Tag Archives: Carlisle

Monday Selections: 1st August 2022

I have one selection on this (Irish) bank holiday Monday. But first I’ve got to take a quick lock back at what was a wonderful and pretty profitable month of racing.

July 2022:
46 bets, 9 winners = 162.5pts profit & 35% ROI

It was a fine, fine month from a betting perspective. And possibly even more important to me personally: every month this season was in profit. It’s not always been easy.

The second half of July proved once again how contrasting the good and bad times can be in this game. You have to stay levelheaded and put the emotions aside to succeed. Easier said than done, I must admit.

Clearly my highlight was backing Victor Loza at 12.5/1 to win comfortably from the front at Epsom. I was watching the race in a pub with some friends which made it even more enjoyable.

Betting aside July was a wonderful month purely as a racing fan with top-class action all over the world: Durban July, German Derby, Eclipse…. absolutely loved it.

……….

7.15 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

A speculative choice at this time of the day given the chances will be significantly enhanced if the rain arrives in time for Gorgeous General.

His turf form reads awful on the surface, but he didn’t have many opportunities to run with ease in the ground, even though he produced a career best on turf judged on speed ratings over this CD on good to soft ground only four weeks ago.

Rain is expected to arrive from late afternoon on at Carlisle, and a significant portion of it. That might be enough to turn the going to good to soft come 7.15pm.

Gorgeous General caught the eye a number of times this year already. Certainly over the CD run last month, when not getting a clear run. Also a strong finish last time out from off the pace in a race dominated by the front-runner was another clear sign that he’s in excellent form.

Yet the handicapper has “rewarded” those fine performances with dropping him in the ratings. This is an open race, he may struggle to get into it from off the pace with space probably coming at a premium. But I feel he’s so well handicapped that at the price it’s worth a go.

10pts win – Gorgeous General @ 8/1

Saturday Selections: 2nd July 2022

3.35 Sandown: Eclipse Stakes, 1m 2f

The race promised so much at the beginning of the week. It has significantly lost in excitement with the loss of some key horses that were expected to run and now go somewhere else for supposedly easier options.

It’s still a good race with six proper thoroughbreds going head to head. Let’s not forget only a few weeks ago Bay Bridge was thought to be the next coming of baby Jesus.

Today he’s a 7/2 shot. I was tempted for a moment when even bigger yesterday afternoon, but can’t get over the fact that his Sandown performance is simply overrated in my view, given the better horses that day weren’t fully tuned up most likely.

Even if taking the performance at face value he achieved a 102 topspeed rating – although it’s not unreasonable to assume he could have ran a bit faster – is far from the best on offer in this field today. He also had every chance at Ascot in my view and failed.

Mishriff is the highest rated horse in the race and a proper star. He’s only returning from a break, though. I doubt the test today, given how the race is likely to pan out, will suit.

Alenquer produced a career best at the Curragh. I rate that performance highly. He could be underestimated today again and probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I do wonder about a possibly slow pace for him, though. On fast ground it counts against him.

The two most likely to fight it out in my view are the three-year-olds. Superstar juvenile Native Trail has done little wrong this season . I don’t understand the perception that he is not as good a three-year-old as he was a juvenile when he clearly is. He simply meets stiffer competition this year.

He still impresses me, I must say. His Newmarket performance can be marked up for a variety of reason but he was the best horse in the race in my view and simply unlucky the way the race developed.

He put things right at the Curragh. It wasn’t a flashy performance but he did it in the upmost professional manner. He’s given enough indication to believe a step up in trip can work.

How is the fast ground to suit today? And what about the pace? He can take a bit of time to get going. Not ideal in what shapes like a muddling affair.

It’s the conundrum of the day: pace. Or a lack of it. Who is going to do the donkey work? Most if not all of these want to have something to chase after. This will be a sprint finish.

As unoriginally as it is, the fastest horse is French Derby winner Vadeni. His 109 topspeed rating from Chantilly rates even higher given he was nearly pulled up half a furlong from home.

