Tag Archives: Ayr

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

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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

Saturday Selections: August, 10th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile pre-parade ring

3.40 Haydock: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

I usually don’t like backing last time out winners, but make an exception for Fantasy Keeper here. He won really well at Sandown over the shorter 5 furlongs in soft conditions, being really well backed.

A little break since then, now back, moving up to 6f, only 3lb higher in the mark, which could underestimate him today. Fantasy Keeper  loves cut in the ground and then it doesn’t matter if five- or six furlongs.

He ran to a topspeed rating of 83 at Sandown, before that over an additional furlong to 81. So, given he finds ideal conditions today, he looks on a fair handicap mark, potentially being able to pull out a bit more, as he’s had only three starts on soft or heavy going to date, with a win and two placed efforts to his name then.

Selection:
10pts win – Fantasy Keeper  @ 5/1 MB

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7.55 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

The chips are down for Chaplin Bay today, I feel. He’s backed all day long and that makes perfect sense with conditions sure to suit. He’s somewhat of a 7f specialist, who definitely enjoys cut in the ground and has a 50% place SR over course and distance as well.

He hasn’t been winning for a while, so as a consequence dropped rather dramatically certainly in his turf mark. Down to 50 now, he looks supremely well handicapped in a race like this.

Judged on form this year, he still has appetite for the game and didn’t ran too badly on a number of occasions, actually. One to keep an eye out: he’s got an entry here at Ayr for Monday also.

Selection:
10pts win – Chaplin Bay @ 17/2 MB

Tuesday Selections: October, 2nd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

3.45 Ayr: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

See You remains a maiden after 13 starts so not too much confidence can be placed in the gelding. But the fact he’s got the perfect draw to replicate tactics from his most recent run is interesting.

Third at Beverly last months attempting to make all and setting a frantic pace under an inexperienced rider, he was caught late. Dropping down to 7f again should suit. A 2lb hike in the mark remains a dangerous mark in my mind.

A repeat of that type of performance may well be enough to win this race today. Here’s hoping David Allan makes use of the good draw, indeed.

Selection:
10pts win – See You @ 9/1 PP

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5.45 Kempton: Class 7 Handicap, 5f

The lowest grade and a truly shocking race. Nonetheless, the still lightly raced Broughton Excels offers some promise for improvement. He showed glimpses of ability when fifth on his seasonal- and new yard debut last month at Wolverhampton when not ideally placed at the back of the field.

This late may foal should improve with time, hopefully – so dropping into a poor race stripping fitter for his latest run is interesting.

Drawn perfectly for the 5f trip at Kempton, Broughton Excels has a big chance of a career lowest mark, granted he can get the break right, which as been an issue in the past.

Selection:
10pts win – Broughton Excels @ 13/2 MB

Monday Selections: June, 18th 2018

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3.05 Ayr: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

13 year old Secret Asset has dropped to a very dangerous mark and finds himself in a pretty poor low grade contest despite showing here and there glimpses of retaining some sort of competitive form.

He clearly isn’t the force of the past, however now down a mark off 46 he looks ready to land a race with conditions in his favour. Four of his six career turf wins came on fast ground.

So, the fact he finds a fast surface today is a bonus. The jockey/trainer combo doesn’t look strong, nonetheless 5lb claim on top of the low mark may mean Secret Asset can outrun his price tag.

Selection:
10pts win – Secret Asset @ 15/1 MB

………

4.45 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 5f

He’s on the drift and that might be a sign in itself, still I fancy top weight An Fear Ciuin and put a speculative bet on him to shorten later on again. He really looks ready for a big one today.

Back on the flat, dropping into class 5 Handicap – the last time he found himself in this lowly class he won (over 2m) – and also down to his last winning mark.

He should be fit from hurdling after two fair efforts over two miles. The ground might be a bit faster than ideal, and this could well be a race to bring the mark further down. So be it…. An Fear Ciuin is way too big a price.

Selection:
10pts win – An Fear Ciuin @ 25/1 PP

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8.30 Windsor: Class 5 handicap, 1m 2f

Wide open Handicap for three year olds. Another rather speculative one for me here with handicap debutant Vlannon.

Three starts in maiden company in quick succession. He final one over 7f at Lingfield was the best of the lot. He battled hard in a fair race but clearly needs further.

His pedigree, at least on the dam side supports this. Vlannon is a half-brother to a couple of individuals who did there best over further and later over hurdles. His opening mark is fair, gives him a good chance to win a race as improvement is likely to come for the new trip.

Selection:
10pts win – Vlannon @ 13/1 MB

Monday Selections: June, 4th June 2018

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A first Derby win for Godolphin. It’s been in the making for far too long, the ultimate dream finally achieved, however. 41 years it took, then Sheikh Mohammed could see his home bred Masar scoot home to land the world’s most prestigious flat race.

