Race Time: 1.50pm Meeting: Newbury Day: Saturday 24th October
Distance: 7f Full Race Name: Worthington’s Whizz Kidz Stakes (Registered as The Horris Hill Stakes) (Group Three) (Colts & Geldings) Class One
A cracker to start the afternoon with as they go to post for this prestigious prize that has been won four times in the last six years by the Hannon yard in its various guises (Senior or Junior), including last year with Saimh who was ridden by everybody’s hero Frankie Dettori. This year they send Madrinho (16/1) here of their two early entries, though even he may well be up against it if the big boys play their hands. His one and only career win was in an Ascot maiden back in July but his best race was perhaps when beaten a neck by Tasleet at level weights in a Listed race her at Newbury, though to be fair his conqueror did look as if he had plenty in hand if needed.
With most of the top quality beasts originally declared now missing in action, we need to change our choices and Whitman (20/1) has to be on that list for Mark Johnston even if we do feel that maybe his two year olds are no longer firing on all cylinders. After winning his maiden at the second attempt at Newbury he was sent to Nottingham for a Class Five nursery which rather suggests he isn’t held in that high regard and makes us pretty wary here. The son of Poet’s Voice did step up to Listed class at Ripon to see off Chiringuita by a head, making all and holding them off over six furlongs but was then found out in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes when eased after his chance had gone and it would surprise us if he can win again today despite dropping a grade in class.
Those closest to the Brian Meehan yard assure us that they have always thought a fair bit of Perkunas (16/1) and were delighted by his debut second to Emotionless at Newmarket when sent off at 33/1 and very much in need of the experience. The winner franked the form with a very impressive victory in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster so imagine how disappointed connections were when he was only fifth at York next time out where he was hampered but that did not cost him the race. Third time lucky though as he took his maiden at Brighton over this seven furlongs with a bit in hand once the penny dropped, and if he can repeat his earlier form then he may well be the one they all have to beat.
Anyone who follows their racing will have noticed that Godolphin are having a better year with their juveniles in 2015 and in Start Time (4/1) they have an interesting runner looking to rise in class after two easy wins in lesser grades. Two second places at Brighton hardly marked him down as Group class but he has stepped up n those efforts with very comfortable victories at Thirsk and most recent Windsor where he scored by four and a half lengths over a trip of just over a mile. Hitting the front two out he would have been in the lead at this trip and is certainly going the right way at the right time and is well worth a shot at the rise in grade, though only time will tell if he is up to it of course.
Looking for a dark horse to round off our early preview and it looks as though John Gosden could be the man with the once raced Crazy Horse (9/2) an unknown quantity. His last gasp Newmarket maiden win is hard to gauge when you could have thrown a blanket over the first three home, but he is as entitled to improve for the race as much as any other horse, and as a half brother to the classy Richard Pankhurst who is currently rated 116, there is every reason to believe he can go on from here to be something a lot better in time.