The 2yo racing over the last week has seen the introduction of a range
of better horses and it is worth having a cantering review of the events.
The better races have exposed the weakness of many of the early season
races and will be touched on in the review. A number of trainers have not
got going with the 2yos at all and will be covered at the end of this piece.
Before starting please note that the coming week is a real let down after
the improvement. Monday has a solid start with a couple of interesting
maidens (which gave us Loch Jipp & Mount Pleasure in 2007) but then
there is only a claimer on Wednesday & a seller on Thursday until Saturday
The 5f maiden at Windsor last Monday look to have solid prospects
of providing a set of 2yo winners on profile. The field in total was less
taking than the profile but still with some interesting horses. Readers
of the site will be used to the 'Paddock Review has a lot of the answers'
approach but this was a race where it did not work so well. Try looking
at these pictures of the Hannon pair of newcomers :-
You've got someone bleating on about size, build and readiness and the
Traditional paddock people going on forwardness of coat and so on. If you
have to mark the above two pictures as the 'comfortable winner' and the
'slow starting duffer' you ought to get it wrong. The bigger, shiny,
one on the left with the lively attitude is Rich Red who finished
8th. You could mark him down on the day because the liveliness strayed
into immaturity but he still scores ok and you expect a solid, promising,
run. The smaller, lethargic one on the right is the comfortable winner
Bonnie Charlie. You probably have to learn that his laid back demeanour
is actually quiet professionalism. However, although relatively deep bodied
and strong he isn't that neatly put together and the back half not quite
matched to the front and not obviously as powerful. You can say the same
about Rich Red if you can look past the shinyness and personality on the
To confuse the issue further here's a Picture
of Rifflessione who came into the race with what looked solid enough,
early season, form. He's another quite chunky chestnut although not especially
'tight' in his muscles and typical of his trainer's methods in that way.
He's more a 'develop with racing' type and doesn't get them hard fit. He's
brighter in attitude & coat than Bonnie Charlie so you rank him higher
in that sense.
The other one that looks ready for the day is the David Evans' filly Miss
Chamanda and she appears to have enough of the tools to do something
about it. This is unsurprising in the sense that Evans and Stan Moore (Riflessione's
trainer) are opposites. One buys whippets and greyhounds, feeds them just
enough and gets them really fit early in the season. The other buys Labradors
and let's them eat a bit. They don't look like the same thing at all when
they arrive at the track. Miss Chamanda is a good height, although typically
narrow through the body and the fittest in the group. Try looking at the
muscle definition on her buttocks & loins in this Picture
and remember this is her debut. She has two handlers and a lively attitude
but hers' is more 'let me at them' because she knows what's coming than
the 'first day at school' exuberance of Rich Red.
It is the first time you have seen Channon's Raimond Ridge and he
made his debut (behind Riflessione) in a race that the trainer usually
puts a good one into. He's clearly not that - Picture
- and the smaller, narrow bodied end of Namid's progeny. He also not particularly
forward in condition and his trainer is top of the list of underperformers
with 2yos to date (see below). He scores moderately and provides a big
clue that the Saxford Novice race at Newcastle was sub-standard and raises
doubts over what Doughnut achieved when she beat Riflessione & him
Smokey Storm & Sharav both cost enough at the sales,
and from stables that get their 2yos ready enough FTO, to mean they need
assessing as possible winners on the day and they are both a little disappointing.
They are both only bordering on medium size and both a little narrow in
the body. Neither is the more powerful sprinter type you hope for. Neither
is particularly fit or knowing to add to the negative impression.
Put all of that together and let's look at the result. Bonnie Charlie is
quite well backed as 4/1 second favourite and puts in a likeable performance
with a comfortable win having attended the pace and then gone away from
the others when asked. He rates highly as a debut performance and should
go on to compete in Listed races at least. The doubts over his set-up will
probably limit him but he clearly has to be taken seriously to mid season.
Miss Chamanda also attends the pace and goes on with the winner later in the race but lacks his pace. A good performance on debut and she has some
scope to improve. Riflessione is left behind in third and probably runs
to his level and can improve with racing but now holds down the form of
the Folkestone race and the 'Brocklesby 5th' tag.
