Tag Archives: Bath

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.

Saturday Night Selections

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.00 Bath: Class 4 Handicap, 10f

Baylay is a progressive 3yo who enjoys fast ground and has won here at Bath over course and distance last month. He’s only 3lb higher, which could be lenient as he won a shade cosily in the end, after appearing to be outpaced earlier on. He might well have been green, though. There is more to come and he has a good chance to follow-up in this field.

Baylay @ 5/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

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7.45 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Arctic Lynx is a multiple CD scorer which I feel is important at Chelmsford. He won off 73 and 69 in here, and is currently down to 69 again. He should be competitive from a good draw today, albeit he has to bring his A-game in this class. However with a low weight, he has a better chance than his price suggest in my mind.

Arctic Lynx @ 20/1 PP – 5pts Win

Ogbourne Downs fancied to defend his crown

Naas

3.50 Bath: Class 3 Handicap, 1m

Quick conditions at Bath, seems to suit most in this small but competitive field. You can see why Hannington is well fancied. Won well lto and only 3lb up seems lenient. A good 7lb claimer on board gives him every chance to run big, given more is likely to come from this lightly raced gelding. This is a much tougher race today, though, against good opposition. So not it’s worth to look for alternatives to take the short priced favourite on.

Drop in trip should suit top weight Stosur. He should run well but isn’t particularly well weighted, given his record. Mister Musicmaster is in top form this year and may have his best ever chance to achieve a career best. Starlit Cantata in contrast may not enjoy the drop in trip, despite good recent form.

Most interesting runner is Ogbourne Downs in my eyes. He won this very same race last year and won again last season at Kempton of his current mark. He started 2015 in very hot Handicaps and this here represents a much easier task. Down to his last winning mark, with a 7lb claimer on board, he should feature prominently and looks overpriced.

Ogbourne Downs @ 5/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Boom The Groom Back With A Bang On Turf?

Newbury racecourse

Okay, I know one shouldn’t do this, but hey, I’m only human, right? I have to admit 1f out I was counting my cash as Greatest Journey loomed large on the outside in the Tattersalls Millions and I would have thought he will easily outstay Cape Clear Island….. I was wrong. A close 2nd was all he got in the end.

Moheet’s bubble burst. Quite badly in the Craven Stakes. Backed off the boards beforehand but didn’t show anything that would have warranted the hype (which I wanted to believe as well). Hail The Hero didn’t quite get a clear run on the inside, though is not up to this standard. Says off his current mark of 87 I’d think he could be still well in if back in Handicap company….

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3.55 Newbury: Dubai Duty Free Handicap (Class 2)

A very tight Sprint Handicap without the one obvious candidate. It’s all to play for here and I feel that the first two in the betting are definitely skinny prices and therefore to take on. No doubt, Lucky Beggar is a fine sprinter and dropping down into Handicap company after a fair, though not sparkling effort in a very hot Listed contest over 6f at Doncaster, gives him a chance to be competitive. Though he also drops in trip, and this combination of minimum distance plus quick ground looks not quite ideal.

Robot Boy was a creditable third in the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy two weeks ago and should strip fitter. Ground and trip is fine and he has some good form to his name, though his last win came five starts ago off 11lb lower. Seven year old Steps has to give plenty of weight away and may be better suited with a bit of cut in the ground. Normal Equilibrium has to follow-up his recent Chelmsford success under a penalty. His win record doesn’t inspire too much confidence.

As a juvenile Group 2 winner, but now a four year old, Green Door hasn’t won since his big day in autumn 2013. With a dropping mark it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close, but hard to know what to expect. Veteran Noble Storm is hard to fancy these days off a high enough mark.

Leaves us with Boom The Groom. He was a fine juvenile in Ireland but has really taken off since moving to the UK. He really excelled on the All-Weather and has won three races in the last four month. Not to forget he has been placed a dozen of times in good races. He won a Handicap off 97 and was a fine 3rd in a hot Listed race subsequently.

He wasn’t disgraced in the AW Championships Sprint either, given that he finished behind some higher rated individuals. Back on turf now, the quick ground should suit, so does the trip. His mark looks fair and he deserves his chance in this race. He may well improve again and looks the value in this race.

Boom The Groom @ 10/1 PP – 5pts win

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6.10 Bath: Lansdown Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)

I feel this five furlong sprint evolves around the two top rated older horses. I tend to believe that it is not easy for three year olds to compete with seasoned older horses in sprint races, particularly not at this stage of the season. As for the other older horses: They have an awful lot to find on the ratings.

The consistent Demora is the favourite to land this race and her record as well as top rating means she has a top chance here. She is ground independent and has strong form on a quick surface, which is what is expected at Bath. Her record fresh is excellent and while she hasn’t won in her last five starts, she ran more often than not strong races.

She is entitled to go really close, but considering her short price, I feel there isn’t much between her and most feared rival Milly’s Gift, who makes more appeal from a betting perspective.

The five year old mare Milly’s Gift has been progressive over the last two season. She won two races last year in fine style, and particularly on her most recent success, which was her penultimate start last season, she looked to have still a bit in hand. That says she didn’t enjoy the run of the race subsequently at Ascot but finished a fine third, which makes me believe she is clearly up to her current rating, if not even a bit better, and that makes her a closely matched rival with Demora.

She was a bit unlucky in a couple of big Handicaps at Ascot last year, where she also shares form with Demora and actually beat her. She probably should have won most certainly the Class 2 Herritage Handicap at Ascot in July.

On balance she may have a bit to find with the favourite on the ratings, but effectively looks as good as Demora and has done well as a fresh horse in the past. Milly’s Gift has also winning form at Bath. In my mind she looks overpriced.

Milly’s Gift @ 5/1 Coral – 5pts win