British 2yo Racing - 2009 Season
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Racing Previews Results

Racing Preview - June 9th 
Races :-
  • Chester 6:45, 5.1f Maiden (4)
  • Redcar 2:00, 6f Maiden (5)
  • Redcar 4:10, 6f Claimer (6)
  • Salisbury 1:40, 6f Auction (5) Div I
  • Salisbury 2:15, 6f Auction (5) Div II

  •   June 9th Summary : 
    •  Two Divisions of the 6f Auction at Salisbury this year with 25 horses across the pair compared to 16 to 18 in the last three years. The race is for lower priced sales purchases and has a wide range of weights. The quality it attracts means that the majority of the field  will be moderate and non-winners at 2yo. In the last three years the 51 horses that have taken part have managed 9 later wins with one of those at claimer level. Most of the subsequent wins have been in similar Auction races and later maiden race wins, and nurseries come to that, are rare. It seems the trainers play the game and choose the appropriate types to run in the race. 
    • Thinking about that it means that across the two Divisions here it would be better than average if there were 5-6 lower level winners spread between them. Not races to spend a lot of time checking through the midfield and well beaten horses without some very good reason. Remember that the only later winner to finish worse than midfield was the claimer victor. The better class horses, in the context of the race, get to the front in most races unless there are interrupting reasons. The general 'Counsel of Despair' about moderate horses being inconsistent and much more difficult to figure out is overplayed. Class and desire make most of the difference at any level. 
    • Last year's race was a good example of this with two OR80s horses finishing clear of the rest - Picture. The placed horses into midfield ended the season rated OR55-65 for the most part. The Market seemed to do a pretty good job in their later runs in not reacting to the 'promising' 3rds, 4ths, etc. Try sticking the Number OR85 on the nose of the winner and the gaps you are seeing back to the others are a real demonstration of the relative ability because the pace was ok. A couple of minor improvers a bit further back than they should have been because they were on debut for 'Nice Intro' stables.
    • The race was also a good reminder that horses can win from any draw in these type of events at Salisbury. The usual way of thinking on firmer going is that running the far rail is the best place to be. It has merit but when these larger fields spread out horses can run down centre track to win. Last year the placed horses were drawn 3-2-4 and in 2007 it was 2-10-8 and 6-5-15 in 2006. That hides some of the story because the stall 2 winner in 2007 crossed over to the rail and lead and the runner-up drawn 10 got behind and switched to centre track to challenge. 
    • A more interesting point is that racing prominently is probably more important than the draw as such. Because the track is on a right-hand dogleg being on the rail means you run a shorter distance. This means that the prominent runners tend to form up there from whatever draw they start from. Winners who come from further back than the first 4-6 places at halfway are rare on firmer going but the draws show a much wider spread. The 'Draw' advantage being an indication of how it is more efficient to get to a prominent position from a higher draw if the field contains a lot of quicker starters. In these mixed ability fields where half the field will lose ground at the start for some reason a god horse will be able to compete.
    • The background brings us to the field for Division I and the remarks above about the draw are pertinent. The likely favourite Tucker's Law is drawn 4 and the most interesting improver is Imperial Warrior in stall 1. Tucker's Law presents just an average profile for the race and is probably a low OR70s type. That sort can win versions of this race but is vulnerable to a better type and it makes it a bit harder to overcome the draw. On the plus side he improved from a lost debut to get to 3rd at halfway at this course last time over 5f. He did that by running freely from box 1 of 9. On that he ought to be able to get into the first 6 at least early and probably close to the front. He was outpaced later in the race but pulled himself together to be getting back to the leader at the finish. A solid profile and should run well.
    • Imperial Warrior has demonstrated no ability to deal with the outside draw. The trainer's FTO runners early in the year are normally unable to compete and a bit on the flabby side. this one had read the script at Goodwood and fell out the stalls and 10th through halfway. On the plus side he plugged on later in the race to get to about where you would want him to reach without the jockey moving a great deal. You expect the ones with ability to improve notably STO for the trainer. His first STO runner this year made the change from never being better than 14th on debut to getting out smartly to cross over to second to attend the lead in a smaller field at Bath. A less full profile than Tucker's Law but with more scope to improve and likely to be a more each-way prospect.
    • Richard Hannon looms over the race at a local track with the winner last year and placed horses in 2006-7 (neither won as 2yos). All of those were runners with previous outings as Folletta has but not his runner in the second division. Folletta is a difficult one to sum up. She missed her intended debut at Bath when she appeared to be the first string over Yer Woman. Since that one placed at Bath and has won since that seems to make her up to winning this. In a motley field at Goodwood FTO she was supported down to 7/2 to add to the circumstantial evidence. But, she ran a shocker which looked more to be plain unwillingness than inexperience. Losing ground before halfway and having to be whipped early to get her moving properly. Eighth through halfway around 8 lengths of the leaders. At least she did finish the race off to be getting back to the leaders late on and finish 4th and suggesting there is ability there. That was not strong form bu give her four lengths back for behaving this time & a bit for STO improvement and she would compete to win. But, taking a chance on how she reacts when the stalls open.
