The Brocklesby Conditions Stakes (Plus 10) (Class 4) (2yo).
Thirteen two-year-olds making their debut on soft ground bar the once-raced Eviya Rose who raced at Saint-Cloud on the 17th March. The first two-year-old race of the season. A race that has seen a number of highly talented horses go on to achieved group success. You may remember Mind Games, trained by Jack Berry. Another star for Pat Eddery was Hearts Of Fire won at Group 1 in France.
Take a look at this list of Brocklesby Winners.
Last year saw the Brocklesby split into two divisions. Declan Carroll's Santry won and proved a class performer when finishing second in the Norfolk Stakes (Group 2). Sadly, Santry was fatally injured on the gallops later that year.
Today we see a field which consists of Langholm, who is trained by Carroll. This bay colt is a son of Dark Angel and 100,000 euro purchase. Trainers are often creatures of habit and it might be the case he comes back here with Santry in mind. Interesting to see this debutante who has a relatively wide draw in stall 12.
One other trainer who needs little introduction when it comes to the Brocklesby is Bill Turner. A handler who is synonymous with this race. A number of winners and talents including The Lord. Another gallant horse who started his long career in the Brocklesby was Indian Spark. It is often the case, Turner sends his best juvenile to contest this race. It is a shame that his string has been weakened over the past few years which slightly tempers enthusiasm. However, you would never doubt the chance of a Turner runner here. Arthur's Spirit is owned by E A Brook which may be significant because a number of Brocklesby stars have been in his colours. This son of Swiss Spirit cost just 5,000 G at the yearling sales so not expensive by any standard. It is actually Arthur's Spirit's birthday as he was born on this day two years ago. Turner can ready a debutante and his record in the race says they are here to go well. Drawn next to the favourite may be a good place to be.
Richard Fahey, who excels with debut winners, has won the Brocklesby a few times. It is true that a number of his horses starting here have needed the race. The betting is the best guide. Wasntexpectingthat must be respected. This 28,000G yearling purchase is a son of Fox Wedge.
Lihou hails from David Evans stable. He is a trainer who doesn't let the grass grown under his feet. In previous years, the stable had seen very little in the way of success here but Last Page ran a storming race behind Santry, losing by a head, in 2017. This chestnut son of Mayson is priced 10/1 in the betting. Another horse with a wide draw (13) which may be a blessing although if the going is faster on the lower rail it may be a negative. Money talks with this stable.
Mick Channon has gone well in this race but the betting is the key indicator. If Izzer is priced 8/1 and less it would give greater hope. If weak in the market, I would take a watching brief.
John Quinn doesn't have too many early juveniles so it is intriguing to see Carey Street starting on the first day of the Flat. The betting suggests others are more fancied although worthy of respect.
Others to note: Geography Teacher.
Conclusion: Always an intriguing race which often goes to those more fancied in the betting. With the ground being soft, it may be a plus or minus to be drawn high or low. The earlier races may help bring some light. Certainly, those more fancied in the betting are drawn high. Langholm is interesting. Considering Carroll won a division with Santry, it is a pointer. One of the more expensive two-year-olds to have run in this race. Arthur's Spirit could bring a smile to Bill Turner's face. He loves this race but sadly things have not gone so well over the last couple of years with a depleted string. It is a plus this juvenile being owned by E A Brook. Definitely high on the shortlist. Wasntexpectingthat hails from a stable who can win on their racecourse bow. Although a few of Fahey's Brocklesby runners in previous years have needed the run. Lihou is worth noting although David Evans is tricky to get right with debutantes. They either win well or fail to shine.
I'd give Langholm and Arthur's Spirit the best chance. The favourite is not much value at 2/1. Bill Turner's charge may be the answer although his string has been weakened in recent years which makes life a bit more difficult. A watching brief.