The Yarmouth maiden is over 6f and features what appears to be a
solid favourite, unlike the recent examples of Rayvin Mad (3rd at 4/5f),
Senatorial (5th at 9/4) or even Art Princess (scrambled home over 5.1f
at evens and wouldn't have won at 5f). Cool Art was chosen by his
new trainer to represent him in the maiden at Newmarket on 1,000 Guineas
day. He cost a lot of money and runs for an important owner - M. Green
- and you would presume he wouldn't peak a duff one for that race.
On the day he presented in Paddock Review as a good type but not ready
to show his best first time. Too immature mentally and added to that a
lack of tightness and higher level condition generally. In that context
it was a little surprising to see him backed on the day to compete for
second favouritism behind two runners with solid debut runs in place. The
race was run at just a medium pace and developed into a later race speed
test given the quality of horse in the group. He was fifth at halfway and
didn't manage to make much progress in the sprint with the taking winner
(Finjaan) getting from 6th behind him to win and the outclassed You Avin
A Laugh faded behind him having tried to mix it with the 'big lads' early
in the race.
He steps up to 6f pretty much at the earliest opportunity (Yarmouth is
much closer than the trainer shipping him up to Haydock last Saturday)
and dropped to what ought to be a winnable race. His Paddock Review report
lifts him out of the 'opposable' category and so long as the debut has
brought him forward, mentally and in condition, you would like to see him
win a little comfortably here. He's aided in his convert-second-time bid
by having just an ordinary group to oppose him unless one of Kings Troop
or Shaweel is notably better in reality than they look in profile.
Mymateeric was supported on debut in a Class 4 at Pontefract run
on heavy ground. That race often features a good group of Northern juveniles
but looked thin on quality this year, especially with Art Princess &
Go Nani Go (both winners since), bypassing the race because of the slop.
He raced in the centre of the course throughout and after being close to
the pace at halfway faded notably. The trainer usually stats his most competitive
2yo either first or second runner each season and they often compete well
FTO. It's possible better was expected of this one and he will run better
here on faster ground. Even so he doesn't have the profile (which includes
a below average Sales Report) to be up to Cool Art's standard.
Henry Cecil has his first runner of the year with the cheap (by his standards)
purchase Kings Troop. This is a normal time for him to start the
odd precocious one out these days and the earlier debuts will include most
of the season's winners at less than 8f. Try looking at this 'FRAG'
file for his debuts in 2007 which is ordered by date. The horses names
on the left are colour coded as Green = Season Winner (dark green is Debut
Winner); Amber = placed during the season; Red = unplaced all starts; White
= Only ran once. The listing also gives information such as the debut estimate
and the final column is the percentage of the best estimate that the horse
ran to on it's debut.
So, the first 9 debuts contained 6 winners plus 3 that placed (two placed
on all outings). It's also possible to quite easily see that the later
season debuts, say after mid August in 2007, were mostly developments types
just having a potter round at 2yo to give them something to think about.
Plus a few hopeless cases, of course. The two later season debuts who won
during the season (Tomintoul Flyer & Twice Over) both made their debuts
over 8f and both won over 10f as juveniles to give you an idea how the
trainer's mind was working. More staying & development types (unlike
the 5-7f ones) = start them later and step them up to win. Both seemed
to surprise him a little given that Tomintoul Flyer proved a good 10f winner
but was only 12/1 on debut and Twice Over has gone back to 8f after the
10f win at 2yo and isn't necessarily seen as a Derby runner.
The other point to note is that the high class Twice Over was his only
debut winner and his only others in the last three years have been with
the useful Star Cluster and a late season accident at Wolverhampton with
Phoenix Tower who has proved quite good. This is a good point to consider
how trainers change their approach over time. Go back to 1996 and Cecil's
record with debut runners was 14 from 37 and pushing towards 40%. That's
aided by a lot of quality, of course, but also shows how his debut runners
then were ready to win. Even in his decline period he was still showing
9 from 26 (36%) debut successes in 1999 and 4 from 15 (27%) in 2002. My,
how the 'Market' used to over-react to anything he ran back then. But,
as well as not having the range of quality he used to, he doesn't prime
his horses in the same way for debut. He's a little below average now and
it's the very best types that tend to win FTO in middling races.
Which means that Kings Troop ought to be a usable 2yo who will find his
win but would need Cool Art to lose a wheel in some form to contrive a
victory although a competent effort should be expected.
Mark Johnston hasn't had a 2yo winner yet and the debut runs have been
a bit variable. Shaweel is an expensive purchase for the Maktoum's
with a thin pedigree on the dam's side. She cost a lot of money herself
as a yearling but wasn't very good, quite poor as a runner, and got sold
off for 10,000 & 5,000 guineas as a broodmare as she descended the
ladder. But, she's back and the person who bought her for 5,000 has a good
return because the first foal has sold for 120,000 and a good profit (minus
Dansili's covering fee and other costs). The extended got a bit of a boost
last year with a half sister to the dam producing good 2yo Nijoom Dubai
but that it so 'distant' in genetic terms as to be irrelevant (in reality
and not in perception, and therefore desirability, terms) to Shaweel. But,
we ought to think the sales cost had a lot to do with physical presence
In recent seasons the trainer only gets odd debut winners before Royal
Ascot and most often in two types. The first is occasional precocious types
who can win over 5f. The second is targeted win over 6f in mid-May (as
we are coming to now) with a better type. Shaweel is for a typical owner
for that targeted win but the Race he usually targets is the 6f
maiden which will be run at Ripon on Sunday (18th May). The ones he runs
at the upcoming York meeting are often useful but often blow out at the
meeting. So, Shaweel might be a better one but you would perhaps think
he would be at York or Ripon if he were near the top of the quality he
has for the owner. Even the recent better ones have usually needed Ripon
to win first try.
The other two runners Yokozuna & Olaudah Equinao both
seem likely to be average types and not up to winning on debut. Mark Tompkins
who trains the second of those hasn had only one debut winner in 2002-7
with Babodana back in 2002. Ed Dunlop gets a few more but isn't a FTO target
In summary, a solid favourite this time on profile and not one to oppose
lightly. Interest in Kings Troop & Shaweel for the level they can reach
but wouldn't beat a full force Cool Art on debut. Mymateeric ought to be
better than he showed at Pontefract but that would leave him competing
for a surprise place depending on the readiness & quality of the tow
best profiled newcomers.