Well, the Flat turf season has started in earnest.
In fact, at the time of writing this post, there have been 22 winners. To me, early season is a time to assess, be patient, and bet carefully. I often say the quote about taking a punt on a debutante or early-season form horse:
''They are either easy winners or poor losers.''
It's a fact.
There is little value to be had betting on a form horse. And whether you realise this or not, assessing the form of these races is incredibly difficult. Take any race and try to find a winner. You may get lucky or not. Each horse has to be taken as an individual but take it from me you'll be doing well to find a winner and even more so find any value.
Not to say you can't.
What I'm trying to say, is that it is best to let the dust settle before being too dogmatic about who will win the next race.
Taking a look at the winners so far, there has been a mixed bag.
It's pretty much pointless detailing winners. From a purists aspect they are good to follow and see where they lead.
Thinking about who will be heading to Royal Ascot is what keeps race fans excited. Not only race fans but owners, trainers and all those related to the business.
Here are a few of the better two-year-old winners I have seen so far.
How good - who knows?
Chipotle [trained by Eve Johnson Houghton]
A nice ''easy'' winner of the Brocklesby Stakes, a race that has seen a number of form horses disappoint.
The Gatekeeper [trained by Mark Johnston]
A small race of just four runners but a determined winner at Musselburgh. The form has been franked with the third horse Khunan showing ability at Ripon next time out. In the ownership of Middleham Park Racing XIV, The Gatekeeper is one of the better juveniles I've seen this early season. A very good yearling purchase at £60,000.
Arboy Will [trained by John Bridger]
Horse racing is often about rooting for the underdog. It is something that makes not only a story but brings hope to the little stables and owners who don't have deep pockets but a passion for their racing and hope beyond hope their day will come. Arboy Will won at Windsor on debut at odds of 150/1. I couldn't have been more pleased for connections. Whether this son of Ardad will keep on winning only time will tell but I have a thought this gelding will be heading to Royal Ascot. It's a fact, that every horse trainer has their day and they make the two-year-old season all the more special for these moments.
Forca Brasil [trained by George Boughey]
Without doubt it is difficult to assess the form of these early-season races. However, Newmarket is always a good starting point to find a talented juvenile. Forca Brasil is owned by Amo Racing Ltd, who have started this Flat season with an abundance of two-year-old runners from a mix of trainers. Kiavash Joorabchian, a football agent, really seems to have a bottomless pit of money and he is getting the success he deserves. Forca Brasil won in comfortable fashion and looks a colt going places. Boughey has started the season in good form and it's worth noting this colt was earmarked for the Brocklesby Stakes. In ways, it's a shame this son of Cotai Glory didn't make his debut at Doncaster. For good measure he beat Mark Johnston's Love De Vega, who also held an entry for the Brocklesby so that tells a story in itself.
Berkshire Shadow [Andrew Balding]
It's always a good sign when Andrew Balding sends out a debut winner. You can pretty much guarantee there is much more to come. Racing in the familiar silks of Berkshire Parts & Panels Ltd, this grey son of Dark Angel was nibbled in the market (6/1 - 9/2) and caught the eye after a slow start which saw layers on the exchanges thinking they had found a candidate to make some easy cash. That turned out to be a very expensive idea as although several lengths behind this March foal ran on well in the closing stages to win a shade cosily. It's difficult to assess the strength of the Newbury race but Oisin Murphy was impressed by the colt who really looked a hopeless case with a tardy start.
😯 BERKSHIRE SHADOW (Dark Angel @YeomanstownStud) misses the break but flies home under @oismurphy to score impressively on debut @NewburyRacing 🥇— Cheveley Park Stud (@CPStudOfficial) April 16, 2021
Bred by @CPStudOfficial, this exciting colt was purchased @Tattersalls1766 by @AndrewBalding2 👏 pic.twitter.com/IOxI6mYKer
Anyway, these five two-year-old winners have proved victorious and connections will be hoping they can follow up next start, which is no easy task under a win penalty. It's often a sign a horse is up to competing at pattern class.
Good luck to all.