Tag Archives: 2019

Saturday Selections: August, 24th 2019

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5.50 Windsor: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

If you feel the favourite can be beaten here you’re suddenly not with much left. That is an ideal scenario for Iconic Knight, who may look in the grip of the handicapper on first glance, although a second look will reveal an excellent chance.

The 4-year-old gelding finished an excellent runner-up in a big field at York recently. A run to to that sort of form will see him go close. More interested I am in his Goodwood 3rd in June, though. That form worked out tremendously well which gives merit to Iconic Knight’s 80 topspeed finish that day.

He is already a Windsor winner, albeit over 5 furlongs. That piece of form from last year looks strong too. Conditions are fine today. Trip, track, ground – no bother. Given he looks in excellent nick and ran a career best not to far back in a really hot contest provides enough reasons to back Iconic Knight in this race here.

Selection:
10pts win – Iconic Knight @ 13/2 MB

……..

6.50 Windsor: Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes, 1m 2f

A 104 rated 3-year-old taking on older horses – there is an obvious reason why Queen Power is favoured to land the odds here, given also her Newbury victory is a highly respected piece of form.

However, I have to oppose her here. She’ll be meeting some tough nuts to crack. and Windsor can be a funny track. Also: Queen Power, even though dropping back in trip and class to better ground after a disappointing Ribblesdale Stakes will suit, but what#s really bugging me is the fact she is yet to run particularly fast. She may well have the ability but she hasn’t shown it yet. She will have to against opposition that largely has been running fast in the past.

For that reason the obvious selection can only be Matterhorn. He’ll have his preferred turf conditions today: a course that can favour those who set the pace, fast ground and the 10 furlong trip.

He was disappointing the last two starts in higher grade. Dropping down to Group 3 will help big time. He has proven to be a horse that belongs to this level. He also has ran fast on both All-Weather and turf, judged by topspeed figures.

Selection:
10pts win – Matterhorn @ 4.2/1 MB

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Preview: York – Lonsdale Cup 2019

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2.25 York: Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, 2m 56y

There is precious little between the market principles on form and ratings – merely 2lb on official ratings, merely 2lb on career best RPR’s, in favour of odds-on favourite Stradivarius, and 3lb on highest topspeed, in favour of Dee Ex Bee.

Both horses are high class stayers, they met a couple of times already when Stradivarius had the upper in any case. The last time they met at Goodwood: Stradivarius victory that day, one could argue appeared with a bit in hand, although the eventual margin was tight.

He got a peach of a ride and had everything going for himself that day, with a fast pace to chase and no issues in finding cover until getting a crystal clear run to produce a strong finish.

You could argue Dee Ex Bee didn’t enjoy the same luxury that day. He saw plenty of daylight, was much closer to the fast pace and simply didn’t race s economical as Stradivarius did. Yet he dug deep, stayed strongly to the line and achieved the same topspeed rating as the winner.

Regardless, on the surface it appears he simply isn’t quite as good as Stradivarius. And that might well be true. But I feel the numbers don’t lie: if there is anything between these two, then it’s previous little.

So a 3lb swing in the weights today may turn the table on fast ground that will suit Dee Ex Bee down to the grounds, in a small field where the pace situation could pan out very differently than the last two times also.

You can’t discount Dermot Weld’s charge Falcon Eight. Lightly raced, progressive, he may well improve again. However, he would have to improve tons to be at the level of the market leaders.

For me the value choice in this race is undoubtedly Dee Ex Bee. When everything points to the fact that Stradivarius is a slightly better horse – having as little as 2lb in hand on official ratings – then it’s hard to fathom why one is a 4/9 chance and the tother a 7/2 chance.

Selection:
10pts win – Dee Ex Bee @ 7/2 MB

Thursday Selections: August, 22nd 2019

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4.15 York: Listed Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes, 1m 4f

This is a wide open race and the betting tells you as much. What’s intriguing: the vast majority of horses in here have yet to run fast – at least judged by topspeed ratings. You could possibly forgive the lightly raced fillies a bit more, although the likes of Frosty or favourite Search For A Song had chances when running in pretty decent races.

