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Friday Selections: August, 9th 2019

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

Is it winter yet? A nice winner on Newcastle’s’s tapeta last night + the majority of my selections for today come from the Chelmsford polytrack! Who needs grass, anyway? Let’s rip the turf off the tracks and have a lovely fibresand surface everywhere…… alright, now I’m day dreaming, so let’s talk horses…..

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5.35 Haydock: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Who’s the least bad horse in this race? Tough question. One thing is certain: Springwood Drive is a silly price. I may eat my words in half an hour, saying that, but seriously, even though she has good form in the book, she also has work to do to show she is better than what she has shown so far.

Same goes for Sarasota Bay, dropping down to 5f, she at least has match her current OR in terms of TS, but the sharper trip is a worry for me.

Intriguing is the 4-year-old Red Allure. She has work to do against her younger rivals, but there is clear indication she is knocking heavily on the door now. This filly has been a little bit unlucky so to speak. She was heavily bumped at Doncaster when seemingly finding her second wind earlier this season plus a few issues in the starting gates didn’t make life easier.

However, her latest effort in better class is a clear standout piece of form. She showed pace despite having a few issues at the start again, and she showed a lovely attitude battling hard to the line. It seems cut in the ground is what she needs and she gets it today over same course and distance once more.

Red Allure ran to a 51 topspeed rating that day too. So now of an official rating of 50 with a 7lb claimer in the saddle she should go well today.

Selections:
10pts win – Red Allure @ 8/1 MB

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7.30 Chelmsford: Class 3 Handicap, 5f

Tomily won three races in quick succession in July, until bombing out in soft ground in a very hot York handicap only three days after winning at Catterick. I think that is a piece of form to forgive.

Now back on the All-Weather and racing over the minimum trip, I feel Tomily remains of high interest and could potentially be well handicapped, in fact. That is down to the fact that he is down to his lowest All-Weather mark for quite some time. He may not quite be as good as he once was, but recent form suggests he remains a good horse, with appetite for the game.

Given Tomily  has ran to topspeed ratings of 87+ on six occasions on all surfaces throughout his career, most recently last months, it’s fair to assume, now down to an official rating of 87, he could have a bit in hand, if not enough to run to hid current mark will already be enough to win a race where little else appears to be well handicapped.

Having the added bonus of Jim Crowley in the saddle plus a good draw to operate from I feel he is overpriced in this field.

Selection:
10pts win – Tomily @ 6/1 MB

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8.35 Curragh: Handicap, 1 Mile

With rain and wind lashing against the windows for the last few hours now with not let up to be expected any time soon, the ground at Curragh will be pretty soft come race time.

There aren’t that many really suited by conditions, nor appear many well handicapped. But this years Irish Lincoln runner-up Trading Point could fall into both categories. He’s has form on fast ground but crucially his career best came at Naas with plenty of cut in the ground this March.

He finished an excellent second in a race that has provided twelve winning performances subsequently. Trading Point hasn’t been able to kick on since then, but has raced in hot contests and was not disgraced when 5 lengths beaten at Galway most recently.

Down to a 87 mark, 2lb lower than in the Lincoln, plus he has already ran to a topspeed rating of 87 this year, now with top man Colin Keane in the saddle, there could be a big performance on the cards today.

Selection: 
10pts win- Trading Point @ 7/1 MB

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9.10 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 2m

The worst for the last or the lucky last? This a shocking race. But that’s okay with me. I love them all equally. This one is intriguing to some extend though. Barca and Beau Night meet again after a recent tussle over the shorter 1m 6f trip. Barca should be the one who gets the better of the two this time round.

However, both will need to settle for minor placings because it’s the five-year-old gelding Lazarus who has a major shout tonight.

He’s been a winner at this track in the past, albeit over 10 furlongs. He has fallen steadily in his handicap rating, now below 50 which looks significant for his chances. Lazarus has been running to higher topspeed ratings in the past and his most recent effort at Nottingham over 1m 6f was a clear revival. He stayed on quite strongly, suggesting a step up to 2 miles will suit.

Given this longer trip and the switch to the All-Weather, a surface he tends to prefer a little bit more with his lowly mark, I feel Lazarus has a cracking chance to win this race.

Selection:
10pts win – Lazarus @ 14/1 MB

Saturday Selections: June, 30th 2018

Newmarket July Course

3.30 Newmarket: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

Lightly raced Gather gives the impression of a filly with plenty more to offer. As an April foal she is likely to come into her own right now, and after showing excellent promise as juvenile in her final start in 2017 when 3rd in a red hot Kempton maiden, she followed on from there on her seasonal debut when running out a gutsy win over 10f at Goodwood.

That looks a fair performance, albeit more is required today, no doubt. She steps up to 12f for the first time which looks possible on pedigree. The quick surface is an unknown.

With an opening mark off 81 Gather could be undervalued judged on her last two performances. Wit that in mind, in this wide open contest I have her closer to the market leader.

