A Class 4 Novice race at Nottingham today again on soft going. With a small
field and the lack of a strong profile newcomer it looks a good opportunity
for one of the previous winners to supplement their debut success. Both
Sally's Dilemma & She's A Shaw Thing looked smaller naturals on their
debuts with the first appearing to have a little more size and range of
movement on TV pictures. Both fillies finished off their races well and
looked to have some improvement left in their performance. Preference would
just be for Sally's Dilemma and the use of a 7lbs apprentice an advantage
in a relatively simple straight race over 5f.
The first newcomer is straight out of 'Central Casting'.
Rod Millman made his name with precocious 2yos and has always had a fondness
for the cult sire Makbul who produced his first major winner with Lord
Kintyre. Mr Millman has varied the readiness of his 2yos in early season
in recent years, partly in response to how good they are. In 2005 he had
a group of natural 2yos and won most of the earliest races (including two
with another useful son of Makbul in Phantom Whisper). In the last two
years the debuts have been less ready and probably partly in response to
realising he used up all his ammunition in 2 weeks in 2005.
Normally the earliest debuts will include the best of his early runners
and the likely winners. If you look at this FTO-RAG
table from 2007 it shows a typical shape to the debuts in what was a poor
year for him. The table shows details of his debut runs in 2007 ordered
by date. A horse name in a green cell indicates a winner during the year,
an amber cell a placer in the year and red is for unplaced on all runs.
The pattern of his first two runners being winners followed by a gap to
later April & into May (can be later) for the other winner to start
out is typical for him. Note also the long tail of red with the odd yeallow
in the second half of his debuts. In general this is typical with the competent
2yos identified quite early and the development types and useless mostly
left to later season.
His first runner last year was an even cheaper son of Makbul than his representative
here is - Mr Clearview. Sauze D'Oulx in 2007 managed to win two races and
get an OR into the 80s and an indicator of what a good sire of precocious
2yos Makbul can be. Mr Clearview cost 11,000 guineas (to Sauze D'Oulx's
4,000). The sales report B2yoR got on him suggested an 'Early, or nothing'
type and a sub OR70 rater. On the positive side he was the expected ready
type and a good mover. He could easily get an OR avove 70 because of the
early start without being the 'real thing' (see Estimates Background article).
To complete the feeling we are going around the same neighbourhood each
year Mr Millman has regularly targeted the early Nottingham races for FTO
wins with his better 2yos. He hasn't achieved on in recent years though
and a look at that 2007 RAG table shows that both Sauze D'Oulx & Brassini
(debuted in this race) were not highly tuned for debut. Go back
far enough and he was winning the equivalent of this race in 2000 with
Maktavish and no prizes for guessing who the sire was.
In summary. Likely to be a usable 2yo and able to win givent he early start.
Unless he is much readier than the trainer's 2yos have been in 2006-7 he
ought to find the fillies' a bit too streetwise and fit for him today.
The sales report didn't suggest he would be good enough to win on plain
ability like a Maktavish.
The other newcomer is another example of how trainer's
keep going back to what has worked for them to some extent in the past.
Back in 1999 Karl Burke bought a cheap filly by an unfashionable sire and
she was called Ash Moon. She proved to be a useful 2yo and she won on debut
on May 27th - his absolutely typical period for FTO winners. She also won
STO before finding Listed and Group races too much of a stretch. Lady
Kingston is the third foal from Ash Moon and Mr Burke has bought them
all but without having a 2yo winner with one to date.
In general his earliest debuts tend to need the outing to develop fitness
and nous and FTO wins before later May are rare. He won a similar race
to this in 2005 with the useful Chjimes in early April but that was ability
overcoming the lack of debut priming. Until last year an early debut like
this would indicate a usable 2yo, probably at a lower level, who might
not win until into May and perhaps 3-4TO. He was 0-3 for season's winners
with his first three runners in 2007 who proved to be too limited to turn
minor places into wins as the competition got stiffer.
Unless Lady Kingston is useful whe's likely to find this too hot for her
and more one to assess for which side of the 'season winner' line she is
likely to fall.