Thursday, 2 April 2009

2:10 Bath (3rd April)

This maiden fillies' stakes over 5f doesn't look the easiest of races to assess. At least with three form horses making prompt reappearances we have an opportunity to test a few more form lines. Of those to have run Michaelmas Daisey and True Red look rather limited individuals and improvement is needed to feature here. More interesting is George Baker's Chicita Banana. She finished a creditable seventh in the Brocklesby on debut being the first filly home, although in receipt of a big weight advantage. She showed speed before dropping out, running on at one pace. This experience will favour Chicita Banana but she didn't display the most fluent of running actions. It may be the case that she will benefit greatly for this first outing although I fear she may struggle to finish her race. Her greatest hope is that her finishing position in the Brocklesby equates to a winning level of ability. However, it's questionable whether this filly by Danehill Dancer has the scope to win.

Country Princess, trained by R.M.Beckett, is an interesting debutant. Owner, R. Roberts, had a couple of decent juveniles last year with Olynard and Missile Dodger and this filly could figure here. Beckett has an acceptable place rate with all of his juveniles on debut and it is a plus to have Seb Sanders booked to ride. The downside is that a juvenile has a stiff task winning on debut which isn't helped by racing on a turning track from a wide draw.

Richard Hannon's juveniles always have to be feared and Crown wouldn't have to be the greatest filly to win this race on debut. Costing 50,000gns she is fairly expensive and will no doubt be fancied in the betting. It is worth noting that Richard Hughes often gives juveniles a considerate introduction which has to be respected as there is nothing worse than seeing a two-year-old given a hard race.

Mick Channon has started the season with a flourish and his two contenders should be respected although his win rate on debut is far from impressive. In addition, Kate Skate is worth watching although you can never quite tell what a Cole juvenile will attain on their racing bow.

This looks a tricky race.

A watching race.

Race review: 'Chicita Banana made the most of her experience and won this fillies' maiden by a length. Her performance adds credit to the Brocklesby. True Red ran much better on this second start. A well balanced runner and with a touch of speed she is going in the right direction. The two juveniles of most interest are the slow-starting Avon Valley, who ran on well, and Crown, a neat, compact filly who found herself behind a wall of horses and ran on towards the line under tender handling. It will be interesting to see how this form holds up. However, how fast Avon Valley finished this race you have to question whether this was anything other than an ordinary race.

2.55 Musselburgh

An interesting 5f maiden featuring a field of unraced juveniles. The betting suggests it is a three-horse race. Mr Smithson was entered to run in the Brocklesby stakes so that is a point of interest although B. Ellison isn't renowned as a trainer of two-year-olds.

A watching race.

Race review: 'Monalini ran out a decent winner. This bay colt has a bit of size and scope to improve from this effort and Smart is a very good trainer of two-year-olds. Mr Smithson ran well after struggling to go the pace. This gelding by Xaar looks a sturdy type and certainly capable of more. Again, an entrant for the Brocklesby stakes, ran a great race. Miss Smilla, one of three fillies in the race, looked quite small and disappointed on debut. It is never an easy task competing against colts and connections will be hoping she can justify why she was favourite here.'


Gags said...

Loving this blog guys and I can see you finding plenty of winners and good pointers in the coming months. I thought Mr Smithson ran a very eyecatching race and would be interested to see what your thoughts on this were?

Keep it up, as I'm finding it all very interesting!!


jason said...

Hi Gags,
There may have only been a small number of two-year-old races but each is interesting in its own way. I though Mr Smithson ran an encouraging race. I was more impressed by his attitude than having a grip on the form at present.

I am always very careful assessing early form horses because they can make you look very foolish at times. With relatively short priced juveniles I like them to have proven form. In that I mean enough ability to win an average race as a starting point. Some of these early juveniles with place form look to have achieved such a standard when it is far from the case. For that reason it takes time to assess the merits of juveniles like Mr Smithson. Once a few proven form lines are noted it makes assessment much easier. At this early stage of the season most form horses are under priced because they are the focus of everyone's attention. Because we rarely bet below 11/4 we often watch these races without a thought to betting which can be a blessing at times. We need a few more races to bring about an aspect of competition and this brings greater opportunities.


Scott Ferguson said...

Glad I just found your blog. I love racing but just find it too hard to keep up with. 2yos are what I want to focus on, it must be much easier to follow them and I do like the breeding side of it all.

In hindsight, how where they ever going to beat Archers Road if he backed up fine from the weekend?

jason said...

Hi Scott,
Yes, it was going to take a decent effort to beat Archers Road. The second horse, Here Now And Why, looks a fair performer.

I like the two-year-olds as you have a start and finish to the season and then you have a new crop of juveniles to consider the next year, which keeps you on your toes. There is plenty enough to think about specialising with them and I honestly can't imagine how people follow racing in general. I don't think there is enough hours in the day.

It will be an exciting season.