Hence the standout chance in this contest appears to be Frankellina. This daughter of the almighty Frankel has pretty decent form in the book, running in some hot races, while she is the only one in this field running to a 90+ topspeed rating – which is something I want to see from any serious contender in this class.

It’s her career best, which looks rock solid as she also run to 89 before, which still would be the highest TS rating achieved by any filly in the field.

This is in line with her official rating of 105, the highest of any filly in the field. Granted, Frankellina has not quite lived up to possibly high expectations at the start of season. She had won on her debut in her single start as a juvenile, but remains without victory this year in four starts.

A runner-up effort in the Musidora – which is questionable form to be fair – followed by a promising 6th place effort in the Oaks, a 6th place in the Ribblesdale and a slightly disappointing 4th here at York in a listed contest last month.

I would argue, though, those last three pieces are pretty fair form, given this race looks much easier. Also Frankellina will profit from drying ground at York today – the quick surface should benefit her chances and hopes that she truly stays the 1m 4f trip.

Selection:
10pts win – Frankellina @ 11/2 MB

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4.50 York: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

I’m a little bit late to the party but still feel there is significant juice in the price of Whitefountainfairy. Albeit this is a big field, it is not as competitive a handicap as other races this week.

Whitefountainfairy should, if having a clear run, take all the beating here. Really. Saying that in a 20-runner strong field feels weird but I guess anyone who can read and has half-decent eyesight will have seen what handicap mark the filly is and what tremendous run she produced at Goodwood last time out.

Most importantly, Whitefountainfairy is down to a super dangerous mark. Down to 85, she ran to higher topspeed in the past, has been falling gradually, while remaining relatively low mileage, actually not all that much disappointing in her last runs either.

She was brutally eye-catching at Goodwood lately. Losing the race in the starting gate, hitting it in fact once the gates opened, she lost a good deal of ground, which is far from ideal over 7f. She settled at the rear, but then in the final two furlongs weaved her way through, finishing so strongly, that surely with a better start she would have gone very close.

I believe, despite a higher grade, this today is actually an easier race. She also runs against her own sex, and a simpler track will be a bonus, so will be the decent ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Whitefountainfairy @ 7/1 MB

………

8.00 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Mutabaahy is ripe for victory. He’s been running quite well this year without getting a deserved “1” credited to his name. This here will be his best chance. It really isn’t a good race and I feel this lad stands out.

He’s 2lb above his last winning mark, but 67 seems a more than fair mark for him. He has ran to 68 and 70 topspeed ratings in the past, in fact he ran to a career best when runner-up at Ripon.

One can argue Mutabaahy had chances of the same mark this season already. True, but he also run really well then in highly competitive races that have worked out strongly.

Track, trip and ground conditions will suit today. Back after a 4-wee-long break he’s hopefully fresh and ready to go. In saying that I am slightly worried by the drift in the betting – but it’s the risk I’m prepared to take.

Selection:
10pts win – Mutabaahy @ 9/1 MB

Wednesday Selections: August, 21st 2019

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2.50 Bath: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Champs De Reves may have a bit of work to do on WFA terms against some better fancied three-year-olds in this field, but I feel the younger rivals are hardly anything to be fearful of. So giving a few pounds away to them is probably not a big deal.

Still a maiden, but Champs De Reves has shown a bit of promise on a few occasions, most notably over this course and distance in May when only beaten by a neck of his current handicap mark. He ran to a topspeed rating of 72, a career best, which isn’t too far off his previous best, 68 when 3rd at Salisbury over 10 furlongs last summer.

He followed up with a fair performance over CD, but despised the cut in the ground when last seen at Newbury. He was a non-runner a couple of times to to soft ground. It is obvious judged on his best he needs good to fast ground, which will be provided today at Bath with a mild, sunny day forecast.

I really like the addition of excellent 5lb claiming Megan Nicholls here. It gives Champs De Reves a fair chance to run a big race and certainly be a better chance than the odds suggest.

