With the flat season slowly but surely sliding into life, the early three year old maidens can give a lot of guidance and spring a few surprises a long the way. You see some overhang of horses that just couldn’t get out at two, as well as the later bloomers that doesn’t prevent them from making an impact in the bigger leagues. At Nottingham today, two stood out for various reasons and for different long-term reasons.
1 50 VALCARTIER (J Gosden) 11/4, Class 5 3YO Maiden, 1M0.5F, Good to Firm
He simply couldn’t have done it any easier and William Buick was looking around at the 2F pole as surprised as anyone that no one remotely looked like putting up a form of challenge. While nothing really fired in behind, it was an eye catching run nonetheless and the 3YO displayed good attributes and a more than willing attitude on only his second start. His sole 2YO start was one to forget and it makes sense to draw a line straight through that. He beat Tango Fire (R Hannon) comfortably; a Frankel progeny that in all honesty didn’t show. It’s very early days but the Godolphin newcomer could easily step up in trip and class right away.
2 50 MAJOR JUMBO (K Ryan) 9/4, Class 3 3YO Conditions, 5F, Good to Firm
This was comfortably the unluckiest horse of the day – he had a horrible run and once he was re-routed he still managed to finish a very close second to Kyllang Rock (J Tate). Kevin Ryan’s runner was bashed about and 5lb claimer Lewis Edmunds did well to pull him out as quickly as he did. He’s worth slipping into your tracker for his next couple of starts just for betting purposes. If the handicapper isn’t too harsh and a potential trip over 6F coming from late, his turn of foot should see him home in the near future.