Tag Archives: 2022

Friday Selections: 29th July 2022

2.25 Goodwood: Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes, 1m

Rocchigiani caught the eye twice this year. Now stepping up to a mile again he looks the one to beat in this contest in my eyes, hence I am delighted with the odds on offer.

The German raider always tracked the pace and travelled pretty well until 2.5 furlongs from home in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. He couldn’t move forward with horses right in front of him but also appeared flat footed when gaps opened up. He ran on nicely in the closing stages for a solid 5th place finish, though.

He had to give about three pounds of weight away to the majority of the field that day. No easy task, even less so on fast ground and 7 furlongs. Clearly the test was too sharp, but equally clearly he came out with his reputation enhanced.

Earlier the season he would have been a runaway winner of the German 2000 Guineas, if not for the exciting Maljoom. Rocchigiani was always right on the speed and kicked on as soon as he entered the home straight. He had the entire field off the bridle; only the late finishing Maljoom got to him in the end.

The fast ground at Goodwood is a slight question mark. Although, it wasn’t slow at Cologone either, so I’m hopeful it won’t be too much of an issue for him here.

10pts win – Rocchigiani  @ 13/2

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6.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Scale Force finished a few weeks ago over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton in a manner that suggested he’s ready to win. He had a troubled run, which started with usual poor start, and was short of room over a furlong out at a crucial stage.

Down to a mark of 56 now, he’s possibly quite well handicapped, given he performed strongly off higher marks earlier this year, most notably off a 66 mark over 5 furlongs at Wolverhampton in February when he finished half a lengths beaten in third, and his topspeed matched his mark.

If he doesn’t mess up the start this time he should be a prime chance to win, especially with the valuable 5lb claim of Aiden Keeley in the saddle.

10pts win – Scale Force @ 12/1

Thursday Selections: 28th July 2022

1.50 Goodwood: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

A seriously competitive Handicap. I can make a case for a number of horses here. And that’s why I’d rather not get involved in these type of races – usually. But I am too excited about Migdam not to get involved after all.

He is short enough in the betting but I reckon could look like a generous price post race if he turns out to be anywhere near as good as I think he can be.

Leaving his debut firmly behind in when winning his second and third career run last year, he started this season at Doncaster last month. It was his handicap debut as well and he proved to be well ahead of his opening mark.

He travelled well, he was brave, he overcame some bumps and trouble during the race and then kicked away in impressive fasion in the final furlong to leave some decent opposition standing – including next time out winner Adjourn.

This here is much harder and he’s 5lb higher in the mark: he’s yet to run especially fast judged on topspeed. But he looks to have tons of upside, possibly as a stakes horse and should be capable of better than a 95 Official Rating. He was also noted to have been working really well at home too, which gives me additional confidence.

10pts win – Migdam @ 7/2

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7.30 Epsom: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Falesia Beach on decent ground over 7 furlongs off a 71 mar? Sounds like the ideal scenario I envisioned when she ran into my notebook at Newmarket six weeks ago.

Back then over 6 furlongs, she was outpaced at various stages of the race but fought really gamely all the way to the line to finish third only half a lengths beaten.

Clearly she needs an additional furlong, as does her pedigree suggest given the stamina on the dam side, plus previous performances indicating that too.

She is still lightly raced enough to see some improvement, certainly over 7 furlongs on decent to fast ground, which, judged by the Newmarket performance, could be what she wants.

She ran to topspeed 71 that day too. So if she can improve for the additional furlong on this type of ground then there is every chance she will be well-handicapped.

10pts win – Falesia Beach @ 7/2

Wednesday Selections: 27th July 2022

It’s a funny old game. It really is. Early in the month things were just flowing and going my way. Now the total opposite is the case.

Today was especially hard to swallow because I was quite clearly on the best horse in the race. Night On Earth ran a huge race in 3rd place today. Especially taking into consideration that the jockey lost an iron early after an awkward start. The gelding severely lit up went off way too hard in front subsequently.

Only half a lengths beaten in the end, he clearly was seriously well handicapped. I fear he possibly has shown too much to the handicapper now. Wait and see if he remains of interest.

In any case, it’s fitting for a 12th consecutive loser. I really could do with a winner again.

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5.20 Goodwood: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

Even though Mums Tipple hasn’t won in well over a year and was most likely fully tuned up for his latest Newmarket run, he is of high interest in this race, given he is allowed to race off the same 92 handicap mark as last time out.

About three weeks ago he travelled nicely, tracking the eventual winner for most of the race, made rapid- and certainly eye-catching progress from three furlongs out and looked sure to go close.

If he would have ran in a straight line he may well have won on the day, but he hang to his left and that cost him not only the victory but also second place in the end.

Yet Mums Tipple ran the fastest combined split for the last two furlongs and showed he has enough stamina to see out the trip strongly even in a tough finish. He also ran right to his current Official Rating on topspeed, which underlines the quality of this performance.

We know he has plenty of speed over shorter trips, too. He acts well on fast ground. He enjoys a top draw in stall #2 and should himself in a perfect spot for the majority of the race, which will Sean Levey plenty of options.

