Tag Archives: Autumn

Thursday Selections: September, 19th 2019

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3.00 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 1 Mile

Despite a big field this race is a rather uncompetitive one with only few appearing to be anywhere near what you’d describe as well-handicapped. There is no doubt, that when on a going day, Vive La Difference is surely one who is well-handicapped, though.

The 5-year-old gelding has been struggling to find his best for a while, certainly starting slowly on pretty much every occasion doesn’t help. At the same time a few performances have been promising this year, when not far beaten in competitive races at Wetherby or Ripon earlier this season.

Vive La Difference has fallen quite a bit in his handicap mark, now 10lb lower than he started the season. He ran twice in his career to topspeed ratings of higher than 70, and a number of times around his current handicap mark of 68, including this year.

That gives hope that today of a near career lowest mark he can run a big race with conditions sure to suit, particularly if first time blinkers can help sharpen him up at the beginning of the race.

Selection:
10pts win – Vive La Difference @ 11.5/1 MB

……

3.10 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

I was keen on Aiya the last time at Thirsk. Things didn’t pan out as hoped, but the gelding conveniently dropped another 3lb in the mark and also to a more suitable 1m 2f trip, I believe.

Most what I talked about in my analysis leading up to the Thirsk race still holds true today:

The 4-year-old was a little bit unlucky not get his head in front on grass yet, because he got close at Redcar when beaten by a neck back in May.  He ran to topspeed 80 in that mentioned Redcar race and clocked 77 on the All-Weather in the past.

With conditions likely to suit – fast ground and 10f delivered his career best of an 80 ORR and a TS 80 – and a decent draw, there is no reason why Aiya shouldn’t run a massive race today.

Selection:
10pts win – Aiya @ 10/1 MB

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Wednesday Selections: September, 18th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

1.50 Sandown: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Leo Minor has fallen a long way in his handicap mark since finishing 2nd at Leicester twelve months ago off a 89 mark and running to a 88 topspeed rating that day.

The gelding hasn’t come close ever since but hasn’t ran so badly as the dramatic 22lb drop in OR suggest, in my mind.

The lowered mark and grades he raced in have seen Leo Minor produce a number of fair performances this season, as when last seen of his current 67 rating, a decent runner-up at Bath.

He also ran to a 68 topspeed rating this summer already, backing it up with near similar TS ratings this season a a number of occasions, suggesting he is weighted to win soon of his current handicap mark.

A first time tongue tie is tried today. Possibly that’ll help. Certainly the booking of 3lb top apprentice Cieren Fallon helps. From the plum draw he hopefully can steer Leo Minor to a prominent position grabbing the rail leading to victory this afternoon.

Selection:
10pts win – Leo Minor @ 17/2 MB

Saturday Selections: September, 14th 2019

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3.40 Leopardstown: Group 3 Stakes, 1m 4f

I probably should know better: backing an Aiden O’Brien horse coming back from a lay-off. But by all accounts, if the rumblings are anywhere near true that Mount Everest was considered a proper Derby contender, and if judged by his entries for the rest of the season, he’ll need to show something significant today in order to go on those dates in a few weeks time.

Aiden O’Brien has played down expectations. That’s only fair. And surely Mount Everest won’t be at 100% today. It’s a gamble and you never know how far in their preparation these horses are coming off a long injury break, and whether they ever come back to their best, and in this case whether this particular individual has trained on over the winter.

However, this Group 3 is such a lackluster contest that I am prepared to back the “potential” today. Very few in this field have achieved a topspeed rating over 90 to date. Those that have can be discounted for a variety of reason of trip or ground or legitimacy of that particular posting – in my book at least.

The favourit Buckhurst, despite having three career wins to his name, has never ran faster than 67. The main dangers I actually see in the race are Norway, who has proven to be a rock solid horse and has achieved a career best when last seen, plus long-shot and stable mate Blenheim Palace, who could easily outrun his massive price tag and is a compelling each-way candidate.

But at given odds, Mount Everest is clearly of major interest. When last seen twelve month ago in the Bresford Stakes, he finished second in a tight finish behind Japan, having Sovereign more than three lengths behind. That form looks incredibly strong in hindsight and a topspeed of 94 achieved that day is credible.

No doubt this is the strongest piece of form in this race. Given Mount Everest is a May foal, one would have expected him to be a much better 3-year-old, so it’s plausible that improvement is to come with Mount Everest maturing. How much of that he’ll show today is the question mark.

On the other hand, given a long break and injury to overcome he may never fulfill this potential. He may not be ready to go today either. AOB’s record with those returning isn’t all that strong either. I am prepared to take the game in this particular race, though.

Selection:
10pts win – Mount Everest @ 4/1 MB

……….

4.50 Leopardstown: G2 Boomerang Stakes, 1m

The 6/4 for Lancaster House can only be described as a silly price. Possibly my judgement looks silly in a few hours time, though? I’m puzzled, regardless, because I feel Richard Fahey’s Space Traveller should be a much shorter price than he is.

The 3-year-old colt will need to things to pan out right given his running style, that is a clear concern for me, given that it can prove difficult to peg prominent horses back at Leopardstown if the pace isn’t overly strong.

It’s a risk I take, simply because Space Traveller has overwhelmingly the strongest form in the book. His Royal Ascot success is a tremendous piece of form, given how the race has worked out ever since, and a 106 topspeed rating he achieved that day looks all the more real for it.

