Racing Preview - 
May 3rd
Races :-
47 : Beverley 2:20, 5f Maiden (6)
48 : Kempton AW 2:30 (4)
49 : Warwick 3:10, 5f Maiden Fillies' (5)

 DATE  Summary :-
  • As writing these Previews would soon tell anyone there are always factors that can occur on the day to make them look poorly founded. A change from Good to Firm over to Soft after overnight rain is probably the most assured method of achieving this. A horse from an unusual source being a much better physical type than expected is relatively common. As is the reverse with an unseen horse that has, apparently, presentably form being well beaten and on viewing it you know it is in trouble before the race because of lack of size, power or neat proportions, or some combination of those. The Previews have an outlet in that they are targetted at being a model for the Paddock Reviewer on the day to work against. Betting without Paddock information seems an unnecessarily risky proposition if it can be reasonably easily side-stepped. That is with any age group of horses.
  • But, if someone were ever fretful about the worth of their 'Punditry' the result of the two Classic races over the weekend would be very reassuring. The 2,000 Guineas is won by a long-shot who was sold on by Shadwell for 25,000 guineas and the favourites are mostly anonymous, or worse. Mountains of analysis before the race with much of it rendered plain wrong. And that for a race featuring a small elite level of horses people thought they had a good understanding of. Not horses that have never been on a racecourse. 
  • Then a bit of rain overnight and the 1,000 Guineas presents itself as being a huge track bias race. The first five home race together and those racing far side are lost by halfway. A 66/1 shot, from a major stable, is first home to add to the chaos. If you were a newcomer to racing you would wonder how much the 'Experts' knew. A bit of order apparently restored with the 66/1 filly chucked out for the favourite to be placed first. [B2yoR was somewhat baffled by the explanation proffered by the Stipendiary Steward for the decision to revise the placings. If he had said that Jacqueline Quest had bumped the other filly and intimidated her out of continuing her run then that would have been fine. But, what was all that stuff about her losing ground by being carried across the track? Losing ground in a relative sense or against a fixed background? JQ was hanging as well so covered the same distance as Special Duty so it was not that which made the difference to the possible result. The distance of a 'Nose' between the two at the finish is a relative judgement, surely? If we go back to Leicester in April then why was Mayfair Princess not chucked out having done exactly the same thing to Molly Mylenis as JQ did at Newmarket? Use the questionable 'Lost ground on the Hypoteneuse' logic and it should have been a simple decision to reverse the places at Leicester.]
  • But, analysis and previews at least mean you know when things are getting a bit chaotic and perhaps help to identify why. The 2yo season so far has been a more difficult proposition that normal in some ways. By this time of the year we should expect the form of races to be 'working out' to some degree. A good number of horses should have gone on from promising debuts to win STO. There has been little of this in 2010 and in the first 46 races we have had, a recent record, of 29 debut winners (21 to the same point in 2009). Of the 10 Second Time winners, who had not won on debut, how many have finished in the first 3 on their debut effort? Just one. You can get that figure up to three if you make it the first 4. That is not typical. 
  • Part of the reason for this is that Hannon & Channon. The first is normally a reliable source of STO wins and they have been converted to debut successes. Channon has only had one winner whereas make the first 4 on debut and peak STO is typical for his approach. The changeable going seems to have played a part as well. Mixes of firmer and soft going have produced some of the failures. You could add racing too freely and fading when finally meeting firm going as another regular occurrence.
  • With which let us consider the Warwick maiden for fillies. Only seven declared and two non-runners with the going cited as the reason ('Heavy' is in the current description). Another non-runner in Good Morning Dubai who is owned by Jaber Abdullah who already had the favourite with Golden Shine. A tactical bout of 'Sore Shins' followed. Alledgedly. Something to stop her running but not to prevent her running later in the week if required.
  • This has left us with just four runners, at present, and Golden Shine is a classic Profile for a strong STO performance from a Channon horse. She was touted as being very good on debut and the trainer has already talked about her going to Royal Ascot. When Channon talks about an Abdullah owned filly in this way he is normally right to some level. She ought to be good and ran well enough on debut at Newmarket to not discount that possibility. Getting a little caught up in the traffic and taking time to pick up towards the final furlong. A solid third but without showing a taking effort that you would probably have expected. The form of the Channon horses some excuse.
  • That Newmarket race has been well tested with the 2nd & 7th (hampered badly) running ok yesterday at Newmarket but comfortably beaten by better types. The 4th to 6th ran in lesser races during the week for one win in a moderate race and two defeats that looked like 'failures' to some degree. How is that for 'working out'? Not a simple one to answer and, as ever, you need to understand what was going on the subsequent races and the 'Form Book' will only give you hints of that.
  • But, leaving aside a Heavy ground failure Golden Shine ought to win. Not a taking proposition though is the current context. Majestic Style is on the list of 'improvers' to follow for a while but seems to have got into the wrong place. A good size and a good mover but not suited to softer going. Lost in the Brocklesby on testing going and then expiring at Pontefract after forcing the pace on softer ground. The trainer lodged a report with the Stewards after that race saying she had been unsuited by the going. A surprise she is not already a 'Ground' non-runner. She might blag this if Golden Shine fails but not a taking prospect.
