With the Craven meeting looking highly likely to start on the fast side of good, rather then review the trials this week, it may be more useful to highlight a few sires whose progeny do well or not so well on a quick surface.
Before starting out, always remember that a horse’s genes come from both the sire and the dam and as such making sweeping generalisations just based on one side of the pedigree can be dangerous.
The clear advantage is the sample sizes allow any analysis to be far more robust than any based on just a single foal a year a dam can produce compared to the massive books of mares a sire can attract.
Once a horse has proven his ability to act under a certain set of conditions, then the form book should always take precedence, the angle however is being able to predict how they may perform when they are encountering conditions for the first time.
Here are three when you can be confident fast ground (good to firm or quicker) will not be a problem.
As usual, the benchmark is the ratio of actual wins/expected wins where par = 1.00 so that the prices at which the runners are sent off are taken into account.
The numbers are for the last 10 years for Turf flat races.
Sir Prancealot: 55/340 - A/E 1.51
Has the perfect fast ground sire profile in that his numbers deteriorate in line with the ground. Not a household name, largely due to retiring at the end of his juvenile career but has proved very popular standing at only 8,000 euros so there will be plenty of qualifiers each season. Dubawi: 265/1295 - A/E 1.21
A classy sire who attracts good mares fast ground seems to show them off to best effect. He is a good sire generally but given the huge sample size to perform so well is very creditable indeed. Sadly, deprived of representation this week by the absence of Quarto and Too Darn Hot there will be plenty of others coming off the Darley production line.
Champs-Elysees: 92/578 - A/E 1.21
Sadly, no longer with us having passed away last December but he will still have plenty of youngsters coming through this season. As a brother to Dansili, the fact his progeny seem best on fast ground should come as no surprise.
And here are three for whom fast ground could set the warning bells ringing:
Dream Ahead: 29/318 - A/E 0.68
Whilst he himself was pretty versatile regarding ground - July Cup win on good to firm and Middle Park on Soft - it would appear fast ground does not suit many of his offspring. His own sire, Diktat, also has a modest record as a sire under similar conditions and it appears that has been passed on.
Henrythenavigator: 30/351 - A/E 0.73 Has generally been a disappointment at stud as evidenced by the fact he has been exported to Russia! As a consequence, the number of qualifiers will soon dry up but any that are still encountering fast ground for the first time will not usually find it a plus.
Pour Moi: 7/112 - A/E 0.57
Still early days but the initial numbers are poor enough to be one to keep a close eye on going forward. This could be due to the fact that rather like his own dad Montjeu his progeny can look to have a slightly awkward way of moving which perhaps faster ground exacerbates. Hopefully fast ground will prove no issue for this quartet from day one of Newmarket’s Craven meeting.
Showed promise in one run for Luca Cumani over on the July course and then wasn’t seen again. From a family that are seldom rushed, her dam was up to winning at Listed level and connections will be keen to get a win against her name as she comes from one of her owner Meon Valley Stud’s foundation families.
It is likely the handicapper would have saddled him with a few more pounds after Mohaather’s Greenham win at the weekend.
Second to him in the Horris Hill at Newbury that is a piece of form which has worked out really well with three next time out winners in the field. The lightest raced of the seven runners he may also have more improvement to come as well and still holds a 2000 Guineas entry.
Beautifully bred being out of 1000 Guineas winner Ghanaati she looked as if she would be capable of winning races after an educational debut fourth at Lingfield in December.
Her stable have made a very bright start to the season and she has at least been saddled with a far better name for commentators than her half-brother Afaak!
Improved steadily in three starts last year culminating in a Newcastle maiden win.
His initial mark of 85 looks very workable especially as the step up in trip looks highly likely to yield improvement being a half sister to Ribblesdale winner Field of Miracles.