Sandown Park 6:35, 7.1f Maiden (5)
|1||Mr Perceptive||2.25||48||3||R. Hannon||3||BOk Wd PNgl TTR, Resp Erl, Prg+0.5f, XF+1f Cmf Sttld, Cmf Ld, Eff-2f, Po, Resp to Ln|
|2||Gay Gallivanter||5.5||42||2||J. H. M. Gosden||8||Supp 7/1, BOk ins, LdgLn Erl, Allow XFr+1f SResp SwcL, Eff-2f, STTR ins-2f, Po-1.5f+, Resp ins-1f, SChal Lt, Po to Ln|
|3||Torun City||33||36||1||E. Johnson-Houghton||2||Drift 20/1, B-2 Wdst SInx, Resp Erl, Dropin+1.5f LastPr, Prg-2.5f+ Wd, 5th-2f & Eff, po, 3rd-1f+, po, Fd-0.5f+|
|4||All The Evil||8||33||2||B. J. Meehan||10||B-1 RL, Allow XFrs Erl & Shffl Back, SPrg+2f RL, Eff-2f TTR, po ins-2f, Stall ins-2f, Fd Lt, JkQt Ov, OkType?|
|5||Tanfeeth||1.63||32||1||E. A. L. Dunlop||4||SuppOv & 9/4, B-1 PRh-1 Bmp, Last+0.5f JkQt, SPrg-2.5f, Eff-2f, po ins-2f, SHmp-1.5f, po HnH TTR, Eased-0.5f|
|6||Cantonese Cat||50||28||4||B. J. Meehan||6||BOk, SEff Erl, 2nd Rank+1f 1Wd Sttld, Eff-2f, po ins-2f, Fd ins-1f|
|7||Norse Blues||20||28||1||M||S. Kirk||5||BOk PBmp-1, SQFre Erl & Hld 2Wd, QFFH for 1.5f Unbal at Times, Eff-2f SInx SUnbal, Hmp-1.5f -1L, Fd-0.5f, GdSz|
|8||Geordie Iris||10||20||1||V||R. Hannon||7||B-1 Inx PLh-1 Bmp, Resp Erl, Outpcd-2f, Fd ins-1f|
|NR||Marzante||M||R. Charlton||9||NR = Travel. M25 Closed but all the others made it to the course. Declared NR at 17:18 for 18:35 race.|
|NR||Noonenose||W. J. Knight||1||NR = Going.|
||How TEDIOUS is that. The early 2yo season with lots of, innocent, 5f blasts with lots of enthusiasts belting along at a good pace seem a long time ago. Some of the early 5f types are looking over-the-top already and now we have lots of longer races with slow paces and jockeys playing about. Which matters because, despite what the average 'Form Book' (the deflated, lifeless versions) might suggest 'Run Styles' and Race Shape are hugely influential on how races work out. Enough to make you Misty Eyed about last-filly-standing bundles down the 5f at Southwell. And not just because you've got Fibresand in your eyes.
This was the sixth race at the distance at the course this season and the general Race Shape wholly predictable. The Six Races have produced 5 Wins for the Leader through halfway. The other produced a win for the third through halfway but that was less 'exciting' than it sounded. The First 7 through halfway in that event filled the first 7 places at the finish with only two changes. The Leader faded and ended up 7th. Which promoted everything by a place. The winner was the 3rd through halfway and he managed to claw back a whole Neck on the second through by the line. Like the Queen's Jubilee it was, Bunting, hats through the air. The Lot.
The formula at the course produces the 'Problem'. A short run to a tight bend meaning getting track position is very important. The tight bend makes getting any ground back difficult. Jockeys don't do much 3f out to 2f out because the Hill discourages kicking the races off Early (before 2f out) which might introduce some extra Pressure to spread the horses out by ability a bit more. Add in that we have a lot of 'Easy Intro' and 'Old School' trainers and we end up with trundles, the Soft Leader winning and an indeterminate mix of abilities behind. All very unsatisfactory.
Lesson 2. Making a lot of ground back in any race is difficult and will need either you to be very good or the leaders to go berserk to some degree and fade. Which they don't do over 7f here at present. Try this, in the first 494 juvenile race this year how many winners were within 3L of the lead at Halfway? 410 or 83%. Make it 5L and we are at 95%. Miss the break a bit and get a bit blocked somewhere and you are out of it before the first 1f is over.
Which brings us to the advisability of punting Tanfeeth like he is close to a certainty. On the plus side the trainer has got the odd FTO win this year and those he does get are often better class ones for this owner. But, at 7f and here? A sloppy break and Richard Hills reverting to type and being easy on Hamdo's Pet? An irretrievable gap has opened within 10 seconds. You will need external help or be Zacinto (or Azmeel who did it in 2009) to run the leaders down here. The second Tanfeeth broke a little slow you were in trouble. When he bumped another and Hills reacted by dropping back instead of playing Ajtebi you might as well be walking to the pre-Parade ring to look for something to get your money back in the next race. Unless he was 'Workforce' he was already in a hopeless spot. Worth thinking about. In the end it's not the Despair that gets to you. You can live with that. It's the Hope that'll kill you.
Having read the preceding bit a good question about this race would be how TCity finished 3rd from 8th? Cheating, is the answer. On the 3f to 2f out stretch in the straight when the others were jogging along waiting for the 2f out kick he, and Tanfeeth to a lesser extent, were making some progress. TC was 5th at 2f out and only had to haul himself past the useless CantCat and non-responding (again) ATEvil to get to a volunteer 3rd. Fading in the last 1f and TC not one to follow.
Tanfeeth only make a minor effort before a slight hampering and jockey Hills left off. Must be better but didn't show anything in the last 2f to stand up the earlier support.
Which means that if picking something from the ruck to track for the future then Norse Blues the best option. Likeable, big, type from a trainer who rarely gets strong debuts. Pulled very, very hard, early on and never really balanced in the final efforts. But, believable as a good development type on looks.
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