The headline for the day is that Saturday sees the start of the 6f races
for juveniles with Haydock staging the first race at that distance. Warwick
splits the difference by running a race over 5 and a half furlongs. With
much of the racing so far having been done on softer going we haven't really
seen a great deal of all out 'speed' 5f races and many of the times have
been slower than a 5.5f race would have been and some, on the stiffer courses
like Beverley, have strayed into 6f time range. Aside from that a 6f race
is a different test of a racehorse because it brings into play the aerobic
metabolic pathway for producing energy in a way that a 5f race may not.
At Ascot the 5f maiden race has a much smaller field than 2007 (Result)
which produced 7 later winners including the Windsor Castle victor (Drawnfromthepast)
and the Coventry Stakes third (Swiss Franc). This year's field of five
looks a bit shorter on quality, as well as numbers, on profile. The obvious
place to start is with the sole filly in the group with Glamorous Spirit.
Yesterday's preview laboured the 'Noseda debut' approach and he didn't
let us down with Mythical Border routing a suspect group having drifted
to 5/1 which looked good before the event and a right royal bargain after
it. He's two from two with 2008 debuts and here he starts out another better
profile type earlier than his usual - he must be ahead of schedule or have
a stable stuffed with talent this year.
Glamorous Spirit was bought for a relatively expensive £105,000 as
a 2yo at Kempton's breeze up sales that has already produced some early
debut winners. She's owned by a partnership called 'The Searchers' for
whom he had debut wins with Fleeting Spirit & Strike The Deal last
year (plus a duff one called Lemon N Sugar who cost $350k just to prove
isn't all just too easy...). This on has a solid 2yo pedigree and is out
of a dam by Air Express who was a loss as a sire when he only had a couple
of small crops before he died (including the useful fillies Airwave &
Presto Vento). The trainer is 1 from 4 with debuts at Ascot (all in July
previously) and the win was by Group 1 winner Carry On Katie while the
other three were average types, at best.
You can't see this one drifting and worth checking what value she is compared
tot he opposition. Terry Mills gets his 2yo wins in the second half of
the season for the most part and the early debuts can be variable. Even
those that place FTO can take a few runs to fulfil the potential. He runs
(yet) another Kempton graduate with the £25,000 Court Approval.
He's only had a couple of 2yo debuts at Ascot before including Pegasus
Again who was narrowly beaten in last year's Chesham Stakes at the Royal
Meeting first up. This one doesn't have that type of profile.
Gerard Butler has had a challenging time recently. 2007 saw his 2yos out
of form and he didn't have a winner before the close of the turf season.
In the past he was a trainer that identified the better 2yos and targeted
their first two outings before they ran. This looked very like the Noseda
approach now with debut winners running in Listed+ races 14-21 days after
the first run and looking like that was always the plan before they ran.
He lost some major owners prior to 2007 and has had to move to new stables in 2008 away from the base at Compton in Oxfordshire owned by Swedish
businessman Erik Penser (Compton & Beauchamp....etc).
If we go back to the 2002-5 period before the changes he was 2 from 5 with
debuts of 2yos in May. Similar to Noseda if they were starting out before
his normal later June period it was because they had shown something to
make it worth running them. So, why is he running Agente Parmigiano?
On pedigree you couldn't get much enthused, the dam was a poor AW maiden
around Southwell for the most part. She was mostly related to maidens &
garbage aside from the the family 'freak' of Ron's Victory. In that context
26,000gns seems a highish price so perhaps he has got some physical presence.
The trainer's three previous Ascot debuts haven't been better types so
an interesting runner but not a Noseda challenger.
Richard Hannon runs Roly Boy who missed his intended debut in the
Newbury conditions race where he would have been second string to the stable's
Sun Ship. The trainer has started 20 juveniles at Ascot in the period 2002-7
with three wins and a profit backing them because they have been in the
8/1 to 10/1 range. On the other hand more than half have not made the first
four in smaller to medium sized fields and, as a group, they are a mixed
bunch. This one also comes from the Kempton sales and cost £57,000
and intermediate between Court Approval & Glamorous Spirit.
The only runner with experience is Dabbers Chief who showed only inexperience
in his first outing in that Newbury race that Roly Boy side-stepped. On
the positive side he looked a good physical type and this sort of race
within his capabilities. However, the stable only had it's first 2yo winner
yesterday when Art Princess scrambled home at Nottingham and the STO runners
have been mixed. Given his moderate first effort you would want an each-way
price to be interested.
In summary, Glamorous Spirit has a good all round profile but the price
is likely to be too short. Court Approval & Roly Boy are unlikely winners
of this type of race which leaves Agente Parmigiano & Dabbers Chief
as the possible alternatives. The first has positives related to the trainer
but the profile is too thin overall. Which leaves Dabbers Chief as the
mot likely winner if the filly fails to come up to the standards of the
trainer's first two newcomers on 2008.
