Tag Archives: Chelmsford

All-Weather Eyecatchers #7

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather. Find all previous lists here.

Naughty Ted
22/01/23 – 12.45 Newcastle:

Swerved violently left out of the gate, lost ground. Got back in touch with the field, always travelling on the outside, without much cover. Outpaced from over three furlongs out, but made nice progress on the widest outside from 3 to final furlong marker.

Disappointing nto at Southwell. Appears exposed,; however, may have a bit more to offer going up in trip, and certainly on grass. Handicap debut in September over 7f at Newcastle was promising as well.

Want to see him back up in trip, one to keep in mind for turf also. However, down to a mark of 50, on AW still interesting. Will be intriguing to see once he’s gelded.

Race Replay

Pepper Streak
23/01/23 – 5.10 Southwell:

Quickly out of the gate, although, slightly awkward in initial phase of the race. Raced freely, bang up with pace as part of quartet, travelling well until fading from 2 furlongs out, paying the price for early exertions.

Only 1/17 but the two final runs in December were quite strong, especially the Southwell performance warrants an upgrade. She’s a tricky sort, tends to races freely.

Will be interesting with any reduction in her mark down to 60, plus if she drops down to class 6 again, as she ran well the last two times in the lower grade. Her speed ratings would give her a good chance in a race with favourable pace and draw.

Race Replay

Big Impact
23/01/23 – 4.20 Wolverhampton:

Reared, bumped right after start, still moved forward quickly to grab solid spot tracking the pace. Held up behind leaders, impeded around the home turn, briefly losing a bit of momentum. Solid finish against inside rail.

Caught the eye a number of times lately, having run strong speed ratings in line with his mark while also having to overcome wide draws. Usually a solid starter.

Is he in the grip of the handicapper? Possibly, although if he can get a solid start he’ll be dangerous, slowly dropping to a sexy mark, especially back over 6f.

Ran nto in Amateurs Handicap over 7f. Ridden too aggressively, didn’t stay.

Race Replay

They Don’t Know
23/01/23 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Badly away from the gate, not helped by horse drawn right beside him. Travelled in rear, had a lot to do turning for home. Finished seriously impressive in the last three furlongs, making huge against against the inside rail.

Strong form. Winner backed up. He’s still a maiden. Obviously a difficult sort. Usually an okay starter. Down another pound, ran to higher speed ratings before. Appears to be in serious form.

Race Replay

Legal Reform
24/01/23 – 5.30 Southwell:

Excellent start from lowest draw, moved quickly forward, led early on, pressed for the lead all the way thereafter, still right up there approaching the final furlong, although in reality he was tiering badly from three furlongs out.

Strong run in circumstances, winner and second came from off the pace. Probably needed it still, as this was his second run after a long absence.

Will be interesting if he can drop in class, down to a mark of 70, then over 7 furlongs, because a mile seemed to stretch him in the past.

Race Replay

How Bizarre
24/01/23 – 6.00 Southwell:

Quickly overcame the widest draw to establish a solid lead heading into the turn. Was really gutsy all the the way to the line in a tight finish. Excellent run.

Ran with plenty of credit in all his recent starts. A tricky sort these days, though. Tends to hang in closing stages. Can win one of these poor contests, though.

Entry next Friday over a mile intriguing, if pace scenario favourable. That looks potentially an even worse race than this one.

Race Replay

Emperor Spirit
26/01/23 – 7.30 Newcastle:

Grabbed the lead promptly, set red hot pace, pestered by rival throughout, travelled strongly, but drifted across the track as he got really tired and was eventually beaten in third by horses from off the pace.

Dropped in grade here and clearly up to win in C4. Ran well all winter. One pound below last winning mark from June 2022 as he won over 6f at Chelmsford off 88 running to a 90 speed rating.

Most recent best on speed rating only 82, but now down to mark off 87 and if down to C4 again should have every chance. His RPR’s are not far off his best, so fair to assume he can win off his current mark.

Race Replay

Lost In Time
28/01/23 – 12.33 Lingfield :

Held up off the pace, travelled smoothly into the home straight. Good progress from 2f out, not the clearest of passages and all momentum stopped one furlong out. Got going again to finish nicely.

Caught the eye in earlier this winter. Seemed to have lost all form subsequently. Clear return to form, and has shown to be able to race up with the pace.

Has been left on the same mark. Obviously well-handicapped if in the same frame of mind next time out.

Race Replay

Solar Prophet
28/01/23 – 1.43 Lingfield:

Travelled nicely tracking the pace in fourth. Seemingly in good position, but forced wider than ideal entering the home straight by rival, which cost momentum and possibly victory, as the front-running winner was gone. Took a bit of time to get organised before rattling home strongly.

Didn’t stay a mile before. Strong form over 6 furlongs at Southwell prior, when poorly away from the gate, left too far off the pace, caught wide but made eye-catching progress from halfway through the race.

Ran to speed ratings 52 and 55 in his last three runs. Deserves another chance off a 57 rating over 6 furlongs. Still a maiden, but somewhat unexposed over this trip, especially off a fair handicap mark, and not without hope to improve.

Race Replay

Sun Power
31/01/23 – 6.30 Southwell:

Was awkwardly away from the gate and as a result trailed. Travelled nicely, before steered right into traffic over 2f out. Rather light right in the home straight, but finished best the last two furlongs on sectionals despite being tenderly handled especially in the final furlong.

Second run after a long break. Will be interesting once he moves up to 7f again and the money is down. Handicapper might give him a couple pounds off too. Clearly one readied for ‘the day’.

Race Replay

Alaskan
02/02/23 – 4.35 Southwell:

Widest draw, had to settle off the pace, three wide. Bit of progress around the home bend to come with a challenge on the widest outside toward the unfavourable stands’ side rail. Looked a bit disorganised, took him a moment to hit top gear before running home strongly in the final furlong.

Handicap debut from outside the weights after gelding and wind operation over the winter and off a break after three qualifying runs on turf. Was smashed in the betting.

One to monitor for nto. Intriguing to find out what the handicapper does. He was rated 42 on debut here. He’s clearly a bit better than a basement mark. Especially interesting if he steps up in trip to 7f.

Race Replay

Dapper Man
31/01/23 – 8.00 Southwell:

Tracked the pace and eventual winner early on, got outpaced halfway through, before he had to switch due to traffic problems. Got going again and ran on really well against the unfavourable stands’ side rail.

Far from disgraced in his last four runs since return to the All-Weather. Ran to 50 (in this race) and 52 speed ratings. Veteran who looks set for a big run once he races around a turn again over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Mustaffiz
02/02/23 – 6.00 Chelmsford:

Pulls his way to the front from #7 draw. Travelles well, although pace not too hot. Tires quickly in the home straight, although positive to see that he continues to gallop to the line well enough.

Wasn’t expected in any of his runs since moving to the UK. Comes down to intriguing mark, especially if he drops in trip. 6f or possibly even minimum trip over stiff 5f at Newcastle would be interesting, with some market support.

Race Replay

Cappananty Con
03/02/23 – 1.20 Lingfield:

Pulled his way to the front, keen, couple of lengths ahead approaching the home straight, only beaten over half a furlong from home eventually.

Trip is too far. Notably that he was positively ridden for the first time in a while. Better than bare result in two runs in December, especially when draw and the way those races developed didn’t help. Clearly back to some decent level of form.

Ran in August still to a 55 speed rating. Veteran, but looks ready to strike once dropped in trip.

Race Replay

Sajwaan
04/04/23 – 2.20 Lingfield:

Pushed forward and had a bit of work to do to get to get close to the pace, tracked leader keenly in first time visor travelling off the rail. Bit outpaced entering the home straight but kept going well to the line, accepting the challenges.

Must be a tricky sort. Already changed yards twice. Still a colt. Should benefit from step up in trip. Dam did best over 7 furlongs. Ran in and around his current mark here but could find more for trip, and potentially gelding.

Race Replay

Letmelivemylife
04/04/23 – 4.20 Lingfield:

Pulled back right after the start, in rear of the field, send wide from 4f out and turned wider than ideal. Going strongly, nonetheless, however never asked a serious question, properly under full drive way too late.

Off a break for new yard, probably prepared. Realistically lightly raced since winning a Wolverhampton Handicap nearly two years ago. 3lb lower right now.

Race Replay

Gowanbuster
04/04/23 – 7.15 Newcastle:

Moved forward quickly, led by a couple of lengths before challenged for the lead from halfway through. Kept going before tiering badly inside final furlong. Fared best of the early pace, but no chance with those ridden with more restraint.

Second run after a break and wind operation. Looked good on comeback run too. Two pounds higher now. Probably more fairly handicapped than well-handicapped right now.

Another drop in the ratings would be interesting, especially down to the minimum trip. I would also love to see him racing around a turn over 6f. Looks unlikely given he usually races at Newcastle.

Race Replay

Muy Muy Guapo
04/04/23 – 7.30 Kempton:

Bit awkward away from the gate, settled in last, travelled strongly into the home straight. Was able to answer every acceleration from the front group, but didn’t get a clear passage, while not really asked for full effort at all.

Handicap debut and first run for the Simon Dow yard off a 100 day break. Very much expect him to improve for the run. He’s still a colt and cost £115k as a yearling.

He clearly has talent. Horses in this grade don’t often travel that well and can answer every pace acceleration that easily.

Race Replay

All-Weather Eyecatchers #6

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Dark Shot
10/01/23 – 8.30 Southwell:

Poor start from the widest draw meant his race was done and dusted there and then. Crossed to the inside rapidly and keenly. Travelled well subsequently, strong progress against the inside rail as the field turned for home, but effort petered out in the final furlong.

Borderline stays 6 furlongs. No surprise after start from wide draw to see him falter late. Did too much to overcome disadvantage from 4f to 2f. Best All-Weather efforts over the minimum trip, though won over 6f in October off a higher mark.

Slight concern he’s had a few issues at the start lately. Can be hit and miss, these days; no surprise given his age. Looks potentially quite well handicapped if down to 5f from a good draw and a sharp start, though.

Race Replay

Come On Girl
13/01/23 – 1.10 Lingfield:

Awkward start from widest gate, wasn’t an advantage in this field, albeit only five other rivals in it. Dropped to rear, under pressure from three furlongs out, then finished much the fastest from two furlongs out despite turning wide.

Obviously in fine form. Ran to 59 and 60 speed ratings over this CD in November. Not always advantaged by the draw, but often ran well in recent weeks.

