5:20 Chelmsford -
Just a quick look at this race.
As always proving the point, the first three horses in the betting are all significantly entered as forwarded by Group Horse. It's the reason why our information sees top-class two-year-olds win every pattern race throughout the season. You really don't get any better. Anyway, enough about all that.
6f Novice Stakes (Plus 10 Race) (Class 4) (2yo).
Readers may have seen our post which stated Bill The Butcher was fancied to go well on debut at Windsor, and one of the best two-year-olds in the Richard Spencer stable. Rebel Racing has been blessed with a number of exceptional talents over the years.
To be fair, this son of Starspanglebanner had a stiff task when making his first start, facing winners, form horses and unraced talents. This February foal wasn't best away from the stalls, which basically gave him little chance of winning. Looking inexperienced throughout the race, this £64,000 yearling purchase faded in the final furlong to finish fifth of nine.
He looked a raw, big baby, with much to learn.
After 20-days off course, he should be wiser and better equipped. It wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see he shows some inexperience on this second start.
A wide draw on a turning course isn't the best position to start. Even over sprint distances, you do not want your bet to be racing three or four wide on the bend because it is an incredibly difficult position to win from.
Also, if dropping in behind, you don't want to be too far off the pace to talented, experienced horses. All these aspects need to be considered because you don't want to fall short with your assessment.
Reviewing Group Horse's, you will see Bill The Butcher has been given two significant entries.
I must admit this hasn't been a vintage year for Spencer's two-year-olds and make no mistake that does bring down the general standard. I don't think any of the stable's juveniles are anything special. Skontonovski is probably the best and he isn't a star in the making, although capable of winning races.
In truth, this race has a strange look about it.
Last Surprise is a decent juvenile from Simon Crisford, an easy debut winner, who is on something of a recovery mission after attempts at a higher class. He has to shoulder a win penalty which doesn't make life easy. It takes talent to win under a penalty. An official rating of 85 details a very capable juvenile. There is always a chance this juvenile has regressed.
It's a similar dilemma with Saeed bin Suroor's Dubai Romance. This chestnut daughter of Dubawi was fancied to go well on debut but ran no race. She hasn't been seen for over three months which suggests there was an issue that day. Better should be seen today. If very strong in the market, I would be expecting a bold show. On breeding, you may well wonder why she isn't racing over further. Perhaps they feel they can get away with 6f but it is a slight worry.
Shoot To Kill was a big price on debut but ran well and beaten by a length or two. He stepped up in class when returning to Ascot and disappointed. That was a tough race so he may have paid the price of trying to win the race and faded fast. Another horse that hasn't been seen for about seven weeks. May have claims if back to best. Stall one is a positive and they may lead.
Conclusion: At first instance I was looking at Bill The Butcher will some appeal. Having reviewed his debut, it was a decent start to proceedings. He looked very inexperienced that day and it wouldn't surprise me if he is still on a big learning curve. Turning courses can make life difficult for a horse that may still be a touch green behind the ears. Also, a wide draw may compound the problem if not briskly into stride. It would be more appealing if there were three places for each-way backers. I will be keeping an eye on the betting on the exchanges. The main thing that would sway me to bet is if this colt drifted markedly in the betting to a point it held some value. He may well be a different horse today and win well. However, this doesn't look the easiest of races. The two favourite are potentially smart juveniles and the added problem is that both can be viewed from one extreme to the other. If both have regressed or just not living up to expectation, it could turn out to be a pretty poor race. However, if both are back to best it may well be a very tough challenge.
In addition, the Shaun Keightly debutant, San Juan, cost 50,000 euros as a breeze-up (2yo) sale, which implies this son of Tagula could have ability. On balance, I would have to take a watching brief.