Can Sennockian Star bounce back?


Very interesting day at Epsom tomorrow. It’s the Derby Trial Day. Exciting Christophermarlowe is the hot favourite to land the feature race on the card. If you have red my Horses To Follow List then you’ll know by know that I’m pretty sweet on this son of Tapit. The trip will certainly suit tomorrow and I expect a big run.

Betting wise I’m most intrigued by the 1m 2f Handicap, though. An open & competitive looking contest but I’m not sure if the right horses are at the head of the market. I can see why What About Carlo is favoured to run well after a fair effort in the Lincoln Handicap. The step to 10f should suits perfectly, given that he won over course and distance last year. Though a caree best is required on ground that didn’t seem to suit in the past.

The progressive Mount Logan may relish the fast surface in contrast, but will he be able to cope as well with the drop in trip? Recent Windsor winner Collaboration takes a steep rise in class. He looked good winning a class 5 Handicap, but much more is required here. Fire Fighting looks not out of this by all means, however has to overcome a very tough mark.

For me by far the most interesting runner is Sennockian Star. He won this very same race last year and won another big Handicap at Glorious Goodwood of a 4lb higher mark than what he is rated right now, and with conditions very much to suit, one would hope that he can run well.

He is a horse that can be on or off and you never quite know when he is on a good day. His recent form isn’t too inspiring, but the gradual drop in the mark, plus a track and conditions to suit could see him easily being there or thereabouts. He looks a tasty price and offers value in this field.

3.55 Epsom: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f
Sennockian Star @ 14/1 William Hill – 5pts win


Brighton conditions in favour of Jet Setting

Leicester Racecourse

It must be a tip in itself that Irish raider Taexali comes over to Brighton to try to get off the mark in a maiden with jockey Shane Foley booked to ride. This Raven’s Pass colt showed nice early speed on debut in a very hot Curragh maiden that works out well form-wise. He faded late and was certainly not disgraced.

Worries are the much different ground today in my mind. It’s fast as it often is at Brighton. The track with its emphasis on stamina may help, but he’s a very short favourite and may be worth to take on in these conditions.

With the Richard Hannon trained filly Jet Setting, there is potentially a dangerous rival. The Fast Company daughter started slowly and looked green on debut earlier this month, but finished fast. She’ll be much better suited to the fast ground today than the softish conditions at Leicester the last time.

She’ll get further in time, no doubt, but the track may well suit perfectly today. Her five pounds sex allowance are certainly a bonus and Sean Leavey booked on his only ride on the day could well be a tip in itself too. This filly could be a big danger against the short favourite and makes appeal at 2/1 in a field where nothing else looks to have a realistic shout to win.

4.40 Brighton: Maiden Stakes, 5f
Jet Setting @ 2/1 Bet365 – 10pts win

Eisenhower Open To Plenty Of Progress!


A maiden at Cork that doesn’t look overly strong. The short-priced Weld favourite looks like one I’m happy to take on. Hasn’t been seen for roughly a year and despite fair form in two starts last season, it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Without a shadow of a doubt the most appeal makes the Aiden OBrien one-time raced Eisenhower. He is lovely bred, and while he is sure to get much further in time than this minimum 5f trip here, he should have no problems dropping down from his 7f debut run.

That day at Gowran Park he travelled much the best, loomed up large on the inside to take up the lead around two furlongs out, but then seemed not quite sure he was supposed to do next. He faded badly and showed signs of greenness big time. There is much more to come from him and the drying ground suits him perfectly. He looks a rather big price in my eyes.

5.15 Cork: Maiden Stakes, 5f
Eisenhower @ 11/4 Betfred – 10pts win

Photos – Gladness Stakes

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All Photos: Credit Florian Christoph

Master’s Golden Opportunity


3.20 Curragh: Handicap, 6f (3YO plus) 

I suspect that Master Speaker won’t ever find a better chance to win a race than this. A usually solid, competitive runner, he won only once in 14 starts, and that on the All,Weather, albeit placed in seven more races. Mainly in hot Handicaps of marks around 90 plus. He’s down to a career lowest mark now, the same as when finishing a fine second behind Bubbly Bellini in a very competitive 6f Handicap here at the Curragh last month. That particular piece of form looks strong and works already out with a subsequent winner.

Master Speaker drops into a much lesser race here, can race off the same mark over the same CD with ground conditions to suit – he looks a huge price to my eyes. Main danger is in form Oor Jock, who travelled like the winner at Leopardstown recently, but found the additional furlong the deal breaker. His Curragh record is dismal though.

Master Speaker @ 6/1 Coral – 5pts win


4.20 Curragh: Alleged Stakes (Listed) 

Questions marks over almost every horse in this renewal of the Alleged Stakes. Former Dewhurst winner Parish Hall was beaten in this very same race in exact same conditions as favourite last year. That time it was his seasonal reappearance, this season he has already a race under his belt, then beaten odds-on at Dundalk by an 88 rated individual. He looks vulnerable here yet again. But to whom?

