Oracolo can outrun his price!

Newmarket Rowley Mile False Rail

8.30 Newmarket: Handicap, Class 4

I really like the Cape Cross gelding Oracolo in this open looking race. Rated a fair 71 on his handicap debut, he appeals as the type to improve with age.

He needed three attempts to get off the mark last year, finished third on his second start in a good Redcar maiden and won at Wolverhampton eventually in a decent race. Thhat day he gave the impression of talent individual as he had to overcome a wide draw which is never an advantage there, but made eye-catchingly progress from 3f out on the wide outside and won the race in a photo in the end.

Step up to 1m is sure to suit on pedigree, Jamie Spencer booked may indicate that a good run is expected on his seasonal reappearance. Interestingly he has also been gelded over the winter. In a nutshell – there could be plenty more to come. In this open little race he looks a big price!

Oracolo @ 16/1 Coral – 5pts win 

Foreign Diplomat can improve big time!

Newmarket Rowley Mile pre-parade ring

4.20 York: Handicap (Class 3, 7f)

Some interesting unexposed sorts in this race but none less than William Haggas’ Foreign Diplomat. He was quite costly as a yearling and proved to be talented when placed in three maidens as a juvenile. However it was an ultra impressive display on his seasonal reappearance at Thirsk eleven days ago when he finally got off the mark.

He travelled like a dream, always up with the pace, on the bridle till the final furlong marker. When asked to quicken he did so instantaneously. Maybe this wasn’t the strongest race, but the runner-up has some fair form to his name and Foreign Diplomat couldn’t have been more impressive.

Stepping into handicap company now, he looks not badly handicapped of an opening mark off 81. There could be still a fair bit of improvement to come and the fact that he has been gelded since this last run is quite interesting. Haggas usually seem to know for what types this can work best as he has a 24% strike rate with first time geldings. So this may well contribute to further improvement.

Foreign Diplomat @ 9/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Unexposed Field Of Fame a big price at York


2.10 York: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

This race evolves around the two lightly raced Mahsoob and Field Of Fame. Both met at Newbury last month in a big Handicap, with John Gosden’s Mahsoob having the upper hand in the finish. Though this was not without controversies, as the Dansili son was hanging badly to his left in the closing stages, hampering Field Of Fame badly.

Mahsoob was an impressive winner that day, nonetheless. On only his second career start, he had to overcome the widest draw, used up valuable energy to make a big move on the far outside of the field in the home straight and probably hit the front too soon. Yet he showed class and determination.

Obviously there is potentially much more to come. He’s 8lb higher now which looks rather fair, but has a wide draw to overcome today yet again. That may not stop him, but he is a short 3/1 favourite in this huge field, so I rather feel I have to take him on.

Particularly with Field Of Fame posing an almost similar profile, but is double the price. Trained by Andre Balding, he gets into this race as the feather weight of a mark off 86. This will be only his third career start, after winning a maiden on debut back in 2013. He had a long break afterwards, but that didn’t hinder him to produce a big performance on his return.

He had similarly to Mahsoob a wide draw to overcome in the Newbury race. He travelled extremely well and luckily a gap opened over 2f out. He was in the process to make big progress at the final furlong marker, when the accelerating Mahsoob shifted violently and bumped into him. Field Of Dream could never recover from the impact but finished a fine 3rd nonetheless.

Only 4lb up in the mark for the effort, he is today four pounds better with the favourite and that shouldn’t stop him at all. There could be plenty more to come. He rates a huge chance here at 6/1, which is a good full two points bigger than I would have expected it.

There aren’t too many alternatives in this field. Lack of recent  run, poor form, big handicap marks… not many seem to be well treated today. That says, if the two lightly raced favourites get clear runs, I would duly expect them to fight it out.

Field Of Fame @ 6/1 Sportingbet – 5pts win

Twin Appeal has still plenty more to come

Newmarket Rowley Mile

4.25 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

Favourite Shared Quality looks to be in with a major chance. He was a shade unlucky on his seasonal reaperrance in a hot race over 6f but finished well. The step up to 7f should suit. He has form on soft ground too. Only concern is that he is now 10lb higher than his last win. I missed the big early prices and he is now too short for me. Says he’s one to take on with two well overpriced alternatives in this field.

Twin Appeal: Still generally lightly raced, was progressive as a three year old. Won two races and placed in two more. Has been back off a long break last month at Ayr. He didn’t quite get the run of the race but wasn’t beaten up in the closing stages when the bird was flown. He finished a fine 4th in this competitive handicap eventually. Best form is on quick ground but he finished a close runner-up on heavy in the past, so soft conditions may not be a problem today. —
11/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Athletic: Hasn’t shown anything in two starts this season. But he looks a mad price, given that he slipped further in the mark to a handy 89. He was only a neck beaten in a better race off 96 last season and subsequently confirmed that with two more good performances. He is a 7f specialist who loves the mud, so conditions are very much in his favour today. 3lb claimer Danny Brock is competent and well worth his allowance. With conditions to suit and a drop in class today, Athletic could easily outrun his big price tag. —
25/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Preview: Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial

Joseph O'Brien

Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (Group 3)

The weather played havoc with the field for the Derby Trial and that means only four will go to post today. Ballysax winner Success Days is the favouite to land the race in these conditions. The Jeremy son has two impressive victories to his name, both achieved in similar conditions and the form of those races looks really strong as it has produced some good NTO winners.

