An EBF Novice Stakes race of 6f 15y on good to firm going. The betting suggests this is a two-horse race. Form horses Book Of Poetry & Hakeem set a fair challenge for the a field which mainly comprises of debutantes.
Richard Hannon's two-year-olds have not been as successful as previous years although the like of Mehmas bring hope for a fruitful Royal Ascot. Hakeem, a son of Wootton Bassett, ran well on debut when second to Global Applause, who has a reputation, but put firmly in his place by Mehmas at Newbury. The form of that Newmarket debut has been franked by Top Score winning in style at Ripon, although that was a pretty ordinary affair. Hakeem cost 80,000E at the yearling sales and an entrant fro the Phoenix Stakes Group 1 and recently entered to run at stakes class [a true stakes races if people think I have gone bonkers]. He sets the standard but pretty valueless odds at 4/7.
Book Of Poetry was relatively fancied on debut at Beverley when third behind previous winner Orewa. This son of Poet's Voice cost 160,000E at the yearling sales. He seemed very ring rusty in the early stages and had amounting to climb because caught the eye in the closing stages when making healthy progress. This extra furlong and experience are guaranteed to bring a smarter performance. This January foal has been entered for a stakes race which gives confidence. Looks the type to have in a decent each-way double if you have something you fancy to go well.
Mesmeric Moment looks outclasses by these two, potentially, smarter horses but will enjoy this step up in distance. David Evans' filly was made favourite at Wolverhampton but slightly lacked enough pace to gain a favourable position and had to run wide for most on this turning course which didn't help at all.
Man About Town is worth considering for Karl Burke's Spigot Lodge.This Irish-bred son of Dandy Man races in the familiar silks of Clipper Logistics who are no stranger to talented juveniles. This chestnut colt cost £85,000 at the yearling sales when purchased by the trainer. If fancied in te betting has fair place claims.
The rest are best watched.
Conclusion: Not much to talk about in many ways with the two favourites looking to set the bar pretty high for the opposition. Hakeem looks to have winning form and will take the beating. It is very unlikely Johnston's charge will be an each-way price [next to impossible] but if so a great bet. Man About Town could be the dark horse of this race and if priced in single figures, I'd take it as a sign connection fancy hitting the frame.
NR - Man About Town, Mesmeric Moment, Book Of Poetry