He’s got a proper turn of foot, can quicken off a slowish pace, and looks a thoroughly uncomplicated ride. The fast ground is the one worry I have. It’s new to him. There’s a significant difference between French good ground (as connections called the PDJC ground) and Sandown fast.

But with the 3-year-old weight allowance in addition to the possibility of more improvement, I can’t look past him, especially at a price that should be probably a point shorter I think.

10pts win – Vadeni @ 9/4

………….

1.50 Sandown: Group 3 Coral Charge, 5f

Equilateral is the a clear top rated choice on any measure for me. The bounce factor is a question mark, however that is already more than reflected in the price. If he’s fine after a huge effort at Royal Ascot and gets a clear run I can’t see him getting beaten.

Equilateral returned from a long lay-off in the King’s Stand Stakes. He travelled beautifully through the race, tracked Nature Strip from over two furlongs out and naturally failed to match the superstar sprinter. He finished a highly credible 5th, though.

That performance was worth a 102 topspeed rating. Just another one in the list of 100+ performances he produced in this career. He looks still strong and fast on the basis of this run and is considerably overpriced.

10pts win – Equilateral @ 11/2

……….

2.25 Sandown: Class 2 Handicap, 1m

It pains me that I can’t back Checkandchallenge  because I was really keen on him after his eye-catching Guineas run that was much better than the bare form suggested. I absolutely loved his Newcastle victory too.

At 4/1 on properly fast ground I can’t have him off 108, though. He may be too good and can overcome it, but I have the impression the fast ground won’t be to his advantage.

There is one alternative I have been tracking the whole year already: Trais Fluors. Admittedly the latest Windsor performance has given me pause for thought and I am a little less excited to jump on board. He looked laboured that day. So a clear risk to back when backing him today: what’s his form?

However, the positives outweigh the risks in an open race where he’s certainly handicapped to go close if he finds back to the form previously shown in three runs this season.

He caught the eye on all three of those runs. Desperately unlucky at Thirsk, not a clear passage on his seasonal debut at Newbury before and he made a huge impression from off the pace dominated by those up or closer to it at Redcar, finishing the second half of the race the fastest.

Down to a mark of 85 he’s given a proper chance. He won last summer over course and distance on fast ground off 92. He ran to topspeed 91 that day.

Back at Sandown with De Sousa in the saddle he has a good chance to outrun his price. Whether that’s good enough to win in this hot contest remains to be seen. He needs a bit of “luck” from off the pace. I have him a better shot nonetheless to deliver today.

10pts win – Trais Fluors @ 10/1

……….

6.50 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Twice Adaay has been knocking on the door a couple of times this season over 6 furlongs. She caught my eye in May at Ripon when she moved forward into a prominent position after slightly sluggish start. She lost her position before the two furlong marker as she got behind a wall of horses. She was short of room over one furlong from home again, but finished well enough and easy on the eye.

The drop to the minimum trip is sure to suit, especially with rain forecast. Her best performances came over five furlongs with cut in the ground, so conditions will be perfect.

She is down to a mark off 55, a single pound above her last (and only) winning mark when she took a 5 furlong contest at Beverley last July. She seems to give her best running also on these slightly tricky specialist tracks, as she possesses good balance and should enjoy Carlisle in the rain.

Having ran to topspeeds of 58 (on fibresand though), 56 and 54 on turf, she is reasonably well handicapped, with 5lb claiming Laura Coughlin offering additional assistance.

10pts win – Twice Adaay @ 8/1

………….

7.00 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Lightly-raced Bibulous makes plenty of appeal here, even though I envision he might be even better over an additional furlong. I still believe even over 6 furlongs he can be better handicapped than the current mark, and his recent finish at Chepstow is a good indication for this notion.

The June race was his seasonal reappearance after a light campaign as a three-year-old with only three runs including an impressive victory at Kempton over 6 furlongs.