    • If we remember that this field is not going to be packed with later winners and we already have three who can win something there may well not be much lse in the field. Others with previous runs like Abandagold, Flashy Lover & Looks Like Slim do not appeal to improve to the level to win this. Amongst the newcomers the Dunlop trained pair, father & son, of Many A Slip & Practitioner are cheap ones and not the better type John has managed 2 debuts win already this year from 3 runners.
    • The one newcomer you have to take seriously is Chairman Pat who is well drawn if he is here to compete. Tom Dascombe has had a similar number of debut runners to Mark Johnston this year and, like last Saturday's Preview did, let us list the stables newcomer efforts so far to see what patterns there are. The table below is listed in descending rating order (i.e. the B2yoR [Estimates]) rather than by date.
    Horse FTO Place
    & SP
    FTO [Est] Halfway 
    [Est] Difference
    to STO+
    Above Limits 3rd, 9/4 43 2 -8 9/4jf FTO despite poor draw & tough opposition. Won well STO.
    Soccer 1st, 10/3 40 * 2 +8 Listed placed 3TO.
    Walkingonthemoon 1st, 11/2 37 * 1 -7 Listed placed 4TO
    Party Doctor 2nd, 10/3 31 * 2 Ran well, drew clear with experienced runner. Presume well above average ability.
    Don't Tell Mary 1st, 9/2 27 2 21 Listed winner STO
    Antonius Moris 1st, 4/1 24 * 3 -2 Look out of sorts STO & not run to best in Novice race.
    Barzan 3rd, 3/1 23 1 -5 Won STO & 6th in Listed race 3TO.
    Coloursoftheglen 2nd, 71 16 3
    Orpen Grey 5th, 9/1 10 * 6 Probably ok and underperformed in tough maiden on firmer going.
    Quaestor 6th, 12/1 7 10 2 Drift & held at back FTO. Turned into a front-runner STO & faded off solid pace.
    Janeiro 4th, 3/1 6 9 29 Miss break at Southwell. 3rd in Conditions race 5 days later. Beaten 3TO since.
    Gertmegalush 4th, 9/4 -2 * 6 Debut in seller. Claimed and won STO in seller for new stable. 
    Fire And Stone 8th, 9/2 -4 9
    Quaker Parrot 11th, 12/1 -12 13 +24 Drift in Market FTO and held up at rear by jockey & never involved. Won weak race STO.
    China Bay 6th, 11/2 -18 6
    Underworld Dandy 5th, 13/2 -32 5 +47 5th in 5 runner Maiden FTO beaten miles. Dropped to claimer with low weight STO & clear winner.
    • A different result to looking at the Johnston debuts. The trainer has his horses very well prepared for debut and they show a lot of what they can do - if they are allowed to. Those of lesser ability or less knowing are often not put in the race at all. Looking at the halfway positions those that are there to compete to win FTO, which means those with known good ability, will be in the first three from early on and very close to the front if not leading. The horses seem fit and only two of the above have lost places after halfway on debut and then only the odd one or two by a frontrunner or presser. Not complete collapses. The market knows which are the good ones and those marked with an asterisk as those that had noted Market support after the opening show which is often lowish for newcomers anyway.
    • So, the stable knows which are the good ones and they will be ready to compete to win first up. The Market will tell you which are the better ones by opening price, relative to race quality, and general support. If they are here to win they will break quickly and lead or press the pace. They are fit enough to stick it out to the end of the race so something is going to have to be better to beat them. Do not wait for a strong fade. Chairman Pat has an okish 6f pedigree although a bit further might be more suitable and has to give weight in an Auction race. But, Soccer & Antonius Moris both managed it & Above Limits had a right good go too.
    • In summary, preference for Imperial Warrior on balance at the likely prices although Tucker's Law has a solid provide. Respect for Hannon's Folletta to improve but not keen on supporting ones that showed her attitude FTO. Ought to be enough clues beforehand, even without paddock information, to get a handle on how much trouble Chairman Pat is likely to be. It will be entirely clear after 75 yards of the race.
    • =====================
    • Division II looks to have less depth and to be a good opportunity for Crystal Gale unless the Hannon newcomer is stronger than usual. She appeared to be the stable second string to the Market FTO when 33/1 at Lingfield in a fillies race. The trainer prepares his 2yos to be competent on debut and gets regular solid showings. Go back to the equivalent to this race 2007 and his Afram Blue was a close up fourth at 20/1 and won STO, for example. In that context Crystal Gale's promising third FTO was typical for his early runners each year. Back in 7th at halfway nearly 6 lengths off the lead but running along the preferred rail path. Pulled out to progress later on and went from 6th to 3rd inside the last furlong and not obviously stopping. Probably drawn ok and running for a reliable trainer. Fair enough.