Down to last winning mark. Interesting, ideally with a good apprentice on board, otherwise I’d prefer her to drop another couple of pounds, given mares over the winter are always up against it, even if she looks to be in good form.

Race Replay

Hiatus
13/01/23 – 2.40 Lingfield:

Went off hard from the front, seemingly not easy to control, set the world alight in the first half of the race. Was bound to fade badly but managed to hold on for third, albeit hanging in the home straight.

Difficult sort. But this performance is probably strong. Cost only 18k as a yearling, has probably not too much in hand yet, but a drop to 6 furlongs could see him win. Stiff 6f at Newcastle perhaps? I can see 7f with a good draw at Wolverhampton also a possibility, though, especially if the handicapper would be lenient.

Race Replay

Dutugamunu
14/01/23 – 12.35 Lingfield:

Not the sharpest out of the gate, soon moved forward and took quite a grip travelling behind the leaders. Travelled notably well into the home straight but didn’t find much.

He’s a tricky sort who can be a bit slowly away. Didn’t finish his races too well lately. But comes down to seriously low mark now, dropped another 2lb in the meantime, and the way he travelled was noteworthy. Possibly extended too much energy early on.

I would love to see him given another try over 7 furlongs, but have to keep an open mind over a mile as well in the right race.

Race Replay

Holdenhurst
14/01/23 – 3.30 Lingfield:

Moved over quickly from wide draw just to get in front at the entry of the first bend. Led by a couple of lengths and did a lot to get there. Travelled well enough, still ahead at the final furlong marker, before fading badly.

Solid run, better than 10th place finish suggested. Dropped blow OR 50. Still managed some solid speed ratings in the last 12 months; this a return to form in my view. Interesting back at Wolverhampton; even drop to 6f could be interesting.

Race Replay

John O’Groats
15/01/23 – 12.50 Southwell:

Very slowly away from wide draw, in rear, eyecatching progress around the home bend going wide, ran on for second. Appeared to stay on late but his final furlong split is slow.

Quirky sort. Can pull really hard. Ran some intriguing races on turf last year. Lightly enough race but one to monitor for support in the betting and I am only interested once he drops down to 7f.

Race Replay

Aberfoyle
15/01/23 – 1.20 Southwell:

Right on the heels of the leader, travelled strongly, still on the bridle approaching 2f marker, before getting tired. Winner came from off the pace.

Handicap debut, lightly raced, gelded in November. More to come but will need drop to 6 furlongs.

Race Replay

Seagrave Fox
15/01/23 – 1.20 Southwell:

Attempted to make all, led while pestered by horse on his heels. Was going well but quickly faded from 2 furlongs out.

Probably doesn’t stay the trip, given he can exert himself in the early stages. Was his 3yo debut and only 2nd Handicap run. Drop to 6f will be really interesting. One for now, though. Started early as a juvenile and won’t have much scope.

Race Replay

Battle Point
16/01/23 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Soon chased the leader, pestered him all the way while pace was really solid. Battled well right to the line before fading late for 3rd.

Off a lay-off, being gelded in the meantime too, strong performance here and inline with lto run that can be significantly marked up; wasn’t fancied here at all.

Still a maiden but clearly down to a good mark, if untouched by the handicapper.

Race Replay

Prince Of Rome
16/01/23 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Awkward start from wide draw, bumped into rival, settled off pace, swerved very wide around the bend before moving inside again but being relegated to last. Incredible progress in home straight, finished much the fastest.

Comeback run after a long lay-off. Changed yards in the meantime. Clearly in good nick. Ready to win in right conditions. Monday entry #8 draw not compelling. Wait for a day with a good draw over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Lady Ursula
17/01/23 – 6.00 Southwell:

Bit awkward away from the gate, ducking left, settled off pace on the outside, never got much cover. Made significant progress halfway through, tried to challenge but bit outpace from 2f out; gutsy and brave ran strongly to the line.

Needs to move up to 6f again. Should have solid chance to stay 7f. Full-sister to modest 75 rated gelding who stays 7f. April foal, may still have some improvement to do. Possibly one for early turf season more than AW.

Race Replay

Galileo Glass
17/01/23 – 7.30 Southwell:

Good start, but restrained at the back of the field. Turned for home in last position, seemed posed for a solid challenge, but didn’t get a clear run, had to switch multiple times. Finished easily.

Lost his form, new yard didn’t bring out any uptick in form yet. But this a clear sign of life. Could be well handicapped on best form. One to monitor if the betting speaks in his favour.

Race Replay

Ornate
17/01/23 – 12.40 Kempton:

Pushed aggressively forward to grab the lead. Always challenged by rival, though. Hot pace, had eventual winner on the stretch, especially around the sharp bend. Tired badly.

Strong run. The old boy can still win. Won off 61 at Chelmsford in October, ran to 63 speed rating there. Will be interesting in less hot race pace wise with good draw over 5f once dropped below 60 in class 6.

Monday entry in class 5 one to sit out.

Race Replay

Tricky Business
20/01/23- 4.23 Southwell

Good progress from the widest draw on the outside of the field to grab the lead soon. Let the field for home ,setting a good pace. Severely under pressure and headed over two furlong out but kept going strongly.

Re-Entry from Eyecatchers #3. Ran well down to 6 furlongs at Newcastle in the meantime, followed up here with a strong effort off lowered mark.

Remains of interest over 6 furlongs, especially if the handicapper leaves him on a 55 OR. has entries over 7f next week. Should be competitive again but I still believe the trip is most likely to far as he will exert too much energy going hard from the front, or else, pulling hard if restraint (despite is sole career win over the trip).

Race Replay

Huberts Dream
21/01/23 – 12.27 Lingfield:

Quickly moved forward, showed good early speed and led enthusiastically. Poured it on from over 3f out and had the field on the stretch, still leading by a couple of lengths approaching the final furlong, before a dramatic collapse.

Did way too much too soon, but impressive how long he kept going strongly. First start as a 3yo, won three juvenile races on the trot prior. Still progressing as a May foal you would expect.

May be too short price, but clearly still capable to win and Handicapper hasn’t much opportunity to hike his mark for this 5/7 finish.

Race Replay

Rebel Redemption
21/03/23 – 6.30 Wolverhampton:

Rushed forward aggressively from the widest draw, got the lead but had plenty of rivals on his heels, some who would often go forward. Led into home straight, and in front to nearly the final furlong before getting tired.

Good run, off a small break, looks to find some form again. Worth to wait for any further reduction in his mark, and when some money in the market. Ran 10 months ago over this CD to 68 speed rating off a 69 mark when he won.

Race Replay

All-Weather Eyecatchers #5

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Lord Paramount
20/12/22 – 3.55 Southwell:

Moved across from wide draw enthusiastically, probably wasted too much energy fighting for his head early on. Tracked pace four lengths off, going well entering home straight. Looked awkward, then hanging badly from 2 furlongs out. Empty in closing stages.

Won well lto over 7f in Novice company. Would be interesting down in trip, too. Dam did her best over minimum trip. He ran to a 74 speed rating in second career start. Hence opening mark could underestimate him.

Tricky sort. Shown tendency to hang. Still lightly raced and well backed on every occasion. Could be a good deal better than OR 70 if he can get his act together.

Race Replay

The Cola Kid
20/12/22 – 4.30 Southwell:

Moved forward to grab the lead, did a lot in the first three furlongs. Unable to quicken in the home straight, still a solid run, in line with last two performances.

Clearly best over 6 furlongs. Was not expected the last number of times. Comes down to excellent mark. Ran to higher speed ratings last year, and looks capable if on a going day, ideally 6f with a good draw.

Race Replay

Ustath
20/12/22 – 5.00 Southwell:

Off to a quick start, led early on, then as part of duo many lengths ahead of field before fading very badly.

Some return to form, as the enthusiasm for racing is still there. One that’s hard to catch. Comes down to solid mark again. Ran 3x times to speed ratings 54+ last year.

Ran okay nto, but did too much too soon after not starting the sharpest. Ideally would like to see a couple pounds lower in the mark (<62) before getting involved over 6f .

Race Replay

Desert Dream
21/12/22 – 6.30 Wolverhampton:

Was going well for the entire race toward the inside rail, possibly coming with a winning move before badly short of room over 1f out. Got going again. Excellent run.

Consistent 9yo, in the grip of the handicapper right now; still can win, but best speed rating in last half year was only 50. Want to see him down to this handicap mark, too, before getting involved, then over 7 furlongs.

Race Replay

Healing Power
22/12/22 – 11.50 Lingfield:

Lead from the front, albeit pestered by rival throughout. Set good, strong pace early on. Still leading at final furlong, before headed over half a furlong from home. Still managed to hold on for third. Should be strong form, ran to 59 speed rating.

Lenient handicapper dropped him another 2lb. Will be really competitive in similar race over 7f off. Ran tp 64 and 65 speed rating within last half year over this C&D.

Race Replay

O Twenty Boy
22/12/22 – 5.00 Southwell:

Bit outpaced at back of the field on stands’ side from over 2f out. Made nice progress in the final furlong under easy hands and heels, though.

Probably better over 6f, especially now as an 8yo. Ran well a number of times this year, including 4 performances achieving speed ratings of 60+.

Already down to a mark of 60. any further reduction will be interesting, in particular once he goes up in trip again.

Race Replay

Eagle Eyed Freddie
22/12/22 – 6.30 Southwell:

Uncontested lead by a couple of lengths. Set blistering pace, especially in the middle part. Still a few lengths ahead over 1 furlong out but tired rapidly. Huge run, speed rating 58.

Consistent front-runner. NTO performance not so good, should help to get some respite from the handicapper. Anything below OR 55 will be intriguing over a mile with a good draw and not much competition for the lead. A drop to 7f would be incredibly intriguing, too.

Race Replay

Shabs
22/12/22 – 7.00 Southwell:

Tracked pace, travelled much the strongest over 2 furlongs out but found little once again. Same story as lto when he travelled like a winner just to fade badly.

Knocked on the door multiple times but it’s obvious he doesn’t truly stays a mile. Pedigree points toward 6 furlongs, in fact. Will only back him if he drops to 7 furlongs. Then should be a cracking chance, ideally with a good draw. He’s not the sharpest starter.

Ran four times to 50+ speed ratings in the last twelve months, to 51 lto; on a mark of 51 right now, huge chance in the right race.