  • The other pair showed nothing worthwhile on debut and would need the other pair to fail badly to win. Alexs Rainbow is from a source that has only ever had a single 2yo winner so high end 'Chaos' if she could win. Dancing Tara runs for David Evans so at least a reliable trainer but she was only one place (but many lengths) in front of Alexs Rainbow as they trundled home at Doncaster as the last two back. Dancing Tara ran a bit freely at Doncaster and faded badly. A slow race here might show her to better effect and almost certainly keep her closer to Golden Shine than the SPs should suggest.
  • In summary, in theory an obvious set-up to add a second debut-placer-to-STO-winner to the season total. But, the ground makes the delivery seem less than fully assured. Majestic Style not obvious upset material on the ground either. Which means Dancing Tara will need to improve for the going to provide the upset.
  • A thin field at Beverley and not even the hint of a strong debut performance being brought in by those with previous runs. But Blind Stag showed enough at Ripon to believe he should go ok here. That race was run in a slowish time despite there being a forcing pace up front. The leaders faded back to allow the 4th at halfway to win from the 5th at the same stage. We can then think about how the race is 'Working Out'. The placed horses have both run since for a win and a place with both taking on horses that ran in the Thirsk Novice. The fourth has placed in a race with a frantic pace that he forced, as he had at Ripon. Those behind have managed a place in a moderate race as well.
  • Overall, an average early season race where the beaten horses are competing ok in similar races. Not 'all winning' but not looking out of place. Many in that Ripon race looked uncomfortable on the undulations and ramp and Blind Stag seemed the most obvious example. The jockey did not really attempt to force him into the race because of this. He seems the type that should improve for the different test at uphill Beverley. He seems to have fallen into a weak race as well depending on what Music News is. On the plus side jockey Culhane seems to have chosen him over Galtymore Lad. The jockey has some sort of agreement with owner Findlay and a link with the Midgley yard. On the down side he is drawn a little wide in 6 but probably usuable with many in the field uncompetitive.
  • Galtymore Lad was fizzy in the preliminaries at Windsor FTO and this culminated in rearing up in stalls and getting his leg over the outside ledge twice as the widest drawn runner. Culhane had probably had enough of this when the starter let them go just after the horse was back on four feet and never put the horse in the race. He jogged along at the back. The horse must be better than that but a negative profile at present. See how he shapes here.
  • Music News is another filly running for owner Jaber Abdullah but Mark Johnston trained. That trainer's first runner of the year this week ran moderately in a fast race. Attended the pace to around halfway then fading early after meeting a bit of interference. There should be a high class one in the first batch of 5f debuts and in 2009 it was The Hermitage who started in this race. She was beaten as favourite by a Fahey STO filly who had finished 5th on debut. The Fahey horse ended up in a claimer and the Johnston debut could no deal with her. Now, the owner likes strong debuts so you would expect a bit of hype here and a shorter price if she is though to be useful. But beatable FTO unless bordering Group Class.
  • Most of the others seem unlikely winners for the day but worth looking at the Mick Easterby trio later. The rest look moderate Profile ones that might be development winners but would need this race to fall apart to win FTO as an accident. Perhaps pick out a couple for a mention. Chadford runs for Tim Walford and he has a reasonable record with getting winners with cheap ones in the last 2 year. Two of the seven to run for him in that period have won with development and both placed on debut. This one has a solid pedigree to produce a minor sprint winner so worth assessing. Poorly drawn.
  • Kate Walton has has just two juveniles run for her in 2008-9 and both have won. The patterns seems to be solid debuts followed by runs at a similar level that find a race to win along the way. West Stand is out of a dam that was a cheap buy but won over sprint distances and got rated around OR80. Sire Danbird has made a better start this year so another acceptable pedigree at a low level.
  • And finally, Mick Easterby has his first runners with Tufty, Bellemore & Gunalt Penny Sweet. A brief recap on the trainer's methods. He runs a lot of 2yos and most will be garbage. But, the earliest runners will include the competitive ones. He gets the 2yos to a solid level of preparation for debut so they can compete well in moderate races. He runs his horses in weak races mostly which means that places, and odd wins, for the early competitive ones are common. Because of his reputation for targetting older handicap coups the juveniles usually start at very long SPs. 
  • Which means that one of this set could well place in this sort of set-up. If Music News is a Johnston debut and Blind Stag misfires then this race is up-for-grabs. B2yoR would estimate that Tufty is the best of this group but drawn a little wide. GPS is the second choice in this game of ranking them and also by new sire Blue Dakota (who died in his first year at stud). Better drawn and the SPs are probably going to be little help in splitting them. But, no surprise to see a 33/1 place out of the set.
  • In summary, Blind Stag look to be struggling with the Ripon track in a race which is producing competitive horses. Enough circumstantials to believe he will compete here. Music News will normally have to be OR95+ to win FTO unless this race falls apart. Unlikely to be value. Worth spending a bit of time finding the best of the Easterby set for an each-way punt.

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