Tag Archives: 2022

Saturday Selections: 10th December 2022

Waverley Star was a lovely winner on Friday, the first in December, although I had only five selections prior to today, with two solid placings, although that counts for little if you back win only, which is what I do.

In any case, Waverley Star was a whopping 9/1 shot (my price; even more generous was available until noon, though; well backed into SP 5/1) and certainly helps to bring the month right back into the solid green.

The 3-year-old gelding did fulfill the hopes outlined in the preview: he went forward, grabbed the lead halfway through and was never to be seen again by the rest of the field.

It’s the one thing that consistently proving the best results on basically all All-Weather tracks over sprint trips: grab the lead and hold on to it…. and still you see people backing hold-up horses over these trips on the sand.

Yet, as you will see soon, I’ll do this as well, from time to time, at least. Can’t be dogmatic, is my view. A value bet is a value bet and simply reflects track bias in the price and evaluation of the chance.

……….

4.30 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

A competitive class 4 Handicap, with a seemingly progressive handicap newcomer as the favourite; all but one horse are rated 80 plus.

I have the feeling the class dropping top weights will struggle to make an impact off 9-11 here, given some other rivals make far greater appeal on weight and handicapping terms.

Dicoles Of Rome ran some fine races the last two times and is one on my list; he should find this easier, but at the same time he appears to me still a bit too high in the mark to be considered a bet.

Favourite Brewing could be anything. Judged through the form of his two wins an opening mark of 83 isn’t a giveaway. Also, those weren’t lightning fast races; his best speed rating of 45 is meaningless in this much hotter class.

The 7/4 price has already backed some massive improvement, which may or may not come. Certainly he’s a favourite that has to be taken on.

Tothenines is the proverbial consistent sort. Possibly in the grip of the handicapper, but these tough, consistent horses do well at this time of the year. He’s a real danger.

Naturally I am drawn to Beattie Is Back. An eye-catcher multiple times lately. He’s also one who finds the trouble.

He did so last time at Wolverhampton, as early as he got out of the gates. That run can be thoroughly forgiven, he was clearly minded in the home straight, although excellent progress in the middle part of the race still showed possibly in serious form.

Before that, here at Newcastle, then over 6 furlongs, he was an even bigger eye-catcher, as he travelled strongly in midfield, loomed large 2 furlongs out but was continuously a clear run denied, as a result dropped to the back of the field before finishing strongly in the final half furlong all the way to the line.

Similar upgrades can be given to his two performances prior to this, too. Beattie Is Back is also a course and distance winner already, although it was a Novice race in spring this year. Judged through that form he’s on a fair mark. However, I believe, if judged by his last efforts, he clearly has shown to be at least a good win better than 70.

He is still relatively lightly raced and I am glad he tries 7 furlongs again, especially at this track, as it gives his racing style the best chance on the All-Weather. In these circumstances there’s possibly more to come, in any case.

Even though I am not sure he’s a proper class 4 horse – he’s yet to run to a speed rating that I’d like to see – I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. This low weight looks intriguing against opposition possibly not well handicapped.

I also really like the likely pace scenario. Drawn in #3 he’s right beside the most likely pace setter, Larado, and may get a nice lead into the closing stages to produce a turn of foot with hopefully little trouble to meet in-running, in this field of only seven runners.

If this doesn’t work out on Saturday, Beattie Is Back has got a Class 5 (0-70) entry next week and could be interesting there, although this is at Wolverhampton.

10pts win – Beattie Is Back @ 8/1

Friday Selections: 9th December 2022

4.10 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Waverley Star Fast caught the eye with a pretty solid front-running performance recently, which represented a clear return to form, coinciding with a drop down to the minimum trip on the All-Weather.

He started quickly, led the field for home, kicked on from 3f out out, still going well turning into the home straight before he was eventually headed with half a furlong to go, having slowed dramatically.

That was his first proper, “well-rounded” performance since being gelded in the summer. He’s always been a somewhat tricky customer, and remains to be one even after the gelding operation.

In any case, he looks a pure 5 furlongs sprinter, though, and one can ignore any attempts over further, in my view. Over the minimum trip he ran a number of times well this year, both on turf and the All-Weather.

