British 2yo Racing - 2009 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - April 30th 
Races :-
  • Folkestone 2:10, 5f Auction (6)
  • Redcar 2:00, 5f Auction (5)
  • Redcar 2:30, 5f Seller (6)
  • Yarmouth 5:25, 5.2f Maiden (5)

  •   April 30th Summary : 
    • VP - For Folkestone (Desert Auction, Pullyourfingerout & Tom Folan).
    • VP - Redcar Seller (Ginger Ted, Out The Ring & Strange Fiction) plus Oondiri in the Auction Race
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    • Pointless Punditry. While watching the VTs through amongst the general burble came this gem from Ascot. Uber luvvie Mike Cattermole to John Best (well, he learnt his trade as P-2-P guy didn't he..., as an acquaintance of B2yoR always used to say at the mention of his name). "Well, this race always throws up an Ascot 2yo.... two years ago it was won by Winker Watson who went on to Royal Ascot to win the Coventry or the Norfolk, I can't remember, which one was it John?", ....  "the Coventry wasn't it?" wavers Mr Best. Oh, my gawd. Winker Watson never ran in the race and won the Norfolk not the Coventry. Apart from that you were spot on guys. You are just filling space...... More great stuff from John McCririck at Windsor on Monday with his thoughts on Monsieur Chevalier's debut & how it related to Diamond Laura's propects,  "..that Folkestone race was red-hot, there was a backed runner & Mr Chevalier....". Err no, it wasn't John but keep talking. The Director abhors silence so say something. Diamond Laura ran well but was chinned in a low quality race at Windsor. The others from the Folkestone race she ran in FTO = 4th entered in a seller today, 5th beaten at Brighton, 7th won a claimer.. etc. Trying to reduce what was going on in that Folkestone race in a phrase like 'Red Hot' is ludicrous.
    • Now, someone like Cattermole is self employed and has about 15 jobs split between C4, ATR, different racecourses, columns and so on. How much time as he travels around the country does he spend thinking about what is really happening and doing some original thinking and analysis. How can he when he is also trying to be an expert on every horse in training in both codes over every distance. It is impossible. No wonder he has such a gossamer grasp of the actualite. Just drop back on crutches like class dropping, always come on for a run and the like.
    • Mr Best isn't the best person to have as an analyst either because he has two full-time jobs already and doesn't follow racing fully. You are better off with an anorak. He isn't even that useful for the 'horses & training' bit. A later race for older horses & Laa Rayb seems to have sweated up badly and looks very "wet", technically speaking. Mr Best says "Not sure whether he has been sponged off under the rug but a worry as he is sweating up". Cobblers, John. With the greatest respect, of course. 
    • The curmudgeonly Mark Johnston likes to be his own man and try new things. For the last couple of seasons he has washed down the majority of his runners in the pre-parade ring on sunny days and then put 'cooler' rugs on them (i.e. the rugs full of holes like a net). For the people employed to look at horses on the course to mark them for fitness, coat quality, etc. this is a real problem. But, it has nothing to do with sweating per se. It is Mr Johnston, with his Vet's background, trying a different approach to pre-race preparation. Rather than sitting there punditising about why Laa Rayb is sweating try asking Mr Johnston, or his more approachable wife, or one of the Scots lads he employs to lead the horses up (why are so many of them Scottish? Baffling, isn't it) what the thinking is here. Rather than doing the two-blokes-in-a-pub routine trying to remember whether Yeats won the Derby or the Supersprint?, Or both? Or neither..... and anyway, which Yeats are we talking about, the writer? Please stop.
    • Hang on though, another bit of failing to think through the implications from Cattermole. Here we are, he says, small fields for all the high class races and then we have a 20+ field for the 0-85 handicap. What are you thinking, like that is a surprise? That is as daft as asking why there are only two men 6' 4'' in the room while most of them are 5' 8'' to 5' 10''. There aren't lots of horses high class horses Mike, there are a lot more average ones... which is why they are average.
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    • A more average day of races after some better better class events on the previous days. With many more 5' 8'' and belows than 6' 4'' superstars but they cannot all be 'Worldbeaters' after all.  Only a month into the season but some of the horses with some sort of promise in the earliest races are settling in their moderate groove. The Folkestone Class 6 Auction race contains two horses than ran on the first day of the season. Desert Auction looked to be the second string to Black Daddy at Kempton and finished a competent looking third behind Star Rover. The winner - Star Rover - has won twice since and will probably top out in the Lily Agnes before finding better quality 2yos too much of an obstacle in Listed+ events. 