Smokey Storm & Sharav come in 4th & 5th behind a near four length
gap confirming the view of them pre-race. They have average chances of
finding an early race without being certainties to nail an open maiden.
Raimond Ridge is a poor 6th and just plain not as good as the others. Maria
Milena looked just a minor (60s) winner at best and them comes Rich
Red who must be better than he showed here and 70+ rater with more
looked a small, limited, type and Two
And Eights a notably short but more heavily built one (and hence
his yearling price in comparison to Noworneva) . Neither one to follow
and will need to find a lower level and show more nous in Two And Eights
At Warwick on Tuesday the pair of races looked low quality with
the possibilities of a better type in either race depending upon Kyllorien
(BW Hills), Moss Likely (M Channon) & Premier Krug (perhaps
another Miss Chamanda for David Evans). The weather is uniformly appalling
with battleship grey sky and horizontal rain in a cold wind which isn't
going to make the horses look any better and dulls your mood. The two races
always threatened to be disappointing and they certainly didn't disappoint
in that regard.
Both races are run in slow times and the fillies' maiden is even slower
than the seller although they were carrying more weight so a similar performance.
To confirm the view of a pair of duff races trainer Alan Bailey wins both
races with newcomers. He has a below average record with 2yos and has not
had a debut winner since 1999 in 60 attempts. If either race had something
worthwhile in he wouldn't have won them, his successes are actually a further
clue to the poor quality.
In the seller you aren't expecting much and the one slightly pleasant surprise
Wave for Bill Turner. She actually has some build to work on and is
a better type than stablemate Joli
Haven who she made her debut with at the course. She finishes second,
mugged in the final furlong by Bailey's Fuaigh Mor. She got softened
up by getting into a duel for the lead with her stablemate Makaluna or
else might have held on - well done everybody. She also got claimed by
MC Chapman to add to the Turner negatives on the day. She ought to win
something similar but a race to forget in quality terms. Notable that the
three from the Bath seller couldn't compete for the win.
Mutter, mutter, when is it ever going to be warm again, etc. and here come
the fillies for the maiden and they aren't going to warm you up either.
See what your reaction is to these two for examples :-
Have you own opinion but the reaction on the day to Kyllorien who
is on the left is "Oh my gawd, who is that mouse?". Her position
at the top of the profile with a prospective 30s debut evaporates. Very
small and very mentally young. She drifts in the market, runs poorly and
shows a trundler's action when she gets tired later in a slow race. Your
respect for Barry Hills means you don't quite completely dismiss her future
prospects for a win of some sort but if she succeeds it wont be with your
money on her.
On the right is Channon's Moss Likely and we can take a short detour
into trainer's physical types. If you put a typical Channon & Hannon
2yo purchase together they would be very different types. Hannon likes
to buy bulldogs, but with pretty faces, and Channon is more in the David
Evans camp. Because Channon has more money to spend he can buy bigger greyhounds
that carry a bit more power but they rely on range and athleticism as much
as brute force application. Moss Likely could be an Evans' inmate and actually
looks similar to Leading Edge (another lightly built daughter of Clodovil)
whom Channon ran in the same race last year. That one proved to be 60s
nursery winner when she had 'come to herself' in condition in later season
and this one seems the same. Favourite here but fading after setting the
pace and running freely.
The winner was Bailey's Aspen
Darling who the trainer said was 3-4 lengths better than the seller
winner on homework and didn't have to show that to win here. Small, weak
front, gawky neck. Ho hum. Two small types from trainers with negative
records fill out the pacemakers and first four to confirm the negative
view of the race.
A couple of points of interest behind. Premier
Krug was given a peculiar ride after losing eight lengths with
a slow break and unpressed pick-up. The jockey let her dawdle in behind
until asking her to try to make up the gap to the moderate fillies in front
in the last 1.5 furlongs. She made some sort of job of this and was a 'Moss
Likely' size and shape so is better than she showed although the low quality
tempers any great enthusiasm.
While we are thinking about trainers' types lets consider Alan Jarvis.
He's not a 'build' guy and prefers taller, rangier types and can live with
them being a bit light-framed (try looking at Wise Dennis to get a handle
on this). His filly here was Right
Price and she was the best physical type in the group. The link
goes to her picture and she's the polar opposite of the very slightly chunky
but short Kyllorien. Taller, mature but narrow bodied although ok athleticism.