Most notably when a strong finishing 4th over this course and distance in March on a day where everything went wrong. He also ran to a 51 speed rating then, which means, in theory, he’s got a really good chance to be seriously competitive off his current handicap mark, in this class, if in the right mood.

He’s 4lb lower today than that day, has been dropped another pound since his recent Lingfield run, on a mark of 50, down from a career highest 59 in summer.

With additional 3lb taken off by excellent apprentice Ryan Sexton Waverley Star makes plenty of appeal on the handicapping side of things. He’s got a good, low draw today, and there is likely to be little pace to compete against.

Granted he gets a solid start, there is every chance he can get an easy lead. An ideal scenario for the 3-year-old gelding, who does his best work from the front.

10pts win – Waverley Star @ 9/1

Wednesday Selections: 7th December 2022

Good run by Wadacre Grace yesterday at Southwell. It wasn’t quite good enough, though: 2nd place.

I have no complaints, there were no excuses. She got a lovely ride and found one too good. In that sense I was perhaps too optimistic in believing she she was more than only a couple of pounds ahead of her mark.

………

1.25 Lingfield: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

This is a competitive sprint. Tyger Bay is obviously one I am interested in and he should run well, but may find this ultimately a bit too hot off his current mark that is no more than fair in these circumstances.

Flying Secret is another one who caught the eye, although that was as far back as May, on turf. He steps up significantly in class now back in Handicap company. However, as the bottom weight in this field he makes a ton of appeal for various reasons.

For one: I loved his return at Kempton last month after half a year off the track. He was a bit too keen in the early parts of the race, perhaps too fresh, but the slow pace didn’t help either.

He kicked nicely from 3 furlongs out and held his effort pretty well to the line, despite being entitle to tire. He will be fitter today, most likely, and the pace should work in his favour.

The 3-year-old gelding should be ahead of his mark stepping back into handicap competition, and I have no worries in this class. His Salisbury run in May was seriously strong, as he finished much the best for 3rd place, not getting the clearest of runs.

This form is strong. The winner is 18lb higher rated today, the runner-up won subsequently, too. He ran to a 70 speed raring, not fully ridden out, even. His current mark 0f 73 may underestimate the true potential.

I don’t like the #7 draw and wonder whether he may be too far off the pace today, though. But I hope a strong pace will bring the leaders back, and this lad has the ability to kick and finish strongly.

10pts win – Flying Secret @ 4/1

……..

8.00 Kempton: Class 2 Handicap, 2m

If the Lingfield race is competitive, then this final of the stayers’ series is ultra competitive. Usually this isn’t my type of race to get involved, given I largely specialise in shorter races and certainly not in these hot long-distance contests.

But Bandinelli is one I have on the list for a while and he did nothing but enhance his claims in the Northumberland Plate in my view: always travelling well, coming with a big challenge in the home straight, before short of room 3f out, having his momentum stopped, getting going again, and eventually tiering into 6th place.

This is a really good stayer, and he’s 2lb lower than at Newcastle, only a pound above his mark when landing a good Handicap over 2 miles here at Kempton.

It would be harsh to judge him on his comeeback run over this CD three weeks ago. He clearly needed the run and will be better today. If back to his best form from earlier this year, he’s the one to beat. I have no doubt he can turn the form around with Rainbow Dreamer and Island Brave.

He’s got a fine draw to get to a prepared prominent position with much fuss – the race should be set up perfectly for him to make his move from over 2 furlongs out at the cutaway.

The Appleby yard looks solid form. No indication that there is anything to worry about. Bandinelli is two from three over this course and distance and this being only his 6th run over the trip, it’s not impossible that he can find one or two pounds of improvement.

10pts win – Bandinelli @ 9/2

Tuesday Selections: 6th December 2022

4.50 Southwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m

A class 3 Handicap in the name only – without the fresh French recruit of Rae Guest, this would be a borderline 0-75 contest.

Ranes is an unknown quantity but could be potentially well handicapped, especially in this field against her own sex. Her French handicap mark has been translated 1:1 to a BHA mark, and this one could underestimate her, given her most recent success on the Deauville polytrack looks strong where she beat higher rated rivals.

However, she has to carry a lot more weight in real terms here: from 8-0st to 9-12. People have their different views on weight, but in my view this is a significant increase and a major question mark.

