British 2yo Racing - 2009 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - May 27th 
Races :-
  • Beverley 7:20, 5f Fillies' Listed (1) "Hilary Needler Trophy"
  • Brighton 2:10, 6f Maiden (5)
  • Lingfield AW 3:00, 6f Auction (5)

  •   May 27th Summary : 
    •  A big field for the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley as the second Listed race of the season. The next is tomorrow at Sandown where Monsieur Chevalier continues his 5f career in the National Stakes. In fields of this size on the course a high draw is normally an advantage and those drawn low have at least three disadvantages. They have to run further as the course works around a right hand dog-leg, they started lower down the slope on an uphill course and they have no efficient way to drop into a preferred racing position. The final point meaning that they have to use extra energy to get to the better spots early in the race. An alternative is to drop further back in the field than a winner would typically come from and hope the race breaks up in some way to allow a closing win. The fact that you have a field of mostly closely matched nippy fillies makes the first approach very difficult. But, the advantage is that the pace pressure caused by a lot of horses mixing it up front can allow winners to come from further back than normal.
    • The draw versus the results in recent years are as follow :- 
      • 2002 = Ordinary race (80s raters) and stall 12 won from 11 
      • 2003 = Attraction won from 8 of 12 but would have been successful from any stall. She broke the race up with the pace she set. 
      • 2004 = Messy race with ordinary fillies who went too fast and stall 1 won from 10 and 5 with a closing run in the centre of the course. 
      • 2005 = Rain affected and two groups raced either side until winner Clare Hills cut across from stall 3 side to win from 4 and 8.
      • 2006 = Roxan won from stall 8 with 12, 10, 3 & 1 close up. She got 3 lengths behind at halfway and won by switching to centre track. 
      • 2007 = Peculiar set-up with the first two home drawn 1 & 2 and raced up the stands' rail together and were 2-3 lengths of the pressing leaders on the far rail at halfway. The pace set on the far side looked too strong with the leading pair fading to midfield. The volunteer third who an on the far side was 50/1 and 5 lengths back at halfway. Although that not sound much it is a big margin in this type of race on firmer going. Remember than unless the pace is too strong to cause the leading rank to wilt nearly all the winners will either come from the leading line or from Stalking just behind them. The Pouncers will usually be within 2 lengths of the lead at halfway and rarely more than 3. Again, you might say how can a pace break a leading line of horses but not those so close behind? But, those are the margins with horses where the ability range of thoroughbreds is narrow and the differences between a usable and breaking pace measured in fractions of seconds over these sprint distances. Racing out in front with a bit of 'horse' friction from the others with you at 0.1s above an ideal pace is actually badly inefficient use of the power you have to use. The horses in behind are settled with less inter-horse friction, will have gone along at the ideal pace or a non-breaking one and are best placed to make the later race effort. Making 2-3 lengths on a stalled leader is the normal maximum that a horse can make. If you are sitting further back at halfway you will only get to the lead if you are truly superior (very rare horses) or the pace has been so strong to drag the 1-3 length Stalkers above the Pace Barrier. In this 2007 edition the 5 length back midfielder manage to win her race with the pace folding badly on her side but was still well behind the 2-3L stalkers who had run a bit further up the stands' rail.
      • 2008 = Stall 8 & 11 Stalkers won comfortably after the pacemakers on the far rail had blown up. The best horse in the race - Aspen Darlin - could only get to 3rd from a lower draw. But, she was better at distances longer than 5f and you could add the 6f Group 1 winner Donna Blini to a list of fillies placed in this race because they were not quite fast enough for the specialist 5f test.
    • If you tried to summarise that you'd say that the rail is an advantage in evenly matched races on better going. A pace duel will allow the Stalkers within 1-3 lengths at halfway to win and be best placed to move forward. A frantic pace which drags the second rank through halfway too quickly will be needed to allow anything to come from further back in centre track. Low draws can win but need an unusual race set-up which produces, in effect, two races with the battling far rail group softening themselves up to allow efficiently travelling centre to stands' side racers to overcome the small number of lengths disadvantage they have from draw & midfield+ placing.
    • The five 5f races at the course this year mostly fit the template. All have been won by horses within 2.5 lengths of the lead at halfway. One of the five was leading and three others were either second or third through the halfway point. The other as 6th at halfway but only 2.5 lengths back behind an average pace. He had to work to get past the leader but that one had used energy early to get from a low draw to lead before settling the pace. To demonstrate the fine margins that result would have been different if you had shifted the first two three stall boxes in opposite directions. Three of the winners have been drawn 8, 9 & 14 and, in closely matched & larger fields on firmer going, a draw of 7-8+ is usually needed. This bottom limit is actually informative, in efficiency terms, because it tells you where the cut-off point is for clearing & crossing towards the far rail or dropping in is. The two lower drawn winners have been in 8-9 runner races.
