Saturday Selections: June, 9th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

3.30 Catterick: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

His best is behind him, however the handicapper has given 8-year-old Rene Mathis a massive chance of a mark off 87. The gelding hasn’t been firing lately but proved still competitive last season off a good deal higher ratings.

Rene Mathis won a strong Conditions Stakes at Thirsk on fast ground in April 2017, edging out subsequent Group 3 scorer Custom Cut. He also ran out a highly respectable 5th place finish in a hot class 2 Handicap at Leicester subsequently off a 10lb higher mark than his current one.

A good 5lb claimer is on board, plus the advantage of a low draw should ensure Rene Mathis has a cracking chance to win his first race in over a year.

Selection:
10pts win – Rene Mathis @ 12/1 VC

Friday Selections: June, 8th 2018

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3.40 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 10f

Top weight Palawan hasn’t fired in most of his last runs, ever since a strong runner-up performance in June of mark off 84 in a strong class 3 Handicap at Bath things didn’t work out for him. the winter. As a consequence he slipped dramatically in the mark.

A brief hint of return to form in February at Kempton, when coming agonizingly close a break a 2.5-year winless streak. Three poor runs later he moves yards, now going to post in the care of Jonathan Portman for the very first time.

One needs to put faith in the change of scenery helping Palawan to be revitalized. He also tries the 10f trip for only the second time in his career. Not unlikely on pedigree, particularly on fast ground.

On his best Palawan is obviously a main danger off 67, whether he still wants it remains to be seen. It’s a poor enough contest where I feel it’s worth a punt.

Selection:
10pts win – Palawan @ 11/1 PP

……

4.50 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 8.5f

I don’t see why – with all we know at this point in time – there should be such a big difference in the betting between Move Swiftly and Elegiac. My preference is for the latter one.

A highly promising colt, who ran well on debut over 10f in a good race, followed-up at Newcastle dropping to a mile in excellent style.

This son of Farhh is open to plenty of progress and with Franny Norton retaining the ride with a good draw to go forward from, despite carrying a penalty, I feel Elegiac is a massive runner today.

Selection:
10pts win – Elegiac @ 9/2 PP

Thursday Selections: June, 7th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

5.20 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

The 3 year old’s add spice to this open contest. Macho Guest is the one I prefer from the lot.

The son of Camacho did show little in three maiden starts, but with a run this season already under his belt he should strip race fit. Now stepping up to 1 mile for the first time off a very low opening mark Macho Guest looks dangerous.

Apprentice Jane Elliott claims valuable 5lb and has a strong record for trainer George Margarson.

Selection:
10pts win – Macho Guest @ 12/1 Sky

….

6.25 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f

Very competitive race where pace and positioning may become key. That worries me about my selection Manor Park, who was raw, green and to some extend clueless when winning a Windsor Handicap over 11.5f on handicap- & seasonal debut last month.

However, the way he was grinding it out regardless was impressive. He matched his opening mark with the time speed rating achieved that day. Stepping up in trip looks sure to suit with fast ground no issue whatsoever.

His revised handicap mark could easily underestimate him given the new trip and experience gained.

Selection:
10pts win Manor Park @ 7/1 VC

……..

2.10 Ripon: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 6f

I believe the odds-on favourite is bad value while Mark Johnston’s runner is a tasty price. MJ has a superb record with juveniles in Novice company, particularly if they drop in class.

Yellow Fire does drop significantly in class after a promising debut at Bath where he ran green and made too much early on. This form looks strong through the third who is a fair benchmark with a place behind a subsequent Listed winner.

Despite being a May foal, Yellow Fire looks big, strong and scopy. This easier 6f trip should suit him, though the draw away from the rails is a slight concern, in fairness.

Selection:
10pts win – Yellow Fire @ 4/1 WH

Wednesday Selection: June, 6th 2018

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4.30 Hamilton: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

Off 2lb lower than his last winning mark, Inexes, who also won this very same race two years on the bounce, has a good chance to complete the hat-trick.

However, I feel he had things very much going for himself the last two years and with Start Time there is really strong opponent to beat, which may prove too much this time.

Start Time used to be a Group 3 placed individual in Godolphin colours years ago, but ever since then things haven’t gone well for him. It took him a while to fire for his new yard after missing more than a whole year and it took him a while to get going last season.

He ended 2017 with two promising efforts. A fine third in a Notthingham Handicap over the minimum trip, followed up by a 3 lengths beaten eight at Newcastle’s All-Weather that was better than the bare form suggests.

On seasonal return in April, Start Time ran out a strong third in a 6f Thirsk Handicap. The handicapper has left him alone for this strong effort and off the same mark, 4lb lower than when third at Nottingham last November, he looks ready for a massive run today.

The drying ground shouldn’t be an issue, however, a perfect draw in six should ensure a perfect spot on the stand side rail tracking the pace.