Race Replay

Proclivity
27/12/22 – 4.30 Wolverhampton:

Restrained at the back of the field travelling seriously well. Stuck in traffic and no chance until late when finishing third under hands and heels.

NTO run over 6f can be ignored as well. Wide draw, travelling on the outside keenly and big drifter on the day. Clearly better than this, and more likely in good nick as well as on a good mark. ideally drops down to 5f as best performances came over minimum trip.

Ran three times to speed ratings 60+ on turf; yet to replicate on the All-Weather. But this performance suggests he’s able to win if the handbrake is off. Has shown ability to move forward in the past as well.

Race Replay

Shark Two One
28/12/22 – 6.25 Newcastle:

Pushing pace on far side, they went a serious pace. Was still right there at the final furlong marker before getting desperately tired. Managed to hold on for 4th place.

Was capable to finish fine runner-up off 80 and running to a 73 speed rating last April. Never been in the same form again, but this was a return to some form, racing off a career lowest mark. Deserves another chance over 6f to see whether he can follow-up.

Race Replay

Billy Dylan
30/12/22 – 5.00 Wolverhampton:

Moved quickly forward and led as part of duo setting good pace. Still ahead as they turned for home before tiring quite badly. Strong race with winner went back-to-back and runner-up in form.

Off small break. Could be bang on next time out, possibly another reduction in his mark. Ideally drops down into 0-50; ran largely in better races this year.

Consistent front-runner over this course and distance. With lower mark and possibly easier race should have every opportunity to go close soon.

Race Replay

Big Bard
31/12/22 – 3.15 Lingfield:

Make good use of #1 gate and moved forward, led the field going solid clip, seemingly really enjoying himself for majority of the race. Tired from 1.5f out, though.

Ran to speed ratings 59 and 60 since September, although on turf, but career best AW SR is 59. Will be on a pretty fair mark soon. Ideally want to see him drop below 60 to become really interested.

He was beaten only by a neck off 60 running to 60 speed rating at Windsor in October with first time headgear (CP); I believe he’s as good on the All-Weather; watch out for application of blinkers potentially and/or drop into 0-60.

Race Replay

Fine Wine
01/01/2023 – 4.56 Southwell:

Quickly out of the gates and led as part of trio by a number of lengths, going a seriously hard pace. Tired badly from over a furlong out and hung to his left, but did best of front-runners holding on for 2nd.

Huge run. Went back to back prior. High mark now, may find it tough in Handicaps. More interesting on Stakes races over minimum trip. kept improving with age and this run confirms he’s as good as his current rating.

Race Replay

Modular Magic
01/01/2023 – 5.26 Southwell:

Led the field, although closely followed. Challenged from two furlongs out, eventually got behind, but stuck to it impressively in the closing stages.

Off a small break, had to carry big weight down in class. Hot race for class 5, though. Should find easier opportunities. On a good mark judged on turf performances in 2022.

Race Replay

Hit Mac
02/01/2023 – 1.53 Lingfield:

Travelled in rear on the outside off the rail, possibly wider than ideal. Moved toward the inside over 2 furlongs out, short of room and momentum stopped around the home bend. Possibly cost him the race.

Unlucky sort. Ran really well but found trouble multiple times over the last weeks. Ran consistently strong speed ratings in line with his mark of 55, 58 and 59.

Put up 2lb in the meantime. Can race more forward than here. Think he is still a win ahead with a clear run, ideally over 6 furlongs.

Race Replay

Smooth Red
02/01/2023 – 5.40 Newcastle:

Got significantly outpaced from halfway on, lost ground, before running on rather well in the final furlong.

Handicap debut off a break and freshly gelded, showed nothing in three starts prior. Should improve, especially up in trip. Looks to be crying out for a return to 6 furlongs. Could be interesting then.

Race Replay

Northern Chancer
02/01/2023 – 5.40 Newcastle:

A tiny step slow off the gate, before quickly moving forward against stands’ side. Led and was fastest over first half of the race but appeared to be hanging throughout. Faded badly in the last two furlongs.

Comeback run and Handicap debut. On a basement mark. Showed enough to suggest he can win a poor race. Family tends to do well on All-Weather. Sire has tremendous record over 5f at Newcastle in Handicaps.

May need to step up tp 6f to be seen to best effect. Headgear possibly needed. Wouldn’t rule out minimum trip with HG applied.

Race Replay

Thomas Equinas
03/01/23 – 2.00 Chelmsford:

Slowly away, quickly pushed forward to bulldoze his way to the front after one furlong. Set what looked a hot pace, and resemble more like an extended 5 furlong sprint, as nobody wanted to really go ahead until he grabbed the lead.

Emptied quickly entering the home straight when put under pressure by dedicated 5f sprinter from 3 furlongs out. Winner eventually came from well off the pace.

Still a maiden after 9 runs, but showed plenty of promise, especially two runs back over this CD when he ran off 57 to speed rating 54. Should get bit more help from handicapper now. Usually moves forward.

Race Replay

Jupiter Express
03/01/23 – 2.00 Chelmsford:

Was quickly out of the gate and briefly led, before rivals took over. Keen in the first half of the race. Didn’t have the pace to match winner and third but ran on well for a 59 speed rating n only his second start on the sand.

Ran an interesting race lto over 5f on debut for the new yard also, then at Wolverhampton after a break. Is still a maiden but knocked on the door a few times and achieved some solid speed ratings.

Want to see him drop below a mark of 60 and race over 6f. Not interested in next weeks 7f entry. Will likely pull too hard.

Race Replay

Another Angel
04/01/23 – 2.50 Newcastle:

Good, quick start, led the field by a couple of lengths setting a seemingly hot pace. Travelled well but eventually caught, headed and quickly beaten over one furlong out.

Doesn’t truly stay beyond the minimum trip (0/13 over 6f). Can be upgraded here and ran better than bare form lto as well. Not getting younger but still capable of running well. Especially interesting down to 5f with any additional help from the handicapper.

Race Replay

Kraken Power
04/01/23 – 3.20 Newcastle:

Travelled smoothly tracking the pace. In a good position over 2 furlongs out, but also in a pocket with no way to really get out. Jockey kept the gelding restraint, pulling back to the rear of the field approaching the final furlong in order to find space. Finished strongly, under hands and heels.

Familiar story. Mostly a similar story to a myriad of previous runs. Obviously ready to win, but needs to have absolutely everything to go right.

Won’t back him on the All-Weather unless he finds a way to drop below a mark of 50. He should be too well handicapped to lose, unless he run backwards. Otherwise wait until turf season, with better opportunities more suitable to his style.

Race Replay

Mogok Valley
04/01/23 – 7.00 Kempton:

Good start, travelled nicely amongst group of horses up with the pace. had to switch 2f out, and again over 1f out in order for clear run, looked bit disorganised, too, lost momentum. Ran on really well.

Handicap debut. Strong follow-up performance from recent comeback over 5f last month. Looks on fair mark but can improve for step up to 7f. Sire stamina index of 9.4, dam, although a sprinter during her racing career, produced 1m 5f winner already.

The Nail Gunner
05/01/23 – 2.15 Wolverhampton:

Grabbed the lead, set solid pace. Was up there for a long time and still fought gamely even after headed in the final furlong. This is strong form, winner and 3rd came from off the pace, and were on going days.

7f is too far, especially off current mark. Is rated right to his best. Ran 64 speed rating over 6f in July. Will be competitive, nonetheless, particularly with a good draw and if not much pace to compete against.

I want him down to 6f again and dropping by a couple of pounds. May need a few runs to get there.

Race Replay

Friends Together
06/01/23 – 6.15 Southwell:

Brilliant start, super quick out of the gates and showed solid early speed, settled well tracking the pace and kicked nicely in the home straight. Tired late.

Was most likely not run on merit in all starts prior. Clearly capable off current mark. April foal with a bit of scope, especially going up to a mile interesting.

Race Replay

Praise Of Shadow
06/01/23 – 8.15 Southwell:

Caught three deep on the outside, close up with the pace from his wide draw. Travelled well into home straight, kept fighting, but slightly hampered in tight race for gaps, before eased; ran home easily.

Put up strong speed rating when winning over CD lto. In line with similar speed ratings in when running really well in defeat. Clearly in superb form.

Possibly a bit too high in the ratings to consider really well handicapped. Drop a couple of pounds and 6f with race to dominate will see him have a big chance once again, though.

Race Replay

Cherryhawk
07/01/23 – 12.35 Lingfield:

Settled in rear, always travelling wide. Switched inside for challenge in the home straight. Ran on nicely, slightly short of room 1f out before going again.

Wasn’t expected in three runs. Should get a low opening mark. Looks one I am only interested if stepping up to 10f. On pedigree a fair possibly, and could unlock improvement. I liked the way she finished and responded late to the jockeys urgings.

Race Replay

Wake Up Harry
07/01/23 – 1.10 Lingfield:

Restrained, travelling smoothly well off the pace. Still going well when turning for home wider than ideal, before unleashing a fine challenge in the home straight. Not quite the speed to get to leaders and came from too far back.

Hasn’t been racing over the right trip the last two runs. Can forgive comeback run after long break too. Clear sign of hitting some form again here, will be interesting if up to a mile.

I’d also be seriously keen to see him up to 10 furlongs again. The two previous tries can be forgiven for various reasons. If he’s turned out in the not too distinct future over 1m-10f he should be a huge runner.

Race Replay

Sun King
07/01/23 – 8.00 Kempton:

Pushed after the start to get into position, travelled a few lengths off pace tracking it throughout, still going okay turning for home, bit flat footed as pace suddenly increased over 2f out; switched inside and ran on well, not knocked about.

Comeback run since Royal Ascot in June, in the meantime gelded and sold out of AOB for GBP120k and now trained in the UK.

Still open to improvement. Well bred and full-brother to some smart mares. Took him a few start to get off the mark. But some strong performances in defeat.

Second in a maiden behind subsequent Futurity runner-up Sissoko. Caught eye at Royal Ascot in hot Golden Gates Stakes when finishing well from the rear of the field over 10 furlongs. Races off the same mark currently. Will improve for the run. A strongly run mile needed, or else a step up to 10 furlongs.

Race Replay

Wednesday Selections: 4th January 2023

2023 started with a bang as Toplight won in comfortable style his race at Wolverhampton in the evening.

The 10/1 looked massive in the end; in fact, he went off the 5/2 favourite. 10’s were still widely available in the morning, before the money came in truckloads.

