Tag Archives: All-Weather

Assegai’s a big price on the Greyville Poly

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.25 Greyville: MR 95 Handicap, 1.900m

Not much going on on the domestic front so lets head to South Africa for an intriguing Handicap on the Greyville Polytrack. Some really good horses are going to post there, most notably the top weight Blance Sheet, a 3 year old gelding who tried to take on the best in Graded company recently.

He’s not been disgraced but found it much easier when dropped into Handicap company the last time when landing a good MR98. He’s up in the mark and tries a new trip today – which he failed to stay in the past – so that is a negative for the short favourite.

Lightly raced Krambambuli took on much stronger the last two. He was a fair third in the Cape Derby, but couldn’t back it up. This is easier and he is likely to get the trip, but in truth he has only won a low-grade handicap to date.

De Kock’s Trip To Rio could be interesting if he stays the 1900m trip. He was second in a 1m Listed event on the poly last year but utterly disappointing when last seen in a MR92 Handicap. He could well improve, though definitely has to so as more is required here.

I’m quite interested in four year old Assegai. He is the only course and distance winner in the field and was impressive when landing a MR 90 Handicap over CD on his penultimate run. He wasn’t disgraced when fifth in a very hot Listed event subsequently, taking on seasoned top class graded hoses. He will find this today much easier. He had a little break since then but usually does very well as a fresh horse.

He has to be at his best in order to give weight away to the smart three year olds, though with conditions very much in his favour, might well be able to do so. Top jockey is booked today – at 10/1 he looks overpriced in this field.

Assegai @ 10/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win

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Amazing Speed can live up to her name

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

Punchestown is truly alive! Some great jump racing all along, though a shame that Hurricane Fly didn’t quite get home strongly enough to beat old foe Jezki in the big 3m Hurdle. He remains a hero nonetheless, but probably deserves his retirement now. Anyway, betting wise I concentrate on the flat these days and there is a very interesting maiden at Lingfield’s All-Weather taking place….

4.10 Lingfield: Maiden 7 furlongs

A hot little race – I’m most interested in Godolphin’s Amazing Speed, though. This big, scopy filly is really well bred and no doubt will get much further in time. She should be good enough to get off the mark in a maiden over the seven furlong trip, however I hope. She really caught my eye in a competitive maiden over the same distance at Newmarket during the Craven meeting.

She didn’t quite enjoy the run of the race from her position further back in the field and was a bit short of room around 2f out. She had to switch in order to get a clear run but showed greenness, which is no surprise on her debut run. But the way she finished the race under a light hands and heels ride was utterly impressive.

Jockey James Doyle has only this one ride tomorrow, and that in itself is telling. They must rate the filly highly and I would hope for a big performance tomorrow, also given the fact that she should relish the All-Weather given her pedigree.

Amazing Speed @ 2/1 Paddy Power – 10pts win

Friday Night at Dundalk: Report + Photos

Dundalk last night has been great! As always – I have to say. It never disappoints. Of course it helps if your 10/1 selection goes in, though! It was my third visit to Ireland’s only All-Weather track. The course is often hailed by trainers for its consistently excellent surface. Well maintained, not much kick-back, and with the false rail installed it is a fair track to race on these days.

Punters alike favour the track because the form stands up and most importantly you can see some good horses in action as well, usually in the feature race on the night. So happened yesterday, as outlined in my preview. The Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Race saw some really nice sorts going to post and it promised to be a real cracker. It didn’t disappoint! A three runner photo finish – exciting stuff!

Postulation held on to win it for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. He finished a good runner-up behind subsequent John F Kennedy conqueror Success Days – so no surprise to see him going close here. Favourite Queen Nefertiti finished only third – but she should come on for the run and looked well in the parade ring before, like a filly that has clearly trained on.

Postulation
Postulation

Runner-up The Happy Prince for Aiden O’Brien in hands of his son Joseph travelled like the winner until the furlong marker, but didn’t quite find enough in the end. Yet he followed-up with a good performance on his recent Limerick success and is a nice type for the future.

Shannon Soul was beaten in fourth but was clearly the most impressive individual in the parade ring. Put him in your tracker, he may be able to win a nice race soon.

Kilimanjaro was a nice winner for the O’Brien team in the last race on the card. He contested in two hot maidens last season, showed himself much improved on his second start back then, but really made visually a good impression here at Dundalk in the parade ring. He won the maiden over the extended 10f trip in good fashion, really seemed to get rolling in the closing stages. He has a Derby entry. You wouldn’t expect him to be good enough. But the first time hood helped and sometimes these O’Brien horses can improve explosively, as we all know.

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro

Personal highlight on the card was undoubtedly the win of Iron Major. If you read my preview yesterday, you know I tipped him to win at 10/1 – and he obliged duly. Inexperienced 10lb claimer Oisin Orr delivered a confident ride from the back of the field and went through an open gape 2f out. Iron Major found plenty when asked for an effort and was clearly well handicapped, as imagined beforehand.

Iron Major
Iron Major

Dundalk All-Weather

Iron Major’s a huge price

DSC_1531

I’ll be on my way to Dundalk today – for their weekly Friday night meeting. It’s far from a high class card, but I really like the track. A fair All-Weather surface, excellent facilities and a relaxed atmosphere. That’s all I need to be happy.

The feature on the card is the 7.35 Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Race for three year olds. A really good race one has to stay – the stand-out race by a mile this evening. There are a couple of promising individuals in the line-up, none less than the favourite Queen Nefertiti. She made a big impression when last seen at Leopardstown. O’Brien’s colt The Happy Prince won a maiden recently, while looking still very green. He’s a nice prospect, but that can be said about each and every runner. Great race!

