Saturday again, and I come up with the exact same selection as seven days ago! All-Weather, Lingfield…. again. Given it’s the height of the summer and supposedly the flat season this is remarkable. But this was a light week already, as I struggled to find compelling betting opportunities.
The same goes for today. The fast ground at the Curragh deprives me of one opportunity I’d have been excited about otherwise; Shergar Cup isn’t a betting proposition for me.
Saying that, tomorrow is German Oaks day. Really looking forward to the race; there’s oneafilly I can’t wait to see. But more on that later….
5.00 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 1m
Richard P Smith was desperately only a week ago over course and distance when he was way too patiently ridden and never given a chance under a shocking ride by Rob Havlin. He finished strongly, seemingly the best horse in the race. 2lb up for that effort shouldn’t stop him today.
He showed to be most likely ahead of his mark earlier in June on his handicap debut too. There he ran a huge race at Chepstow as he was quite keen early on and was hanging ever so slightly too. He attempted to make all from the front, had the field on the stretch from three furlongs out and found under pressure. He was eventually beaten by a horse from off the pace.
That form looks quite strong already. This race today is a poor contest. He really should be winning this especially as I expect him to be ridden much more positive dropping down to a mile.
Concerns as I write this over the drift in the market. He’s available at bigger prices than what I got and deemed value already.
Twice now in his last three runs Tangled has seriously caught the eye as an unlucky loser. In truth, he doesn’t make life easy for himself when starting slowly, though.
Nonetheless, last time out at Ripon when he was at a disadvantage from his position travelling off the pace, he also didn’t get a clear run at a crucial stage and had to delay his challenge. He didn’t get the clearest of runs at Beverley back in June, either. He finished strongly in the manner of a horse ripe for victory on both occasions.
In between Tangled produced a disappointing performance at Carlisle when well fancied. A run too bad to be true, and I take confidence from his return to form a fortnight ago.
A mile on decent to fast ground looks perfect conditions. I have slight reservation about Pontefract as a suitable venue simple because coming from off the pace isn’t the easiest task here. However, he appears to be so well handicapped in a pretty uncompetitive race, with only one real danger to beat, that at the price I have to side with him here.
10pts win – Tangled @ 7/2
5.20 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 6f
Mobarhin should have a nice chance to get a handy position thanks to the #2 draw. He drops to 6 furlongs on turf for the first time after being gelded since last place finish at Linfield’s polytrack in June.
He seriously caught my eye two back at Newmarket, though. Then over 7 furlongs, he set suicidal fractions from the front and had the field off the bridle from three furlongs out. He tired and was headed 2 furlongs from home but it was noteworthy how well he continued to run to the line even then.
He showed promise earlier the year on the All-Weather, too: a 6f Handicap win over 6f off a 70 mark, he ran to topspeed 74 that day. He followed up with a nose beaten second over the same course and distance the next time.
Off a 73 mark over 6 furlongs on decent ground I feel he offers a bit of upside, especially at a track and a draw to suit.
I have one selection on this (Irish) bank holiday Monday. But first I’ve got to take a quick lock back at what was a wonderful and pretty profitable month of racing.
July 2022: 46 bets, 9 winners = 162.5pts profit & 35% ROI
It was a fine, fine month from a betting perspective. And possibly even more important to me personally: every month this season was in profit. It’s not always been easy.
The second half of July proved once again how contrasting the good and bad times can be in this game. You have to stay levelheaded and put the emotions aside to succeed. Easier said than done, I must admit.
Clearly my highlight was backing Victor Loza at 12.5/1 to win comfortably from the front at Epsom. I was watching the race in a pub with some friends which made it even more enjoyable.
Betting aside July was a wonderful month purely as a racing fan with top-class action all over the world: Durban July, German Derby, Eclipse…. absolutely loved it.
7.15 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 5f
A speculative choice at this time of the day given the chances will be significantly enhanced if the rain arrives in time for Gorgeous General.
His turf form reads awful on the surface, but he didn’t have many opportunities to run with ease in the ground, even though he produced a career best on turf judged on speed ratings over this CD on good to soft ground only four weeks ago.
Rain is expected to arrive from late afternoon on at Carlisle, and a significant portion of it. That might be enough to turn the going to good to soft come 7.15pm.
Gorgeous General caught the eye a number of times this year already. Certainly over the CD run last month, when not getting a clear run. Also a strong finish last time out from off the pace in a race dominated by the front-runner was another clear sign that he’s in excellent form.
Yet the handicapper has “rewarded” those fine performances with dropping him in the ratings. This is an open race, he may struggle to get into it from off the pace with space probably coming at a premium. But I feel he’s so well handicapped that at the price it’s worth a go.
1.20 Munich: Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr-Preis, 1m 2f
Intriguing Group 1 action in Germany today as we see the return of Derby hero Sammarco.
As tight as the outcome of the Derby was, I always felt he was the best horse on the day. I am a huge fan of this son of Camelot and backed him to win at Hamburg.
The step up in trip was clearly in his favour, and I maintain that – if connections would go down the route – he could have a legitimate shot in an Arc this year.
Saying that, dropping in distance to 10 furlongs does the opposite to my excitement about Sammarco’s chances – at least today. This doesn’t look the deepest Group 1 and class may prevail, yet the drop in distance doesn’t do him any favours I reckon.
