My brother sent a little message about this 3yo Novice Stakes. I thought I would write about it from a two-year-old perspective, just to show how even the insight from Group Horse [Daily] can help (hopefully) detail the leading lights of a race.
Nine three-year-olds take part over this turning five furlongs on the standard to slow going.
This race looks out of two major hopes. There may well be more, but we will give reasons along the way.
Paul Cole's Physics is definitely the horse to beat. This bay gelding is a son of Acclamation and 180,000 yearling purchase. He was a beaten favourite on debut over this course, dropping back a furlong to this minimum trip. I like Cole at Kempton and Mrs Fitri Hay is a significant owner. In truth, the debut effort didn't inspire when a beaten favourite, finishing fifth. It looked for the world as if he fluffed his lines, went too fast and tired rapidly. Any horse can disappoint on debut. I would expect a much more polished display here from stall six. At 13/8, I'm not sure this offers much value. If drifting could make a fair bet, especially if going for an each way double.
Should be the horse to beat.
Orange Blossom has been a very frustrating horse to follow. I can imagine The Cool Silk Partnership must have thought summer turned to winter in a day because I have little doubt this daughter of Showcasing has been held in high regard. As with many two-year-olds, it doesn't take much to sour and then it is a matter of building back to winning ways. This January foal has raced at Group class but looked as though she would have struggled to win at plating class on a bad day. However, she showed ability last time out over six furlongs. It is often the case potentially talented two-year-olds lose their way and then comes good at three. I have seen it happen many times. A wide draw isn't ideal. Interesting to see she is dropping back to the minimum trip. After a few frustrating runs, this is a test for this attractive filly.
Brigadier was fancied to go well on debut at this course, giving the impression this drop back to five furlongs would be right up his alley. This son of Sepoy finished behind Orange Blossom. Punters may be fancying their chances of reversing the form over this sprint. One point of slight concern is that the statistics for this horse are poor. Any horse can defy the stats and that may well be true for Brigadier but it is a point to consider.
Mick Channon's Rakastava was odds on for his debut. There is no doubt this son of Clodovil has some limitation drifting markedly in the betting when outclassed by With Caution, trained by James Tate. Well drawn in stall two but may need to show improved form after a couple of fair but somewhat disappointing efforts.
Conclusion: An intriguing race. A few of these horses need to put disappointments behind them, which isn't the best starting point to find winners (unless you have a good reason). Physics has a lot of positives today although needs to have learned from his debut. Has sound claims, especially if drifting in the betting. Orange Blossom is the sort of horse to turn your hair grey overnight. These frustrating types often come good at some point but you may need to have skin as thick as a rhino to take another loss. If drifting to big prices on the exchanges may be worth a small win bet. The type who will win or simply disappoint. Brigadier looks to hold sound claims but the stats just put me off. Rakastava looks disappointing and not sure if this drop in distance will help.
In truth, I would side with Physics if you can get half decent odds. Orange Blossom may finally come good but an enigma.