He was obviously on a going day and the race itself couldn’t have worked out any better. I mentioned as much in my preview:

We likely know well in advance of the race whether he’s in it to win it. If he is, the early price should be tremendous value in my book.

In contrast to the smooth run Toplight enjoyed, my second selection – Expert Opinion – didn’t get the race he needed. He was well backed, but was slightly hampered soon after the start, was lit up and looked once again awkward around the bend.

……

1.50 Newcastle: Classified Stakes, 7f

Less than a handful of horses have a realistic chance in this poor Classifified Stakes. One of those is the short priced favourite Inaam. Although, he makes the least appeal of those better fancied runners.

Of course if the money is on you have to take notice, the handbrake may be off and he could improve dramatically. But he’s a 10 year old. Happy to take him on.

Hardy sets the standard thanks to his course and distance win from last October. He’s been poor ever since but will find this horrible race much easier.

Nonetheless, better value as double the price is Lucky Lucky Lucky. I backed him two runs ago at Southwell after he showed glimpses of enthusiasm at Newcastle prior.

This Southwell 7f performance is the strongest most recent and relevant performance in this field and gives him a cracking chance in a much easier contest to land a first victory.

He finished really well that day, not being favoured by his racing position as the race was dominated by those in front of him. He was the only one who really made significant progress from those travelling off the pace.

Possibly ridden too aggressive the next time as a countermeasure, he had no chance to stay a mile at Southwell when last seen, and dropped out badly. I rather judge him on the penultimate effort, as he drops down to 7 furlongs once again.

The pace scenario could work out really nicely for him I feel, not much will get in his way from his #13 draw, and he can get a nice lead into the final two furlongs by those that want to blast from the front.

10pts win – Lucky Lucky Lucky @ 9/1

……..

2.50 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I am delighted to see Tricky Business dropping down to six furlongs. I hope that is a sign that he is allowed to run on merit, on what will be his second run for the Dalgleish yard.

Last month on his debut for the yard he finished 17 lengths beaten but showed a lot of positive signs, actually. His enthusiasm was evident as he bounced out of the gate happily, rapidly moved forward to grab an uncontested lead, setting pretty good fractions.

He was beaten 2f out and fell completely away in the closing stages. Nothing that ran close to the pace was able to sustain an effort, though; everything came from off the pace .

He had no hope to stay a mile. Even 7 furlongs most likely is a stretch (despite his sole career win over the trip) . 6 furlongs is going to be his optimum.

He drops also significantly in class. From 0-65 into an 0-55. The right trip, lesser rivals, probably not too much other pace to fight off: he’s got to have a much better chance than the price.

Slight concern over the huge weight. Obviously he is top weight. His best performances came off lower weights and he doesn’t look to have the biggest frame from what I can tell. I am prepared to roll the dice, though.

10pts win – Tricky Business @ 12/1

………

5.30 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

John The Baptist caught the eye significantly last time out, which represented a return to some sort of form, after finishing in his last nine races either last or at best second last.

In fact since his maiden victory on debut, this was his first proper finish since summer 2021, then still trained in Ireland.

Nonetheless, the December run at this venue, then over 7 furlongs, was noteworthy for a variety of reasons:

He was under a drive early on to get into position, became outpaced from 4f out, lost many positions in the home straight when completely flat footed, until he rallied strongly in the final furlong to finish 4th, somewhere out of nowhere.

He is clearly a difficult sort, as evidence by headgear combination. But back up in trip to a mile, another 2lb lower, and dropping into 0-60 class there aren’t many in this field that appear well handicapped. John The Baptist clearly could be, as the handbrake goes off.

An #11 draw is not ideal, but he should be capable to overcome it and only two or three others want to be on the pace. The price is skinny, just about backable. Wouldn’t want to take a punt much shorter.

10pts win – John The Baptist @ 7/2

……….

8.00 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Lost In Time was one the most impressive eyecatchers this winter, when he finished under light hands and heels ride much the fastest in a hot Handicap at Kempton in November.

That day he reared in the stall and as consequence was slowly away, settled in rear, and had loads to do from off the pace in a race where the pace wasn’t really on. He sliced his way through the field in impressive manner, without being hard ridden and then the last three furlongs fastest of all.

Second run off a break and for a new yard, showing a revival of form. However, the next two runs are a clear concern, especially the latest one, even though that was a somewhat strange race.

Hard to gauge whether he “lost confidence” as the trainer brought forward as explanation lately, or something else. In any case, he’s been dropped another 4lb in the ratings. On past performances he is absolutely well handicapped.

He achieved three 77+ speed ratings, although these date back some time now, but more recently, he ran to 66 and 68 speed ratings, which would give him an excellent shot to win here, if in the same sort of form.

10pts win – Lost In Time @ 14.5/1

Tuesday Selections: 3rd January 2023

2.00 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Quite a competitive and wide open race. You can’t easily discount too many of the nine runners. A possible lack of clear front-runner doesn’t help the picture, either.

Nonetheless, the one I am most interested in is Expert Opinion. He drops down in class, and looks ripe off a 64 handicap mark with a capable 3lb claimer in the saddle.

He should be a bit better than his current mark; at this stage of his career he’s possibly got a solid win left in him, in my view. He’s shown it a number of times in 2022. He put up two big performances at this course over 5 furlongs in November – his third place two runs back represented a career best on speed ratings as well.

Four times in his career (three of those runs in2022) he achieved speed ratings of 64+; he was placed off OR 70 at Newmarket in May and has largely been consistent.

That says, Expert Opinion is a tricky sort. His poor strike rate tells a tale. There is a positive and a negative side to the fact that’s he’s been placed 3 of 4 over this course and distance – albeit without winning. His overall course record reads 11-1-7.

The application of blinkers didn’t help last time out at Southwell. It was an uncharacteristically poor run. That’s a question mark, but I am prepared to forgive that off day.

I probably would have preferred to see him over the minimum trip here at this track, though. Nonetheless, he stays 6 furlongs, and the possible lack of pace means he may be able to travel right at the front of the field, which is always and advantage around Chelmsford.

His possibly superior speed could see him hard to beat in this class.

10pts win – Expert Opinion @ 9/1

…….

7.30 Wolverhampton: Classified Stakes, 5f

A poor race and you can’t trust anyone of the market principles to deliver. That brings Toplight right into the mix, if he’s on a going day and allowed to run on merit. Jockey booking suggests that should be the case.

Toplight was well backed in most of his runs since changing yards, now in the care of Tony Carroll. He also ran quite well more often than not.

His most recent run, only four days ago is a concern, on the other hand. He was backed into 7/2, but made a bit of a mess at the start and hung badly around the home bend, never appearing happy at all.

I’ll take the risk and hope they wouldn’t run him so quickly again, if all is well. In any case, his penultimate performance sets the standard in this field, in my view.

He was an excellent runner-up behind Waverley Star, who was clearly well handicapped on the day, given he followed up with another huge run subsequently off 7lb higher.

That day Toplight tried to go with the speedy front-runner, and paid for it in the final furlong, but held on for second.

His overall strike rate is poor. He hasn’t won since November 2021. However, he’s got a fine course and distance record (8-2-3). Over the last 12-13 months he only ran 4 times at Wolverhampton, 3x over CD and ran strongly on all bar the most recent occasion.

I hope Clifford Lee makes use of the perfect #2 draw. Others want to grab the lead, but he could set handily, tracking the pace, without wasting too much energy, if all goes to plan.

There’s every chance Toplight is drifting during the day. We likely know well in advance of the race whether he’s in it to win it. If he is, the early price should be tremendous value in my book.

10ts win – Toplight @ 10/1

All-Weather Eyecatchers #4

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Aberama Gold
03/12/22 – 6.20 Wolverhampton:

Soon moved forward, took lead, before heading for home as part of leading duo; tried to kick, fought gamely, before tiering inside the finial furlong.

This should be strong form, as it was a good field with some horses in decent form. He ran right up to his current rating. Has been dropped 2lb right after this. Won off 85 on turf this year.

Clearly in fine form as evidence by subsequent fine 3rd place performance at Lingfield. I want to see a drop below a mark of 85. A Handicap over 6 furlongs around Chelmsford with a good draw would be a dream scenario.

Race Replay

He’s So Brazen
05/12/22 – 6.20 Wolverhampton:

Restrained early on, seriously keen, as he was throughout, especially between 5 to 4 furlongs out. Loomed large with seemingly big challenge entering home straight. High head-carriage, looked awkward, wandering, and ran into trouble over one furlong out.

Probably doesn’t get the trip, either. He looks desperate for a drop in trip, and looks ripe to strike then. I won’t back him beyond 7 furlongs, though.

Comes from a pretty poor family. Wouldn’t want to give him many chances. Attitude needs to be monitored too.

Race Replay

Mobashr
05/12/22 – 7.20 Wolverhampton:

Grabbed an uncontested lead, set good pace from the front, lead for home, tired badly as he was headed. Good race for this class, form can be upgraded.

Change of tactics seemed to bring out improvement. Started well this time, unlike often in the past. Dropped another 2lb in the meantime. Seems to recapture some form for a new yard.

Should be well handicapped now. Similar type race, 7 furlongs with good draw and not much pace will be ideal.

Race Replay

Tothenines
05/12/22 – 7.20 Wolverhampton:

Travelled in midfield for majority of the race. Eye catching progress from three furlongs out on the inside. Had momentum slightly stopped in home straight before fully in the clear. Didn’t find too much in final furlong.

Probably not at his best over 7 furlongs. Best form over 6 furlongs. Eye catching when last seen over this trip at Newcastle. Bit too high in the mark right now. Wait for drop to 6f and I would like to see him below a mark of 78. Ideally at Southwell.

He’s a tricky customer. Can find trouble, make a mess at the start and will always be up against pace bias on the All-Weather. Below 78 he’ll be quite well handicapped though, to offset these negatives.

Race Replay

Smarden Flyer
07/12/22 – 11.20 Lingfield:

Moved forward, pushed pace early in the race. Slightly impeded over 4f out, had to take a pull. Attempted challenge over 3f out on the outside, gave ground away before finishing tired, 4th.

Solid run, 2nd after small break. had a wind operation in June. Jury is out whether he is totally fine in his breathing. He hasn’t finished a race well since then, but this was a return to some form, and he was perhaps only tired in the end.

I am prepared to give him a chance off a career lowest mark next time out over 7-8f, as he has been dropped another 3lb post race. That looks potentially lenient.

