So what did the Paddock Review show at Windsor on Monday night? The 5f
maiden looked a to be a four-way contest at the top of the profile between
two smaller types with two previous runs (Court Approval & Red Rossini)
and two newcomers (Art Correspondent & Zelos Girl) who could reach
their likely level on debut. Those four padded out the first four places
and the PR report before the race hinted at the problems with the newcomers.
Zelos Girl was a negative in Review on simple physical type grounds - Picture.
Smallish, narrow through the body and lesser power. Very fit and well prepared
for debut but a lesser type than Red Rossini and without his experience.
In the context of how she presented before the race she ran very well to
be third but that helps to put the quality of the race in context. She's
an OR70ish filly at heart and, if pushed, you'd say she belongs just beneath
that level rather than above it. An athletic mover with good diamond shaped
geometry in front which enables her to get to the 70 level, at earlyish
2yo time, despite lacking the normal power. She's got a '3' next to her
name but hasn't got any real scope to improve from what she showed and
it wouldn't be a surprise to see her struggling in average maidens. The
'placer' type whose form apparently tails off when actually they are just
getting less competitive as the season progresses and are still running
to a similar level.
Art Correspondent is a more taking type - Picture
- and his 65,000gns tag came about because he breezed well at the 2yos
sales in the spring. He's a flashy, lighter chestnut, 'Little Choisir'
of the Group Therapy/Fat Boy type. Quite compact (some would term this
short-backed) in body lenth and deep chested and quite powerful in front.
His lack of length is a slight niggle and he really needs to be a sprinter
on his set up. He's not as powerful behind as you would like. He didn't
looked mentally tuned up for the day although he was fit enough to compete
if sharp enough (trainer Gary Moore gets his older horses looking fitter
than practically any other handler). He looks a later 70s into the lower
80s OR type and went in to 5/2 fav.
So, with Zelos Girl a negative and Art Correspondent having niggles and
no value as favourite it was time to look at those with form. The Terry
Mills' record with turning places and mild promise into form is not a strong
point so you side with Red Rossini (with a slightly heavy heart because
you don't like backing small ones - Picture
- but one the plus side he is very well turned out for the race and he
is going to be as good as he can be today. On the plus side he doesn't
have anything much to beat if Art Correspondent doesn't snap to and get
In the race Red Rossini got a typical Hughes ride to get him across to
the advantageous stands' rails and held off Court Approval (faded late)
and the very tenacious Zelos Girl. Art Correspondent was too slow mentally
and plugged on late for a distant 4th. The result makes sense in that the
limited Red Rossini beat a small filly and both were close to their best.
Court Approval struggles to win and places again because his size limited
him and he's another OR73ish type who will be below that level by this
time next year and they struggle to win open maidens. And Hannon is plain
better than Mills when you put similar material against each other. Sawp
the two horses over to the other stable and Court Approval would probably
have won this. The best type never got involved because he was too laid
back and that showed to some extent.
A couple of other points from the race. Kayceebee (Picture)
would actually compete with Art Correspondent for being the best type,
and the most powerful horse in the group. He had come on notably in fitness,
condition and maturity terms from his 'lost' debut at the course. He finished
5th in a best-of-the-rest position but ran better than that. A tardy pick-up
saw him lose a couple of lengths and then he was bustled up to make progress
to attend the pace through mid-race. He was with the leading three until
a later race fade saw him drop back to the pack. As with the stable's Finnegan
McCool who took two runs to get organised before winning 3TO he looks to
be better than he looks if you jsut read his form.
At the other end of the scale the second Hannon runner looked very limited
with the lightweight filly My Dixie Darling who is seller bound. Try looking
at these two pictures of her - Left
- and see what you think. In the seonc of the pictures, with the handler
nearer the camera, it's easy to see this is a duff one. In the first picture
with no reference items like a human in the nearground she looks better.
With more pictures this year witht he handler on the far side, away from
the camera, this is an effect to keep in mind.
In summary, it looked a low quality open maiden and the fron three OR68-74
types and not with much scope. Art Correspondent & Kayceebee are bigger,
more powerful, types and of interest in their future runs and could rate
higher than the front three in time. The time for the race was a fastish
sounding 59.93 given the 'Good' ground but an OR62 rated older handicapper
did 59.56 later on the card so it was Good-to-Firm at least. If you assume
the older handicapper really ran to OR62 and do the calculation to compare
his time to Red Rossini's (taking into account weight-for-age, etc) you
come to an OR for Red Rossini somewhere around OR75.
On a night at Windsor with three long priced winners Richard Hannon won
the 6f maiden with his 2nd & 4th strings if you take the SPs as the
guide. What's going on? Well, the first point to get a handle on is how
much being not-the-first-string bumps out the SPs. It shows up with owners
like Hamdan Al Maktoum where good, usable, 2yos end up at prices longer
than they ought to be because the 'Second String' effect is so strong (see
Bunood at 40/1, Zaffaan at 10/1 last week and so on). It you asked Richard
Hannon which was the best of the four he would probably say there wasn't
a lot between them and he'd be right. The best of them might be an OR82
type at best and the worst OR67. Over 6f, at three pounds (rating points)
per length, that means 5 lenths difference over the race distance between
It the best of them (let's say Retro (Picture)
in this Windsor race) is on debut and you don't do strong debuts then a
couple of lengths lost at at the start, a poor position wide on the course
and getting a bit tired in the last furlong and the others can beat him.
