Tag Archives: Andrea Atzeni

Saturday Selections: May, 5th 2018

Gleneagles

3.35 Newmarket: 2000 Guineas, 1 mile

You can’t deny the fact he has been massively disappointing in his last two runs, however, there were very valid excuses for Expert Eye to finish last in the Dewhurst when a warm favourite to land it, as well as when a slightly underwhelming runner-up in the Greenham a fortnight ago.

Regardless, Expert Eye possesses tons of talent as he proved in the Vintage Stakes last summer – a Group 2 event he took with so much ease only the really good ones are capable of.

No doubt, his chances hinge on him settling early on. We have seen Expert Eye pulling his chances away before, and if we see the same here, him pulling the arms off Andrea Atzeni over the first few furlongs then his race is over before it really started.

That’s the reason why Expert Eye is as big a price as he is. Still too big, as I trust Sir Michael to teach the horse how to settle and his seasonal debut run should help in that regard as well.

Selection:
10pts win – Expert Eye @ 12/1 VC

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6.20 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

Some interesting horses at the top of the market, though I do prefer the chance of bottom weight Chingachgook. A son of Eclipse winner Al Kazeem (wonderful memories, I was at Sandown that day to see him romp home), in five career starts he has shown plenty of potential.

After few fine performances on the All-Weather over the winter he made his handicap debut at Newcastle in February – the only time he bombed out up until now. Switched to turf for the first time at the end of March at Musselburgh, Chingachgook returned to form.

In bottomless ground conditions he didn’t have an ideal break from the widest draw and found himself for most parts of the race in the uncomfortable position chasing the pack. That’s never good at Musselburgh, particularly in those type of conditions.

Chingachgook also didn’t get the clearest of runs through the field and the bird was flown once he was in the clear. Still, he ran on well to finish a good second, doing anything as the only horse from those held up. The form has been franked by the winner and fourth subsequently.

Same handicap mark, slightly better ground, upped in grade, however having the chance to race off a featherweight – Chingachgook should be able to outrun his price tag. Whether that is enough to beat the better fancied market principles remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Chingachgook @ 9/1 WH

Sunday Selections: 10th September 2017

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Not all that often at Leopardstown you do see a horse swinging wide around the home bend trailing the field and then going on to win in impressive style. Yet Decorated Knight did exactly that….. from last to first – and in doing so landed the Irish Champions Stakes!

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. How could this lad go off at 25’s? He was full well entitled to have a big shout as the second highest rated individual in the field thanks to a Tattersalls Gold Cup success and a subsequent runner-up effort in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes.

Credit to Andre Atzeni, who rode Decorated Knight to perfection, utilizing his turn of foot in the best possible way.

Odds-on favourite Churchill finished a disappointing 7th. Things got a bit messy in the home straight but that did not make too much of a difference. He was not good enough on the day. Maybe it was one race too many?

That ended the day with a rather shocking result for me punting wise too. 0 from 4, not a single one in the money. A day too forget…. albeit the brilliant performance by Decorated Knight may not be forgotten anytime soon.

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5.55 Curragh: Handicap, 1m 2f

The lucky last on Irish St. Leger day, an open contest where any more rain will not suit too many. However improving 3yo filly Jet Streaming will love any additional drop of rain over the course of the afternoon.

The lightly raced daughter of Born To Sea won impressively at the Galway Festival last month. Despite not breaking cleanly, being a bit too keen subsequently, and travelling off the pace in rear, she managed to motor home in the short straight to get up on the line.

It’s clear that Jet Streaming is crying out for a step up in trip. On pedigree this should work well too. She’s 2lb wrong in the weights, however given her progressive profile, ground and trip potentially in her favour, this should not make a difference.

With a good draw and from the lower end of the weight scale I reckon the Adrian Keatley trained filly has a cracking chance to land a big pot today.

Selection:
10pts win – Jet Streaming @ 7/1 PP

Exciting Eagle Creek one for the Future

Nice to see confidence justified – at last! I said it last night, the opening maiden of today’s Lingfield card unleash a potentially smart colt in the making. And so it was.