Race Replay

Hellavapace
07/12/22 – 11.20 Lingfield:

Pushed forward from widest draw to grab the lead. Put under pressure over 2f out, got quite tired in the home straight and fell away.

Ran quite well a number of times in recent weeks; in fact this year, caught the eye in early summer on turf. Struggles to get a real chance from the handicapper, but has been dropped another 2lb and is clearly competitive.

I want to see her to drop down to a mark of 50 or lower, and ideally into 0-50 against her own sex.

Race Replay

Flying Secret
07/12/22 – 1.25 Lingfield:

Not helped by #7 draw and the way race unfolded. Outpaced at the back of the field halfway through, but finished incredibly well, the strongest in the final furlong.

Caught eye a number of times. Especially at Salisbury on turf back in May, but also excellent return of half a year off at Kempton.

Likely needs the step up to 7 furlongs to be seen to best effect. Remains unexposed and open to improvement. Has shown enough to give him a chance.

Race Replay

Champagne Supanova
08/12/22 – 8.00 Chelmsford:

Held up at the back, travelled notably well into the home straight, made nice progress on the inside under an easy enough hands and heels ride.

First start since August, trip not ideal, didn’t look in this to run to his merit. Drop to 6f will see him competitive, should drop below last winning mark too.

Strong run four runs back in March over 6f at Lingfield off 63. Won last December off 59, ran to 63 speed rating. Couple of efforts in the 50’s in the meantime. Can be tricky some days, but clearly ripe to win if on a going day and the handbrake is off.

Race Replay

May Remain
09/12/22 – 12.15 Wolverhampton:

Repeat entry to the list from Eyecatchers #3 – another excellent performance, albeit once again over 7 furlongs, which is literally a furlong too far, as was evidence here once again. Led strongly from the front before hitting the wall in the home straight.

Very game, great attitude, even when beaten. Reduction in the mark on the cards now, especially after subsequent solid, but uneventful run over 7f three days later.

The handicapper should have enough reasons to ease him in the ratings. Once the drop to 6f comes he’s gonna be a strong bet.

Race Replay

Independent Beauty
09/12/22 – 8.15 Southwell

In rear on inside, travelled well enough. Incredible progress from three to final furlong against inside rail, before tiering, Strong performance in competitive race – winner won nto again.

Still a maiden, but looks to be capable to take advantage of basement mark soon. Ran much better over shorter 6f at Newcastle lto. 7f looks ideal.

Can be ridden closer to the pace. Has entry for fillies 7f handicap next week, and there certainly of interest.

Race Replay

Vespasian
10/12/22 – 4.50 Wolverhampton:

Moved forward to lead, set strong fractions, part of pace setting duo. Still lead approaching final furlong and only headed late, by eventual winner from off the pace.

Seriously strong piece of form. Returned from a long break and after being gelded; looks high enough in the mark on speed ratings but not impossible to find improvement, especially with wellbeing confirmed.

Quite consistent before his break, often placed and ran with credit. Front-running tactics seem to suit; so always of interest over 6f on AW.

Race Replay

Minesbiggerthanurs
10/12/22 – 4.50 Wolverhampton:

Part of the pace setting due, kept the leader honest, racing on his outside. Still right there with a furlong to go before he got tired.

Comeback run and gelded, still lightly raced, can improve after only six career starts. Some good performances, won well from front at Kempton last winter.

Things went wrong at Southwell in hot class 3 contest before his break, when beaten by progressive Tyber Flow. Can be upgraded.

Race Replay

Sergeant Tibbs
12/12/22 – 1:12 Lingfield:

Restrained at the back of the small field, well off pace turning for home, although travelled notably well. Started move before badly short of room over 1 furlong out. Had to delay, got going again to finish fastest over last two furlongs.

Was well backed, and clearly in tremendous form, as evidence by other recent performances as well. Possibly really well handicapped, too; may struggle on All-Weather due to his racing style, though.

Probably best over 6 furlongs, seems to have pace for minimum trip, and one to keep in mind for the next turf season, unless he gets any more help from the handicapper and finds the right race on the All-Weather.

Race Replay

Aurelia Gold
12/12/22 – 1.42 Lingfield:

Moved forward quickly, led early then tracked leader, off the bridle 3f out but kept going strongly before carried over by eventual winner over 1f out.

Frustrating sort, still a maiden. Second run for new yard. Ran 4x times to speed rating 52+. Down to intriguing mark. Would be really interesting down to 7 furlongs, ideally in a fillies race; I don’t think she truly stays 1 mile.

Race Replay

With Respect
14/12/22 – 12.50 Lingfield:

Bit awkward out of #1 gate, needed encouragement to move forward, did so eventually to take lead as part of a duo. Travelled well into the home straight before finishing very tired.

Second run after two years off. Intriguing comeback run at Kempton, when bumped early, and seriously keen subsequently. Smart as a juvenile on his debut running to a 90 speed rating. Issues subsequently, and long break.

Wasn’t expected last two runs. One to monitor for the right day, possibly better over 7 furlongs if allowed to stride forward.

Race Replay

Dashing To You
14/12/22 – 1:55 Lingfield:

Possibly hampered at the start (hard to see but mentioned in race commentary), certainly slowly into stride, never really travelling before turning for home; excellent progress from 3f out, finished strongly.

Unlucky last time out as well, clearly a tricky sort. Could be quite well handicapped when he can put it all together, ran 3 times to speed ratings higher than current mark. Would love to see a return to 10f.

Race Replay

John The Baptist
14/12/22 – 3:30 Kempton:

Under drive early to get into position, outpaced from 4f out, lost many positions in the home straight until he rallied incredibly strongly in the final furlong to finish 4th.

First good run since a debut win in Ireland. Probably better than current 60 rating, as the finish to this race is a clear indication, if he ever can put it all together.

Difficult sort, as evidence by headgear combination. Will need to step up to 1m to be seen to best effect, but needs to settle to have a real chance.

Race Replay

Brandy Station
15/12/22 – 2:33 Southwell:

Prominent on stands’ side, travelled well enough but increasingly outpaced halfway through the race. Stayed on strongly in the final furlong, finishing the fastest.

Strong speed rating of 58, in line with his best performances. In excellent form. Southwell 5f specialist. Always with a chance over this CD, ideally with a low draw.

May be too closely handicapped to his best current form at the moment, though. Ideally would love to see one or two lesser runs at different tracks before returning to this CD off lower mark.

Race Replay

Arlecchino’s Gift
16/12/22 – 1:25 Southwell:

Wide draw, travelled on the outside, didn’t look entirely happy there and was pushed out even wider by a rival 4f out. Hang in the home straight, finished well beaten.

Wasn’t expected, returned from small break. Won 3 times this year, twice on the All-Weather, all over 6 furlongs. Bit too high in the ratings right now. One to wait for to drop a few more pounds and watch the market.

Race Replay

Testing Faith
16/12/22 – 3.10 Southwell:

Was quickest out of the gate, but possibly didn’t quite have the pace to stay in the lead; badly hampered 7f out, race was probably over there and then. Faded badly in the home straight; entitled to, after 111 days off.

Still a maiden, but showed some promise earlier this year. Falls rapidly in his mark to a rating he could be seriously well handicapped.

His pedigree suggests a step up to 10 furlongs will be interesting. He only had one try, right before his break, and it’s fair to conclude that run is best to forgive. Can move forward. One to keep an eye on in the next weeks.

Race Replay

All-Weather Eyecatchers #3

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Foxy Rascal
31/10/22 – 6.30 Wolverhampton:

Bit slowly away, outpaced early on, had a lot to do turning for home, positioned well off the pace, maneuvered through the field to get into a challenging position on the outside entering the final furlong. Finished seriously strong, much the best over the last two furlongs.

First time off a break and wind operation. Looks ahead of her mark once she steps back up to 6 furlongs, if her breathing holds up over the additional furlong. She was a 6f winner at Newcastle as a juvenile.

Already ran to 78 and 79 speed ratings on turf, a solid return on speed figures here as well. If she can repeat this level of performance up in trip she is could be hard to beat. Starting issues need to be monitored, though. and can hamper chances on the sand significantly.

Ran on 11/11 in the meantime. Eye-catching progress from 4f to 2f out, something amiss in closing stages, reportedly bled from the nose.

Race Replay

Making Music
31/10/22 – 1.20 Kempton:

Quickly out of the gates, tracked leader, quite keen in first time blinkers for first half of the race. Travelled well into home straight. Made move from 2f out, tired inside final furlong, couldn’t sustain it, possibly paid for keenness.

Ran to a speedrating 63 in August at Wolverhampton, 7lb lower now. Still a maiden and two poor recent showings in the meantime, though the 8.5f are beyond her stamina I think, and she was a massive drifter in the betting the last time.

She is better than that and could prove to be seriously competitive off her current mark. I want to see her down to 7f in a race without much pace to fight against, though.

Race Replay

Inclement Weather
31/10/22 – 1.52 Kempton:

Settled in midfield letting the hot pace go. Big move at the top of the home straight to reel in the pace setter. Fell down a cliff in the final furlong.

Clearly in good form as she backed this performance up with another strong effort next time out as she ran well all year, and therefore only drops slowly down to an intiruiging handicap mark. Won off 59 in January, ran to 57 speed figure in summer, albeit over 7 furlongs.

I’ll be interested if she drops to 7 furlongs again – but need to watch her mark, whether it remains unchanged after these last two efforts. She may go up a few pounds now.

Race Replay

Lady Celia
01/11/22 – 7.15 Newcastle:

Slowly away but also bumped by horse out of neighbouring gate. Lit up and never seemed happy subsequently. Made bit of headway from 2 furlongs before fading.

She’s better than this and better than last forms. But: she is also one to put away for the winter and pull out for the 2023 turf season – I won’t back her on the All-Weather.

Her poor starts will always put her at a disadvantage on the All-Weather. On turf it can be less of an issue. “Thanks” to her poor form recently she will return with a lovely low mark to turf next year.

There are very specific conditions to keep an eye out: she needs a low weight – she is 0/21 if running off higher than 8-12. She clearly prefers smaller fields and will be best placed in a fillies races over 5 furlongs.

Race Replay

Bayraat
01/11/22 – 5.00 Southwell:

Slightly bumped after the start, quickly moved forward, led as part of duo, found plenty under pressure from 2 furlongs out. Caught late. Could be strong piece of form.

