Some unusual results on Sunday with winners at 20/1, 10/1 and 4/1 (3rd
favourite of 4) and some explanations required. The overall results weren't
quite as wild as the one of the bottom two on profile winning each race
might make them sound. But, things happen for a reason and you can usually
learn something useful if you try looking for those reasons. So, the Tuesday
preview (only a single moderate Catterick race on the day) will cover the
Newmarket maiden in detail (a very good group for a seven runner field)
and some thoughts on the Salisbury and Hamilton races.
Before that some pointers on the Bank Holiday Monday races. The Newcastle
race has cut up to just five declarations and one of those (Blow Your Mind)
is also declared at Catterick on Tuesday so may not run. The outline of
the race is covered in the FTO P&L box below.
The Kempton Class 4 maiden looks a solid one in profile. Flashmans
Papers made a very good impression in Paddock Review on debut and ran
a good race to finish behind two above average 2yos. In an ideal world
he'd be a little bigger and he has a moderate draw in 1 but should compete
strongly for the win. Shampagne hasn't been seen in paddock review
and appeared to make a good debut at Nottingham. However, the filly that
beat him was comfortably beaten at Salisbury yesterday to raise some doubt
over the form. On the positive side his trainer's early 2yos have shown
some progress to STO runs so far in 2008.
Imperial Skylight's form doesn't stand up to closer inspection and
the 1st, 3rd, 5th & 6th from his Bath 4th have been beaten in various
grades since (the 6th in claimers). Premier Krug ran poorly FTO
in a weak looking Warwick event for fillies' FTO but was never put into
the race properly. She should show up better here but lack the class to
compete for the win.
Which means that stronger alternatives to the firs two on profile should
come from the newcomers. Richard Hannon runs the expensively purchased
Indian Art and he has said he would expect him "..to go close on debut".
Richard Hughes is at Windsor and rides Robin The Till on debut there
who seems to be in a more winnable race. Typically the trainers 2yos will
need to be Listed class or above to win a normal race first time. The Sales
Report suggested he would be a little short of that and he has two solid
rivals to beat here.
Simon Callaghan's first 2yo runner with Cool Art yesterday didn't look
particularly ready to compete FTO and his father was like Hannon in needing
high class material to get debut winners for the most part. He runs an
owner bred by the new sire One Cool Cat (as is Cool Art) with Elusive
Ronnie. Until we learn more about the trainer we should probably be
safe in assuming another middling debut.
The other debut runner with some prospects is Andrew Balding's The Desert
Saint. The trainer does get the odd debut winners but later May has
been the earliest to expect these. He provided the 20/1 upset when his
first 2yo debut this year (Foundation Room) won the Salisbury conditions
race yesterday. That just isn't usual and there needs to be some explanation
for that. That filly might be very useful but she cost 7,000gns at the
sales and looked a lightly built and ready type, at best, on TV pictures.
She presumably found a weak version of that Salisbury affair to win and
the pacemakers probably went too hard to set themselves up. April Pride
is presumably not the class of Hannon's recent winners of the race on the
evidence on display.
Whatever, Balding doesn't go in for lots of strong debuts like a David
Evans and after that debut win The Desert Saint will be at a shorter price
than he ought to be. With a record of 3 season winners from 12 juveniles
that started out in May in 2005-7 its 3/1 against that The Desert Saint
will be a winner this year, let alone in this race.
In summary, Flashmans Papers looked a strong STO prospect on the review
and circumstances of his debut and should prove that here.
The Windsor race is likely to be missing Joe Caster who would
have been poor value to hold off a better newcomer anyway. Kyllorien
was a big negative in paddock review FTO and shouldn't be up to beating
colts here. Robin The Till comes out top on profile because he has
above average prospects to be a better debut for the trainer.
Amanda Perrett runs Inside Knowledge for owner breeder Khalid Abdulla
and is the third runner of the season. She has a below average FTO strike
rate and especially so given the quality of the 2yos she has. Her first
two runners have been typical in that they have looked good types without
being ready enough to compete for the win. This one ought to be the same
although there is one interesting wrinkle.
The two debut winners she got in 2007 were both for this owner and both
were with larger, grey sons of the sire Mizzen Mast who raced for the owner.
You could add in Cruel Sea as another juvenile debut winner for the sire
in 2007 to make it 3 from 9 with another two placed. It's possible the
sire gets buzzy types that show up well FTO and sometimes don't progress.
If you were at the course worth checking what Inside Knowledge looks like.
Trainer Roger Charlton has his first runner of the year with Fault
for owner John Livock who must be due to run out of tennis related names
at some point (Third Set, Ball Boy, Top Seed, etc.). 'Fault' is pretty
lame you could say. Anyway, this is an early start for the trainer and
normally he begins with a 'sighter' in late May. This is often a usable
but limited type or a nursery development project. You would have to say
that Fault looks better than that on pedigree and sales price and
raises the issue that this might be a better one running because he got
some real ability. The trainer did use to get debut winners and double
figure strike rates were not uncommon. In the last two years the record
is a single FTO success from 64 goes.
In summary, Robin The Till is taken to be a better debut and may
be better value than Fault unless the Hannon money is on early. If Inside
Knowledge is one of those big, fiery sons of Mizzen Mast that are best
FTO he wouldn't be a total surprise to provide the Perrett debut winner
for the year.
The Warwick fillies race feature a small, precocious type with form
who you suspect is vulnerable to a newcomer. Raggle Taggle was caught on
the line by Kate The Great on first time but that one did nothing to promote
the form in a minor novice event at the weekend. The runners behind in
that Lingfield opener have proved even more limited. She was unlucky again
not to go close to winning at Nottingham STO but that probably amounts
to similar form to her debut. She was beaten by Lisburn who battled with
Kate The Great for third at Thirsk in that weekend novice. Close up at
Nottingham was the limited Kingswinford to knock a bit more lustre off
the deal. Harwalla in second was on debut and improved to STO and the Nottingham
race looks over-rated.
The upshot is that a solid newcomer may have too much zip for Raggle Taggle
who is likely to be at a poor value price anyway. Two of the newcomers
are covered in the FTO P&L box. Mick Channon has made a slow start
to the season but the on-course signs over the last week is that the horses
are coming to proper condition and he had his first 2yo winner with Moss
Likely last week. In that context Kerrys Requiem should provide
a placed debut here at least.
Hannon runs the expensively purchased Verlegen and she is a half
sister to Rag Top who won the 2002 edition of this race for the trainer
on her debut. That filly won a Group 3 race at 2yo to again make the point
about the type of quality often needed for his horses to win FTO. She's
drawn widest in 12 and would have to be high class to compete for the win.
Also worth mentioning Johnny Portman's Accede given that his two
runners to date have won at 33/1 FTO and the other was 4th of 16 at 16/1.
Perhaps he has his early runners more forward now than was typical in recent