In any case there is a filly in this race I am fairly sure is a better than her current mark, if she finally gets her act together. That is Wadacre Grace, who significantly caught the eye the last two times.

The 3-year-old filly showed a strong level of form in four of her five runs since successfully returning from a 5 months long break in September.

She kicked it all off with victory on handicap debut at Newcastle over 7 furlongs, despite showing some inexperience, she finished incredibly strongly to get up on the line. It’s been her trademark ever since to find plenty under pressure in the closing stages (with the exception of a subsequent poor run, which she has left behind the next three runs, though).

I love that attitude, less so the way she can start her races. She can be sluggish out of the gate, and quite keen in the early stages of the race. I reckon that cost her victory at Chelmsford, when less pronounced but clearly played a part why she ‘only managed’ third place.

She completely missed the break the next time at Kempton. She benefited from a slow early pace to quickly get back to the field but nonetheless had to spend significantly more energy than everyone else and found herself in the worst position possible, too. She finished like a train, eventually.

She had a better – if not ideal – start last time out. She went forward to join the leader pushing a good pace, before dropping into second. Once again, when headed, she found plenty under pressure, especially staying on strongly in the final furlong for 2nd place. That was especially impressive after pushing the pace to finish so well. 

She has only ran to a 64 speed rating to date, although that came in her Newcastle victory in September. I’ve got no doubts that she has more to offer. Clearly there is more talent under the hood than a lowly 69 rating would suggest. Not to forget this is only her sixth career handicap start as well. There’s more to come.

I don’t mind the wide draw tomorrow. It’s not a big deal over a mile at Southwell. If she starts slowly then it doesn’t matter from where, anyway. It doesn’t look like there is going to be mad competition for the lead. I hope that helps her to get to a prominent position without too much fuss, and provides Franny Norton with the options to stride forward, if needed.

This filly wants to gallop. So let her get on with things. She stays every inch of the trip (no surprise, the dam was a 12 furlong winner at Southwell), so let her do her thing and she will run away with it.

10pts win – Wadacre Grace @ 9/2

All-Weather Eyecatchers #3

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Foxy Rascal
31/10/22 – 6.30 Wolverhampton:

Bit slowly away, outpaced early on, had a lot to do turning for home, positioned well off the pace, maneuvered through the field to get into a challenging position on the outside entering the final furlong. Finished seriously strong, much the best over the last two furlongs.

First time off a break and wind operation. Looks ahead of her mark once she steps back up to 6 furlongs, if her breathing holds up over the additional furlong. She was a 6f winner at Newcastle as a juvenile.

Already ran to 78 and 79 speed ratings on turf, a solid return on speed figures here as well. If she can repeat this level of performance up in trip she is could be hard to beat. Starting issues need to be monitored, though. and can hamper chances on the sand significantly.

Ran on 11/11 in the meantime. Eye-catching progress from 4f to 2f out, something amiss in closing stages, reportedly bled from the nose.

Race Replay

Making Music
31/10/22 – 1.20 Kempton:

Quickly out of the gates, tracked leader, quite keen in first time blinkers for first half of the race. Travelled well into home straight. Made move from 2f out, tired inside final furlong, couldn’t sustain it, possibly paid for keenness.

Ran to a speedrating 63 in August at Wolverhampton, 7lb lower now. Still a maiden and two poor recent showings in the meantime, though the 8.5f are beyond her stamina I think, and she was a massive drifter in the betting the last time.

She is better than that and could prove to be seriously competitive off her current mark. I want to see her down to 7f in a race without much pace to fight against, though.

Race Replay

Inclement Weather
31/10/22 – 1.52 Kempton:

Settled in midfield letting the hot pace go. Big move at the top of the home straight to reel in the pace setter. Fell down a cliff in the final furlong.

Clearly in good form as she backed this performance up with another strong effort next time out as she ran well all year, and therefore only drops slowly down to an intiruiging handicap mark. Won off 59 in January, ran to 57 speed figure in summer, albeit over 7 furlongs.

I’ll be interested if she drops to 7 furlongs again – but need to watch her mark, whether it remains unchanged after these last two efforts. She may go up a few pounds now.

