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Early two-year-old races can be a nightmare for punters with a list of horses we know absolutely nothing about such as the first race of the flat season on Saturday the Brockelsby at Doncaster. So, what can we do to find a selection?

FOAL DATE (When is a 2YO not a 2YO?)

For me this is crucial information although all horses in these races are classed as 2 years old from January 1st obviously these horses are all born at different times, for example in the Brockelsby there are the following:

Dashing Ray & Forca Brazil Foaled April 12th

Makalu foaled April 15th

Wonderful World foaled April 20th

Muskateer Three foaled April 24th

As you see there are horses running tomorrow that are still a month away from being 2. A rule of mine is never to back any 2yo until after they are actually 2. Again using the Brockelsby, we also find the following.

Kenyan Commander foaled February 10th

Vintage Clarets Foaled March 2nd

Kenyan Commander was foaled 2 ½ months before some runners that can be a long time on the development of a two-year-old. He doesn’t come from a yard particularly associated with early two year old’s so is passed over here.


A high sales price is always a good guide, a method that can prove useful is looking for a horse who sells as a foal and then sells for a significantly higher price as a yearling for example in the Brockelsby we find the following:

Forca Brasil cost 6500 as a foal but sold for 60,000 guineas as a yearling a promising sign


Trainers are creatures of habit and often aim for the same race with an early 2year old. Mick Channon (Wonderful World) has won this before (James Doyle good jockey booking here)but Richard Fahey (Vintage Clarets) has won it four times.


Most papers and websites will tell you that a 2-year-old is related to various winners but the sire can be informative too. You won’t find early two year old’s sired by the likes of Frankel and Gallileo but you will find plenty sired by decent sprinters. These races can often feature a first season sire getting off to a good start. Last year Mehmas had a lot of winners in his first year especially early and he sires Makalu here. A good first season sire to watch for this year could be Cotai Glory whose progeny have been popular at bloodstock sales (always a good sign for a sire) he sires Forca Brasil. Ardad is another first season sire, he was a top 2-year-old himself and his progeny have gone to some of the top trainers around the country, he sires Vintage Claret in Saturday’s race.


Obviously as the Brockelsby is the very first two-year-old race nothing has any experience but watch out over the next few weeks for two year old’s that have had a run. A 2-year-oldcan improve dramatically for that first racecourse experience and can have a big advantage over unraced horses.


Ok so let’s put all the above into practice and see if we can find the winner of the Brocklesby? My selection is going to be Vintage Clarets for the following reasons:

Already two years old

Trainer won race 4 times before.

Bought for £20,000 a decent amount compared to some of the others

Out of a speedy first season sire

Forca Brasil should be noted for future engagements as he has a lot in his favour but is not quite two yet.


written by Steve Marriott


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