A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent days and weeks of racing on the All-Weather.
Eye Of The Water
17/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:
Widest draw, moved forward to join leader after the first bend. Pushed on and increased pace from 4 furlongs out, but eventually caught approaching the final furlong. held on for third.
Had to carry big weight dropping into 0-60. Ran right to current rating, possibly a couple of pounds better; in line with performances this year as he ran to speed ratings 60, 64 and 65. Also his January 3rd at Southwell over 6 furlongs from the widest draw off 65 rates strongly.
Ran next week over 8.5 furlongs at Wolverhampton another stormer from the front, just going down late.
Probably best over 6 furlongs. Will be really competitive over 7 furlongs with good draw as well. Really interesting next time over either distance, with good draw and possibly the assistance of a good claimer. He’s ready to win again.
18/10/22 – 3.08 Newcastle:
Started well and led the field for half the race until put under pressure on the outside. Tired but kept going well enough to finish best of those up with the pace.
The slow tempo helped him to get home so well over this trip. 7 furlongs most likely the absolute limit for win purposes, and then in a race with an advantageous pace chart.
Caught the the eye before on turf in his first two runs for the O’Meara yard. Clearly in good nick and comes down to a possibly generous mark. Ran to speed ratings of 65 and 66 in October last year, although over sprint trips.
Can have issues at the gate, one with risks attached. Still, drop to 6 furlongs or 7 furlongs on the All-Weather will be interesting.
18/10/22 – 4.13 Newcastle:
Led isolated on far side, set hot fractions and ran to 3 furlong marker faster than preceding class 3 6f Handicap. Tired soon after, as one would have excepted. Was big price too.
Poor showings last starts since return from break. But comes down to last winning mark and can be a big runner down to 5f again. Usually goes from the front.
Ran at Catterick on Tuesday 25th in the meantime, without having an impact.
Thrilla In Manila
18/10/22 – 5.20 Newcastle:
Set a seriously fast pace, despite not breaking the sharpest. Did too much and tired from 2 furlongs out. Overall race time and the pace he set compare favourably with Division I on the same card of the race.
This represented a solid return to form, after being heavily beaten on his comeback run off a near year long layoff.
Continues to drop to a good mark and can become dangerous over the minimum trip pretty soon.
19/10/22 – 7.30 Kempton:
Reared in stalls, crossed soon over from widish draw in a wild opening phase. Was seriously keen throughout, yet travelled powerfully. Couldn’t go with the front-running winner – nothing could on the day – and tired in the final furlong.
Trip is too far, especially without any sort of pace to aim at. A drop to 6f will be ideal. Has been progressive and is possibly handicapped to his best. A reduction to under 80 with the right trip will be interesting again.
19/10/22 – 8.00 Kempton:
Dropped to rear of field soon after the start, had a lot to do, yet travelled much the best. Couldn’t get through until late, finished in eye-catching fashion.
One who often tends to catch the eye. Has won off 4lb higher over this CD earlier this year. Will need a bit of luck, as can start sluggishly.
It will be worth to wait until he drops down in grade and a few more pounds in the mark.
Ran at Catterick entry on Tuesday 25th in the meantime; excellent 3rd; doesn’t help the mark for the immediate future. One to monitor for a a while.
20/10/22 – 1.55 Southwell:
Went with the early pace from his #8 draw, travelling wide early one. Didn’t have much to offer when tired in the home straight.
The fact he remains enthusisatingly racing up with the pace is encouraging, though. This race came probably too soon, hence I can forgive the way he faded. It was a third race in the space of four weeks, after returning from 446 days off.
First two runs back appeared full of promise. Especially the Newcastle comeback run can be upgraded.
He’ll come down to a highly compelling mark. Once down to/below OR 60 he should be really well handicapped. He ran four times to speed ratings of 58+, three of those 60+.
20/10/22 – 3.05 Southwell:
Bounced out of the widest draw to move rapidly forward, lead the field. The damage was done at that point, all attempts to slow down didn’t help him from tiering badly.
Still a solid performance back from a year long break. The ability to break quickly and to travel well on the lead should see him competitive, especially off the current mark. Ran to a 76 speed rating when landing a solid Newcastle Novice race last year.
20/10/22 – 4.35 Wolverhampton:
Moved quickly into the lead from widest draw, led the field by a couple of lengths, took a keen hold on this first attempt over 7 furlongs. Slowed the tempo down, and tried to kick on when put under pressure 3f out. Finished good second, running well to the line.
This performance ties in well with the lto run that can be upgraded when he travelled really wide. Won on debut over 6 furlongs last year, remains unexposed an open to progress, especially over this trip if he settles better, as the pedigree gives him every chance to stay 7 furlongs.
The new mark, 2lb lower now, should see him potentially quite well handicapped. He may be too short a price to back nto, though.