At Chepstow he travelled at the rear of the field after a restrained start. He looked to go pretty well, was eventually switched to the stands’ side over two furlongs out where he started his run home. He didn’t have an instant change of gear but it also appeared he didn’t quite enjoy the undulations and especially downhill portion of the course.

However once balanced he rattled home much the strongest suggesting that there’s more to come on a slightly more conventional straight sprint course. He remains on the same 68 handicap mark, which is more than fair I reckon. He already ran to a 67 topspeed last season. Any improvement will see him hard to beat.

10pts win – Bibulous @ 5/1

Wednesday Selections: 22nd June 2022

2.25 Carlisle: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Tangled looks cherry ripe. He was quite unlucky at Doncaster earlier this month when repeatedly a clear run denied. He just failed last week at Beverley when finishing the last three and four furlongs the fastest running to topspeed 75.

His poor starting habits can make life difficult, but the fact he can run off the same 73 mark as at Beverley before going up marginally is a bonus, so is the slight drop back to a mile as well as his return to Carlisle.

Even though he moves back up in class, this class 4 Handicap doesn’t look much stronger than the Beverley class 5 race last week. In fact, if not for 80 rated 3yo War Of Words this would be a worse race judged by official ratings.

Regardless of class, Tangled can add another Carlisle victory to his name. He won back to back over course and distance last summer off 76 and 78, is ground independent and has the added advantage of Laura Coughlan in the saddle claiming 5 valuable pounds on her sole ride.

If he gets a clean run to the line and doesn’t mess up completely at the start I can’t see him getting beaten; he’ simply so well handicapped. He certainly is overpriced in my book, taking everything into account.

10pts win – 7/2 Tangled

Monday Selections: 13th June 2022

It’s Royal Ascot week. Exciting for many reasons, but mostly due to all the international competition. My excitement is slightly tempered nonetheless because on the bread and butter betting front I struggle to back a winner.

Even though the Eyecatchers perform really well, I simply don’t back the ones that win. That can happen. A number of poor decisions haven’t helped and that means I’m on 15 losers on the bounce right now. Today are pure value selections that are low percentage plays not necessarily likely to turn that around.

But I got to believe in the process that served me well for six straight years, not to forget April and May were green months, in fact. So here we go:

2.45 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I am interested in Stone Circle here for obvious reasons, but I don’t think the fast ground will suit entirely, hence there is zero juice left in his price this morning.

One who looks seriously overpriced is the 6-year-old gelding Sharrabang. He showed some spark the last time at this venue, even though over 5 furlongs.

He was up with the pace early on, disputed the lead as part of a trio. He started to come under pressure from over 2 furlongs out, struggling to keep up the tempo. But he kept going, only to be ever so gently being pushed toward the inside by a rival, finding himself in a tight spot.

As a consequence he was a bit short of room over 1f from home, lost momentum and couldn’t find it again. This should be strong form for this grade in my view.

The minimum trip on fast ground was never to suit entirely, so the fact he ran so well despite the trouble is noteworthy. He needs 6 furlongs, despite a win over 5 furlongs last year – but that came on softish ground – and stays up to 7f on fast ground too and acts well on the All-Weather.

Hence I do think the stiff 6 furlongs at Carlisle suit him down to the grounds, a notion his past form would support. He has come down some way in the mark ever since the victory last May. Yet he also ran well a number of times last season when he achieved topspeeds of 50 and 52, was competitive of marks in the low 50’s and therefore could take advantage of a basement mark with the right conditions I feel.

In terms of conditions I can’t see any reason for excuses. The 3lb claim of Faye McManoman is good value normally and she knows the horse. The #7 isn’t a big deal in my view. I really expect a good run today from Sharrabang despite the massive price.

10pts win – Sharrabang @ 19/1

……….

3.15 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I was really keen on Marselan the other day at Catterick – which was stupid for the simple fact he never stood a chance from the wide draw and I got blinded by his sensational LTO performance, simply negating the obvious facts of track bias.

