Tag Archives: Bath

Wednesday Selections: October, 17th 2018

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5.05 Bath: Class 5 Handicap, 1m3½f

The form that Doctor Knox has produced in three starts looks underappreciated as he steps into handicap company for the first time. Both his final start as a juvenile and most recent performance in a Novice race at Kempton are way better than the bare form suggests, in my mind.

Both times he was a long way beaten, however in front of him a few excellent individual, and those forms work out quite well. On his comeback run last month Doctor Knox made a bold move from a wide draw right from the start to challenge for the lead.

He paid the price for it behind two superior horses that where also up with the pace. The eventual winner has franked the form with a credible effort in Listed company already, and the runner-up was behind high class performers in previous starts also.

Doctor Knox kept going, though, and held on for third place. Now in his first handicap, a mark of 70 looks potentially underestimating him.

Selection:
10pts win – Doctor Knox @ 9/1 MB

……..

7.15 Newcastle: Class 6 Nursery, 6f

Gainsborough Hat looks a likely improver on his first handicap start. He didn’t set the world alight in three starts so far, but an opening mark off 64 doesn’t look too far fetched given he is well bred.

The son of Exceed And Excel should be well suited to the All-Weather as his sire has an excellent record on the sand, particularly over sprint distances, plus he is out of a Listed placed and All-Weather winning mare.

Selection:
10pts win – Gainsborough Hat @ 9/1 MB

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Monday Selections: October, 1st 2018

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5.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

This looks like an ideal opportunity for N Over J with top man Jim Crowley on board. The bottom weight has shown to act on the All-Weather already and is here on a tasty mark. He needs a bit of in-running luck, but from a top draw I imagine an aggressive ride to settle close to the pace.

His form is clearly good enough to win this. He’s been a shade unlucky at Epsom two races back what was a stronger contest than this and a repeat of his CD runner-up effort from earlier this year should see N Over J go very close indeed, again.

Selection:
10pts win – N Over J @ 4.9/1 MB

……..

6.00 Bath: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Silverturnstogold has been good in two starts for his new yard. That’s no surprise to see this three-year-old improve toward the end of the season, given he was a late May foal you can probably draw a line under most of his nine career runs.

He came agonizingly close on his penultimate start to finally get the head in front when edged out close to the line, his latest run was solid, though not exciting, and in saying that it is clear he needs to improve at least a little bit.

Time and age might be what brings out the improvement. Surely this is a race he can win today, regardless. His form is good enough judged on the last two runs and this is a rather uncompetitive affair. Top jockey on board is an added bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Silverturnstogold @ 5/1 WH

Wednesday Selections: July, 4th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.10 Bath: Class 6 Handicap, 5.5f

Job jockey Jim Crowley in the saddle, Archimedes is here to win. Rattling fast ground is what he wants, the five year old also dropped to a dangerous mark, for the first time on turf below a 60 rating.

There are reasons for that, however with the jockey booking, conditions to suit and a track he has won at before, you got to hand Archimedes a cracking chance.

The caveat is the trip. Can he get home over an additional half furlong? It’s certainly worth a chance at given prices.

Selection:
10pts win – Archimedes @ 7/1 GB

Monday Selections: May, 7th 2018

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That was as rough as it gets! In brutal conditions on a muddy Churchill Downs oval Justify justified the favourite tag to land the 144th Kentucky Derby. The colt overcame the so called “Apollo curse” as for a mere 136 years no horse unraced at two was able to win the Derby!

My boy Mendelssohn lost every chance before it really began. The writing was on the wall when the heaven opened its gates as the more rain fell the less likely Mendelssohn was to enjoy the experience he was due to encounter.

As if that wasn’t enough already staked against him, right after the start Mendelssohn was nearly taken out by the cavalry of horses charging across from the wider gates. He didn’t break badly, yet he didn’t break quite fast enough either in order avoid it.

I found it interesting to read Aiden O’Brien’s comments afterwards. They were surprisingly insightful as even he seemed puzzled by the whole experience – he who’s seen so much already!

“There were nearly 160,000 people there, all wet, all screaming, the rain coming from everywhere. Everyone was jammed in and everyone had these plastic things [ponchos] on them.  Mendelssohn was just mind-blown by the whole thing. I’ve never experienced something like yesterday. It was just mad. That many people, that’s two cup final crowds together.”

Ballydoyle, though, haven’t lost faith in Mendelssohn to deliver the goods on US dirt. A bid for Breeder’s Cup Classic crown is firmly on the agenda for the colt later this year.

