British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - May 3rd 
Races :-
  • 51: Doncaster 6:15, 5f Maiden (5)
  • 52: Goodwood 5:20, 5f Maiden (5)
  • 53: Thirsk 2:00, 5f Novice (4)

  •   May 3rd Summary : 
    • Three races this Saturday and the Maiden at Goodwood will only have a small field. Three colts have been declared along with the filly Dream City who ran at Lingfield yesterday as Marcus Tregoning's first runner of the year. She finished in midfield and seems unlikely to run again. 
    • The favourite for the race should be Richard Hannon's Icesolator who finished 9th in the Conditions race at the Newmarket Craven meeting in mid-April. That race appeared to feature a number of promising 2yos and has been rated very highly in some publications. As is often the case the level of form behind the comfortable winner was not that high and picking out the better types with long term futures from the ordinary, and readier, ones requires more than just looking at positions.
    • To make the point the horse that got from 12th, and last, at halfway at Newmarket to 4th and still closing in was the cheaply retained Brenin Taran (picture). He went to Brighton last weekend in a typical attempt to ensure a win. If you went to Brighton, and stood in the ever present rain this year, you wouldn't have found him to be the imposing specimen you might have expected from the 'eyecatching Newmarket 4th' tag. A little below medium size, somewhat narrow and underpowered and a usable early 2yo but not with long term prospects to be a better type. 
    • He was beaten by Smokey Storm (picture) who had finished a similar sort of fourth in what was a tough Windsor maiden FTO and similar form to Brenin Taran's effort. If you didn't know anything about the background at Brighton and just looked at the two of them together they are the same type, you might just have preferred Smokey Storm who is a bit bigger and with more depth in front. The 'Newmarket' aura (an echo of Race Standardisation) prevailed of course and Brenin Taran started 6/5f favourite but got caught by Smokey Storm. They were five lengths clear which suggests the form might be useful but the 3rd had blown himself up by running too freely and the others look limited (aside from the 5th Old Father Zieten who looked a usable little bull type sprinter but was too lacking in nous to keep up early in the race).
    • The 6th from the Newmarket race in Rayvin Mad was beaten by newcomer Waffle at Leicester the day before Brighton and looked too much on the small side to be a real better type. The well beaten 10th was thumped again at Southwell yesterday. That doesn't suggest the Newmarket race was worth rating OR 100 for the winner with the placed and midfield horses rating in the 80s & 70s. The number of 2yo maidens and conditions races with a lot of newcomers which reach that level in the whole season will be very, very, small. To believe it happened on April 16th, even at Newmarket, is tremendously implausible. Perhaps Rayvin Mad & Brenin Taran have been unlucky and ran into ogres. But, if the race was worth OR75-85 for the midfield in, many with notes for them being worth more than the raw result, you should be expecting the bulk of them to go and win ordinary maidens 'for fun' next time with 5-7lbs worth of improvement from debut. They haven't and perhaps we are falling into another ever present trap, that of believing races make horses rather than horses making races (discuss...).
    • With which what to make of Icesolator. He got trapped on the rail behind the folding pacemakers and never got the chance to show us his 'eyecatching finish' if he has one. While the others were making ground up the centre past the faders (always a good way to make a 'finish' look better than it is because humans look at things relatively and the 'fading' seen as positive finishing efforts) Icesolator was carried back to 9th. He got a 'BTR' note (Better Than Result) to indicate he had a real excuse or had shown some abnormal ability in the grade. In his case it was the obvious 'blocked out' excuse.
    • In short, we don't know how good he is but we do know the quality of that race in real performance terms (i.e. not what the best of the bunch can achieve over a season) wasn't what the headlines would have you think. If the Hannon's chose to send him there for a race they have usually run previous winners in we should think he's a bit better than ordinary maiden class and should set a good standard here. The form of the Newmarket race gets a further test on Sunday when Ouqba, who really did look promising in the way he made ground through the faders to 3rd runs in the tough looking Newmarket maiden. He finished close to Brenin Taran but looks a much stronger profile than that one for future development.
    • Icesolator is opposed by two colts as newcomers and they are a a solid pair. Raiph Beckett's Finnegan McCool is covered in the FTO P&L box and is ridden by James Doyle with Sanders at Newmarket. A solid debut expected but an 'as advertised' Icesolator should be too strong.
    • Amanda Perrett, Guy Harwood's daughter to fill in some background for those that need it, built up an improved record with 2yos from 1999 to 2003 as the stable got going under her name. It's been backwards since then and the three years 2005-7 have seen less winners and below average strike rates. Quite why this should be B2yoR doesn't have an answer but they aren't a particularly important force in 2yo terms given they figured in 12th by number of 2yo runners in 2006 for example. They are well funded and also supported by important owner bred sources, most notably Khalid Abdulla who was an long time supplier of useful horses to her father (Dancing Brave and all that). 
    • It's interesting to note that 31 yearling purchases in the range 40,000 to 100,000 guineas that have run for them in 2005-7 have produced just two winners as juveniles. Perhaps they aren't looking for 2yo success and training more with 3yo development in mind now they (they, since Mr Perrett is presumably heavily involved in the overall training) have a solid position in the training ranks. Equally, the eight horses bought for under 20,000 guineas in the same 3 years have produced just one winner. You would think they would be more targeted at 2yo careers. However, years of Mr Abdulla owner breds and people tipping things that cost telephone numbers into your yard doesn't necessarily prepare you to compete in the sub-20,000 bracket at the sales with a lot of people for whom that is their 'top end' and they have to make work.
    • Whatever, each year the earliest runners will include some good 2yo types and the earliest can compete quite strongly on ability and precociousness. The stable has a below average FTO win percentage overall. The first two runners in 2006 were Jo'burg (cost 215,000gns) who won a maiden 3TO after finishing 5th in the Coventry and Prince Of Elegance who won a maiden STO and then ran in Listed races. In 2007 the first two runners were Coasting, who won a maiden STO before a 15th in the Coventry and a later season Nursery success, followed by Kings General's promising second behind a later Listed winner. He did not run again but easy to believe he was up to winning a maiden STO.