It happened what must happen. Marselan was never in the race. It’s one to draw a line through.

Ideally I want to see him over 7 furlongs, no question. So am I about to make the same mistake twice? I don’t think so. Off a 61 mark over a stiff 6 furlongs that requires some stamina in the final third it all play to his strengths today. The #8 draw is nowhere near as big a deal as the wider draw at Catterick was.

Marselan was one of THE eye-catchers of the year so far, for me personally. At Thirsk last months he raced as part of a duo isolated on the stand’s side. The pair was lengths behind the main bunch and had plenty to do with two furlongs to go. Marselan found tons to finish much the strongest to grab 2nd place, the only with a finish speed of over 100%. He also achieved a career best 60 topspeed rating that day.

He returned fresh from a wind operation which seemingly worked. The loss of form last year can most likely be attributed to breathing issues.

He won of 65 and 67 last summer over 7 furlongs. Now down to 61 he’s obviously well handicapped with the breathing issues rectified. Ryan Sexton claims highly valuable 5lb too, the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

10pts win – Marselan @ 11/1

Eyecatchers #10 2022

A list of horses that caught my eye during the last seven days of racing. These individuals look ready to win a race sooner rather than later given the right conditions.

Wooders Dream
27/05/22 – 1.35 Brighton:

Tracked the pace in a good position, started to move at the cutaway on the inside rail but was kept in by the front-running and eventual winning horse right to the end. Possibly would have won with a clear run.

Only the second handicap start. One can ignore the 7f performance earlier this month. 6 furlongs, ideally on fast ground, will see the best of her.

She ran to topspeed 59 here. Closely matched with her 61 official rating. Given she could have won with a clear run and additional improvement far from impossible she could possibly have a few pounds in hand. Nonetheless I wait until she drops below a 60 rating when she meets optimum conditions.

Race Replay

Igotatext
27/05/22 – 3.05 Chepstow:

Traveled at the back of the field, outpaced from three furlongs out, looked bit awkward in the final two furlongs, most likely didn’t enjoy this track but ran on quite well.

Trip too sharp. Needs 6 furlongs. Wouldn’t rule out that he gets 7 furlongs if they ever tried. Was an expensive £165,000 purchase in summer 2020 after an exciting debut win but has never fulfilled the promise. Changed hands for merely £11k earlier this year. This was the debut for the Adrian Wintle yard.

He won twice up until now, on the All-Weather and turf, running to topspeeds of 65, 68 and 69. I’d be interested when he goes back up in trip and ideally see a reduction of the mark below 68 plus a drop in grade. A return to All-Weather would be also interesting.

Race Replay

Sharrabang
27/05/22 – 2.20 Carlisle:

Was up with the pace early on, disputed lead as part of a trio. Started to lose position from 2 furlongs out as race heated up, but also got pushed inside by rival horse and squeezed. Bit short of room over 1f from home again, lost momentum and couldn’t find it again. This should be strong form for this grade.

The minimum trip on fast ground was never to suit entirely. He needs 6 furlongs, despite a win over 5f last year – but that came on soft ground – and stays up to 7f on fast ground too and acts well on the All-Weather.

Has fallen significantly in his mark but may recapture some form now. Ran well a number of times last season. Ran top topspeed 50 and 52, was competitive of marks in the low 50’s and could take advantage of a 46 rating with the right conditions now.

Race Replay

End Zone
27/05/22 – 6.30 Pontefract:

Prominent from good draw, chased the pace. In a good position turning for home but looked bit flat footed 1.5 furlongs from home. Short of room at the final furlong marker. Lost momentum. Impressive how he regained it to finish strongly in third.

Seemingly finding back some solid form. This was a strong performance I believe. He comes down again to a mark he can win from. Has ran to topspeed 71 on turf but best form comes on the All-Weather.

Would like to see him back on the sand, especially if his mark slips to 70 or lower. He ran topspeed 74 and 77 back in November and this most recent run suggests he is not far off that level right now. Ran at Thirsk in the meantime this week – 11/12 finish.

