Category Archives: United Kingdom

Quick Tip: Tuesday 17th February

Quick Tip
State Of The Union has left the Richard Hannon yard since winning a Kempton handicap in September last year. He was a very impressive winner on the eye that day when he overcame a very wide draw, using loads of energy early on. He was keen and exuberant and set a strong pace, drew clear entering the home straight and held on when getting a bit tired eventually.

Only upped by 4lb, he must be hard to beat here if he can go on from this run with natural improvement likely for this lightly raced colt. Fitness has to be trusted as he hasn’t been seen since this last Kempton success but this looks an ideal opportunity to score. The drop in trip to 5f shouldn’t pose a problem. He showed good early speed before and pole position should give him every option to make all from the front.

4.05 Wolverhampton: State Of The Union @ 4/1 Bet365

Monday Feature Wolverhampton

Masamah – Photo @sportinglife.com


Masamah
has been off since August, though done well fresh in the past. Age doesn’t seem to slow him down, he ran with credit in big handicaps last season. Acted on Tapeta at Meydan.

Zac Brown is much improved on the AW this winter. Won with loads in hand at Chelmsford, couldn’t quite follow up at Southwell. 10lb higher now but remains open to further improvement.

Boom The Groom was extremely consistent this winter, and not disgraced last two either since success at Lingfield. 2lb above last winning mark. Probably slightly better over 6f.

Steelriver ran well lately over further. Fair third over 6f last month. May find this minimum distance too short.

Basil Berry went agonizingly close at Chelmsford last month. Up in the mark and career highest required, Can follow-on, but drop in trip a slight worry.

Royal Bajan posted career best when winning at Chelmsford earlier this month. Gutsy 5f specialist on the AW. New career best required again.

Mappin Time didn’t travel well at Chelmsford lto, yet finished race well coming off half year long break. Has never won handicap off mark as high as the current one.

Megaleka ran out a fine 2nd behind Royal Bajan lto, needs to improve again to win off career highest mark.

Long Awaited was third behind Royal Bajan lto on first AW start. Hasn’t won since 2012 and still 1lb higher than last winning mark.

Invincible Ridge is a fair All-Weather performer, ran consistently well in recent weeks, but is 8lb above last winning mark which came in class 5 handicap.

Dynamo Walt improved this winter and won a couple of races. Consistent but loads to find on form with most rivals in this field.

Verdict: As open a race as it gets. Zac Brown may be a fair favourite and has potential to improve further, but now ten pounds above his last winning mark, he to do progress quite allot to overcome a career highest mark in this quality field. He looks short enough in the betting for that reason. You can make a case for most other runners.

Rojal Bajan’s recent success is very strong form and there is no reason why he shouldn’t go well yet again. The second and third of that race, Megaleka and Long Awaited meet the rival on slightly better weight terms today and should go close as well. Boom The Groom has been very consistent this winter, and if the trip isn’t too sharp for him, then he’ll right there when it matters too.

The class act in this field is Masamah. A former Group 2 winner, he has ran well despite his age in big handicaps last season. He may not be quite as good as he once was, but with a slightly slipping mark and a very good 5lb apprentice in the saddle, he must have a very good chance to run a big race today – if he is fit.

That is the main question mark. He has done very well as a fresh horse in the past, though the older horses get, the longer it takes to get them fit. I take a gamble on him, however, that Marco Botti knows how to keep this veteran healthy and fit and I suspect he is not in the race to just make the numbers. He looks a big price and shouldn’t have an issue with the Tapeta surface, since he acted on the All-Weather before and finished in the money at Meydan’s Tapeta track.

Masamah @ 8/1 VC – 5pts win

It’s all Balder’s Success!

The big race of the day was held at Ascot today. Despite only attracting a small field, the Ascot Chase shaped to be a cracker. In the end it was Balder Succes who won a deserved first Grade 1 outside Novice’ company. A good round of jumping, he travelled well throughout and beat smart filly Ma Filleule comprehensively.

Trainer Alan King was quoted afterwards: “He was very good today and since going over fences he has been good all the way through. He’s more mature now mentally. We’ve got to stick to the Ryanair route.”

