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Brocklesby review - Division I

Continuing on with the 2yo reviews...

Doncaster 4.10 Sat Apr 1
Brocklesby Stakes Div I, Class 4
5f
1m1.09s (slow by 3.19s on RP standards)
Good to Soft.


I didn't realise this race was worth so little in prizemoney until Doncaster officials said they'd like to put some more money into it in future to raise it above the £10k threshold for dividing a race. Last year's winner The Last Lion continued throughout the season, closed with a win in the G1 Middle Park Stakes rating 116, and is now making €12k a shot a stud. Ravenhoe won in 2015, peaked at 87 as a juvenile and now runs on the AW rated 70. Cock of the North peaked at 102 and hasn't raced (in the UK) since his debut year. 2013 winner Mick's Yer Man now runs under the name Always Win in Hong Kong. He peaked at 107 as a 2yo. With such a relatively small purse, there's no huge incentive to run early. Don't be surprised if several of these are still maidens when they turn three.

Santry, a Feb 5 foal was the oldest horse in the field by a single day. Trainer can find a 2yo winner, with a solid unit stake profit on both turf & AW in past five years. By the precocious Harbour Watch who has done OK at stud so far. Jumped well, settled directly behind the leaders, kept on well to win. Of the first four 2yo races of the season (two Brocklesbys, two in Ireland, this winner has the lowest RPR of 77 vs 80/81).

Last Page, Apr 17. Opened quite short at 4/1, trainer has a 2yo turf level stake record of +£54 over past five years and made the trip from South Wales so was entitled to some respect. Dwelt at start and had to be pushed early to stay in touch. Wound up 2.5f out when leaders kicked away, gradually making ground before flashing home late to just miss. One to watch when he figures this game out a bit better.

Benadalid, Mar 1. 50/1 rag for unfashionable trainer, settled behind Almane in midfield. Took a while to get going once asked for more, didn't really respond to the whip. Perhaps needs blinkers as only really got going once the gaps became wide enough to drive a bus through. Already wears a nose roll. Worked home nicely to gain third without any great turn-of-foot.

Almane Feb 6, favourite, backed from 3s into 2s. Early foal, precocious sire, was expected to go well. Trainer had won this race twice in past 10, the only trainer of this division to have won this race in that period. Parked next to the winner upon settling and had every chance. Minor interference near the line probably cost him third. Will be better for the experience.

Autumn Lodge, Feb 10. Gelded. 5th at 50s. Nice run, slow out, went left toward the inside rail from gate one, then went back into the middle following the pack. Always being pushed along, was 8-10L behind the leaders at halfway, then worked home nicely. Sire was 8-10f horse, look for him later in the year.

Billiebrookedit, Apr 12. Decent jock aboard for unfashionable trainer. Age disadvantage. Left flat-footed 2f out but kept on, passing tired horses without making any ground on the leaders.

Rocket Man Dan, Mar 28. Well supported at 5/2 for one of the better trainers in the race, but also a yard out of form (RP RunToForm figure 23%, just one winner in eight weeks). Contested the lead and then faded in the last furlong, perhaps symptomatic of a virus in the yard. Didn't help that Dragon's Teeth was forcing him to the inside onto likely softer ground. Forgive.

Furni Factors, Mar 9. From a yard who have never had 10 winners in a season in 30 years. Settled just in behind the pace then went backwards as soon as the jockey asked for more 3f out. Impatient jockey or just no good? Well beaten. Suspect we'll see this one in a seller by season end.

Dragon's Teeth, Apr 15. Led without ever easing up, edged left under pressure and faded sharply final furlong. Needs to learn to settle.

Afterthisone Feb 28. £2k yearling, already gelded. Dwelt at the start, unbalanced, took a while to get going, left 15 lengths behind and never got any closer.

Primo's Comet, May 17. Headcase, buckjumped to the left then veered so sharply to the outside we were all worried for the safety of the jockey. Beaten 50 lengths. Might need the snip sooner rather than later.

KEY POINTS

Foaling date was once again important, although obviously being oldest by one day is trivial.

Winner looked OK but I was most taken with Last Page and Autumn Lodge.

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