    • The well back runner-up was John Fretwell's Out The Ring and he has been dropped to the Redcar seller today after a moderate run behind Archers Road. Mr Fretwell is not interested in  milking sellers & claimers and Out The Ring is proving to be the OR60s type he looked at Kempton. Desert Auction has managed a place next time out and five of the horses behind him at Kempton have run six times for a single, weak, place. The one exception has been Red Avalanche who looked the biggest, and best, type at Kempton but too stupid to compete. Desert Auction ran behind Shark Man STO and that horse has just defeated some small, limited, fillies (both beaten since) at Wolverhampton to 'frank' that form. Hannon horses tend to show you most of what they can do in there first two runs and Desert Auction is probably an OR68 type. He will be reliable and set a standard but an unexciting one and not a taking profile.
    • Tom Folan finished ahead of Bould Mover here on her debut and to a similar level of form as when Desert Auction beat him at Kempton. She was driven at Beverley last time to press the leader from a lower draw and faded later in a weak race and to a lower form level. The second from that race was beaten at Ripon & the 6th in a Thirsk Claimer to add to the feeling of moderate from from those with previous runs. She will presumably be held up for a finish again today and receiving 9lbs from Desert Auction it should be a close call between them.
    • At least they will probably run to their levels in an orderly fashion and the race conditions & tactics will make the difference. Pullyourfingerout ran in the Brocklesby and finished a reasonable eight. The 7th & 9th have both won weak races since so this one ought to have a chance to progress? Looking at the VP for the race you can see that PYFO looks fine in comparison to the other two. Desert Auction is short & front heavy and Tom Folan is narrow bodied with some length, moves ok but lack power. PYFO is a taller model and nicely fit is lacking some length and a bit fizzy in attitude. With a different trainer you might forget his fade at Newbury STO and think he might compete well here. But Brendan Powell has not had a 2yo winner and experience over many seasons has shown that expecting his ok looking types to progress and win when they should just does not work.
    • Who might be the best of the newcomers to save the tricky choice between Desert Auction (slightly preferred) & Tom Folan? Angie's Nap runs for Ed Dunlop for the Findlay owners team. The trainer rarely has debuts this early and they are usually competitive 2yos when he does that peak STO. They also normally place FTO. This one is by the US sire Lion Heart who did no good with his first runners in Britain last year and does not appeal as a 5f producer. The dam has produced a range of ordinary, but indestructible, winners in the US. Drawn widest he would probably finish about third and not be value with the 'Major Newmarket Stable' tag for the trainer although he has just an average record with 2yos.
    • The other two newcomers are from smaller stables who do get debut winners with 2yos. Peter Winkworth was back on the FTO winner trail at Bath on Tuesday with the earliest debut success in a season he has had. In the past his debut winners have won at 33/1 and the like and the Market knew nothing about which were the good ones. Raine's Cross was punted from 14/1 to 9/2jf before his comfortable success to mark a departure from the normal pattern. He runs Safari Special here who cost just £5,000 and is a sibling of a range of 5f 2yo winners of varying quality, mostly for Cheveley Park Stud. Some of those have been cheap and small ones that were usable at lower levels & precocious. On profile this one comes up short to win this FTO but it ought to be competent and interesting to see what the Market makes of it. The win for Raine's Cross will probably drive his price shorter than it should be whatever quality he is.
    • Which brings us to the most interesting newcomer and the one with the profile to win this first go. Mick Quinlan was included in the FTO P&L tracking for 2008 for the May-June period so this race is a day too early, but hey, many stables are ahead this year. He did have one debut winner in that period in 2008 and it was on May 1st, and in this race with the Queen Mary victress Langs Lash. The trainer has had a couple of other good debuts at the course in recent seasons including a 40/1 winner. Last Orders is owned by Liam Mulryan and an important owner for the trainer, and for Mick Channon. This ne is by Bertolini from a 7f dam who has not produced anything worthwhile yet but the €25,000 yearling price is ok in that context. A big run first time more likely than unlikely and the Market should know if this one is any good. Worth noting that the trainer has already had a supported filly fail at the course this year by running too freely but we are now coming into his best period.
