The Hamilton race is dealt with at some length in the FTO P&L
box below. The fillies' maiden at Nottingham has been won by some
above average 2yos in recent seasons including a wide margin success for
later Group 2 winner Wunders Dream in 2002. The last two winners have been
at 28/1 (average nursery type) and 33/1 for a draw assisted win for a below
average type. She was one of two to stay stands' side and the entire field
only produced a single later winner.
This year's race looks to have more depth and an obvious favourite in Art
Princess. Yesterday saw another defeat for a runner from the Conditions
race run at the Newmarket Craven meeting (trained by Barry Hills as is
this filly). The fillies' maiden at the meeting was run in a slower time
than that race and developed into a 2f sprint at the end of the race. In
that context Art Princess ran quite well to get to second from midfield
with a clear run in mid track. However, as the Conditions race has shown,
going from a Newmarket race to a maiden at a lesser track isn't a easy
meal ticket and not at this time of the season when a number of competent
2yos from major stables are being revealed.
In short, Art Princess is going to be poor value and has to improve markedly
on what she did at Newmarket to win. The trainer hasn't had a 2yo winner
yet and she didn't convince as a real 5f type in Paddock Review. If she's
come on well physically since Newmarket she might win well but doesn't
appeal as a strong favourite. [As an aside the winner of the moderate Catterick
race on Tuesday showed what sort of development runners can make from FTO
to STO at times. This was him on debut (Picture)
at Southwell when he looked scrawny and underpowered and, while fit, not
thriving. At Catterick a month later and he'd filled out and looked a different
horse - Picture.]
Of the opposition those that have run before include Readily &
Voulezvous who both appeared to show minor promise on debut. In retrospect
her 30 rating for her debut run is probably a bit high and she didn't look
up to average level in paddock review. Voulezvous showed good pace and
on softer ground and travelled close to best in her debut race here. She
faded from still being third a furlong out and if she can finish the race
off is a better prospect than Readily. But neither of those strongly appeal
as likely to improve past Art Princess. As covered in the FTO box below
the debut filly for Kevin Ryan - Undaunted Affair gets closest.
Of the other newcomers there is a first 2yo runner for John Gosden but
his debut runners only tend to win if they are superior. This one has a
profile as an ordinary maiden type and should need the debut to develop
from. Brian Meehan gets rare debut winners and hasn't had a winner yet
this year with a 2yo. He runs the expensive purchase Misty Glade who
looked more of a 'pedigree' than a physical prospect buy at the sales.
The trainer does get odd debut winners around this period but they tend
to be Group class types if they manage it. Very unlikely Misty Glade is
anywhere near that on the evidence.
In summary, a race where the long term view would see you trying
to find an alternative to Art Princess on course because she is likely
to be poor value. If the newcomers show as limited then she might be value
but Kevin Ryan is still in the period where his strong debuts are included
and Undaunted Affair has a solid profile to be the better end of his range.
A similar setup at Lingfield where Rayvin Mad tries to win
3TO. He was one of the 'failures' from the Newmarket conditions race when
beaten by Waffle last time. It's probable that Waffle is pretty good but
the form wasn't that strong at Leicester last time. The third (Johnmanderville)
was beaten much further by newcomer Deadly Encounter this week for example.
Fortunately for Rayvin Mad he only cost 20,000gns as a yearling so gets
into a limited quality auction race as joint topweight. He's looked small
and lacked a strong finish in his two runs so backing him, again at likely
compressed odds, is going to be a fraught business as he soldiers home
in the last furlong.
Those that have run don't look strong and it's time Tim Easterby showed
us his 'STO winner' and Mullglen showed just enough FTO to believe
he will improve markedly here. The best of the newcomers looks to be a
choice between Ryan's Coleorton Choice and Bryan Smart's Able
Master as detailed below.
In short, similar to Nottingham in a somewhat suspect type with
'Newmarket Form' attached likely to be a shortish favourite and opposable
with the right material. That looks to rest with the newcomers but an each-way
punt on Mullglen should be interesting.
