British 2yo Racing - 2008 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - July 27th 
Races :-
  • 416: Ascot 3:25, 6f Maiden (c&g) (4)
  • 417: Carlisle 1:55, 5f Auction (5)
  • 418: Pontefract 2:05, 5f Maiden (4)

  •   July 27th Summary : 
    • A small field of 6 newcomers for the 6f males' maiden at Ascot. Last year the race attracted 13 runners - Result - and the first three pulled well clear in a good demonstration of how the better types usually make the fornt places if they are in the field. However, as with Newmarket maidens it can be easy to get caught up in the hype and believe that the maidens are stuffed with high class horses and future winners. If we return to the 2007 result the winner ran once more when unplaced at 5/2 in an average 7f Group 2. As a 3yo he has won a conditions race and been beaten, as a short priced favourite, in a similar event and hasn't fulfilled the large reputation he had tback then and still to some extent. The second didn't run again and hasn't done that well as a 3yo with places in a maiden and a 4 runner Listed race albeit behind solid horses. Aqlaam was in third and is currently injured again but in two starts this season easily won a maiden and then a Group 3 at Royal Ascot.
    • The gap back to the fourth+ horses is a real one in that it is caused by ability and not track bias or some other reason. The front three were OR90+ raters to some level and much well above 100 in Aqlaam's case. The three later juvenile winners in the field in 2007 finished 4th to 7th. The fourth was Hawaana whose OR has declined from 86 to 80 in three handicap runs as a 3yo, all unplaced. Moral Duty in 5th won off OR75 as 2yo and that looked the limit of his potential. Arctic Cape was in 7th and has had 5 goes at 3yo with his OR declined from 85 to 77 without managing a place. The 8th & 9th have struggled to win but both managed to do so off around OR74 at 3yo and the lower end of the 'Interchange Range' or OR70-79 between moderate and horses and the start of better handicappers around OR80.
    • That range of physical types showed up on the day with Atlantic Sport & Skadrak being the biggest horses and the second of those not convincing that he was an efficient mover. Aqlaam wasn't as big but more powerful than the 4th+ '70s Handicappers' and a better mover than Skadrak. He has presumably physically imporved well to 3yo. Behind that the field looked limited but the 'Ascot' aura still makes it difficult to acknowledge that for what it is.
    • An interesting set for this year's race but not easy to put your finger on the winner. Let's start with trainer Alan Jarvis who runs Kings Ace. Mr Jarvis often runs horses at Ascot and these are often being overtried and are out the back. But, he has had four winners at the course in the last 5 seasons including two on debut with fillies capable of winning at Listed or Group level later. As noted in a Preview early in the season he buys horses who are exactly the opposite shape to a 'Hannon 2yo' for the most part. Mr Hannon likes bulky horses of any size and sprinter shapes. Mr Jarvis likes tall, narrow and leggy ones but with some range. The differences continue in that Mr Hannon turns out, as a group, the most relaxed, 2yos you will see. Mr Jarvis turns out fiery, fizzy ones and this often strays into being a real negative in behaviour terms. 
    • He ran fillies in the 6f maiden on Friday and in the Group on Staurday at the course. With the model of the tall & fiery ones in mind here's Sweet Possession (Picture, 3rd in the maiden at 33/1) & Sweet Applause (Picture, last in the Group 3). Not hard to believe Sweet Applause ran too freely and was eased looking at the picture (she tore off in the lead when beaten on heavy in maiden previously at odds-on). Sweet Possesion has calmed down from her dancing entry to the parade rings and managed to run well. Which all means that Kings Ace isn't entirely discountable but he will need to be a high class runner and a tractable one to figure and the market may well give a hint if he is a better one.
    • Mr Haggas runs Sir Isaac who is a cheap retainee for an owner breeder and not typical, on profile, of the type of horse he runs at Ascot. He has run 13 juveniles at the course between 2002-7 and 12 have made the first 4 (the other was 5th) and mostly in double figure fields. The list includes a number of his best horses - Brunel, Majestic Missile, Sharplaw Star, Conquest & Enticing. The three he ran in 2007 where all for Hamdan Al Maktoum including Aqlaam & Alfathaa (talked up for the 2,000 guineas after an early season win). So, Mr Haggas seems to take Ascot seriously and doesn't go in for 'social runners' looking for a nice day out to give the owners some fun. But, hard to believe this is a better one one profile and on his statements that this was a "small one" in early season stable reports.
    • Mark Johsnton has to have an Ascot 2yo winner sometime but Tilos Gem was clearly not a better one on Paddock Review before he was last in the 7f maiden on Friday. Marbled Cat is a son of the useful 5f winner Catstar who ran second to Attraction in the Queen Mary here (a remote second). A possible but would need to see a much better type than the trainer ran on Friday here.
    • Which leaves the three of Albaher, Bawaardi & Euston Square. The first two of those were quite expensive purchases for Hamdan Al Maktoum at around the 150,000 guineas range. Both have relatively 'fast' and 2yo oriented pedigrees and Hamdan likes to have a set of these each year. Albaher has the second retained jockey on and races for John Dunlop. Mr Dunlop does get debut winners and the majority of them for Hamdan. However he is not having a good season to date after a below average effort in 2007. 26 runners to date for 1 winner at a 3.8% strike rate. A couple of placed debuts (both for this owner) by runners then beaten STO. We can expect this to be an above average debut although difficult to be enthusiastic of the winning chance although the 'second string' tag often pushes these runners out to value prices in double figures (Just 'Ask' Ryan Moore about second strings and choices..).
    • Bawaardi is one of a pair of runners for John Gosden who has had three debut winners to date including a last stride win for Floodlit in a moderate race last Wednesday. The other is a well related (half to Group 1 5f winner Continent most notably) owner bred for Khalid Abdulla with Euston Square. Richard Hills rides Bawaardi suggesting he is the better of the Hamdan pair and Jimmy Fortune Euston Square. Mr Gosden gets debuts winners with the high class ones so the better of the pair should have made that visible to them in home work even if they haven't fully tried them out.
    • In summary, Bawaardi makes most appeal but some interesting stories in the other 5 and a test to see whether the '95' horse (it he is there) stands out from the '75' ones.
    • Low level stuff in the other two races at the Northern courses with seller (OR55-65) at best unless Raedah is better than she looked at Salisbury. Yesterday saw three (of the four) odds-on favourites beaten with Annapolis (2nd at 1/3f), You've Been Mowed (Picture, 3rd at 8/11f) & Captain Ellis (2nd at 1/2f). The first two of those brought moderate form into their races and seller to good seller level at best. Both were poor favourites because they set such a low standard that a competent OR50s runner would give them troble if they were a little bit below par. The third of those ran much better and was 2 lengths clear with the eventually winner driven along before getting caught late on. He was a good favourite on form and on TV pictures big enough to look after himself against a solid newcomer. He still set a high standard although he appeared to lose concentration after being in the lead for some period. The other 'Good Favourite' was Elnawin who won at 1/2f at Salisbury.
    • Which brings us to Raedah at Pontefract. This is one of those stories that you can paint any way you want if you don't bring into the discussion what physical type she is. On paper she ran well on debut and just got caught by a filly with a good trainer and illustrious owner. That filly (Sea Of Leaves) has run in Group races twice since so Gosden must think she's good. So, Raedah is a good favourtie at a shot price in a weak field on profile? Well, No. She isn't going to set a stiff standard and probably in the 60s and vulnerable to a bigger horse.
    • Sea Of Leaves is tiny and has been well beaten in both of those Group races and isn't up to that standard. The trainer usually finds a second race for that type to win but it will presumably be in a Fillies' conditions event or she might end up in nurseries. She was just ahead of Our Wee Girl on debut but she's another small and limited on who is oversold by looking at her form (2nd to Cherry Hinton winner Please Sing and all that). Here's what Raedah (Picture) looks like and she's another small one and compact in body length and lacking range. A nippy 5f thing if she's anything and at least that is what she looked like at Salisbury. But on a stiff Pontefract course you could easily see somthing a bit bigger overhauling her in the final furlong. 
    • Fortunately for her there isn't a strong opposition profile unless Magic Cat is a better type for Karl Burke. But, she doesn't set a high standard and it wouldn't need much to soften her up (running a bit too free early for example). A poor favourite and not one to support at presmably short odds.
    • Without even a bit of Southern 'class' the Carlisle 5f Auction looks like a seller and a range of horses could reach the required standard and a longer priced winner probable. The Richard Fahey runners have competed strongly on debut in 2008 but haven't progressed a great deal overall in later runs. Sloop Johnb has seller level form and doesn't appeal. At a distance and lacking Paddock Review Jaslyn  appeals as the each-way alternative.

