Worth picking out a couple of points from the 7f nursery at Newmarket
on the day. Lahaleeb (Picture)
made her debut at Folkestone with two other Channon fillies who were having
their fourth runs (Blusher
Globetrotter) and was at 16/1. Blusher finished in front of her at
14/1 and has gone on to win a claimer. Ba Globetrotter was out the back
at 33/1 and has looked very limited and hasn't done better than 7th place,
has an OR of 55, and runs in the 7f seller at the same meeting, which has
three 7f events. The paddock review on the day lumped the three together
as similar, smaller types and not with obvious OR70+ potential and two
of the three have confirmed that. On the three pictures linked to above
Lahaleeb does have more about her then the compact pony Blusher and the
picture of Ba Globetrotter doesn't show well how small she is in height
Lahaleeb finished well back in a poor fillies' race back at Folkestone
STO and behind some very limited fillies who have been beaten well since.
After her Newbury nursery win last Saturday Mick Channon explained the
fact she had show nothing much in previous two runs by saying she had been
denied a run both times. Now, she finished so far back with the garbage
at Folkestone second time that even shifting her forward 10 lengths doesn't
win you a seller in form terms. No winner has come from that race and the
third was a beaten seller runner who has been beaten twice since including
off OR66. The winner of that race looked narrow and underpowered - Ballantrae
- and wasn't in very good condition. She is declared to run in the 7f Group
3 Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday which looks mighty ambitious
(even given that the field for that race is not strong).
Back to Lahaleeb who went to Folkestone again (good for finding traffic
problems Mick?) for her third go and finished 5th at 25/1 in another weak
looking fillies race and was behind some small, narrow, underpowered girls
Distinguished & Raise
All In and just in front of Dream
Huntress (not maiden winners waiting to happen on their physical presentation).
So, when she turned up at Newbury last Saturday in a Nursery off OR68 it
didn't look like she had got in lightly. More a case of finishing fourth
in an open maiden, however weak, getting you a mark higher than a seller
winner (i.e. OR68 is higher then the typical OR62 for an ordinary seller
She didn't look noticeably different at Newbury, same size and build, a
bit more mentally knowing. It wasn't a deep nursery in physical terms with
walloped with OR90 for some okish maiden form and Lucky
Redback looking a bit porky after a break and like he would be at the
top of his game next time. The third highest weighted was Sparkling
Crystal off OR71 who is less imposing than Lahaleeb and more the 'Blusher'
end of things. Anyway, with Watergate expiring early (the second Prescott
nursery runner to bomb out after Rapid Release 2 days previous) and Lucky
Redback running just ok Lahaleeb seemed to have found a soft nursery to
win with a 5lb apprentice riding. The jockey said after the race that he
was surprised by how she took off when he asked her for her effort and
she made a move which would obviously win the race.
Which is the background the her running in a nursery at Newcastle two days
ago with a 6lb penalty (i.e. up to OR74) and without the apprentice. If
you were working on the OR70ish type who won a soft race what she did was
somewhat perplexing. Showing an even better burst she shot clear towards
the final furlong and romped clear by 7 lengths. The 'right' northern runners
finished placed to add some weight and the time looked solid.
So, Newmarket today is a test for her and what view you (now) have as she
runs off OR80 (another 6lbs' added for the second win) and has an apprentice
riding. The rating in the table below is for the Newbury win which looks
too low. The provisional rating for her Newcastle win is BR52 and she then
comes out clear top rated and ought to win this by 2-3 lengths is she runs
up to form given her 3rd race in 5 days.
The Newmarket race is a solid nursery. Roly Boy looked unlucky not to compete
for the win at Goodwood last week and Wilbury Star ought to have more progression
from what he has already shown. Henry Cecil showed last year than he can
progress horses well with racing at a lower level now and Kings Troop surely
falls into the same category as Wilbury Star. Add in solid types like Uramazin,
Imperial Guest & Thunderball and you have a real test for Lahaleeb.
Another interesting horse in the race is Battle
Of Hastings who cost a lot of money and has a pedigree which is easy
to read as suitable for 5f as a juvenile (both parents won over 5f..).
But the sire also gets taller, willowy, ones that are better at a mile
and the dam was better at 8-10f and the 5f win an artefact of how good
she was overall. The picture shows a taller, narrow and too light framed
horse who doesn't look that talented. He clearly isn't a sprinter so why
has he been running over 5-6f for his first three runs. Presumably to try
to get a better handicap mark and he gets in on OR67 which is probably
usable in handicaps of a lesser grade. He's got left behind quickly on
all three outings when the pace has been upped although they have been
average, or better, horses for the most part. Last time he got put through
the mincer in a war of a race at Beverley which looks very strong in retrospect.
Interesting to see how he fares at something which is closer to his game.
A few points of interest from Thursday's racing. The difficulty for horses
winning at 8f on debut (especially in earlier season) was covered in Thursday's
preview. Both 8f races were won by runners with experience and the Haydock
event produced a nice summary of the issues for newcomers. Kevin Ryan does
get debut wins but they are nearly always at 5-6f. He has had one debut
winner at 7f in the last 5 seasons (2003-7) and none at any longer
distance. His 6 FTO winners this year have split as four at 5f and two
at 6f. Despite that his Union Island was strongly backed and ran
well, but for only 7 furlongs. He faded at approaching the final furlong
and this allowed a runner with previous experience and that bit more race
conditioning (aided by a 'thorough prep' trainer in Marco Botti) to go
Another newcomer, for a small stable, was third at 100/1 (Ubi Ace)
to raise doubts over the form. He looked a bigger 'moose' so might be ok
but worth noting he raced centre track as the others went stands' side
in the straight and appeared to kick up less of a divot on the easier going.
The race saw Russian George (Picture)
supported again and left well behind and baffling to try to see what he
can have been showing at home to warrant this. The Paddock report from
his debut at Wolverhampton pointed out his shortcomings and he just isn't
And while the guy who 'messed up' the Lahaleeb reviews is trying to build
back some reputation worth mentioning that he picked out On Our Way
(Picture - 
as the only horse to be interested in from the Lingfield maiden he ran
in (see July 20th Preview). He looked to have strengthened up well from
debut and was mentally more mature and stood out in the 8f maiden field
at Sandown. He took some time to get into top gear as he set an ordinary
pace but was going away at the end and what a huge stride he has. He isn't
a speed horse but, after the example of Kandahar Run last year, you have
to believe Mr Cecil is going to find a good race for him to win.
The same Sandown race looked as if it might have this year's 'Askar Tau'
in it. He is running up a sequence of long distance wins for Marcus Tregoning
as a 3yo currently which will have Mark Prescott nodding his head in appreciation.
He cost a lot of money and ran two times over 8f at 2yo without looking
mentally mature enough to compete and as a lanky son of Montjeu that was
still too weak. We have seen what happens when that type do strengthen
up, wise up and get into handicaps of something below OR70. Mr Tregoning
had Khan Tengri (Picture)
in this race who runs for the same owner and cost even more than Askar
Tau (190,000 guineas to 145,000). He's by Sadler's Wells who doesn't get
2yo winners to a good approximation other than a few late season ones over
Khan Tengri is another, very tall, shell of a horse and looked likely to
run On Our Way closest until fading in the final furlong. But, he finished
placed so has muched up his handicap mark for 3yo but perhaps he will be
mature enough to win over 8f at 2yo.