Well, the 7/4 favourite Massinga makes plenty of appeal. Trained by red hot Dermot Weld, lightly raced, recent Listed race winner. She ticks plenty of the right boxes. I’m wondering if the drop in trip is what she really wants, though? She stayed easily 12f on bottomless ground a fortnight ago. Maybe, she is fine as she has form over shorter as well. Says she is still a short price and I’m too overwhelmed.

There aren’t too many alternatives, on the other side. Can you fancy one time Derby fancy Geoffrey Chaucer? Not really. He’s lightly raced and hasn’t been seen since finishing last in the Derby. But his last win dates back to September 2013…. over 1m! In-form Aussie Valentine should give a good account. But the drying ground could be against her I feel. Loch Garman was a smart individual…. 2 years ago. God knows what to expect from him after 686 days off the track.

A chance is taken on Canadian filly On Location. She is extremely well bred and won a maiden at Dundalk earlier this month in good style, despite being in season. I understand she’s been covered by Dawn Approach since then and the trainer is pretty sweet on her. Ground shouldn’t be too much of a problem as we may end up with something like good to yielding I suspect.

The step up to 10f should be suitable, as on pedigree she has it. A daughter of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, out of a multiple Stakes races winning mare of up to 12f – she may be rushed into this here, but has clearly talent and may be able to spring a surprise, which in fact wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

On Location @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win

Preview: Gladness Stakes


Cracking renewal of the Gladness Stakes with some strong entries from the UK. This is really good to see and one can only applaud the Curragh to be able to attract such a classy field.

That says you could easily make a case for plenty of runners n this field – like Sovereign Debt for example, who was unlucky on the All-Weather recently not win and should go well. Versatile Brendan Brackan is usually solid on this level and runs his race. Sruthan is a multiple Group 3 winner over course and distance and his record as a fresh horse gives him a big chance. Lightly raced That Is The Spirit is a 7f Listed winner and may improve as a four year old.

The one individual that really catches my eye, though, is clearly Aiden O’Brien’s Due Diligence. He’s had only six races on the clock so far and developed into an up and coming sprint star last season. A close second behind Slade Power in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes is clearly the outstanding piece of form here. Question marks are obviously race fitness and the trip.

The stable form is on the upward recently. After a slow start, Aiden O’Brien’s horses start to run a lot better, which was most notably confirmed by a bit winner at the Craven meeting earlier the week. Surely there are be bigger targets ahead for Due Diligence this year, so one would assume that the Gladness Stakes are more like a stepping stone. But it would be a surprise to see him not race fit. It looks that race has been chosen as a starting point with clear intentions.

Yes, it is a prep, but it also should prove Due Diligence’s stamina. For that he has to be fit. I believe connections are eyeing the Lockinge Stakes as his big target, as he has an entry and quote for that race. That brings me to the other big question mark: the trip. He was beaten at this only try over 7f last season on seasonal reappearance as well as when still trained over in the US in a Graded race over 8.5f – but on pedigree he should actually be fine, in fact probably improve!

He is also a year older now, hopefully more matured. That should help as well. The ground won’t be an issue. He has won in similar conditions last season. On balance I feel 7/2 is an outstanding price and I’m rather be on it than against it in this race, despite it’s competitive nature. Anything close to last seasons form will see him winning this race.

3.50 Curragh: Gladness Stakes (Group 3)
Due Diligence @ 7/2 Coral – 5pts win 

Victoriously’s a colt with a bright future


Normally this wouldn’t be the kind of race I have a bet in – but the Brian Meehan inmate Victoriously is very much overpriced here I feel. He improved massively from his debut run last summer when he finished a good third over 7.5f at Lingfield. He was very green throughout the race, most of the time without cover too but showed a bit of talent the way he made progress from 3f out.

He was put away after that, but he was always one who should improve with age given his pedigree. He’ll relish the mile trip as well I suspect. This colt is pretty nicely bred, out of a listed race winning mare and I would like to think that connections eye a maiden success to move on to bigger targets then.

This is a pretty competitive maiden, so nothing is given. But interestingly the Meehan yard is going really well right now and young Antonio Fresu comes here for this one ride only – he is riding strongly at the moment, despite not having many too many chances to show his skills. But if he sits on the horse, than he does so on a good one, more often than not it seems Meehan has provided a winner for this young jockey recently, which makes me believe he wouldn’t be booked if there isn’t something expected from Victoriously here.

5.10 Newbury: Maiden Stakes, 1 mile
Victoriously @ 20/1 Stan James – 5pts win

Horse Racing Around The Globe

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