Monday Selections: August, 6th 2018

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8.30 Windsor: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Handicap debutant United Kingdom is a tremendous chance in the lucky last tonight I feel. Granted these sprint handicaps at Windsor require a bit of luck from time to time, this mate will make his own luck.

He’s a full-brother to a filly Baciami Piccola, a French 5f listed placed and subsequent Group 3 winner in the US. United Kingdom had a late start as a juvenile but looked promising in his second outing at Kempton over 6f. Pulling hard, he led briefly in the closing stages until swept by from those off the pace.

His reappearance a few weeks ago at Leicester in a hot Novice Stakes continued to look promising. He shot out off the gate and led the field until 2f swept by now 83 and 85 rated individuals. He was clearly saved for handicaps in the closing stages as well.

Dropping down to 5f which should suit given the early speed has shown in the past, an opening mark of 65 looks generous. There is every chance he is better than that and a good break pretty much guaranteed should ensure he doesn’t run into trouble today.

Selection:
10pts win – United Kingdom @ 5/1 Sky

Saturday Selections: August, 4th 2018

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3.25 Thirsk: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

A big field that screams competitiveness. However, judged purely by TS ratings, there are very few in it who appear to be well handicapped, actually. Most of these older horses are capable of running to some sort of form close to their current rating – but better than that?

Usually this isn’t my cup of tea, a race like this, neither the horse I fancy – particularly at a price as short as it is. Nonetheless there is still a bit of juice in the price of Richard Fahey’s Borodin, I feel.

For a start: he’s the only 3 year old in the race thanks to WFA racing off bottom weight while his actual rating should see him rather toward the top third of the weights. This is going to be his handicap debut and there is an obvious question mark in first place whether Borodin is as good as a lofty 86 handicap mark.

The answer is emphatically “yes” judged by the form of his last two starts that also came here at Thirsk. He appeared to be still pretty green on both occasions, which makes sense as it was only lifetime start two and three.

He disposed an experienced runner-up over 7f on his second outing easily. This runner-up – Kawasir – was subsequently a good deal beaten but not disgraced when finishing within 6 lengths of an individual that’s now rated 95.

Borodin then stepped up to a mile. Still quite green and keen to get on with things he was swept by late by a promising horse in New Show who ran well in a hot class 2 Handicap subsequently. Also the third,  History Writer, 2¼ behind Borodin, won a decent Sandown Handicap on his next start racing off 85.

In summary: judged by this form, an opening mark of 86 doesn’t look harsh. In fact, if Borodin has learned from his three starts he should improve quite a bit and can be a few pounds better than that.

The fact that he has been here at Thirsk before and ran well, also is one who is likely be up with the pace, which is an advantage at this track, means this rather smallish gelding shouldn’t be too intimidated by the big field. That says he’ll need a good break from a less than ideal draw in 10.

Selection:
10pts win – Borodin @ 11/2 Sky

Friday Selections: August, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Three on the bounce! What rare joy to find a winner on three consecutive days – Land Force (7/2) clearly stayed the trip as hoped and won the Richmond Stakes in commanding style under a class ride by Ryan Moore.

……

5.50 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 12f

It was a disappointing handicap debut for Floria Tosca the other day after she showed a bit of promise in three maiden starts. I was keen on her the last time as I thought that judged by her second start at Chelmsford she could be well treated off her opening mark. That form worked out incredibly well and her subsequent performance at Bath looked more than decent too.

A fortnight ago the race then didn’t quite worked out the way as hoped. They were crawling for most parts, Floria Tosca was left flat footed over 4f out but then made quite a bit of stylish progress to lead briefly over 2f out. She didn’t see it out eventually and that becomes a bit of a habit now, which is a concern.

Hopefully it is more greenness than anything else. She is bred for the job so upped to 12f may suit. There should be a fair pace on the cards today and it is very winnable race. Dropped 3lb to a mark off 70 plus interesting young apprentice Marco Ghiani in the saddle who claims another 7lb means the filly must enter calculations here.

Selection:
10pts win – Floria Tosca @ 11/1 PP

Thursday Selections: August, 2nd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

He’s finally done it! Lightning Spear after more than two handful of attempts finally broke through the barrier to land a Group 1! And how he did it – beautifully timed and produced with patience and poise by Osisin Murphy, the seven year old colt stormed to success in the Sussex Stakes. A great price he was all the same (selection @ 12.5/1)!

……….

3.00 Goodwood: Group 1 Richmond Stakes, 6f

Ballydoyle isn’t going quite as strong as one would usually see this time of the year. There were issues in the yard reportedly. Nonetheless Land Force looks a supreme candidate to land the Richmond Stakes today.

He’s been a February foal so no surprise to see him having quite a bit of racing already in his legs as he also appears to be a good looking and imposing individual. He took the step up to graded class in his stride when finishing a strong 3rd in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. Arguably a race he wasn’t advantaged due to his positioning toward the stand side for most parts of the race.

He finished very strongly, indicating a step up to 6f will be beneficial. He remained over the minimum trip next time out in a Listed contest at Tipperary. Not the strongest of contests, but he only needed to be pushed under under hands and heels to win cozily.

