Tag Archives: apprentice

Saturday Selections: 21st May 2022

4.48 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

An uncompetitive race that screams longshot. The favourite Aquamas goes for a hat-trick and may have found a great opportunity but I don’t think he’s overly well handicapped of his revised mark.

From the bottom of the weights – in fact one pound out off the weights – The Retriever makes appeal to me. There are clear risks attached to his chances – his turf form in particular is concerning – but there is a case to be made for him.

The 7-year-old has is on a good stretch of form on the All-Weather. He got almightily close over 7f at Wolverhampton last time out and was only caught late in March over the same CD as well. The form of those two races worked out quite well in the meantime. Especially last month when he grabbed the lead from the widest draw and got only caught on the line rates a big performance

As for his poor turf form: I look for some hope to his penultimate turf run at Catterick back in June 2021 when he was caught wide, always travelling on the outside of the field, but some late headway to finish in 4th place.

I feel conditions today will be just about right at a track that favours the speed horses. He’s got to overcome the widest draw, which is a negative given there is also competition for the lead.

Nonetheless, off a basement mark with the additional assistance of excellent 7lb claimer Aiden Brookes in the saddle The Retriever looks a whole lot more dangerous than the price suggests – granted he’s here to run on merit.

10pts win – The Retriever @ 14.5/1

Monday Selections: 2nd May 2022

It’s bank holiday here in Ireland and I am looking to one of the big Handicaps at the Curragh to sweeten the day with winner.

4.40 Curragh: Apprentice Handicap, 7f

Normally, these competitive Handicaps with tons of runners wouldn’t be quite my cup of tea, I have to admit. However, I can’t look past the potentially well handicapped No Patience here.

He was a massive eye-catcher last month in a similarly hot Handicap at the Curragh, then over 6 furlongs. It was his first run since February and for the John C McConnell yard over a trip possibly a touch too sharp these days.

That race was utter carnage and you could pick out a number of unlucky horses. No Patience showed good early speed, then settled in midfield of the main pack on the stands’ side. He was shuffled back from three furlongs out and boxed in without the option to improve his position until about half a furlong from home when he ran on strongly under an easy ride.

He finished really well, proving his wellbeing and you would hope he can improve from the run now stepping up to an ideal 7 furlongs again.

He’s down to a sexy mark of 59 now, given he won of 65 over 7 furlongs at Dundalk last April, ran a good race in a hot Leopardstown Handicap last September from 11lb higher than he’s rated today, and achieved a 71 topspeed rating in the past. 

Apprentice Cillian McConnell claims valuable 4lb – it’s the cherry on the cake. He’s riding really well over the last number of weeks and months, albeit with a limited number of rides lately.

There are a few solid dangers in the field but the biggest danger is no getting a clear run. Drawn in stall one is probably not ideal. Patience will be key. If No Patience gets a run for home, he’ll be a big chance, regardless, I reckon. He’s simply so well handicapped now.

10pts win – No Patience @ 15/2

Sunday Selections: January, 19th 2020

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

12.50 Lingfield: Class 6 Apprentice Handicap, 1m 6f

Favourite Wanaasah won under an enterprising ride in sensational style recently here at Wolverhampton over a few furlongs longer. She should go well again, albeit, under a 5lb penalty and with most likely not given an uncontested lead things will be more difficult.

I am interested in Mark Johnston’s Grenadier Guard. Clearly a talented individual; clearly one with quirks who’s gone wrong at the same time.

He is tried in a visor for the first time today. I am not pinning solely my hope on that piece of headgear, but it may well help the gelding to focus better. I am inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt that he needed his last two runs after a break potentially; certainly a first start at Southwell is always something to forgive.

He drops down to a mile and six furlongs, which looks a more suitable trip. At the same time Grenadier Guard continues to fall in the mark. He showed promise last summer on turf when running to some good level of form, winning at Haydock and following up with a fine 2nd in a competitive Novices race.

That day he also ran to a 85 topspeed rating which looks believable. Hence there is a bit of talent that is better than a January class 5 Handicap at Wolverhampton. I take the risk and give Grenadier Guard another chance to live somewhat up to last summers promise.

Selection:
10pts win – Grenadier Guard @ 10.5/1 MB

Monday Selections: January, 21st 2019

DSC_1062

6.55 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Top weight Smiley Bagel drops in class back into a class 5 Handicap – the last time he ran in a similar contest he won off 2lb lower a shade cozily. This will be his third start after long break also.

Draw a line through his comeback run, however next time at Lingfield he was far from disgraced in a hot race that looks solid form franked through the runner-up, behind a well handicapped winner.

While Smiley Bagel may be better suited to Lingfield, the gelding is also a CD winner. He’s handicapped to go close, but it seems significant that a good 7lb claimer takes the ride who comes here for this one ride only.

Oliver Stammers has ridden Ed Walker mounts five times so far, having been placed four times (plus one winner). He looks good value for his claim and gives Smiley Bagel a good chance, as long as he gets a run, as the draw isn’t ideal.

Selection:
10pts win – Smiley Bagel @ 12/1 PP

Sunday Selections – York

Newmarket July Course

2.30 York: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Two three year old fillies stand out in this field: Distain is the first one. She didn’t quite stay the 1m 5f trip at Chester the last time, but now dropped back to 10f she could be a real force. I was impressed with her change of gear when getting off the mark at Redcar in a maiden on only her second start. 10f here at flat York in a big handicap with a hot pace, she could be ideally suited and better than her current rating off 80.

Bottom weight Pamushana is equally one who could have easily more to offer. She is on a potentially very lenient mark after following up on an ultra impressive maiden success with a strong 3rd place in a better class at Nottingham last month. She looks big and scopey, apparently progressing well this season and wit handy weight and draw a big chance in this race.

Pamushana @ 8/1 Betfred – 5pts Win
Distain @ 10/1 Coral – 5pts Win

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5.10 York: Class 4 Apprentice Handicap, 1m 4f

His most recent Newmarket performance was too bad to be true, so one may forgive Endless Credit that poor run and better judge him on his excellent runner-up performances before. If he could run to that sort of form, he’ll be in with a big chance, given that he has the perfect draw for his positive running style.

A mark off 69 seems high enough, though; yet seen in the contest of the jockey booking, seems less of a problem. Young Fitzpatrick claims valuable 5lb and is very much worth every single pound. He’s riding out of his skin at the moment and is clearly a talented young jockey – that’s a bonus in this type of race.

Endless Credit @ 14/1 VC – 5pts Win

Mrs Warren’s golden opportunity

5.00 Lingfield: Class 5 Apprentice Handicap, 6f

Top weight Angel Flores makes plenty of appeal from a good draw if he enjoys the soft ground. A better alternative is Mrs Warren who gets a chance from the handicapper. Not disgraced at Galway recently, the drop to 6f suits, she loves every drop of rain in the ground, has a good draw and will be competitive off her current mark. Big chance.

Mrs Warren @ 9/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win