Above: Izzer (Charles Bishop), lands a nice gamble for trainer Mick Channon
The Flat season on turf in both Britain and Ireland got underway this weekend, and with it a series of eye-catching gambles were landed on both sides of the Irish Sea.
Following every horse that attracts money is a very quick way to the poor house, but in the first few weeks of the season there are some horses who “come to hand” earlier (are fitter) than others and who will revel in what are usually testing underfoot conditions. Selective support of market movers can prove worthwhile with two-year-old’s being one source of potential profit. They are likely to feature on occasions in our free horse racing tips.
In years gone by, Jack Berry, a great trainer of juveniles, had an uncanny knack of having his youngsters primed to race and know their job better than just about any other trainer at the time. Remarkably, he once sent out 100 winners by early-July, and most of those were two-year-olds. There is no one at present quite of Berry’s stature in the juvenile department, but at Doncaster on Saturday, in the Unibet Brocklesby Conditions Stakes, the first two-year-old race of the season, Mick Channon landed quite a touch with Izzer, a Clodovil colt who clearly knew his job on debut.
The dogs were barking, and early odds of 14/1 were soon snapped up. Izzer opened at 9/1 on-course for the 13-runner race that included a dozen unraced young horses. The gamble continued right up to the moment the stalls opened with Izzer being sent off at 4/1. He bounced out of the stalls, led 2 furlongs out, then after briefly being headed entering the final furlong, fought back to win by three-quarters-of-a-length from the promising outsider Broken Spear.
Izzer may potentially turn out again quickly for a conditions event at Bath on Friday. Unless some unknown quantity is strongly supported against him, he shouldn’t be missed if he does take his chance. Brocklesby Stakes winners – and indeed the also-rans in that race – are traditionally well worth following for at least the first month of the season.
Channon, along with the likes of David Evans, Richard Fahey, Karl Burke, Kevin Ryan, Richard Hannon and Mark Johnston, are trainers very adept at preparing debutant two-year-old’s to run well, especially when the market speaks in their favour.
And in Ireland yesterday another ‘plot’ hit the target, this time with an older horse. On The Go Again was backed down from fancy prices in the morning, opening 10/1 on course then being backed down to 6/1 favourite. He duly landed the 20-runner Irish Lincolnshire Handicap for trainer Michael Mulvaney and jockey Gary Carroll.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.