The Newcastle race is a Novice so is open to previous winners but contains
only maidens and with three newcomers. On profile both Another Luke
& Mosspaul seem discountable. Oriental Rose is the first
runners of the season for George Moore which means she should be competitive
at a lowish level at 2yo. He had a very good 2007 and a rare debut winner
albeit in a seller. The earliest runners often front run before their lack
of ability tells and they fade back. She's by a good sire and related to
two 3yo winners who placed as juveniles. Likely to be usable at some level
but find this race too tough.
Ann Duffield has her first runner of the season too with Dotty's Brother.
She tends to have her 2yos ready to place, and occasionally win, FTO but
the early runners in recent years have contained garbage as well as the
competitive 2yos. The pedigree for her runner here is ok for a minor 2yo
winner and the full sister won two sellers in 2006 having cost only 1,600gns
at the sales compared to Dotty's Brother at 8,000. One to consider for
the future but stronger candidates here.
The obvious stronger profile ought to be with the 'Brocklesby Third' Knavesmire.
In many years that label would mean you were good enough to win STO in
most normal circumstances. However, the strength of the Brocklesby form
looked below average this year and she got an [Estimate] of only 19. You
get mixed stories from the Brocklesby form with the winner well beaten
this week. However she probably ran to a similar level and got beaten by
a very precocious rival. The fifth (Riflessione) ran well enough at Folkestone
but got seen off by a good newcomer from Richard Hannon in Doughnut (the
equivalent to the same owner's Cake in 2007). Bad Beat was well beaten
and won a Southwell race where the favourites failed which was likely to
be poor form.
If you take the digital "Form Franked/Not Franked" approach what do you
think? Overall, you have to look beyond the "Win = Franked" view and try
to get at what level of form is being shown. The subsequent runs haven't
suggested that Knavesmire ran to much more than 19 and probably has limited
improvement. Saxford had a bad trip in the Brocklesby and it wouldn't
be a surprise to see him get much closer here.
But, none of that group seem able to set the kind of standard that Mister
did in this race last year. In general these Novice races demonstrate the
real range of abilities on show and can be quite informative because of
that. There seem two possibles for a better performance.
Raimond Ridge made his debut at Folkestone behind
Doughnut & Riflessione only 4 days ago but this quick turn-out is not
untypical of his trainer's methods. Mr Channon has often run a good one
in that race in recent years with Moon At Midnight (2002, dual winner),
Seneschal (2003, 6 length winner STO), Salute Him (2005, dual winner) &
Silver Guest (2007, irritating placer but useful & 5th in the Norfolk
Stakes at Royal Ascot). The one exception was in 2006 with the minor nursery
(OR65) and claimer winner Goose Green for the same owners. Typically for
the Channon runner in the Folkestone races Raimond Ridge was inexperienced
and lost ground at the start. He showed some progress later in the race
before stalling entering the final furlong.
So, which type is Raimond Ridge? He wasn't paddock reviewed at Folkestone
but the trainer has always run somewhat better competitive 2yos (rather
than the Goose Green type) in the early season Newcastle races in recent
years. In this particular race he had the 3rd in 2005 with the debut winner
Wovoka (who won at Listed level in Dubai) and the 2nd last year with the
debut winner Thunder Bay (dual season winner). Given his sales price and
pedigree has has prospects to be plain better than Knavesmire.
The most interesting contender is Michael Dods Compton
Ford. The trainer has been included in the long shot FTO P&L tracking
because, to a large extent, what you see on debut is what the horse is.
It's ready to go and the market usually discounts Mr Dods as unfashionable.
The earliest of his debuts each season will include the best of his precocious
2yos and if they don't win or place FTO they probably aren't very good.
In the last 5 seasons he has trained 13 individual juvenile winners. &
of that 13 have won FTO and another 3 have placed 2nd or 3rd. The only
horse to have won for him in the period 2005-7 who didn't make the first
three on debut was his first runner in 2006 - Joseph Locke. He finished
4th but had to be dropped to seller class to win and indicative that he
was probably at his best FTO but lacked the basic ability.
Given that background you wouldn't mind a bit each-way on Compton Ford
regardless. To add a bit of credibility his sales report is ok as well.
Bigger than the average yearling as many by his sire are (similar to Raimond
Ridge's sire Namid who are both sons of Indian Ridge). Narrow but solid
power behind and just enough quality for this type of early season race.