    • The Hannon approach with debuts and when he gets FTO winners has been covered at length. In short, you would not be looking for a better debut in this sort of race at this time of year. Newton Circus has an ordinary pedigree & no obvious reason to think he will be the better type. But, useful that he is here if you want to support Crystal Gale to help the price. [Interesting to hear Richard Hughes saying in interview yesterday that experience is a big thing for 2yos in larger fields like this. He said it is worth 5 lengths (around 15 rating points here). Crystal Gale is getting 5lbs from Newton Circus & let us say she is an OR73 filly. If Newton Circus is 10-15lbs below his best but better drawn he might need to be an OR88+ to beat her in his FTO condition. Add in a slow start and he wont win.]
    • A number of others with previous experience who can improve STO but most from a low base. Saxby ran better than it looked FTO in a race that seemed to have a strong pace. He raced on the outside and tried to follow the pace and paid for that late on. He is certainly better than French Connexion who got outpaced in the same race and trundled onto the back of the faders. But just a middling profile. Volatilis may well lead from his rail draw and that might help him hang one longer but his form is moderate and the trainer one to avoid. The more interesting improver is probably Mnarani who never looked balanced at Goodwood and ought to be better than that and has a stiffer track to show it on here.
    • In summary, Crystal Gale has a solid profile and a good opportunity here. Nothing in the profile to suggest Newton Circus is a better Hannon debut & more interest in STO improvers Saxby & Manarani if looking for alternatives.
    • ==========================
    • 12 runners declared for the 5.1f Maiden at Chester and the draw has made for an interesting shape to the race. Anyone who watched the racing at the May Meeting from the course would be very wary of backing anything they did not think could race on the rail and near the front if the ground in firmer. Racing in outer lanes was suicidal and trying to make ground from midfield nearly impossible. Now, if you want a prominent racer 8 of the 9 runners with previous outings would fit the bill. All of them bar Psychopathicsandra have been in the first 3 places at halfway in their, limited length, careers. 
    • Ok, so should we just concentrate on the lowest draws? That is where it gets interesting because stalls 1, 3 & 4 have the newcomers in them. Remember that winning FTO at the track is very difficult and has only been done twice in recent years. Once in 2008 by a later Group winner who just bested a seller class rabbit and by Metal Soldier at the May Meeting. He abiding by the rules and ran the rail in third just behind the leader. Almuntaser in draw 1 seems the owner second string to Il Forno and the trainer has not proved he can do worthwhile debut runs. Cheshire Lady in stall 4 runs for a trainer who has never had a debut winner and her breeze-up background would have to add a lot. 
    • The only newcomer of any interest would be Bazsharani in stall 3 for David Evans. If you had to chose a trainer to prepare one to win FTO and be ready and professional you might well choose Evans. This is a late debut for him remembering that the majority of usable 2yos he has will have started out by mid-April. Each year there is normally one later debut that is a good one and we have not seen that this year. This one is out of a dam that won at 5f in the first weeks of the season and went downhill from there so this really is a late start. He is ridden by John Egan who did a very good job riding the track for Evans on Star Rover & Reel Credit Crunch back in May as another positive. One to leave on the possibles list.
    • In stall 2 you have the likely favourite with Itsthursdayalready who was second to the limited Oondiri FTO. But, on a straight course at Redcar he got to second early on and stayed there so he has some early pace in theory. Well drawn with a proven prominent style he has a lot going for him. The niggle would be what that Redcar form amounted to and whether, if he leads, he can hold off the Stalk & Pouncers. On balance, likely to be worth looking for an alternative.
    • Drawn 5 is Ariel Bender who ran to freely in the lead on debut. On his second run getting him to settle was the jockey's only thought and he was allowed to drop back. He has a bit of size but does not appear to get home when pressing. The trainer is another negative. More of a nuisance if he goes forward than a likely winner.
    • The Fahey filly Wigan Lane in stall 6 dropping back from 6f to 5f is much more interesting. She probably ran as well as Itsthursdayalready for 5f of her race before stalling having broken well and been in second place early on. A similar fast start here and she can compete for the win. From stalls 7 outwards you either need a very fast starter of a strong pace to overcome the disadvantages. The tiny filly Deal in 7 can start quickly to add to the problems for those outside her. She should handle the course well but not good enough despite the positives on what she has shown.
    • The Market is then going to have to deal with mixed messages for Reddy To Star & Il Forno who would compete for favouritism if better drawn. The former has the best form but all on straight tracks or one where he had the draw advantage around a dogleg. He starts quickly but where can he get to if he tries to get across? If you said the three newcomers stayed in the stalls and Ariel Bender was held back he might get to 2nd one off the rail but vulnerable to others. A pass on him with the draw, Il Forno has shown less ability but still a good debut by the stable's standards this year. He also appears to be the first string for the owner. He starts even wider and will have to drop in.
    • In summary, if the draw plays it's usual role it has set two of those with the best form credentials very tough tasks. Reddy To Star might get prominent but at some cost in overall efficiency. Itsthursdayalready has a good mix of Run Style and draw although the form is less good. The Market will be well aware of his positives anyway. More interest in Wigan Lane at the right price as an each-way alternative. David Evans has not shown us his 'Later' good debut runner yet and Bazsharani has enough in the pedigree to be a possible. Well drawn & with a good jockey for the job should get out quickly enough to play a big par tin the race.

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