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:
Already mentioned in the last edition as one who caught the eye. Did so here again, even more dramatic this time. Always travelling off pace on the inside, he looked poised approaching the home straight. Came with a strong looking move over 1 furlong out but the gap closed in that very moment. Eased eventually.
Clearly in good form. I hope his mark will drop a couple of pounds now. He’s then a potentially well handicapped horse.
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:
Travelled always wide and seriously keen as consequence of his draw. Refused to settle until late in the race. Went inside route in the home straight and could have gone close but had to delay full effort having to work his way through the field.
Big run given the circumstances and the energy he must have burned early on. Most likely will be better served down to 7 furlongs again. Usually raced prominently over that distance, but last twice off pace; perhaps to get him settled.
He ran to a 68 speed rating earlier tis year on turf. Comes down to a good mark now and is still unexposed on the All-Weather, having been placed on two of his three starts on the sand already. He should be really competitive for a drop to 7 furlongs.
22/10/22 – 7.00 Chelmsford:
Bang up with pace from widest draw, always travelled wide and without cover. Kept going strongly to the line nonetheless; did much the best of pace setters.
Caught the eye the last two times on turf, too. Especially the Windsor performance was seriously impressive, given the circumstances and the big move he made mid-race.
This race confirmed he’s down to a good mark, and clearly capable to win off 74. Speed ratings say he hasn’t tons in hand, so it’s worth paying attention to draw and pace chart.
Lucky Lucky Lucky
24/10/22 – 7.30 Newcastle:
Not an eye-catching performance on the surface. But the fact he jumped off well and travelled enthusiastically was noteworthy as it suggests there is somewhere a performance still in him.
Was seriously unlucky at Redcar in August over 6 furlongs. Has mainly finished down the field subsequently, all over 7 furlongs.
Want to see him back over 6 furlongs here at Newcastle. Is a full-brother to a listed placed Dundalk mare. Pedigree would suggest he has a bit of stamina to stay a mile, but the way he travelled suggests 6 furlongs could be ideal.
His sire has an excellent record at Newcastle over this trip. Which ties in with this observation. Has an entry next week over 7 furlongs again. I’ll sit that out.
24/10/22 – 8.00 Newcastle:
Was early up with the pace on the outside toward the stands’ side as part of a trio. Tried to kick on over 2 furlongs but faded away entering the final furlong. Not far beaten.
Is quite consistent, got close a number of times year. As a consequence appears to be in grip of the handicapper. As a prominent/front-runner he’ll be really intriguing if his mark comes to 70 or lower, perhaps a slightly easier race and a switch to a track with a turn.
He’s ran five times to speed ratings matching- or bettering his current mark. In aforementioned circumstances he will be well handicapped, given he looks as good as ever.
27/10/22 – 1.40 Lingfield:
Tracked the pace setter, always travelling prominent. Started good looking move from over 3 furlongs out and travelled strongly into the home straight, before fading quickly.
Was back from a two months break. Ran seriously well the last two times prior, ran to to 58 speed rating three back, in line with other strong performances and speed ratings achieved within the last twelve months.
Should drop below a mark of 58 soon, really intriguing over 7 furlongs then.
Delegate This Lord
27/10/22 – 6.00 Chelmsford:
Quickly out of the gates, pulled back to midfield soon after and seriously keen, especially around the turn. Looked quite awkward and a rough ride in home straight, seemingly hanging, but still able to finish pretty easily fourth without ever asked a real question.
Showed a bit of form on turf during the summer. Now drops down to intriguing handicap marks. Should be a massive runner down to 5 furlongs. Best form all below 6 furlongs.
All-Weather form looks horrible, but six of eight starts went off 16/1 plus. This performance suggests he won’t struggle on the surface, if he can settle, which is more likely over the minimum trip.
29/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:
Wasn’t advantaged by wide draw and as consequence travelled always on outside. Looked to do a bit too much early on, seemingly not finding a position to relax. Appeared threatening turning for home before fading.
Solid run in circumstances. hated Chelmsford kickback lto, but quite promising on comeback run before.
Won well over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton in January, ran to 49 speed rating. Strong follow-up performance when a bit unlucky not to win. I don’t think he truly stays a mile. 7 furlongs possibly ideal. Looks a big lad. Wouldn’t want to back him off a break. Will come down to interesting mark soon.
29/10/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:
Obviously the handbrake was on. Restrained at the back of the field, pulling for his head, this natural front-runner wasn’t in it to win it. He caught the eye earlier this season on turf, running a number of strong races.
His relative consistency means he is too high in the mark to win at this stage of his career, clearly in the grip of the handicapper. Connections seem to have realised this reality. One to monitor for drop to 7 furlongs down a few pounds.
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