Selection:
10pts win – Start Time @ 3/1 VC

Monday Selections: June, 4th June 2018

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A first Derby win for Godolphin. It’s been in the making for far too long, the ultimate dream finally achieved, however. 41 years it took, then Sheikh Mohammed could see his home bred Masar scoot home to land the world’s most prestigious flat race.

A whopping 16/1 chance. How could so many miss the credentials the 2000 Guineas third had, including myself?! My own selecting The Pentagon only proved one thing: not good enough.

Derby Day could have been a super day, regardless. Ana Nerium ran the race of her life in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes if she wouldn’t have had had too much to do from the rear of the field, unfortunately.

The consolation in the evening, at least. The double of Sam Gold and Midnight Blue landed. Off to the winning ways in June…

……

6.15 Windsor: Class 4 Novice Stakes, 5f

Hugh Taylor’s selection Queen of Bermuda is backed as if there isn’t a tomorrow. And sure she was super impressive at Thirsk recently. She is well entitled to follow-up here, though all the money coming for here leaves others in the field at tasty value prices.

First and foremost the ride of Derby winning jockey William Buick. Only one ride on Windor’s evening card, he comes over to sit on well bred Leading Spirit.

The colt ran pretty green on debut at Yarmouth in a hot class 3 contest last month. The winner looked incredibly smart there, Leading Spirit faded away in the closing stages to finish a well beaten 3rd in the end.

That form should work out really well, I suspect. Leading Spirit drops to the minimum trip. That’ll suit, he looked sharp out of the gate. His sire has an excellent record here at Windsor as well as in general over 5f plus on fast ground. He’s bound to improve quite a bit and that should see him go close to the favourite, I hope.

Selection:
10pts win – Leading Spirit @ 11/2 VC

……

 

8.30 Ayr: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 7f

An incredibly open race screaming for a long-shot to get his head in front. I do like the chance of In Focus here, despite him seemingly loosing his form and still looking for a first win beyond a mile.

That says, there are fair reasons for his last three forms that read so badly: he was entitled for his seasonal debut run at Wetherby last month and didn’t take to hurdling in his final run in 2017. A combination of very soft ground and potentially a little bit too much racing at the back end of last year may was the combination that saw him fading badly at Catterick on his penultimate run.

Judge on his best performances in 2017 over marathon trips, when twice runner-up in 14f handicaps, suggest he can get the trip and is competitive from his current handicap mark.

I feel the fast ground today could be real deal breaker in a positive sense. He hasn’t encountered anything like it for quite some time. He did win on fast ground twice in the past, however.

 Selection:
10pts win – In Focus @ 14/1 VC

……

FYI: If interested, keep an eye on this blog because if the ground dries further at Windsor, I may identify another selection for the evening card there. 

Derby Day Selections: June, 1st 2018

Gleneagles

4.30: Group 1, Epsom Derby, 1m 4f

Guineas winner Saxon Warrior looks rock solid judged on anything he has done so far. I love his physique, the way he goes through his races… everything, really. But from draw 1, which comes with so many complications, at odds-on it’s not a bet for me.

I stick to AOB, though. The forgotten one, it seems, The Pentagon, is drifting out to a massive price this morning. It’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to reputation of his sensational pedigree yet, and by any means he isn’t flashy if you see him racing.

The Pentagon was a workmanlike winner of a poor Group 3 last season, enhanced his credentials massively with an excellent 3rd place in the Racingpost Trophy eventually, though. The race wasn’t run to his advantage, he was badly positioned and clearly didn’t have the tactical speed when it was paramount to have. Yet he stayed on eye-catchingly.

This season he’s been disappointing given lofty expectations in two starts: a 3rd place in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown was underwhelming to many. Nonetheless, it was a fair effort in a race that was more about speed than stamina.

Fact is, The Pentagon is all about stamina, nothing about speed. He lacks gears and is a grinder.

He’s high class, I believe, regardless. He needs the right test to show his best. The step up in trip and the usually frantic pace of the Derby might be what he needs to be at his very best. From a good draw he is likely to go forward, he might even be tasked with pacemaker duties.

I don’t mind that at all. In fact it should be to his advantage. The cut in the ground won’t be a problem. It might even help. I can see a scenario where he tracks a fast pace and Wayne Lordan pushes the red button turning for home. It’s a long way home from there but this lad stays all day long….

At 50/1 this looks a cracking each-way bet. The better fancied horses might catch him eventually, but he could stay to the line for some fine place money.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – The Pentagon @ 50/1 WH

…….

2.35 Epsom: Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, 8.5f

The 1000 Guineas form has worked out really well already, so seventh placed finisher Anna Nerium should find the drop in grade a big help. Already a Group 3 scorer, she has trained on, proving it when winnig the Free Handicap on her seasonal reappearance in great style.

The Guineas was probably a bit too hot, however in lesser grade she remains a big gun given she is a full sister to smart Piping Rock. First time going against older horses, now is the time when the WFA allowance starts to swing into an advantage for the three year old’s, I feel.

Epsom is a different test and it remains to be seen whether she likes it or not. Ground isn’t an issue, on the other hand. On the plus side: her sire Dubawi has a tremendous CD record here.

