12:25 Catterick -
Wedding Date has run six times to date. A winner on her second start. Not beaten more than three lengths in the previous five attempts until seen most recently at Newmarket in one of the big sales races. This daughter of Dandy Man wasn't disgraced that day.
Michael Bell has been working hard to get the best out of Just Be Friendly. This daughter of Toronado finished last on debut. It was a better performance than it looked. She showed a touch of promise. There was good money for this bay on the second start at Leicester. There was confidence behind this horse but her exuberance was her downfall. Pulling too hard meant this headstrong juvenile was a spent force. There is no doubt that she has some temperament. A drop back down in trip was positive because she led against the rail and was only denied by a neck in the closing strides. Bell maybe bold or mad but he reckons Just Be Friendly is capable of winning at the minimum trip of 5f. There is a marked difference in pace between five and six furlongs. It is intriguing to see how she goes. Even if outpaced, she should run on in the closing stages. In that sense, punters may be better off betting in running. However, this race often suits horses with speed so you wouldn't want to be too far off the lead. A horse with enough ability to win most maidens (stakes) but the trip does bring a slight unknown.
The third of the significant entrants and a horse that has always been well regarded by connections. Orange Blossom is trained by James Givens in the ownership of the Cool Silk Partnership. This 65,000 guinea yearling's form looks pretty average. A couple of duck eggs and two sixths. Givens clearly rates this two-year-old by the fact she hasn't run below pattern class. This is a marked drop in class from those lofty heights. This five furlongs may be the reason the blinkers are applied - just to add some focus. A high draw is a slight negative. Must have claims.
Wedding Date 8/1 2nd
Orange Blossom 5/1 6th
Just Be Friendly 9/4 Unp
Note: A difference of opinion with the field split to either side rail. Wedding Date was weak in the betting but ran very well (touched 1.1 in running) and caught on the line. Orange Blossom just didn't look happy and soon struggling. Either disappointed or regressed. Just Be Friendly had no hope being on the far side rail. Not that made any difference because she finished last. Perhaps the drop back to five furlongs was a mistake. Up with pace but may have just been too much. However, it was such a poor effort she may have disappointed.