British 2yo Racing - 2007 Season
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Racing Preview - May 18th 
Today's Races
  • [75] : Hamilton 6:30, 5f Maiden (5)
  • [76] : Newbury 1:55, 5.1f Fillies' Conditions (3)
  • [77] : Newmarket 2:05, 6f Maiden Fillies' (4)
  • [78] : York 1:45, 5f Fillies' Listed (1) "Marygate Stakes"

  • Checkout
    Trainer :
  • Trainer Harry Dunlop (son of John & brother to Ed) started with a training licence towards the end of last season in Lambourn. He only ran one 2yo during the turf season who won on her third start having raced in Italy previously. So, he's 100% so far. Today he runs his first 2yo on debut with the filly Festoso in the 6f fillies' maiden at Newmarket. She is an owner bred from AA Faisel who has had his horses with John Dunlop including Festoso's half-brother Olden Times (Group 1 winner) and also Invincible Spirit.
  • This debut is before any from his father or brother (who have different styles to each other) this season and it will be informative to learn more about how he approaches FTO runs.
  • Paddock Review :
  • Having banged on about Howard Johnson and his usual debut winner for some time let us turn the ship around and give one a negative. The Hamilton maiden has only four runners and all evidence it may as well be thre because Kingstyle won't win. Which means a 50,000 guineas purchase for Mr Johnson with Rocheport ought to be right in there for the win. But, at the sales he looked a pure 'bulk' buy with plenty of muscle but lacking devlopment and the athleticism to carry it. He will have needed to develpe very well to avoid being another ont he pile of expensive and slow ones for Transcend Bloodstock. Lieutnenant Pigeon was also underwhelming on his sales report which means that if the owner bred filly Latin Class has any worthwhile ability and a modicum of nous she has an excellent opportunity to win on debut and look quite good doing it..
  • Ratings :
    Other :

      May 18th Summary : 
    • The 'Aubigny Stakes' at Goodwood last week was a classic example of how weak some of the juvenile Listed races can be and the places a lottery among average types, or worse. The field for the fillies' event at York (the 'Marygate Stakes') is actually a little better and with eight previous winners and an Irish raider represents a perfectly decent Liested level event given the early timing. The 'Class Ladder' for the race is a little speculative because B2yoR has ponly seen Dubai Princess and Presto Levanter (as a yearling) live and reviewed them. We'll come to that presently but a little scene setting first.
    • The thirty Listed races in 2006 where given B2yoR ratings that ranged from 93 down to 62 with the median in the high 70s. This gives us a useful scale to match the competitors for this race against. Each year a weak Listed race may require a performance which wouldn't grace an average maiden to win and that is what the lower 62 rating shows. Every time you hear a pundit or analyst talking about 'Listed Class' it is pretty meaningless since the performances in these races range from ordinary maiden right up to some of the best efforts of the season. In this event it would be good to see at least one of the fillies rate above 75 and set at least an average level for a Listed event. In 2006 Gilded ran to a level of 75 in winning on her fifth outing and that was below her previous best of 78. She peaked at a low level 81 given that she was the Queen Mary victress. So a performance of that level here would indicate a filly who would go on to compete well enough in an ordinary Queen Mary.
    • The table below gives a summary of how the Listed race runners for some of the trainers represented have fared in the last three seasons.
    Trainer Listed Runners
    (Strike rate)
    % Placed
    M Channon 61 6  (9.8%) 28%
    T Easterby 20 2  (20%) 30%
    J Given 3 0 66%
    R Hannon 54 10  (18.5%) 43%
    BW Hills 25 2  (8%) 40%
    J Osborne 10 1  (10%) 40%
    • The interesting points include how relatively successful Richard Hannon is and how he manages to select the right runner from his large string for many of the races. Getting his 2yos ready early in the season assists with this and also the consistent approach which ensures ability is identified and brought through. This is why looking at which races he runs his 2yos in on debut can be indicative of what standard they are. 
    • Mick Channon has a different approach to some extent and he is a trainer who knows that the perceived 'step up in class' to Listed races (and to Group races to some extent) can be minimal and sometimes non-existant. Each year he gets Group wins and places (especially abroad, including in Ireland) with horses we know are below that level here. When they return to run in Britain they wont have suddenly become Group winner class and some commentators seem to find this baffling in that if they have won a German Group 2 why can't they compete at Group 3 level here. As if they disappear into a phone booth on their way to Germany to become 'Group Horse' and then turn back into just useful on the way back here. If you forget about the labels the horse is running to a similar standard everywhere but the competition isn't a similar standard despite the labels. 
    • The other interesting point is that Tim Easterby's record hold up quite well against the big stables listed despite the fact his overall record is well below theirs. For a stable with a 2yo emphasis his returns in recent years have been disappointing. But he does seem to target the right sorts at Listed races and in particular the best of his early fillies each year. Which brings us to the Class Ladder for the race.
    76-80 Janina (79)
    71-75 Cristal Clear (74)
    Dubai Princess (73)
    66-70 Jennifers Joy (68)
    Presto Levanter (67?)
    Feeling Proud (62)
    Loch Jipp (61)
    56-60 Tia Mia (60)
    • Liberty Belle has been left off because she makes her debut and on profile should have next to no chance. Her trainer had an entry in the first Listed race of the year that didn't run and we need to see what his method is in starting horses in Listed races. The Irish winner Shivering has also been left out. Her trainer Tommy Stack has only had two juvenile runners in Britain in recent years that have both been unplaced in Group races at Ascot. It is difficult to judge whether he brings the appropriate level of horse over for the races on his limited record. 
