3:20 Wolverhampton Racing Tips (6th February) BETWAY MEDIAN AUCTION MAIDEN STAKES (CLASS 6) (3-5yo)

Scott  Dixon, horse trainer
A Median Auction Maiden Stakes over 5f 216y on Standard going. 

Eleven runners, predominantly three-year-olds, although a couple aged four and one five who carry penalties. 

A restricted race type based on yearlings with a median price of less than £20,000. At a push, five horse are found in the betting. Beyond that point, the price is upwards of 20/1. 

Mark Johnston has the favourite in Blue Bahia who hasn't been seen for just over a month. This Irish-bred daughter of Big Bad Bob has raced seven times, hitting the frame with some regularity. She started her career in Ireland with Dermot Weld before heading to Kingsley Park just after Christmas. She has placed in these last two starts and has an official rating of 73 [was as high as 83]. She isn't no world beater but shown ability and on race type is dropped in class. 

Richard Fahey fields Right Action for Middleham Park Racing. This son of Dandy Man hasn't been seen since late August. This gelding has shown a glimmer of ability although racing at this level. Racing over a distance ranging from 5-7f, this six furlongs looks the best trip on the previous form. This will be the first assault on the all-weather course. Right Action hasn't been disgraced on a number of occasions although looks limited. He too has dropped down in the handicap to an official rating of 73.  

Ebitda is once race, which may give punters a chance of latching onto an improving horse. Scott Dixon didn't have much to celebrate with his juveniles in 2016. This daughter of Compton Place cost just 12,500G when purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales. Now in the ownership of Chesterfield Estates, she belied her odds of 25/1 on debut when racing at Southwell over 5f. A slow start and inexperience proved costly, although I imagine she needed the race and connections must have known the minimum trip would be a shade too short. This step up in distance will help. Horses often make huge improvement first to the second start, and I can see this filly going well. 

I've always been a fan of Eric Alston, who has made his name training sprinters. It's a shame, like so many of the smaller yards, that they are not given the opportunity to show their craft. Poetic Queen is a homebred for loyal patrons Mr & Mrs Middlebrook. This bay filly is a daughter of Dylan Thomas. She has raced five times and not been particularly fancied in the betting. She finished second last time out of over 5f in a restricted race at Newcastle. An official rating of just 55 doesn't set the greatest of standard and you have to consider something will go better.

This race type often favours form horses even if they look pretty limited. It is understandable to search for a debutante because at least they haven't proven themselves to be poor at this time. Dean Ivory doesn't have too many debut winners although if he has a talented horse they are not usually shrinking violets. Harlequin Storm is a bay son of Clodovil who cost 42,000G when purchased at the yearling sales. He was originally purchased by Peter & Ross Doyle Bloodstock. From a low draw [1] he is worth watching in the betting. 

Conclusion: No strong views about this race. Form horses are usually favoured over debutantes in this race type. Blue Bahia has shown ability and connections will be fancying their claims. They may be fearful of Ebitda who is likely to improve a good deal for that first start. Dixon is a wise trainer and I can imagine this filly will be fit and ready. The stable are not against bold front-running performances. If priced 13/2 & less SP it would hold fair each-way claims. Harlequin Storm is interesting although I am generally against debutantes at this level. He was quite an expensive purchase. I would definitely keep an eye on the betting. If substantially backed, I would give this debutante fair claims of hitting the frame. If exceptionally weak in the market, take a watching brief.    

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