Space Traveller stayed 9 furlongs three weeks ago at Haydock, when less than a lengths beaten in a highly competitive of the Strensall Stakes.

Ground and trip will suit today. A good pace looks likely. Now it’s up to WJ Lee to time it right. If he does, Space Traveller should be the one they all see the back of at the finish line.

Selection:
10pts win – Space Traveller @ 11/2 MB

Thursday Selections: September, 12th 2019

Balty Boys

2.15 Epsom: Class 5 Handicap, 1m½f

Bombastic has not really honoured his name since last summer. Particularly his last four starts in the old season as well as this year have been poor. However, as a consequence he really dropped to a sexy mark now, one that makes him dangerous to oppose if on song.

Trip and ground will be fine today, Epsom of course always a slight question mark. But fact of the mater is that Bombastic ran four times to a higher topspeed rating than his current – career lowest – handicap mark.

With hot jockey Pat Cosgrave on board I can see him running a big race today, also with a bit of money already coming.

Selection:
10pts win – Bombastic @ 22/1 MB

……….

5.05 Epsom: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

This type of course really suits Swanton Blue, who is already a course and distance winner, doing so off 3lb higher than his current handicap mark twelve months ago.

The six-year-old has consistently clocked topspeed ratings that show he can is weighted to go close today, having achieved TS ratings of 64 and over on four occasions. He also ran to 62 only in July, suggesting he is as good as ever, and with the right conditions, i.e. his preferred downhill track, he’ll be contender today of a 63 handicap mark.

Swanton Blue gets the assistance of capable 5lb claimer Toby Eley, for whom this is the only ride today. I see this as another positive in a wide open race.

Selection:
10pts win – Swanton Blue @ 11/1 MB

Monday Selections: September, 9th 2019

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3. 50 Brighton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

Escape The City continues to disappoint when expected to run much better. As evens favourite she was beaten in a small field wen last seen – however, she takes another drop in the mark and also moved down to class 5.

Fast ground and 10 furlongs look like an ideal scenario for her. Now down to a rating of 70 the filly is a full 10lb lower than when she started the season. Largely in hotter races this year she wasn’t beaten all that far, actually, suggesting she has retained some ability.

Last season Escape The City ran four times to topspeed ratings of 70 plus, which means any return to form – although maybe running to that sort of level she ran to in higher grade of higher marks earlier this year may also be good enough – will see her go really close in this race.

Freckles looks the main danger in my book. Having won last time out and having ran to a higher tospeed rating than turned out here under a penalty earlier this year, she remains a lively chance.

But I stick with Escape The City, who appears to have a prime chance to get her head in front today. The jockey booking is the cherry on the cake so to speak, given how strongly Hollie Doyle is riding at the moment.

Selection: 
10pts win – Escape The City @ 6/1 MB

Friday Selections: September, 6th 2019

Online Alexander & Jamie Spencer

2.55 Haydock: Class 2 Handicap, 6f

Muddling affair. Hardly anythings stands out. Does anyone can back the 8-year-old favourite with any sort of confidence? I doubt it. There is value in the market and it lies – in my mind – quite clearly with Youkan.

The 4-year-old is on a fair handicap mark, having proven himself to be competitive of this rating in this type of contest in the past. He’s a Haydock winner, albeit over the minimum trip and has a clear preference for cut in the ground.

I don’t really mind the absence of a 6f victory to date. Youkan is still pretty lightly raced, certainly compared to most in this race and there is a fair chance that with preferred conditions he can pull out a little bit more, if not at least running to his mark, which in turn can well be enough to be in for the win.

Youkan has ran twice already to a 83 topspeed rating, most recently in June at Goodwood over 6 furlongs.

Selection: 
10pts win – Youkan @ 22/1 MB

……..

4.55 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

This race looks like a lottery and I’m drawn to bet #10 will go in here. Gunmaker that is, the five-year-old gelding has a poor strike rate but runs well on many occasions, particularly on the All-Weather and over this trip.

He’s fallen to a really low handicap mark now, on the back of a poor effort at Leicester, however here at Newcastle over 7f he ran pretty well in a similar type contest off 3lb higher than today.

In spring this year Gunmaker was placed on three subsequent occasions over 6- and 7 furlongs on the All-Weather of official ratings of 67 and 68, while running to topspeed ratings of 61 and 66. In fact, he has ran on six occasions on the sand to topspeed ratings of 54+.

A young 7lb claimer is in the saddle, pretty inexperienced. We’ll see how that goes. But it is undeniable with an ultra light weight today Gunmaker has a tremendous chance to run big today.

Selection:
10pts win – Gunmaker @ 11/1 MB

Saturday Selections: October, 6th 2018

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

7.45 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

When a long-standing maiden heads the market you know it got to be a poor race. This is, indeed, as poor as it gets. Perfect regarding conditions I’m looking for, as handicap debutant Boston Party ticks a lot of boxes to make him a decent chance to improve enough to be competitive compared to what he’s shown in three starts to date.

You can draw a line under those performances; it was handicapping for him all day long and he wasn’t beaten up in any of his races. However, stepping up in trip is interesting, particularly on his All-Weather debut – both look suitable on pedigree.

The opening mark is stiff enough, however from a top draw in a poor race as this he can overcome it. Sire Declaration Of War has an outstanding record with three-year-old colts on the sand to date, so this is clearly noteworthy.

Selection:
10pts win – Boston Party @ 6/1 PP