British 2yo Racing - 2007 Season
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Racing Preview - May 9th 
Today's Races
  • [55] : Chester 1:50, 5f Conditions (2), "Lily Agnes Stakes"
  • [56] : Chester 4:35, 5f Maiden (2)
  • [57] : Kempton AW 6:20, 5f Maiden (6)

  • Checkout
    Trainer :
  • The performance of Elusive Deal on debut in the Class 2 maiden at Chester should be instructive. A typical season for her trainer Richard Fahey sees his early runners compete moderately unless they have natural ability. He can be quite sparing with his debuts in May and in good years they will be competitive 2yos that show up well first time.
  • In 2006 he ran 3 FTO in May with Steelcut 3rd at 25/1 on May 12th followed by two unplaced debuts to much lower ratings by horses that didn't win in the season.  In 2005 he debuted 7 in the month with the first 6 all unplaced and moderate 2yos and the 7th a claimer winner on debut. In 2004 he only ran two FTO in May with minor winner Wise Wager 3rd on May 10th and useful filly Tagula Sunrise 2nd on May 24th.
  • He has only run one so far this year with 'complete natural' Mister Hardy winning both his races.
  • Paddock Review :
  • Trainer Brendan Duke has had 3 winners in the last 4 seasons with a single win in 2003-4 & 2006. In each of those seasons his winner was his first runner in March with no later debuts until end May or June for uncompetitive 2yos. In 2005 with no winner he had no debut before September. His first runner this year was Mister Cafnex on April 11th on firm going at Bath at an 11/1 SP in an open race.
  • At the sales he looked a typically smaller but competitive early 2yo that the trainer has. The debut performance was poor losing 10 lengths behind a fast pace by halfway and fading. He changes to polytrack at Kempton and is well drawn for his second outing.
  • Ratings :
    Other :

      May 7th Summary : 
    • Chester stages two Class 2 events on Wednesday with the 'Lily Agnes' conditions race and a rare maiden at that level. The second of those races has often had large fields and/or had two divisions of the race. Despite the status the maiden is usually of average quality at best and has relied in recent years on Barry Hills to provide some better quality. Unless one of the fillies on debut has much more ability than their profile suggests then Mr Hills seems to have found a the right spot for Dark Angel and a good draw with it.
    • The Lily Agnes has a pretty typical field of precocious 5f 2yos and with only hints of ability to compete at higher level from the group. We have already seen with the fillies conditions race at Salisbury over the weekend how these races can have fairly thin fields and the races are often the highlight for the runners. Last year's field was typical with the only later win being from the horse who finished last - Ask Don't Tell - who managed to wangle a 7f nursery in late season. The following table gives the 'Class Ladder' for this year's field and the final ratings with the raceweights taken into account.
    Class   Race Ratings (incl weights)
    71-75 Vhujon (75) Vhujon [75] - Non Runner
    66-70 Artdeal (68)
    Cracking (67)
    Artdeal [71]
    61-65 Fast Feet (65)
    Not My Choice (64)
    Primo Heights (62?)
    Fast Feet [68]
    56-60 Sinead Of Aglish (56) Cracking [67]
    51-55 Primo Heights [67]
    46-50 Baytown Blaze (5) Not My Choice [67]
    Sinead Of Aglish [64]
    Baytown Blaze [59]
    • To put this is context a 75 rating would only win a below average Listed race and wouldn't place in a solid field for a Group race. Rather than run through the contenders straight off let us think about the Chester track and how the draw and it's turning style affects the results of race. The table below is set out in draw order for Wednesday's race and the final column summarises the 'Run Style' of each runner in it's races to date. The number in the style is the position the runner was in at halfway and the letters mean - 'F' = front-running, 'P' = pressing the pace, 'T' = tracking the pace, 'M' = midfield, 'B' = behind midfield. Remember that a low draw is closest to the inside rail on this turning course and an advantage.
    Draw Previous Run Styles
    1 Fast Feet
  • T34, 1.5 lengths off leader at halfway
  • T3, 1.5 lengths off leader
  • 2 Vhujon  (Non runner)
  • F, One length clear after a furlong then a big effort to be 4 lengths clear at halfway, kept on well on an uphill track until stalling late on.
