Hugh Fowler: 2 Year Olds (#5)

Review of 2 year old races + Horses To Follow…

Over to Hugh…

(look out for a new ‘Horses to Follow’ section on the second update below…)


Week 7 – ending 21st May

I called off the proposed trip to York thinking that the ground would result in lots of non-runners and some odd results. In the end I went to Windsor, Salisbury and Newbury. Elsewhere it continued to be a week which illustrated how easy it is to over-rate early season races with the defeats of Kodiline and Dontgiveuponbob from the  April Doncaster race and more importantly Gold Town and Jim Rockford from the April Newbury race suggesting that these were pretty weak heats. I shall go back and downgrade those races (Newbury 21/04 & Doncaster 29/04) so please do not use them for reference.

Windsor – won by Last Voyage, rangy type, expensive at $335k, not given a hard time by William Buick and plenty more to come.

Salisbury – Youkan, a home bred trained by Stuart Kittow small dual purpose trainer but I think he may have at least as good a one here as the other two winners I saw this week. The RP note highlighted the fact that he was 0/33 on turf in recent seasons, however with 2yo turf debuts since 2005 he is now 3/10 or 33%. Useful information, shame I didn’t check it beforehand! What I did note was that David Evans also known as The Wily Welshman had to be watched at Salisbury with his debut 2yos for Wayne Clifford, his stable sponsor. Unfortunately, Joegogo missed the break, the way John Egan got after him to get him up for 2nd certainly suggests he was here to do his very best. I don’t think he would have won anyway as Youkan would have outgunned him if he had been able to get close enough to challenge.

Newbury – Won’t be able to draw any firm conclusions until we have seen some collateral form. As often happens at Newbury particularly when ground is soft the draw bias appears random with bits of the track certainly faster and some parts much slower. I certainly think Nebo must have been advantaged by the ground as after reviewing the pictures I still can’t see him as the winner. He did though and impressively so.

At York Santry, Neola and Main Desire all impressed.


Detailed Notes + Photos

15th May: Read HERE >>>

18th May: Read HERE >>>

19th May: Read HERE >>>



Week 8 ending 28th May

A busy week this and an upping in the number of 2yo races per week hopefully means that the early spade work and photography can start to reap some dividends. Still not a lot of Royal Ascot types spotted.

The Nottingham Green Power race was a largely forgettable affair.

At Kempton Richard Kingscote somehow got Di Fede up amongst a load of fillies of broadly similar ability. The one better one in that race looked to be Special Mission for Sir Mark Prescott, given an easy intro might be interesting over 7f.

On Friday came Goodwood and Sandown. At Goodwood it looked a race cramfull of promising types. I must beware of the bright sunshine and general feeling of well-being engendered by Goodwood not to get carried away. Nevertheless Masar, Invincible Army and Tathmeen all looked as if they could be Ascot bound and several of the others should at least win maidens.

Sandown held the International Stakes where the uncomplicated run provided by draw 1 on the sprint course made things easy for Havana Grey. I would not be surprised to see a different result next time this lot meet. All but Sound And Silence should improve considerably.

This week I am adding in a list of 2yo’s to follow who look to have underperformed on debut or look like certain future winners.. All these should win a race during the season and some may go on to better things. A typical example would be June Dog whose 29th April Doncaster run was highlighted in the race report and preview before his run at Leicester this week – see below.

He probably didn’t run to 78 as the ground did not suit him but he still won 16/1 – 8/1.

June Dog – Medium sized, well made colt, calm in prelims but did not look confident, a bit of a baby. All the right things in all the right places but like others here no more than 85% tuned. Generally Hannon’s debutants who are going on to do well finish closer than this. He was running a bit green for the first 3 furlongs but as he began to run on in he was first slowed by Darkanna as she weakened and forced to switch left where he ran straight into a closing gap between the rapidly weakening Shay C and Levante Player. At this point Sean Levey called time and let him come home in his own time. Had he had a smooth run I think he may have finished fairly close to Dontgiveuponbob around 5th. 78+

I’ll add some in retrospectively next week.


Horses to follow – 2yo maidens who did not win on debut

Special Mission – Sir Mark Prescott – Biggest in field, longer model, strongly made, around 90% fit but enough scope to improve considerably following a kind introduction. 75

Tathmeen – Richard Hannon – Tathmeen – Handsome, big athletic colt, still a bit rough in his coat on his flanks. Suffered, I think, a little from having Crowley aboard who is not at his best at Goodwood, only 8% on 2yos at Goodwood v 15% overall on turf. Not to say he is not tremendous improvement on his predecessor. He jumped off ok and pushed along a bit early, the horse then got lit up mid and did a bit too much in the middle of the race. He was then eased in good time though. Maybe more improvement in him than most. 90 In fact almost all of the runners from the Masar race at Goodwood should be taken note of nto.

Another Day Of Sun – Cheap one bought for only 25k. Lower to mid medium, too free early, baulked late on and allowed to coast home. Instructive to look at his picture next to Masar as they are on almost the identical stride and similar shapes although ADOS is ¾ to 1 size smaller. ADOS’s coat is still to come through fully and he does not have quite the sheen of Masar. His muscle tone is also a little less defined. Possibly his neck is a little long for his frame in comparison and he does not give quite the impression of rib cage volume and power that Masar does. That said he does not look completely out of place and is a likeable type who will win races. My guess would be 82.

Ertiyad – William Haggas From Mrs Gallagher maiden, probably the best filly seen as yet if it is not Out Of The Flames.


Detailed Notes + Photos

23rd May: Read HERE>>>

24th May: Read HERE>>>

25th May x1: Read HERE>>>

25th  May x2: Read HERE>>>



That’s the lot for this post. Hopefully there is something amongst that lot for you to take away.




Post Comments

Do join in the conversation below, we're a friendly bunch.. all questions welcome, and do share your selections or thoughts

7 responses

  1. Hugh. Have to say great reading and shows you the was a professional Tipster does his homework. Absolutely great reading and the best I have come across Thanks

  2. Thanks for posting these articles Hugh, I find it most useful. A tough type of race to tackle the two year olds in my experience. However some nice price winners can be found, particularly those ready to go first time out. Stable info always useful in that case. I was aware a few months ago that Clive Cox had a good bunch this season. That seems to be panning out. Do you think it is purely down to him having better horses or is it something that he is doing different also?

    1. Hi Martin, I don’t think Clive Cox is doing anything different, I think you are right, he has a good bunch this year. It is difficult to quantify but there is no doubt that a stable with a few good juveniles seem to get more out of the rest. Looks to be a bit of a question over Hannon’s this year. Mind you I’ve thought that before and they suddenly come roaring out. Maybe having owners with deeper pockets mean that they no longer have to rely so much on precocious speed….

  3. Thanks for these Hugh – Over the years I have always let early 2YO form come together at Royal Ascot and then get involved from there on so its interesting to see you starting to thread it together Anyone who wants to get a greater appreciation could do no worse than read the articles at as a start point into a very interesting part of the racing scene

    1. I learnt all my stuff courtesy of Nick at B2yor. However he simply seems to have disappeared. never did get to meet him, more’s the pity.

  4. Disappearing seems to be the curse of 2YO specialists I was inspired by Betting Two Year Olds by Richard Clark (1998) he went to Australia and then disappeared as well. Am going to dust my copy off and reread be interesting if the theories have stood the test of time as racing has changed much in the interim – no chance of another Spindrifter

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