British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Preview - April 10th 
Races :-
  • 15: Folkestone 2:10, 5f Maiden (6)

  •   April 10th Summary : 
    • Another small field on softer ground at Folkestone today and the usual structure to the race field. Last year the six runner field - Result - included one each from Channon & Hannon, a second time out runner from a reliable trainer who won and some interest in the others to see what potential they had. 
    • The Channon runner last year was a seller class runner from an owner bred source and his representative here with Strictly Royal has the same profile. By the first season sire Imperial Dancer, whom the trainer handled and stands at his Norman Court Stud, out of a mare who showed no worthwhile form. The trainer's debut runners haven't gone well to date for the most part and he can probably be ruled out for the day.
    • Trainer John Spearing has targeted the Bath meeting (the day before this race in 2008) to introduce his early usable 2yos. He had a targeted seller winner there in 2006 and would probably have won the same race in 2007 with a newcomer but for it having to be left a non-runner. He also introduced a later nursery winner on the same card. Leaving aside the FTO seller win in each of the last two seasons his debut runners do not normally compete well. He used to develop horses with racing and had a good record of winning outside seller company with horses who broke their maiden in sellers for him.
    • Either way his filly Soul Sista is by a sire who has got the odd precocious 5f winner in each of his first 3 seasons although. The mare was limited quality but a competent winner rating around OR50 in her older years. Not a profile to trouble the places here and interesting she didn't start in yesterday's Bath seller to some extent. Of minor interest to see where she can develop to but presumably up to winning a seller somewhere down the line.
    • Trainer Michael Quinlan (the gangly Irishmen who always get interviewed is his brother Noel and you never hear Michael speak) is notable for loading the front section of his debuts each season with the competent 2yos. The following is a quote from the 'FTO P&L Track' article in relation to his recent record :- "Another trainer notable for ready debuts who produced profits for this period in 2003-5. Less good 2yos have led to no debut winner in the March to May period in 2006-7 with a late start in 2006 contributing to the record. However, debut places in those years with the competitive 2yos, although they lacked strong ability, suggest he still will get the debut wins with the right horses."
    • Sorrel Ridge looks a bit short in the quality department as well is this is a tough race but ought to be a good gauge of the readiness of the trainer's string. You would think he could hand in there with the top two on profile better than the others before fading back in the final furlong to 3rd or perhaps second if one of the top ranked underperforms.
    • With the rest of the field covered we come to the top pair and an interesting match between a runner with 'experience' and one with the profile to be a better debut for Mr Hannon. Paul Cole has started the season strongly with his whole string and has already got a winner with his other 2yo runner. Northern Tour ran in the Brocklesby and put in a laughably inept first part of the race. On the plus side he was the only runner to make worthwhile ground in the second half of the race against the favoured front runners who raced near the rails (5 of the first 6 home were in the first 6 at halfway). Another plus in that he made progress towards centre field away from the advantageous rail. We have perhaps already seen a hint of that advantage with the 9th Saxford (raced far side to centre) beating the stands' rail 3rd (Knavesmire) when they met again.
    • But, he presents a dilemma because despite the promise he showed he has to prove he has learnt from the experience. On top of that he has a non-5f pedigree and would probably always be vulnerable to a real 5f type later in the race. You feel he might reach full potential after a break over 6-7f after mid-season and he would probably be put away if Mr Cole could get him the win here. So, good promise on debut and perfectly possible he can win here depending upon the opposition. He ought to have the others covered unless Sorrel Ridge is better than the tin says so the question is how good is Celtic Commitment?
    • As covered in yesterday's preview, in relation to Hannon's second runner April Pride (this written prior to that race), the trainer if very consistent about how he chooses which types to run where each year. The first 3-4 runners would typically include 1 x very useful (often start out at Kempton & often win FTO), 1 x above average (probable dual winner and might win on debut in a the right race), 1 x below average who might find a small win and a duff one. His intended runner in this race last year was withdrawn at the start. He had a break but proved to be a dual winner who won on debut on May 25th when making it back to the course.
    • Celtic Commitment looks more likely to be the 'dual winner' type on profile and has prospects to beat whatever level Northern Tour can improve to. His sire has produced early season winners in each of his three seasons with runners including on softer ground. He's had two of the six winners of the first pair of early races at this course in 2005-7, for example. The dam is more stoutly bred and won a 7f claimer for Mark Prescott in July as a juvenile and was claimed for £4,000. Typically, Mr Prescott knew what he was doing and she never improved and took until 4yo to manage another OR50s rated win. She's produced development, staying, types with her winners to date. In that sense it's ought to be a good sign he's running this early for a reliable set of judges like Hannon and his jockeys. He's either no good, on balance pretty unlikely, or probably an above average winner.
    • In summary a small field but a fascinating set-up at the head of the profile and hopefully Hannon will help to get this year's juvenile scene moving with a better type. Northern Tour provides further clues regarding the Brocklesby and is probably plain better than the horses he finished with an just behind at Doncaster. Each of Sorrel Ridge, Strictly Royal & Soul Sista are probable season winners although the last two probably in claimer company or below and perhaps Sorrel Ridge as well.

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    [None Today]
    • Sorrel Ridge - MG Quinlan (Mar-May)

    ~ FOLK 2:10 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    1 CELTIC COMMITMENT [37] - 1 29
    2 NORTHERN TOUR [34] - 2 4 1 4 30
    3 SORREL RIDGE [27] - 1 23
    4 STRICTLY ROYAL [18] - 1 35
    6 SOUL SISTA [16] +5 1 25
    5 MISS BELLE EVE [0] +5 2 -38 1 -38

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