Closest pursuer should be Dermot Weld’s Summaya who beat Hans Holbein in a 10f maiden on heavy ground earlier this year. He was also only half a lengths behind Diamondsandrubies last month when fourth in the Salsabil Stakes at Navan.

While Carbon Dating looks out of his depth in this field, the only remaining Aiden O’Brien inmate Cradle Mountain can’t be that easily discounted. He won a Navan maiden over 1m a fortnight ago, showing guts while crying our for further. He beat the clear favourite who showed smart form in the past when runner-up behind Hans Holbein.

Cradle Mountain doesn’t enjoy the benefit of the 7lb allowance of jockey Donnacha O’Brien today, but with the step up to 10f sure to suit and the ground probably not much of an issue, he’s bound to improve. He looks a mad price in this four runner affair in my book.

Cradle Mountain @ 16/1 William Hill – 5 pts Win

Fire Ship can sail to Group 3 glory at Leopardstown!


2.40 Leopardstown: Amethyst Stakes (Group 3)

If you have ever seen a more open looking Group 3 with only seven runners entered… tell me, because I haven’t! We have heavy ground at Leopardstown after tons of rain throughout the week and a quick glimpse out of my kitchen window here in Dublin says more dark rain clouds are on its way.

Former Group 3 winner Sruthan is currently trading as the 3/1 favourite. He managed to finish fourth in the Gladness Stakes last month. Not sure if this test here today is the right on for him. He’s a 7f specialist in my book. Though he acts on the ground and can’t be fully discounted.  He makes no appeal to risk anything for a rather short price, though.

Flight Risk, Jim Bolger’s 50/1 shock winner in the Gladness Stakes, tackles the 1m trip for the first time in his career today. Not impossible that he gets it, though his dam managed to win only over 5f. He’s to give weight away to his rivals and looks vulnerable for that reason.

Every improving Lincolnshire winner Onenightidreamed is an intriguing contender. Clearly on the upward, he’s a mud lover and is expected to take another step forward today when competing in pattern class for the first time. This is obviously much tougher today, and while I do really like him, I feel he is nothing more than a fair price at 4/1.

Piri Wango is a fair miler who did well to finish 2nd in the Gladness over seven furlongs last month. He’s vulnerable to classier and unexposed rivals today. Geoffrey Chaucer used to be a smart prospect but seems to have lost his love for the game. Alive Alive Oh’s poor strike rate is off-putting.

Only UK raider Fire Ship is a consistent performer who was placed in a couple of hot races on Listed and Group 3 level behind smart individuals in the last couple of seasons. He’s a 1m Listed winner who likes to be up with the pace.

Positive tactics may be an advantage today in a race where not many want to lead. He acts on soft ground and should be sharper after a dismal seasonal reappearance in the Lincoln. As the outsider of the field he looks overpriced with conditions to suit.

Fire Ship @ 15/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Two against the field in Victoria Cup


Victoria Cup (Heritage Handicap)

Can a race be more open? Probably not! 27 starters, plenty of horses in with a chance here but that often can lead to some huge prices and big value. While I do really like the favourite Zarwaan, I believe there is better value to find in this field. He’s a 12/1 chance and that in itself would look huge on any other day, but not today.

Cutting down the field to a handful of interesting runners, I got stuck with two exciting individuals that seem to be a bit overlooked here, though. Both have been progressive handicappers last season, and both confirmed that they have come well over the winter on their respective seasonal reappearance already.

Outback Traveller @ 18/1 SJ – 5pts Win: Trained by Jeremy Noseda, this colt smashed a fair field in a class 3 Handicap over course and distance on his final start in 2014. He looked like a ready-made pattern performer that day.

On his return last month at Kempton he was only beaten by the narrowest of margins while giving a good deal of weight away to the eventual winner. One would assume he’ll be a bit sharper today. It’s a big mark to defy, but he looks one able to be a big runner with conditions very much in favour.

Baraweez @ 18/1 SJ – 5pts Win: Massively progressive last season, the highlight was clearly when he landed a big Premier Handicap over 7f on Irish Champions Weekend. He was a good deal beaten on his seasonal reappearance in the Lincoln over 1m, but has had some excuses.

I believe he hit the front too soon when the pace collapsed in front of him and he had only one chance to try and go on. He travelled strongly up to that point. He’ll be sharper today, 7f looks perfect and he has his preferred quick ground. He may have still more to offer off a mark of 100. 

Horse Racing Around The Globe

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