Race Replay

Tar Heel
27/05/22 – 9.00 Pontefract:

Never looked comfortable here at Ponti. Hang to the left badly on multiple occasions throughout the race, including in the home straight which meant he couldn’t land a blow.

Obviously had issues as his significant fall in the ratings demonstrate. However, he looked to be better than the bare form here.

Clearly needs a straight track and cut in the ground. Won in Ireland and produced solid runs over minimum trip and 6 furlongs in those conditions.

Massive performance last time out at Ayr off big weight in class 6 over 6 furlongs in soft conditions, getting a bump right after the start and racing inefficiently without cover on the outside away from the rail for the most part, finishing 2nd miles clear of the rest.

Will need monitoring for his mark and conditions. Worth to wait for the right day.

Race Replay

Music Society
28/05/22 – 4.05 Haydock:

Tracked the fast pace, started move from 2.5 furlongs out, took lead and kicked on over 1.5 furlongs from home. Got a gap on the field but tired inside the final 100 yards and was caught by two runners finishing strongly from off the pace.

This was huge performance given the solid pace he tracked and the big move from about halfway onwards. proper sign of life after three poor showings this season.

Down to excellent mark again. Won off 79 last June, running to topspeed 83. Clearly close to that form. A slightly less aggressive ride will see him more than capable of winning. Has form on soft but ideally I like to see decent ground, 6 furlongs and a track where his usual more prominent racing style holds up well. Perhaps a drop in class can be beneficial too.

Race Replay

Key Look
28/05/22 – 3.39 Catterick:

One of the slower starters, settled in rear, travelling okay, but still only one rival behind turning for home. Made excellent progress on the inside in the home straight until short of room 15 furlongs from home: lost momentum, had to regain full effort. Finished nicely under hands and heels giving impression there was more left in the tank.

Ran well a number of times in defeat in recent weeks. Down to her last winning mark off 60 which came in her final start in 2021 after a season of fine progress.

Ran to topspeed 62 on the All-Weather and 59 on turf last year. Looks in fine form, but ideally will get some additional assistance from the handicapper before getting involved. 58 or lower and certainly a good draw if racing around a turn.

Race Replay

Libertus + Lord Gorgeous
30/05/22 – 4.30 Lingfield:

Libertus saw his path forward blocked early on, as a consequence boxed in on the inside. Travelled much the best but had to delay his move. Sharply switched to the middle of the track for a clear run, giving ground away to the eventual winner who had first run.

Handicap debut – probably wins another day. A mark off 67 looks potentially underestimating him; granted the handicapper doesn’t react harshly after this fine effort.

Full-brother to solid Lajatico. Probably best suited to decent or fast ground. A drop to the minimum trip wouldn’t be an issue I reckon.

Lord Gorgeous was awkwardly away as so often. He was caught wide without a lot of cover and away from the rail where the eventual winner who always travelled prominently came from. he travelled very strongly to 1.5 furlongs from home until fading in the closing stages.

The way he travelled here you’d have never guessed he was 80/1. He’s got obvious temperamental issues. However he has talent as he showed as a juvenile. Clearly lost his way and the switch of yards and to the UK hasn’t really helped yet.

However, there was a glimmer of hope form wise when 3rd at Wolverhampton in February. He’s one to monitor for market and jockey booking any time he races over the minimum trip. He’s capable of winning over 5 furlongs, on the All-Weather or on turf, possibly with a bit of ease in the ground.

Race Replay

Pure Dreamer
30/05/22 – 6.10 Windsor:

Quite badly hampered early on, nonetheless travelled smoothly. Had to wait for racing room, moved into the open approaching the final furlong and got upside the long-term leader. Eventually won it a shade cozily in my view.

This was his third win on the bounce. Still ran to topspeed 83 off a 80 mark here, despite not having a perfect race and despite the trip potentially on the sharp side. Has more to offer if moving up in trip. Would love to see him over a mile.

