Saturday 18 July 2009

Latest Article to be published in this month's Racing Ahead publication

HCE heralds the starts of a new monthly round-up dedicated to two-year-old racing, pinpointing some of the most exciting juveniles in Flat race training. Whether you are keen to note a potential speculative bet or find a two-year-old with a touch of class, our approach highlights a select number of juveniles for your consideration. With the majority of these youngsters being lightly raced or yet to make their debut, this is your chance to gain a privileged insight to a number of juveniles that have caught our eye from trainers big and small.
Almadaa (E Dunlop)
This colt by Exceed And Excel may not be one of Hamdan Al Maktoum’s classier juveniles but a win should come his way. Dunlop’s charge was quite a short price for a debut at York but didn’t show much that day and may have disappointed to some extent considering support came once more at Lingfield all-weather. To be fair, Almadaa ran a very good race from such a high draw, which turned out to be an impossible obstacle. Richard Hills managed to get into contention after a slow start but these exertions were too much and this two-year-old tired markedly in the final furlong. This colt is very nippy and would be ideal on a turning track. Dunlop has entered this juvenile for a couple of Stakes races and the fact this runner has been relatively short priced on both starts suggests connections are expecting more.

Call To Arms (M Johnston)
The Johnston stable has been progressing well after a quiet start to the season and from a large string of juveniles this trainer has to be respected within the two-year-old ranks. Call To Arms ran a very encouraging race on debut when a well backed 2/1 shot against an experienced juvenile (Ballodair) trained by Richard Fahey, finishing a battling second at Thirsk over 6f. This brown colt by Shamardal has the scope to prove a decent two-year-old and a win should come his way very soon. One of a number of juveniles Johnston has entered to run in the Gimcrack Stakes, connections will be assessing whether Call To Arms will be aiming for such a prestigious race. A promising maiden win would be an ideal stepping stone to more illustrious pattern race engagements.

Duplicity (R Hannon)
This colt by Cadeaux Genereux is a good-looking sort and improving with racing. After a satisfactory debut at Kempton, this strong juvenile ran with spirit at Warwick over 7f, holding every chance leading most of the way until Mingun Bell finished well to win a shade comfortably. For an auction event that was a pretty competitive race, illustrated by achieving a much quicker time than the first division of this race. I can see a number a winners coming from this contest. Duplicity is progressing well and must have a great chance of winning a similar race at auction level and most likely capable of much better as the season progresses.

Knockenduff (M R Channon)
Mick Channon is a trainer worth noting, especially his juveniles on their second start. I thought Knockenduff would run a big race last time at Newbury but this filly by Oratorio ran too bad to be true. Perhaps trying to get in a handy position from a wide draw didn’t suit as she was given more time and ran on well when making her debut at Pontefract. These tactics may be employed next time and this may be the way to go from now on. There are a couple of interesting pointers to suggest this juvenile has ability. She was fancied to run well last time at Newbury, in a competitive race, and the fact that Channon gave her an entry to run in the Cherry Hinton is another positive. As a punter, it may be blessing she disappointed as a much bigger price may be there for the taking. I certainly wouldn’t give up on this filly and she must be worth a bet on her next start if contesting maiden company.

Mr David (B Meehan)
This colt by Sky Mesa (USA) is a talented two-year-old. Meehan’s juvenile was all the talk when making his debut at Windsor, but after looking to have a fair chance for most of the way, tired in the final furlong to finish fourth, beaten a number of lengths. Meehan clearly considers this attractive juvenile to have some class, being entered for the Gimcrack and a Listed race. More will be expected next time.

Never The Waiter (B Meehan)
While considering Meehan’s juveniles, we may as well highlight a two-year-old yet to makes its debut. This bay colt by Kyllachy cost 58,000gns and is presently owned by Meehan. A half-brother to Espartano, amongst other winnings siblings, this individual is an entrant for the Gimcrack Stakes, National Stakes and Condition Stakes. Generally, Meehan’s juveniles improve a good deal for their first run so it may be worth taking a watching brief on debut. I will certainly be considering this juvenile on his second start as the trainer is very good at placing his horses.

Palio Square (K Burke)
Burke is one of those trainers you can rely on to do his best for horse and punter - as consistency is always a key factor with his professional approach to racing two-year-olds. This season has seen a number of high points with Reignier, Corporal Maddox & Silenceofthewind being just a few of his juveniles to capture the headlines of late. Palio Square could be another talent. This colt by Harlan’s Holiday is bred to be fast and the signal of a Gimcrack entry gives reason to take note. Owned by Mogeely Stud and Mrs Maura Gittens, this two-year-old is likely to follow the pattern of most of Burke’s juveniles and need the run. I would watch this juvenile on debut and consider a bet on its second start.

Pink Flames (T Tate)
Tom Tate knows the time of day and he isn’t a trainer to waste his time entering juveniles for prestigious races for the fun of a day out. Pink Flames has been entered to run in the Moyglare Group 1 and recently in the Lowther Stakes Group 2. Although these are early entry stages, this filly is worthy of respect. Mrs Fitri Hay, who has been a very successful owner with many and varied trainers, is a significant owner for Tate and he will be wanting to impress. This chestnut filly by Redback could well run a big race on debut as Tate’s juveniles are capable of winning at first time of asking and often at fancy odds. It is encouraging that he has been noted as saying this year’s crop of two-year-olds are amongst the best he has trained for many years. Whether Pink Flames will reach the dizzy heights of Group success is something that only time will tell, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this juvenile attain a level of ability. If priced at fair odds on debut, I will be having a few quid each way.

Secret Queen (B Meehan)
Another juvenile, this time a filly, trained by Meehan. I am amazed this runner is yet to win as she has the ability to take an everyday maiden with ease. Her last two efforts have been somewhat bemusing affairs as this two-year-old owned by Jabber Abdullah has travelled with ease, running all over her opposition, to be caught both times close home. This daughter of Zafeen has simply had the misfortune to be beaten by two talented individuals and to be fair, she may prove to be the better juvenile in the long-term. Perhaps more holding-up tactics will be considered in future as she has so much natural pace she must be a next to unstoppable if a race turns into a crawl. This two-year-old is unlikely to be the biggest of prices in an run-of-the-mill maiden, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if you are not counting your winnings by halfway. The final furlong has been something of an enigma for this filly at present although I feel this has been more down to bad luck than a trend to haunt her followers. A talented filly.

Showcasing (J Gosden)
I wouldn’t normally detail a juvenile such as Showcasing because in many ways he has proven that he is a talent. However, this son of Oasis Dream has a touch of class, which makes me consider there is much better to come. After an impressive debut at Newbury, where he looked a shade unlucky not to win, there followed a comprehensive victory at Yarmouth against a few touted juveniles. Ideally, this two-year-old may appreciate better ground as he does have rather a pronounced knee action suggesting firm going may not be his bag. I can see this colt owned by K Abdulla contesting the Gimcrack and running a big race. Achieving such a level of ability to win a pattern-class event is never going to be easy but Gosden must be looking forward to the prospect of another talented juvenile in his stable.

Tres Coronas (T D Barron)
Handicaps are often difficult races to appreciate but I was impressed by Tres Coronas on his last effort at Newmarket, finishing second behind Lamh Albasser. This bay gelding by Key Of Luck is an impressively-strong juvenile who is improving with time and distance. Barron has done well with this two-year-old, especially to win over 5f and a narrow loser at Newcastle over 6f. This step up to 7f will bring about greater opportunities and running off a fair handicap mark this gelding is certainly worth noting.