16 Apr

Philip Sale | Saturday April 16 2022, 5:21pm | Racing Comment

Week Three Advice:

Back Panic Alarm on his next outing.

Back Wodao when stepped up in trip.

Back Family Ties on his next three starts. 

Back Zuffolo on his next three starts. 

At the time of writing there have been just seven two-year-old contests in Ireland this year. Early signs suggest Aidan O'Brien has his juveniles forward, with the champion trainer sending out two winners (Blackbeard and Meditate), a runner-up (Little Big Bear) and a third (Tiger Paw) from only four runners to date. 

Jessica Harrington has likewise won twice from four runners (Ocean Quest and It's Showtime Baby), with a third and fourth-placed to boot (Panic Alarm and Slick Chick respectively).

Being out of Australian sprinter Kuroshio (Exceed And Excel), Panic Alarm is an intriguingly bred colt. Kuroshio is perhaps best known for Australian Group One winner Savatoxl, but in recent years he has produced numerous two-year-old winners in the northern hemisphere, including Daphinia, Big Ace, Dunkerron, Kurious and Kapono. Although Panic Alarm's dam Thraya Queen (Shamardal) was not up to much on the track, she does share her page with various winners, including Italian Oaks winner Sand Zabeel (1m3f). 

"He rates an interesting prospect when stepped-up to seven furlongs in the near future."

Whilst it would be injudicious to assume all of Harrington's juveniles can make the grade, evidence does suggest the trainer's early runners warrant respect. In what looked a strong Curragh maiden in which the front two in the market (Tough Talk and the aforementioned Little Big Bear) came to the fore, Panic Alarm ran on well to claim fourth after being switched left a furlong from home. He ran on noticeably well under Shane Foley and should be backed to break his maiden next time out.

Curiously, our second juvenile to follow comes from the very same maiden. And whilst the first three home (Johnny Murtagh’s Shartash finished a notable third) will doubtless go off at prohibitive odds next time out, it is Donnacha O’Brien’s Wodao who emerges as a colt to follow. 

Out of Showcasing (an excellent source of two-year-olds), Wodao fetched €260,000 as a yearling. He is the first foal of unraced Intello mare Dadao - a close relation to 1m4f Listed winner Galactic Star and 1m4f – 2m winner El Salvador. 

Wodao found himself lacking cover on the far side but in any case he was outpaced over the six furlong trip. Ultimately he finished immediately behind Panic Alarm in fifth. His future clearly lies over further, and he rates an interesting prospect when stepped-up to seven furlongs in the near future.

"One would be surprised were he not much smarter next time out."

After three weeks of racing in Britain, Brockelsby winner Persian Force and Newmarket winner Tajalla have set the early standard in the juvenile ranks. Equally, after 13 juvenile contests over the last three weeks, winners-in-waiting are jumping off the page. 

In winning at Beverley, Rousing Encore did the Brocklesby form no harm, having himself finished third behind Jiffy Boy and Elovicatt (third and fifth at Doncaster) on debut at Leicester. Incidentally, these form-lines will no doubt be of great delight to connections of Persian Force. 

Despite having hung badly left, Zuffolo was never too far away from the action at Beverley and ran on well to finish just a head behind runner-up Stella Blue, three-and-a-quarter lengths behind Rousing Encore.

A speedily bred Bungle Inthejungle colt, Zuffolo is out of Piccolo mare Red Rose, making him a full-brother to last year’s two-year-old winner Red Warning (likewise trained by Michael Dods) and a half-brother to juvenile winners Huddle Up, Pillar Box and Fashionata. It would be a surprise were Zuffolo – a €31,000 yearling – not to emulate his siblings in the coming months. 

The final word is for David O’Meara's Family Ties, an Expert Eye half-sister to three-year-old Ballet Steps - a winner over five furlongs for Kevin Ryan at Nottingham earlier this month. 

Family Ties is a filly bred for speed, with dam Savannah’s Dream finishing runner-up to Ardad in the 2016 Windsor Castle Stakes. She in turn is a full sister to Savannah’s Show and a half-sister to Amazonian Dream, both winners at two.

Finishing fifth behind Richard Hannon’s Powerdress on her Newmarket debut, Family Ties was initially towards the rear and, after being pushed along, made gradual progress within the far side group. Given an easy time by Daniel Tudhope when her chance was gone, she nevertheless shaped nicely and one would be surprised were he not much smarter next time out.

Image: John5199, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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