Tuesday 28 September 2021

10 Dark Horses 2021 (13th August)

New Kingdom - Charlie Appleby - Form: 51 -233

This son of Dubawi cost 800,000g as a yearling and another classy addition to the stable.

Laheg - Marco Botti  - Form: 210 - 

This £105,000 breeze-up purchase has ability. 

Macchiavello - Karl Burke - Form: 453 - 

Spigot Lodge always do well with the juveniles and this son of No Nay Never cost £300,000 at the breeze-up sales and in the familiar silks of Amo Racing Ltd and Michael Tabor.   

Ingra Tor - Mick Channon - Form: 9 - 121

It's been a quiet season for Mick Channon's two-year-olds but this home bred son of Churchill for Jon & Julia Aisbitt should hold claims. 

Alvediston - William Haggas - Form: 645 - 37

I've heard this son of New Bay has a high level of ability and looking forward to seeing this colt make his debut. 

Educator - William Haggas - Form: 021 - 1

In the ownership of The Queen, this home bred son of Deep Impact is one of the best juveniles at Somerville Lodge Stables. Both of these Haggas newcomers are exciting prospects. 

Wanees - Charles Hills - Form: 611 - 1

In the ownership of Shadwell Estate Company Ltd, this son of Le Havre cost 325,000g at the yearling sales and I'm very excited about this February foal. 

Dayman - David Loughnane - Form: 06 - 174

Amo Racing Limited have been in buying mood this season with a wealth of talented two-year-olds to show for their investment. This son of Oasis Dream wasn't the most expensive but held in high regard by David Loughnane. A stable that often go well with their debutantes. 

Adjourn - David Simcock - Form: 25 - 4

A quiet year for this Simock yard and limited number of two-year-olds. However, I always take note of owners Never Say Die Partnership and this 135,000g breeze up purchase could go well. The stable can ready a debutante and if strong in the market should go well.   

Space Cowboy - Richard Spencer - Form: 011 - 3

Another colt, this son of Kodi Bear runs in the familiar silks of Rebel Racing Premier IV. Purchased by Phil Cunningham at a cost of £110,000.  

It's worth noting that two-year-olds, in general, have a much better chance of winning on their second start than debut. However, I do expect a lot of these named horses to run big raced on their racecourse bow.  

40 runs - 11 wins 27% 

Updated 10/5/22


Update: 14th August, 2021: A pretty inauspicious start to proceedings with a number of debutantes running in the same race and performing, at best, indifferently. However, this is often the nature of the beast with debutantes who can be quoted as Easy winners or poor losers. However, if you look at each horse there are reasons to consider they have ability. I'm confident you will see a marked improvement on their second start. Most were supported in the market, ran with some promise and even highlighted by a steward's inquiry [Waneese]. This proves the difficult of even training talented juveniles as I can guarantee all trainers thought their respective horses would run well. 

Update: 28th August, 2021: 

Another debutante today in the shape of Dayman for David Loughnane. Well backed, although drifted just before the off. Ran terrible and beaten almost a country mile. I tell you, these debutantes are a tricky business and reason why I say they have much more chance of winning on their second start. I must admit I can hardly believe what I've seen with the horse on my 10 Dark Horse list. It's been a disaster. However, each and every horse has given reason to think they were actually fancied and went to the races with a real live hope. It just shows that you can never tell what a debutante will do. As I often say they are either easy winners or poor loser and what we have seen so far is like something from a horror show. It's like Count Dracula is riding Eeyore while trying to suck his blood and steer at the same time. This will either be the worst list of all time or it will be akin to the phoenix rising from the flames. Because if these horses are going to win the chances are it will be second or third start. So I would suggest you pay close attention to them next time out. I can imagine a lot of our readers thinking this has to be the worst 10 Dark Horses ever. We will see. As I can tell you this, I've not lost confidence and second and third start will see some decent winners. Time will tell. 

Update: 2nd September, 2021: 

Good to see Marco Botti's Laheg battle to a win on his second start at the odds of 11/4. 

Update: 3rd September, 2021: 

I actually miss this winner, New Kingdom, only noticed on the 3rd October, a month later. I really need to concentrate. However, I'll take a winner any time of the day. It was a close call but a nose is the same as a country mile when it comes to putting money in your pocket. A decent victory beating a winner with a penalty. There'll be more to come.   

Update: 4th September, 2021:

Good to see Wanees win on his second start and detailed by Charles Hills as a quality horse and one he had always liked. It proves the point that betting on debutantes is often hard work but second start is often the truth of a talented horse. 

Update: 7th September, 2021: 

Educator was very well backed for his second start. I would ask all who to look at this horse on its first start and its second. A truly marked improvement and make no mistake this is a talented colt as I detailed on debut but with the proviso most horses run better on their second start. It's disappointed he got in a brawl with Sir Mark Prescott's Sea King and this really helped neither horse. Any other day Educator would have won well. So often winning and losing is about circumstance and today that didn't go for the Queen's two-year-old. This horse will be racing at pattern class. Irritating to come second best. 

Update: 8th September, 2021: 

You see a pattern here? Space Cowboy wins easily after looking hopeless on debut. I wonder how many people unsubscribed after the debut of so many of these horses? To learn, if they stayed around, surprise surprise, that I was exact in my knowledge. A dream performance from this horse who was available with Sportsbook early 15/1 two places each-way. I want to ask you a serious question: ''Do you know anyone who comes close to the quality of this information?'' I don't need an answer. 

Update: 10th September, 2021:

Lovely introduction for David Simcock's Adjourn who ran very well on debut at Chester to finish second. A really good-looking colt who will be winning soon and contesting Group races. 

