A Median Auction Stakes over 5f 6y on Standard going.
Seven three-year-olds take part. Six horses have race experience, most interesting of those being Rae Guest's Berryessa.
This Irish-bred daughter of Dandy Man wasn't fancied on debut at Lingfield over the minimum trip. However, odds of 33-1 didn't stop this horse from finishing a gallant second. By all accounts, she was a bargain buy when purchased by Rae Guest Racing for 5,000G at the yearling sales. Now in the ownership of RGRL Syndicate 2, they are likely to have some fun if not show a return on the original investment.
In truth, this is a marked drop in grade when you consider she started her career at maiden class. The winner, Hathfa, had flattered to deceive a few times for Richard Hughes. She was a costly yearling purchase for Al Shaqab Racing at 260,000E. Those behind Berryessa where fair types.
Guest's filly was slowly into stride, in touch in rear, and then suffered trouble in running, staying on well but chasing, in vein, the runaway winner.
The betting suggests, unless a surprise, this race is a three-cornered affair including the favourite.
Mercers is owned, trained and bred by Peter Crate. This bay daughter of Piccolo hasn't raced since being runner-up at Windsor in October. She had been huge odds on her first two outings and 33-1 when second to easy odds-on winner Foxcatcher. It was a restricted race type and testing ground conditions so players may question whether the form of that race amounts to much. In a weak race, it isn't a surprise to see her figure in the market.
George Scott fields Jack The Truth who is making his debut. This chestnut gelding is a son of Dandy Man and cost £40,000 at the yearling sales. In the context of this race, that is a decent price tag. Scott has proven to be a disappointing trainer in ways with a number of well-backed horses trailing home. The betting is the best guide but even then I would be careful.
Conclusion: These restricted race types are made for limited horses. It is usually the case a proven form horse is favoured over debutantes. Berryessa ran well on debut for a stable who know who to train and win. I suspect she wasn't considered a live hope on her racecourse bow but connections must have been impressed by what they saw. This is a drop in class. This looks an ideal opportunity to win. I wouldn't bet against this horse but I wouldn't jump in at too short odds. That is more of a reflection of my betting style than knocking her chances.