You could almost think about betting on her until you think about the trainer's
inability to get them mentally straight for debut. In the same way that
trainer's buy physical types they produce them with characteristic attitudes
on debut. Hannon turns out happy, relaxed sheep for the most part and this
contributes to his below average FTO record (ok, we know his first three
runners won in 2008 but that is a clue to think about why that happened
rather than him changing his methods).
Jarvis turns out wilful, prancing nuisances on many occasions and Right
Price plays that role well. She is worth following but she's going to be
too wilful and stupid today. She loses 8 lengths at the start and never
gets into it having had a long battle with the stalls handlers to even
go in. The trainer doesn't have a smooth record of converting these better
types into winners unfortunately but she's on the 'Track' list. To make
the point further about trainers Mr Jarvis had two other debuts during
the week with Free To Choose causing an incident in the parade ring at
Newmarket and being mounted on the walk to the course on the way to giving
trouble at the start. At Kempton his Fasalee dragged two handlers around
the pre-parade ring on the way to blowing the start and general minor mayhem.
Keep the picture of Right Price in your mind and try looking at this one
of - Picture-
of Fasalee at Kempton. He's a colt so he's a bit bigger and stronger but
the same taller, narrow bodied physical set-up. The same wilful prancing.
We really are going around the same neighbourhood each year with the locals
doing the same thing with different 'toys', but still the 'same' ones nonetheless.
At Nottingham Calypso Girl is another to confirm the view that racing
centre field from a low draw in the Brocklesby was a big disadvantage when looking much more
professional in a solid win. Paul Cole's Shampagne runs well to
push her all the way and the pair are well clear of Eileen Eeve who confirms
just how weak the Doncaster race she ran in FTO was. Marygate has also
been blown away in her second go since finishing just behind Eileen Eeve
there. The race is notable for another moderate show from a Kevin Ryan
runner with Amorachy.
The conditions race at Newmarket on Wednesday had an unusually large
field and plenty of depth on profile. The race had an interesting shape
with the solid pace being set on the far rails by previous winners Bad
Beat & Asaint Needs Brass along with ready newcomer Rayvin
Mad for Peter Chapple-Hyam. They set too stiff a pace for themselves
and the three of them finished in midfield after filling 2nd-4th going
into the final, uphill, furlong. As they collapsed the finishers then had
to find a way through or around them which led to a messy final furlong
and some runners not able to show what they could do.
Before getting to that let us consider the winner Art Connoisseur
who had a perfect path through the race. He sat in centre field and held
up just over 3 lengths off a taxing pace. That may not sound a lot but
that's 0.6 of second slower. If you spread that over the first three furlongs
he is only averaging, say, 11.8s furlongs to the leaders 11.6. That can
be enough, depending upon cruising speed, efficiency, fitness, etc. of
the individual to break up the pacemakers and allow the tracker to make
a perfect jump to the lead. Which is what Art Connoisseur did here to show
some quickening ability to go past the leaders. But, his effort was not
just beating up on faders because he went past the leaders before they
had folded and showed a real change of pace.
It was a good performance and a comfortable win but not that high class
in actuality. It's a race you have to be careful about over-rating because
while the likes of Servoca, Ouqba & probably Icesolator
are likely to improve to prove better class they didn't perform to that
level here. Set your rating at that standard and you'll drag the ordinary
ones, and worse, in the field up to performance ratings they cannot achieve.
Michael Bell said afterwards that Art Connoisseur would have one more run
before Royal Ascot's Norfolk Stakes (5f). That will be in one of the Ascot
Conditions race (Garter Stakes on April 30th), the Listed National Stakes
(Sandown, May 30th) or the mid-May Windsor Conditions race. Asked to compare
him to his other better 5f 2yos with Hoh Mike & Nevisian Lad he put
him in the same category.
