Peaceful Rule (Thirsk 2:30, D Nicholls, September+ Debuts). Trainer
had no debut winner between 2001 to 2004 but has had five in the period
2005-7 as the number of 2yos he trains has increased. Over the last 10
years he has been notable for showing different tactics with his 2yos and
at times he appeared to be struggling to find the right approach. At times
the Strike Rate with juveniles has bumped along at a lowly 4-6% but two
of the last three years have been at a very good 22% and it is around 15%
in 2008 to date. This has partly been helped by increased spending power.
He has a good record 2005-7 with yearlings that cost 20,000 guineas of
more which have produced 8 juvenile winners from 15 horses.
Now, in 2005 all his debuts were complete by July and included two debut
winners. In the last two seasons he has had more debuts from August onwards
with two long priced debut wins with better types (like Valery Borzov who
is still improving at 4yo). This season he has already run eleven 2yos
and three have won on debut (May x 2 and July). SPs of 20/1 (twice) and
16/1 leave him with an enormous profit on debuts already this year.
Either he has changed again and gone back to the 2005 model of getting
the 2yos out early or perhaps he has more horses this year and still has
a set of more expensive 2yos to come out in later season. He will need
to have if his debuts from September to November are going to show a profit.
On the plus side the earlier FTO wins this year show he can still get one
prepared for debut (on the other side the 4TO 'blossoming' wins of Gower
Valentine & Parisian Pyramid at Goodwood after ambling around in the
north on their earlier runs shows that he doesn't have a consistent, targeted,
approach like a Mark Prescott).
Peaceful Rule cost 50,000 guineas so is another of those more expensive
purchases who ought to have an even chance of being a winner at 2yo. On
the other hand the trainer hasn't had a debut winner above 6 furlongs and
8f debut wins are quite rare and often indicative of high class horses.
The trainer has not had a debut at 8f since 2003 and his last two
longer distance debuts were very slow horses who never showed any worthwhile
form. Can Peaceful Rule really be that bad or is he adapting and having
a go 8f debuts with the more expensive purchases?