British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - May 4th 
Races :-
  • 54: Hamilton 2:20, 5f Auction (5)
  • 55: Newmarket 4:30, 5f Maiden (2)
  • 56: Salisbury 3:05, 5f Fillies' Conditions (3)

  •   May 4th Summary : 
    • Traditionally a tough maiden at Newmarket on Sunday and one that used to be on the 2,000 Guineas day. A mixed record among the recent winners with only Sonny Red winning above conditions level as a 2yo. That doesn't tell the whole story though because the placed horses have included some better ones. In 2005 the horse running third on debut was George Washington behind two just useful newcomers. In 2002 the newcomer in second on debut was Checkit who won at Group 2 level in Germany as a juvenile and is still running in Dubai. In 2001 the Hannon horse in second was Sonny Red's father in Redback (Listed race winner and Italian Group 3 success at 2yo). He struggled to win at 5f and when he did manage it became his sire's (Mark Of Esteem) only 2yo 5f winner to date.
    • This year's smallish field looks to hold some good prospects for the season. The conditions race at the course in April has been covered in detail in the previews and the 9th from that race - Icesolator - added a win yesterday after three defeats for runners from the race previously. Ouqba looked the first string of his trainer's three runners in that Newmarket race in an event where he has started various Group winners out in recent years. He ran a race of real promise in making good progress on more than one occasion as he got blocked in. He seemed to show some ability to quicken and Mr Hills choice to bring him here is probably a good sign (he did run the ordinary Laith for the same owner in it in 2005 though). But, a good prospect who is going to set a stiff standard here and ought to be better than a 'Brenin Taran' in Paddock Review.
    • The maidens at Windsor this year have been solid quality and Hannon's Heliodor was given a hold up ride behind the solid filly Miss Chamanda. Six lengths off the leader at halfway he finished strongly up the stands' rail as the rest of the field hung away from it late on. Jockey Richard Hughes tends to ride the stable's better types close to the pace on their debuts to get them involved (Rebecca De Winter was another example earlier this week) but seemed confident in this one.
    • The 'Racing Post' ran a 'Stable Tour' piece with Hannon this week and in 2yo terms it was a disappointment. Here's a trainer who will run 100+ juveniles this year and has a good idea about the ability of a lot of them already. Only 14 got a mention so you would presume they include a lot of the better ones but most of those that have run weren't covered. Heliodor was an exception and got a strong positive from the trainer with the view that they would hope he would be up to running well in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. As with Barry Hills the fact that the trainer runs him here following in the line of Redback, Tizzy May & Sonny Red suggests he is high up in their team of horses.
    • Paul Cole doesn't run horses on debut at Newmarket's Rowley Mile course much and it has decreased in recent seasons. The total since 2002 is 17 of which 4 won and 7 finished 2nd (i.e. 11 of the 17 made the first two). His last six debuts have brought three wins (including the good types Luck Money & Governor Eliot in 2007) and three seconds. His better horses are usually primed to compete well FTO. Which means that Desire To Excel wouldn't just be here for a day out. At 150,000gns he was expensive for a son of Desert Style and comes from a well related female line. Add in the same major owner as Cole won on a debut race for with Strategic Prince (another 150,000gns purchase) and you wouldn't be surprised is he cam with a strongish 'word' for him.
    • Add in a 100,000gns son of One Cool Cat (Cool Art) for new trainer Simon Callaghan and a $165,000 purchase by Dixieland Band for Amanda Perrett. Callaghan's father only used to win debut races with his Group class horses and the son may be the same - this will be a chance to learn whether he has changed anything. Perrett, as detailed in yesterday's preview, starts out 2-3 of her best 2yos as her first to run and this one will be the second out following Rio Royale's solid enough effort in a 3-runner race yesterday. 
    • Finjaan is presumably the Hamdan Al Maktoum second string to Ouqba and has a less strong pedigree. His trainer - Marcus Tregoning - used to be a regular in producing debut winners but has changed his approach and they are now rare (down from a remarkable 25% in 2003 to 0% last year to highlight the point). The early runners last year for the trainer were all usable 2yos with four of the five who started out in May winning during the season and the other only ran once. They included his best 2yo - Il Warrd - who finished 6th in big field FTO along with just ordinary maiden winners.
    • In summary, a strong race in profile and the two with previous runs both appeal as the types to improve greatly from debut to set a strong standard and a difficult choice between them. Preference would be for Ouqba before the Paddock Review. Of the newcomers only a 'Luck Money' style kick-off from Cole's Desire To Excel would seem likely to approach the required level unless Cool Art is another Excellent Art which isn't that likely given how rare that sort of ability is.
    • The Salisbury fillies' conditions event should come down to a race between the three previous winners. Blushing Maid looked limited on her debut and the newcomers seem lesser types 'trying it on' in a weaker conditions race rather than better types on profile unless August Days is any good.
    • Richard Hannon wins the race regularly and normally runs close to his best early filly and one that will go on to run in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. He usually brings the class to the race to trump the more typical early winning runarounds for whom this is their best level. His last four winners have all been declared for the Queen Mary although Vermilliann was withdrawn on the day. Gilded won a weak version of the Ascot race while Cake was 5th and Presto Vento 6th in big fields.
    • He's had two debut winners with fillies this year so the choice was presumably between Doughnut & April Pride to run here. The vibes weren't that they thought April Pride that useful after her Bath win and the form looks a bit limp now following the later performances of Kingswinford, Lagan Handout & Dazzling Dust who weren't that far behind her. She's ridden by a 5lb apprentice as well which is untypical for the yard. The better types have usually ended up short priced favourites on known ability and it will be interesting to see whether the market is less 'sure' that April Pride is a good one.
    • She has a couple of solid opponents of the 'early' type to take her on and if she isn't a better type it will be a close choice between the three. Calypso Girl improved notably from debut to win well STO and her trainer has had more winning fillies than Hannon to date. He's likely to run the speedy She's A Shaw Thing in the Lily Agnes at Chester on Wednesday and Miss Chamanda is possibly the best of them in the longer term. Mr Evans has a good record of getting second wins for this type of filly and if the Hannon girl is just ordinary she appeals as the best alternative.
    • Bill Turner has won the race twice in the last 10 years and regularly has a runner with the best of his early fillies. Sallys Dilemma  won the first race of the season before looking a little uncomfortable on wet going at Nottingham next time. She was also put under more pace pressure by She's A Shaw Thing than she had been on debut.
    • In summary, the usual call in this race is to go with the better Hannon filly when she's there and nothing much goes wrong with that choice. April Pride has some holes in her cloak and may not be the full 'Presto Vento' type. The 'Market' may actually be some help because she'll be favourite at 6/4 or under if she's good rather than just the 'best they have available'. David Evans has already shown what he can do in souping up these fillies in early season and Calypso Girl looks the soundest alternative,

