The Newmarket card includes the 6f Group 2 Lowther Stakes
for fillies which has been transferred from York with new sponsors. Three
previous group winners in the field with two carrying 3lb penalties. The
top estimates for the fillies are around 60 mark at present and this race
will hopefully separate out the 1-3 fillies with longer term prospects
from the useful set. Please Sing & African Skies appeal
most to press for that role and Danidh Dubai may run well again
in Group compamy at longer odds.
At Goodwood the fillies feature again with the 7f Group 3 Prestige Stakes.
In general this looks a less solid group than the Lowther and the once
raced winners Fantasia & Faraway Flower (both not reviewed
as yet) have a mostly ordinary set of fillies to improve past. The exception
is probably Qalahari who scorched away from her field on debut and
was well clear into the final furlong before fading and getting caught
late. Like many of her trainer's juveniles her second run was less good
and she plugged on into second. Returned to Bath's 5.7f and frontrunning
she again scorched away and finished the race off well to win by a long
way in a quick time (presumably on concrete going). The horses she beat
were garbage so the winning distance isn't a good indicator but the time
and manner of her win suggested a Listed class filly at least. But, she
steps ups to 7f and has looked best making the pace. She would have been
interesting in the Lowther if it had been at York and on firmer going and
will she see out 7f here?
The 'DBS 'St Leger Sale' Consolation Race at Newmarket is interesting.
This sale is targeted at sprint 2yos and there were around 550 yearlings
catalogued in 2007. The first division race for graduates of the sale was
run at Newmarket on Friday with a 20 runner field and Elnawin winning from
Bonnie Charlie, both trained by Richard Hannon. They were clear of the
others and probably he two Group class runners in the field. Elnawin is
another good 2yo for his sire Elnadim following Golden Acer (Hannon) in
2005, Wi Dud & Caldra in 2006 and Elna Bright (Hannon again) last season.
So, of the 550 yearlings the best 20 made it to that race and the consolation
race is for the runners with the highest official ratings who didn't make
the 20 for the top race. This year we have just 17 runners in the consolation
race with just two previous winners and the top Official Rating around
76 which is midway in the Interchange Range between moderate and average
to better types. Think about that. Where are the other 510 or so yearlings?
What have they produced in terms of winners and what will they? The message
is that when buying at the sales, even a sprint 2yo oriented one, you are
sifting through an awful lot of not very much to find the usable and, occasionally,
the better class.
One thought from the paddock reviewing of the Gimcrack field was that Art
Connoisseur has looked like a different horse on each of his three
runs in Britain. On debut (Picture)
he looked young mentally and while tall, not that well built and not particularly
likely to be higher class and not top class. At Ascot he had developed
remarkably well from that debut (Picture)
and had strengthened up and added a let-me-at-them attitude. He still looked
a bit narrowed bodied and needed to develop further but a pretty convincing
Coverntry winner in terms of being able to develop further. In that context
the tame effort in Ireland when thumped by Mastercrafteman and struggling
to hold off the small Bushranger seemed odd.
Then, put in this field (Picture)
and he looked small in comparison to Marine Boy (tall but lightly built)
& Deposer (possibly the best type and ran like a horse that needs 7f+
and must be better than he showed) for example. The coat condition and
competitive attitude were muted as well. Easy to put a line through his
chances for the day and to see his limitations against a full field like
The answer to the VP test set on Thursday is that 20/1 winner is horse
number 6 - Tombov - who is in the top right hand corner on the upper
line of three. In terms of strength, depth through his body and length
of body to make a good stride length for 7f he does stand out. At the second
level of condition he had his coat in very good order and a positive energy
attitude while still listening to his handler. If you went into the race
with a Profile of what to expect he gets flagged up as better than expected
and the traders can then do their bit with that info.
To quickly summarise the other 5 in the VP. Top left is the filly Acting
Lady (8) who was making her debut and one of three runners for
the baffling Mr Best. An ok size but not ready in any sense for the race.
Moderate fitness, immature & clinging attitude and poor coat for example.
Ran ok in midfield and has the size to improve to fit somewhere in the
OR65-74 bracket. Centre top row is the colt Ashwinder (3) who had
been 3rd in a Newmarket seller previously. Notably small, lacking body
length, peculiar shape with a belly and below average mover.
Bottom left is the topweight colt (i.e. the most expensive) Abner
who is laughably tiny. Compact in body length as well and just too damn
small. Middle bottom is the filly Cabo Polonio (9) and a fine chestnut
coat. But shiny hair wont fill in the gaps of being small, narrow &
underpowered and abeing a clining mouse in attitude. Bottom right (no number)
is the lightweight & somewhat scrawny filly Buckers Beauty.
Here's a thought. If you read the result of that Folkestone race without
any reference to what the horses look like it's easy to think it is puzzling.
The winner is 20/1 after a nothing debut and is by a sire who won the French
Champion hurdle. Ok, you respect the trainer and that sire is a full brother
to a Group 1 winner on the flat and has a high class German staying pedigree
(which that nation is very good at) so some positives. But Buckers Beauty
& Cabo Polonio, the two lightweight girls started at 16/1 along with
Acting Lady (and John Best gets very rare debut runners). Ashwinder was
at 11/2 while at least the pony sized Abner was at 25/1 (probably helped
by being trained by Willian Haggas who judges horses properly and is a
realist about them).
But, put all of that stuff to one side and just roll the horses up into
powerballs and pick out the one with the most power and check it is ready
enough to show it and the result itself isn't puzzling. What on earth Tombov
is doing at 20/1 when Ashwinder is 11/2 and has to give him weight? The
real point is that Paddock information, both on physical type and condition
for the day are essential to betting in all races. With 2yo
maidens it is more than essential (whatever that means) and the lack of
form for the 'Market' to work from means there are many opportunities to
find value bets.