Favourite Eagle Creek (SP 9/4) didn’t make any mistake on his seasonal reappearance. He grabbed the lead soon after the start and never gave it away. He won with ease by six lengths, never touched.

Jockey Andrea Atzeni, who made the journey to Lingfield Park for this sole ride, was delighted afterwards:

“He enjoyed himself in front and picked up really well. He was always going to be a better horse as a three-year-old.”

The future looks bright for Eagle Creek now. How bright remains to be seen. But he looked physically improved, gave the impression of a strong and scopey colt. It clearly helps that he hails from a good family by Raven’s Pass out of listed placed Blue Angel and a half-brother to listed race- and multiple Meydan winner Viren’s Army.

What’s next? I’d say they step him up in class rapidly to find out how good he really is. He does not look like a handicapper but more like an individual with a future in some nice pattern races. Certainly one for the tracker, one way or the other.

Race Video – 2.00 Lingfield

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4.30 Catterick: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

It’s always difficult to make a decision if you fancy two horses in the same race, so do I here with Coquine, who seemingly finds her first real opportunity on turf after a fruitful winter. She could potentially remain well handicapped with blinkers fitted.

But tentatively I side with Lackaday who won this very race off 8lb higher last year. He was no chance given by the handicapper subsequently but has finally dropped down to a very handy mark again.

He changed yards in the meantime and ran extremely well on his reappearance over sharp 5f at Newcastle last month. He finished an excellent 3rd that day – a performance that suggests he finds back to his best form.

Selection:
10pts win – Lackaday @ 6/1 Betfair SB

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2.20 Nottingham: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

It’s only the second start for the filly Blitz since moving to the UK from Ireland where she showed plenty of promise as a juvenile. She finished a close second on her seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton in February which was also her UK debut.

That day she tried to make all and set a good pace from the front but just got a bit tired in the end it seemed while also still showing signs of greenness at the start and turning around the final bend.

This form looks rock solid and a return to turf on a straight track with fast ground could see her putting her best foot forward. In similar conditions she went only half a lengths down in a Curragh maiden behind a subsequent Group 3 scorer last year.

Selection:
10pts win – Blitz @ 9/2 Bet365

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5.20 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 10f

Outcrop, the son of Rock Of Gibraltar makes plenty of appeal on his Handicap debut over a trip more suitable than what he raced over in three maidens as a juvenile.

His opening mark looks potentially lenient given he already ran to a similar RPR on his final start last season over a trip likely to short. He looks one who’s sure to improve with age and experience too.

Lightly raced sons of ROG tend to improve dramatically over the 1m 2f trip and if that isn’t enough then trainer Hughie Morrison has a fine record at this course over the last number of years.

Selection:
10pts win – Outcrop @ 7/1 Betfair SB

Postponed a brilliant International winner!

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I don’t really feel in the mood to lose too many words about the Juddmonte International after making a fool of myself yesterday, doubting Postponed. Well, hindsight is funny thing, isn’t it?

Nonetheless, credit where credit is due: Postponed is a superstar! I think that is fair to say now, after finally winning a Group 1 over 10 furlongs – and not just a Micky Mouse one – this was quite a decent field.

Andrea Atzeni gave him an excellent ride – for years now Atzeni is one of those no nonsense jockeys, doing more often than not the simple but right things.

He tracked the leaders for most of the time and then pressed the button on Postponed over 3 furlongs – probably slightly earlier than it would be ideal – but it was the right move at the right time. Once hitting top gear, Postponed is always sure to march strongly toward the line.

The form looks legit, given 121 rated Highland Reel ran a stormer, finishing a 1¼ lengths beaten runner-up, with 118 rated Mutakayyek a further lengths behind in third.

On the other hand Wings Of Desire was a total no-show whereas Hawkbill seemingly didn’t act on the fast ground.

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Thursday Selections:

3.40 York: Furia Cruzada @ 20/1 Ladbrokes
6.10 Hamilton: Ss Vega @ 4/1 Skybet

Photo: Skysports