3:00 Doncaster -
This looks a competitive heat.
George Margarson hasn't seen the greatest of seasons with his juvenile string. Like most stables, a lack of ammunition doesn't help when trying to find a winner. Heavenly Guest is one of the better two-year-olds in the stable although that has to be kept in perspective because very few have figured. This son of Havana Gold ran respectably on debut at Windsor when fourth in a fair race. This January foal is likely to improve for this step up in distance. At odds of 22/1, there may be a chance of hitting the frame.
I attended Great Yarmouth when Amplification made his debut. A handsome son of Lonhro in the ownership of S F Hui. This bay colt was a handful in the paddock and quite noisy. For one of Ed Dunlop's debutantes, he was quite fancied in the betting and ran very well finishing third after travelling with verve. He looks the type to improve from that first start and it will take a fair juvenile to lower his colours today.
Andrew Balding is a trainer to respect with two-year-olds making their second start. Consultant made his racecourse bow at Salisbury. This course is often targetted by Kingsclere for their better talents. This son of Kodiac was relatively fancied that day starting at odds of 5/1 although a little ring rusty, running on at the line to finish a fourth of seven. Racing in the silks of Highclere Thoroughbred Racing-Ennis Hill, this gelding cost 140,000G when purchased at the yearling sales. It could be the case, the heavy going wasn't quite to his liking on debut. However, his juveniles often make a marked improvement from first to the second start. I'd expect this horse to go well and hold each-way claims. If drifting to 8/1 - 9/1 could be a value bet.
Epic Fantasy wasn't given much hope by bookmakers when making his debut at odds of 50/1. However, this Irish-bred son of Invincible Spirit was far from disgraced when third, beaten a good few lengths, behind Emaraaty who proved a disappointment when down the field in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1). Charlie Hills' colt will progress from that first start. From a betting perspective, this horse holds fair each-way claims if priced 13/2 & less SP.
Harry Callaghan finished behind Epic Fantasy and needs to find a few lengths improvement to turn the tables.
Another horse making its second start is Marco Botti's Elusif. This son of Elusive Quality hasn't been seen since early September. Racing in the familiar silks of Mrs Yvonne Jacques, this homebred was relatively fancied on debut when contesting an EBF Novice Stakes at Ascot. He finished a creditable fourth, behind a few talents. The third horse that day, Danceteria, is no world beater but held in pretty high regard by the stable. Botti's juveniles are progressive and should go well. An absence of nearly 50 days is a slight concern.
Spring Praise looks to be the second string for the stable at 50/1.
Moxy Mares ran well on debut when hitting the frame at huge odds. Daniel Mark Loughnane's charge was fancied to go well when making his return at Wolverhampton but didn't show a great deal after a slow start and pressed from some way out. This chestnut son of Motivator hasn't been seen for almost two months suggesting there may have been an issue that day.
Conclusion: An intriguing race. The betting tells he competitive nature of this race. I would wait for the market to settle in the hope it weeds out one or two weak links. From a basic betting perspective, Amplification, Elusif, Epic Fantasy & Consultant hold fair each-way claims. This doesn't help too much with assessment unless one or two drift markedly in the betting. Amplification ran well on debut and should improve for that first start. The form of that debut it still untested which may be reason enough not to want to take too short odds. Consultant needs to improve. However, I often bet Balding's juveniles on their second start because they tend to be progressive types. It is a positive this colt was fancied in the betting on debut. If drifting a touch in the market, he could prove to be a fair each-way bet. Elusif makes some appeal. Marco Botti isn't the type of trainer to send a horse to Ascot on debut and he ran well. Another to hold respectable win and place claims.Heavenly Guest will appreciate this step up in distance and may have place claims at big odds if you like a speculative punt. On balance, I would take a watching brief.