Race Replay

Lady Celia
01/11/22 – 7.15 Newcastle:

Slowly away but also bumped by horse out of neighbouring gate. Lit up and never seemed happy subsequently. Made bit of headway from 2 furlongs before fading.

She’s better than this and better than last forms. But: she is also one to put away for the winter and pull out for the 2023 turf season – I won’t back her on the All-Weather.

Her poor starts will always put her at a disadvantage on the All-Weather. On turf it can be less of an issue. “Thanks” to her poor form recently she will return with a lovely low mark to turf next year.

There are very specific conditions to keep an eye out: she needs a low weight – she is 0/21 if running off higher than 8-12. She clearly prefers smaller fields and will be best placed in a fillies races over 5 furlongs.

Race Replay

Bayraat
01/11/22 – 5.00 Southwell:

Slightly bumped after the start, quickly moved forward, led as part of duo, found plenty under pressure from 2 furlongs out. Caught late. Could be strong piece of form.

Late Handicap debut, high enough opening mark but clearly up to it. Also potentially well handicapped on penultimate Novice form when runner-up. Winner is 83 rated, third franked form off OR 66 in Handicap.

Unlikely to stay beyond 7 furlongs. Forgive nto (15/11) over 7 furlongs when also restraint and never in the race.

Race Replay

Expert Opinion
03/11/22 – 6.00 Chelmsford:

Bit outpaced and awkward early on when caught off the pace from his wider than ideal draw. Hang around the bend, ran home strongly in the home straight for 3rd place. Ran near identical race, although better travelling early on, two weeks later over same CD.

Quirky sort. But down to good mark. Ran to 64 and 63 speed ratings the last two times; similar sort of performances within the last twelve months multiple times off higher handicap marks, as well.

Change of headgear will be really interesting (blinkers) to try and focus him on the job. Normally well capable of travelling strongly tracking the pace over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Going Underground
04/11/22 – 3.05 Newcastle:

Field crawled along for majority of the race, hence was at disadvantage travelling off pace. Made eye-catching progress from 3 furlongs out and looked to come with winning move, but didn’t get the gap until it was too late. Finished well.

Was equally unlucky next time out in the meantime, when denied at short odds once again in desperate circumstances.

Look still ahead of the mark, despite being 7lb higher than when winning nicely a few weeks ago. Is one who clearly can meet trouble in-running. Starting slowly doesn’t help. Not one I want to back at a really short price and if there is a lack of pace in the race.

Twistaline, who was mentioned in a recent edition, endured a sort of similar fate in this race and caught the eye. She’ll remain on my list.

Race Replay

Beattie is Back
04/11/22 – 5.45 Newcastle:

Travelled strongly in midfield, loomed large 2 furlongs out. Continuously a clear run denied, dropped to back of field before finishing strongly in final half furlong right to the line.

Lightly raced, huge run lto, strong form. Stays 7 furlongs too. Possibly needs the step up to be seen to best effect, but deserves another chance over 6 furlongs, too.

Clearly ready to win, but hold-up style not ideal, especially over the shorter trip. Didn’t get an ideal race next time out, too, then over 7 furlongs. Remains of interest, in any case.

Race Replay

Aljari
05/11/22 – 5.00 Chelmsford:

Wide draw in #9, quite keen early as pace wasn’t fast, then travelled seriously well into the home straight. Was mounting strong challenge but couldn’t move through on inside due to tiering rivals around. Got nicely going late when angled out.

This was his comeback ran after break for new yard. Judged on this looked in serious form and confirmed this with another eye catching effort earlier this week, meeting trouble once again.

He’s clearly down to good mark and ready to win. Ran to speed rating 76 last October and 84 in 2020. Want to see him away from Chelmsford, though. Wouldn’t mind six furlongs.

Race Replay

War In Heaven
05/11/22 – 5.00 Chelmsford:

Keen after the start, stumbled badly soon after, jockey just managed to stay on. Very keen subsequently, dropped to rear of field. Finished well to the eye under an easy ride.

Second start for new yard after being gelded too. Didn’t handle Newmarket. Showed some talent earlier this year. Full-bother to useful French juvenile filly Bolivie, who is rated 89 if converted to a British handicap mark.