    • A quick aside about Kaspirit who you may recall is trainer by the, err, mercurial Michael Wigham and probably for an old mate. In typical trainer style the smoke-n-mirrors bit has started with this one a non-runner in a seller and a Ripon auction already. Probably nothing going on but why the seller declaration at all? Can't be misdirection for the Market, surely.
    • In summary, moderate to average OR60s types in the runners with placed form and setting a moderate standard. The Class 6 billing means they will be unlucky to run into a 'Langs Lash' but even a competent OR79er would be too much for them. Safari Special & Angie's Nap come up a bit short of a peak Desert Auction but Last Orders may well be better.
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    • An apparently simple story at Yarmouth with Thomas Baines opposed by two better looking newcomers and four weaker ones that should not get involved. He was the horse that Jamie Spencer was 'unlucky' on at Windsor and finished 7th when blocked in late on his second outing. He was going well and clearly could have finished at least second. He ought to be at least as good as Farmer Giles who improved a lot STO for connections to just lose to King's Approach at Windsor. He should set a decent standard here but there are a couple of niggles. The defeat of the 3rd at Windsor two days at Nottingham was very tame and he drifted in the market. He might not have handled the easier ground but he looked a lesser type in that group. If you go back and look at the - Result - at Windsor you look at the moderate types just behind Pintura and you could easily conclude that the first two are ok and were made to look better because of the poor quality behind. Thomas Baines is clearly better but he was running with moderate horses at Windsor. It will also be interesting to see how he is ridden here. There is no obvious pacemaker and the trainer & jockey appear not to trust him to make his own pace. A chance for him to be unlucky in a slower race with a let race sprint.
    • The only real competitor would look to be Tiradito  for Marco Botti. He is by the US sire Tale Of The Cat who has had the odd 5f 2yo here but with just average support for 5f zip from the dam. An ok pedigree without shouting early 5f. Mr Botti is in his 4th season in Britain and he appears to have subtly adapted his approach through the previous three. In his first two years the debut runners were strongly primed and all three of his winning 2yos in 2006-7 won on their debuts. They included his first or second runner in both years. He seemed to be a classic 'Show or Nothing' trainer where an unplaced FTO run meant they were no good.
    • Last year he did not have a debut winner from 13 horses and his STO record went to 4 from 11. This meant his P&L went from double figure profits for debuts in 2006-7 to a double figure profit for STO runs. A good trainer changing his approach or just being a little behind with his early runners in 2008? The first eight debuts last year produced 6 places and two fourths so he clearly has not turned into Tim Easterby and the FTO horses can get involved. Perhaps he lacked a high class horse last year to turn a placed debut into a win? Whatever, Tiradito will be a good chance to assess what  this year is going to bring and a strong challenger to Thomas Baines if he is a bit more wound up or superior.
    • Mr Botti mostly convinces as a good trainer who is improving whereas Clive Brittain has never been particularly convincing. His record with 2yos in recent years is moderate and typically he only gets wins with his very best horses including the odd later season FTO success. The 2008 season was typical with just 2 winners from 14 runners by Nashmiah & Al Sabaheya (i.e., the best two). He runs Misheer who is an expensive son of good sire Oasis Dream out of a well related 5f 2yo dam. The sire was not a precocious 2yo and fooled John Gosden into running him over 8f before flowering into the high class sprinter in later season. His record with two crops of 2yos show the wins starting from mid-June except for the nippy Starlit Sands. Given that the early runners for the trainer need to develop with racing his profile says a high-class 2yo that the trainer will bumble about with and he may well blossom in later season. He will probably run in a Group race as a maiden and display all the usual niggles about the trainer's approach. A four length third here getting the hang of it late on would be the usual result.
    • In summary, the ticking from Thomas Baines is almost audible to Jamie and even if he wins it surely will not be smoothly done and a worrying scramble in some form. Hopefully he is as good as they say and wins comfortably but you wouldn't want to be backing that at short odds. Tiradito looks the only alternative.
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    • Two races at Redcar and the Auction race has been won by a runner with experience in each year it has been run since 2002. Going back to the thoughts about how 'difficult' a course is and how well newcomers do then Redcar is the opposite of Brighton. No bends, hills or cambers just a flat, and fast, 5f. So how do newcomers fare overall? Since 2002 there have been 8 x FTO wins at Redcar over 5f in 44 races at a good 18% strike rate. The SPs have been remarkably long overall and those eight  wins have produced a near 100% profit over the 44 bets.
