideal and he’s worth taking on again here with some unexposed rivals against him. The yard are without a winner from 7 runners in the past fortnight.
6 SNOW EXCUSE – 11,000GNS purchase as a foal and he’s a half-brother to the smart Seal Rock. His profile suggests this 6 furlong trip will be ideal on debut and connections have opted for a tongue tie on debut in a bid to help his breathing. Stall 7 isn’t ideal but the yard excel with their sprinters and it would be no surprise to see him get competitive here. Worth close attention in the betting.
7 WILD ACCLAIM – 42,000 Euro purchase as a 2yo and he was raced twice last season showing a mixed level of form. He finished second of five in a Class 4 Hamilton maiden but he failed to build on that when stepped up in trip at Newcastle, having finished last of 9 beaten 11 lengths. Connections have decided against gelding him which is interesting and they obviously feel there’s more to come. Another worth close market attention.
8 STAR CATCH – Twice-raced filly who was well-supported on her final start of last year when she finished second, beaten 2 1/2 lengths. The winner that day went on to win again off a mark of 78 and the form has a solid enough look to it. She should have improved for another winter under her belt and it’ll be interesting to see how tuned up she is on seasonal reappearance. A leading chance with Paul Hanagan booked.
9 UNDISCOVERED ANGEL – Twice-raced filly over 7 furlongs and she wasn’t beaten far in both attempts. She steps down in trip here which is slightly surprising given she looked better over a slightly longer trip and she’s been handed an awful draw in stall 9 today. The yard have sent out one winner from their last 33 runners and she’s worth respect here for a yard that are capable of sending out maiden winners.