At Lingfield it is the turf course rather than the AW. As a reminder
there is a 'Magic Carpet' next to the rail in the last two furlongs which
is especially pronounced on firmer going. If you see a horse switched to
race centre track to make it's challenge you can lay it in running all
you like. Horses can make ground together up that rail like racing cyclists
in a pursuit formation (and pull wide off the front and you disappear to
the back like those riders do). If a horse manages to make some ground
up the centre then you can mark it up.
As the Virtual Paddock shows most of those with previous runs have been
paddock reviewed but none were that likeable and none on the 'To Follow'
list. Proper Tool was seen as of minor interest but likely to need
development runs. Sonhador looked ready to compete at Folkestone
on debut where he was a mild third and looked an OR 60s type. There seemed
to be some expectation of better from Striding Edge at Windsor but
he didn't show much in the race and looked a limited physical type.
Which means the real interest for the race is in the newcomers and there
are a couple of good ones with Jeremy Noseda's Mythical Border &
Jamie Osborne's Mean Mr Mustard. The contrasting records of the
trainers is a good point to cover the 'Update Tables' at the top of the
individuals season pages for each trainer (and sire). A number of trainers
appear ahead of schedule despite the cold spring (Andrew Balding has started
quicker than usual for example) and this is Noseda's second runner when
didn't have a runner until May 19th last year. When he runs 2yos before
his normal start period these days it usually means they are pretty good
and can compete well FTO. His first runner this year won comfortably when
Waffle beat Rayvin Mad.
As a bit of a heads up for the coming few weeks this is what last year's
Trainer Review noted about Mr Noseda's approach :-
Looking at Mr Noseda's recent record in the late May to early June period
in 2005-6 these are the horses he has run on debut were :-
2005 = Hill Of Grace (maiden winner), Vague (Group placed), In The Fashion
(4th at Royal Ascot, maiden winner), La Chunga (Albany winner), New Art
2006 = Sander Camillo (Albany and Cherry Hinton victress), Kalgoorlie
(4th at Royal Ascot, maiden winner), Simply Perfect (Group 1 winner), Minaash
La Chunga and Sander Camillo were both expensive 2yo Breeze-up sales
purchases in the US that ran for owner R. Ogden. At the start of equivalent
period in 2007 we had Baffled (expensive US yearling purchase for owner
T Ludt) winning as at a short price on debut before running third in the
Albany. On June 6th he ran three horses on debut including one in each
division of a Nottingham 5f fillies' maiden. In the first division Francesca
D'Giorgio (this year's best, expensive, US sales 2yo purchase for R. Ogden)
who drifted in the market and gave a splendidly inept performance. She
went on to prove that wrong with a fourth in the Queen Mary and ironing
out a big field to win her maiden. The second division at Nottingham went
to his other debut filly in Fleeting Spirit who went on to win two Group
races and place in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.
Right at the end of the period the colt Strike The Deal won on debut
before going to Royal Ascot shortly afterwards to finish fifth in the Norfolk
Stakes. He also won at Group 2 level before placing in the Group 1 (in
name anyway) Middle Park Stakes. If only all trainers would package up
their best 2yos and start them out at such a predictable time of the season.
In 2008 start checking the declarations from late May through to early
June and get to the course to see his debut runners if you can.
So, we are at the start of his 'Better horse kick-off' period if he is
ahead os schedule and, anyway, his selected earlier runners are usually
maiden winners at least. Mythical Border comes with the right paperwork
in that she's an expensively purchased filly bought at the US 2yo breeze
up sales (like La Chunga, Sander Camillo, Baffled, etc). If she's knowing
enough she has a soft race to win and is well drawn in 9 of 11. His debut
runners can throw in clunkers and William Buick riding is a bit of a surprise
even if he is seen as the deluxe end of the '3lb claimer' list. But, you
kind of hope she's the real thing and shows it here.
Jamie Osborne is at the other end of the 'schedule'. By this point last
year he had 4 winners of six races and a 50%+ strike rate. He's actually
run more horse this year so far but with no win and some pretty disappointing
STO efforts. He must have some better horses to show us and this one cost
£50,000 at the Kempton breeze ups and we have already seen cheaper
buys from that sale compete well. He's poorly drawn in 1 and the trainer
doesn't target debut wins as such but he should compete well enough in
this weaker race amongst those with experience.