Ran on Friday. Was a huge drifter in the betting after noon. Bumped a rival soon after the start. Never travelled, before making some nice headway late. I am prepared to give him another chance.

If allowed to run on his merit, this gelding could likely be seriously well handicapped.

Race Replay

Lost In Time
09/11/22 – 6.30 Kempton:

Reared in stall and a consequence slowly away, settled in rear, loads to do from off the pace in a race where the pace wasn’t really on. Sliced his way through the field in impressive manner, without being hard ridden. Finished the last three furlongs fastest.

Second run off a break and for a new yard. Clearly in good nick and down to interesting mark. Ran well in the summer. Can forgive subsequent poor showing. Achieved three 77+ speed ratings, although these date back some time now.

Not sold on a mile, probably 7 furlongs will be ideal. But will keep an open mind, it’s going to be a judgement call. A race with lack of pace over a mile not out of question, given he tends to race prominently, normally.

Race Replay

All Are Mine
10/11/22 – 8.00 Chelmsford:

Widest draw and not quite so sharply away, but soon moved aggressively forward to join the leader, bit keen. Travelled well into the home straight. No match for winner but did well to hold on for second.

Was a serious eye-catcher on debut in May. Won a maiden at Windsor in the meantime. Will be really interesting once he moves up to 10 furlongs, given the pedigree, out of a solid German Diane Trial mare. Should be better than this mark then.

Race Replay

Sovereign Slipper
12/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Overcame wide draw to cross over quickly and track the pace. Bit too keen in the early stages, but then travelled really powerfully into the home straight. No match for winner who had it a bit easier.

Possibly points to the fact he’s got not much in hand right now. Was progressive last year. Comeback run lto can be discounted. Should enjoy step up to 7 furlongs on pedigree.

His tendency to race keenly is a concern. If he can settle, he could find some improvement over that trip, as he already ran to a good speed rating that could mean he’s then well handicapped – if the aforementioned conditions are met, that says.

Race Replay

Give A Little Back
12/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Slowly away from his wide draw trailing and outpaced halfway through, before making serious progress from over 3f out, finished clear second best, without being asked to fully extend.

Trip too sharp. Showed he can race more prominently over further in the past. Second start after small break and for new yard.

Showed bit of talent when fine 3rd in a Wolverhampton maiden over 7 furlongs in May; 1.5l behind first and second who are 81 and 83 rated these days.

Clearly must have had issues since then but is possibly a bit better than a mark of 68. Interesting up in trip and if the market shows a bit of love.

Race Replay

Fair and Square
14/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Had it pretty easy to get to the lead, although not uncontested. Travelled strongly to 1.5f out, then tired gradually, still held on for fine 2nd, couldn’t match momentum of winner from further back in the field.

Still a maiden. But often runs well, to give the handicapper not many reasons to drop him in a meaningful way, other than piecemeal one or two pounds here and there.

Ran 4x to speed ratings 59+ on all surfaces. I feel he needs a below par run to get a meaningful drop in the ratings. Once that happened, he’ll be seriously interesting.

Race Replay

Bin Hayyan
15/11/22 – 6.45 Newcastle:

Restrained in rear, huge disadvantage as the field crawled for the first half of the race. Eye-catching progress from three furlongs out, travelled strongly, but clear run denied until approaching final furlong when finishing much the best.

Was a big price, and unusual race tactics deployed. On a pretty good mark already. market will be guide to his chances. If on a proper going day, and ridden closer the pace again, could be well handicapped over 7 furlongs max.

Race Replay

Global Walk
16/11/22 – 4.38 Southwell:

Quickly overcame his wide draw to move forward and track the leader as first follower. Travelled well into the home straight but tired quite badly from 2f out.

Return after 13 months off the track. Won well when last seen, the form of that novice contest worked out well. Likely to be better than this and could have more to offer off OR 80, with this run under his belt and from a better draw.

Race Replay

Starter For Ten
16/11/22 – 8.30 Kempton:

Total nonsense ride. Call it dumb or deliberate…. in any case, price gave it away, he wasn’t expected to run well.

Ducked left from second widest draw, rushed forward on wide outside going after the seriously strong leader and eventual winner. Faded away soon.