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3.25 Bath: Class 6 Handicap, 5.5f

Top weight Chicago School has been disappointing since his return to the UK, though he had some valid excuses those last starts as he completely missed the break at Wolverhampton three weeks ago and was carried out to the widest outside turning for home at Lingfield before that.

In truth, those performances are in line with his last few starts at Dundalk, though, back in December he was still able to win a super competitive handicap at the county Louth track.

The interesting bit today is: Chicago School back on turf. Not since October 2015 have we seen the now five year old gelding on the green grass. The last time he was a a 74 rated individual, a mark back then he proved to be worthy of when finishing an fair third at Musselburgh.

Plenty of non-runners today at Bath due to the fast going. This could be an advantage for Chicago School. In his six career turf starts, in five of those the word “firm” appeared in some shape or form in the going description and three times he finished in the money.

So it is fair to assume his best is likely to come on firmish ground. His turf handicap mark off 58 could really underestimate his chances today, given he ran to much higher time speed ratings and RPR’s on turf in the past.

Jockey George Downing comes to Bath for this one ride and his record over the 5.5f trip here is excellent. That says, the latest forms Chicago School produced are slightly concerning as twice he missed the break. Let’s hope this does not become a habit and the return to turf rejuvenates him.

Selection:
10pts win – Chicago School @ 14/1 VC

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6.05 Windsor: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Bottom weight Haveoneyerself looks poised for a big run with conditions he likes off a career lowest weight. The winter on the All-Weather didn’t really work out for him and on his seasonal turf debut over CD last month the heavy ground certainly annihilated his chances.

Judged on juvenile turf form, though, he could have a big shout today: he placed a couple of times in Novice races on fast going at the beginning of his career and eventually landed a nursery of a mark off 70 at Bath in August.

That is not a particularly strong piece of form, nonetheless, Haveoneyerself has dropped to 62 now which may underestimate him given he has ran to TS 66 already.

Selection:
10pts win – Haveoneyerself @ 7/1 Sky

Saturday Selections: March, 31st 2018

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Good Friday washed out – both selections non-runners thanks to the severe ground conditions at Bath yesterday. Let’s see if today – on Dubai World Cup day (one fancy for the Sheema Classic) – things go more to plan.

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3.00 Musselburgh: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Some of the lesser exposed individuals are interesting, particularly Paco Boy son Fake News. The one I fancy, though, is hardy sort Indomeneo, who has seen plenty of racing as a juvenile.

He is vulnerable to an improver, and will have to overcome a wide draw. However, he has proven himself over this sort of trip and ground last year. He looked good winning two on the bounce at Ripon and Redcar, and he already ran to a TSR of 82 – so of his current mark off 84 he looks a rock solid option.

I like the fact that he is usually up with the pace. Something that is of massive advantage at Musselbourgh particularly in these type of conditions today, I feel. He will need to be sharp at the start, on the other hand – as drawn in 10 is not an easy task.

Selection:
10pts win – Indomeneo @ 7/1 VC

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4.45 Musselburgh: Class 5 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Question marks all over, so I go with one who’s proven to enjoy the ground and might not have shown his best over this sort of trip in these conditions yet: Richard Fahey’s Geoff Potts has a poor win record, however, looked an improved horse last season, particularly with cut in the ground.

He was very consisted in the second half of last season, winning a 6f Handicap on soft ground and going close enough in a handful of races subsequently. A good piece of form over the minimum trip is missing, however only twice in Handicaps did he have the chance and was very much unfancied those times.

With more rain to come, this should turn into a grind and that will suit those who act on this type of ground and stay a bit further. Geoff Potts fits the bill.

Selection:
10pts win – Geoff Potts @ 9/1 Matchbook

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8.45 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Money is already pouring in, yet top weight Fareeq looks still a tasty price. He’s a tricky sort who can make a mess of things at the start and can hang violently in the finish, however judged on his two last CD runs here at Chelmsford he should be bang there when it matters.

He won here in January in fine style, running to a time speed rating of 61 and finished subsequently a good runner-up off a revised mark, when things did not go his way as he missed the break from a widish draw and travelled always wide mostly off the bridle.

Pretty much the same story at Kempton the last time, now back at Chelmsford, a kinder draw and a mark of 60 should give him a big chance with a good 5lb claimer in the saddle.

Selection:
10pts win – Fareeq @ 12/1 VC

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5.10 Meydan: Sheeema Classic, 1m 4f

The Japanese Rey De Oro and Arc runner-up Cloth Of Stars head the market, and probably rightly so. However, at given prices, I do fee Hawkbill is the forgotten horse and way too big.

He had a fine comeback run here at Meydan earlier this months. Overcoming a wide draw and travelling wide throughout, he grinded it out eventually. This is much tougher today, obviously, but that was as good a reappearance as you could expect and shows Hawkbill is still close to his best form.

