An excellent race of it's type with at least seven runners with the potential
to be at least average winners during the season and at least one that
is pretty certain to be better than that. On profile you would only rule
(trainer second string), Iamagrey and Defnikov
from competing for the places here. Of the other seven, you can rank them
by likelihood but they end up in a relatively close band of profile ratings
and a win for a 'natural' always possible. As a general comment with trainers
like Bryan McMahon & David Loder retired and other such as Bill Turner
& Rod Millman (since 2005's quick start) not winding 2yos up for debut
the earliest races have proved harder to assess prior to the day.
The other runners will be briefly considered later but B2yoR makes no apology
for highlighting Fat Boy's trainer
in this preview. He is Richard Hannon's first 2yo runner of the season
and his total will be around 100 horses having run for the stable by the
close of the turf season. Each season he accounts for just under 1 in 20
of all runs by 2yos and wins about 6% of all the turf season races.
Think about that a moment, 1 trainer wins 6% and the other 316 will win
the other 94% (although Messrs Channon and Johnston will compete for the
most wins as well).
So, we should take some time to consider Mr Hannon's approach just because
of pure weight of numbers alone. However, the time spent will be even more
productive because he uses such a consistent approach year in and year
out. As a top level indication try looking at the Stable
Summary for recent years and you don't need a degree in statistical
methods to see the consistency between 1999-2006. Small ranges for number
of runners, number of runs, winners, wins etc. This reflects that he has
a full system in place right through from what type of horses he buys each
year, how he prepares them and how he places each runner. How much of this
planning is in his head and how much actually written down in formal documents
would be interesting to know.
When you look at a typical season in detail clear phases show up which
get repeated every year. This can enable a solid estimation of what type
of runner a 2yo might be to be inferred from when and where they run on
debut, and improved if factors such as SP are considered. We'll play a
little game through the season (no, come back, it'll be ok really) by splitting
his season into three parts and seeing how well the 2007 pattern matches
to the theory. We'll start this by following the 'Early 15' debuts which
equates in a typical year to his debuts through to the first week in May.
With the slightly later start this year we might have to shift the cut-off
date back a week in May.
Here are some high level rules to try to apply to the 'Early 15'
The earliest of this set will include some of his best 2yos of the season
and often some Group class
The very earliest debuts, often 1 of the first three, will include a real
dud who struggles at seller level.
The duff to moderate runners in the first 15 often show up by an SP above
the 8/1 to 10/1 range.
The 15 will include around 10 who are capable of open maiden wins (the
06 season saw a number of irritating placers with this ability level)
There will be 1-2 debuts wins from his best early 2yos (Cav Okay and Sonny
Red later in the period in 2006 for example). In general the stable only
gets debut wins at three set points during the season and this 'Best of
the Earlys' is one of them.
The 5-6 horses that make their debut as the 10th+ of the early 15 will
include 2-3 non-winners. Note that his record with pre-May debuts in 2003-6
is 37 winners to 12 non-winners. His May record is 40 winners to 46 non-winners
and the early May debuts show this switchover from 80% future winners with
naturals to <50% winners and may as well get the duffer ones on course
Since 2002 Mr Hannon has debuted 6 of his 2yos at the course (turf and
then AW) in the first two weeks of the seasons and all six have bee later
winners. The 3 in the last two seasons (Godfrey Street, Cool Creek &
Gilded) have all been Group winners at 2yo although Cool Creek's unlucky
3rd of 5 in the equivalent race was the best they managed FTO. Put all
of this together and Fat Boy has a profile to be higher class 2yo without
even looking at his pedigree or his physical set-up.
Having rattled on about consistency, etc., there is one point to note about
Fat Boy. He was bought by the Hannon's at the new 2yos Breeze Sales at
this course on March 9th so has been in their stable for less than a month.
He has had their standard preparation for that period but would have been
trained specifically to show up well in the 'breeze' up the Kempton straight
prior to the sale later in the day by someone else. On the plus side he
has already been to the course and it's possible he'll be a bit more knowing
than a typical trainer debut. Also, if you spend 70,000 guineas on a 2yo
you don't run him this quickly unless he's showing you it's worthwhile.
He's by first season sire Choisir whose first two runners have shown up
well enough and made the first four. Presumably this one's name tells us
what to expect in terms of muscular build, but what sort of size will he
be? A solid contender for the race but a horse with a future whatever happens.
Bill Turner and David Evans both get odd early debut wins with better types
and Lord Deevert's credentials are dealt with in the checkout section.
Mr Evans has had four debuts to date with no place and a B2yoR rating of
38 at best. This is a bad sign for those four because unless there's a
real excuse what you see on debut with his 2yos equates to what you get
and that would make them all seller types. His one debut winner in 2006
was with Bazroy for
the same owner and Bazguy was a relatively
expensive purchase for the trainer and looked a solid type by the standards
of this race. His dam can add the early 5f zip that the sire will need
help with so we should expect a better showing from this one for the trainer.
Mick Channon runs two and has a record of running better types in these
early season Kempton races. His record between 2002-6 is :-
2002 = March 30th, Bravo Ragasso 1st (6/5f, Listed placed);
April 8th Mardoof 2nd (4/9f)
2003 = April 19th, Holborn 1st (1/2f, Group 2 placed)
2004 = March 27th, Bibury Flyer 2nd (3/1, Listed winner
for the Ridgeway partnership)
2005 = March 26th, Puskas 6th (5/2, good winner STO at
2006 = April 15th, Suhayl Star 2nd (7/1, claimer winner)
Which suggests things are tailing off, quality wise, but that the best
of the pair ought to be a winner of some sort. Both Rio
Taffeta & Splitthedifference
are owner breds for people who wouldn't figure on his list of 'most important'
owners and neither pedigree is terribly exciting. Rio Taffeta is presumably
the best of the pair and the vibes and performance should tell what level
he is for the future.
Artdeal is the third runner for
Channon's ex-assistant Mark Wallace and out of a well enough bred but moderate
filly that he used to train. Another who ought to make the first four or
so if he's any good and then be targeted at a STO win attempt. Which leaves
the two, northern based, fillies with Kevin Ryan's Bella
Natasha and Tim Pitt's Private
Code who are both of interest for the future. Bella Natasha looks like
a typical, 'STO early' filly debut for the trainer and where she rates
between 40-54 here will tell us how good she is overall but she'll win
something down the line.
Readers of the previews will know that B2yoR has half been expecting Mr
Pitt to nail a debut winner in the early part of the season. The first
two runners have gone well enough before slightly fading into the 3rd-4th
range. This would suggest that we'll perhaps see more of the same here.
Then you look at the owner's - the Sangsters - who must rate as important
backers for Mr Pitt and her pedigree being out of a dam who has produced
a Group 1 winner at 2yo. Definitely one to check out to see whether she's
a small, limited type who's out early to get a win on her CV before disappearing
to stud where her pedigree will be her passport to any Coolmore sire the
Sangster's fancy. Or maybe because she is useful which will be pretty easy
In summary, an interesting race and one in which Fat Boy looks about the
best overall prospect and a possible winner if his breeze-up background
means he's readier than the average Hannon 2yo in recent years. With the
usual caveat about Hannon, Channon, Wallace, Ryan and probably Tim Pitt
not pressing for debut wins an event in which David Evan's and Bill Turner's
representatives have enough in their profile to make a strong showing at