Wednesday Selection: November, 21st 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

7.20 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5 furlongs

This is a poor looking race, hard to fancy anything with confidence. It screams for an upset – this could be the Rae Guest trained filly Woosh.

The four-year-old hasn’t shown anything in three maiden starts. She looks like a late bloomer, given her June birth date. Now stepping up significantly in trip to something that should be more comfortable for the first time in a handicap I can see how she’d be one to upset the odds.

Her daddy Nathanial has produced a fair share of winners on the All-Weather, particularly with older fillies over longer trips. Woosh fits the profile. Her wide draw is a concern, but then she has the added bonus of Martin Harley in the saddle. He enjoys tremendous success on Rae Guest horses, especially in handicaps.

Selection:
10pts win – Woosh @ 17/1 PP/MB

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Thursday Selections: November, 15th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

That’s the way I like it – a much needed 20/1 winner in Iley Boy tonight. A superb ride by Joey Haynes, who certainly made his only ride on the card count!

His mount didn’t seem to travel overly well early on, particularly after being hampered soon after the the start. He was well off the pace turning for home but was cruising hard on the bridle then and found the gaps when needed. The question “Is today the day to let Iley Boy loose?” was firmly answered!

……

12.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

This looks a rather competitive affair for this type of low grade race. That makes it difficult to assess. The same goes if it comes to get a clear grip on the horse I fancy quite a bit actually: Sooqaan.

Reasons why I like this lad allot are plenty; a simple reason why I’m wondering is: there is fair chance this isn’t the race to let the handbreak off. 

Sooqaan is handicapped to win on his best form. He won off 64 over course and distance earlier this year. However, he was on a roll at that time, completing a hat-trick, kicking it off wit a CD success of a mark of 54. So I can see why connections would want to lower his current rating a bit, still.

On the other hand Sooqaan could find an excellent chance to score, despite the competitive nature of the race. 

The fact that is: in class 6 over this course and distance he is 4 from 4! So, it looks significant that he drops down to this grade for the first time since he last win, coming back the his happy hunting ground all the while. If the mark should be run down further, surely a spin around Chelmsford or similar would do? 

Small bonus: Sooqaan has an excellent draw to attack the race. So weighing it all up, at given prices I am happy to roll the dice! 

Selection:
10pts win – Sooqaan @ 8/1 PP

……….

3.20 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Always risky to punt a Southwell virgin – nonetheless, three-year-old Kabrit is an interesting contender here thanks to a featherweight I feel. He’s shown a bit of promise on turf this year when placed on three occasions in races that have had their form franked since then.

He comes here after a poor showing in his final turf start last month; however it was off a break and first time gelded. You’d hope he can come on for the run. 

Whether Kabrit truly stays the trip, particularly on the fibresand remains to be seen – Mr. Lee in the saddle seems a positive, given his excellent record when riding for Andre Balding.

Selection:
10pts win – Kabrit @ 9/1 PP

Wednesday Selections: November, 14th 2018

8.00 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Is today the day to let Iley Boy loose?

Well, we’ll find out in the few hours. If today is the day to take the handbreak off then Iley Boy must have a cracking chance to win. That is, if he can overcome the slight disadvantage of a wider than ideal draw.

On the positive side, over 12f at Kempton, if you have a bit of early speed, you can easily overcome this to settle in a good position. Let’s hope Joey Haynes, who comes here for this ride only, will move forward quickly. 

Iley Boy looks seriously well handicapped for this type of race, on this level. He’s been a two times course and distance winner earlier this year, including of a 2lb higher mark than the current 51 handicap mark.

Those forms aren’t anything to scream about, but they are solid enough and backed up by the clock. Iley Boy ran to TS ratings of 51 and 54  and RPR’s of 60 and 61 respectively. 

So, if he is back to this sort of form he’ll be a massive player tonight. Ever since those wins he hasn’t shown too much, however he was probably too high in the mark – after a summer holiday, he returned last month, was disappointing in two starts, but I give him that he needed them. 

Now fitter, with near perfect conditions, off an excellent handicap mark, Iley Boy looks seriously overpriced.

Selection:
10pts win – Iley Boy @ 16/1 PP

Tuesday Selections: November, 13th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.45 Chelmsford: Class 7 Handicap, 1m 5½f

It could be a tip in itself that Kieran Shoemark comes here for only one ride on the card. He rides Rip Van Winkle son Lumen. The gelding hasn’t shown anything in four lifetime starts but off a super low weight and opening mark on handicap debut in this poor race he looks one of the more likely contenders.

Certainly there could be a bit of improvement, the dam has produced a solid half-brother already; a good draw will a big help in order to settle in a fine spot today also.

Interestingly Lumen has another entry on the weekend at Lingfield in better grade. I take this as a positive nod toward his chances today, as he may be able to run again under a penalty, if successful today.

