Easycall has difficult task against Abou Zouz

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The Independent Online
Many approaches to juvenile form are polarised between a generally low estimate of the younger horses' abilities and the leap of faith which attends the advent of each new "wonder horse", beyond rational rating.

Yet there can be little explanation of how horses regularly bridge the gap between maidens and Group company, unless they have already displayed such a level of form in lesser competition.

Good horses are perfectly capable of showing their full ability before maturity and the tell-tale sign is so often a fast debut time. The Prix Morny winner, Bahamian Bounty, offers just such an example, vindicating an Independent rating of 115 assigned immediately after the Newmarket July meeting where he first appeared.

Precocious two-year-olds are generally a match for their elders on the rare occasions they are pitched against each other on weight-for-age terms.

The Nunthorpe Stakes has been such a battleground in the recent past - Lyric Fantasy took the Group One event as a juvenile in 1992 - and tomorrow's lacklustre renewal would have been ripe for the picking by a smart two- year-old.

Pivotal is only a marginal choice to confirm Royal Ascot form with Mind Games in an event where there are no world beaters.

Easycall, who shoulders a penalty in today's Gimcrack Stakes is one from the juvenile division who would be close on the heels of the older sprinters. His form entitles him to win today, but Abou Zouz, a stable mate of Bahamian Bounty, showed tremendous speed and promise on his debut. He looks a major challenger now his trainer, David Loder, has his horses in overdrive.

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