Selection:
10pts win – Anna Nerium @ 9/2 PP

…..

3.45: Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

The ‘dash’ is often a bit of a lottery. In-running luck plays a big part. So there is always a chance for something big to finish in the money. I feel I can enhance my ‘luck’ by selecting a horse that has potential to outrun his price tag.

Storm Over is the one: he won a soft ground 5f handicap at Catterick in his final race of 2017. A massive performance, running to a 4lb higher time speed rating than his then handicap mark. He’s raised for that effort by only five pounds.

He ran with credit on his seasonal debut in April. He should come on for a sixth placed finish in a race that has worked out tremendously well in the meantime.

Cut in the ground works for him. Question will be the track and in-running luck. If both goes his way I anticipate a massive run by this still pretty lightly raced four year old colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Storm Over @ 22/1 PP

……

5.25 Doncaster + 6.10 Lingfield

Sam Gold for Roger Varian ran well in defeat on his seasonal return in a first handicap. The form looks strong with the winner performing with credit in the Guineas. He drops in class and should be hard to beat.

Sir Mark Prescott has identified an easy target for rapidly improving filly Midnight Blue at Lingfield. She won a minor event at Wolverhampton but should be hard to beat under a penalty with the step up in trip a big plus. From a plum draw she’s likely to be up with the pace.

Selection:
10pts win double – Sam Gold + Midnight Blue @ 3.72/1 VC

Friday Selections: June, 1st 2018

Curragh

4.30 Epsom: English Oaks, 1m 4f

This looks an intriguing renewal of the Oaks. With soft ground on offer, the race is thrown wide open and cases can be made for- or against anyone in this field.

Guineas fourth Wild Illusion is a fair favourite and she’s probably got a decent chance to follow-on from the Fillies’ Classic as I feel she’s got a decent chance to stay the new trip. The price is rotten, though.

From the market principles Magic Wand is the one I prefer, no question. I liked what she did at Chester and she should have plenty of improvement left. The ground is a slight question.

My money runs with one of the outsiders of the field: Ejtyah. She is inexperienced and had only two starts. That isn’t ideal. She looked raw and green on debut at Chelmsford toward the end of last year and was still very much learning her trade in the Musidora last month.

That was her seasonal debut, she is entitled to come on a fair bit for the run. A good performance that was, finishing third, on ground possibly too firm for her when she was probably shy of full fitness as well.

Ejtyah should have learned plenty that day – she has to, though. Now stepping up to the Derby distance looks a big bonus and so could be the softish ground. Frankel has a remarkable record on soft ground (+12f) with his offspring, actually, so from that perspective it isn’t a negative.

Connections also believe a fast surface isn’t the best for her as she was withdrawn from the Lingfield Oaks Trial for ground reasons.

No doubt, Ejtyah isn’t the likeliest winner. She has quite a bit to find with the market principles on pure form. She may not find enough to go close. That says, she is entitled to improve quite a bit for her seasonal reappearance run, for experience, the trip and potentially the ground.

All of that makes her a compelling bet at a massive price in an open Oaks.

Selection:
10pts win – Ejtyah @ 20/1 WH

……..

8.40 Doncaster: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 1m 2f

Favourite Maid Up is rock solid and one I do like allot. However, given prices, I do fancy even more long-shot Girls Talk.

You can totally discount her recent Beverly run – a wide draw, she ended up four wide nearly for the entire time of the race and she simply had no chance. Look at what she done before and it gets interesting.

Her seasonal comeback run at Lingfield, albeit 5th and three lengths beaten, is quite a good one. She crossed over from a her draw to lead the field until the final furlong marker when eventually fading away in the closing stages. Given it was her first race since October she was entitled to get tired.

The sectionals aren’t anything special, nonetheless, the fact she led a pretty decent field for that type of race in commanding style for as long as she did from her then 5lb higher mark than the current one, is intriguing. The form of that race works out pretty well, so I rate this performance highly.

She showed flashes as a juvenile, particularly in her second start; however, as an April foal she is due to be a much better horse with experience and age.

Down to a rating off 62, stepping up to 10f for the first time, she seems overpriced, as on pedigree the trip looks very much possible.

Selection:
10pts win – Girls Talk @ 25/1 VC

…….

9.10 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Handicap debutant Moon Of Baroda looks ripe for a massive run. He showed glimpses of potential in Novice and Maiden company. Now going handicapping, while stepping up to 12f on ground likely to suit, this son of Dubawi is in with a big shout in this race.

Still a colt, connections give him every chance to develop. He didn’t run as a juvenile last year, only made his debut this winter. His future is clearly over longer trips, so stepping up to the longer 1m 4f is a big plus.

Moon Of Baroda hails from a good family, and Dubawi’s stats for three year old handicappers over 12 furlongs are off the charts! Blinkers are fitted for the first time too, hopefully sharpen him up.

Selection:
10pts win – Moon Of Baroda @ 11/2 PP

Horse Racing Around The Globe

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