    • If we tried applying some of this to the year's race  we would say that there is a good chance of a pace duel on the far rail. Five of the seven highest draw horses have led or pressed the pace in some race. Tillys Tale seemed to improve for front running last time and looked in excellent condition but seems too limited in quality to win. If she tries to mix it here you can only see her fading. Parbold Hill got blown up by Tillys Tale trying to chase her at Thirsk and had faded badly on debut. Another with a good draw but not an obviously strong profile to finish the race off otherwise. Diamond Laura is a different prospect and has managed to see races off well from tough paces. Last time at York she persisted best of the front rank but could only manage 4th as the pace was too frantic and allowed the Stalkers to draw clear later on. 
    • Those who Pounced at York included Little Scotland who would present a strong profile in Run Style terms if you could shift her a few stalls higher in the draw. She has an possible presser just outside her with Dower Glen but those in the mid-range stalls include slow starter Patteresa Girl & hold-up type Sheka. One problem with those thoughts can be that horses get pressed to run in different styles in this type of race. You imagine the connections of, for example, Sheka pumping the jockey full of 'get her out' & 'do not lose your draw place' stuff and a hold-up horse becomes a problem to Little Scotland to try to get across more easily.
    • Angelena Ballerina may come from a Newmarket 6f race that has been under-rated and certainly can rate much higher than she has already. Her debut at Chester can be forgotten because the draw gave her no chance to compete early but she kept on well late. Last time she was 2.5 lengths off the lead at halfway in a solidly run 6f race and made good ground to the finish (although less than Electric Feel who is probably pretty good). Good draw, solid Run Style and probably enough pace to Stalk while seeing the race out. A solid profile to place but perhaps a bit light in class if there is a better filly.
    • High quality is the other main variable, along with pace, which can overcome some of the constraints that draw & Run Style confer on the runners. You probably wouldn't be far wrong to say that most of the fillies in this race will rate OR75-88 at 2yo. Which means if you ran them all over 5f in a manner that allowed all of them to express their full power & ability you would spread them out over a less than princessly 4 lengths. If there is a filly in here who is real better class at say OR100 she has 4 lengths in hand of the others and can overcome some inefficiency and still win. Give her the best run through the race and she will win clearly demonstrating the better ability. Which is part of the reason why being able to make more than 2-3 lengths on average opponents usually shows a high class individual. Make a lot more than that or make a lesser amount very quickly & with a change-of-pace and you can be sure you have a good one. When Misheer won by 8 lengths on debut she was doing it from below average horses but the easy & unpressed manner she did it said that she was a better one.
    • So, as we go down the draw we should be looking out for a better filly that might be able to overcome the problems. Six Wives got her win in a poor claimer last time and her runner-up was beaten two days ago in another weak race. If she is outside the OR75-88 range it is probably off the bottom. Don't Tell Mary is a much more interesting possibility. Well drawn and a clear winner on debut with a front-runnning display, but a controlled one. She beat Toga Tiger who was given a hold-up ride to grant her an easy lad but she was going away again at the end. If she would drop in here and you could convince yourself she was OR88 or better a very good profile.
    • Leleyf has not looked up to the class required to win this and struggled to go the pace in the Marygate and then faded. The last two winners of this race has been midfield in that race and better for the stiffer test here but she does not appeal on quality grounds. She can Stalk but has also shown she likes to front-run when she can. Sheka has not looked up to the required class and has the wrong Run Style unless this turns into a war out front. Never nearer than 4 lengths off the lead in weaker races and a closer. Quaker Parrot is the Dascombe second string to Don't Tell Mary and her Warwick win was moderate form and very hard to see her being good enough.
    • Tom Folan seems to have a good mix of draw & Run Style to be efficient here. A typical run in her three outings so far to sit in 2nd or 3rd within 3 lengths of the lead and then plus on later in the race and make a place or two. When she did not really finish a race off strongly here STO she had come across from a lower draw. A solid profile in efficiency terms but not totally convincing in the Quality terms (the Fourth Dimension in this model).
