No 2yo race today between yesterday's first event of the season and the
Brocklesby tomorrow so this space will be a brief review of yesterday's
field and result. To begin let us take a short detour into the terminology
trainers, and others, use when describing 2yos. The necessity to never
say anything not overly nice can contort these phrasings into a lexical
'Hall of Mirrors' where grammar, sense, and English disappear. For example,
Here's a short list of how B2yoR would interpret a small selection :-
Racy = "Small"
Early 2yo = "Small"
Sharp = "Small"
Not overly big = "Small"
And a phrase such as "She's a racy, early 2yo, not overly big but sharp...
= "I've seen bigger Labradors"
The 'Not overly big' construction is so obviously a piece of peculiar spin
phrasing that people are a little embarrassed using it but with the knowledge
that others will know (arch wink, nervous smile) what they really mean.
Which brings us to Dubai Princess
who is small and was probably the shortest in the field of 9 and her size
probably explains the relatively cheap price she made as a yearling. However,
what she has as positives are a solid, just above medium, build with some
depth, neat proportions and a calm & mature attitude. The last point
stood out in a notably mentally young and anxious field. See pictures ,
Professional in the race, she sat in fourth around two lengths off the
lead until progressing to challenge coming to the final furlong in the
straight. She kept on well although her winning distance was made to look
better by the two on the rail fading (Concertmaster & Ben) and Hucking
Hill's waywardness when hanging right into the centre of the track from
the rail turning into the straight. Now, a lot of early 2yos are small
and the majority will be limited to low ability but the odd one will be
a little better. With sharp/racy/early, etc., used about every 2yo it becomes
difficult to spot these more capable ones from what the trainer says. What
are we to make of Dubai Princess' prospects?
The trainer said afterwards that she was "quite smart" and with "bags of
boot" and that he would be aiming her to progress to races like the Hilary
Needler and Queen Mary. We are back into trainerspeak again and Mr Osborne
used the "bags of boot" term to describe Milk It Mick's dam Lunar Music
who managed to win a seller on her third go and got bought in for 5,800
The smallish Gilded progressed through this route with great success in
2006 but without having to show high-class form and a rating in the low
80s by B2yoR and a rating in the 90s at 5f by Timeform. However, she was
more heavily built than Dubai Princess and with more physical scope to
develop with racing (showing her best form at 6f). Dubai Princess is already
close to her finished size and build and was the second fittest in the
field and the most mentally mature. At present, she looks more the quality
of a 2006 runner like Gradetime (low 70s by B2yoR figures) and a similar
'natural'. She might show up well in those better races because their quality
can be quite low as 2006 demonstrated but she's going to be vulnerable
to bigger and/or more heavily built fillies. This disadvantage usually
increases during the season. But, she should win a normal Novice or Fillies'
conditions race in the first 3 months of the season before probably finding
higher level a stretch.
The time of the race was fast at 59.09s and only the useful pair Azygous
& Godfrey Street (in late April & May) have run faster in 2005-6.
Gradetime ran 59.56s carrying the same weight in early May last year. There
was a strong wind behind the field until the turn to the straight and the
track look well watered with a Listed race later on the card and these
conditions played a big part in the time. On the positive side when a 2yo
comes clear of the field, however inexperienced and limited, looking a
little comfortable it usually pays to take it seriously to some degree.
So, put Dubai Princess on good-early-2yo-without-longer-term-prospects
Which is a long time spent on Dubai Princess partly because the rest of
the field weren't that exciting and none inspired anything more than the
belief they could win an early race. Concertmaster (Picture )
is a slightly better physical type than Dubai Princess with more length
and was less fit on the day. He ran a good, professional race until fading
and should show nornal improvement but not a better class runner. One who
ought to get his win but wouldn't be a certainty STO from a slightly better
Hucking Harmony was a slight disappointment and hasn't developed into the
neat 'little bull' her earlier picture might have suggested. She drew the
note of "Young & gawky (especially neck)" and too mentally immature
to do well on the day. At halfway with her fast break and leading the field
this looked a duff comment but a lot less so after she failed to handle
the downhill bend and veered to the centre of the course. Another that
may find an early race S-3TO but not one to follow.
This year's surprise was Ben (Picture )
who was retained for 1,500 guineas at the Tattersalls February sales and
for that sort of price you would expect a rabbit. But, although narrow
and lacking build below his topline he was one of the biggest in frame.
He was also the fittest and vied with Dubai Princess to be the most mentally
mature. A positive for his trainer in that he had prepared him well and
was running him here for the right reasons. Supported at each-way prices
in the market he ran a sound race but given how ready he was today another
who needs to win something very soon if he's going to.
Southwest Star and Swindon Town Flyer were similar types and both mentally
immature and not ready for the day. They both had minor excuses in the
race with Southwest Star losing a little ground in the pick-up from the
start and Swindon Town Flyer stuck 3-4 wide through the race. But, again,
not impressing as better types and it would be no surprise to see them
struggle to win. They finished too close to Baytown Blaze (Picture)
for comfort who isn't the typical 'Baytown' tiny rabbit being slightly
taller but very narrow and underpowered and got easily outpaced here. Mr
McEntee normally tries to win a 5f seller with these cheap owner breds
but she may well need further.
In Decorum was small, compact, leggy and mentally young and not one to
follow. King Of Dalyan was sold off by breeders Gainsborough Stud when
they usually keep the better types (like his full brother Desert Realm).
He was small, lightly built but very neat and in coat condition the most
forward. However, he came into the pre-parade prancing along and locked
into a world of his one (this lack of focus on surroundings and 'gone inside'
look is invariably a bad sign). He continued in this manner throughout
and no surprise to see him run like he wasn't actually in the race at all.
Look at this - picture
- of him coming back afterwards and he's still concentrating on his own
thoughts rather than the job of a racehorse. So some excuse but he's a
limited physical specimen and another of the early-or-nothing (EON) list.