A whopping 16/1 chance. How could so many miss the credentials the 2000 Guineas third had, including myself?! My own selecting The Pentagon only proved one thing: not good enough.

Derby Day could have been a super day, regardless. Ana Nerium ran the race of her life in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes if she wouldn’t have had had too much to do from the rear of the field, unfortunately.

The consolation in the evening, at least. The double of Sam Gold and Midnight Blue landed. Off to the winning ways in June…

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6.15 Windsor: Class 4 Novice Stakes, 5f

Hugh Taylor’s selection Queen of Bermuda is backed as if there isn’t a tomorrow. And sure she was super impressive at Thirsk recently. She is well entitled to follow-up here, though all the money coming for here leaves others in the field at tasty value prices.

First and foremost the ride of Derby winning jockey William Buick. Only one ride on Windor’s evening card, he comes over to sit on well bred Leading Spirit.

The colt ran pretty green on debut at Yarmouth in a hot class 3 contest last month. The winner looked incredibly smart there, Leading Spirit faded away in the closing stages to finish a well beaten 3rd in the end.

That form should work out really well, I suspect. Leading Spirit drops to the minimum trip. That’ll suit, he looked sharp out of the gate. His sire has an excellent record here at Windsor as well as in general over 5f plus on fast ground. He’s bound to improve quite a bit and that should see him go close to the favourite, I hope.

Selection:
10pts win – Leading Spirit @ 11/2 VC

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8.30 Ayr: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 7f

An incredibly open race screaming for a long-shot to get his head in front. I do like the chance of In Focus here, despite him seemingly loosing his form and still looking for a first win beyond a mile.

That says, there are fair reasons for his last three forms that read so badly: he was entitled for his seasonal debut run at Wetherby last month and didn’t take to hurdling in his final run in 2017. A combination of very soft ground and potentially a little bit too much racing at the back end of last year may was the combination that saw him fading badly at Catterick on his penultimate run.

Judge on his best performances in 2017 over marathon trips, when twice runner-up in 14f handicaps, suggest he can get the trip and is competitive from his current handicap mark.

I feel the fast ground today could be real deal breaker in a positive sense. He hasn’t encountered anything like it for quite some time. He did win on fast ground twice in the past, however.

 Selection:
10pts win – In Focus @ 14/1 VC

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FYI: If interested, keep an eye on this blog because if the ground dries further at Windsor, I may identify another selection for the evening card there. 

Monday Selections – 14/08/17

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4.45 Ayr: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

Kentuckyconnection has won only once in fourteen attempts however showed promise when finally dropped to a more realistic mark the last two outings. He contested Group races earlier in his career and was fifth in the 2000 Guineas last season, a result that flattered him, as a consequence he had to race beyond his actual capabilities.

He can build on a strong runner-up performance at Newcastle in June, dropping in class while stepping up to 10f again. It’s his first realistic attempt over this distance and on pedigree looks possible. Cut in the ground, as long as it does not become bottomless, should be okay.

Graham Lee on board is in red hot form is a bonus. Kentuckyconnection has only to repeat his last two efforts to have a big say in the outcome of this race and as such is a big price.

Selection:
10pts win – Kentuckyconnection @ 11/1 Bet365

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7.10 Windsor: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

Don’t Give Up looks rock solid and in this field very hard to beat. He’s lightly raced with a strong pedigree and won well on debut at Kempton’s All-Weather. He followed up with a strong Handicap debut when runner-up at Newmarket.

Stepping up in trip is sure to suit him and there is potentially plenty of improvement left in him-. Only one other 3yo to fear in the field, I expect Don’t Give Up to use his WFA allowance to full advantage.

Selection:
10pts win – Don’t Give Up @ 15/8 Bet365

Saturday Selections – 24th June 2017

1.35 Redcar: Novice Stakes, 6 furlongs

David O’Meara has generally a healthy record in these type of races. So Gabrial The Devil is interesting. Seemingly in need of the pipe opener at Chester a fortnight ago he should be sharper today dropping into an easier race as well. There is a bit of money arriving this morning, which looks a good sign.

His sire, albeit a small sample size, has a very fine record over this sort of trip and ground with offspring so I do expect improvement from Gabrial The Devil, which could see him go very close in an open contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Gabrial The Devil @ 16/1 bet365

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3.20 Newmarket: Class 4 Fillies’ Handicap, 1 mile

Top weight Fleeting Motion makes plenty of appeal in a weakish race. Ignore her last form at Newmarket in softish conditions which never suited and also came possibly too soon. She looked gutsy when landing a fair maiden at Doncaster and followed up with a nice 4th place in a good Conditions race at Ascot.

She came off a break that day and travelled like the winner just to get tired in the final furlong. A repeat of that performance should enough to be very competitive in this race.