Selection:
10pts win – Lumen @ 13/2 MB

Monday Selections: November, 12th 2018

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1.05 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Low draw is usually preferred here; from those individuals only Optimickstickhill makes appeal, though the minimum trip might be too sharp.

Despite drawn much wider than usual, Fareeq looks well handicapped on his return to Southwell second up from a break. He missed the break on his return at Chelmsford, so that run off  145-day lay-off is excused.

He finished a creditable CD runner-up when last seen here; the form looks strong as the winner went on to win two more races. That effort came off a 4lb higher mark than Fareeq’s last winning mark as he landed a CD race off 60 back in April.

Down in class 6, over a seemingly perfect course and distance off mark he looks well capable of – it should give Fareeq a good chance to overcome the disadvantage of the wide draw in a poor race.

Selection:
10pts win – Fareeq @ 5/1 WH

…..

2.45 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

The grey veteran Lucky Beggar has been in fair form on turf in recent weeks, without threatening the judge, though, to be fair. However a return to Southwell’s fibresrand over the 6f trip is quite interesting, as it comes with a chunky drop in the mark and drop in class as well.

When last seen over this CD back in August – only his second ever Southwell start, despite a less than ideal start, he ran on very strongly from the middle of the pack in a very hot race, finishing a clear third. The winner to some extend, the runner-up very much so, having franked the form in the meantime.

Lucky Beggar’s effort that day came in higher grade and off a 7lb higher mark than his current one. He will be in with a big shout here, if he can overcome the draw. No doubt, drawn in 11 isn’t ideal; but then that is also reflected in the price, which still undervalues the eight-year old’s chances.

Selection:
10pts win – Lucky Beggar @ 7/1 Sky

Saturday Selections: November, 10th 2018

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3.15 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 4f

The November Handicap, one final big one in the soon to be closed chapter that was the 2018 flat season.

It feels like nearly everything Charlie Appleby touches turns to gold these days. Can he wrap up this superb week for him with a success here? I certainly think so! His inmate Wolf Country comes here relatively fresh compared to most others after a recent pleasing return to the track.

That was last month at Goodwood in a competitive race – the form has already started to work out well. Wolf Country was a fine runner-up, leading for most parts of the race. It has to be said he was advantaged by the fact that a he wasn’t hampered by a fallen horse behind him. Most of the field was. So the performance is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Still, he travelled well, set a good pace and looked comfortable in atrocious conditions, leaving his only other UK start in 2018 well behind, when he last of 15 at Newmarket in May.

His only other piece of form this year came at Meydan. A fine 4th place finish in a pretty strong handicap – he was leading until 300m out against Group class performers.

Things haven’t quite gone the way conditions would surely have hoped for Wolf Country. A Listed winner at three, a creditable and not far beaten 5th in the Dante – he is a talented lad and since being gelded those two of three runs have been very promising.

A mark off 98 gives him a fair chance here today – he could be a better than that. The soft ground conditions are certainly a positive. The wide draw not necessarily for a front-runner. Regardless, I have him down as the favourite here if he can improve from his recent comeback run.

Selection:
10pts win – Wolf Country @ 8.8/1 MB

Wednesday Selections: November, 7th 2018

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WOW! What more can you say??? Quite a bit, actually! So, a few more words on Tuesdays Melbourne Cup: a tremendous victory for Cross Counter. The three-year old came from last to first, producing a tremendous turn of foot at the end of a 3.200 meter long race!

I felt his chances were gone right after the start as Kerrin McEvoy steered his mount to the back of the field – which in hindsight seems a smart move, given the wide draw and the way things worked out as the gates crashed open didn’t really allow him to do anything else that wouldn’t have been even more detrimental to his chances; i.e. rushing forward.

In my race preview I hoped things would pan out slightly different regarding the early parts of the race. Regardless, I couldn’t have been happier with the eventual outcome of the race!

As for the second year running I’ve made a winning selection for the Melbourne Cup – granted, neither last year with Rekindling, nor this year with Cross Counter were those selections particularly thought-provoking.

Let’s be honest: a classy 3yo, with good chances to stay the trip, having ideal ground conditions and a low weight to carry…. the type of race the Melbourne Cup in essence is these days, it wasn’t exactly rocked science to select Cross Counter.

……

2.50 Nottingham: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Bread and butter today: Show Palace is the one I want to be with. He has dropped to a tasty mark, having produced big performances off much higher ratings in the past, achieving consistently high time speed ratings as well.

Clearly he needs the right conditions: with rain falling, the going may not turn quite soft enough. Nonetheless, good to soft should be okay, even more so off his 74 handicap mark. Hes also in fine order, judged on his latest effort over CD.

He was not ideally positioned on the inside rail, far away from the pace. He finished best of his group, nonetheless – a 5th place that looks good given the form already works out well.

Selection:
10pts win – Show Palace @ 6/1 MB

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