Two year olds are the babies of the racing world and many observers of the sport find it difficult to distinguish between one unraced horse and another. In the early part of the season, for example, you will see whole fields of unraced horses and for many it is a case of 'where do I start?'
This prompted us to produce a guide to the precocious nature of these horses, based on the performances of their immediate relatives. It is amazing how some families show a higher degree of precocity than others and it has become apparent that this 'gift' is hereditary.
From the example below we can see that Fendale was the only 2yo with PR1 rating, indicating he was more precociously bred than the other runners, and thus more likely to run well and win on his debut. In addition we can see he was the only runner with a Significant Entry; that being the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York in August. Another pointer towards his horse's ability prior to running, and that his trainer feels him capable of running in a future group race and more than capable of winning a maiden; which Fendale duly proved by winning very comfortably.
Result – FENDALE WON 7/2
Medrano the only PR1 in the field also had the advantage of valuable race course experience and from the horses entered that had run, Medrano was in fact the Judge's Verdict. So not only did Medrano have race course experience over those that were unraced and not bred to be particularly precocious, he had the best form in the race of those that had run, and was the only preciously bred 2yo, all of which indicated the David Barron colt was the bet here.
Result – Medrano WON 6/1
The final two examples are races where only one 2yo ran with the highest precocity rating, PR-1, and therefore both Via Via and Bitter Lake would have been expected to run well on their first racecourse appearances.
Result – Via Via WON 5/1
Result – Bitter Lake WON 7/1
Consequently, in a field of unraced 2yos where some horses show a precocious nature and some do not, it is rare for the latter group to win. Naturally, this is not an exhaustive solution but sometimes significant entries, stable form and any other information that can be achieved, makes solving these types of races a good deal easier than they were before.
The identification of the level of precocity is shown by the following key;
PR-1 - relates to horses whose immediate siblings or Dam were winners or very narrowly beaten first time out as 2yos.
PR-2 - relates to horses who are first foals and whose Dam's family were winners first time out as 2yos
PR-3 - relates to horses whose immediate siblings won as 2yos but not first time out.
PR-4 - relates to horses who are first foals and whose Dam's family won at 2 but not first time out.
PR-0 - relates to horses for whom there is no trace of any 2yo success in the family or where perhaps we have been unable to ascertain information, most likely, for horses bred abroad.
Unlike our Eyecatchers section where the higher the classification the better chance the horse has, in this section it is envisaged the lower the classification, the more precocious and therefore the more likely the unraced 2yo is to win.