.The Super Sprint is an 'Auction' race in that the weights carried
vary depending upon how much the horse cost at the sales. To qualify for
the race the horses must have been sold at auction at one of the main sales
companies in Britain and Ireland. This takes in Tattersalls (HQ at Newmarket
plus an Irish part), Doncaster Bloodstock Auctions (DBS), Goffs (based
in Ireland & recently merged with DBS) and Brightwells (sell at Ascot
racecourse stables). The conditions of the race further limit the top price
paid for any of the runners to be 48,000 guineas. It is therefore aimed
at horses ranging from the lowest purchase prices up to just above a good
'average price range of 30,000 gns but keeing out the really expensive
The horses carry 1Lbs less for each 3,000 gns less than 48,000 they cost
but get penalties (extra weight to carry) for wins at Group/Pattern level
(8lbs, none in this field), Listed level (i.e. not part of the Pattern
Race set, 5lbs & Bahamian Babe carries 8-3 rather than the 7-12 her
low sales price would dictate) & Class 2 races (3lbs).
The maximum weight a colt could carry is 9 stones and 3 lbs (9-3 or 129lbs)
and the topweight is Finnegan McCool who cost 40,000gns and gets a 2Lbs
allowance. Fillies who cost 48,000 would carry 8-12 plus any penalties.
The topweight female here is Jargelle on 8-6 having cost 28,000 gns.
If you look at the range of weights you will see that overall we have a
field biased towards lower prices in the range and, essentially, an Olympic
final for precocious sprint 2yos. It rarely produces runners with longer
term futures in Group races, even at 2yo, let alone as older horses. The
exceptions have tended to be fillies of real 5f mould like Lyric Fantasy
& Superstar Leo. A typical rating for the winner would be in the OR90s
and few of the field would be up to competing to win in Listed class.
The Virtual Paddock for the race shows 17 of the 23 horses. If you look
at the pictures you will see the bigger colts and the type of money those
physical types fetch. Towards the bottom of the weights you get the smaller
and lighhter build fillies who mostly cost below average prices and are
examples of how a few of that type develop to compete well early at 2yo.
If you could distil why this small set of fillies have proved usable and
the majority have proved duff you could make a fine living as a real bloodstock
One other point to note about the race is that the larger field usually
fans out across the track and runners who run closer to either rail often
have an advantage. Looking at the last 10 winners the ones who won from
middle draws were the real high class types in the context of this
type of race (Flanders, Superstar Leo, Good Girl & & Elhamri).
During that period we have see two wins from stall 1 including a 100/1
success for Lady Livius which owed an awful lot to that draw. Three other
wins have been for horses drawn 23 (twice) & 21 of whom Presto Vento
in 2002 ran so close to the stands' rail on her own that no-one noticed
her until she'd won.
A constant theme recently will be how well the Royal Ascot race for stands
up. Pennys Gift had shown something different in her wins before
going to Ascot by winning comfortably and not struggling to win. The 6f
Albany Stakes she ran in was not strong form in Group terms but she was
close to the lead after 5f and lost ground to the 2nd winner and 3rd through
the later stages of the race. Off a low weight she comes out clear on ratings
even allowing for a small downgrade of the Albany Stakes form. None of
the other runners have shown any examples of anything oustandingly different
to suggest they are higher class (a change-of-pace, big winning distances,
etc) and just hints of extra to come. Mullglen has shown real improvement
in the last two runs and hasn't been pressed. As a cheap (8,000 gns) colt
he gets a lowish weight and should compete well but from a draw of 8 you
would wnat the jocky to go to the far side rather than sit mid-track.
Caranbola has always shown an ability to apply her effort for longer
than a filly of her profile since her earliest runs. She does appear to
have the pace to track 5f in lesser grade and off bottom weight should
be staying on well in the final furlong and ok each way value. Of the others
you would pick out Pure Poetry and the runner with the size to improve
but this type often gets mugged by the nippy fillies in this race. Bahamian
Babe is likely to press the pace but from a high draw she should be
able to get near to the stands' rail. She has shown something different
with a strong will to win and to respond to challenges in the later stages
of the race. Her balanced athleticism for her smaller size allowed her
to keep rolling along at York's fast track to hold off Langs Lash and the
other closers. She should run well her but you feel that on good ground
and on a track that is a bit longer than 5f she will be reeled in later
in the race unless the stands' rail strip confers a real advantage.
