1:25 Doncaster (Friday, 22nd March) Free Horse Racing Tips

Hearts Of Fire - Past Brocklesby Winner 
William Hill Download The App Brocklesby Conditions Stakes over 5f on soft ground (heavy in places). It's great to be back with the first two-year-old contest of the Flat turf season. Seventeen juveniles take part from twenty three declared at the first entry stage. Four fillies take on a field of colts/geldings, a mix of trainers of varying standards.  

This race has lost a little of its lustre in recent years but many a good horse has started its career in this event. Jack Berry's Mind Games & more recently Hearts Of Fire - trained by Pat Eddery - won before going on to achieve Black Type, the latter winning at Group 1. Exceptional talents, and reason why this race deserves credit. 

So what are we to make of this year's contest? Firstly, the weather could play its part with an 8am inspection. Snow is forecast for the weekend, especially Saturday's card. Fingers cross racing  goes ahead. There is likely to be a few non runners so it could pay to bet late if having a wager. 

Testing ground may have a significant impact on the traditional high draw advantage and this could prove problematic if the field split in two groups. 

Few trainers come close to Richard Fahey. With well over 70 juveniles at Mews House, if this is one of his better early runners it would take all the beating. Interestingly, this stable have almost an equal win rate with their fancied juveniles on both first and second start, which is an exceptionally rare occurrence.  Very few trainers feature a win rate anywhere near those of horses on their second start.

Lord Clyde is a chestnut son of Sakhee's Secret out of a winning mare who was owned by the Queen (same breeder) and very much a sprinter. This April foal was purchased for 28,000gns but sold for 15,000gns as a yearling. It's good to see Hanagan taking the ride, and if there isn't an adverse draw bias, being just off the rail could prove positive. One of the more interesting horses in the field.

One trainer who cannot be ignore in the Brocklesby is Bill Turner. He has an outstanding record in this race and he generally sends one of his better - if not best - two-year-old to compete. Mick's Yer Man cost £21,000 at the yearling sales and owned by Turner's daughter, who struck gold last season when selling Judy In Disguise, who won her first two starts, to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partnership. This son of Bahamian Bounty has just turned two, out of an unraced mare. Turner is a dab hand at training juveniles and using his apprentice [grandson] to take off a valuable 7lb could be a wise move in these testing conditions. Surprisingly, the stable do not attain a very good strike rate with their debutantes but this race has been a happy hunting ground. The stable have around twenty juveniles in their string, which is a marked increase on last year.  Ryan While is a talented jockey and a high draw will mean they can run just off the rail. This bay colt is likely to run up with the pace and if past performances are a good guide this colt must have each way claims.

*Sleepy Joe hails from another powerhouse of a stable. Mick Channon's bay colt cost £25,000 as a yearling. The trainer has had rather indifferent results in this race and I would use the betting as the best guide. Their juveniles are often quoted as winning machines on debut but statistics suggest that many are better for the race. If strongly fancied in the betting I would take note but if drifting to double figures best watched.

Picks Pinta hails from the Jo Hughes stable and they know the score when it comes to ability. If seriously backed, I would follow the money.   

Another trainer who targets this race is Mel Britain. He fields Sleaford - owned by the trainer - and Bridge Of Avon. The former is a cheap American bred purchase at just £800 and he may have been an unruly type because he was gelded as a yearling. This March foal has breeding suggesting this 5f may be a little on the sharp side. However, the trainer can have big priced winners and isn't someone to ignore. Last year Duran Fentiman rode Mayfield Girl who went a close third at 33/1 and a fair juvenile. Bridge Of Avon was purchased by Britain as a yearling for £5,000. 

The charismatic Michael Easterby proved he can train a winning two-year-old when My Boy Bill ran from off the pace to take the 2012 Brocklesby. He looked to be a fair juvenile but was quoted as being temperamental and proved most disappointing on his next few starts.  Kraka Gym is a bay gelding who cost £20,000 as a yearling. The mare needed a trip and, in general, the stable have a poor strike rate on debut. The exception would be if this youngster is backed to single figure prices. 

The low drawn Vodka Time is owned by Mrs Evans, and quite costly at 20,000euros. David Evans doesn't let the grass grow under his feet and his two-year-olds are trained to excel in the first few months of the season. The stable don't have the best strike rate with their debutantes but he is a very difficult trainer to assess. You can guarantee they will have winners although his runners in this race over the last few years have been either in need of the experience or limited. A difficult horse to assess.       

Stan Moore have sent a couple of juveniles for this race, a format he has taken in past years. Most runners have been in need of the run although he is another handler who can find speculative priced winners. *Far Gaze & *Mr Childrey were both relatively cheap purchases. It is worth noting that Moore's Brocklesby entrants often go on to win, especially on their second start. 

Last but not least is Charles Smith's Donny Rover. To be fair, if this horse wasn't owned by Willie McKay I wouldn't give it must interest simply because Smith has so few juveniles in training. However, it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to hear that this bay colt - a son of Excellent Art - has been primed for this race. Readers may remember Doncaster Rover went close in this race when making his debut in 2008 in the same ownership, trained by Stuart Parr. This April foal cost 95,000euros, which is a significant buy in the context of many cheap buys. If fancied in the betting I would expect a big race. This youngster has an entry to run at Lingfield on Sunday so clearly ready roll.  

*Brockholes Flyer, Dovil's Duel, *Doncaster Belle, Mops Angel, Fuel Injection & Red Biba are best watched.  

Conclusion: The first two-year-old race of the season, soft ground, and question marks over the draw are not the best starting point for those looking to bet. The draw could be a killer blow for many of these and it is difficult to state whether high or long will be best. It wouldn't be a surprise for one or two to plough a lone furrow down the far side rail. Very few horses win this race priced over 14/1, although the favourites, at times, have been indifferent. Bill Turner is a fantastic trainer who annually marks this race as his own. Mick's Yer Man is the type to hit the frame. From a statistical point of view Lord Clyde has good claims. Fahey has won this race before and if forward is live contender. The betting is the best guide for Sleepy Joe, Kraka Gym & Picks Pinta. I wouldn't back any of these if double-figure prices. Outsiders with a live chance could be the Mel Britain's pair. Take note of Far Gaze & Mr Childrey on their seconds starts. Donny Rover is an intriguing horse. He cost quite a sum and Willie McKay likes to have winners at this course. If fancied he could go well. 

I will update the blog at 1:10 with regard to any suitable selections, although I will be very selective this season to keep standards high. It pays to watch the betting this early in the season and have patience. Lots of non runners and a difficult race to have any strong claims. Watching brief. 


*NR

2 comments:

Jason Coote said...

:-)

Thank you, Clint. You are charismatic, too.

:-p

Anonymous said...

good write up as always. yr always on the money.