Ground and trip will suit and a mark off 84 offers hope as there is potentially still a bit of improvement left in this daughter of Sepoy.

Selection: 
10pts win – Fleeting Motion @ 6/1 Coral

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3.40 Ascot: Hardwicke Stakes, Group 2 , 1m 4f

Dartmouth over 12f on fast ground? Possible, but not a 5/2 chance in a big and hot field like this. Most intriguing runner is Wings Of Desire for obvious reasons. Runner-up in the King George last year, hasn’t been seen since a subsequent off effort.

The solid horse who surely appreciates conditions and is very likely to be good enough and have trained on is Ballydoyle’s Idaho. This is his second start after a decent comeback run – this seems the ideal opportunity to land a top level prize.

He was 3rd in the Epsom Derby and close runner-up in the Irish Derby, subsequently scored in the Great Voltigeur Stakes last season. All rock solid form and as good as anything in this field.

I have slight concerns whether he’ll be ridden with too much patience but hope they are positive and use his stamina as otherwise he may get rolling too late. That worth a risk to take.

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

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4.40 Newmarket. Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Favourite Jumira Bridge could easily have too much on his plate in this race. He landed the odds as expected in a Brighton maiden when dropped to the minimum trip and followed up with a strong win at Sandown in a hot Cl2 Handicap.

Things did not go his way at the start yet he was authoritive eventually. When last seen in a Listed event at York he was clearly not suited by the softish conditions, however fast 5f today will likely see him to his best.

He looks still capable of better and both speed- and RP ratings back this up. It’s only his seventh run, the fourth over 5f, two of those he won – he’s a good thing today.

Selection:
10pts win – Jumira Bridge @ 13/8 Bet365

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9.05 Haydock: Class 5 Maiden, 1 mile

Race fit Najashee sets a good standard and will improve from his experience, however Godolphin’s Big Tour makes more appeal to me in a race that shapes as one between the two market leaders.

This expensive purchase is obviously well bred and should be reasonably talented judged on a fine debut run at Kempton last season. It’s fair to assume he is ready to go today with the yard having a strong record in maiden races this year and Bin Suroor enjoying a near 40% strike rate in Haydock maiden races over the years.

The step up to a mile will suit this Dubawi son quite a bit, so should be the decent ground. It’s a bit of a gamble sometimes on these type of Godolphin runners, however at 15/8 I feel there is a bit too much juice in the price.

Selection:
10pts win – Big Tour @ 15/8 Bet365

Tuesday Racing – 9th May 2017

A nice winner with Shargiah (4/1) at Windsor today – the “lucky last”! My other two chances for the day only hit the post – both finished in the runner-up spot, though it is fair to say both found one too good. No excuses there.

In the meantime the racing world discussed the possibilities of 2000 Guineas hero Churchill to turn up at Epsom. Aiden O’Brien didn’t commit to anything in the post-race interviews, only referring to “the lads”.

Today things became a little clearer. At least in so far as no decision will be made for at least another week. That says Aiden seemed to get slightly carried away when  letting his mind speak:

“You wouldn’t say he won’t get further with the way he did it in the Guineas.” 

A hint in itself? Well, I reckon Churchill has a go at the Derby. He’s a son of the almighty Galileo, that alone gives him a chance to stay. And let’s be honest, it’s not like that Ballydoyle has too many other exciting options for the big race at this point in time: Capri, Yukatan, Douglas Macarthur and maybe the “dark horse” Cliffs Of Moher?

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3.00 Ayr: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Dalgleish’s Eez Eh looks overpriced in this race now probably fitter than on his seasonal reappearance last month. The four year was gelded over the winter after a pretty fruitful opening campaign.

He went through three obligatory maiden runs to get a handicap and after finding 12f too far on handicap debut he was subsequently dropped in trip and finished runner-up twice but went one better when dropped down to 9f at Carlisle where he got finally off the mark.

You can draw a line through his final start in 2016 on soft ground over 12f. However conditions at Ayr should suit, 10f on fast ground looks ideal. Eez Eh is only 3lb higher than his last winning mark but ran already three times to RPR’s above that, so there is a good chance that he could still pull out a bit more under optimal conditions.

Selection:
10pts win – Eez Eh @ 17/2 William Hill

Sunday Blues & Keatley Monday

Leicester Racecourse

THE good: two winners @ 4/1 and 2/1 today. The bad: Air Force Blue is finished. The champion two year old of 2015 finished an eleven lengths beaten last in the Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes….

There is obviously more amiss with him than team Ballydoyle may have wanted us to believe. It’s not a matter of not having trained on. Even if that might well be a factor, it can’t be the reason for one of the most dominant juveniles in recent history suddenly looking like a 30 rated claimer around Southwell on a dreary January afternoon.