Selection:
10pts win – Gather @ 7/2 VC

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3.35 Windsor: Class 3 Handicap, 1M 3F 99Y

An open and incredibly competitive little handicap, though few appear to be well handicapped. A fair case can be made for relatively lightly raced favourite Humble Rock. But he is short enough in the betting.

I can entertain the thought of Majeed to return to form, though. Anything close to what he ran to on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in a similar contest when runner-up should see him in with a big shout.

Now an eight year he isn’t the force of old, however of a mark off 94 he is dangerous in a contest like this. The fast ground is fine, the trip ideal and the fact he ran 14 times in 32 career starts to RPR’s higher than 94 means he is well capable of living up to his current mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Majeed @ 16/1 PP

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7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

The only colt in the race Roundabout Magic has an excellent chance to continue his superb run of form. His latest run at Brighton was a slight disappointment compared to how well he performed in weeks before, however after pulling incredibly hard for half of the race his jockey didn’t beat him up in the closing stages. He still was less than 3 lengths beaten.

He was a bit unlucky twice before, at Lingfield on the AW in a hot class 4 contest when finishing super strongly after having his momentum coming to an abrupt end by a slowing horse in front.

Arguably a career best performance came on Lingfield’s 5f turf track five days earlier when again running into a bit of trouble but finishing with a burst of speed on the inside. He ran to a career best speed rating and RPR that day, which came on the back of a fine win at Brighton a fortnight ago.

Roundabout Magic is in superb form, he may hold little secrets from the handicapper, but judged by the last efforts, he may still overcome a career highest mark in a race that looks not too strong on paper.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 7/2 MB

Cheltenham Festival 2018: Day 4 + Gold Cup Fancies

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Delta Work (12/1) lit up the day! In a thrilling finish, driven out by brilliant Davy Russell, won the day, and the week. Back in the profit, and with less races to come than needed to erode the accumulated profit, it’s already, before the final day, a profitable week. Now the question is: is a noteworthy profit or pocket money? On to  Gold Cup Friday….

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14:10 Cheltenham – County Hurdle

The trend horse, the sexy horse…. the winner? Smaoineamh Alainn must go close. This lightly raced six year old has won all his hurdle starts and got up here at Cheltenham over this trip in December – a piece of form that has worked out incredibly well.

Eight pounds higher than that day; he seems very well handicapped. Connections opted against from running him again. It certainly protected his handicap mark.

With the track and trip not imposing any fear, the ground shouldn’t either. He’s won on very soft ground already.

Selection:
10pts win – Smaoineamh Alainn @ 16/1 Skybet

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14:50 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

I take a swing at two pic prices: Fabulous Saga wasn’t right when last seen at Leopardstown. Leaving that form out he won a Grade 2 and Grade 3 on the bounce over this sort of trip on deep ground.

Mulcahys Hill went desperatly close in a the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle. Can be a tricky character and bombed the next, but that may came too soon. Step up to 3m should be perfect and ground is in his favour.

Selection:
5pts win – Fabulous Saga @ 33/1 VC
5pts win – Mulcahys Hill @ 54/1 Matchbook

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15:30 Cheltenham – Gold Cup

As open a Gold Cup as I can remember in a while.  Personally I don’t trust Might Bite yet. He has to show it here that he stays professional and can get home in a competitive top class field in the noisy environment that Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham is.

That means, without a clear cut favourite, you can make cases for plenty in the field. I give Our Duke a big chance. However, he’s not a price I want to get involved in. Simply because I feel Killultagh Vic nearly double the price is much better value.

The question is how he has mentally recovered from the crashing fall in the Irish Gold Cup. We won’t find out until he runs. That says, without being able to say for sure whether he would have won, given Edwulf, the eventual winner that day, travelled strongly approaching the last fence too, it’s fair to say Killultagh Vic would have gone almighty close.

Despite his age of nine, the Willie Mullins charge has only nie starts to his name and only three over fences, of which he won two, and the other one the mentioned Leopardstown race.

That means Killultagh Vic may still have a bit of improvement left. That he is up to Grade 1 standard he showed last month. The ground is sure to be to his likening. So, if he has recovered from his fall, he must rate a huge runner.

Another interest I have is American. Not for win purposes. He’s likely not good enough, however, will relish the ground conditions. He has been supplemented for the race and his runner-up performance behind Definitely Red here in the Cotswold Chase at the end of January is a fair piece of form.

He travelled really well for most parts of the race, however might have done a bit too much too early, I felt. So there is a chance he could finish closer to Definitely Red on another day. That should be good enough to see him in the mix. He’s also one who is still open to progress.

Selections:
5pts win – Killultagh Vic @ 10/1 VC
5pts Place – American @ 8/1 Matchbook

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16:10 Cheltenham – Foxhunter Chase

Foxrock can make this a true test for the hype horse of the race: Burning Ambition. It’s true, in the past Foxrock didn’t enjoy the best of runs at this venue. However, in my mind, it was down to bad jumping. He’s older now, wiser, a better jumper and this not as good a race as those he used to run in.

Says, the ten year old is still class. He won four times in this sphere last season and had a fine reappearance at Thurles in January when runner-up behind Gilgamboa. Both jumped the last locked together, but Foxrock got very tired, as he was entitled to after his break in bad ground as it was that day.

