Trainer Joseph O'Brien
Joseph O'Brien: Sent out a two-year-old double on Sunday

Timeform ratings analysis | Cowardofthecounty impresses

Timeform's Tony McFadden highlights some impressive debut performances last week.

It's early days for the two-year-olds but the best performance in the juvenile division so far this season was produced by Cowardofthecounty (Timeform rating 94p) at the Curragh on Sunday.

The betting for the six-furlong maiden was headed by Whistlejacket, a 500,000 guineas brother to 2022 champion juvenile Little Big Bear, and he impressed with how easily he moved through most of the race. However, he had no answer to a power-packed finish from Cowardofthecounty who stormed two and a half lengths clear, while the runner-up, who also looks like a nice prospect, pulled six and a half lengths ahead of the remainder.

A good timefigure of 94 adds some substance to the form and, for context, only two juveniles clocked a better timefigure in April last year. They were River Tiber, the subsequent Coventry Stakes winner, and Persian Dreamer, who went on to win the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.

Cowardofthecounty, who sits 5 lb clear of the next highest-rated juvenile this season Arizona Blaze (89p), is trained by Joseph O'Brien whose juveniles are clearly well forward as he also sent out Midnight Strike (89p) to win at the Curragh on Sunday, while his first juvenile runner of the season, Cradle of Love, was third at Dundalk recently.

Another trainer whose horses have started the season in excellent order is Richard Hannon and he sent out a couple of three-year-olds who won in impressive fashion on debut at Newbury on Friday.

Voyage (93p) was sent off a big price for the mile-and-a-quarter novice but he holds a Derby entry and he belied his odds in some style, leading on the bridle over two furlongs out and quickly asserting for a length-and-three-quarter success.

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Star Style (97P), who also carried the red and green colours of owner Julie Wood, was even more impressive in justifying strong support in the seven-furlong fillies' maiden. She was always travelling strongly at the head of affairs and readily quickened clear over a couple of furlongs out, passing the post five and a half lengths clear in a good timefigure in the style of an exciting prospect. She was handed the Timeform Large P to denote that she remains capable of significant improvement.

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