Update: 18th September, 2021:

I must apologise for the belated update but was on holiday at great Yarmouth (Caister-on-sea) and it's difficult to keep all things done in a timely fashion. We've had a couple of horse on the list make their second starts. 

Alvediston made his second start at Yarmouth. He was a little on his toes in the paddock and I was expecting a big run. I got nothing of the sort with a pretty poor effort. William Haggas' colt travelled ok but looked a little awkward hanging. A truly dismal performance to finish fourth. I can't believe that's the measure of this horse but time will tell. Often, what you see is what you get. I will see how Alvediston goes next start and fingers crossed there was a reason for this feeble effort. Gosden's winner, Millennium Moon, was impressive but I could hardly imagine James Wigan's colt half way down the field. 

Then we had David Loughnane's Dayman returning after a horrendous debut at Windsor. Coming back to face a Class 2 race detailed a horse which the stable rate. Stepping up to 7f looked a positive. A drifting in the betting, after money early, this son of Oasis Dream in the ownership of Amo Racing Ltd did very well showing much more ability. Even finishing sixth of seven wasn't a disgrace, beaten just under five lengths. In fact, he travelled as well as anything before tiring in the last half furlong. A horse with ability and a winner in waiting.

Update: 23rd September, 2021: 

Adjourn made his second start today. There was money for this good-looking colt and I was quite hopeful but the late drift didn't bode well and even though running a great race he finished fifth beaten just two and half lengths. He's up to winning races but this looked a stiff race and there will be plenty of winners come from it.    

Update: 25th September, 2021:

Good to see Educator make it third time lucky and win at Haydock. He's a lovely horse with size and scope to progress with racing. I'm hopeful he can go for a pattern race at some point in his career. 

Update: 30th September, 2021:

Wanees did well in testing conditions to will his second start under a penalty. It proves he's a fair juvenile and potential group horse. 

Update: 15th October, 2021:

I thought we would have a decent debut winner in Macchiavellio, starting at fractional odds on but his keenness in the early stages of the race took the edge of him and it finished in a fourth place, beaten one length. These debut wins are hard to come by and there were many good reasons to think this son of No Nay Never would be victorious. We will have to see whether he can do just that next time out. 

Update: 19th October, 2021: 

A nice front-running performance from Space Cowboy who won unchallenged. Time will tell how good this colt is but he's going in the right direction and could well head fro Group class.

Update: 28th October, 2021: 

Alvediston is becoming a disappointing colt and today's performance detailed why his run at Yarmouth was below expectation. William Haggas' colt had been gelded and very well backed. I can't say I was feeling too optimist and so often after a second start disappointment ''you get what you see''. Pretty much a similar display to Yarmouth if not worse. Connections will be heading to nursery races after this and he may well pick up a race if given a fair mark. A disappointing horse on the list and one I wouldn't be holding my breath to shine.  

I will update these horses until the end of the Flat turf season and will update on the turn of the year. Most horses are of interest for their first three races, beyond that point, personally, they have little interest for me as regards betting. I'm hoping one or two will progress to Group class which is the aim. 

Update: 29th October, 2021:

Ingra Tor was well backed for his debut at Newmarket but a disappointing effort trailing home in ninth. Channon's two-year-olds have been below par for the last few years and a lack of numbers shows limitation. I would expect a bolder show next start as I have little doubt connections expected a lot more. This year's theme has been dire debut efforts and better second start. Time will tell. 

Update: 25th November, 2021: 

Macchiavello made his second start stepping up a furlong. Considering he was keen on debut I was fearful this would be a similar story and it was. Seven furlong isn't a distance you want to be overly keen and he had little hope of winning. A big, strong colt, he will be winning sooner than later but needs to relax a little. I wonder after the debut loss if connections feel the nursery route will bring more rewards and I am pretty sure that will be the path to success. I can imagine he will run over 7f once more and when getting a mark drop back to 6f and I'd expect a big run. 

Update: 3rd December, 2021:

Macchiavello was well backed from the early prices but even dropping back to 6f I had concerns about him pulling and it was the same story. I'm sure connections will be looking forward to getting a low nursery weight and then doing their best to get this colt to settle. He'll probably return gelded and may even drop back to 5f if he proves hard work to settle. I wouldn't call him temperamental but his keen ways are very hard for bettors to have any real hope of winning. If this colt is going to be winning, I would be sure it will be in his next two starts. We will have to see how he goes. On balance, a disappointing horse for this stable. They expected much better but the nursery route may well prove positive.  

Update: 12th March, 2022:

Dayman wins easily from a wide draw by four lengths. Just as I say so many times, these horses are talents waiting to happen. A horse with a future. I wonder how many of you thought this was a poor list of horses. 

Trainer quote: ''Dayman has always found work easy and we thought winning would be a formality for him last season. He was a bit weak and we thought he might have been a sharp, early two-year-old, but he wasn't. He's twice the horse he was last year - physically and mentally. He still has a lot to learn and is a big baby, but it's onwards and upwards. Rossa got off him and said we probably should go the handicap route as we might lose him if we throw him in too deep, but he's a proper horse'' - Dave Loughnane, trainer.
Update: 17th March, 2022:

Another horse winning at three. It proves that so many times horses look disappointing on debut or even all their two-year-old career and then they bounce back. In fact, it is often a very positive sign. Ingra Tor was well backed, then drifted a touch in the betting before the off. A very straightforward victory and there will be more to come. Once again, to all those who saw a mass of disappointing debut efforts you just have to wait and see the truth. Very few people in the country would have detailed this list of 10 horses before debut. 

Update: 30th April 2022:

Updated results for ten dark horses. Winners including Ingra Tor, Wanees & Educator.