Those sat further off the pace and with less clear runs through then made
up the places to midfield. Barry Hills has a good record in introducing
high class runners at the Craven Meeting and all three runners here showed
promise. Servoca sat closest to the pace and had that advantage. He took
some time to get going as the pace increased and finished well later in
the race on the uphill part. Ouqba was probably the most promising after
getting through to 3rd despite getting blocked at least twice as he switched
from the rails to try to get past the fading pacemakers folding in front
Without having seen Brenin Taran it is possible to think he holds
the form down given his poor sales price and so-so pedigree. He looked
big enough in the group but made as much ground up as any from a slow start
and last place at halfway. He had a smooth run through to do it thanks
to the jockey angling to the centre early but you have to believe he's
an OR80+ rater if you think the form standard shown here was strong.
Asaint Needs Brass probably sets a good marker for the form and improved
on his Kempton effort although again fading late on. He did it off a stiffer
pace here and was giving a lot of weight all round. He can still rate a
B2yoR figure of 50+ with development and finishing a race off completely.
Icesolator is an interesting one because his 9th place doesn't tell
the whole story. He was on the rail when the pacemakers stalled back into
him and never switched towards the centre to find the run through. His
jockey, and the horse, spent the last 1.5 furlongs looking at a gap between
the rails and fader Rayvin Mad and deciding it was too small to get through.
More low quality fare at Beverley on the same day with two divisions
of the auction, again on slow ground and with a lot of incompetence on
show. The rail proved an advantage but setting the pace a disadvantage
with both front-runners fading badly. The second division looked garbage
and run in a slower time. The limited Soul Sista didn't have to run to
her Folkestone debut to win comfortably from what looks a poor group. The
first division looks better although still probably moderate to approaching
average at best. Tim Easterby's Favourite Girl showed some promise
in getting to a remote third after disappearing stage left from the stalls
before hanging back to the rails. The trainers debut runners are typically
poor and any sign of ability a good sign so she ought to be much better
STO. The race was also notable for the defeat of Another Luke from the
'Brocklesby-Saxford-Raimond Ridge' form line.
Thursday's racing proved an antidote to the lacklustre events at
Warwick. At Ripon Tim Easterby won the 'Romantic Myth' maiden for the third
time in a row with the newcomer Anglesarke who is presumably his
best early filly and will run in the Hilary Needler at the end of May.
That race saw Mel Brittain have a solid second on debut with Caranbola
who is the second runner for new sire Lucky Story after Art Connoisseur.
The trainer has had a better 2008 already than the dreadful 2007 performance
and, in hindsight, the good showings of his runners on debut makes Saturday's
25/1 win by Lisburn much less of a surprise.
At Newmarket the 5f Maiden Fillies' race left a more positive feeling
about the group than in 2007. The winner with Danehill
Destiny was fully rugged in the preliminaries and a shorter model
in the group. When the rug was finally removed the strength of her build
was revealed and she got marked up. Even so her performance in the race
was a surprise. The race was run at a crawl until the limited Dr Wintringham
pulled to the lead but the pace was still slovenly. Which is why the limited
filly hung on so long in front as a '2f Sprint' developed to end the race.
With that kind of shape to the race it ought to be difficult to make ground
but Danehill Destiny came from being held up in last to sweep past on the outside
for a clear win (interesting to know whether the centre track conferred
any advantage). It took her a bit of time to get going but she is clearly
well above average on the manner of her performance.
Barry Hills ran two in the race in 2007 with the smaller, chunkier, natural
5f one winning while the bigger, lengthier, lighter framed chestnut one
finished third. The winner never ran again but the third proved up to winning
a Listed race in later season. This year he ran a similar combination with
the smaller, chunkier one (Misdaqeya) running an undistinguished race and
the taller, lighter, chestnut one (Art Princess) a solid second with a
centre field run. Try comparing these four :-
Top row is Mookhlesa and Spinning Lucy & bottom row is Misdaqeya and
Art Princess. A big point to note is how much more forward in their coats
and fitness the 2007 runners look in a year which had a warm and dry spring.