Selection:
10pts win – Champs De Reves @ 15/1 MB

Monday Selections: August, 19th 2019

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6.40 Windsor: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Harry Hurricane steps back into more suitable territory after being outclassed at Goodwood. Given he had been a non-runner on a vet’s cert and a poor showing at Bath before that he’s got some questions to answer – but the majority of his performances earlier this season have been good and to quite a high standard.

In fact, he achieved twice a topspeed rating of 79+ this season already. So, now down to a mark of 79, with a further 5lb claim of highly useful apprentice Cieren Fallon, he looks ripe for a big run.

Granted, Harry Hurricane isn’t a frequent winner and hasn’t done so since the 2016 season. But I feel this track, his racing style, an uninspiring field or rivals to beat, a supr dangerous handicap mark and a classy apprentice in the saddle are a winning combination, as long as he’s right.

Selection:
10pts win – Harry Hurricane @ 13/2 WH

Friday Selections: August, 16th 2019

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2.25 Newbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1 mile

Medieval is a tricky sort who can make a mess of his chances in a race. But he’s down to a really attractive handicap mark, as was evident when he finished 2nd at Brighton a week ago.

That is a performance you can upgrade as he finished strongest of those that were prominent, while the winner and third came from a long way back, taking full advantage of a generous pace. It didn’t help that Medieval also appeared to hang in the closing stages, which he tends to do frequently.

Nonetheless, he is only 1lb higher for this effort, still well below his last wining mark, while he also ran multiple times to much higher topspeed ratings in the past. With soft ground sure to suit, and the mile trip no issue, I feel in this race today he has a prime chance to get his head in front again.

Selection:
10pts win – Medieval @ 6/1 MB

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8.20 Curragh: Handicap, 6 furlongs

A lot of rain over night here in Kildare, the ground will be soft and make for tough conditions. Makes this one an even more open race. I think this cries out for a long-shot to upset the market.

The one I am most interested in is Blyton. He hasn’t really kicked on as a 3-year-old since moving to Ireland, however he drops to a pretty low mark for what he has achieved as a juvenile as well as going down to a more suitable trip.

Also quite important: Blyton has good form with cut in the ground, so should not mind the rain whatsoever. In fact the combination of lowered mark, perfect ground and suitable trip can see him being competitive today.

He also achieved topspeed ratings of 80 and 84 last season, suggesting he is capable of running to a level of form required to win here. First time blinkers are an interesting addition, possibly sharpen him up, dropping from a 8.5 furlongs as when last seen at Galway.

Selection:
10pts win – Blyton @ 33/1 MB

Thursday Selections: August, 15th 2019

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4.45 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

The favourite Simba Samba is likely to go well here, but has to prove full effectiveness over the minimum trip yet. At a bigger price I’m much more intrigued by Arnoul Of Metz who is still a turf maiden, but has ran well in a number of races, often looking like a horse that just needs to get the right break to get his head in front.

Of course if a horse is “unlucky” again and again it probably is not down to luck and more to lack of talent. Arnoul Of Metz is not a classy individual, for sure. But he only missed out narrowly on the Wolverhampton All-Weather last month and got hampered or buried behind a wall of horses in his last two turf starts at Chepstow and Musselburgh.

On his current handicap mark of 54 he offers the potential to find a bit more, if things fall his way finally. He already ran to a 56 topspeed rating when finishing off strongly at Muselburgh in May, when arguably unlucky.

The fast ground is sure to suit. The usual 5lb claimer is back on board. There is plenty to like about Arnoul Of Metz in a pretty winnable race.

Selection:
10pts win – Arnoul Of Metz @ 9/1 MB

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6.40 Chepstow: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Cool Strutter looks ready for a massive run tonight. The 7-year-old doesn’t win often, but has fallen to a really low mark that should see him being certainly well in against poor opposition.

He’s ran to higher top-speed ratings twice within his last seven starts, suggesting he is capable of doing better than a 48 handicap mark.

Conditions will likely suit Cool Strutter. He’s won with cut in the ground and has been multiple times places when it’s really soft. The 6 furlongs seem ideal in these conditions, and the track should favour his running style also.

The added bonus of a fair 5lb claimer in the saddle make this a standout betting proposition in my mind.

Selection:
10pts win – Cool Strutter @ 6.2/1 MB