Friday 30 March 2012

3:50 Doncaster (31st March) Free Horse Racing Tips

The start of the Flat turf season & first two-year-old race of the 2012 campaign. Great to see the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes over 5f reinstated as the first juvenile contest after previous years 'tin pot' races have undermined this race of merit. You need only look back at previous winners such as Mind Games & Hearts Of Fire to appreciate - however unlikely - that this race has been the starting point  of many a dream. 

A mixed bag of trainers - many with poor win rates on debut. From an original nineteen entrants, twelve make this final stage.

One name synonymous with the Brocklesby is Bill Turner. He trained last year's winner - He's So Cool. This is a race he has targeted over the years and features a fantastic record with numerous win and place efforts. I have long considered that Turner sends his best two-year-old to contest this race. Just Past Andover was a relatively cheap yearling at  £9,500. This bay colt by Amadeus Wolf comes from a winning dam although a family of limitation. This April foal - not quite two - is likely to be fit and ready. From a high draw he is one of the major contenders based simply on his handlers outstanding success in this race. Experience counts a for lot at this formative stage and Turner will certainly feature high in many punter's mind.

It is interesting to note Marvelino has been backed on the exchanges. Pat Eddery unveiled probably the best horse he has ever trained in 2009. Hearts Of Fire won this race in style progressing to win the Gran Criterium (Group 1) in San Siro, Italy. An immense talent. The likelihood of this colt attaining such dizzy heights is a remote chance indeed. It is, however, intriguing that there has been money for this colt by Captain Marvelous. The dam won over 5f. Pat Eddery's juveniles feature a poor win rate on debut although his early juveniles have often proven to be capable of winning at two. In the same silks, Cavort & Replicator were both fair types who were fancied on debut although unsuccessful.

Well Acquainted is an early starter for Clive Cox. It must be a good few years since he had a representative in the Brocklesby (if ever) and knows how to trainer a winner on debut. This American-bred colt cost  £30,000 as a yearling and may appreciate a stiffer test of stamina in time. A January foal, he is the oldest in the field. Draw (1) is a negative, as juveniles often run wide when on the extreme. Probably the best guide to this ones chances are based on its starting price. If priced 13/2 & less he has fair win and place claims. If strongly fancied, one to note. The drawn is a big concern which would temper enthusiasm.

My Boy Bill is relatively fancied in the betting but Michael Easterby isn't renowned for winners on debut.  

Name a trainer of early two-year-olds and David Evans would come top of many a list. He trains his horses to take advantage of these weaker months. He is a canny old stick who knows what it takes to win a race. It is interesting that for a trainer with such an emphasis on early juveniles he features a poor strike rate on debut. Maypole Joe is a son of Iffraaj, although gelded. Evans has been represented by many Brocklesby contenders but few have come close to winning. A number have progressed with racing and even if over shadowed, should be considered for the future. 

Perfect Words seems very weak in the betting and few of Channon's two-year-olds win at speculative odds on debut.

An outsider worth noting for the future is Lady Poppy. George Moore has a poor win rate on debut although he is a trainer often ignored. That said, he has a good eye for progressive juveniles and his early runners often go on to win in their first season although generally limited.

Heavy Metal is a well bred colt by Exceed And Excel out of a South Africa dam who was a Grade 1 winner and subsequent third in the UAE 1,000 Guineas. This was one of two entrants for Johnston. This colt is very weak on the exchanges [Friday evening] and the betting is probably the best indicator of his chances. Very few of their juveniles win when priced over 12/1. On breeding this looks a leading hope but betting may suggest time is needed.

Jamie Osborne is a trainer I have always respected as he knows his juveniles. This year sees him with a string of 20+ two-year-olds. Deepest Blue was one  of two horses entered at the first entry stage. In general, his string improve for their debut and a relatively wide draw isn't ideal. A costly son of Sakhee's Secret, this 40,000gns yearling is one of the more expensive in the field and even though quite fancied in the betting may be one to watch.

Conclusion: It's never easy assessing debutantes. In past years juveniles priced 14/1 & less have taken the spoils. A high draw could prove a positive, too. Inexperience will be the deciding factor for many of these and reason why trainers with a proven record in this race are favoured. Bill Turner should be respected and Just Past Andover could well hit the frame. If strongly fancied, Well Acquainted has fair claims although the wide draw would be enough for me to take a watching brief. Maypole Joe would be another with a fighting chance if well backed, although Evans features a poor win rate which is generally overlooked by most. The betting would seem to be a negative for Perfect Words. Heavy Metal is well bred but a major weakness in the betting (12/1+) would ring alarm bells. Marvelino is an intriguing runner. Few of Eddery's two-year-olds are strongly fancied in the betting on debut, which certainly indicates potential. His poor win rate at the first time of asking would seem a negative and inexperience could be costly.