Today’s test looks ideal for this speedy individual. The additional furlong won’t be a problem, neither is the ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Land Force @ 7/2 PP

Wednesday Selections: August, 1st 2018

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3.35 Goodwood: Group 1 Sussex Stakes, 1m

On the face of it this is not a vintage renewal of the Sussex Stakes. As always the three year old’s hold an advantage thanks to WFA and that’s not different this time. But you can pick big holes into their form today. After all there is little between the top four or five in the betting market, in my mind.

Given that I can discount both Without Parole and Expert Eye purely for price reasons. The latter one returning to a mile seems not ideal despite a recent impressive success over 7f. Without Parole is clearly a fair favourite, however hasn’t beaten allot to this day, if we’re honest. Andre Fabre always needs to be respected but Orbaan has a lot to find. Gustav Klimt isn’t good enough on this level.

Leaves me with a decision who of the older horses is the best bet. Beat The Bank leads the way. Unlucky in the Queen Anne, he ran into trouble in the Summer Mile at the same venue weeks later again, though found a way to get his head in front.

Lord Glitter is closely matched but I feel he had every chance the other day at Ascot, so even at a big price he’s not one I fancy. While I fancy Beat The Bank to do damage today, at prices I think he’s close to what he should be.

Unlike veteran Lightning Spear. Now a seven year but as good as ever, he’s chasing the elusive first Group 1 victory. Today could be the day. He is as good as ever as proven in his two starts this year when a tight runner-up in the Lockinge Stakes and an excellent third in the Queen Anne.

He is an uncomplicated type who is a CD scorerm multiple Stakes winner and seven times placed on the highest level. Lightning Spear is the ultimate pro who will run his race which might be enough to finally get his head in front.

Selection:
10pts win – Lightning Spear @ 12.5/1 MB

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3.55 Redcar: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

Lightly raced Nathanial colt Global Style drops back to 10f here as well as down in a class 5 Handicap. He didn’t look exactly like a truly well handicapped horse the last couple of starts, however had ran well enough all the same and in my eyes those performances looked slightly better than the bare form.

He clearly has a race in him, particularly one like this here, a rather uncompetitive affair, that is for the taking.

He’s not a speedy horse by any means. So pace will be key. You’d be hopeful there is a bit here today. That should allow Global Style to grind his way to the front when it matters.

He clearly is up to his current mark, and potentially a tad better. His third in a good class 3 contest over 12f at Thirsk, behind two good horses, proved it. A fair runner-up over CD back in June saw him only beaten for a turn of foot in the closing stages. Given he’s also an April foal means he may simply needed a bit of time to find his way also.

Selection:
10pts win – Global Style @ 5/1 MB

Tuesday Selections: July, 31st 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

1.50 Goodwood: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

Still to some extend unexposed and open to further improvement is Jim Crowley’s mount Alfarris. A progressive sort, he won on seasonal reappearance a hot class 3 Handicap at Chelmsford in commanding style.

Returning two weeks later at Sandown stepping up in class he travelled supremely well even though the race with its start-stop gallop wasn’t set up to see him to best effect. Ultimately the pace setter pulled out more in the closing stages.

That was a clear career best performance by Alfarris resulting in a 93 TS rating. He’s upped 2lb for the effort but in the context of the race here he has a really nice weight and a good draw too.

Selection:
10pts win – Alfarris @ 7/1 PP

…..

3.35 Goodwood: Group 1 Goodwood Cup, 2m

Defending champion Stradivarius is the obvious one and hard to beat after two excellent wins this year. But at given prices I have a go with Call To Mind who remains unexposed over the 2m trip and also looks to get better with time.

He won a 1m 6f Listed contest here at Goodwood last year and has backed this up with some big performances in graded company. He was also third in this years Yorkshire Cup behind Stradivarius – a fair margin beaten, though.

A subsequent Grade 2 success in the Belmont Gold Cup in June when attempting the full 2 miles for the first time set him up nicely for a big performance today, I feel where he can chase home the hot favourite.

Selection:
10pts win – Call To Mind @ 16/1 PP

…..

4.45 Goodwood: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Tricky race where I give Just Glamorous a chance to find back some form after two rather below-par efforts this year. A real speed-ball who should enjoy exactly this type of test, he drops to a more likely mark as well as down from Graded company.

Just Glamorous has shown in the past to be able to to this sort of mark and time speed figures back this up. The question is whether he still got it as the drop off between what he showed at the back end of last season to the two efforts this year are stark.

Selection:
10pts win – Just Glamorous @ 27/1 MB

Saturday Selections: July, 28th 2018

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4.55 Chester: Class 4 Handicap, 10.5f

A wide open affair and I feel handicap debutant King Tut has shown enough in three maidens to suggest he could improve for this trip and the switch to turf.

You got to bank on his fitness, however, he he ran well on his seasonal reappearance back in March at Lingfield over a mile, travelling notably well until tiring toward the end without getting a hard time.

An opening mark of 73 looks entirely fair, but given the quite excellent record Animal Kingdom has with three year old’s in Britain so far plus the valuable assistance of 3lb claimer Adam McNamara, King Tut could be better than this initial rating.

Selection:
10pts win – King Tut @ 15/2 Sky

Horse Racing Around The Globe

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