Trip and ground conditions will be ideal for him here. Hope he can make it third time lucky – he certainly is the price of the race in my eyes.

Selection:
10pts win – Foxrock @ 8/1 WH

Thursday Selections: February, 22nd 2018

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8.00 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap , 1m 2f

A competitive race as it’s hard to rule any of the eight starters out completely. However, Ourmullion is the one that catches my eye for a variety of reasons.

The four year old gelding found 11- and 12 furlongs too far in his last two outings, although the Kempton run looks a solid form in general.

Down to 1m 2f again, he looks competitive in this contest. He won two on the bounce over course and distance in September, followed up in December here with an excellent effort in a red hot contest.

Ourmullion still hasn’t too many miles on the clock, particularly on the All-Weather and the 10 furlong trip. His current handicap mark off 77 is workable and from a good draw he should have not too many excuses today.

Selection:
10pts win – Ourmullion @ 8/1 Bet365

Tuesday Selections – 6th November 2017

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1.10 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novices Stakes, 5f

After three highly promising runs, with the debut a clear stand-out, Miltia is clearly the one to beat. 5f on tapeta looks ideal with a perfect draw in a race that appears to be very much winnable.

Militia’s sire Equiano has a superb record with juveniles over CD therefore the switch to the All-Weather looks more like a positive than a negative.

Selection:
10pts win – Militia @ 9/4 Bet365

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4.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

This looks a race where one of the younger, lightly raced three year olds really should land a blow. Mio Ragazzo looks the pick of the lot, if this doesn’t come too soon and he can overcome a wide draw.

However I rather go with experience in this race. From the bottom end of the weights, nine year old Pick A Little looks primed for a big run. He comes here off a nice win at Brighton, yet can race off 2lb lower on the All-Weather, than he did on turf the last time.

Pick A Little is equally as good a horse on the sand as on grass, in fact his win record on the All-Weather is slightly better.

A mile on AW has never led to success, though. However he gets it well enough as seen at Brighton in desperate conditions three weeks ago.

It looks significant that Richard Kingscote takes the ride. He’s sat three times on Pick A Little and steered the gelding to success on each occasion.

Drawn in eight should still be okay and he should have not too many problems settling in a nice position not too far off the pace.

Selection:
10pts win – Pick A Little @ 17/2 VC

Sunday Selections: 10th September 2017

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Not all that often at Leopardstown you do see a horse swinging wide around the home bend trailing the field and then going on to win in impressive style. Yet Decorated Knight did exactly that….. from last to first – and in doing so landed the Irish Champions Stakes!

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. How could this lad go off at 25’s? He was full well entitled to have a big shout as the second highest rated individual in the field thanks to a Tattersalls Gold Cup success and a subsequent runner-up effort in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Credit to Andre Atzeni, who rode Decorated Knight to perfection, utilizing his turn of foot in the best possible way.

Odds-on favourite Churchill finished a disappointing 7th. Things got a bit messy in the home straight but that did not make too much of a difference. He was not good enough on the day. Maybe it was one race too many?

That ended the day with a rather shocking result for me punting wise too. 0 from 4, not a single one in the money. A day too forget…. albeit the brilliant performance by Decorated Knight may not be forgotten anytime soon.

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5.55 Curragh: Handicap, 1m 2f

The lucky last on Irish St. Leger day, an open contest where any more rain will not suit too many. However improving 3yo filly Jet Streaming will love any additional drop of rain over the course of the afternoon.

The lightly raced daughter of Born To Sea won impressively at the Galway Festival last month. Despite not breaking cleanly, being a bit too keen subsequently, and travelling off the pace in rear, she managed to motor home in the short straight to get up on the line.

It’s clear that Jet Streaming is crying out for a step up in trip. On pedigree this should work well too. She’s 2lb wrong in the weights, however given her progressive profile, ground and trip potentially in her favour, this should not make a difference.

With a good draw and from the lower end of the weight scale I reckon the Adrian Keatley trained filly has a cracking chance to land a big pot today.

Selection:
10pts win – Jet Streaming @ 7/1 PP

Friday Selections: 8th September 2017

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5.00 Ascot: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

I was keen on Big Baz when he ran a blinder in the big Logistics Handicap at York a fortnight ago. He finished an excellent sixth that day in a hot contest suggesting he’s back to somewhere near his best.

The handicapper dropped him 2lb subsequently which should give him a massive chance to outrun his price tag today given conditions will surely suit well with cut in the ground over his preferred trip.

Selction: 
10pts win – Big Baz @ 10/1 Bet365

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5.30 Ascot: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

The lightly raced favourite African Friend looks sure to go well, though I prefer the experience of Duke Cosimo who drops to a dangerous mark here.

He hasn’t won for a long time, however showed some spark at Redcar when last seen in a hot race that already works out quite well. Softish ground is no issue for him and a 3lb claimer on board should help too.

Selection: 
10pts win – Duke Cosimo @ 14/1 PP