We can lead into the maiden at Leicester by considering the performance
of She's A Shaw Thing at Nottingham the day before. She did a good impression
of Vhujon from 2007 when setting a pace which saw her draw clear of the
Brocklesby winner and two newcomers. She only seemed to be slowing a little
to the line and on soft ground did a time comparable to that of the 4yo
Sonny Red once the weight-for-age of 2yos receiving 27lbs from 4yos in
early April is taken into account. Which suggests that she may be up to
Listed & Group class.
Her runner-up from the Warwick debut won comfortably at Lingfield this
week while looking a useful early speedster. She's likely to go some combination
of the Lily Agnes, Marygate/Hilary Needler/National Stakes & Queen
Mary route and might run in them all the way the trainer campaigns his
2yos. Is she up to the class of the later races? On balance you would have
to say no and despite the manner of the victory she's likely to prove an
OR86-94 filly when the season unrolls and the better fillies come along.
For one thing you would suspect that she's close to the finished article
now and needs to find 10lbs of improvement to mid-season to stay at her
current OR mark for example.
In the Nottingham race she was again showing her ability to act on easy
ground over others who looked less comfortable on it. This is a different
test to a fast race on firmer going against bigger & better fillies.
On the plus side she probably ought to stay 6f on the way she has finished
her races off so has some scope to find another race later.
That Warwick race which she won from Percolator might seem quite good in
retrospect. However, you have to think that the first two have made strong
improvement to their second outings and the form of the Warwick event not
strong. She's A Shaw Thing was held up at Warwick and pulled clear with
a second half of the race effort and didn't show the all out blitz she
did at Nottingham. Percolater faded in the final furlong and finished close
to fillies she must be much better than given the taking way she won at
Lingfield. On a firmer surface and a less stiff track she won comfortably
and could have extended the winning distance. But close behind in 5th &
6th at Warwick you had the Bill Turner pair who have both run moderately
since to suggest the race wasn't above expectations or ratings behind the
first two. The 4th from the race - Transcentral - takes on five
colts in the Leicester race and should give the final indicator needed
for to categorise the Warwick race.
Typical of that field she was a cheap purchase but showed some promise
at a low level with a willing finish through to 4th while looking a 'tiny
terrier'. On TV pictures she looked a usable seller/claimer class filly
and if so will find the colts too tough here. Let's see what the paddock
The race is a 'Median Auction' which means the runners carry the same weights
other than the 5lb allowance for fillies. They qualify for the race because
they are by a sire who has established a 'Median' price with his yearlings
& breeze up sales which is below the qualifying limit. This is a Class
6 so that is likely to be around the 25-30,000 guineas upper range. What
that means is that quite expensive purchases can run so long as the sire's
Median is below the value set.
Michael Bell has his first runner of the season with the
55,000 guineas yearling Art Connoisseur. He is the first runner
for new sire Lucky Story and overall does not have a 5f early pedigree.
The trainer is a real 'Mr Consistency' in his approach to 2yo racing. You
should look at his stable
summary for the years 1996-2007 and see that he found what he wanted
to do in life early on and had been doing the same thing ever since. That's
useful because it means he tends to run the same types in similar races
on debut each year if he has them.
The early runners tend to be solid 2yo prospects with the odd duff one
thrown in. In 2006 the earliest debuts were in later April with the expensive
Kings Bastion (ordinary maiden winner), Hoh Mike (high class 5f) &
Blue Monkey (at Leicester, expensive and a maiden during the year and running
over 7f by 3TO). In 2007 it was a similar story with 4 April debuts made
up of 3 solid yearling purchases (of which only on won for various reasons)
and a duff but usable one. In general he only gets odd debut wins each
year and with the better class runners.
With Jamie Spencer on board he's likely to be well fancied here but in
the normal run of things he'll place unless he's very good (even Hoh Mike
couldn't make up a blown start on his early debut). Something, from the
other colts is likely to be a bit more ready for the day although there
isn't a full package of ready and good pedigree in opposition.
We have already seen in the early races this season what
a solid or useful 2yo can do when much fitter than the others with Sally's
Dilemma and Mr Evans She's A Shaw Thing. He runs Come On Buckers
here whose dam has produced a couple of 2yo winners with her first 2 foals
and 5 non-entities since. His sire Fath can produce small, neat and ready
2yos that would suit the Evans methods but the overall profile is too low
quality to expect a win in this company.
Trainer James Eustace does get his 2yos ready to compete on
debut and has achieved a profit in across all his debuts in three of the
last 4 seasons and a tiny profit across all debuts in that period. He doesn't
get a lot of debut winners but his runners always start at 10/1 or more
FTO. Joe Caster is by Makbul who is a positive for precocious 2yos out
of an unraced mare. If he's running this early he ought to be up to winning
something. But, the very earliest debuts in recent seasons for the trainer
have been below his highly primed peak. A possible and a double figure
winner if he does win.
Which leaves two from reliable trainers who ought to compete well.
Fyelehk is an early runner for his trainer and was entered
for the Brocklesby. As highlighted in yesterday's preview his earliest
debuts as usually winners at some level but they have tended to need the
first run in the last two seasons. Prior to that you could rely on him
having a debut winner early in the seasons and this one would have a solid
Which leaves Rhydian for Mr Beckett who has already won
with his first runner of the year. That one went like the best horse in
his raced but tired (possible partly pulled himself up) when clear in the
final furlong. He looks more an ordinary (say OR65-74) type on pedigree
profile and the sort the trainer gets out early to try to ensure a win.
In summary, a very tricky race to feel confident about. Art Connoisseur
may well end up as favourite because of his sales price and connections
but is unlikely to be value. Transcentral & Come On Buckers will have
a fitness edge but may lack the quality required in this field. Joe Caster
represents a trainer who would rank only behind David Evans in this group
for debut readiness but comes up a little short on the overall profile.
For the paddock review B2yoR will be working on the plan to see which of
Fyelekh & Rhydian have the right combination of readiness & quality
to be the best option on the day.