Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Chester: Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes (9th May)

David Evans trains Lihou
1:50 Chester - (9th May) 

The Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes over 5f on good to soft going. 

Ten two-year-olds take part - all with racecourse experience. The most significant juvenile race of the season so far. This Class 2 race has win prize money worth £14,940. Yogi's Girl won in a photo finish last year beating Black Orange by a nose. Trainer, David Evans delighted with the win. He does well in this race. 

For an in-depth Guide to the Lily Agnes Conditions Stakes take a look at Frankel Blog

Light My Fire has been withdrawn by Tom Dascombe. 

This will be a short and sharp post regarding the major hopes. 

For the majority, a wide draw or limited ability puts pay to any real hope. In truth, this looks a four-horse race. 

Dark Thunder is one of three entrants for Tom Dascombe, who lives up the road at Malpas. This grey colt is an Irish-bred son of  Alhebayeb cost £42,000 when purchased at the yearling sales. He wasn't overly fancied on debut at Windsor. It turned out to be a hot race with Mark Johnston's Blown By Wind being beaten at odds of 4/11f by Kevin Ryan's Emaraaty Ana who has Royal Ascot on the cards. Dark Thunder ran out a fair third place but needs to find improvement to figure here. The stable are worthy of note at this course but others look to hold more promise. 

Mick Channon has been in fine form with his two-year-olds this season. The last couple of years have been pretty dire considering his former standing but he has a decent string of juveniles - who keep on winning! Kinks is a speedster who was beaten on debut but won on his next two starts at Bath and Ripon, respectively. This son of Sixties Icon doesn't lack for pace but a wide draw (11) is a thorn in his side. It isn't impossible, but it is far from ideal. I can't see him getting to the rail, so connections may just play a waiting game and sit just off the pace and hope they can finish well. I must admit, odds of 10/3 look pretty tight because if he gets caught wide it will be a hard work. 

David Evans is a talented trainer who knows his horses. Lihou ran well on debut in the Brocklesby and then beat Kinks at Kempton. This chestnut son of Mayson ran on with zeal, collaring Kinks with a little bit in hand. This April foal was been waiting for this race and could well have strengthened up if not improved a good deal on that effort back in April. Looks a live chance. 

The other major contender is Mark Johnston's No Lippy. One of four fillies in the field, she is drawn not drawn too badly in stall four. She isn't the biggest daughter of Oasis Dream but a sturdy, athletic sort in the mold of a terrier. She battled well on debut to defy World Order who may have been intimidated by her wandering tactics. A horse with plenty of pace. Could well lead and try to hold on at the line. 

Conclusion: This is a race which takes some winning and run at a frantic pace. No Lippy made an encouraging debut and looks to have a fighting spirit. The downside, the form is untested. I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Interesting to see if she leads because it could be a positive but will leave no hiding place. Lihou hails from a stable who do well at this course. She managed to beat Kinks with a bit in hand and looks the type to improve with racing. There is a chance she may be outpaced in the early stages, which could be a problem. One who will be running on at the line but needs to be in contention. If pressed, I would have a small each-way bet on Lihou or win bets on Lihou and No Lippy. Intriguing race and not a race I would be wagering myself.