William Buick is in the saddle of the five times Group winner, including the 2016 Coral Eclipse. I hope he will have Hawkbill close enough to the pace. Stall seven is wide enough but Hawkbill has the pace to get across quickly.

He is not the best horse in the race, but if he gets an ideal run, he could be hard to pass, given race fitness is ensured.

Selection:
10pts win – Hawkbill @ 11/1 PP

Good Friday Selections: March 30th, 2018

Newmarket July Course

4.00 Bath: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Favourite Tony Curtis looks rock solid. He certainly is up to his current rating and may not mind the ground conditions. However he isn’t well handicapped by any means, and this deep going with a first run of the season in combination is a tough assignment. I pass at given prices.

More interesting is Sir Roderic. He tumbled down the weights to a tremendously dangerous mark. He was able to be placed in hot races off 90 and 93 last season and has winning form on deep ground as encountered here at Bath today.

The question mark is obviously his breathing. He had a wind op, as that seemed the issue last year when he didn’t finish his races and subsequently fell dramatically in the ratings.

He reappeared at Doncaster in the Spring Mile last week. He dropped out tamely from 3f out and was eventually a long way beaten. But so were the majority of the field. Hence, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt today, the second run since he got his wind done.

If the OP had a positive effect, then today he should shine with conditions totally to his liking and a mark a full 9lb lower than his last winning one.

Selection:
10pts win – Sir Roderic @ 5/1 Skybet

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5.05 Bath: Class 4 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Tough going at Bath so this will likely be a slow motion finish despite racing over the minimum trip. You never quite know how horses act until they tried this deep, so siding with September Issue is a little gamble.

That says he won over course and distance in September on good to soft outstaying a fine rival who went on to perform quite well subsequently – this looks excellent form and on pedigree it looks not unlikely that softer will be a big issue for him.

September Issue needs a career best today. On the other hand, judged on TS and RPR’s he has ever chance to still find a little bit more; he also ran well off marks around his current 79 in the past. So with right conditions he should be thereabouts for sure.

De Sousa is booked for the ride, which seems a bonus. The draw doesn’t concern me, it’s more a ground question, which hopefully September Issue answers in the best possible way.

Selection:
10pts win – September Issue @ 7/2 VC

Wednesday’s Summer Racing

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The summer is firmly on and this blog is dawdling along… time, where is the time? Today is a bit of time. My increasingly statics based approach to betting does slowly but steadily reap benefits. So I used the free minutes this morning to dig out some interesting horses for today’s racing.

But despite this being the time of the year for horses proving their worthiness on the holy green turf, the ‘charm’ of sand racing is never far away. Kempton offers some bread and butter material today. I like it.

I might update this post later on in the afternoon with one or more contenders… so keep coming back if interested….

7.10 Kempton: Curriculum @ 4/1 Ladbrokes

Very interesting contender for William Haggas who has a 42% strike rate this season in Kempton maiden races and a 70%+ place strike rate over the last five years here in this type of races – so one would assume Curriculum is reasonably fit going to post today.

The gelding showed promise in soft conditions at Doncaster last year and is open to a significant amount of improvement over this longer trip.

8.20 Yarmouth: Fleeting Dream @ 2/1 Ladbrokes

This rather well bred three year old filly of Dream Ahead should be very hard to beat on her handicap debut, dropping down to five furlongs which is very likely to suit down to the grounds.

Haggas seems to find always the right opportunities for this type of horse and while Fleeting Dream didn’t show much in three maiden races, she showed plenty of speed the last time in a hot race. Her opening mark of 56 could be lenient.

3.30 Bath: Forecaster 11/8 Betfred

This looks seemingly a wide open race but closer inspection shows this is an excellent opportunity for 3yo Forecaster. The slight step up in trip should bring out further improvement after two subsequent placed efforts this season. First time cheekpieces can be a big help too.

Michael Bell has a near 50% strike rate this year and consistently over time with his horses tried in this type of headgear. I suspect Forecaster will be able to find enough improvement to beat this very ordinary lot today.

4.00 Bath: Hope Is High @ 8/1 Coral

She improved dramatically from her maidens last month on her handicap debut at Yarmouth, though got a bit a rough ride. Once in the clear she ran on strongly to finish an unlikely looking runner-up. There is more to come and a 2lb hike in the mark isn’t enough to stop her to go close. I believe the slower ground will her here.

Jockey booking is interesting, as the Gordon/Berry combo has proved very successful this year, albeit the sample size is on the small side. Still, her 3lb allowance look significant given the 60% strike rate these two enjoy.