Ultimately Mums Tipple is a straightforward, uncomplicated horse. There don’t appear many well-handicapped horses in this field. He won’t need luck in running – he simply needs to show the same level of form as three weeks ago.

Therein lies the only concern I have: can he back up such a strong performance only 19 days later? I’m happy to find out with my money riding on him.

10pt win – Mums Tipple @ 9/1

Tuesday Selections: 26th July 2022

4.10 Goodowood: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Night On Earth really catches the eye here off 2lb lower than earlier this month when he ran a huge race at Newmarket. He was isolated on the near rail but looked dangerous for quite some time until fading in the final furlong. I felt that performance was noteworthy and clear proof the 4-year-old is in fine form.

He ran quite well a number of times this year already, whether that be on turf or the All-Weather, including two victories at Kempton and Lingfield and even more importantly in my view, a strong third place in April at Newmarket off a 95 mark while running to topspeed 94 that day.

He couldn’t quite match those heights in the following weeks and months but had mitigating factors more than once. As a consequence he’s now down to a rating of 89.

On the basis of those forms from earlier this season he’s seriously well-handicapped; in the light of his recent eye-catching run he’s almost certainly in with a huge shout in this race.

The cherry on the cake is the booking of Frederick Larson, who claims 5lb. There aren’t many negatives – if one, then there’s the draw that may prove tricky, depending how the pace plays out. On the other hand he usually starts well, can be ang up with the pace, and that can be an advantage at this speed favouring track.

Even though this is a typically competiive and hot sprint Handicap at Glorious Goodwood, not many appear overly well threated off their current marks. Night On Earth is one of very few who ticks most boxes. For me he is significantly overpriced here.

10pts win – Night On Earth @ 10.5

Saturday Selections: 23rd July 2022

It’s been a rather quiet week so far. But I have five selections for what I call a proper “Super Saturday” today. As we’re on the home stretch in July I could do with another winner to “ring fence” the profit for the month.

Please read my comprehensive preview for the King George here.

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2.25 Ascot: Group 3 Valient Stakes, 1m

I fully understand why Zanbaq is favourite in this contest, but the price is silly in my view. It’s a different proposition stepping up from a Handicap, albeit a strong one at Royal Ascot, to Group 3 level. The fact she can miss the break and likely will have to come from off the pace could turn out to be a significant disadvantage too.

The one seriously overpriced is German raider Novemba. She has to give weight away to the younger generation but she is a proven Stakes filly with a Classic victory to her name.

Her third place behind Real World last October is the standout form on offer in this race. She couldn’t match this form in two starts this season, but she needed the run at Baden-Baden and wasn’t disgraced at Royal Ascot in the Duke Of Cambridge.

The round track will suit her better today. She likes to be up with the pace. Being on the speed should be an advantage today, in my view, especially on fast ground.

Saying that, the ground is a concern. No question she prefers it softer. But she can act on a faster surface and I feel given she’s likely the best filly in the race and may enjoy a tactical advantage over key rivals, she is clearly overpried.

10pts win – Novemba @ 7/1

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3.35 Ascot: Group 1 King George, 1m 4f

10pt win – Mishriff @ 10/3

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5.20 Ascot: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Jawaal was beaten by a combined margin of 23 lengths+ in four starts this year although he didn’t ran quite that badly in my view. He certainly caught the eye in his two starts in May, actually and also had sometimes more, sometimes less, valid excuses the last two times.

In any case, as a consequence of finishing down the field four times in a row, he has fallen dramatically in the official ratings. If he is indeed better than the bare forms suggest, as I believe, and he can find back to somewhere closer to last seasons form, he’d be a massive runner today.

He won twice in 2021, and ran to topspeed 98 at Haydock in September – arguably a career best – and also achieved 84 and 89 topspeeds earlier the year.

In truth, even with valid excuses, the way he finished his races this year doesn’t suggest he’s close to that. On the other hand he usually travelled quite smoothly, but found trouble in-running and didn’t produce any significant kick once in the clear.

That can be a sure sign for his waning ability now as a 7-year-old. Nonetheless, down to a mark of 89, with ideal fast ground conditions, at track he’s CD winner and potentially cheek-pieces to help in a wide open contest, I’ll give him a chance to find some form. If he does he’ll be hard to beat.

10pts win – Jawaal @ 9/1

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7.30 Salisbury: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

I quite like Delagate This Lord here who will probably enjoy ideal conditions stepping back up to 6 furlongs again. But I struggle to bring myself backing an 8-year-old, especially with an exciting alternative.

Perhaps even a blind man would have seen the eyecatching run Prophecy produced earlier this month at Ffos Las. He couldn’t get a clear run at all, yet finished supremely well on the bridle in the closing stages, matching the quickest final furlong. He looked like a horse well ahead of his mark.

That was his comeback run after a long break. He changed yards too. Still a maiden after 10 lifetime starts, though he showed a bit of promise on the All-Weather. Today is only his third run on turf. He looks pretty unexposed for the surface and there looks to be significant improvement to come, judged on the last run.

