It's been a quiet time for uploading posts here at On The Gallops.
Sadly, our lovely friend, who wrote so many articles, passed away this year and I haven't felt greatly inspired to write on this platform. It was meant to be the place Eric A. wrote his insightful prose. We will remember him for the kind, generous man he remains in our heart and mind.
Readers may remember that we have a number of other websites including Group Horse Daily, which is the sister site to Group Horse. Both sites have a reputation to deliver the best lightly raced and unraced two-year-olds in training.
So using that as our source, we will detail 3 potentially smart juveniles (2yos). Some are fair performers while other dark horses which may well show ability at lower class. More nursery types.
1) Vardon Flyer
Mick Easterby's bay gelding is a son of unfashionable sire Fountain Of Youth whose stallion fee is just £4,500. This March foal has run three times and went well last time out at Carlisle when unlucky to bump into a smart opponent in Hugo Palmer's Coase. Although far from blue-blooded, this gelding cost £15,000 at the yearling sales. He's a very good-looking horse with a strong neck, size and scope to progress. Connections must think something of this youngster as he ran at York, although a 100/1 shot. I had a bet on this horse at Carlisle, which drifted markedly in the betting but in some respects, the layers pushed their luck. Worth noting next start especially on softer ground, which it is proven.
I'm pretty sure Richard Hannon fancied this son of Dark Angel on both first two starts. Racing in the familiar silks of Ben MC Wong. This 110,000 guineas breeze-up purchase (80,000 as a yearling) was very well backed on debut at Ascot (5/1 - 11/4) but never figured, completely outpaced by a few nice sorts. I imagine connections simply got the distance wrong because they stepped up to 6f at Chester. Fancied to go well at this Class 2 race, he was outpaced by Mark Johnston's odds-on shot Raffle Prize who was simply too good for all. Endowed, a good-looking colt was held up in third place, awkward and hanging on the bend, every chance at the two-furlong pole but almost blew a gasket trying to get to grips with easy winner Raffle Prize, who is going places. Endowed dropped out quite tamely but is a capable horse who should be winning this season.
3) Mia Diva
John Quinn has a nice two-year-old in Liberty Beach, who won the Hilary Needler Trophy at Beverley. This chestnut filly, a daughter of Exceed And Excel, isn't the biggest of horses but she may have something going for her starting at Class 2 level. This £70,000 yearling purchase ran creditably at Newcastle but pulled much too hard and, basically, ruined her chance. Owners, Phoenix Thoroughbreds Limited is no stranger to a talented juvenile and I would expect this filly to show more in future. Not been seen since April, and sure to know much more on her second start.