Experience is so important in juvenile contests, the lessons learned from races can prove invaluable. Debut runs are big occasions, 2yr olds are taken out of their comfort zones to race in new surrounding and usually with crowds and stands overshadowing the track. Good horses can be beat on their first run and improve for the outing to show their true colours. Sometimes it can even take more than just the one run but this wasn’t the case for Tinochio who bolted up in the 5f British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Hamilton.
Buratino was a very smart 2yr old and proved to be a very speedy and early juvenile. He didn’t take that form on to 3yrs old which probably led to him going under the radar to breeders looking to use him as a stallion. Kevin only had one of his progeny on his list and when the colt walked out for a show at the GoffsUK Premier Yearling Sales, he really took the eye. Tinochio, as he would be named, ticked all the boxes as a physical and probably went through cheaper than maybe he should due to a less flashy sire.
Tinochio would come to hand early and showed that he would match his sire and hit the track sooner rather than later. Although he would have been one of Kevin’s earlier entries, Tinochio maintained his good work through the lockdown period meaning he was raring to go once racing got back into action. Pontefract is a tricky course for a debutante with it characteristic undulations and rising finish. Tinochio proved this on his first run, racing green through the majority of the race and just getting a little unbalanced on the roller coaster track. Once they straightened for home and he his feet in order, Tinochio made up impressive ground to end up finishing fourth, beaten just a length. The chestnut colt went into many notebooks following his debut and it was clear that he had an engine once the experience matched up.
Confidence was high that Tinochio could take a step forward on his second start and wherever he went he would take all the beating. Hamilton was the chosen destination and the Novice stakes would attract just the 9 runners. Tinochio held the best form, had caught the eye and looked like a very worthy favourite. There were a coupe of newcomers lining up who were strong in the market but it would be Tinochio who would rightly start as the 2/1 favourite. Kevin Stott has been in flying form since his Royal Ascot winners and was in the saddle once more.
Simplicity was the key in this contest and Kevin did just that from the off. The stalls were positioned down the centre of the track and the field would stick to that as the gates opened. Tinochio had learnt from his debut and was well away, jumping straight and true. He was quickly into stride and was to the fore as a little argy bargy was going on behind. Fellow experienced runners Stitcher and Colton went along with Tinochio to cut out the running through the early stages.
Freewheeling downhill the field blasted through the first couple of furlongs. Tinochio travelled well and although the majority of the field were well grouped there was a small gap to the trio at the rear. This showed the pace that was being forced up front but Tinochio handled it fine and Kevin allowed him to stride on. By halfway the race was already beginning to heat up and just for a couple of strides Kevin had to niggle his mount along. Tinochio quickly gathered his feet and grabbed hold of the bridle once more. As he did this his rivals came under pressure with the favourite turning the screw.
Moving into the 2f marker Kevin tried to kick from the front. He gathered his reins a little tighter and squeezed Tinochio along. The colt responded and started to lengthen taking the lead but a narrow margin. His rivals were well positioned to lay down a challenge but they were under far more strenuous rides than Kevin was giving his mount. On this occasion Tinochio was well positioned and running straight as a gun barrel so now it was just how much he had in the tank as they would soon hit the rising ground for the finish.
Just around a length was Tinochio’s lead as he took the field into the final furlong and it was here that he began to assert. Kevin just had to grab hold of the colt to ensure he stayed straight and going forward. Tinochio responded by quickening clear. Once he had got the length lead Kevin just had to keep him up to his work. It proved to be an easy enough task as his partner began to dominate. Under a hands and heels ride, Tinochio powered up the finish pulling clear with every stride and proving far too strong for his rivals.
Experience and quality, Tinochio utilised both to get off the mark at the second try. He had shown so much promise but it is very satisfying to see him go on and build on that performance. Tinochio managed to match the strong pace up front but then quickened up and saw out the finish very well. It looks as though there will be plenty of options moving forward as he has the pace for 5f and should stay the 6f too. Hambleton Racing look to have a nice juvenile on their hands and it will be exciting to see where he can go following this.