The Warwick race is a lower quality Auction race. Despite
that billing in 2007 (Result)
it produced 9 later winners including the triple winner Spitfire
and the Redcar Trophy winner Dubai Dynamo. You never quite know with these
Auction races, one year they will have a lot of competitive horses despite
the lower sales prices and the next they can be devoid of talent. One of
the non winners in last year's race was the favourite Ben who was
a classic example of a precocious horse who ran in the first race of the
year and didn't have any scope to develop physically. His early season
placed form got read as 'ok' so he starts a short price but he sets a low
standard so keeps on running into horses with more ability starting out
This year's edition looks pretty empty. At the top of the weights you have
Hannon's Buddy Marvelous who was given a rather quiet introductory
effort as second string to the stable's useful Heliodor first time. Given
the 'tender handling' he ran well enough and while no star in Paddock Review
you think he can rate OR65-73. But, he is giving 5lb and upwards to everything
else in the race and you think that something else will come out higher
on profile with the weight concession. But, he's well clear of the others
even given that background. Which means that the field is pretty empty
of obvious talent and last year's winner total isn't going to be matched
Undoubtedly one or two of the cheaper purchases will prove to be usable
and compete well here but they would be difficult to identify without being
at the course. The few who cost a bit more at the sales run for trainers
who don't do strong debut runs so would need to be naturals and a little
above average to compete for the win. Of the cheaper types the filly Baby
Special receiving 12lbs and the colt Creshendo appeal
as likely to make the first 4 to 5 and John Best's Black N Brew
in the same category. Worth also noting that Excellerator has a
solid pedigree in the context of the race but is the first 2yo runner for
his trainer so sits lower than he would in the profile if he were with
a 'known' trainer.
In summary, an uneasy feeling that a horse who finished an uncompetitive
6th on debut sits clear on the profile. If the others really are the mix
of lower quality and/or indifferent debut preparations as per the profile
Buddy Marvelous might well win comfortably while achieving not a right
lot. Difficult to recommend a worthy alternative. Worth a report back form
Paddock Review if one of the others just looks that bit different on the
Look Willoughby, of course size matters. With other things equal the bigger
horse will win most of the time. When a horse surprises you with it's performance
try going to look at it. You won't find that a scrawny rabbit has put up
a good effort you'll almost certainly find the horse doesn't look like
an OR50 type (or whatever) in it's appearance. If it is a scrawny rabbit
then doubt the quality of the form because the horse is telling you it
didn't run that quickly.
Thursday brought a good example with Amosite running a close second
at 40/1 on her fourth run and it took the evens favourite most of the race
to close her down have granted her an easy lead. Amosite was in first time
blinkers which no doubt aided her improved showing but try looking at this
her. She's a tall girl by precocious 2yo standards and well enough built.
She'd have been the biggest in that field at Nottingham even though favourite
Art Princess is a solid size. Turn up on the course and just back the biggest
and you would wonder where the 50s and 40s came from.
Which brings us to the Haydock 6f maiden field. If you look at the
Virtual Paddock for this race below you will see three horses. The first
is the filly Danidh Dubai who was a long price and ran poorly at
Newmarket behind Art Princess. On Paddock Review she scored a positive
for size, strength, etc and the problem looked to be more on the mental
side. Too wound up and also in moderate condition coatwise etc. In early
season a number of the Channon horses looked like this (all ages) but seem
to have got past that now and he had a 2yo winner with a filly who faded
badly FTO and looked similarly short of condition. Give that positive she
comes out joint top on profile and a much better showing should be expected
The second picture shows the colt Old Father Zieten who is a different
physical type to the filly. He's smaller and more compact and lacking her
quality and also some range in movement. On the positive side he's neatly
made and in proportion (typical of a Tom Dascombe purchase) and a usable
2yo. He was too daft at Brighton to show his real ability but kept on well
late on. He's another who should show up well here but his lack of size
and quality means that the bigger ones in the field should have a bit too
much quality for him.
The third picture in the VP is of Alan Jarvis' Fasalee who has been
highlighted here before. Jarvis buys taller horses and prefers range in
movement to pure bulk (unlike Hannon and Meehan for example). As a trainer
he doesn't turn out competent professionals FTO and Fasalee was at the
wilder end on his first racecourse effort and showed little. But, he's
in the 'Amosite' file because he's big enough and with enough athleticism
to be better than his debut suggested. Another duff effort here might be
followed by a 33/1 third somewhere because his form will read badly but
he's still a usable horse at his level, if a bit gawky and narrow to add
to the wilfulness.
The Haydock race sees a number of interesting newcomers and in particular
Scrapper Smith. A mostly positive story in profile and his trainer
has a good record of getting debut wins with the right material. Interesting
to note that he is by the sire Choisir who can get heavily built 2yos and
they often need the first run to develop from. On TV pictures alone the
Kevin Ryan 2yo Coleorton Choice (by Choisir) looked 'fat' for debut and
could be crossed of the potential winner list. Assuming Scrapper Smith
is at the more immediately mobile end of the sire's progeny the trainer's
preparation should see him compete for the win here.
Sweet Smile is covered in the FTO P&L box below. Seaway
is John Gosden's second debut of the season and regular readers will know
that B2yoR can find assessing his newcomers tricky. Just when you've been
lulled into ignoring them up one pops at a longer SP. In general the debut
winners tends to be the higher class types though and that means they are
often for Princess Haya because he trains a lot of luxury horses for her.
This one cost 160,000gns at the Doncaster St Leger Sales and high for that
venue. The sales report colourfully notes that the room filled (with bidders
and the interested bywatchers) when this one was offered and the likes
of John Fretwell also bid. Bidding against the Maktoum family is a tough
shift though. The report quite liked this one and a certain maiden winner
but not obviously the superior type that would win FTO for these connections.
In summary, and interesting profile with Danidh Dubai and Scrapper
Smith likely to be at longer SPs despite their top-of-the-profile billing.
Seaway likely to be poorer value and there ought to be more physical boot
on show to prevent Old Father Zieten from winning. Oh, and what's that
big, leggy, thing hanging all over the place but still 'on the premises',
might be Fasalee if he ever calms down.