Tag Archives: Bondi Beach

Friday Selections

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A third and a fourth last night, nothing to exciting…. but both horses ran with plenty of promise. Dream Team was a bit of a gamble and went off single figures odds. He confirmed he’s one who can win a race, probably one to keep an eye on once he steps into handicap company.

On home soil, the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes took place at Leopardstown. I got to admit I was surprised to see Bondi Beach readily available at 15/8 during the day, though I should have been smarter, knowing how Ballydoyle operates. This was clearly a prep run, a slightly more intense workout, given the ride Bondi Beach received.

Clearly promising though, and he’s obviously better over further – another crack at the Melbourne Cup is on the menu next next? Winner Stellar Mass goes from strengths to strengths. Always talented, but finding it difficult to get his head in front – he was 3rd in the Irish Derby – he followed on from a recent success in Listed company and could be St. Leger bound.

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2.50 Wolverhampton: Tulip Dress @ 6/1 VC

Big chance for the only three year old in this race to add to his sole course and distance success. Trainer Anthony Carson does well in these type of race at the Wolverhampton Tapeta particularly this season and he has found another excellent opportunity to score.

3.10 Brighton: Onehelluvatouch @ 9/1 Ladbrokes

Lightly raced three year old who caught the eye on his handicap debut at Lingfield. Overcame wide draw and made the pace, was halfway through taken on for the lead but hit the front again turning for home just to run out of steam toward the end.

Better ground is likely to help here and the handicapper gives her a chance. A useful 3lb claimer is booked too. Trainer Philip Hide is very successful at Brighton, particularly with three years old’s in Handicaps, so bringing this intriguing filly here looks significant.

4.40 Brighton: Port Lairge @12/1 Ladbrokes

Trainer John Gallagher does really well in Brighton Handicaps over the year and has Michael Murphy booked for the ride on four times course winner Port Lairge. Jockey and trainer have enjoyed a fruitful partnership in the last years during Murphy’s time as an apprentice but there is no sign that this success will dry up any time soon.

Port Lairge usually runs very well at Brighton, having been placed in half of all his runs over today’s trip. Down to a workable mark, he is expected to run well.

6.40 Newmarket: Jupiter Light @ 5/2 Ladbrokes

Hot maiden but Gosden’s colt stands out with Dettori booked. Well bred for this trip and expected to be ready for the job on hand right now.

By Lonhro who was an excellent juvenile, out of Fantasia who was a pattern winner over 7f in her debut season – trainer Gosden often introduced successfully those types over the years.

Preview: Melbourne Cup

Jockeys Joe O'Brien

Four hours…. then it’s Santa knocking on the door! Well, kind of… at least if you’re a racing fan, like I am. I love the Melbourne Cup to bits, my favourite race of the year. The build-up to the big race is sensational, the atmosphere surrounding a packed Flemington racetrack leaving goosebumps on my neck year after year… quite simply: it’s the race that stops a nation! One day I’ll be there and take it in all in flesh.

Not this year though, that’s for sure. But maybe backing the winner tonight could be a stepping stone to finance the flights for 2016? Let’s wait and see. I never backed the winner, although had a couple of each-way selections placed in the last number of years….

It looks a wide open race in my mind. Nonetheless you see some mad short prices in the betting market. That says I can’t have the Japanese runner Fame Game at all. He may have a good draw and some big form, but how does this translate into the race the Melbourne Cup is? 4/1 or shorter seems a mad price in my mind.

Trip To Paris is second favourite, currently a 7/1 chance. He has not the kindest of draws but it could have been worse. He impressed me in the Caulfield Cup and I really like him. He’s a tough, genuine stayer. But hardly value at his current price. Unfortunately.

I really don’t understand why a National Hunt horse is a short 7/1 third favourite to land the Melbourne Cup. Sorry. Willie Mullins is a great trainer and Max Dynamite an excellent horse under both codes, he has strong form in the book but had an absolute dream run in the Lonsdale Cup – this is a completely different ball game, in my mind. I can’t see it happening.

Last years Victoria Derby winner Prefermant is hot on the machines. I don’t wanna pretend to know him well. Could be anything potentially, depending on whether he stays the trip. Class is there it seems, good draw too. But at 10/1? Not for me.

I absolutely loved the way Almoonqith won the Geelong Cup recently. But that was only a Group 3 and much more is required here. He might be found out for class. Same could apply to The United States. Formerly a Group 3 winner in Ireland, he landed the Moonee Valley Gold Cup. Others are better treated.

Criterion has been in top form lately but the trip should find him out off a big weight. Multiple German Group 1 winner Our Ivanhowe had a great preparation to the big race since arriving in Australia. A wide draw and doubts over this stamina let me shy away from him.

Now, there is one horse that stands out of the crowd in my mind: Bondi Beach. When this lightly raced stayer won a Group 3 at the Curragh earlier this year, a day I was there and saw him in flash battling hard with stable mate Order Of St. George who subsequently landed the Irish St Leger in brilliant style, I thought this lad is the real deal if is about a staying prospect.

He subsequently lost two big races in the stewards room, most importantly the English St Leger after appeal weeks after the actual race. That doesn’t take much away from the fact he is a proper Group 1 stayer, proven in fact. Now he has to take on older horses but you can argue that he weight he receives doesn’t stand in the right context to his class and what he should actually carry.

There aren’t too many proper Group 1 horses in this race, and less than a handful are Group 1 stayers anyway. Bondi Beach is. At 16’s he looks a massive price. Granted he gets a run. The draw isn’t ideal and he’ll need luck. But favoring that into the price I still don’t get my head around this price tag.

Bondi Beach @ 16/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Big Race Preview: St Leger

2000 Guineas Field going to post

Only seven go to post in this years St Leger, which shapes to be a below-par renewal. Its status in the world of racing has diminished in the last decades, but this year seems a real low point. Further to this you can add the likelihood of softish ground. It won’t be an exciting race to watch and not one that will live beyond today in our memory.

Anyway, the favourite Storm The Stars is a very decent individual. He finally scored on Group level when he landed the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes in a controversial finish. In other countries, his interference with Bondi Beach would have cost them the race – not so in Brittain.

Stepping up in trip will Suit Storm The Stars though. He looks an out and stayer and will probably fine on the soft ground. He is a fair favourite.

Ballydoyle has two good chances in the race. Bondi Beach looks a progressive stayer. He was unlucky in the Voltigeur as pointed out before. This trip will suit him down to the grounds and he’s fine on the ground. He’s a better chance than Fields of Athenry, who flopped in the Ebor.

While I fancy Bondi Beach to win the Leger, for price reasons do opt with Medrano. He is a long way off the standard to win a Group 1… normally. However this is not a normal Group 1. It’s a poor one. The ground will play right into his hands, and so should the trip. He has a pretty good chance to be able to pull out a bit more over 2m. For a big price, he’s the one I select against the more fancied runners.

Medrano @ 33/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win