Thursday 28 January 2021

6:15 Wolverhampton Racing Info (29th January)

Just a quick look. 

Such brevity often evolves into a chapter of Mills & Boon. At least it's a Fillies' Novice Stakes, and not a million miles from Valentine's Day. 

An eleven-strong field. The betting suggest most of these have little hope. At the time of writing, just four horse priced under 40/1. 

Rod Millman fields Lightning Lou, who is making her second start after finishing runner-up on her debut at odds of 80/1. This grey daughter of Brazen Beau, who was very much a sprinter, is out of  a winning mare, who liked a trip. She cost just 4,500gns at the yearling sales after fetching 14,000gns as a foal. This February foal defied the odds on debut when racing over 7f at Kempton. She was professional, leading from the stalls until the closing furlong or so, but beaten by the favourite. Millman must have been very satisfied with that effort, and increased the worth of the filly quite substantially for the paltry sum at the sales. The stable does well second start and could well improve for the experience and stepping up to eight-and-a-half furlongs. I could see her racing prominently which may give backers some chance of laying in running at shorter odds. The downside is that Millman's general standard of horse may be slightly lower than what's needed to win this race. However, she does have valuable experience over two of the debutantes fancied in the betting. Could well hold each-way claims but most likely vulnerable to a filly with some ability. 

John Gosden has been in decent form with his three-year-olds over this winter. Kestenna cost 95,000 euros as a yearling (increasing markedly on the foal price of 28,000gns). This daughter of Pride Of Dubai was fancied to go well on debut. She wasn't helped by a tardy start and looked inexperienced throughout. At times she was short of room and ran on in the closing stages. It's never easy for a horse to show it's best when making its debut on a turning course (something very few people ever mention). She's stepping up half a furlong, which will help, and a fortnight off track will brush away the cobwebs. A wide draw is far from ideal. Although the stats suggest a very good run (will be under priced on my info unless drifting a good deal). I have slight fears Kestenna will struggle for pace and ideally appreciated a stiffer test of stamina. If trying to get to the rail in an attempt to lead and failing, running wide, it would be a worry. Perhaps the debut run will see a much smarter performance today and my concerns will no be seen. However, at short odds you may well get a much bigger price in running or be wise not to bet at all. An intriguing horse but I would have fears she may struggle for pace and this could be a problem. 

The two debutantes are interesting. 

James Tate is a decent trainer although his debutantes can be very hit and miss. There has been money for Raise The Roof, a daughter of Free Eagle out of an easy debut-winning mare, who actually achieved that success over course and distance. She was a cheap yearling purchase at 20,000gns, for Rabbah Bloodstock (Saeed Manana) who often pick up some decent horses at bargain prices. A wide draw isn't ideal, especially when making a debut on a turning course. The betting is the best guide to this fillies' chances. If priced 11/4 and less SP it would give additional confidence. If weak in the betting it would be a concern although the stable does feature decent place claims with horse priced in single figures. I'd be keeping a close eye on the betting and wouldn't jump in early becuase the starting price will be a truer reflection of the chances.

Another debutante worthy of note is Charlie Appleby's Colour Of Light. This bay daughter of Shamardal out of a winning mare, who raced at pattern class, is a home bred for Godolphin. The stable can ready a debutante and she isn't badly drawn in stall six. Once again, the betting is the best guide to her chance and ideally this February foal would be priced 3/1 and less SP. 

Conclusion: An intriguing if not tricky race. I would let the betting settle before jumping in as by the start of the race that insight may help highlight a weak link or two. Kestenna has valuable race experience but a wide draw isn't ideal with a horse that may slightly struggle for pace. She may not, but would you want to have problems when betting on a horse at 6/4? I would definitely wait until near the off if you are betting on Raise The Roof. The wide draw is a big concern and if weak in the market, I would leave alone. Conversely, if strong in the market she could well be the horse to beat. Colour Of Light is interesting and if fancied holds serious claims. Rod Millman's Linghtning Lou could well lead and with her experience may put in a bold show. She looks a horse that could touch much shorter odds in running and if drifting to a crazy price on the exchanges may well be worth a small each-way punt. I suspect she will touch shorter odds in running but find one or two (or three) too good. But an interesting filly taking on the bigger stables with a few doubt here and there. 

Author: Jason Coote

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