Ma Filleule is likely to go down the same route. Second favourite Ballycasey was a big disappointing and dropped out as soon as it really mattered to show some fighting spirit. The 6/4 favourite Ptit Zig didn’t complete the race. He was a faller at the tenth fence. Thankfully he was quickly up to his feet and fine after the race

Saturday Preview: Lingfield Feature

Spiritual Star


Sovereign Debt
has been off for more than a year now and question is how much of his old class he still has. Makes AW debut for new yard. Should be fine on surface but big mark to overcome dropping into handicap.

Don’t Call Me hasn’t won for quite a while but finished well in 3rd in hot race last week, only neck beaten by 105 rated individual on first outing since October. Still career best required to win off current mark. However remains as good as ever and won strong Handicap last summer off 3lb lower.

Tiger Tale finished runner-up on couple of occasions in recent weeks. Mark is increasing without winning since good win at Kempton in autumn. Fine performance lto over CD when short of room in crucial moment. Career best required.

Secret Art is back after a break. Goes well on the All-Weather and ran well the last two starts in Autumn. Career best required today.

Melvin The Grate is much improved since switched to the All-Weather. Won with plenty in hand on penultimate start over CD and ran fine 3rd of revised mark lto when not having run of race. Needs good pace to be able to close from trailing position.

Energia Flavio hasn’t won in UK yet but has been competitive last three start on AW. Looks in the grip of the handicapper though. Claimers allowance sure to help however.

Freud is a French import and hasn’t been seen since August. Seems to act on AW but hard to know what to expect today.

Santefisio doesn’t win often but returned to form at Wolverhampton lto. May need more assistance from handicapper to be winning candidate in this class.

Spiritual Star won with plenty in hand over CD last month when dropped to a mile. Five pounds up looks fair and remains competitive, though more required up in class today.

Mindyourownbusiness finished a gutsy runner-up behind Spiritual Star a fortnight ago. Not too many miles on the clock and may improve again. But need to so as was fair beaten lto off similar mark.

Halation was progressive last season on turf. Placed on AW as well. Now back after break. Fitness a question mark but top jockey in the saddle a bonus.

Stormy Paradise was a fair lengths beaten on seasonal return over CD lto. Would need improve quite a bit for that run to be competitive here.

Verdict: This is a really competitive affair, as one would expect from a big feature Handicap on a Saturday. More than half of the field have the potential to be really competitive in this. There is no doubt that Melvin The Great is a fair favourite. He won with plenty in hand his penultimate start and followed up with another nice performance over course and distance. His running style means that he’ll always need a rattling pace and bit of luck as well. Not sure if he’ll get another clear run today. As he had it all going for him the last two. i would expect Tiger Tale, who finished runner-up behind Melvin The Grate before, and beat him by half a lengths lto then when he was second again. He hit the crossbar a couple of times now and it remains to be seen if he can win off his current mark. Another bold performance wouldn’t surprise though. Halation is a bit a dark horse today. Back after a break, progressive profile as a three year old. He could have still some unlocked potential and has Atzeni in the saddle.

Secret Art has a similar profile to a certain extend. He was competitive before a break and if he is match fit, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close today. All those mentioned until now should go well, but I feel they aren’t offering any value if it comes to odds. However the 12/1 for Don’t Call me looks huge. He remains most of his old class and done extremely well in a very good handicap at Wolverhampton last week. He hasn’t won off a mark as high as his current one, but this most recent performance indicates that he is well up to it. He didn’t get quite a clear run in the closing stages lto, but the slight drop to a mile should suit much better today anyway.

Not to underestimate is the chance of recent winner Spiritual Star either. An impressive winner over course and distance two weeks ago, his revised mark looks more than fair, if not even lenient to a certain extend, given with how much in hand he won and how similar winners have been hit with much higher increases. He hasn’t won off a mark as high as this, however was placed over CD off even higher last season. He has the habit of starting slowly from time to time. So that is a risk that he may lose the race already at the start. Yet 9/1 looks a very big price.

Selections:
Don’t Call Me @ 12/1 Sportingbet- 5pts win
Spiritual Star @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts win

Preview: Wolverhampton Feature


Luv U Whatever
is on a three race winning streak and hasn’t been out of the money in five. All came at Southwell though. Has to transform this form to tapeta off career highest mark now.

Gold Trail won his last two and seems to thrive on the AW. Talented individual, improving all the time. Had the run of the race lto when up with slow pace. Seems to do only as much as required. Unclear how much he has left and if he truly gets the trip. 4lb up but excellent 3lb claimer on board too.

