Saturday 1 June 2019

2YO Update: Mark Johnston's Iffraaz Shines on Debut at Carlisle

It's been a few quiet days since our last update. 

Life isn't as leisurely as it seems with so much work going on behind the scenes. However, as readers, I know you want to learn more about the best two-year-old (2yo) horses in training. I have little doubt you will appreciate the information we detail on these pages does just that. 

Whether I am serene or shouting from the rafters, all the information you need lies within this website.

Let's take a quick look at a few significantly-entered juveniles that have shown ability over the last few days. 

31st May - 

Iffraaz made a smart debut in heavy ground at Carlisle [1:10]. A big drifter in the market from 11/4 - 4/1 didn't stop this son of Iffraaj from winning comfortably by two-and-a-quarter lengths. A depleted field of six two-year-olds probably set a decent level with Hurstwood, finishing runner-up, while Declan Carroll's Kilham, who received a Brocklesby Stakes entry early season, weakened into third place after setting the pace. I think both Johnston's and Carroll's juveniles here will be making their presence felt this season. It is very likely Hurstwood will receive a significant entry, too.   

Take a look at the race result here

31st May - 

The Woodcote Stakes always fields talented early juveniles and this year was no exception with a small line up but a worthy test. The race featured very good win prize money of £37,350. Which must be on par with Listed races, if not Group class. 

Charlie Appleby has a nice string of two-year-olds (they keep winning) and Pinatubo had scored nicely on debut when clear of the second, who has since franked the form. This son of Shamardal started even-money favourite for this Class 2 Stakes. Hold-up tactics were employed as Misty Grey set the fractions with a bold front-running performance. I wonder if he went a stride too fast! Anyway, Pinatubo ran past Johnston's charge in the closing furlongs, to win, from a fast-finishing Oh Purple Reign

Another win for Pinatubo who could be heading for the Coventry Stakes 2019. Check out the betting with you local bookmakers. 

1st June - 

Another Class 2 Stakes race. It's a funny thing how trainers complain about prize money and so often these more valuable prizes feature a poor turnout. No doubt this had something to do with the ground turning to good to soft at Musselburgh. Just three entered juveniles took part. The outsider of three is a maxim often used to find a winner (statistically it is wrong). John Ryan is a canny trainer who knows the score and his entered juveniles on Group Horse are mostly up to winning a race in their two-year-old career. Bill Neigh, a relatively cheap 2yo breeze-up purchase at 27,000 guineas, was backed from 25/1 on the exchanges and returned 7/1 SP with bookmakers. This son of Mustajeeb must have a touch of ability winning by three lengths. Karl Burke's She Looks Like Fun disappointed so, in truth, it was a two-horse race, with My Kinda Day to beat. It will be intriguing to see how Bill Neigh goes next time out. The opportunity is there but still much to prove. 

Always plenty to consider. 

2:10 Nottingham - 

Just one race for Sunday. 

I will take a quick look to see if we have any significantly-entered two-year-olds running. 

Richard Hannon has Beignet taking her chance on this third start. This daughter of Canford Cliffs can run well enough on debut while her second start at Nottingham looked slightly disappointing. The form of that race has been franked with the likes of Lady Fanditha (Clive Cox), Daddies Diva (Rod Millman) & Flippa The Strippa (Charles Hills) all showing ample ability. This fast five-furlongs should be in her favour as she has plenty of pace. Likely to lead. 

The only other significant entry in this race is Charles Hills' Walton Thorns who actually raced in the Brocklesby Stakes. This son of Zebedee was priced 10/1 on debut at Doncaster but failed to show much ability at all finishing second from last [a seventeen-strong field] some 31 lengths behind the winner Show Me Show Me. 

Perhaps that run was too bad to be true. I can only imagine it was. Second start Walton Thorns was made a 66/1 shot, stepping up to 6f. This bay colt was very keen that day but held the lead until tiring rapidly in the final furlong. 

Not the easiest horse to assess and the stable may well be thinking about nursery races rather than trying too hard here. I am interested to see how he goes as there may be a glimmer of hope if some crazy prices are available on the exchanges.  However, it would be a leap of faith and the type of horse to either win or lose miserably. 

Although not receiving a significant entry, as yet, William Haggas' Al Aakif has very good claims if starting favourite. The stable debutantes' details statistics which suggest they either win or finish unplaced.