General Virtual Paddock for Nottingham
& Yarmouth = (Guesswork, Motivational & Tomintoul
Lack of time so a more 'Hints & Notes' preview than a full work-up
but a couple of important issues to highlight. The Previews are hopefully
more useful as information sources and to generate ideas & ways of
thinking rather than 'Tip Sheets' as such. Just as well after the last
few days. Remember that the primary purpose for the Profiles are to give
the paddock reviewer a framework for what they should expect to see. If
the review shows something better or worse then there is a numerically
based framework to refer to. None of your 'Nice Type' & 'Should come
on for the run' type vacuity. Without the paddock info the Profiles and
Preview summaries need to be useful in information terms.
The 6f maiden at Haydock is an ordinary one of it's type with three
horses with presentable runs taken on by a Godolphin & a Johnston newcomer.
Standard stuff in the North at present. The Suroor newcomer at the course
yesterday was another duff one which makes Chaperno unappealing
and he has just a middling pedigree by their standards. Since none of the
stable's 2yos have put a competent, and strong form, debut together a pass
until they seem to be in form.
Yesterday saw a typical return for Mark Johnston with a poor debut at Haydock
and a second at Hamilton with a well backed runner who owed his defeat
partly to being inexperienced in later race when put under pressure. Yes,
all is normal. The other reason was that Leviathan looked a serious horse
in carrying his bulk well to become Dubawi's first winner. Even better
he moved very well in later race with his head forward in a willing fashion.
Very promising and probably just a better horse than Loveinthesand. Trailblazing
is yet another debut for Hamdan bin Mohammed and bred by the Darley organisation.
If he is punted he might be ok but still not win and debuts over 6f are
unprofitable these days. One to pass with three runners with some form
Aattash has more ability than he showed with his finishing position
on debut. He missed the break by 4-5 lengths and then got rushed up to
make the ground back too quickly. That effort told and after a brief effort
post halfway he faded badly. Although supported he looked just a medium
size and probably the OR75-82 type. Ought to be better here and compete
well without being a strong barrier to a better class horse.
We now get to the real point of interest the race allows to be covered.
Rave & Reeds Bay made debuts in separate divisions of the
same 6f maiden at the course. The two races were run in different manners
with Reeds Bay in the slower pace race where the winner wound the pace
up after halfway. He was 8th at halfway and got to 3rd late on as the second
rank that tried to go with the winner after halfway faded back. If you
look at the - Result - it would
appear that the best four horses got to the front anyway. The horses that
finished around him in 2nd & 4th have won ordinary maidens since and
the 6th has been dropped to claimer level and ran well yesterday. The abilities
of the runners was probably spread out quite well by the race. If that
is the case then what happened on his second run at Newcastle? Let us come
back to that and consider Lucky Rave.
He ran in the second division which saw a faster early pace and a lot of
pace pressure up front. The pacemakers folded for the most part and Lucky
Rave got from 10th at halfway to lead into the final furlong before stalling
late on. A good effort and he covered the course a little faster than Reeds
Bay had. The horse in second has won since and the horse just behind him
has run 4th in a slow race at Newmarket where he was beaten by Step In
Time who had been just ahead of Reeds Bay at Haydock. Which makes them
seem similar horses if you ignore Reeds Bay's STO run and you pick the
one you think can improve more or showed something better FTO. Lucky Rave
seemed to show a bit more with his forward move to B2yoR but you take your
But, with Lucky Rave a non-runner at Newcastle (are you following me or
am I following you?.....) Reeds Bay seem to run pretty badly with a tame
fade. At the time their looked no real excuse but that seems different
now and something to check with how he goes here. Try looking at this-
- for the most recent race at Newcastle last week which saw the two favourites
well beaten. The summary ponders around why the, apparently reliable, Danzoe
& Toga Tiger had expired quite so dramatically together. It considers
whether there are 'Good & Bad' strips on the Newcastle straight course
given that the first three home pulled clear together on the same part
of the track.
On ATR yesterday Hugh Taylor said that he had a theory that the stands'
side was definitely the place to be at Newcastle and far side runners were
at a disadvantage. This fits well with how the Danzoe race looked visually.
Time to go back to look at the video of the Reeds Bay race at Newcastle.