Late Handicap debut, high enough opening mark but clearly up to it. Also potentially well handicapped on penultimate Novice form when runner-up. Winner is 83 rated, third franked form off OR 66 in Handicap.

Unlikely to stay beyond 7 furlongs. Forgive nto (15/11) over 7 furlongs when also restraint and never in the race.

Race Replay

Expert Opinion
03/11/22 – 6.00 Chelmsford:

Bit outpaced and awkward early on when caught off the pace from his wider than ideal draw. Hang around the bend, ran home strongly in the home straight for 3rd place. Ran near identical race, although better travelling early on, two weeks later over same CD.

Quirky sort. But down to good mark. Ran to 64 and 63 speed ratings the last two times; similar sort of performances within the last twelve months multiple times off higher handicap marks, as well.

Change of headgear will be really interesting (blinkers) to try and focus him on the job. Normally well capable of travelling strongly tracking the pace over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Going Underground
04/11/22 – 3.05 Newcastle:

Field crawled along for majority of the race, hence was at disadvantage travelling off pace. Made eye-catching progress from 3 furlongs out and looked to come with winning move, but didn’t get the gap until it was too late. Finished well.

Was equally unlucky next time out in the meantime, when denied at short odds once again in desperate circumstances.

Look still ahead of the mark, despite being 7lb higher than when winning nicely a few weeks ago. Is one who clearly can meet trouble in-running. Starting slowly doesn’t help. Not one I want to back at a really short price and if there is a lack of pace in the race.

Twistaline, who was mentioned in a recent edition, endured a sort of similar fate in this race and caught the eye. She’ll remain on my list.

Race Replay

Beattie is Back
04/11/22 – 5.45 Newcastle:

Travelled strongly in midfield, loomed large 2 furlongs out. Continuously a clear run denied, dropped to back of field before finishing strongly in final half furlong right to the line.

Lightly raced, huge run lto, strong form. Stays 7 furlongs too. Possibly needs the step up to be seen to best effect, but deserves another chance over 6 furlongs, too.

Clearly ready to win, but hold-up style not ideal, especially over the shorter trip. Didn’t get an ideal race next time out, too, then over 7 furlongs. Remains of interest, in any case.

Race Replay

Aljari
05/11/22 – 5.00 Chelmsford:

Wide draw in #9, quite keen early as pace wasn’t fast, then travelled seriously well into the home straight. Was mounting strong challenge but couldn’t move through on inside due to tiering rivals around. Got nicely going late when angled out.

This was his comeback ran after break for new yard. Judged on this looked in serious form and confirmed this with another eye catching effort earlier this week, meeting trouble once again.

He’s clearly down to good mark and ready to win. Ran to speed rating 76 last October and 84 in 2020. Want to see him away from Chelmsford, though. Wouldn’t mind six furlongs.

Race Replay

War In Heaven
05/11/22 – 5.00 Chelmsford:

Keen after the start, stumbled badly soon after, jockey just managed to stay on. Very keen subsequently, dropped to rear of field. Finished well to the eye under an easy ride.

Second start for new yard after being gelded too. Didn’t handle Newmarket. Showed some talent earlier this year. Full-bother to useful French juvenile filly Bolivie, who is rated 89 if converted to a British handicap mark.

Ran on Friday. Was a huge drifter in the betting after noon. Bumped a rival soon after the start. Never travelled, before making some nice headway late. I am prepared to give him another chance.

If allowed to run on his merit, this gelding could likely be seriously well handicapped.

Race Replay

Lost In Time
09/11/22 – 6.30 Kempton:

Reared in stall and a consequence slowly away, settled in rear, loads to do from off the pace in a race where the pace wasn’t really on. Sliced his way through the field in impressive manner, without being hard ridden. Finished the last three furlongs fastest.

Second run off a break and for a new yard. Clearly in good nick and down to interesting mark. Ran well in the summer. Can forgive subsequent poor showing. Achieved three 77+ speed ratings, although these date back some time now.

Not sold on a mile, probably 7 furlongs will be ideal. But will keep an open mind, it’s going to be a judgement call. A race with lack of pace over a mile not out of question, given he tends to race prominently, normally.

Race Replay

All Are Mine
10/11/22 – 8.00 Chelmsford:

Widest draw and not quite so sharply away, but soon moved aggressively forward to join the leader, bit keen. Travelled well into the home straight. No match for winner but did well to hold on for second.

Was a serious eye-catcher on debut in May. Won a maiden at Windsor in the meantime. Will be really interesting once he moves up to 10 furlongs, given the pedigree, out of a solid German Diane Trial mare. Should be better than this mark then.

Race Replay

Sovereign Slipper
12/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Overcame wide draw to cross over quickly and track the pace. Bit too keen in the early stages, but then travelled really powerfully into the home straight. No match for winner who had it a bit easier.

Possibly points to the fact he’s got not much in hand right now. Was progressive last year. Comeback run lto can be discounted. Should enjoy step up to 7 furlongs on pedigree.

His tendency to race keenly is a concern. If he can settle, he could find some improvement over that trip, as he already ran to a good speed rating that could mean he’s then well handicapped – if the aforementioned conditions are met, that says.

Race Replay

Give A Little Back
12/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Slowly away from his wide draw trailing and outpaced halfway through, before making serious progress from over 3f out, finished clear second best, without being asked to fully extend.

Trip too sharp. Showed he can race more prominently over further in the past. Second start after small break and for new yard.

Showed bit of talent when fine 3rd in a Wolverhampton maiden over 7 furlongs in May; 1.5l behind first and second who are 81 and 83 rated these days.

Clearly must have had issues since then but is possibly a bit better than a mark of 68. Interesting up in trip and if the market shows a bit of love.

Race Replay

Fair and Square
14/11/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Had it pretty easy to get to the lead, although not uncontested. Travelled strongly to 1.5f out, then tired gradually, still held on for fine 2nd, couldn’t match momentum of winner from further back in the field.

Still a maiden. But often runs well, to give the handicapper not many reasons to drop him in a meaningful way, other than piecemeal one or two pounds here and there.

Ran 4x to speed ratings 59+ on all surfaces. I feel he needs a below par run to get a meaningful drop in the ratings. Once that happened, he’ll be seriously interesting.

Race Replay

Bin Hayyan
15/11/22 – 6.45 Newcastle:

Restrained in rear, huge disadvantage as the field crawled for the first half of the race. Eye-catching progress from three furlongs out, travelled strongly, but clear run denied until approaching final furlong when finishing much the best.

Was a big price, and unusual race tactics deployed. On a pretty good mark already. market will be guide to his chances. If on a proper going day, and ridden closer the pace again, could be well handicapped over 7 furlongs max.

Race Replay

Global Walk
16/11/22 – 4.38 Southwell:

Quickly overcame his wide draw to move forward and track the leader as first follower. Travelled well into the home straight but tired quite badly from 2f out.

Return after 13 months off the track. Won well when last seen, the form of that novice contest worked out well. Likely to be better than this and could have more to offer off OR 80, with this run under his belt and from a better draw.

Race Replay

Starter For Ten
16/11/22 – 8.30 Kempton:

Total nonsense ride. Call it dumb or deliberate…. in any case, price gave it away, he wasn’t expected to run well.

Ducked left from second widest draw, rushed forward on wide outside going after the seriously strong leader and eventual winner. Faded away soon.

Was pretty consistent this year, got desperately close at Southwell, ran to 60 speed rating there, other mid-50s since then, ties in well with previous best speed ratings produced.

Will be really interesting below mark of 60 again over 6 furlongs.

Race Replay

Dark Side Prince
17/11/22 – 7.30 Chelmsford:

In the middle of the pack in a wild first furlong, went wide around the home turn and gave a lot of ground away before fading in straight. Didn’t seem to enjoy the chaos of the first half of the race.

Since his return from a break the last two he hasn’t look as good and sharp as when winning three on the bounce last year. But these two runs can be upgraded for various reasons in my view.

Comes down to good mark again. Would want to see next time whether he shows a bit more sharpness, and ideally has another run that sees his mark drop to 65 or lower.

Race Replay

Mick’s Spirit
17/11/22 – 7.30 Chelmsford:

Went forward and set fast fractions, doing too much to get to that pole position. Looked like to get a bit of a break from 2f out, before going down late.

Really consistent front-runner. Therefore somewhat in the grip of the handicapper. One to keep an eye on for a poor run that could help to see the handicapper giving him a chance.

Race Replay

Motawaafeq
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Aggressive run from the front, went too hard in the first half of the race and faded from 2f out on first run since April.

Won a seller when last seen prior to this comeback. Usually a front-runner. Can go over 7f and a mile; have no interest beyond that.

Ran twice to speed ratings 69+ on the All-Weather (1m, Kempton). Whether he’s still quite as good remains to be seen. Want to see a bit more help from the handicapper, then in the right conditions a compelling selection.

(Runs Saturday this afternoon. #10 draw over 8.5 doesn’t strike as ideal conditions)

Race Replay

Wadacre Grace
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Better start than lto when completely missing it, albeit still not overly sharp, soon went forward to join the leader pushing a good pace, before dropping into second. Found plenty under pressure, especially staying on strongly in the final furlong for 2nd place.

Especially impressive after pushing the pace to finish so well. Ties in well with her eye-catching lto performance. She is clearly ripe to win, but starting issues are always a question mark.

Still lightly raced enough to find a couple pounds of improvement. She stays a mile and has initriguing entries against her own sex next week.

Race Replay

Solanna
18/11/22 – 4.10 Kempton:

Restrained from #10 draw. Trailed field. Started to make excellent progress from 3f out. Couldn’t quite sustain strong challenge in final furlong but also not the clearest of runs through.

Perhaps showed more than connections may have wanted. best performance when no worse than midfield, tracking pace. This run clearly indicates a horse in good form.

Caught the eye on penultimate run as well when way too aggressive from front. Will be really interesting down in class 6, ideally with a tiny bit of help from the handicapper, too.

Race Replay

Vitesse Du Son
18/11/22 Kempton – 8.15 Kempton:

Moved rapidly forward and set a fast pace. Started to slow markedly from over three furlongs out. Had to pay tribute to early exertions, before the cavalry came from behind and swallowed him up in earnest.

Good performance after small break. Ran a number of good races this season, but career best on sand. Want to see a couple pounds less, a mark of 48, over 7 furlongs will spark my financial interest.