The 7f conditions race at Newbury looks an opportunity to take on
the Royal Ascot form. Awinnersgame has a 'Coventry 6th' label on
him but a few suspect points. If you look behind him at Ascot (where he
was 20/1) there is I Am The Best who isn't group class and has been beaten
since. Shaweel is next in and in a similar position to him compared with
the York maiden they ran in before Ascot (as is the third Lord Shanakill).
He ran 3rd to Firth Of Forth in a Group 2 at Newmarket to Firth Of Fifth
but you have to think he didn't improve and his placing defines the form
at Newmarket as low level. Add in the issues of the stable having had a
break with runners due to a 'bug' in the yard and him being just a neat,
medium, physical type and you should be looking to oppose him with something.
Oratory seems a good option but if the Paddock Review is positive about
the other once raced winnars then they are other possibles.
At Lingfield the races are both on the straight turf track and the
flag is waving as clearly as possible that you have to take into account
the stands' rail bias on the course. Horses that race on the rail in the
second half of the race can have a huge advantage (say 5 lengths and 10-15
ratings points, at least). This means that the 17 runners in the 7f maiden
are going to include a good number forced to race midfield and having no
chance unless they are really very high class which is mighty unlikely.
Dream comes out on top of the profile and has a good draw in 14. His
Newmarket 2nd on debut is just ordinary form though and not high class.
He got a B2yoR rating of just 29 for trundling through to second in a slow
time over 6f from the ordinary Ouqba. He steps up to 7f and should be able
to rate around 40 which would need a little above average debut runner
to better but wouldn't make him value at short odds.
The newcomers don't include a full package of higher class background with
ready-on-debut trainer. Henry Cecil seems to take debuts more easy with
his runners these days and On Our Way (ok draw in 10) should be
a future winner but a little whort of the level needed to win FTO. Roger
Charlton likes his runners to improve from debut but has a lot of good
quality and the preparation gets them ready enough to show up well if the
ability is there (as Broad Cairn showed yesterday when backed each-way
at 50/1 to 20/1 before a 2nd in alrage field FTO yesterday). He runs Perception
who has quite a stout pedigree but is well drawn and would need to be that
high class to give Kentish Dream a race from stall 6.
Add in the well drawn Reaction and a solid newcomer in Admiral
Sandhoe and a race set-up where an each-way option against the likely
short price favourite is a sound choice.
The Nursery at Lingfield has two previous winners at the top of
the weights on typical winner ORs of 85 (for Godolphin) and 80 (for a smaller
filly from a 2yo stable). The race is another example of why topweights
can compete well. The other 7 runners have managed a couple of weak, volunteer,
thirds in maidens and a 2nd place in a seller between them and haven't
looks like 'winners waiting to happen' and Paddock Review has mostly confirmed
them as moderate. They run of ORs ranging from 60 to 72 which is the seller
to moderate/average interchange level. Unless some of them have improvement
to make they are too close the winners and hence the topweights go well.
Dubai's Gazal is small an unappealing and needed all of the uphill 5.7f
at Bath to get to the front in what has proved an over-rated race. Over
6f on a faster course she doesn't appeal. Backing Khor Dubai at a short
price doesn't appeal either although he is the best type. The only runner
in the lower weights who makes some appeal is Black N Brew who has
had a typical John Best development in that you can't quite see the pattern.
But he's ok to win off OR67 in an ordinary race and has underperformed
notably in two of his runs by losing a lot of ground at the start (once
a stumble and not fully the horse's fault). He's not well drawn in 2 and
the lack of starting snap is an issue but the Best runners often seem to
win when no-one expects it so looking for nice Prescott or Stoute type
progressions isn't going to work with his 2yos.