This is an interesting mares’ maiden hurdle at Huntingdon, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: It’s hard to get away from the previous run of GRAND TURINA and how well she performed against a subsequent Grade Two winner now rated 135. She would have the beating of these if she can reproduce that level of form and she’s worth sticking with now dropped into mares’ only company. Rosie Mcqueen could turn out to be a very nice type for the Jonjo O’Neill yard and is certainly worth a market check whilst money for Comely would also be worth noting.
1 ALAMEDA – Ran a nice race on her introduction to racing when a 6 1/2 length fourth in a bumper at Uttoxeter. She hasn’t followed that effort up and has put in two disappointing runs including a 105 length defeat at Warwick on soft ground. Her form to date suggests she wants better ground and the forecast Soft going would have to be a concern. She may be one for handicaps down the line although she’s probably a bit better than she has shown so far.
2 COMELY – Nicky Henderson has an excellent strike rate here (37%) and his £36,000 daughter of Midnight Legend is interesting here. She showed promise on her debut at Uttoxeter in May of last year but was very disappointing on her subsequent run when beaten 49 lengths having been sent off the 4/6 favourite. She showed nothing was amiss on her next run in December where she was beaten 6 lengths when sent off the 9/4 favourite. There’s likely to be money around for her again today and the step up in trip may just unlock some improvement off a small break.
3 DALMARELLA DANCER – Makes her debut for new connections here having been bought for £4,500 in the summer by David Peter Dunne. She was a fair performer on the flat and won off marks of 60 and 64 but she seemed to go sour towards the end of her flat career and refused to race in two of her last three runs. Hurdles should freshen her up and her form gives her a tiny chance here although she has to prove the trip and hurdles will tame her bad attitude. Best watched today and may be one for handicaps down the line.
4 EASYONTHEEYE – Yet to show much ability having been beaten out of sight on her last three outings and she’s unlikely to better that record here. She’s yet to start shorter than 100/1 in the betting and the application of the tongue tie today as well as the hood isn’t expected to bring about enough improvement. She’ll do better once in handicaps for a trainer who’s yet to send out a winner in 13 attempts here.
5 GRAND TURINA – Venetia Williams has been in red hot form in the last 14 days with a 34% strike rate (£15.44) and she’ll be hopeful of a very good performance from her runner here. She has the best piece of recent form having finished only 4 lengths behind a subsequent Grade Two winner in River Wylde. He’s now rated 135 and if she can reproduce her last run she’ll take all the beating here. She steps up in trip for the first time which shouldn’t be an issue and she has an extremely good chance of breaking her maiden tag and will be hard to beat here under 3lb claimer Charlie Deutsch.
6 LISTEN TO THE MAN – Picked up for £55,000 in April of last year having won a point-to-point and a bumper at Wetherby. Made her seasonal reappearance in January but has already become extremely expensive to follow having been comfortably beaten when 1/9 and 10/11 in the betting. She’s shown her liking for the ground and Soft or even Good to Soft should be fine for her although she’s not really built on what she achieved early last year. She should come on for her third run off a small break and the return to 2m 3f should suit her although she probably needs to improve to get the better of a couple here. She has a leading chance but an official rating of 115 shows she’s not unbeatable.
7 MALPREEDY – Has run with very little promise on two starts to date having finished pulled up and last of 9 with little in the way of promise for the future. There doesn’t look to be any excuses for those very poor runs and she’ll be one for much further down the line. Trainers first runner here and likely to start a very big price.
8 MISS YEATS – Bought for current connections at the end of 2015 for £30,000 and has shown some promise including a decent third over this trip at Lingfield in December on Good to Soft ground. However, that run came in-between two very poor runs on Soft ground and today’s going may just have turned against her if it turns up on the softer side. She’s stepped back up in trip here which should be right up her street based on her pedigree and she’s not without a chance although her trainer hasn’t sent out a winner in 31 attempts here.
9 ROSIE MCQUEEN – She was bought for £95,000 following a point-to-point win in November last year and she looks a really nice type to progress for the Jonjo O’Neill stable. She ran a nice race on her rules debut when beaten 7 lengths by the 2/5 favourite and she should come on a lot for that experience. She showed she liked the Soft ground that day and this daughter of Milan should really relish the step up in trip for the famous green and gold hooped silks. She’s got a very good chance of breaking her maiden tag here on just the second time of asking.
10 WATAGUDDO – Trainer has a 7% strike rate here (4 wins from 56 runners) but her racecourse debutant is unlikely to better that record today. Her first time on a racecourse comes at the age of 7 and it’s hard to imagine that she’ll be ready first time out on the track and although she is related to a hurdles winner, she’ll have to produce a very good run first time out to win here.
11 WANT THE FAIRYTALE – Alan King’s been in decent form of late (5 wins from 32 runners, 16% strike rate) and his 4yo filly is receiving 5lbs from her opponents today. She ran to a fair level at Market Rasen on her last start on soft and this ex-flat winner should progress again now on her second start over hurdles. She may find this just a little too tough against some more experienced rivals but she’s definitely not without a chance and the betting should be interesting.