    • That does not tell the whole story though because the 8 debut winners contain a good deal of the better quality that has run at the course. 7 of the 8 have rated OR80+ during the year (the other peaked at OR78) and half got to OR90+. So, what we actually have is horses winning FTO because they are high class rather than the course being easy? Or both? A good question is why horses of that quality were at longish odds overall. That perhaps explains the less good record of FTO horses in this race. It is just at the start of the period when some better newcomers might be coming out from bigger stables but doesn't seem to be targeted by the best of them.
    • This race seems to revolve around how good Lady Lube Rye is in relation to the newcomers from the bigger northern yards. Her run at Doncaster was a solid effort at this level and she kept on nearly as well as My Mandy of the pacesetters. That filly ran well at Haydock over last weekend to add some substance to that view. She seems a solid profile for the race and to set a good standard. She would be decent value assuming one of the bigger stable's newcomers seem more attractive to the Market.
    • On profile Countrywide Ice looks an unlikely type to be a better debut for Kevin Ryan. He cost just €6,000 and while by an ok sire in Verglas from a stouter unraced mare. The stable's FTO wins tend to come with the better quality types because he leaves his 2yos consistently short of full fitness FTO. On balance he seems likely to be poor value and opposable. 
    • To repeat the point about Karl Burke his form period with 2yos starts in late May and that is when the FTO wins tend to come along. He is currently starting out a batch of runners who will become part of the STO & 3TO winners in that form wave. Arctic Destiny is topweighted in this auction race and the 'Class' of the field but at 9,000 guineas he is not expensive. A solid pedigree to be a minor 2yo winner but no a debut one by normal standards. The trainer nearly had a debut winner in a similar fillies' auction last Saturday but the way that race played out makes the point about his FTO runners. Forbidden Pleasure got beaten in a photo but she was miles back at halfway and floundering and only got so close a at the finish because the little girls up front had worn themselves out duelling. So, another he does not have the class or readiness to beat a decent form horse first go.
    • David Nicholls is more worrying if you support Lady Lube Rye because he has his 2yos more forward than the other pair these days. His first runner of the season was Mister Manannan who placed well in a tough race FTO and then ran away with the good Pontefract maiden yesterday. Johnnyleary only cost £6,000 but is by the elderly and under-appreciated sire Fayruz. He gets very few mares these days but most of his 2yos win at some point and he has a good record on early outings. 
    • In summary, Lady Lube Rye seems a solid STO runner and better than Ignatieff assuming that one's poor fade last time was indicative of his full ability. Oondiri appeared to run well for a long way on debut from a bad draw. However, the VP shows a limited athlete and perhaps reflects more on the race quality at Beverley (a bit worrying for Tom Folan supporters). The newcomers will need to be high OR70s types of ordinary preps to give weight away first go and Countrywide Ice seems poor value and Johnnyleary more interesting.
    • The Seller on the card completes the story of how things have gone south for a number of horses since early season. Out The Ring has gone from well backed newcomer in a Class 4 maiden for a major trainer and the owner on course with his entourage to disposable plater in a month. He comes out top on profile even with his debut run downgraded. His surrender at Newcastle was such that you would want a bit of reassurance his attitude was facing somewhere in the right direction to support him.
    • After Musiara had made her debut 4th at Folkestone (in Big Mac's 'Red Hot' maiden) she was entered for the Conditions race at Newmarket's Craven meeting. Two weeks later and an early fader behind Lady Lube Rye later and Mr Channon would not mind seeing her go. On the evidence to date Out The Ring has a bit more pace and upside (on polytrack though) but not a taking pair.
    • Ginger Ted is in the seller he always looked destined for and his sort of race but only a couple of days after he last ran. He hasn't hinted at the pace for a faster 5f to date and perhaps needs a bit more development time. Of more interest against the favourites would be Blue Rum who showed pace on a similar track FTO before fading. His trainer is a peak STO type so he should be much better here.
    • And finally, we go back to David Nicholls. In the last two seasons he has run three horses on debut in sellers with 2008 yielding a 16/1 winner and a 14/1 2nd. Both of those horses went on to win above Seller level (Auction & Nursery events). In 2007 his seller deb was 5th of 10 and then placed 2nd in a similar race 6 days later. He gets debut winners this time of year and the previous race will give a clue to his 2yos forwardness with Johnnyleary's effort. Which all makes Lairy, by an ok 5f sire out of a stout dam, of some interest. More so than nibbling away at Out The Ring at some short price.

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