Betting wise, I’ve serious interest only in one race – the 7.05 Handicap over seven furlongs. It looks open enough but I do feel veteran Iron Major is hugely overpriced at 10/1 – if he is fit on his seasonal debut. He’s down to a very low mark now, and has additional assistance of a 10lb claimer. Without coming close to win in his last eight starts, he performed with credit of much higher marks nonetheless.

In this modest field he is one who is proven over course and distance and has a very good chance to go close in my mind. That says only if he is fit enough for his first start in 2015. Concern is that his trainer hasn’t hit any sort of form yet. But I’m prepared to take the risk as Iron Major is more like a 5/1 chance in this field for me.

Iron Major @ 10/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win

Mr Bossy Boots can make feather weight count

An intriguing race that brings proven top class handicappers with progressive & lightly raced individuals together. At the top of the ratings is classy Outback Traveller who has a huge weight to defy. On pure class he is the one they all have to beat – but I feel the improving Mr Bossy Boots is probably the one they all have to fear most.

He has the benefit of a feather weight because he is the lowest rated horse in the race, but this lightly raced colt looks to have much more on the plate than the ratings suggest. He was very impressive a very impressive winner at Lingfield in January, when he looked still very green and raw, was pulling hard but surged clear with ease in the closing stages. Obviously he has to step up markedly in class today, but the handicapper’s 5lb hike in the mark for this most recent triumph has been lenient in my mind. That says Mr Bossy Boots could be a good deal ahead of this mark and must have a major chance today.

Also improving and an impressive winner was Speculative Bid. He looked in a completely different class than his rivals in a class 4 Handicap here at Kempton. He has been hit with a big hike in the mark, but looks well up to it. Though very much up in class, he may not get a smooth a ride through this time. Same may apply for Ninjago who won well first time blinkered over CD recently, but had it all going for himself.

2.15 Kempton: Class 2 Handicap, 7 furlongs:
Mr Bossy Boots @ 4/1 Coral – 5pts win

All-Weather Championships Day

It’s good Friday, it’s Easter weekend and it is a fantastic day for  top class racing. Lingfield’s All-Weather Championships card is simply brilliant – it brings quality horses together on a surface that is often dismayed by purists. I’m a huge fan of the All-Weather though, and think it is particularly spectacular if good horses competing on it. So it’s a a fantastic day of racing on the tab – let’s hope it’s a profitable one as well!

1.40 Lingfield: All-weather Fillies’ And Mares’ Championships

A very hot renewal with plenty of interesting runners. I feel that in these kind of Conditions races quality is what matters most, and that should mean horses right at the head of the ratings are often favoured. Plenty of money is coming for Lamar. I’m not sure if the drop in trip suits her and she looks short enough in the betting. Khatiba is progressive, so is Don’t Be. Expect them to be right in the mix.

Overpriced is the French filly Fresles, though. A 4/1 chance, she is a full point bigger than I would have thought she’d be in the betting. This filly has had a strong run over 6f in Listed company here at Lingfield in November when she came agonisingly close. Since then she won a Listed race over 7f in France on the All-Weather and produced a very fine prep  run over slightly shorter earlier this month. She’ll be primed and could have a tactical advantage from her good draw today.

Fresles @ 4/1 Coral – 5pts win

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2.10 Lingfield: All-weather Sprint Championships

The red hot favourite Pretend looks very hard to beat given how easily he beat similar opposition over five furlongs recently. If he can translate the same sort of form to this 6f trip, then he is hard to beat. But it’s a new day and maybe a bit more open this time, if not at least for the minor placings.

I particularly feel that Boom The Groom is massively overpriced. You can get 33/1 with 1/4 odds each-way with some firms and that looks a cracking bet. This colt is a course and distance winner, who holds his form very well this winter and finished a fine third behind Pretend over five furlongs the last time. He has excellent place claims at least here and with the race probably run to suit him, he may get even closer this time.

Boom The Groom @ 33/1 Bet365 – 2.5pts E/W

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2.40 Lingfield: All-Weather 3 Year Old Mile Championships

It’s been a very impressive seasonal reappearance by Lexington Times earlier this month and he is sure to go well with the step up to a mile sure to suit. But it’s the French filly Growing Glory who makes most appeal on prices. A massive 10/1 chance you wonder how that can be. With a handy 5lb sex allowance here, this filly has beaten the boys last month on the French All-Weather over 1m. It was a very impressive display as she was interfered twice in the home straight. Forgive her the recent poor showing on turf, and you see a top class All-Weather miler.

Growing Glory @ 10/1 Coral – 5pts win

Enlance dangerous on All-Weather debut

Godolphin is red hot on the All-Weather and for that simple reason you have to respect the favourite Hollie Point who finally got off the mark on the ninth attempt over course and distance when fitted with blinkers for the first time a fortnight ago. An opening mark of 80 looks fair and she may well has more to offer, but for all of that, she hasn’t beaten much the last time and looks a very short price.

Dark War looks a solid enough gelding and has fair form to offer, though more is required here and there might not be too much more to come. Jaganory doesn’t look good enough to land this, while Caltra Colleen is an interesting filly with potential, but she has been off the track for a very long time and the drift in the market is a worry.

Mark Johnston has his string in excellent form lately and does particularly well with three year olds. That gives confidence in the chance of Enlace, who has her first start this season. She die very well in the early days of her career when she followed up on her fine debut win with a strong runner-up effort in a hot Newmarket Nursery. She was unable to confirm that form subsequently, but a break may have done her well and on pedigree it looks likely that she can progress with age as well as the step up to 7f should suit. As a Shamardal daughter she should take well to the All-Weather.

In my eyes Enlace is the value against the favourite in this field where on merit it should be between the first two in the market. Money is floating in for the Johnston filly and 11/4 looks a very good price here.

8.15 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap, 7f
Enlace @ 11/4 William Hill – 10pts win