Just thought I’d make a point to say that TDR (The Duke Rating) and OHR (Official Handicap Racing).
|Born To Sea||108+||?|
DABIRSIM (119) is my top rated colt and top rated overall for the Juveniles of 2011. The Christophe Ferland trained son of Hat Trick swept all before him in France during a lucrative juvenile campaign, which culminated with victories in the Group 1 Prix Morny, and Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere; the latter getting Frankie Dettori out of trouble with an explosive turn of foot inside the final furlong.
I agree with rating given to him by Timeform, and providing he trains on as a three-year-old will see him winning further Group 1 prizes over a mile this coming season.
One horse I don’t agree with is Harbour Watch (116+) is the best I can give him, which is some way off the lofty (121p) awarded by Timeform, but that doesn’t mean to say he can’t progress to that sort of level and beyond this season, after an injury curtailed his juvenile campaign at Goodwood.
I see I also differ with Camelot (113+), who is given (117P) by Timeform but I genuinely can’t see how. His Doncaster time was nothing flash, and although he won it convincingly he is rated up more on potential and hype than what he has actually done on the racecourse so far. I don’t see him as a Guineas type either, and wouldn’t be surprised if the O’Brien team swerved the Guineas and went straight down the Derby route. With the high profile failure of St Nicholas Abbey in the Newmarket Classic still fresh in the memory, and how long it took them to bring him back to his peak.
Crusade (116) comes out co-second best on his rating, which is some way ahead of what he got with Timeform (isn’t in the top 20 list), but I think they’ve overlooked him for horses with a ‘sexier’ profile but he could develop into a really smart sprinting sort this season. He will no doubt line up in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but I’m not sold on him being a miler and his pedigree is stacked full with speed, he will be a very interesting proposition when dropped back to sprinting trips this season, but it still remains a mystery why they send him for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Dirt at the big meeting in November – he never had a hope in such a race.
The Jim Bolger trained Parish Hall (116) comes into his classic campaign on the back of victory in the Dewhurst at Newmarket on future champions day. His pedigree suggests he’ll be better at distances in excess of a mile at three, and looks the sort of horse to handle the quirky cambers of Epsom, and at present looks to have a live chance in the Derby in June.
Both Power (114) and Dragon Pulse (112) have pedigrees stacked with stamina despite both being by Group 1 winning sprinters. The fact that they have won good races over shorter distances at two will stand them in good stead for this season, and I expect them both to develop into seriously good animals over trips in excess of a mile.
One horse I am looking forward to this season is Most Improved (115+). He has shown a really nice attitude to date in his races, and almost won on debut without being touched at all by Martin Dwyer at Newmarket. The horse that nailed him on the line that day Kinglet – has since gone on to success out in Dubai, capturing the UAE 2000 Guineas, and heads towards the UAE Derby on World Cup Night at the end of March, with a live chance. His final run of the season at Newmarket was very eye-catching when third to Parish Hall, and given the fact he was keen in the early stages he finished his race off very well, and wouldn’t of been the most streetwise in the field either. I think he has plenty of scope for improvement over the winter, and has been supported in the market in the last week after Brian Meehan signalled his intentions to start off in the Craven Stakes at Newmarket, with a view to taking in the 2000 Guineas in May.
|Lyric Of Light||110||112|
|Angels Will Fall||104||104|
Unlike Timeform, I have the Mahmood Al Zarooni trained DISCOURSE (118+) top rated on my juvenile filly figures, and she narrowly misses out on joining Dabirsim at top rank in the overall juvenile standings. This very likeable and strong-travelling daughter of Street Cry cut a very favourable impression getting up to nail first string Gamilati on debut (Gamilati since gone on to excel out in Dubai), before absolutely thrashing a fair Group 2 field at Newmarket in the Cherry Hinton.
She then suffered a setback and has been kept off the track with a view to returning for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, in which if she turned up with expected improvement would be a serious contender in taking top honours in the first fillies classic of the season.
Second in on my figures is the Aidan O’Brien trained WADING (116+) who hails from the powerful Ballydoyle outfit, and narrowly edges ahead of Maybe on my rankings. A choicely bred individual out a daughter of Urban Sea, she is by Montjeu who is known for siring top class middle distance colts, but you’d be hard pressed to find a top class female in his progeny list. Perhaps Wading is the one to change all this? She has shown plenty on the track so far, and readily dealt with Pimpernel at Newmarket when last seen in the Rockfel Stakes.
With her pedigree it remains to be seen whether the Master of Ballydoyle will elect to send her to Newmarket, and instead could use Maybe (115) to attempt to take out that prize. You have to take into account her pedigree and it just screams out The Oaks as being her big target this season, but should she turn up at Newmarket, you’d have to take note.
Maybe (115) tops the Timeform list on (117p) and although she has shown solid form to date, I didn’t think she really warranted a rating in excess of 115, so I’m happy where I am at with her. She looks the type to get further than a mile this season, and could develop into a high-class recruit over ten furlongs, and could end up attempting to win the Irish Guineas/Nassau Stakes double the yard completed with Halfway To Heaven back in 2008.
I have Samitar (115) which is around +10 better than its current official rating of 105, so I’ve either made a mistake with this one by overrating it, or the handicapper has undervalued it’s form shown. I got a couple of big ratings for Samitar last season and although she hasn’t really got the scope that some of her sex will have this season, I could see her placing at large odds at Newmarket, providing she goes well in a trial beforehand to show her wellbeing.
Lyric Of Light (110) I have in at two points lower than the official assessor, and although unbeaten has scope to improve further this season.
Two which should have little trouble winning a handicap if my figures are correct are the Godolphin pair Desert Gazelle (102) and Anjaz (98) who have upwards of 9lbs in hand on their official figures, along with the Charlie Hills trained Hazel Lavery (106) who has around 11lb to play with, providing I’ve got them right of course.
I for one am looking forward to the flat season, and I feel like it has been a long time coming. We’ve got little over a week left until the opening meeting of the season at Doncaster; where they line up for the William Hill Lincoln Handicap. However for those of us who can’t wait until then to get their flat ‘fix’ there is racing on the level this Sunday at the Curragh, featuring the Irish Lincoln Handicap, and the Park Express Stakes (Group 3).
In the Park Express Stakes the race looks a really good renewal with the return of some classy three-year-olds in Homecoming Queen, Twirl, Princess Sinead, Kissed and Cleofila and between them they look to serve it up to the older contenders Anam Allta, Chrysanthemum, and Kissable. The race could be a solid pointer towards future success for the season but at the same time is worth bearing in mind that Aidan O’Brien has only won the race once in the last ten years (Kitty O’Shea in 2005).
Thanks for reading, feel free to leave any comments that you wish.