British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Preview - March 31st 
Races :-
  • 4 : Lingfield AW 3:10, 5f Fillies' Auction (6)

  •   March 31st Summary : 
    • A typical, smaller field, fillies' Auction race at Lingfield and the 6 runner field perhaps an indication that the lack of  juvenile races to date hasn't been a bad thing. This is an 'Auction' race of the type where the fillies carry different weights dependent upon how much they fetched at public auction. The Class 6 level means that it is a lower quality race and the most expensive filly running cost $30,000. [Aside - thinking back to field sizes at Lingfield, when Peter Grayson was providing 7 of 9 runners in 5f maidens over the winter has argument was that there weren't enough races of that type. Err, but Peter, if you took your runners out of the race Lingfield would have had a 2 runner event which doesn't suggest there was a huge, unfilled, demand for 5f maidens. Or is this a 'Cheese Shop' problem and the 'call for it' is being masked by there being nothing 'in stock'...]
    • Anyway, if we think back to the 5f maiden that Percolater, Joli Haven & Lois Darlin ran in at Warwick last week that was a Class 5 race and in theory a better quality one than this. But 14 of the 15 runners there cost 5,000 guineas or less or were from humble owner bred backgrounds and would have been off the bottom two weight bands in this race. There isn't any 'Class Drop' in going from that Class 5 to this 6. In that limited field Percolater was the one that seemed most fancied and got back to favourite. She ran well and was very professional in disputing the lead at halfway. She got tired in the last furlong and ran better than her fade suggested. At halfway she travelled most comfortably at the pace in the group. But, that was a slow pace on sticky ground against other limited fillies.
    • Joli Haven couldn't go her pace and faded as badly late in the race. There was nothing to suggest she wasn't a limited runner and her trainer has perhaps already run his better types with Sally's Dillemma & Gone Hunting. Lois Darlin looked very forward in condition terms at Warwick and went off second favourite. She lost ground at the start and didn't look mentally ready to race. She should compete better here and should probably beat Joli Haven. There isn't any reason to expect her to improve past Percolator though.
    • Which means that Percolator, with a '2' against her name and representing a major trainer is likely to be a shorter price favourite unless there is something in the newcomers to worry her. Dedante cost 11,500 guineas (compared to Percolator at 2,000 guineas) which means she could well be a better physical type. But her trainer doesn't go for strong debuts and she has to give that experienced opponent 2lbs. Dean Ivory's first runner of the season was Buckle Up who ran at Kempton on Saturday. He was the fittest in that field and most forward in condition which suggested he might run better than his 20/1 outsider-of-the-group status. But he knew nothing much about racing and going around the bend was too technical and finished well back. With a different trainer you might consider Dedante as a possible to overturn Percolator but not with Mr Ivory.
    • Missy Due is a similarly cheap filly so there's no reason to expect her to be a better type than Percolator anyway. Her trainer Willie Muir has managed two above average years in Strike Rate terms with 2yos in the last 3 but still hasn't convinced B2yoR he is fully in control. He has been included in the FTO P&L tracking on the basis of his later season record with long-proced 5-6f debuts. But, and it's a big one, he doesn't get early season debut winners. He doesn't get early season winners at all much and has only had two, both in May, before June in the last 5 seasons. Each year he will run the odd early 2yo but they don't compete well until they develop with racing typically. They may well win but only after a number of runs to find their feet. So Missy Due isn't going to get involved in 'model' 2yo world.
    • However, a favourite like Percolator is one that B2yoR would be looking to take on with a suitable opponent. If she wins comfortably at 11/10 or 5/4 then so-be-it and move on. She showed enough on debut to show she was a ready racer but she did fade badly. The final performance level was poor and she has to improve a lot from that to set a stiff target for a decent newcomer (she may not be able to do that at all). Her trainer tends to have runners mostly ready on debut and their form can tail off quickly. To pull a few more stats into the thinking he has converted less than 50% of his runners that placed (2nd or 3rd) FTO into season's winners over the last 5 years. His record is 15-32 (i.e. 17 of the 32 debut placers remained maidens).
    • His STO record over 5f is 0-14 in the last 4 years and STO in March to May is 0-9 in the last three years. You can make stats say things they don't but a record like that at least means you should think why Percolator is different from that group. To take an example and think about Tarkamara blasting along at the front of the 5f fillies' maiden at Newmarket's Craven Meeting on her debut 2 years. Only the later Group winner Silk Blossom got past her. Where is she now? The last time B2yoR registered her she was still struggling along as a maiden late in her 3yo season. This isn't an isolated example either.
    • Which means that supporting a 2,000 guineas filly who faded badly FTO to a poor performance level at shorter odds makes no appeal. There will be plenty of better value shorter prices during the season.
    • Which brings us neatly to the obvious real alternative with Jamie Osborne's Grand Plan. The trainer had his first runner at Kempton and had a somewhat fortunate second in a very pecualiar race where the first 6 finished within a length of each other. That runner looked smaller and limited in the preliminaries and no surprise to see just the usual level of interetst in the Markey and a 7/2 SP. Grand Plan is the most expensive filly in the field but only has to give 3lbs to Percolator and cost, relatively, close to 10 times what that one did to buy. Her trainer doesn't target strong debuts but will get the odd FTO wins with a better type or in a weak race. Even with Percolator's profile this counts as a pretty weak affair and if Grand Plan has any nous she should be able to keep close enough to find a way past in the straight if she is good enough.
    • In summary, the Market should be informative in assessing Percolator & Grand Plan. If Grand Plan is a better one it should show and she might compete for favouritism and could well still be value. If she's just an 'ordinary' one she could still be value assuming that Percolator will be over-rated in those circumstances. The only possible alternative to one of those two winning would be Lois Darlin improving enough but she showed such a low level of form FTO that would seem too low a base.
    • [The Paddock notes and summary of the Kempton race will be in the Preview of Tuesday's Folkestone event. In general an unexciting field for a Class 4 as the result would indicate with Asaint Needs Brass the best type and no reason to believe he wont prove to be the best of the field in the long term.]

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    [None Today]
    • Missy Que - WR Muir (5-6f - But note this is too early in the season. Back only if following every qualifier).

    ~ LNGA 3:10 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    1 GRAND PLAN [31] - 1
    2 DEDANTE [14] +1 1
    3 JOLI HAVEN [17] +2 2 -5 1 -5
    4 LOIS DARLIN [22] +2 2 -15 1 -15
    5 MISSY QUE [10] +3 1
    6 PERCOLATOR [30] +3 2 12 1 12

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