Entihaa is a classy stayer in fine form. Not far beaten last twice after winning two on the bounce. Drop in trip not sure to suit, though has past form over 12f. Career best required.

John Reel won his last three and is greatly improved, thriving on the AW. Still rather lightly raced for his age. Won over variety of trips. Successful in hot 12f handicap at Lingfield, followed by 2m win at Wolverhampton lto. Turned out under penalty today.

Saptapadi has won only one single race in his career and as a 9yo isn’t likely to improve. Should find this too tough.

Verdict: It’s only a small field but there won’t be a lack of pace with most runners likely to prefer being up with the speed. Godolphin’s Gold Trail is a worthy favourite, showing good improvement lately and he he’s on a hat-trick today. He stepped up successfully to 12f at Lingfield the last time. But in my eyes that didn’t quite prove if he truly gets this trip as he had the run of the race tracking the leader who was crawling for most parts. Any flaws in his stamina will be exploited today.

Already a six year old, but not many miles on the clock for that age, John Reel improved dramatically over the last couple of weeks and he seems to thrive over any sort of distance. Quickly turned out under a penalty now, he has to overcome a career highest mark and drops dramatically in trip again. Potentially he is good enough.

Southwell specialist Luv U Whatever may not quite be suited by Wolverhampton’s tapeta surface. He has to be at his very best and I’m wondering if he is able to show that at this track. Saptapadi won’t play a role in this race, however Entihaa may well do. He’s likely to want it to be a stamina test and it remains to be seen if he has the speed for 12f these days. He’s clearly in fine form though, was in front until half a furlong out lto when John Reel got the better eventually, but meets the same rival on six pounds better terms today.

The two red-hot in-form favourites John Reel and Gold Trail have any right be short prices. Both have the potential to improve further. However they are short enough and the trip is a question mark for most of the runners in this field, those two included. I feel Entihaa is well overpriced, though. Trip is a question mark, but he has done pretty well recently and he is worth a shot here in this field as he has been able to perform over 12f in the past.

19.15 Wolverhampton:
Entihaa @ 8/1 Coral – 5pts win

Spes Nostra can make tactical advantage count

Solar Deity hasn’t won in over a year but came close in similar races over CD off marks around up to 105. Should run his race but looks to need bit of help from the handicapper to get his head in front again.

Don’t Call Me goes well on the All-Weather and performed on Tapeta in Meydan. Has never won, nor placed over further than 1m. Stamina big question mark and current rating looks high enough too. Back from break.

Tryster is still very lightly raced and won over 10f at Chelmsford last month travelling strongly but showing some attitude when hanging badly as he did in the past already. Talented and potentially more to come despite up in the mark. Claimer booked, and the one to beat if he cane overcome his greenness.

Spes Nostra tried to make all in the race that Tryster won lto. Faded from 1f out. Unlucky last two, when done on the line and hampered at crucial stage. Still 6lb above last winning mark but 7lb claimer may help. Will be up with the pace.

Pivotman is progressive on the AW this winter and gradually improving. This is his toughest task to date and bit too find 2lb out of the weights. Wants to make all.

Steventon Star is four pounds out of the weights here and despite a slipping mark, has allot to find in order to be competitive.

Verdict: Tryster has a fine chance to follow up on his recent Chelmsford success. He looks talented and probably up to his new mark, even more so with a decent 3lb claimer cancelling almost out the rise. His tendency to hang badly in the closing stages is a slight worry, though, and at a short price at this different venue, I’m prepared to take him on.

Solar Deity will run his race and should prove a good pointer. He maybe vulnerable to some lighter weights however. The pace will come from progressive Pivotman. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares in this ultimately toughest test of his career. He is short enough in my eyes.

There is good money coming for Spes Nostra as well. Still he looks a big price for what he has potentially to offer. Also one who likes to be up with the pace, I imagine this could be more of an advantage around Wolverhampton than Chelmsford, where he attempted to make all the last time but faded 1f out, even though he got also hampered in the closing stages. He won over further in the past and showed a particular liking for Wolverhampton’s tapeta. He has yet to prove that he can win off a mark as high as the current one, but he has been a bit unlucky before and has a 7lb claimer on board today. That makes him a competitive chance.

3.00 Wolv: Spes Nostra @ 7/1 Coral – 5pts win