Was pretty consistent this year, got desperately close at Southwell, ran to 60 speed rating there, other mid-50s since then, ties in well with previous best speed ratings produced.

Will be really interesting below mark of 60 again over 6 furlongs.

Race Replay

Dark Side Prince
17/11/22 – 7.30 Chelmsford:

In the middle of the pack in a wild first furlong, went wide around the home turn and gave a lot of ground away before fading in straight. Didn’t seem to enjoy the chaos of the first half of the race.

Since his return from a break the last two he hasn’t look as good and sharp as when winning three on the bounce last year. But these two runs can be upgraded for various reasons in my view.

Comes down to good mark again. Would want to see next time whether he shows a bit more sharpness, and ideally has another run that sees his mark drop to 65 or lower.

Race Replay

Mick’s Spirit
17/11/22 – 7.30 Chelmsford:

Went forward and set fast fractions, doing too much to get to that pole position. Looked like to get a bit of a break from 2f out, before going down late.

Really consistent front-runner. Therefore somewhat in the grip of the handicapper. One to keep an eye on for a poor run that could help to see the handicapper giving him a chance.

Race Replay

Motawaafeq
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Aggressive run from the front, went too hard in the first half of the race and faded from 2f out on first run since April.

Won a seller when last seen prior to this comeback. Usually a front-runner. Can go over 7f and a mile; have no interest beyond that.

Ran twice to speed ratings 69+ on the All-Weather (1m, Kempton). Whether he’s still quite as good remains to be seen. Want to see a bit more help from the handicapper, then in the right conditions a compelling selection.

(Runs Saturday this afternoon. #10 draw over 8.5 doesn’t strike as ideal conditions)

Race Replay

Wadacre Grace
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Better start than lto when completely missing it, albeit still not overly sharp, soon went forward to join the leader pushing a good pace, before dropping into second. Found plenty under pressure, especially staying on strongly in the final furlong for 2nd place.

Especially impressive after pushing the pace to finish so well. Ties in well with her eye-catching lto performance. She is clearly ripe to win, but starting issues are always a question mark.

Still lightly raced enough to find a couple pounds of improvement. She stays a mile and has initriguing entries against her own sex next week.

Race Replay

Solanna
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Restrained from #10 draw. Trailed field. Started to make excellent progress from 3f out. Couldn’t quite sustain strong challenge in final furlong but also not the clearest of runs through.

Perhaps showed more than connections may have wanted. best performance when no worse than midfield, tracking pace. This run clearly indicates a horse in good form.

Caught the eye on penultimate run as well when way too aggressive from front. Will be really interesting down in class 6, ideally with a tiny bit of help from the handicapper, too.

Race Replay

Vitesse Du Son
18/11/22 Kempton – 8.15 Kempton:

Moved rapidly forward and set a fast pace. Started to slow markedly from over three furlongs out. Had to pay tribute to early exertions, before the cavalry came from behind and swallowed him up in earnest.

Good performance after small break. Ran a number of good races this season, but career best on sand. Want to see a couple pounds less, a mark of 48, over 7 furlongs will spark my financial interest.

Stays a mile, though and nearly stole it the next time over 8.5f at Wolverhampton. May run well next time and could be in the grip of the handicapper. I’m happy to wait for the right day, granted he still shows the same spark as he did over the last half year.

Race Replay

Surprise Picture
19/11/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Hurried up to move forward from the gates, bit awkward. Tracked pace, not an economical run. Short of room 1f from home when coming with a challenge. Strong piece of form.

Caught the eye early in November, too, when caught wide, and again received a seriously uneconomical ride.

Multiple times ran to speed ratings of 68+ this year. Clearly on a winnable mark. Can stay a mile but I don’t want to back him beyond 7 furlongs these days as his best performances this year come over the sprint distances and they are my reference.

(Runs Saturday: 8.5f at Wolverhampton)

Race Replay

May Remain
26/11/22 – 7.50 Wolverhampton:

Led from low draw, although pestered. Kicked on well, but ultimately no chance with impressive winner from off the pace. Did well to hold on for second. Clear second best, despite trip too far.

6 furlongs max. Interesting if down in trip and with any further reduction in his mark. Caught the eye on turf in June, too.

