Maidens are always the most difficult to judge. Apart from having little form to work with there is also the concern of whether a horse has trained on.
Magic Lando makes his debut today having arrived from Richard Hannon’s in December. He never ran for Hannon after being injured in his first piece of work. In hindsight, being by Lando, it’s no bad thing that he didn’t race at two.
In truth, plenty will be learnt after today. He has been working ok – he did a really good piece with Educate but then not so good with Mubtadi - but had a little setback a few weeks ago which meant he missed a couple of pieces of work.
He is the most laid back horse I’ve seen in a while so he may well need the run. The trip will be his minimum but the ground will be fine and Joe Fanning is an ideal jockey for a horse first time out.
It’s not a strong race, though, and the obvious form choice is Luca Cumani’s Elhaame. I’m not sure, though, his form is worthy of a mark of 82; it’s based more on collateral form rather than the overall standard of his second in the Haydock maiden.
Luca’s reasoning is that he could win this easily and the handicap mark won’t alter because the handicapper expects to win easily. He is a colt with scope (he had a Royal Lodge entry last year) and the ground won’t be a problem.
Realistically, Elhaame should win this. Magic Lando does, however, have raw ability but until they run on a racecourse you never know how they will react to a whole new experience.