    • At the top of the ladder is Janina who was a comfortable winner on debut and has the profile to improve further and hopefully better a 75 level here. It is interesting that her trainer runs her here rather than Mookhlesa who was also a debut winner at 5f and runs for the same owner. She is likely to be favourite and not with much value and the same is likely to be true of Dubai Princess. She won the first race of the season clearly and in a fast time. The efforts of the horses who were around 4 lengths behind her that day subsequently have not really enhanced the view of the form and the time owed a lot to a fast track and a tailwind. She looks a small and precocious type who will probably be able to rate over 70 but be vulnerable to fillies with a bit more size and class.
    • Richard Hannon won the race last year with a filly who had won the Salisbury conditions race and makes things a bit more difficult ball by not running Cake who won this year's version but his surprise runner-up in the race instead - Presto Levanter. B2yoR has very fond memories of her dam steaming up the stands' rail at Newbury to win the Supersprint but her daughter didn't look that hot at the sales and appears to have developed well. However, she is another likely to be at a non-value price and will porbably come up short of winning.
    • While going through the Class Ladder the most interesting filly at the likely prices will be Cristal Clear and her trainer's record in Listed events with early fillies a bonus. She looked the bigger type with scope on debut and if you look at the colts she beat comfortably that day they have enhanced her profile unlike the crew behind Dubai Princess. When you look into her pedigree it is a good story as well. Her dam was an owner bred from a useful American family and ran in Irish Group races for Dermot Weld after winning her maiden. She produced a good 2yo who placed in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes before things tailed off (as they often do for broodmares) with just minor winners running for Mr Weld. But the 'class' is still there and she may still produce a useful one in later life.
    • In summary a solid race at the level and for the time of year and with Janina top on profile but not having been reviewed so not one to take a short price about. Cristal Clear appeals as the most intersting opponent at the prices and with a lot of positives in her profile.
    • The Newbury Fillies' Conditions race is also over 5f but has an entirely different character. Before the introduction of the Marygate race this event would surely have seen at least one of the previous winning fillies in it. Instead we have just one of the nine with experience and Structura drifted notably in the betting in a similar event and showed inexpereince in the race. Debut runners for Stan Moore usually show a little more FTO if they have ability but it may not require much of a performance to win here if the newcomers don't include a good one. 
    • Last year's race was a farce with the 6 runners going very slowly and finishing in a heap. The six included four from Mick Channon and none were very good. Compare that event to the list of previous winners who already had good form coming into the race - Flashy Wings (2005, STO and good Maiden winner at Newmarket. Later Group 2 winner), Siena Gold (2004, STO, good maiden winner at Newmarket. Supersprint winner), La Cucaracha (2003, 5 length winner in Leicester maiden, older Group 1 winner) & Rag Top (Warwick maiden winner on debut, later Group 3 winners). So before last year the winners had all won on debut prior to this race and went on to win important races.
    • This year's race could be similar to last year and has a good sprinkling of owner breds who typically try their luck in better races to try to enhance their breeding CV. The last filly before 2006's egg-and-spoon affair to win on debut was Queens Logic in 2001 for the combination of Mick Channon and Jaber Abdullah (also had the second in 2002 together with nwcomer Queens Victory & won it with Flashy Wings). A key part of this year's race will clearly therefore be what you make of Nijoom Dubai for the pair and with 'eyecatching' booking of J. Spencer. Now, repetition is good for learning, so all together, Mr Abdullah has a privileged position with the yard and often gets relatively cheap fillies passed on to him that have ability.
    • She cost a trifling 19,000 guineas at the sales which is pin money these days. But it is a little more complicated than that and the Channon 'Inner Circle' is at work. She was bred by Channon's Norman Court Stud and bought by his right hand woman at the sales - Gill Richardson. Mr Abdullah is connected in some way to the Maktoum family and that is presumably where the use of sire Noverre comes in rather than a Channon stallion like Fraam or Hunting Lion. So, it isn't clear when this one was passed on tot he owner (perhaps it was his already). Whatever, she was unexciting at the sales and got a report which would scrape average on a good day. If she's developed to be a useful one then the hype should be apparent tomorrow and she'll be at a short SP and go close to winning.
    • None of the others on profile make a good case to put up a strong debut tomorrow and it may well need only a run in the low 50s to win which several would aspire to. Pantherii runs for a trainer who has his debut runners pretty ready but she also got a moderate to average sales report but should probably place in this group. The one that makes most appeal is Polar Circle from Peter Chapple-Hyam although his debut runs are less well forward these days. But in a race which may not take much winning a normal debut may well be enough although the standard is low enough that a surprise is not off the agenda. 
    • In summary a difficult race to be confident about because of the lack of previous form and lowish profile ratings of the runners. It may well turn out to be a Class 3 race which has limited future relevance unless there is a useful filly hidden away. Nijoom Dubai didn't look to be that one at the sales and would need to have developed very well to be a Mick/Jaber special. Pantherii is the type that Mr Cole usually gets to make a place without winning and Brian Meehan works hard for Ballymacoll Stud but a normal debut for him would leave Masada short of placing. Which leaves Polar Circle as a solid alternative froma reliable trainer and with a good pedigree.
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