Looks a galloping type with a significant stride lengths. Would imagine he doesn’t want it any faster than good. Need to see what a the handicapper does after this but could be a mid-90 horse over a mile.

Race Replay

Raydoun
01/06/22 – 6.05 Ripon:

Slowly away, as a consequence trailed the field. Tried to make progress from over two furlongs out, having to pass the entire field. Didn’t find a clear run through, short of room on multiple occasions. Finished nicely under hands and heels.

Unlucky last time out too when bumped at the start and hampered in the middle of the race. Can find trouble due to his racing style. Tends to be slowly away from the gate.

Looks exposed on the surface of his form but clearly in form to win. Won off 66, excellent runner-up off 69 running to topspeed 67. Any assistance from the handicapper will be very welcome, though. Probably doesn’t want it fast. I’d be really intrigued on good to soft.

Race Replay

Nibras Again
01/06/22 – 8.10 Ripon:

Travelled strongly throughout, still on the bridle approaching the final furlong marker. Badly squeezed at that moment, continued to be short of room with little room to maneuver right to the end, and just as he tries to go through the tiniest of gaps in the last 100 yards the door shuts again.

Seasonal reappearance after a break since October. Ran well of marks in the 70s last season, was beaten a neck and shoulder off 73 and 75. Down to a mark of 69 now, he looks weighted to win.

His very best comes on proper fast ground over the minimum trip. Even though e’s an eight-year old now, he clearly retains an appetite for sprinting.

Race Replay

Stone Circle
31/05/22 – 5.29 Yarmouth:

Travelled very strongly approaching the two furlong marker. Lacked an instant kick and tired gradually, finishing 3rd. Possibly disappointing after it looked he’d come with a winning move.

Seven furlongs with ease in the ground perhaps stretches his stamina. Plus he possibly did too much in the early sections of the race. This was nonetheless a clear return to form after he fell a long way in the mark over the last year, having ran to topspeed 57 here.

He’s rated 60 now, a long way below his best and certainly better than that if on song. Showed glimpses last season still; should be highly competitive if dropping down to 6 furlongs again with a bit of cut in the ground. I definitely want to see the word “soft” in the going description.

Race Replay

Special Times
02/06/22 – 2.45 Leicester:

Chased the pace for most of the race. Outpaced from three furlongs out but stuck to the task. Was one paced when a bit tight around half a furlong out, finished solid enough where those from back of the field dominated the placings.

Showed a bit of ability in maiden races and caught the eye the way she travelled lto, but clearly trips were too short and was saved for Handicaps. Should improve for a step up in trip to 10 furlongs. The Dam won over 11.5 furlongs in Germany.

Race Replay

Thursday Selections: 2nd June 2022

3.46 Hamilton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 5f

This isn’t a competitive race as you would expect over this extended trip in this class. You can make a case for the short-priced favourite Haven Lady, but she looks quite high in the ratings now and is opposable.

Ghostly comes down to a good mark again but handicap newcomer Aighear is clearly the most interesting. Off bottom weight she looks ready to strike moving up in trip.

She caught my eye in her last run at Carlisle when finishing at the back of the field, never put into a position to challenge, but travelled quite well through the race over an inadequate 7 furlongs trip.

It’s fair to say she has been buried in her first three starts on the flat after a promising debut in a bumper in March. That particular form looks quite strong thanks to the winner who franked the form significantly. Even that day, possibly not surprisingly on her a debut, Aighear got an education ride and only late was called on to ride for a proper finish.

Her dam was a solid staying handicapper, so stamina is assured, if any further evidence was needed after the debut over 1m 7.5f in a bumper. Any rain will be welcome today. That is the one concern I have that things will still happen too fast today.

But at the same time I’m quite confident that t she is better than a 44 or 46 mark over this sort of trip. The fact she steps up in distance so sharply suggests there is no hiding place today – it’s “D-Day” for her.

10pts win – Aighear @ 4/1