Barry Hills debut runners have been running below standard this year and
the lack of readiness, shine & fitness probably has a bearing and related
to the cold, wet spring. Given the choice B2yoR would take Misdaqeya over
Mooklesa and Spinning Lucy over Art Princess. The Hamdan filly was too
backward to run well here and isn't one the give up on. Art Princess was
a surprise and perhaps raises doubts over the strength of the form. She's
clearly up to maiden winning standard though.
cost a lot of money and contributed to the positive feeling about the fillies
as a group and ran well enough in the sprint. Ought to be better than a
placer like Tarkamara. The fourth was a very pleasant surprise with Beat
Seven. A 10,000gns purchase with a non-2yo trainer isn't going to get
you excited on profile but she's a fine lump of a girl - Picture
- and showed enough athleticism in the race to suggest she can shift enough
as well. The trainer's record is an issue but she ought to be up to winning
an average maiden at least.
Rye in 5th you then get to the ordinary ones which you have doubts
over. She had the run of the race and typically faded off a typical Hannon
debut. Wouldn't be on the 'certainty to convert' STO in a maiden depending
on the strength. Kevin Ryan's Fasliyanne
received market support and the trainer seemed a little miffed post
race that she hadn't done better. He's another trainer struggling to get
his 2yos running well. She's a typical smaller, compact, neatly made and
ready sprinter who ought to be seen at her best early on. If she can't
beat some of the bigger fillies in the race now through precociousness
she isn't going to beat them later. Misdaqeya is covered above and ought
to be much better than she showed once she 'blooms'.
Dubai also got a positive Paddock Review and it was a surprise to see
her so unfancied at 20/1. She fell off the back of the group as soon as
the later race sprint started and looked an awkward mover or ride, or possibly
both. As with a number of Channon's runners (all ages) during the week
she showed bouts of wilfulness and energy mixed with more down sections
and this is unusual for the stable's horses. You could easily get the feeling
the horses aren't quite 'right' at the moment. Anyway, on physical type
grounds she has the strength and size to be an OR80+ rater at least so
another to track for how she develops in condition to STO.
The Kempton Auction race proved to be an equally fascinating event
with the first two likely to be above average. The talk beforehand was
that Jamie Osborne's The Dial House was useful and they were expecting
a solid debut (he doesn't get FTO winners very often remember). On Paddock
Review he looked like a Cee Bargara type from 2007. Shorter height but
a strong build, barrel chest and the length to add some range to his power
despite his lack of height. Try picking out which of these two he is :-
There's a bit of a clue with 'JO' on one of the rugs but both horses are
shorter but strongly built types with some length. If you compare The Dial
House on the left to the lightweights Osborne has run to date you can see
the difference. If you looked at him in this race against the smaller lightweights
in the field like joint favourite Firth Of Forth & pony sized Smalljohn
(both from the poor Gone Hunting early race at Lingfield) the reasons why
he ought to be plain better are quite comfortably seen. But, he was immature
on the day and needing the run to 'sharpen' him. So, who's that on the
right? That's the winner Mullionmileanhour who gave weight all around.
Set next to The Dial House he's even more strongly built and added a mental
maturity for the day the other didn't have. Anyway, they both had too much
power for the others and railed well enough to add to the disparity in
Two likeable individuals who should compete well at higher level and the
winner a certain 95+ rater.
Nothing much else to note in the field other than to reiterate how early
runners with form like Amosite & Missy Que got blown away by a better
2yo and make the point about being careful to not over-rate early season
form. Various excuses for those beaten but you'd be very wary about giving
them credit for it unless they are racing against each other rather than
anything better than they are. Smalljohn again hung on the turn into the
straight (left rather than right so he has a repertoire..), Multi Tasker
did best of those 3 who duelled for the lead, Missy Que was hung wide throughout,
Amosite got hampered by Smalljohn and so on. Firth Of Forth lacked pace
when the better horses made their effort in the straight but finished strongly
having lost ground at the start again. The view of him as a 70ish type
Also worth noting the Fasalee point again here. He's the opposite
end of the physical set-up to the strong, bull sprinter like the winner
and also too stupid and wound up to show what he can do.
Friday brought a small field for the Newbury 5f maiden which revealed
Winker Watson as a better type in 2007. It was a mixed group behind him
and the only positive on a poor Paddock Review day last year that Nacho
Libre has proved the second best colt behind him as expected. In the 'Here
we go again' file trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam has run two colts on debut
in this race for the owner group of 'The Comic Strip Heroes' and hence
the horse names. Both started favourite with Johnny Alpha second in
2005 and he didn't run again. Winker Watson won comfortably in 2007 to
start off a Group race winning 2yo career. His runner here was Skid
Solo who started as odds-on favourite and below he's on the right with
Winker Watson on the left.