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    • August Days (RM Beckett, All). Trainer 2 from 5 to Friday 2nd and a small profit. Only one debut in a Conditions race from 2003 to 2007 with season maiden Don Peter well beaten in the Brocklesby of 2005. Three from eight in all conditions runs in that period with previous winners and better types successful at shorter odds (6/4 to 100/30).
    • This fillies' race often has a pretty mixed field with a good deal of below average types. A good number of these tend to be owner breds of some type trying to get a place in a 'Conditions' race on the cheap that will read well in the Sales Catalogues when they breed from them later. August Days was retained at the sales by her breeder for 19,000gns and, on balance, seems more likely to be a try-on than a better debut. The race features three solid winners of early season models and these usually provide the victress. Newcomers have a poor winning record despite the weight allowance they receive.

    ~ HTON 2:20 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    1 RUSSET REWARD [34] - 2 22 1 22 27
    2 METROLAND [32] +2 1 32
    3 WHERE'S REILEY [24] +2 1 32
    4 VERONICAS BOY [18] +3 2 7 1 7 34

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    ~ NMKT 4:30 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    6 OUQBA [58] - 2 40 1 40 39
    4 HELIODOR [56] - 2 40 1 40 29
    2 DESIRE TO EXCEL [50] - 1 30
    1 COOL ART [42] - 1
    5 JAZACOSTA [40] - 1 50
    3 FINJAAN [34] - 1 35
    7 YOU AVIN A LAUGH [14] - 1

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    ~ SALS 3:05 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    1 APRIL PRIDE [45] - 2 36 1 36 29
    2 CALYPSO GIRL [42] - 3 38 2 -2 21
    3 SALLY'S DILEMMA [40] - 3 35 2 30 11
    6 FLAWLESS DIAMOND [32] +6 1 30
    5 AUGUST DAYS [29] +6 1 26
    7 FOUNDATION ROOM [28] +6 1 37
    4 BLUSHING MAID [18] +3 2 9 1 9

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