A rather quiet week on the betting front: only the one selection on Monday; obviously that went as badly as it could. Nothing stood out worthy of an investment ever since.
That’s okay – the week produced a handful of intriguing eyecatchers that will be on the list in the next version (latest eyecatchers here).
One interest today: a small field, but good race this afternoon on the Southwell Tapeta.
2.20 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 7f
Intriguing contest. Quite open, the betting tells the tale. But only one horse seems to be potentially well handicapped. That is Mogok Valley, who caught the eye when last seen.
That day at Kempton over 6 furlongs he enjoyed a solid start, travelled nicely amongst a group of horses tracking the pace, before things started to heat up from over two furlongs out.
His acceleration wasn’t rapid and he had to switch to his right at the 2 furlong pole, and again when approaching the final furlong marker, in order for clear run. He also appeared to be a tiny bit disorganised, and that cost vital momentum.
The winner, who produced a stunning turn of foot from well off the pace against the inside rail, was long gone before Mogok Valley eventually rattled home in good style for a fine runner-up performance.
This was his handicap debut, and rates as a strong follow-up performance from a recent comeback run over the minimum trip one month earlier.
He is still lightly raced – today is going to be his 6th career start only – and is completely unexposed over the new trip. Moving up to 7 furlongs seems a wise move, given how he ran last time and the pedigree is a solid guide as well: Zoffany’s stamina index is 9.4, while the dam, although a sprinter during her racing career, produced a 1m 5f winner already.
If Mogok Valley can improve for the trip he has a good chance to prove a win or two better than his current rating. He steps up in class, though and obviously has to show that he belongs here. He’s yet to run a speed rating that provides this sort of evidence.
The betting is a bit concerning as he’s drifting a bit this morning. In saying that, he’s pushed out to an acceptable price for me now. I am sweet on him, backing the potential improvement after an eye-catching handicap debut last time out.
10pts win – Mogok Valley @ 3/1