His dam was the hugely frustrating Coffee Time who placed 19 times without
winning. She ran well over 5f early in her 2yo year and managed to wangle
a place in the Hilary Needler without showing anything better than 70s
rating form. She's already produced a 5f 2yo winner. A likeable profile.
In summary, hopefully Knavesmire will go off as favourite although
you suspect something will oust it. If the two highest on profile fail
to register the better performance it becomes a tight race and the likes
of Saxford & Dotty's Brother feasible winners. But, one of Raimond
Ride & Compton Ford should raise the standards required and be some
value to do so in the Market.
At Lingfield the filly Grand Plan for Jamie Osborne comes out top
on profile receiving weight. She performed just adequately on debut earlier
in the week without looking a longer term prospect and she perhaps needs
to win early. Gone Hunting & Multi Tasker both come from
the bunch finish at Kempton and it seems sensible to oppose that form unless
there are reasons to suppose the individual horse is capable of much better.
Both those colts looked sub 70 raters in paddock review at Kempton and
wouldn't qualify as ones waiting to reveal a good step forward in performance.
Both had minor excuses with Gone Hunting hung wide around a tight bend
and Multi Tasker not being ridden in the last 2 furlongs (his bit looked
to have slipped) but the form looks moderate.
The newcomers run for reliable trainers. David Evans has shown us a debut
winner already this season but, like Bill Turner, doesn't get rafts of
them because of the limited quality of his juvenile string. He has trained
the last two half brothers to Smalljohn and both have needed to
develop with racing to win at sprint distances at 2yo. He was a relatively
cheap price given his relations and would need to be a surprise packet
like She's A Shaw Thing to win here. Tom Dascombe runs Firth Of Fifth
(hugely amusing) who was a cheap purchase. He's proved a trainer to take
seriously in his first two years but hasn't shown us early FTO winners
yet so is passed over.
Which leaves Grand Plan at the top of the profile and Shadow Bay
in second. The circumstances of where he made his debut and how early tell
us he ought to be a solid 2yo winner in the Moon At Midnight and Thunder
Bay mode mentioned above. Mr Channon's early runners didn't compete well
and the only good thing that could be said about Shadow Bay's lifeless
fade as his first representative of 2008 was that he just cannot be that
B2yoR isn't a 'Tipping Service' as such and couldn't be until the on-course
review is added shortly prior to the race on the day. Technically possible
but unallowable at present. The aims of B2yoR go beyond being able to selectively
trumpet "A right good winner at 8/1" etc. while dusting the duff summaries
quietly away. Even so, a feeling of cold dread can pass through you on
the course when a horse that came out top on profile walks into the pre-parade
ring and you know immediately you are going to be very fortunate to get
out of this with a winner.
At Southwell today the first two into the ring were Mark
Flyer and Eoghan O'Neill's Red
Cell. The first is typical Wallace usable 2yo and a slightly less
bulky version of Geoffdaw who finished 3rd in the race last year for the
trainer. He's not that fit and too laid back and immature and runs like
that but ought to find a win in the 65-73 range.
Now, both Michael Bell & Eoghan O'Neill use rugs which are
maroon with blue piping, slightly different shades but confusable. What's
that narrow, scrawny & ill put together thing behind Hartshead Flyer
(smaller than him in any dimension)? Oh it must be the Bell filly Bahamian
Babe and a quick 'X' next to her name. The lass leading the horse comes
closer and she has a '1' on her numberplate. Strewth, that's the topweighted
colt Red Cell? At which point the profile has done it's job in that you
can discount Red Cell (we don't bet on 'scrawny', even in races where 'scrawny'
might fashion a success through relative fitness). He's presumably out
this early because O'Neill knows he'll be struggling to get the win.
Time to look for something else but Hartshead Flyer isn't radiating 'readiness'.
Bertie isn't fit enough and also showing signs of immaturity.
Mick Easterby's Kings
House is a smaller version of the compact, wilful but ready type
that Transcentral looked yesterday. Not as bad as his 800 guineas tag would
suggest but a usable 50-55 rater if you're very lucky.
Right, so Bahamian
Babe isn't going to be that hot to look good in this group after
all. She's on the small side but neatly made, a good active mover and more
forward in condition than the average. She's close to being the tallest
in the group competing with Hartshead Flyer although less strongly built
(as fillies usually are and hence the 5lb allowance). Once she settles
down from the display
prancing the young fillies often show you would be inclined to shift
her up the profile. Plus, the generally knowledge on the day was that she
at least up to Art Connoisseur's level. Anyway, a precocious early type
but not with longer term, higher quality prospects.