And, there it is, exactly the same shape to the race. Split the track in
two and those that race centre to far side stop pretty early like their
feet are glued to the floor. The horses that pull clear, in taking fashion,
are furthest towards the stands' side on the same strip as the Danzoe race
strong finishers. If you look at the - Result
- of the Reeds Bay Newcastle race the summary gets very positive about
the first three home. Two of them ran last Friday and looked pretty ordinary
in finishing unplaced and second. Not the better types the visual appearance
of their debuts left. Change your view a bit and say that they were finishing
well up a bit of 'Magic Carpet' against horses on a moving escalator going
the wrong way and their tame STO efforts make sense.
If you look at the draws for the day they do not tell the whole story with
the first three home racing furthest over to the stands' side. Reeds Bay
was drawn in the 'right' place but was held up early and dropped in by
the jockey. To around halfway he was pretty much in centre track. When
he made his effort to move forward the jockey switched him left onto the
'soup' on the far side and off the Carpet. Which does not mean that he
will win at Haydock but a chance you can discard the bad Newcastle run.
With this as a theory you can start to look at the races to see which other
horses might be better than they have shown. Mr Taylor on ATR was highlighting
San Sebastian who had done best of the low draws in the Danzoe race. If
you work really hard you can get yourself interested in Arctic Destiny
as a horse that might get a usable OR mark in a Nursery. He runs too freely
at present and stays about 4f which is a bother but he has some size and
pace and perhaps he will stay later. He was uncompetitive on debut as many
of his trainer's runners are. STO he was in the Reeds Bay race and steamed
along on his own up the far side the whole way. If the theory is right
he had no chance there. Two days ago he had Draw 8 at Chester and ran freely
again to get involved before fading. He might be as useless as his form
says but he had not had the chance to show his best you feel. Perhaps he
will get OR66 and be better than that, develop a bit physically and learn
to settle and win a draw lottery somewhere in a nursery.
Also, time to get the video of the Amary race at the course out to see
how that compares (Result).
From memory it seemed to have the same shape with two horses pulling away
together on the usual strip from the highest two draws. Bikini Babe
seemed a better Johnston debut attempt and blasted off in the lead before
fading badly. Since she was drawn 1 and ran up the centre to far side (memory
again) she was perhaps committing suicide. She runs over 7f at Sandown
on Friday and the trainer has a good record there at the distance.
The first 7f race of the year is a seller at Yarmouth today with
a poor group of horses too slow to win at 5-6f even in sellers. The first
important 7f race will be the maiden on Friday at Sandown. Now, Mark Johnston's
6f debuts may be a bit baffling but we can relax with the 7f ones and also
the 8f ones when it comers to those. Try looking at this table from the
FTO P&L stats on this site for the trainer - Johnston
Debuts P&L by Distance. Last four seasons consistently good profits
for 7f debuts and also for 8f in 3 of the four years.
Thinking back to the points made about the trainer's gallops preparation
before debut this presumably links to the profitability split. Remember
that the 6f debuts often struggle for pace when pressed and lack a turn
of foot when the '2f out Effort' goes in a race that most trainers work
to. Johnston runners do not do this and his jockeys will often press on
from halfway (3f out in 6f races) and put sustained pressure on
other horses more used to bumbling along for 4 furlongs prior to a 2f sprint.
Given that 7f races are run at a slower pace they perhaps allow the Johnston
runners to apply their own brand of 'pressure' more efficiently. The better
results with 7-8f FTOs will also have some input from being later in
But, the messages are that the 7f races bring a new dimension to the racing
and ask different questions of the juveniles and their preparation. Run
Styles can be more variable and we are not in the 5f-at-Southwell mode
of blast along for as long as you can until the power is all used up. Oh,
and Mark Johnston now has a lot more debuts that will be competitive and,
for some reason, the SPs go up a bit.
A few points of interest for the other races.
The 6f maiden at Newbury has been won by a newcomer who went on
to win at Group level over 7f in each of the last three years. Those winners
have been for 'Ready on Debut' trainers with better class horses in Michael
Jarvis, Barry Hills & Paul Cole. One of those wins was by a Khalid
Abdulla who also won the Division in 207 that was not won by a Group winner
with Midships (A Perrett). Abdulla is represented this year by Showcasing
for John Gosden. On previous evidence the owner's racing manager chooses
a good one to come to this maiden and they are usually pretty ready FTO.
But, Gosden is not as sure FTO as a Jarvis although we are at the start
of the period when he can get debut wins.