  • 3 Cracking
  • PT2, Aggressive ride to cross in front of field to press leader, faded soon after halfway
  • F, got rail and a half length clear at halfway
  • 4 Not My Choice
  • TF, 3 lengths behind after a furlong but an effort made to be just leading at halfway, faded inside final furlong on uphill finish.
  • 5 Sinead Of Aglish
  • T3, 1.5 lengths behind at halfway
  • F, led alone in split field at Ripon
  • M. latest run at Warwick 2 days before this race.
  • 6 Artdeal
  • F, Run hard early to cross in front of field to rail, 1.5 lengths clear at halfway
  • F, drawn close to Beverley rail, 0.5 lengths ahead at halfway and an effort to be 2 clear coming to final furlong before a late fade.
  • 7 Primo Heights
  • B8, 7 lengths behind a strong pace after just a furlong and same distance at halfway. Pacesetters folded and allowed closers to fill the places.
  • 8 Baytown Blaze
  • T23, 2 lengths off lead at halfway
  • F, 1.5 lengths clear at halfway.
    • In short, there are all the pacemakers and pressers you need to make a real tear-up. It would be a fair bet that Vhujon, Cracking & Artdeal will hook-up on the pace in some combination unless Vhujon takes off like he did at Bath and gets clear. Fast Feet has tracked the pace in both runs to date on straight tracks but it's quite likely he'll be hustled forward as well to not lose his draw advantage. Does this matter? Will the best horse win anyway? Checking back over the 5f juvenile races at the track gives an interesting insight. The following table gives the 'Run Style' codes for the first 6 home in a selection of the 5f races.
    Date (Runners) Going 1st 6 Run Styles Comments
    2004 - Lily Agnes Good-Soft T4, T5, H, B, P2, P3 H is Held Up on purpose
    2004 - Class 2 Maiden Div I Soft (rain on day) T4, F, P3, BM, B, P2
    2004 - Class 2 Maiden Div II Soft (rain on day) M, P2, M, F, BM, T
    2004 - June Good to Firm  P2F, FP2, P3, B, B, T4
    2005 - Lily Agnes Good-Soft T46, T7, F, T35, P2, P3
    2005 - Class 2 Maiden Good-Soft P2, T9, B, T8, T5, T4 Tearaway pace and best horse just held on in front of inferior closers after pressing pace
    2005 - June 7th Good to Firm, Firm F, T3, P2, MT, BM, T4
    2005 - June 25th Good, Good to Soft T4, T3, F, B, P2, B
    2005 - July 8th (a) Good to Firm B, P2, T4, P3, F, B
    2005 - July 8th (b) Good to Firm T5, F, T6, B, T7, P4 The front runner in second surrounded by closers was a Group class runner brought to the others level by the pace duel
    2005 - July 9th Good To Firm T4, P3, F, P2, B, T5
    2005 - August 18th Good To Firm T3, F, T2, T6, B8, T7
    2006 - Lily Agnes Good to Firm T4, P2, T3, F, B5, B7
    2006 - Class 2 Maiden Good to Firm T6, M8, P2, F, T3, T4
    2006 - June 13th Good T4, F, T3, B8, M5, P2, M6
    2006 - July 1st  Good to Firm, Firm F, T4, P2, T3, B5 5 ran, high class horse got rail
    2006 - July 14th (a) Good to Firm, Firm F, T3, P2, B5, M4, B6 6 ran, high class horse got rail
    2006 - July 14th (b) Good to Firm, Firm T4, F, B5, T3, T2, B6
    2006 - July 15th Good to Firm, Firm F, T2, T3, B4, B6, B5 6 ran, Empty race and winner much the best of a mostly maiden field
    • Some headlines to note - the slower the ground the less likely the pace is to hold up to be involved in the finish. The draw is a bigger avantage on firmer going and a relatively uncontested lead (more likely in smaller and/or more variable quality fields) helps the pacemakers to place. However, on any going a pace duel can soften up and break all but the really better quality horses and a T4 position is often ideal. Which means tracking the pace in fourth, not too close to the pace to have it break you but close enough to pick up the pieces when the enthusiasts stall. Will the pace be too quick at Chester and who is likely to be in that stalking fourth?
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