    Race Virtual Paddocks FTO P&L Qualifiers
    • Magic Cat  (Pontefract, KR Burke, 5-6f Debuts). No debut winner in 2008 and Lesson In Humility's (2007 debut winner for him) clear win at 3yo (OR 96) in the big sprint handicap at York yesterday a reminder of the type of quality a debut winner for him often indicates. 
    • Bawaardi & Euston Square  (Ascot, JHM Gosden, June to August)

    ~ ASCT 3:25 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    2 BAWAARDI [43] - 1 43
    3 EUSTON SQUARE [43] - 1 43
    1 ALBAHER [38] - 1 36
    6 SIR ISAAC [37] - 1 40
    5 MARBLED CAT [29] - 1 38
    4 KINGS ACE [20] - 1 28

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    ~ CARL 1:55 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    8 JASLYN [25] - 3 5 1 5 28
    5 FITZOLINI [24] -5 6 23 5 18
    2 SLOOP JOHNB [23] -8 4 34 1 34 32
    3 WOTATOMBOY [17] -6 2 2 1 2 20
    4 EL BOBBY [13] -5 5 16 2 -28 28
    1 ABBEY STEPS [12] -8 2 -12 1 -12 18
    6 GRISSOM [5] -5 1 2
    9 WEE BIZZOM [0] - 3 -24 2 -55 2
    7 WILLON DILLON [0] -5 3 -65 1 -65 15

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    ~ PFCT 2:05 ~ Today's Race Best Run FTO Run
    Name [PRF] WCor Run Class Level Best [Est] Best Run FTO [EST] Ave % FTO
    7 RAEDAH [34] - 2 35 1 35 42
    3 MAGIC CAT [24] -5 1 35
    1 CHIMBONDA [22] -5 2 15 1 15 1
    2 DORIC ECHO [16] -5 3 13 1 13 35
    4 PORT RONAN [14] -5 5 20 3 -17
    6 POLLISH [11] - 1 2
    5 LILIACEAE [1] - 2 -84 1 -84

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