I don’t understand it. That is for sure. I felt the drop in trip in the July Cup yielded in some promise, actually, given he travelled really well for a long time. But today? No explanation.

Another question remains unanswered, for the moment at least: retire him or give him a break and try to figure out what’s wrong in the hope he’ll save some of his badly damaged reputation later the year? Well, in my humble opinion the right decision is to send him off to stud. A tumble in the hay with some lovely mares – he may well thrive in the new job….

No surprise in the Phoenix Stakes. Aiden ‘Brien’s Coventry Stakes winner Caravaggio landed the odds without the slightest of problems. The son of Scat Daddy, now unbeaten in four starts, looks a proper racehorse (mind you, Air Force Blue did at this point in time 12 month ago too)!

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Monday Selections:

Riding the Adrian Keatley bandwagon at Ayr tomorrow – his runners, as so often, don’t make much appeal on paper, but his record at the Scottish track speaks for itself. Also his record with horses fitted with headgear, like a visor or tongue tie, or with apprentice Robin Dolan on board.

Also hoping Dragon Pulse can continue his early promise as a freshmen sire. There are some positives to find in a, admittedly, small sample size of his runners on the All-Weather. The majority of those, showing tremendous early speed.

2.45 Wolverhampton: Newport Place @ 14/1 Ladbrokes
2.30 Ayr: Buzz Boy @ 7/1 WH
4.00 Ayr: Jingle Jangle @ 8/1 Bet365
4.45 Wolverhampton: Coronation Day @ 11/2 WH
5.35 Ayr: Dea Dia @ 4/1 Ladbrokes
630 Ffos Las: Desdichado @ 10/1 Skybet
8.20 Windsor: Cosmic Sun @ 4/1 Ladbrokes

Morning Update: Cosmic Sun is N/R
Miday Update: Added Ffos Las selection

Betting: Monday Selections

Leicester Racecourse

A really nice performance by Sound Investment at Aintree yesterday afternoon brought the week down – finally a positive one, betting wise. Sound Investment jumped well, travelled well and out battled his rivals in the closing stages, powering home in the final furlong. Some sight, for me in particular, given that my selections haven’t done that all too often in recent weeks.

1.50 Leicester: Class 2 Handicap, 1m

An open looking affair here at Leicester in the mud today, with most of these having no issue with this type of ground whatsoever. Least the favourite who looks well handicapped on old form and will be difficult to peg back should he enjoy an easy lead up on front. So Robert The Painter is certainly the one to beat, but a rather shortish price in this strong field…

Top of the weights Educate has been disappointing since finishing second in a Listed event back in May. He drops to a handy mark though. Question mark is whether he has the form to take advantage of it. Marcret in contrast certainly has been in good form lately and another good run is on the cards, he isn’t all that well handicapped, on the other side.

Veteran Pintura finds the mile trip his limit stamina wise usually, but he’ll enjoy the conditions today. He showed plenty when close runner-up at the Galway festival in an ultra competitive affair back in August and was a shade unlucky not to win at Ayr one month earlier. He’ll be competitive if the sparkle is back.

Not harshly treated by the handicapper has been Jack’s Revenge after a good runner-up effort at Chester recently. His poor strike is a concern, however. Athletic may find this trip a tick too far in soft ground conditions, but has place claims, at least.

Polar Forest is only 2lb above his last winning mark, although has found life difficult whenever he stepped up in class. He loves these conditions, so can’t be ruled out, still. And the same goes for Spirit Of Law, how might prefer it a bit further generally, but will enjoy the slow conditions. Hard to know what to get from Storm Rock today, but he is still lightly raced, so may have more to offer.

Summary: You can’t rule out any of the nine runners, although some have better credentials than others. I really like Robert The Painter but not his price tag. I take a chance on Pintura instead. He hasn’t been in good form lately, but if he finds back some sparkle he can be dangerous. He’ll be competitive off his current mark, given he finished a head beaten second at the Galway Festival. He’s the overpriced runner in this field in my mind.

Pintura @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

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3.55 Ayr: Novice Handicap Chase (Clas 3), 2m 4f 110y

I feel the favourite Jack Steel is quite a skinny price. I can see why, to an extend: lightly raced and potential for big improvement. But does he look like a chaser? I’m not sure. He is a full-brother to two horses who have achieved zero – I’m prepared to take him on.

I really like the look of the grey Un Noble instead. He is a big, scopey chaser in the making, equally lightly raced. He won a Handicap Hurdle earlier this year in nice style over this sort of trip and any cut in the ground won’t inconvenience him. Un Noble is the type of horse sure to improve for the switch to fences and therefore represents better value than the favourite.

Have to call out Dr Moloney as well, who is likely to benefit from the drop in rip . However I have reservations about the ground and he might be one to keep an eye on for the future.

Un Noble @ 9/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win