British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Preview - April 27th 
Races :-
  • 40: Brighton 2:10, 5.3f Maiden (5)

  •   April 27th Summary : 
    • Sunday and to Brighton and a solid field for the maiden. The course has an interesting configuration and presents an unusual challenge for 2yos. The course starts with an undulating stretch and with the 5f (actually 5f & 59 yards = 5.3f which can make a real difference) course meeting up with the steep descent quite quickly after a left hand bend. You will see many 2yos backing out of the race down this hill especially if a better balanced pacemaker(s) are pressing on. In general the downhill run and firmer ground often leads to free running pacemaking unless the jockey is aware of the problem.
    • The course reaches it's lowest point before the furlong marker and then climbs up a reasonably steep slope to the line. This slope is cambered significantly away from the stands and tired runners ought to roll onto the far rail and horses failing to get a run, even in small fields, not uncommon. Given all of that what sort of horses win at the course? Does the fast downhill part favour front runners who can set up a lead and never get pulled back?
    • A brief look through the recent records suggest the course produces a pretty fair test and horses can win from anywhere. The biggest problem is the pacemakers going to quickly, especially if they contest the lead, and fading on the uphill section. Horses can lose a few lengths taking the downhill section easily in many events because the uphill finish allows them to close back to the pacesetters. You might think the technical nature of the course would count against newcomers but of 106 debut runs in recent seasons a total of 7 have won which is just above the average across all FTO 2yos. However, none of those wins have been at 5.3f where the record is 0 from 28. This probably makes sense in that experienced frontrunners are harder to close on in the shorter race.
    • The Run Styles recorded for the 5f winners at the course confirms the view that even over the shortest distance any method can succeed with the right horse. Recent winners of this race can attest to that. In 2005 the useful Zato came here on his second go having got outpaced over 5f at Nottingham before gathering himself for a taking finish. The pacemakers got him out of his comfort zone downhill here and he lost 3-4 lengths and looked in trouble as favourite. But, by the time he'd gathered himself and with an extra, uphill, 60 yards to factor in he was sailing away from the others at the finish. Last year a thinking jockey in Richard Hughes took what he knew to be a solid early 2yo in Cracking to the lead and settled the pace and won comfortably because he'd saved a finish. He knew what he had with Cracking because he had tried him out on debut at Windsor by hustling him to the lead and then easing him once he got passed. 
    • [As an aside Hughes can be easy to criticise because he doesn't seem to be working too hard on occasions but watching him on the Hannon 2yos over the years you can start to see a pattern in what he's doing. He does have a plan and that often involves getting to the point in this race that will win the next one. Top of the B2yoR list for non thinkers would probably be Adrian T Nicholls who can be a real 'head down' type at times. At Sandown on Friday in the sprint Fol Hollow and, in particular, Bosun Breese, looked in top condition and ought to have run strong races. The horses were so well that they were too fresh and needed a 'Hughes' ride an being buried away to use that excess energy for the finish. Nicholls on Fol Hollow and Keniry on Bosun Breese do the exact opposite and allow that wellbeing in their horses it's head and tear off into a contested lead. Before the first furlong marker had been reached you could chuck your ticket away on either of them and they both faded on the stiff track. Bosun Breese looked trained to the minute and worth following to STO.]
    • Back at Brighton and the course is also notable for small fields with an average under 7 horses per race when the overall average is going towards 11. Eight in this race and a typical set of runners with experience. The course tends to be used by trainers to try to find a weaker race to ensure a win with a type who might end up an eternal placer in stiffer quality fields (Hannon & Mark Johnston would be exceptions in sending better types as well). Lagan Handout struggled at Bath second time after what looked a promising run in the Brocklesby and would fit the model. But, he's found a solid field for the course and will come up short again while getting involved at some stage.
    • Brenin Taran was retained was bred by the trainer's family and retained at the 2yo sale for a minimum bid. Since they presumably still have the mare and other foals coming through Mr Simcock's top priority is to get a win with this one so that the later sales offerings look more attractive on paper. Which probably plays a part in the 'send it to Brighton' approach. He ran in the big field for the conditions race at the Newmarket Craven meeting and closed through to fourth from 12th, and last, at halfway. He was aided in this by the pacemakers stalling and a good ride from his jockey in woking a clear path from the far rail  to the centre to make his ground.
    • Because it was a conditions race at a major track the traditional handicappers have to give it a high rating and Brenin Taran would get something around OR 80 for that debut run. The shape of the race and the way he lost ground at the star would mean you would have to think he's a 90+ type with a clear run and handling this course. If he really is that he should win this by five lengths. He probably only ran something in the 60s at Newmarket however and we will find out more about the quality of the race from Rayvin Mad's second go at Leicester the day before this race. Either way, he should be at his peak here and capable of running to OR late 70s and has a closing style which would go well even if he doesn't handle the downhill too well. The Newmarket course is quite undulating and he handled the downhill part well enough there as he made ground down it. In summary, a strong contender, although not as strong as the 'OR80 debut' makes him sound.
    • The other two with form represent similar profiles having both been dropped to a lesser race after debuts in solid maidens. Both looked to be (real) 68-76 OR raters in the longer term and a drop to this sort of track needed because that standard would struggle in open maidens. Preference in this race would be for Smokey Storm who was a non-competitive fourth at Windsor but with two useful 2yos well way and just behind another with respectable early season form. He appeals as the best prospect to compete with Brenin Taran and make the win if that one really isn't the 80+ type the background makes him seem.
    • Entrancer ran in a race which developed into a 2f sprint on sticky ground at Newbury and got outpaced by the better and readier types. Like Smokey Storm he looked a solid size and usable 2yo at his level. His trainer is more of a develop-with-racing type than Willie Jarvis though and it would be a surprise to see him be sharp enough to win here. He should be much more competitive though and display close to his real ability level.
    • With the 0 from 28 record and a solid group of runners with experience the newcomers are very unlikely to win unless one is really useful. Ruby's Song and Piccaso's Sky look too lightweight on profile and Taurus Twins probably the same although with the nous to get involved earlier int he race.
    • Tom Dascombe entered Old Father Zeiten  for the Brocklesby and declared him for the third race of the season at Kempton although he was a non-runner. On profile he should be at least up to the level of that trainer's other runner this year with Firth Of Forth which would make him a minor winner at least. However, that runner wasn't competent enough to win a weak race FTO so this one is more one to assess.
    • In summary, a solid maiden for the track and Brenin Taran ought to win by a long way if you believe the general ratings he got for his debut run. Even with a more sceptical view he still sets a strong standard here and the trainer is well motivated to get the win in the bag for the family. Smokey Storm is preferred to Entrancer on the day with both looking usable 2yos able to rate 70+. There's a reasonable possibility that Smokey Storm ran into a strong race first time and ran better than it first appeared. He didn't looked tuned for the day, unlike some of the trainer's debut types, but should be close to his peak for this race.

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    • Taurus Twins (WGM Turner, Long Shot. Trainer rarely gets FTO wins after early April because he starts his best 2yos in the early batch.)

    ~ BTON 2:10 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    1 BRENIN TARAN [43] - 2 39 1 39 24
    6 SMOKEY STORM [34] - 2 22 1 22 33
    2 ENTRANCER [32] - 2 26 1 26 27
    4 OLD FATHER ZIETEN [30] - 1
    3 LAGAN HANDOUT [26] - 3 15 2 11
    7 TAURUS TWINS [18] - 1 11
    5 PICCASO'S SKY [17] - 1 34
    8 RUBY'S SONG [2] +5 1 2

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