There are clear risks attached today, and that’s probably the reason why he’s as a big a price he is: the potential “bounce factor”, the firm ground may not be ideal, given his full-sister did her best running on softer, and he probably will improve markedly for a step up in trip.

And yet at given odds I can’t ignore him, too impressive was this recent run, too far ahead of his mark he appears to be.

10pts win – Prophecy @ 6/1

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8.40 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Sir Philip caught the eye on his handicap debut over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton earlier this month. Five furlongs are certainly too sharp as was evidence when he struggled badly at the back of the field. He finished nicely on the eye though, without being overly hard ridden in the closing stages.

Stepping up to 7 furlongs looks the right move on pedigree and visual evidence from all his races. He is still lightly raced and completely unexposed over this trip. Down to a mark of 59 he has opportunities I feel, especially in a weak race.

Drawn in stall 1 offers a way forward, I hope but is also a danger. If he misses the break he could be left in a poor position. He showed that he can start quickly on his second career run, incidentally the only one beyond fife furlongs to date.

10pts win – Sir Philip @ 13.5

King George Preview 2022

A small but certainly select field makes this edition of the King George an exciting renewal. Some of the very best older horses meet the leading lights of the 2022 Classic generation.

All eyes are naturally drawn to Westover: an unlucky third in the English Derby and subsequent runaway winner of the Irish Derby. He’s been seriously progressive this season and today is about telling us whether there’s even more to come.

Of course the rematch with Desert Crown was highly anticipated but won’t be happening for quite some time, it seems likely now. That doesn’t distract from the intrigue that surrounds Ralph Beckett’s colt.

The son of Frankel is hard to fault. A progressive sort, he created visually a strong impression at the Curragh when landing the Irish Derby where he also ran to topspeed 100 as easy as you like. He confirmed his strong Derby performance that saw him run to topspeed 106 despite the well documented trouble he encountered in the home straight.

What the Curragh form is worth remains to be seen. And another question mark remains: how does he cope with proper fast ground? Could he be found out for speed on this ground in a race with a possibly muddling pace? He’s a short enough price to find out.

The other three-year-old in the field is English Oaks runner-up Emily Upjohn.

Many will argue she was quite unlucky that day at Epsom. Perhaps she lost the race at the start, although, that is my view, she had every opportunity to win in any case, given the winner Tuesday didn’t enjoy the smoothest of runs either.

Prior to the Oaks the John Gosden trained filly was a runaway winner of Musidora Stakes and won in even more impressive style on her seasonal reappearance at Sandown. If not for the neck beaten effort at Epsom she’d be unbeaten in four career runs.

Yet, in my view she appears to be seriously vulnerable. The fact of the matter is the figures are against her. She ran to topspeeds 95 at York and 97 at Epsom. Circumstances play a role in these figures, yet they tell a story at the same time and Emily Upjohn had opportunities to prove she is top-class on speed ratings as well.

She may well do so today. In fairness, she looks progressing all the time. But she has to take another big step forward today.

Mishriff was certainly an unlucky horse in the Coral Eclipse earlier this month. Short of room at a crucial stage, he finished much the best and was only a neck beaten by brilliant 3-year-old Vadeni. Another day he wins the race.

He is top-rated in this field, up to 5lb clear on official ratings There’s good reason for it. A runner-up in the 2021 edition of the King George, just beaten by excellent Derby winner Adayar, he went on to land the Juddmonte International in great style a few weeks later.

He ran to topspeed 116 and 118 in those two races. He ran 108 at Sandown. there is a slight question mark whether he truly is in love with the 1m 4f trip. Most likely the race today will turn out a test of speed more than pure stamina, so it’s unlikely to be an issue.

Mishriff is the class-act in the field and if he can improve just a tiny bit from Sandown – not impossible, given he came off a break – he’s going to be hard to beat, I reckon.

I love to see Torquator Tasso here. It’s brave by trainer Marcel Weiss to take a chance on ground most likely too fast for last years Arc hero. Weiss also has been quite open in admitting Torquator Tasso won’t be 100% today. Defending his crown in Paris is the ultimate goal.

There are questions marks over the validity of his Arc victory because of the heavy ground that day. He was a shock winner. Nonetheless, he’s a multiple Group 1 winner regardless. Clearly top-class, he deserved to be in this field. As much as I would love to see him do the “Danedream Double” it’s difficult to see.

The two long-shots Pyledriver and Broome are given little chance in the betting. The latter is clearly the more interesting one, in my view. An excellent winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, he ran to topspeed 108 that day – that level of form entitles him to have a fair shot, today, especially on fast ground and his ability to go from the front.

Selection:

The market is tight but still underestimates Mishriff, who is clearly the best horse in the race. If he can run to the level of form he produced last summer in this very race and subsequently at York – and the Eclipse indicates he can – then he is simply too good for the rest in this field.

He has to give weight away to some smart younger horses, but he looks well capable of doing that in my book. On topspeed nothing in this field gets even close to him. I have him around a 5/2 chance as fair price. So there’s still a bit of juice left, albeit not that much.

10pts win – Mishriff @ 10/3