BRITISH 2YO RACING - 2006 Season Race Report
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001: Lingfield, March 18th : 5f (4) Conditions


  • The race looked a poor use of £20,000 of prize money beforehand and a number of factors conspired to ensure that we have probably already seen the worst use of that amount of money for the whole season. The race was run in a relatively slow time and the overall performance below that of 2005. The following factors were major contributors to the lower quality performance:-
  • A cold day with a strong & very cold wind which was a headwind from the horses' right shoulders in the straight.
  • The cold weather in the previous two months has probably had an effect on the trainers' ability to prepare the horses. For example, both of the Millman runners were just averagely fit in the group and the overall average not high in absolute terms. Even Afric Star (a small, lightly built type trained by PD Evans) did not look wound up and certainly not at the same level of fitness as Danjet was for the same trainer in 2005.
  • The group showed more inexperience than in recent seasons with only Spoof Master & Banana Belle (both for trainers who drill their 2yos in racecraft preparation more than most) appearing to 'know the job'.
  • They were disappointing as a group overall.
  • Go On Jessica, one of PD Evans' two runners was declared a non-runner around an hour before racing and jockey SW Kelly switched from that runner to Afric Star for whom JF Egan was given in the racing press as riding.
  • The following table gives the comparison of the pre-race Profile rating and the post-race rating (which B2yoR terms and 'Estimate' and abbreviates to [Est]. The text beneath the table sums up some of the 2yos and their prospects. For those interested in improving their Paddock Review skills there are a number of points covered with pictures to demonstrate the differences.

    Love In May Spoof Master Zafonical Storm Carlito's Spirit It's No Problem Wrecking Crew Global Traffic Afric Star Banana Belle
    [Estimate] Post Race 59 57 55 51 33 37 29 22 16
    34 63 54 65 36 54 52 50 37
  • LOVE IN MAY was a real surprise when she walked into the pre-parade ring and stood out as being bigger and more muscular than the others. Her pre-race profile rating of 34 was based on her €3,000 sales price (indicating a poor type because of the very low level), her dam's recent record (poor after a good start in the mid 1990s) and her trainer's 'STO peak' methods. Although she is lengthier than standard and relatively short legged she is powerful behind and showed a notably mature attitude (more important than overall behaviour).
  • To make the point about how Paddock Review can be relatively easy let us try a comparison between Love In May and Banana Belle. They both cost similar amounts at the sales and the performance of their dams recent runners is not that different. There is a difference in that Love In May's dam was a useful sprint 2yo herself and her first foal (in 1992) was placed in the Brocklesby and a solid 5f winner at 2yo. However, her recent foals have either not raced or rated in the low 50s so it seemed age had caught up with her reproductive capacity. But, put all that to one side and try looking at this pair of comparison Pictures of Banana Belle (orange colours) and Love In May and just think about size and build (muscle). The pictures possibly don't quite do justice to how much bigger Love In May is both in frame and bulk. Banana Belle is a compact rabbit exactly in line with the profile rating and ran as expected. Love In May is well bought at €3,000 and has much more size and scope and begs the question as to what the problem was seen to be at the sales?
  • In the race she showed a little inexperience down the hill but kept close enough to the leaders. A bump as she moved forward in the straight didn't stop her and after a brief battle with the much smaller Spoof Master she won a little comfortably. She's won a £12,000 race so it is 'job done' in one way but she has the scope to improve a little further and is likely to run in races such as the fillies' conditions races at Newbury and/or Salibury. A career something like Smooch's in 2005 seems a likely model although probably not quite up to that fillies performance level.
  • Spoof Master was given a solid rating at the sales but with notes that he needed to be out early because he had limited scope and also that he was a nervous individual. On paddock review here he was a disappointment and does not appear to have grown at all since the sales. He's neat and ready but has virtually no scope to develop and he needs to win early. He was the most professional in the race (a trainer trait) and broke first and then settled in second as Banana Belle was given an aggressive ride to lead. He picked that fading rival off easily and went a length plus clear in the straight and kept on well enough. But if you have the video of the race look at how small he appears as Love In May comes alongside and then goes away at the end. Unfortunately for him that was a classic demonstration of the limits his size and build puts on him. He's vulnerable to better types and if he can get an early win then that will be success but he'll struggle after that.
  • As a paddock review point he again showed that he is a nervous type although this didn't appear to affect him in the race. Try looking at this picture of him and look particularly at his head and his eyes. Here's a slightly nervous, young horse who is finding everything new and a little worrying. Try comparing him to the picture of Love In May stood in the winner's enclosure where she's calm, stood solidly and gives the impression she owns the place.
  • Zafonical Storm a medium size in the group but a taller, slightly narrow type and a negative in that he is a weak mover behind. He ran to expectations and on trainer methods should show some improvement to his second run but not a horse to follow in the longer term.
  • Carlito's Spirit was just a neat type, slightly smaller than average with above average build. A better than average mover in the walk. He showed inexperience in the race and had to be driven along down the hill before plugging on to fourth. He ought to be able to improve to win an early maiden rating around 70 but may not be better than that.
  • Along with Mr Millman's other runner - Wrecking Crew - he did not stand out int he group in terms of fitness nor readiness. The cold spring has probably had an effect and on this evidence the trainer is not going to have a 2005 type fast start. He may well revert to his more normal early weeks record where he does get debut wins but only with his best (or best two) 2yos.
  • Wrecking Crew was small, heavily built and 'dumpy' and lacking athleticism. He has the build to develop with racing but looked a 60s rater.
  • Afric Star was smaller and less fit than expected and ran poorly and looks limited, as does Banana Belle who can probably rate 30s but wasn't allowed to by being rushed up into the lead after a furlong and fading in the straight.
  • Which leaves Global Traffic who was noted in the profile for the race as being rated as if he was a moderate owner bred type rather than a precocious, well grown individual. If we look at this picture of him how does he compare to that model? About halfway between seems a reasonable answer. He looks more like a 'Fraam' than a 'Generous' and although a little lengthy was well enough muscled on his quarters to give some hope of say, minor 6f speed. He ran poorly here but has some scope to develop to rate 60+. It will be interesting to see whether Mr Cole runs him again quickly or whether he is put away and we see him after mid-season over 6f, or perhaps 7f. At least worth keeping him on the 'check again' list.

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