Race Replay

Dubai Immo
26/11/22 – 7.50 Wolverhampton:

Slowly away, rushed up to get to the top of the field after the first furlong, did way too much in the first three furlongs but only faded late in the home straight, hanging to the left, as well.

Clearly a colt with issues but also some talent as spring form showed. Would be really interesting once gelded, ideally over 7 furlongs (certainly not beyond a mile) at Wolverhampton or Chelmsford. His sire has a strong record in those circumstances, too.

Race Replay

Ooh Is It
28/11/22 – 6.25 Wolverhampton:

Started quickly and set the world alight in the first half of the race. No surprise to see him tire rather badly from 3f out, nonetheless, still held a 1 lengths advantage at the final furlong marker.

This is strong form. Good race. Winner was well handicapped and caught the eye recently. Ooh Is It ran to strong 73 speed rating as well – in comparison to his current mark intriguing, if left alone by the handicapper, he’s certainly ready to win.

He doesn’t truly stays 5 furlongs. A few slightly odd performances lately. Once he drops down to the minimum trip I reckon he’ll be ready to rock.

Race Replay

The Thin Blue Line
28/11/22 – 6.25 Wolverhampton:

Widest draw, wide early, then settled last. Loads to do from back of the field but started to make serious headway from 3f out, always under hands and heels, until progress stopped at the final furlong marker when short of room. Fasted from 4f to 1f out.

Can race much more prominently, and best over the minimum trip. Will be interesting down to 5f. Down to last win mark (turf). Would love to see another run and couple pounds off before him racing over 5f again. Need to watch.

Race Replay

Bernard Spierpoint
28/11/22 – 8.25 Wolverhampton

Keen early on when grabbing the lead, hard to see most of the race due to fog. Caught and headed over 1f out. Ran well for very long over trip most likely too far.

Probably stays 6 furlongs and looks potentially seriously well handicapped now, especially as the run confirms his wellbeing.

His best all over the minimum trip. Want to see him down to 5f again. Will be very well handicapped then, if mark doesn’t creep up before.

Race Replay

Satin Snake
28/11/22 – 2.45 Kempton

Widest draw, trailed and still in last position 2f out, when outpaced from 3f out as pace increased. Excellent progress in the last two furlongs, finishing exceptionally well, especially against the pace bias in a slowly run race.

Second run for new yard. Stays 7 furlongs, also acts over 6 furlongs. Looks on good mark and ready to win a race.

Race Replay

Paddy K
28/11/22 – 3.15 Kempton:

Ducked left out of the gate (tends to do that), then moved rapidly forward to lead the field. Challenged from 2f out, hang twice from over 1f out, just tired inside the final half furlong. Speed rating matched his mark.

Not sure he truly stays 7 furlongs. Perhaps if uncontested setting easy fractions could get him to stay the trip. Otherwise 6f with good pace certainly preferred. Tricky horse. Can pull, can hang, can mess up at the gate, but clearly on a good mark now.

Caught the eye a few times lately, especially when last time over 6f at Newcastle: he rallied strongly, after showing early signs of keenness and bumping a rival. Also seriously strong on last turf start.

Doesn’t have tons in hand. Want to see mark untouched and ideal conditions either over 6 or 7 furlongs.

Race Replay

Boom The Groom
29/11/22 – 3.20 Lingfield:

Quick start from gate #9. On the lead but pestered and kept honest, formed pace setting duo until turning for home when travelling sweetly. Not beaten far. Ran solid speed rating here, in line with current mark.

Limed runs on the All-Weather in last while. Down to good mark already. Still acts over 5 furlongs and stays 6 furlongs if not too much other pace around.

Ideally finds a way to get his mark reduced to 60 and drops into 0-60. Will be seriously well handicapped then. Need perfect pace scenario to become interested otherwise. Probably rated just about right to his current level now.

Race Replay

Spacer
29/11/22 – 5.50 Wolverhampton:

Good start, right up with pace setters early on before settling in 3rd. Under pressure from 3f out, seemingly came back to it entering the home straight before short of room and effort effort petered out.

Too high in the mark and class too hot. Caught the eye on turf in July and strong reference performance in October at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs.

Doesn’t stay a mile. Needs a few pounds off. Want to see him over 7 furlongs and dropping into 0-75 class. It’s a wait and see with him over the next weeks.