    • So, Rio Royale ought to be a solid 2yo and up to winning a maiden STO and having a go in something better along the way. If he's a bit better he might put the hurry up on Icesolator remembering that we have convinced ourselves his Newmarket effort was middling and we need to some extra clues (like Paddock Review) to support a stronger view. As an aside the Perrett older horses have been a bit on the tubby side as a group so far in 2008 and wouldn't suggest Rio Royale is going to be primed for the day. But a good STO profile nonetheless.
    • The Thirsk Novice race is an odd do. Seven runners of which five have won their only start supported by an expensive newcomer for Bryan Smart who won with his first 2yo runner of the season yesterday (Go Nani Go looked a good type in an above average race for Musselburgh). This should really be something, shouldn't it? Err, well it doesn't really look that warming in profile. To take the winners - Fuagh Mor won a rotten seller at Warwick and needed the filly Dancing Wave to overstress herself pacemaking to even do that. Polish Pride seems to be the Mel Brittain second string and won a poor Musslburgh race first up. B2yoR's view of the Doncaster Class 4 race that Dispol Kylie was that it would be garbage before it was even run. Nothing has happened to change that view with the placed horses well beaten since. Dispol Kylie only has to be OR65+ class to look useful in winning that race so hasn't proved much with her win.
    • Which leaves Kate The Great and the Brittain first string Lisburn as the prospects for a bit better (i.e. something much above seller quality in the 'all season' viewpoint). Kate The Great did well to get up to win after running centre track in the straight at Lingfield. Her trainer doesn't prime runners for debut and she should show solid improvement to the second run. On the downside the level of form was low with a seller class filly close up in third. She just beat fellow newcomer Raggle Taggle at Lingfield and that one finished behind Lisburn at Nottingham. However, Raggle Taggle got into several scrapes in that race and was closing down Lisburn quite quickly when switched to the rail late on.
    • The Smart newcomer Spin Cycle is covered in the FTO P&L box below and because B2yoR respects the Sales Reporters' views (he's done a lot of good work for B2yoR over the years and Pride Of Kings saved his job by flunking the Ascot test in midweek) will have to put him down as an unlikely winner here. With a little trepidation because this is a pretty weak Novice, and a remarkably ordinary (that might be overselling it) for one with five winners in it.
    • In summary, oh dear, not what it might have been at all. Kate The Great a bit lower than Lisburn on profile but would be value for a bet if at a longer price than that one. Here's hoping Spin Cycle is no Go Nani Go.
    • The other runner in the Thirsk race is a cheaper newcomer (Lunar Romance) for Tim Pitt who made a big impression while employed for Football agent Willie McKay. Playing by 'Football Rules' though and the first sign of a cold run and you're out. He's now renting space at Tim Fitzgerald's yard and trying to build his own stables up. He didn't have a 2yo debut winner while with Mr McKay but has a close thing with Fast Freddie in March 2006 and McKay's Not My Choice was fourth in the Brocklesby having led the field to the last furlong. So worth noting how that runner goes although he should find even those 5 winners too knowing.
    • At Doncaster Mr Pitt runs the more very slightly mor expensive Jethro Bodine (never miss it) who has a good pedigree to be a nippy early runabout. Assuming Mr Pitt is looking to make an impression with his first two runners (later in the season than his first week runners in 2006-7) we should perhaps assume a forward showing. Lack of bulk and ability is likely to be more of a stopper than lack of readiness.
    • The other better looking newcomer in the field is Go Go Green who has a terrific pedigree to be a solid 2yo. However, he cost 41,000gns as a yearling which adds a positive but then you wonder why he was left unsold at £31,000 as a 2yo (possibly not at a breeze-up sale). But, cheaper 2yos have won on debut this week with Missile Dodger (£15,000) and Langs Lash (also £15,000) to raise questions over whether watching horses 'breeze' before you buy them just gives people more opportunity to get it wrong. And, who is he trained by? Stuart Parr who has replaced Pitt at McKay's kingdom. Watch out for the losing run Mr Parr or it's 'by Mutual Consents', all round.
    • Mr Parr has only run one 2yo with Doncaster Rover showing real promise with a Brocklesby second so we know the trainer can prime them first go. That one has presumably got some form of minor injury or we ought to have seen him again by now.
    • Those two oppose a Kevin Ryan STO runner in Majuba. Mr Ryan used to be a trainer you could spot later winners from how they debuted. The early runners this year have been much more variable and he seemed to be behind schedule and lacked an early win. He's had two debut winners in the last week (Senor Mirasol won at Southwell yesterday) to get him back on track. But, the three STO runner to date haven't really impressed including Count Almaviva's runner-up spot in a weak race behind Polish Pride.
    • This one started in an ordinary Novice race which featured a good pace up front. He lost 3-4 lengths with a wobbly start and but got himself back into the race after halfway. Shortlived effort though and he faded before the final furlong. The Market doesn't tell you much with these early debuts and they all tend to start 3/1 to 7/1 range. Without having seen him he's difficult to weigh up but would seem a sitting target for a better newcomer and Go Go Green might be good enough to fit that profile.
    • A minor side issue in the race is to see how ghastly the debut effort of The Kilkenny Kat might be. Tim Easterby used to be a solid 2yo trainer and while not a real 'FTO' primer they knew what they were doing enough to look after themselves and the better ones could compete. His record overall has declined in recent seasons to below average in most areas and especially so given that figures in the Top 10 of juvenile trainers by number of runners. His 12 debut runners to date have included nine that have recorded a negative rating. Seven have lost ground at the start or had their inexperience noted int he Run Notes, or both. Others have run too freely or have faded badly and been eased. My word, what sort of a natural must Anglezarke be to win her debut outing from a solid contender given all that?

