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Leicester Apr 7 2yo race review

Leicester 2.00 Friday April 7
Granby Novice Stakes
5f, 1m0.55s
(slow by 1.65s by RP standards)
Good (Good to Soft in Places)

Kick On Kick On, Mar 14 foal, £52k yearling, most expensive of the field. First starter for new sire Swiss Spirit. Missed start a half length. Hustled forward to take early lead. Jockey always looked to something up his sleeve, sitting comfortably when others came under pressure. Ran away from them in closing stages, probably more from others tiring than any great burst of speed. RPR of 82 is best of the season so far.

Zain Flash, Mar 15, £32k yearling from final crop of Royal Applause. Yet another second for handy juvenile trainer David Evans (trained both Brocklesby runners-up). Pinged the gates, went straight to the rail and contested the lead with eventual winner. Unable to go with the winner when the questions were asked but despite being passed by Airshow with a furlong to go, he stayed on OK, reclaiming second close to the line. Started favourite despite rivals from Cox, Fahey and Hannon yards. Expect improvement.

Airshow, Apr 12. Already gelded and wore a hood, can imagine he's been trouble to train so far. By Showcasing, sire of Quiet Reflection, a hot stallion whose fee has jumped from £4500 to £35k in just three years. Slow to begin but able to sit 3-4L behind the lead. Wasn't interested in settling and came down the middle at the 3f to make his move. Didn't have much left from the furlong and a half when winner strode away. Not sure if he emptied out or gave up, there didn't seem to be much fight in closing stages. Best option for him might be get to the front and run them along.

Shovel It On, Jan 17 foal by €1000 sire who is yet to have a black-type winner from first two crops. Stablemate of Zain Flash. Jumped well, resented Zain Flash crossing him early and got squeezed out the back. Switched down the centre of the track, and despite being hard-ridden 3f out, stayed on nicely toward the end, finishing on the heels of the placegetters. Started 28/1 with low strike-rate jockey (5% winners on 2yos in past five seasons), trainer might have been pleasantly surprised by this one.

Straight Ash, May 5, £36k yearling by Zebedee whose 2yos love to go early. Jumped ok, sat midfield, then a little outpaced as Marquand urged him along early. Left behind by the leaders, drifted back to the rail then passed a few in the closing stages. One of the youngest in the field, should learn from this run. Backed from 6/1 into 7/2 - people in the know or blindly backing Hannon debutants? Ahead of the RP stable tour, here's a blog article after a stable visit, listing some of Hannon's better 2yos - no sign of Straight Ash there.

Jedi Master, Feb 22. Fahey and Hanagan teamed up with this son of Red Jazz, another first-season sire. Jumped well, drifted back a little and then checked inside 3f as Straight Ash wobbled around. Weaved through the field when making his run, finishing sixth, beaten 7L. Looks like there is a bit more under the bonnet, just needs to learn more about racing.

Poignant, Apr 15 foal by Australian sire Sepoy, a champion juvenile earlier this decade. Jumped OK but threw head around when Mitchell tried to settle him behind the pace. Battled on, stumbled slightly about 100yds from home, losing rhythm. Not destined for a big career.

Rockesbury, Feb 28. By Australian sire Fozwedge who scored his first G1-winning progeny on the weekend. Jumped well, contested the lead for first 2f, soon couldn't keep up with the winner and drifted out the back. Penny seemed to drop as he found clear air out the back, kept on OK. 66s out to 100s, expectation level zero.

Manco Inca, Apr 10. Sat up near the pace then went backwards. Nothing to get excited about here.

Bunch of Thyme, Jan 15. oldest foal in the field, by second season sire. Given a reminder early, didn't want to run through gaps, just didn't want to run at all. Beaten 27L, didn't show anything to warrant future talent.

KEY POINTS

Winner looks handy, and given quality of stables involved in the race, you'd expect several winners to come out of this one. Airshow with some barrier manners would be interesting, and Shovel It On won't win a Group race but should find a race or two this season.

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