It makes perfect sense to get a Group 1 over 10 furlongs on board for a future stallion career. He probably find many better opportunities than this. Though, simply from a betting perspective I can’t back him today.
The French mare Ebaiyra is the favourite and quite a short price. She sets a very good standard thanks to her close 3rd place in the Dahlia Stakes back in May. She has tons of strong form in Group races to her name, although winning at the top level has eluded her so far.
Today looks an ideal opportunity to rectify this. The good to soft ground suits, the trip fine and she comes here in fine form after a recent Listed success at Chantilly that will put her spot on.
I still think she’s a little bit too short in the betting. Clearly a consistent mare, she’s no superstar and is potentially vulnerable to an improving sort.
The Andreas Schütz trained Dawn Intello is another well-seasoned performer at Group level. Consistent and solid are words to describe him. If the market principles falter he’ll be bang there, though he always looked a bit short of class to land a major one.
Last years fine Unio-Rennen winner Best Of Lips doesn’t appear to be quite the same horse this season. Rubaiyat may not quite stay 10 furlongs well enough against this strong level of opposition. Amazing Grace will only feature if they go a crazy pace.
Leaves Andreas’s Wöhler’s Queroyal, who fits the bill of a possible improver. The 3-year- old colt is still lightly raced and unexposed over ten furlongs. After a light juvenile campaign he won a 7.5f contest at Mülheim on seasonal reappearance before stepping up significantly in distance when landing the Derby-Trial at Baden-Baden in convincing fashion.
He kicked on as the field entered the home turn and never looked back, always holding, seemingly a shade cosily, the opposition. Connections were not surprised afterwards, saying they thought he’d be a smart prospect.
Although not the likeliest to stay the Derby trip, Queroyal was supplemented for the Hamburg Classic. He travelled strongly for a long time that day, but from a high draw he was forced to wide for the entirety of the race and travelled significantly farther than Sammarco, who had a perfect trip on the inside in contrast.
Queroyal flattened out in the final two furlongs, hanging badly in the home straight and eventually wandering around, clearly at the limit of his stamina. Nonetheless he was only 3 lengths beaten in the end.
The drop in trip is key today. Whether he is truly a Group 1 horse remains to be seen. The Derby-Trial form hasn’t worked out particularly well. But he looked a class above the opposition in any case and should be capable of improvement for his sixth career start and only second attempt over 10 furlongs. In my book he is significantly overpriced in this field.
Great win for German raider Rocchigiani at Goodwood today. He had to survive a stewards inquiry post race, but thankfully placings remained unaltered. He was clearly the best horse on the day, in any case, in my view.
That breaks my losing streak – 15 losers on the bounce. Now it stands at one. Because Scale Force missed the break at Southwell later on. He finished like a train but the damage was done before the race really started. Shame.
7.45 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f
I’ve got 18 eyecatchers on this “Super Saturday”, yet end up with a single bet on Lingfield’s polytrack. In any case, it’s a strong selection. And that’s what matters most.
Richard P Smith ran a huge race at Chepstow when last seen. It was his Handicap debut and he was quite keen early on and was hanging ever so slightly too. He attempted to make all from the front, had the field on the stretch from three furlongs out and found under pressure. He was eventually beaten by a horse from off the pace.
The winner went on to frank the form in no uncertain terms: a neck beaten second and subsequent victory. the fifth placed horse also won two on the bounce in the meantime.
This is going to be only the second handicap start for Richard P Smith and the first time over 10 furlongs. The way he pulled at Chepstow is a concern but the way he ran on strongly suggested he wants the trip.
He remains unexposed and with enough potential upside, the 2lb additional pounds given be the handicapper aren’t a big deal I reckon. There won’t be a ton of pace on here, so I hope Robert Havlin will go forward from the #7 raw. If not, it will probably to the detriment of Richard P Smith’s chances, that’s for sure.
Rocchigiani caught the eye twice this year. Now stepping up to a mile again he looks the one to beat in this contest in my eyes, hence I am delighted with the odds on offer.
The German raider always tracked the pace and travelled pretty well until 2.5 furlongs from home in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. He couldn’t move forward with horses right in front of him but also appeared flat footed when gaps opened up. He ran on nicely in the closing stages for a solid 5th place finish, though.
He had to give about three pounds of weight away to the majority of the field that day. No easy task, even less so on fast ground and 7 furlongs. Clearly the test was too sharp, but equally clearly he came out with his reputation enhanced.
Earlier the season he would have been a runaway winner of the German 2000 Guineas, if not for the exciting Maljoom. Rocchigiani was always right on the speed and kicked on as soon as he entered the home straight. He had the entire field off the bridle; only the late finishing Maljoom got to him in the end.
The fast ground at Goodwood is a slight question mark. Although, it wasn’t slow at Cologone either, so I’m hopeful it won’t be too much of an issue for him here.
10pts win – Rocchigiani @ 13/2
6.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f
Scale Force finished a few weeks ago over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton in a manner that suggested he’s ready to win. He had a troubled run, which started with usual poor start, and was short of room over a furlong out at a crucial stage.
Down to a mark of 56 now, he’s possibly quite well handicapped, given he performed strongly off higher marks earlier this year, most notably off a 66 mark over 5 furlongs at Wolverhampton in February when he finished half a lengths beaten in third, and his topspeed matched his mark.
If he doesn’t mess up the start this time he should be a prime chance to win, especially with the valuable 5lb claim of Aiden Keeley in the saddle.