Race Replay

Waverley Star
30/11/22 – 3.25 Lingfield:

Fast start, led the field for home, kicked on from 3f out out, still going well turning into the home straight. Headed with half a furlong to go.

He looks a pure 5f sprinter and will have options with a further reduction of his mark. Ran a few times really well, including a win, earlier this year, doing so off lower weights.

With a good draw and not much competition for the lead he’ll always have a chance off his current rating to go close over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Haseef
30/11/22 – 5.15 Kempton:

Bounced out of the gate and set solid early fractions. Good lead turning for home, but couldn’t really kick on 2f out and tired in the closing stages quite badly.

Doesn’t stay the trip, despite an eye-catching penultimate effort over the same CD. Would be interesting to see him race over 7 furlongs on the All-Weather again. Has proven form over 6 furlongs, too.

Ran twice to speed ratings 59+ this summer over sprint distances. Still a maiden after 15 runs but certainly not without hope.

Race Replay

Tricky Business
02/12/12 – 3.05 Newcastle:

Rapidly moved forward to grab uncontested lead, setting pretty good fractions. Beaten 2f out and fell completely away in the closing stages. Nothing that ran close to the pace was able to sustain an effort, though; everything came from off the pace here.

First start for new yard. No hope to stay a mile. Even 7 furlongs most likely a stretch. 6f is his trip. Buried the last runs without intend to do much.

In that context he caught the the eye here: he’s still all enthusiasm. Once in the right race, will be interesting.

Race Replay

Seesawing
02/12/22 – 5.15 Newcastle:

Led toward stands’ side, somewhat isolated. Travelled well, before hanging toward the middle of the track from 2f out; tiering late and losing a few places.

Entitled to tire, was 330 days off. Changed yards in November too. On a solid mark that offers opportunities. 7 furlongs with a turn could be really interesting – was placed at Kempton and Lingfield over 7f last year, ran to 63 speed rating as well.

There could well be a bit more to come after only eight career runs for this 5-year-old gelding.

Race Replay

Friday Selections: 2nd December 2022

5.15 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

The filly Giselles Izzy ran the most bizarre race three weeks ago at Wolverhampton over the shorter 6 furlongs trip. She wasn’t sharply away from the #1 gate, had to be encouraged to move forward until she found herself stuck behind a wall of horses and was pulled back to the rear of the field.

She then made some eye-catching progress from 3 furlongs out against the inside rail, eventually slicing through the field easily under hands and heels while not finding the smoothest of passages. Nonetheless, she finished by far the fastest.

One of the most bizarre performances and rides I have seen this year. The steadied start and energy conserved played a part, yet the seriously strong finish under hands and heels points to the filly being in excellent form.

Normally only a horse in good form can do what she did in the backend of the race. That was her second run off a small break. She did well the two times before on turf.

Now back over 7 furlongs, she deserves another chance. She should stay on pedigree.

I don’t like fillies during the winter, and certainly none that may mess up the start. But I simply can’t get her latest most incredible run out of my head.

10pts win – Giselles Izzy @ 10.5/1

……..

6.15 Newcastle: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

This looks a hot contest and possibly a minefield to try and find the winner. But I feel it’s noteworthy that money comes for War In Heaven. It’s the sign I was hoping to see after an eye-catching run four weeks ago at Chelmsford.

There he was quite keen after the start, stumbled badly soon after and the jockey just managed to stay on board. He continued to race keenly before dropping to the rear of field.

He finished well to the eye under an easy ride eventually, and one could have wondered “what if” .

That was the second start for a new yard after being gelded as well; a clear sign that he’s moving in the right direction. One can forgive the Newmarket comeback run, though.

He showed some talent earlier this year, especially when winning twice over 6 furlongs at Lingfield. He’s also a full-bother to useful French juvenile filly Bolivie, who is rated 89 if converted to a British handicap mark.

Down to 6 furlongs looks a positive, as it should help to settle. Cheek-pieces fitted may help too. If allowed to run on his merit, this gelding could be seriously well handicapped. However, to keep in mind, he showed a tendency for starting poorly in the past, and that could end his chances prematurely. It’s worth the risk.

10pts win – War In Heaven @ 10/1