Stays a mile, though and nearly stole it the next time over 8.5f at Wolverhampton. May run well next time and could be in the grip of the handicapper. I’m happy to wait for the right day, granted he still shows the same spark as he did over the last half year.

Race Replay

Surprise Picture
19/11/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Hurried up to move forward from the gates, bit awkward. Tracked pace, not an economical run. Short of room 1f from home when coming with a challenge. Strong piece of form.

Caught the eye early in November, too, when caught wide, and again received a seriously uneconomical ride.

Multiple times ran to speed ratings of 68+ this year. Clearly on a winnable mark. Can stay a mile but I don’t want to back him beyond 7 furlongs these days as his best performances this year come over the sprint distances and they are my reference.

(Runs Saturday: 8.5f at Wolverhampton)

Race Replay

May Remain
26/11/22 – 7.50 Wolverhampton:

Led from low draw, although pestered. Kicked on well, but ultimately no chance with impressive winner from off the pace. Did well to hold on for second. Clear second best, despite trip too far.

6 furlongs max. Interesting if down in trip and with any further reduction in his mark. Caught the eye on turf in June, too.

Race Replay

Dubai Immo
26/11/22 – 7.50 Wolverhampton:

Slowly away, rushed up to get to the top of the field after the first furlong, did way too much in the first three furlongs but only faded late in the home straight, hanging to the left, as well.

Clearly a colt with issues but also some talent as spring form showed. Would be really interesting once gelded, ideally over 7 furlongs (certainly not beyond a mile) at Wolverhampton or Chelmsford. His sire has a strong record in those circumstances, too.

Race Replay

Ooh Is It
28/11/22 – 6.25 Wolverhampton:

Started quickly and set the world alight in the first half of the race. No surprise to see him tire rather badly from 3f out, nonetheless, still held a 1 lengths advantage at the final furlong marker.

This is strong form. Good race. Winner was well handicapped and caught the eye recently. Ooh Is It ran to strong 71 speed rating as well – in comparison to his current mark intriguing, if left alone by the handicapper, he’s certainly ready to win.

He doesn’t truly stays 6 furlongs. A few slightly odd performances lately. Once he drops down to the minimum trip I reckon he’ll be ready to rock.

Race Replay

The Thin Blue Line
28/11/22 – 6.25 Wolverhampton:

Widest draw, wide early, then settled last. Loads to do from back of the field but started to make serious headway from 3f out, always under hands and heels, until progress stopped at the final furlong marker when short of room. Fasted from 4f to 1f out.

Can race much more prominently, and best over the minimum trip. Will be interesting down to 5f. Down to last win mark (turf). Would love to see another run and couple pounds off before him racing over 5f again. Need to watch.

Race Replay

Bernard Spierpoint
28/11/22 – 8.25 Wolverhampton

Keen early on when grabbing the lead, hard to see most of the race due to fog. Caught and headed over 1f out. Ran well for very long over trip most likely too far.

Probably stays 6 furlongs and looks potentially seriously well handicapped now, especially as the run confirms his wellbeing.

His best all over the minimum trip. Want to see him down to 5f again. Will be very well handicapped then, if mark doesn’t creep up before.

Race Replay

Satin Snake
28/11/22 – 2.45 Kempton

Widest draw, trailed and still in last position 2f out, when outpaced from 3f out as pace increased. Excellent progress in the last two furlongs, finishing exceptionally well, especially against the pace bias in a slowly run race.

Second run for new yard. Stays 7 furlongs, also acts over 6 furlongs. Looks on good mark and ready to win a race.

Race Replay

Paddy K
28/11/22 – 3.15 Kempton:

Ducked left out of the gate (tends to do that), then moved rapidly forward to lead the field. Challenged from 2f out, hang twice from over 1f out, just tired inside the final half furlong. Speed rating matched his mark.

Not sure he truly stays 7 furlongs. Perhaps if uncontested setting easy fractions could get him to stay the trip. Otherwise 6f with good pace certainly preferred. Tricky horse. Can pull, can hang, can mess up at the gate, but clearly on a good mark now.

Caught the eye a few times lately, especially when last time over 6f at Newcastle: he rallied strongly, after showing early signs of keenness and bumping a rival. Also seriously strong on last turf start.

Doesn’t have tons in hand. Want to see mark untouched and ideal conditions either over 6 or 7 furlongs.

Race Replay

Boom The Groom
29/11/22 – 3.20 Lingfield:

Quick start from gate #9. On the lead but pestered and kept honest, formed pace setting duo until turning for home when travelling sweetly. Not beaten far. Ran solid speed rating here, in line with current mark.

Limed runs on the All-Weather in last while. Down to good mark already. Still acts over 5 furlongs and stays 6 furlongs if not too much other pace around.

Ideally finds a way to get his mark reduced to 60 and drops into 0-60. Will be seriously well handicapped then. Need perfect pace scenario to become interested otherwise. Probably rated just about right to his current level now.

Race Replay

Spacer
29/11/22 – 5.50 Wolverhampton:

Good start, right up with pace setters early on before settling in 3rd. Under pressure from 3f out, seemingly came back to it entering the home straight before short of room and effort effort petered out.

Too high in the mark and class too hot. Caught the eye on turf in July and strong reference performance in October at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs.

Doesn’t stay a mile. Needs a few pounds off. Want to see him over 7 furlongs and dropping into 0-75 class. It’s a wait and see with him over the next weeks.

Race Replay

Waverley Star
30/11/22 – 3.25 Lingfield:

Fast start, led the field for home, kicked on from 3f out out, still going well turning into the home straight. Headed with half a furlong to go.

He looks a pure 5f sprinter and will have options with a further reduction of his mark. Ran a few times really well, including a win, earlier this year, doing so off lower weights.

With a good draw and not much competition for the lead he’ll always have a chance off his current rating to go close over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Haseef
30/11/22 – 5.15 Kempton:

Bounced out of the gate and set solid early fractions. Good lead turning for home, but couldn’t really kick on 2f out and tired in the closing stages quite badly.

Doesn’t stay the trip, despite an eye-catching penultimate effort over the same CD. Would be interesting to see him race over 7 furlongs on the All-Weather again. Has proven form over 6 furlongs, too.

Ran twice to speed ratings 59+ this summer over sprint distances. Still a maiden after 15 runs but certainly not without hope.

Race Replay

Tricky Business
02/12/12 – 3.05 Newcastle:

Rapidly moved forward to grab uncontested lead, setting pretty good fractions. Beaten 2f out and fell completely away in the closing stages. Nothing that ran close to the pace was able to sustain an effort, though; everything came from off the pace here.

First start for new yard. No hope to stay a mile. Even 7 furlongs most likely a stretch. 6f is his trip. Buried the last runs without intend to do much.

In that context he caught the the eye here: he’s still all enthusiasm. Once in the right race, will be interesting.

Race Replay

Seesawing
02/12/22 – 5.15 Newcastle:

Led toward stands’ side, somewhat isolated. Travelled well, before hanging toward the middle of the track from 2f out; tiering late and losing a few places.

Entitled to tire, was 330 days off. Changed yards in November too. On a solid mark that offers opportunities. 7 furlongs with a turn could be really interesting – was placed at Kempton and Lingfield over 7f last year, ran to 63 speed rating as well.

There could well be a bit more to come after only eight career runs for this 5-year-old gelding.

Race Replay

Thursday Selections: 1st December 2022

Here we are, December. How time is flying. The last month in 2022. It’s been a wild year on the betting front. Significant ups and downs, variance tested my mental fortitude.

It’s gonna be a profitable year, after all, though. Most likely at least, baring a total disaster in December – usually a rather quiet month for me.

I wasn’t too confident whether a green 2022 is possible at various times this year. Least so after baking 31 consecutive losers between August and October.

After three brutal months, November – thankfully – was much kinder. Backing the Melbourne Cup winner at long odds helped, of course. 12 selections, 4 winners. The best November in ages, and one of the most profitable month in a long time in general.

I took a little deep dive into the data yesterday in this little thread on Twitter, talking short-term vs. long term view, variance and and the mental aspect of the game.

…….

7.30 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This doesn’t look like the most competitive race for this class and trip at this time of the year. Not too many make any real appeal.

La Roca Del Fuego is one I do quite like. He caught my eye recently and must rate a prime chance with a 7lb claimer on board, but I hope to catch him on another day.

The other one who is seriously interesting is Expert Opinion. IF he can find another pound or two for the application of blinkers he’s got a significant chance today.

He put up two big performances over course and distance the last two starts. Last time out represented a career best on speed ratings, in fact.

He’s clearly down to a highly competitive mark, having performed well off higher this year already. That says, Expert Opinion is a tricky sort. His poor strike record tells a tale.

However, over this CD he’s placed 5/7. That gives the fresh application of first-time blinkers a significance.

Luke Morris in these type of conditions on low weights has a quite a nice record too. I hope he can get the gelding sharply out of the excellent #2 gate. He should be able to track the pace closely from there and get the perfect run through.

10pts win – Expert Opinion @ 5/1

Monday Selections: 31st October 2022

7.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

This is a shocking contest in terms of quality. This fact opens the door for a little surprise, I feel, or perhaps hope, more than anything.

No doubt, the filly Queen Of Ipanema should have a good chance to win back to back under a penalty, given she ran to a strong speed rating the last time.

However, I have the feeling she is vulnerable, certainly too short in the betting. Personally I never like a to see a 3-year-old filly shooting up in the weight so suddenly from 9.0st to 9-12, especially if a strong winning performance came off the low weight.

There are only one or two other solid rivals in the field, though, hence I can see why she is as short as 6/5 this morning. Any repeat of the last run will see her hard to beat.

In saying that the one that looks overpriced here is Rumourmonger. The 3-year-old filly runs off bottom weight and remains open to improvement, especially with the new headgear combination working well last time out.

One has to note, though: the filly can be quite a tricky customer. She messed up at the start a number of times in the past, as she did two back at Chelmsford. She still ran better in my eyes there and then, given the circumstances. This tiny step in the right direction was followed up by quite a significant step in the right direction the next time.

Rumourmonger stepped up to 10 furlongs, a combination of hood and blinkers applied, she jumped better, attempted to make all, was a bit keen early in, was joined by the eventual winner to set the pace, and was bang up there for an awful long time.

She was eventually passed in the home straight, yet I like the fact she kept going pretty well to the line. No question this filly can win a race if she can get her act together on the day.