    • Once you get to Patteresa Girl you are into draws 7 & below and without some withdrawals they are going to need some 'Help' to win. The most likely source from without is an overly strong pace and everything on the far rail side stalling and the Stalkers get caught up in the backwash. A clear run up centre track can then work. The other main aid comes from within and natural oomph. Patteresa Girl has not looked a speed filly and has not helped herself with slow breaks on both outings. This was the 10 length variety FTO & getting back to the pack in the straight an ok effort. She lost 2 lengths STO and that was how far back she was at halfway. As some quicker fillies made their later race efforts she got outpaced and won by plugging on very late to pick up the faders. With her draw that is how she will probably have to be ridden. Plugging on in mid track not a strong profile but just about usable and a lot of respect for the trainer to have her at peak form
    • Dower Glen turned into a frantic pacemaker STO on softer going and broke the whole race up. She persisted pretty well given the nonsense but got beaten by a 66/1 shot outpaced by miles at halfway who has ben beaten in a seller. If she tries to press from her draw she cannot win and the class to close centre track not obvious either. Little Scotland  is different and with a higher draw you could have her close to topping the profile. Her effort in the Marygate was a revelation and her stable is in much better form now. She sat 4th to a strong pace at York & 0.5 lengths off Diamond Laura at halfway. That does not tell the whole story though because the pick-up speed early in the race seemed the real killer and Little Scotland missed that and made he move forward towards halfway when things had settled a bit. A good effort to make move forward with Misheer and challenged until fading late. Give her a Stalking pitch from a higher draw and a solid favourite. The lower draw makes that outcome trickier but still a major contender.
    • Little Azif seemed to have her lack of size & power demonstrated in the Marygate and could not beat Diamond Laura there and has much the worse of the draw. Lady Lube Rye will be better than she showed at Redcar when not handling the firm ground but still winning. But, from draw 2 she will need to do something unusual to win and not obviously better class. The Hermitage has blasted off in front on both runs although she settled better when not pressed last time in a weak Newmarket race. She is one of those who might be OR88+ in quality terms but if she tries getting front rank from draw 3 she will not win if the lead is contests which much be a certainty anyway. Respect for her but a pass because something unusual will have to occur to win. An finally, Existentialist looks a solid OR85+ filly and give her stall 16 rather than 1 and an almost certain placer. The draw means she has a very difficult puzzle to solve and one where the best answer might only be a solid 5th anyway.
    • In summary, a full field and closely matched fillies with plenty of forward goers should mean a fascinating bout of flow-and-fold in four dimensions. Taking the draw as the first dimension something odd will have to happen for something to win from below stall 8ish. Oddities have occurred three times in the last years but two were softer ground assisted (= upgrade Little Scotland, The Hermitage & Existentialist if a group racing stands' side seems plausible). Taking Run Style as the second dimension then a Stalker within 1-3 Lengths of the lead at halfway (& with a good draw is most efficient). Angelena Ballerina & Tom Folan seen best suited on evidence although one of the previous frontrunners drawn high may well drop in. On quality ground you hope that would be Don't Tell Mary. Pace as dimension three and on a further reflection perhaps not a frantic as you might think. A lot may depend on whether Diamond Laura can clear Tillys Tale and get to the rail and set a good but not daft pace. If she can then a strong contender to hang on to win. If she gets hooked up with Tillys Tale and something like Leleyf or Six Wives joins in then the Stalkers go odds-on if they were not already.
    • If we forgets about the 3-D bit and just think about quality the first pass shortlist would have Don't Tell Mary, Little Scotland, Diamond Laura, Angelena Ballerina,  Existentialist & The Hermitage on in that order on the evidence so far. The draw dimension removes Existentialist & The Hermitage and Little Scotland just hangs on because 5 may be usable with some dubious duffers & slow starters inside of her and because she just ran so well at York. Diamond Laura's chances seem to rest on how much she participates in the pace and she does not appear to like to be shortchanged although she is tractable and not a mad dasher in the Dispol Keasha mode. Very good each-way value if the price is there because she is a real trier. Angelena Ballerina comes up short on plain quality although has a lot going for her otherwise & Don't Tell Mary stays top of the profile if she can restrain from slugging it out in the leading line (if that occurs). 
    • ====================
    • A couple of points to note in the other races on the day. The second of the RP 'Expert Eyecatchers' runs at Lingfield with Soul Heaven. Remember that the logic for backing him is that because he got cut-off going for a gap between the limited Flapjack and the stalling Reddy To Star last time he "will win races". Since we are dealing in bogus logic unsupported by numerical anchor points the onward conclusion must be "this is a race and he will win it". Oh, and if he does B2yoR will claim a tipping success for that previous sentence. However bogusly. On a more thoughtful approach you might say he only needs to get back the 3-6 ratings points he lost being hampered and add a bit for STO and he is competitive in this moderate race anyway. But what did the 'Expert Eyecatcher' guy say about draw 3 or trundling-through-in-the-straight Run Styles at this track or even what a value SP might be? 
    • You would tend to think that Any Day has shown us all she has and a couple of the colts will trundle by her, straightwise. Quaestor & I'malwaysright are around the same raw (i.e. pre efficiency consideration) levels as Soul Heaven.
    • A four runner race at Brighton with a STO class drop from a major stable in Kalam Daleel who looks better than the normal OR68-73 type brought in for this type of task. But, real interest for B2yoR in watching how Lairy goes. First run off the claim after a lost debut for David Nicholls in a seller followed by a 3rd in a seller at Ripon where he never tried once. Very interesting to see whether he can develop to be OR69ish kit and well worth the claim.


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