But, Party Doctor appears to be a more solid runner with experience
than has sometimes been the case. He ran very well FTO and pulled clear
with a filly of a solid horse who has placed well since. He looks to set
a very strong barrier for the newcomers to get past. John Best has no had
a 2yo winner yet and remember that his strategy is to try to get a lot
of horses to Royal Ascot to run well so that they can be sold for a big
amount to pay for the dross (re-using a method that Vincent O'Brien, Magnier,
Sangster & co. were 'at' back in the 1970s & 80s). Diamond Johnny
G made the best debut so far while looking a bit slow when Swilly Ferry
made his effort. A bigger type and perhaps better on a straight track and
reasonable support against the newcomers.
Richard Hannon runs three and typical runs two in the race and they are
of specific types. One will be an OR80 horse who actually needs 7f+ and
will go up to that distance STO and prove a good winner (Ghetto & Billion
Dollar Kid two examples). That one will start at an SP in the 2/1 to 7/1
range with the final level a fair indication of how good and ready they
feel he is. You would presume Lucky General is that one. The other
debut runner is normally at long odds (25/1+) and finishes unplaced. If
they finish 5th you worry about the quality of the race because they are
OR65-71 nursery types and will probably struggle to win at all. Red
Badge was supposed to run at Goodwood as second string to the useful
Fremont but a non runner and appears likely to be that type. Magnus
Thrax is probably more the nursery development type but may b a bit
better than that on profile.
On profile Party Doctor actually comes out a long way ahead unless Showcasing
is a really good Gosden debut or there is a lurker. The obvious possibility
is Noseda's Summerinthecity and the trainer has not shown us a batch
of good ones yet. He prepares his 2yos very thoroughly and the Market seems
to have a handle on the better ones. In this case a 'Check in the Market'
may well be useful.
The VP above shows two of the runners with form for the Nottingham
race. Guesswork looks a better prospect overall to improve although
she is a bit light framed and comes from a soft ground race that is not
working out well. Motivational looks just an OR70s type and made
late ground in a slow race on debut past horses even greener than he was.
Noseda's Paradise Dream has shown less than would be needed to win
this in two goes and while likely to improve does not appeal as good value.
Some interesting newcomers of which some should make an impact near the
front. Swiss Cross runs for Gerard Butler and is out of a filly
called Swiss Lake who won on debut for him in 2001. He said that year that
he thought Swiss Lake was lovely and he thought about her before he went
to sleep. Mrs Butler's thoughts unrecorded. B2yoR would not see the problem
overall since Swiss Lake was lovely. She has produced a good colt that
was 2nd on debut and similarly placed in the Coventry Stakes. Her second
produce was Swiss Diva who was supposed to make her debut in this race
last year. She dumped Seb Sanders on the way to the start and kicked him
in the process. That was the injury that ended his season and seems to
have left him with a permanent limp when he walks. Mr Sanders probably
has a different word to 'lovely' for Swiss Diva. A good possible for a
Richard Fahey runs Ballodoir and has two wins and a second from
his last three newcomers. Less likely winners would be Kanaf who
makes a delayed start for Ed Dunlop after being declared back in early
May for a race. That trainer also runs Pat Seamur who was very 'Tenderly
Handled' FTO so see whether the Market thinks he has a 'Today'. Pat Eddery
has scuffled along with cheap & middling ones since he started training
but seems to have pulled in a few 'Coolmore' favours and has Aerodynamic
running here. He cost 200,000 guineas and presumably owned by that Derek
Smith. He is not really a FTo trainer but you would expect this one to
show a bit more than average.
What to make of a horse that made it's debut over 3 furlongs in the US
and runs STO here for Mark Johnston and the horse-stuffed Hamdan bin Mohammed?
The auction race at Yarmouth seems to be a very good opportunity
for Tomintoul Singer who made a good debut for Henry Cecil in a race that
B2yoR may have under-rated. On the other hand try looking at her picture
in the VP and try saying that she is not a peculiar shape. Not as neat
nor as rangy as Guesswork although bulky enough.
The others with form look limited and the higher weight males seem a good
place to look for the better ones. The obvious possibility is Hill Of
Miller for Rae Guest and he prepares his 2yos fully for FTO. If they
do not place or make a strong run in 4th they are probably useless. In
this race set-up Hill Of Miller needs to place. Mark Tompkins is the opposite
and debut runs are development ones and he gets the odd accidental FTO
places in weak races. Blinka Me would not have to be that good to
have an accident and place in this.