Saturday Selections: 20th May 2023

Friday was frustrating: having a handful of bets (as today again…) is rare and makes me feel nervy, simply because I feel it’s difficult to find value in that many races on a single day.

That proved to be a correct assertion. I backed some poor value. But I also left some great value unbacked. Two eyecatchers I left unbacked won comprehensively (Aurora Dawn & Mostabshir), while the ones I backed were to some extend unfortunate, but also sometimes simply not good bets. Hindsight…

To back short odds there needs to be good reason for me. There were some good reasons, but equally enough against it: I wanted Lady Rascal too much, and ultimately she struggled in a sprint finish over a trip possibly still a bit short of her optimum. Poor selection.

Basholo was a poor choice as well. He was never going to get home over the trip at Hamilton. It’s poor decisions that eat profit. Those you make and those you don’t make.

Gioia Cieca had a troubled passage. Didn’t seem to travel particularly well either. Spanish Angel ran a fine race. If drawn closer to the rail he probably wins it. Shows, though, he didn’t have as much in hand as I thought he has, also.

After two subsequent days with big winners this week I’m certainly back in reality. It must have rattled me so much I forgot to press the “Publish” button for this post last night….


3.00 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

This isn’t your typical handicap – multiple horses have claims to be quite a bitt better than that. Exoplanet, Royal Rhyme and Desert Hero look exciting prospects.

I have to stick with Bertinelli, though. He seems somewhat underappreciated here. Possibly because he got beaten on his seasonal reappearance. However, that looks decent form given he was beaten by a subsequent Dee Stakes runner-up.

He is one of my Horses to Follow, and I firmly believe he’s got the potential to be a quite a decent colt this year, although perhaps, not the Derby contender, as envisioned.

In saying that, one may underestimate him if purely judged on the lack of perceived impressiveness of his sole victory as a juvenile or his seasonal reappearance last month.

His maiden victory came on his second and final start as a juvenile, when he battled hard to land a Dundalk maiden. He won by a neck, but the performance warrants an upgrade because the jockey reported that the colt got struck into behind and that had a major impact on how he ran.

With that in mind the Dundalk run was a fine follow-up on his eye-catching debut that came at Leopardstown where finished an excellent second place behind smart winner Peking Opera, while he didn’t enjoy quite a clear run from 2f out. He also achieved a promising 74 speed rating.

Bertinelli was also reported to be rather weak and had a lot of growing to do last year, which puts these two performances into even better perspective.

Apparently he had wintered really well and had been working nicely before hitting a slight setback suffering from a stone bruise. That may also be a reason why he wasn’t able to sustain his effort at Cork on his seasonal reappearance.

You would hope he could improve having that run under his belt. If he does, there is a fair case to be made that he’s better than a 99 official Rating. Though, others have similar claims. He could have something in hand and still get beaten. At the prices I’m happy to find it it.

10pts win – Bertinelli @ 13/2


4.10 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 1m

Wanees is one I have been quite keen on before the season and he may have found a good opportunity to score, despite the nature of the race.

Very few are well-handicapped in this field. Wanees, on the other hand, could easily be ahead of his mark as a potential group horse in the making.

He was a seriously progressive three-year-old in 2022. It was especially impressive the way he won his final race at Haydock last year. He pulled hard early on, yet won with authority in the end.

That was his second victory in 2022, after he won in spring another hot class 2 Handicap. He ran a great race at Royal Ascot subsequently, with his only poor showing coming at Goodwood, where he had valid excuses, though.

Same can be said for his seasonal reappearance in the Lincoln last month. The heavy ground didn’t suit and he was eased as soon as it became apparent that he wouldn’t be able to land a blow.

Off a 96 mark I feel he has got the potential to win with more improvement likely as he becomes more mature with age. He should have options to move up in trip if he settles better, also.

10pts win – Wanees @ 13/2


4.52 Thirsk: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

The nature of the race screams “wide open”, for obvious reasons. The two I’m most interested in a drawn at the opposite ends: Yazaman and and Gullane One.

Both ran in the same race last time out and warranted an upgrade of their respective performances. Yazaman most likely will need a lot of luck, while Gullane One could enjoy the run of the race. Hence he’s the one I’m prepared to back in this large field.

Last time he led his group on the far side and set a good pace. He ran strongly to the line and was only beaten by one from off the pace and the leader of the stands’ side. I believe that’s quite strong form through winner and the runner-up.

Running against the stands side this time, from the #20 gate, he should have the rail to guide him all the way to the line. He can jump and shouldn’t be too far off the pace, most likely tracking closely Two Summers from #18.

This step up to 6f should suit, so should the decent ground. He ran some solid speed ratings within the last year, as he won off 55 and ran to a 57 speed rating. This most recent run suggests he’s probably not far off that form now.

10pts win – Gullane One @ 11/2


5.25 Thirsk: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

It’s been a while that Mobashr caught my eye when he finished a good third in a hot class 4 Handicap at Wolverhampton in December when he ran to an excellent 80 speed rating.

Since then he ran well in a competitive class 3 Handicap at Chelmsford off a break and then showed his worst side as he missed the break badly at Kempton.

He’s a tricky sort but looks well-in as he drops in class and returns to turf. Mobashr remains lightly raced on turf and has won over a mile on decent already.

He’s got to carry a big weight off 77 here, though, and can be keen over this trip. The hood is back on to give him every chance to settle, and hopefully he doesn’t miss the break. Usually if he starts well he’s up with the pace, which can be ideal from the #1 draw here at this track as well.

This isn’t the strongest class 5 Handicaps, either. If in the mood, and allowed to run on merit, he must have a much better chance to win than current prices.

10pts win – Mobashr @ 13.5/1

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