Which is something like the set-up here with Tartan Turban (Picture)
& Hawkspur (Picture)
both unexciting but believable as OR66 raters or a bit better. The time
for the race was relatively slower than the 5f maiden and the level of
form moderate. At which point 33/1 & 25/1 for a Hannon STO runner who
is a OR65+ type is way too big. Add in Pat Dobbs and 33/1 for Tartan Turban
and its ridiculous value. Dobbs is an extremely reliable jockey and there's
probably (B2yoR hasn't check it) some sort of system in backing his mount
when he's riding for Hannon in a race with the stable multiply represented.
Going back to the profile it billed the race as being a really interesting
clash between the newcomers with Goldvil (a positive in PRev on debut)
the best of those with form. To give credit to the guy on-course on Monday
he flagged up that the debut runners were well below expectations before
they hit the parade ring. The fact that Goldvil ended up favourite wasn't
a surprise. He seemed to get involved in a pace duel and did quite well
int he circumstances to battle on for third and ought to prove better than
the first & second over the season.
In brief on the newcomers. The picture of Retro shows him to have gone
bacjkwards from the yearling sale. He's still a usable 2yo but not better
class and didn't look ready for the day. A ok run in 5th making ground
after mid-race before stalling was ok but he's probably an OR79ish type.
was below medium size, immature mentally and a little underpowered. Not
today thanks and needs to come on a lot to be of interest. Nasri's part
owner was there on the night as he had been the previous week. But (Picture)
although fir enough for debut (fitter than Goldvil for example in line
with the important owner expecting some action) just an average type and
nothing to make you think he could win off a Meehan prep, even with a bit
of extra fitness work. Tagula Night (Picture),
slab fronted, stodgy and immobile, oh dear. Rocoppelia (Picture)
in very good condition and a likeable little chap but below average size
and limited. Fourth, but one to oppose next time. Come On Toby (Picture)
another in the stodgy-little-chap list and clearly not ready to run to
the level he might reach (OR60s?). Tidal Force (Picture)
well prepared but taller and too leggy for his body length. Somewhat narrow
and underpowered as well.
Which is where the Profile ratings come in. With the Paddock review input
the Profile list changes and you are left with a set on unappealing newcomers
and those with previous runs back into consideration. Goldvil is still
the best type and an Ok favourite but gets softened up by Dancing Wave
so that the long priced Hannon Pair can get past him late while recording
a low time and moderate form.
A race to be wary of and unlikely to produce much by the way of open maiden
There's also 4 races today but with the ratings below to peruse let's tick
off another bit of AOB here. In a preview last week the performance of
John Best with his 2yos was noted. In particular the waythat they are overtried
and how this seems to limit the number of wins some of them achieve and
possibly be detrimental to their overall careers. While the media friendly
best was on one of the dedicated racing channels over the weekend he answered
this puzzle. His point was that his aim was to make money on trading horses
that have been bought at the sales and selling off those who have demonstrated
the 'form' to be more valuable. Something on the lines of if you buy 10
horses for $50,000 at the Keeneland sales and two of them get sold off
for $300,000 after showing 'Stakes' form at 2yo in Britain then they have
paid for the other 8 even if none of them win or don't make the best of
Regular readers will understand that winning and placing in juvenile Listed
and Group races doesn't involve high class form in many cases. But, because
most people don't look at raw performance and just the headline 'Listed
Placed' stuff the value goes up anyway. Which explains why he's
running horses in Listed+ races at every opportunity to maximse the number
that can have a veneer of 'Stakes' class painted on to up the price. Since
there are a lot of relatively weak , but valuable, Stakes races in the
US buying this sort of horse can still be value for the purchaser. Mr Best
didn't seem to understand how ironic it was when he later, mildly, criticised
the Coolmore operation (Magnier, Tabor, Aidan O'Brien, et al) for being
more interested in making 'Stallions' than the actual racing.
The same the-best-will-pay-for-the-rest approach works for Coolmore but
the returns tower over what can be gained from prize money. If Coolmore
spend £50,000,000 on youngstock each year that sounds a lot. But,
if they can find one major stallion and a couple of ok ones that will easily
pay back the outlay. Even unsuccessful stallions may well have covered
500 mares at (say) €10,000 a time before they get rumbled which is
€5M, think about that. The amount of money a stallion like Sadler's
Wells have generated in fees over his career is just mind-boggling. Let's
say he covers for 20 years at an average of €150,000 per mare and
serviced 100 mares a year. The total income is €300,000,000 (it's
probably more but we are into figures where €50M here or there is
just noise. That's for keeping a horse in a stable and a few people to
look after him. A five star stable and thebext peopl you can find but that's
still a staggering amount of money left over. You make so much you end
up dabbling in owning 25% of Manchester United and so, and so on.