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    [None Today]
    • Finnegan McCool (Goodwood, RM Beckett, All Debuts). Trainer is 2 from 5 with debuts so far plus a second place and two blow-outs. Yesterday's failure at Lingfield was with a runner of a solid profile but ridden by James Doyle when Seb Sanders rode for another trainer in the race. The 16/1 SP told you a lot in that case.
    • The two debut winners have been ridden by Sanders and vied for favouritism. The runner who was short-headed into second was 9/4. The market isn't all seeing though (as Frank Carter of the 'Racing Post' believes) as the other blowout was 7/2.
    • The trainer is 0 from 7 with Goodwood debuts since 2003 but 5 of the 7 have run well and one of those that didn't was Penkenna Princess who proved the best of them in the long term. The three debut runners in 2007 finished 3rd-5th in big fields and only on of them ran subsequently. This runner hasn't found a soft race even with 3 runners (assuming Dream City is a non-runner having participated at Lingfield yesterday) because Icesolator may be useful and the other newcomer has a solid profile. However, he should provide the strongest opposition to the Hannon runner.
    • Spin Cycle (Thirsk, B Smart, March to May). Second runner for trainer after Go Nani Go's FTO win at Musselburgh yesterday. That horse and Able Master were non-runners last Wednesday & Thursday because of Heavy going. This one has a similar profile to Go Nani Go for the most part being an expensive purchase running in the colours of Sheikh Mohammed's son ('son of' is what the 'Bin' means). By first season sire Exceed And Excel who has had a solid place run from his only representative. The dam was a limited runner but has produced a useful 6f winner as a juvenile. The Sales Reporter throws in a niggle though because while liking his attitude he didn't think he was a real 85,000 type and not the better end of ordinary maiden winner. This isn't a strong Novice event despite the five previous winners but he would still have had to improve notably from the sales to win. Possibly also poor value given the compression the win of Go Nani Go is likely to impart to his price.

    ~ DONC 6:15 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    3 MAJUBA [34] - 2 21 1 21 32
    1 GO GO GREEN [32] - 1
    2 JETHRO BODINE [32] - 1 30
    8 TAGULA SUNSET [16] +5 2 1 1 1 23
    5 DAISY MOSES [14] +5 1 30
    7 PAQUERETTZA [12] +5 1
    4 THE KILKENNY KAT [6] - 1 22
    6 EXCITABLE [4] +5 1 20

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    ~ GDWD 5:20 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    2 ICESOLATOR [45] - 2 32 1 32 29
    1 FINNEGAN MCCOOL [38] - 1 26
    3 RIO ROYALE [35] - 1 50
    4 DREAM CITY [22] +5 2 35

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    ~ THSK 2:00 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    3 LISBURN [40] - 2 31 1 31 16
    2 KATE THE GREAT [38] - 2 33 1 33 33
    5 SPIN CYCLE [36] +2 1 29
    1 DISPOL KYLIE [30] - 2 24 1 24 23
    7 LUNAR ROMANCE [29] +7 1 30
    4 POLISH PRIDE [26] - 2 23 1 23 16
    6 FUAIGH MOR [24] +7 2 20 1 20 32

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