Similar height and frame but Winker Watson is more powerful and heavily
built. Comparing Skid Solo to the more heavily built runners in the field
like Hannon's Sun
Ship or Barry Hills' Dabbers
Chief showed that he's lacking a little in that department for
a top class type. But, a solid type who ought to win his maiden comfortably
The race itself was again run at a slow pace with a late race sprint. The
ground at Newbury on both days of the meeting was soft and many horses
didn't handle it at all well. Many races produced extended finishing distances
with ability to handle the ground and fitness major advantages. In that
context the 33/1 winner had some positives because Baycat
was the fittest in the group by some margin. He was also a solid medium
size and build and neatly made. Somewhat narrow in the body and put against
Skid Solo would be a little bit smaller in any dimension but still big
enough to compete with a preparation advantage. Compared to a bull like
Sun Ship he's lightly made.
In summary, the winner was the fittest and handled the ground best to wear
down two who are probably his superiors late on. Skid Solo and Sun Ship
both ran well and ought to be 80+ and maiden winners and perhaps somewhat
is a notably compact and heavy build but a bits-and-pieces conformation.
Left behind as the sprint started and not particularly ready for the day.
Probable 70-75 type and need time to win on typical trainer methods. Dabbers
Chief was another Barry Hills clueless merchant in a season where he has
had more than normal. Bungled the break, got back into the group as they
jogged along but then blown away as the sprint started. Ought to be 80+
on physical set-up.
Klynch was Brian Meehan's first 2yo runner of the season and his
debut runners can be variable although the better ones usually show some
ability and place and occasionally win this early in the year. He tends
to run his better ones at Newmarket and used to start his best early sprinters
at the Craven Meeting. With the colts' maiden at the meeting history he
would have had to run Klynch in the conditions race at that course and
clearly didn't think he was up to it. He has run newcomers in that race
in recent years with Major Eazy & Deadshot Keen (both for the Comic
Strip Heroes owners) both making the first 4 on the way to being dual winners
during the season.
He ran the seller winner Rough Rock in the race last year behind Winker
Watson and on physical grounds Klynch looked better than that and more
a 75+ sprinter. But he was too inexperienced to run well and gave trouble
loading into the stalls and didn't appear to handle the ground after blowing
the start. He may run again quickly having been declared to run at Windsor
two days later unless that was a mistake.
At Thirsk Michael Bell's Bahamian Babe continued the handler's 100%
start to the season by winning the Novice race. She only scrambled home
in the end but is value for more than the winning distance. She had the
rail advantage but got into a battle for the lead with Saxford & Marygate
who had both run before. She saw those two off well enough for both of
that pair to disintegrate and finish well back and went clear towards the
final furlong. Unsurprisingly she got tired in the final furlong and hung
left allowing the outpaced Gone Hunting to close on her but she went through
the race like much the best horse.
To finish this piece it is worth reiterating how poorly a number of trainers
who would have shown us a winner or two and some solid debuts by now have
one. Top of the list would be Mick Channon who would have managed a couple
of wins and a string of promising places by now in most years. Four places
to date (3 of those runners unplaced next time out) and difficult to name
a runner who is certain to win soon. He clearly has some better kit to
bring out but a slow start. Barry Hills normally shows us usable 2yos early
on and then some better ones at the Craven Meeting. The results at Newmarket
were up to standard with 3 in the first 5 places in the Conditions race
and a 2nd place in the fillies' event. But, away from that meeting Mr Melodious,
Dabbers Chief & Kyllorien have fared poorly and Misdaqeya looked well
short of readiness at Newmarket.
Finally to Kevin Ryan for whom early season runners tend to be usable 2yos
who make the first 2-5 places first time and the better ones win. Amorachy,
Dougie Peel & Majuba have all been unable to compete because of lack
of nous and readiness and Count Almaviva was beaten on debut at odds-on.
Fasliyanne seemed to run well enough at Newmarket but in a slow-quick race
that didn't spread them out. He ought to be producing some debut winners
soon but seems a couple of weeks behind schedule and possibly hasn't shown
us a really better one yet.