This most recent race worked out incredibly well form wise (11r: 3w, 5p). Hence it’s intriguing that Rumourmonger drops from that recent 0-62 down to 0-55 level.

The slight drop in trip today can also be in her favour. She probably doesn’t quite get 10 furlongs. No hot pace is expected, so from a good #4 draw Theodor Ladd should have every option to move forward and settle this girl.

Obviously, you can’t be anything more than hopeful that she runs her race. It may well be over if he rears in the gates again. She may drop out tamely. But I also think she showed enough the last time to suggest she can win off this lowest of handicap marks, and on the plus side we can be certain she will be allowed to run on merit.

10pts win – Rumourmonger @ 25/1

All-Weather Eyecatchers #2

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent days and weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Eye Of The Water
17/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Widest draw, moved forward to join leader after the first bend. Pushed on and increased pace from 4 furlongs out, but eventually caught approaching the final furlong. held on for third.

Had to carry big weight dropping into 0-60. Ran right to current rating, possibly a couple of pounds better; in line with performances this year as he ran to speed ratings 60, 64 and 65. Also his January 3rd at Southwell over 6 furlongs from the widest draw off 65 rates strongly.

Ran next week over 8.5 furlongs at Wolverhampton another stormer from the front, just going down late.

Probably best over 6 furlongs. Will be really competitive over 7 furlongs with good draw as well. Really interesting next time over either distance, with good draw and possibly the assistance of a good claimer. He’s ready to win again.

Race Replay

Cleveleys
18/10/22 – 3.08 Newcastle:

Started well and led the field for half the race until put under pressure on the outside. Tired but kept going well enough to finish best of those up with the pace.

The slow tempo helped him to get home so well over this trip. 7 furlongs most likely the absolute limit for win purposes, and then in a race with an advantageous pace chart.

Caught the the eye before on turf in his first two runs for the O’Meara yard. Clearly in good nick and comes down to a possibly generous mark. Ran to speed ratings of 65 and 66 in October last year, although over sprint trips.

Can have issues at the gate, one with risks attached. Still, drop to 6 furlongs or 7 furlongs on the All-Weather will be interesting.

Race Replay

Quanah
18/10/22 – 4.13 Newcastle:

Led isolated on far side, set hot fractions and ran to 3 furlong marker faster than preceding class 3 6f Handicap. Tired soon after, as one would have excepted. Was big price too.

Poor showings last starts since return from break. But comes down to last winning mark and can be a big runner down to 5f again. Usually goes from the front.

Ran at Catterick on Tuesday 25th in the meantime, without having an impact.

Race Replay

Thrilla In Manila
18/10/22 – 5.20 Newcastle:

Set a seriously fast pace, despite not breaking the sharpest. Did too much and tired from 2 furlongs out. Overall race time and the pace he set compare favourably with Division I on the same card of the race.

This represented a solid return to form, after being heavily beaten on his comeback run off a near year long layoff.

Continues to drop to a good mark and can become dangerous over the minimum trip pretty soon.

Race Replay

Intervention
19/10/22 – 7.30 Kempton:

Reared in stalls, crossed soon over from widish draw in a wild opening phase. Was seriously keen throughout, yet travelled powerfully. Couldn’t go with the front-running winner – nothing could on the day – and tired in the final furlong.

Trip is too far, especially without any sort of pace to aim at. A drop to 6f will be ideal. Has been progressive and is possibly handicapped to his best. A reduction to under 80 with the right trip will be interesting again.

Race Replay

Tyger Bay
19/10/22 – 8.00 Kempton:

Dropped to rear of field soon after the start, had a lot to do, yet travelled much the best. Couldn’t get through until late, finished in eye-catching fashion.

One who often tends to catch the eye. Has won off 4lb higher over this CD earlier this year. Will need a bit of luck, as can start sluggishly.

It will be worth to wait until he drops down in grade and a few more pounds in the mark.

Ran at Catterick entry on Tuesday 25th in the meantime; excellent 3rd; doesn’t help the mark for the immediate future. One to monitor for a a while.

Race Replay

Nat Love
20/10/22 – 1.55 Southwell:

Went with the early pace from his #8 draw, travelling wide early one. Didn’t have much to offer when tired in the home straight.

The fact he remains enthusisatingly racing up with the pace is encouraging, though. This race came probably too soon, hence I can forgive the way he faded. It was a third race in the space of four weeks, after returning from 446 days off.

First two runs back appeared full of promise. Especially the Newcastle comeback run can be upgraded.

He’ll come down to a highly compelling mark. Once down to/below OR 60 he should be really well handicapped. He ran four times to speed ratings of 58+, three of those 60+.

Race Replay

Abbey Heights
20/10/22 – 3.05 Southwell:

Bounced out of the widest draw to move rapidly forward, lead the field. The damage was done at that point, all attempts to slow down didn’t help him from tiering badly.

Still a solid performance back from a year long break. The ability to break quickly and to travel well on the lead should see him competitive, especially off the current mark. Ran to a 76 speed rating when landing a solid Newcastle Novice race last year.

Race Replay

Milbanke
20/10/22 – 4.35 Wolverhampton:

Moved quickly into the lead from widest draw, led the field by a couple of lengths, took a keen hold on this first attempt over 7 furlongs. Slowed the tempo down, and tried to kick on when put under pressure 3f out. Finished good second, running well to the line.

This performance ties in well with the lto run that can be upgraded when he travelled really wide. Won on debut over 6 furlongs last year, remains unexposed an open to progress, especially over this trip if he settles better, as the pedigree gives him every chance to stay 7 furlongs.

The new mark, 2lb lower now, should see him potentially quite well handicapped. He may be too short a price to back nto, though.

Race Replay

Roman Dynasty
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:

Already mentioned in the last edition as one who caught the eye. Did so here again, even more dramatic this time. Always travelling off pace on the inside, he looked poised approaching the home straight. Came with a strong looking move over 1 furlong out but the gap closed in that very moment. Eased eventually.

Clearly in good form. I hope his mark will drop a couple of pounds now. He’s then a potentially well handicapped horse.

Race Replay

Dinoo
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:

Travelled always wide and seriously keen as consequence of his draw. Refused to settle until late in the race. Went inside route in the home straight and could have gone close but had to delay full effort having to work his way through the field.

Big run given the circumstances and the energy he must have burned early on. Most likely will be better served down to 7 furlongs again. Usually raced prominently over that distance, but last twice off pace; perhaps to get him settled.

He ran to a 68 speed rating earlier tis year on turf. Comes down to a good mark now and is still unexposed on the All-Weather, having been placed on two of his three starts on the sand already. He should be really competitive for a drop to 7 furlongs.

Race Replay

Twilight Madness
22/10/22 – 7.00 Chelmsford:

Bang up with pace from widest draw, always travelled wide and without cover. Kept going strongly to the line nonetheless; did much the best of pace setters.

Caught the eye the last two times on turf, too. Especially the Windsor performance was seriously impressive, given the circumstances and the big move he made mid-race.

This race confirmed he’s down to a good mark, and clearly capable to win off 74. Speed ratings say he hasn’t tons in hand, so it’s worth paying attention to draw and pace chart.

Race Replay

Lucky Lucky Lucky
24/10/22 – 7.30 Newcastle:

Not an eye-catching performance on the surface. But the fact he jumped off well and travelled enthusiastically was noteworthy as it suggests there is somewhere a performance still in him.

Was seriously unlucky at Redcar in August over 6 furlongs. Has mainly finished down the field subsequently, all over 7 furlongs.

Want to see him back over 6 furlongs here at Newcastle. Is a full-brother to a listed placed Dundalk mare. Pedigree would suggest he has a bit of stamina to stay a mile, but the way he travelled suggests 6 furlongs could be ideal.

His sire has an excellent record at Newcastle over this trip. Which ties in with this observation. Has an entry next week over 7 furlongs again. I’ll sit that out.

Race Replay

Never Dark
24/10/22 – 8.00 Newcastle:

Was early up with the pace on the outside toward the stands’ side as part of a trio. Tried to kick on over 2 furlongs but faded away entering the final furlong. Not far beaten.

Is quite consistent, got close a number of times year. As a consequence appears to be in grip of the handicapper. As a prominent/front-runner he’ll be really intriguing if his mark comes to 70 or lower, perhaps a slightly easier race and a switch to a track with a turn.

He’s ran five times to speed ratings matching- or bettering his current mark. In aforementioned circumstances he will be well handicapped, given he looks as good as ever.

Race Replay

Sir Sedric
27/10/22 – 1.40 Lingfield:

Tracked the pace setter, always travelling prominent. Started good looking move from over 3 furlongs out and travelled strongly into the home straight, before fading quickly.

Was back from a two months break. Ran seriously well the last two times prior, ran to to 58 speed rating three back, in line with other strong performances and speed ratings achieved within the last twelve months.

Should drop below a mark of 58 soon, really intriguing over 7 furlongs then.

Race Replay

Delegate This Lord
27/10/22 – 6.00 Chelmsford:

Quickly out of the gates, pulled back to midfield soon after and seriously keen, especially around the turn. Looked quite awkward and a rough ride in home straight, seemingly hanging, but still able to finish pretty easily fourth without ever asked a real question.

Showed a bit of form on turf during the summer. Now drops down to intriguing handicap marks. Should be a massive runner down to 5 furlongs. Best form all below 6 furlongs.

All-Weather form looks horrible, but six of eight starts went off 16/1 plus. This performance suggests he won’t struggle on the surface, if he can settle, which is more likely over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Guitar
29/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Wasn’t advantaged by wide draw and as consequence travelled always on outside. Looked to do a bit too much early on, seemingly not finding a position to relax. Appeared threatening turning for home before fading.

Solid run in circumstances. hated Chelmsford kickback lto, but quite promising on comeback run before.

Won well over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton in January, ran to 49 speed rating. Strong follow-up performance when a bit unlucky not to win. I don’t think he truly stays a mile. 7 furlongs possibly ideal. Looks a big lad. Wouldn’t want to back him off a break. Will come down to interesting mark soon.

Race Replay

Thrave
29/10/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Obviously the handbrake was on. Restrained at the back of the field, pulling for his head, this natural front-runner wasn’t in it to win it. He caught the eye earlier this season on turf, running a number of strong races.

His relative consistency means he is too high in the mark to win at this stage of his career, clearly in the grip of the handicapper. Connections seem to have realised this reality. One to monitor for drop to 7 furlongs down a few pounds.

Race Replay