Tag Archives: Chepstow

Saturday Jumps: February, 23rd 2019

Cheltenham Festival

3.00 Kempton: Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, 2m

The favourite Angels Breath is backed as if defeat is out of question, and he may well be too good for these after an excellent UK debut winning a Grade 2 recently. However the ground looks completely different today and he’s meeting with Southfield Stone a 140 rated individual.

This Southfield Stone looks the main danger in my eyes. He’s taken well to his hurdles, ran with loads of credit the last few times, including the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle. He’s already won twice, and more importantly he enjoys fast ground.

The last two times, also when a fair runner-up behind exciting Bold Plan, came on much softer ground that it’s going to be encountered today. And while it’s difficult to place Southfield Stone at the moment, he’s the one I fancy at given prices today.

Selection:
10pts win – Southfield Stone @ 10/1 MB

…….

4.50 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap Chase, 2m

A poor race with only a few having a realistic chance to feature. The favourite is vulnerable, so I happily take a punt on top weight Modeligo who drops to a tasty mark as well as in class.

The 10-year-old won this very race a couple of years ago of his current mark. He hasn’t been too good lately, though a small break and first time blinkers applied could change fortunes.

Modeligo’s runner-up performance when last seen over this 2 miles trip, back in September at Utoxeter off 7lb higher, is the key piece of form for me, given he also enjoys this type of ground more than most others in this field do.

Selection:
10pts win – Modeligo @ 9.5/1 MB

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Saturday Selections: August, 16th 2018

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1.45 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Musharrif had a super busy campaign over the last few weeks. Eventually this will catch up with him. He’s been running consistently well, nonetheless. He came close to win a couple of times too. He dropped to a handy 68 mark regardless.

He is clearly capable of winning off this type of mark. He did it in the past on three occasions and ran 13 times over his career to time speed ratings of 86 and higher.

The interesting fact is the step up to 7f. He solely raced over the minimum trip lately. However, he’s a distance winner, in fact, was placed another time and ran well in a third 7f contest also. So he should be fine to stay the trip, particularly fast ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Musharrif @ 9/2 MB

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5.35 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Not that his comeback run has set the world alight but Thechildren’strust is the obvious choice in a race of rather exposed types as he is the handicap debutant with only three starts to his name also stepping up in trip.

He ran pretty well in two starts last season, winning first time out at Goodwood and finishing third subsequently in another fair race. Both forms looks competitive and judged by what the horse around him did since then his opening mark off 81 looks fair.

Thechildren’strust seasonal reappearance dampens the the euphoria, though. Third at Salisbury last month in what looks an ordinary contest, he never looked comfortable and the form hasn’t been franked whatsoever yet.

However, it might have been the firm ground that was unsuitable. It won’t be quick as lightning quick today. The step up to 7f should suit on pedigree. All together he’s the one who has potential to find a bit of improvement today on Hector Crouch’s only ride of the day.

Selection:
10pts win – Thechildren’strust @ 11/2 Sky

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7.40 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

As big the field is as poor the race is. That’s a tremendous chance for top weight Desert Cross to continue his fine run of form. He’s won two of his three starts this year and ran well in defeat the other day at Bath.

His winning forms work out rather well. So does already the third place at Bath from last months as the runner-up won next time out. Desert Cross was simply not well positioned and couldn’t peg back the two leaders on lightning quick ground.

This is a career highest mark today to defy. I feel in the context of the race he’s a good chance to to do so. Jonjo O’Neill has a sublime record with his flat handicappers at Chepstow also.

Selection:
10pts win – Desert Cross @ 7/1 MB

Friday Selection: July, 13th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.10 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

The two market leaders seem head and shoulders above the rest of the field, however there’s real concern over the trip for Air Of York, while it remains to be seem whether Nazzaa has the speed on fast ground dropping to a mile.

That means it could be worth to side with one of the other three. Four year old Alqalsar offers the most upside theoretically, but showed nothing this year after a promising campaign last season and his attitude has to be questioned.

The two veterans in the field, Living Leader and Peak Storm are of high interest to me, given their featherweight. Living Leader with Hollie Doyle in the saddle is by far the more intriguing individual having some solid form to his name while getting a big chance by the handicapper.

Peak Storm on the other hand hasn’t ran a good race in nearly two years. That says, he he has quite a good record over this trip at this track and dropped so far in the weights that if there’s still any sort of appetite for racing left he could be incredibly dangerously weighted now.

He drops back to a mile here at Chepstow, into a race he won back in 2015. The betting suggests there is zero expectations, but the booking of promising apprentice Andre Beslin, who claims 7lb, makes Peak Storm an interesting contender today.

Selection:
10pts win – Peak Storm @ 40/1 PP

Tuesday Selections: July, 3rd 2018

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6.15 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Pretty much all his life Field of Vision has been running over sprinting trips. Only twice did he venture beyond 6 furlongs, with limited success.

Nonetheless I feel he’s right in with a cracking chance in this 7f contest at Chepstow. One is that he’s dropping slowly but steadily to a really tasty mark. The second is that fast ground should help to go beyond his usual trips and there is also the fact that his pedigree offers a pretty good chance of getting a trip – in combination I think his two starts over 7f until now are a small enough sample size to rule out that he can’t be effective.

Field of Vision’s form is clearly on the upward while his ratings stay relatively static. In four turf starts he was twice in the money, unlucky not the get his head in front when beaten agonizingly close here at Chepstow last month. He followed up with a strong, albeit luckless run at Windsor, when he never got a chance with a wall of horses in front, yet finished strongly when a brief moment allowed him so.

With an excellent 5lb claiming apprentice in the saddle, a good looking handicap mark and a very winnable race Field of Vision appears a good bet.

Selection:
10pts win – Field of Vision @13/2 VC

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Friday Selections: June, 15th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

4.50 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 10f

Bottom weight Kabrit looks to have got in lightly here. He’s got three runs under his belt, the two this season didn’t look to shabby. He was chasing a strong pace on either occasion, proving still a bit raw and green.

Likely to improve in handicaps, he remains with potential particularly of a lowly 65 handicap mark. I feel this opening rating does underestimate the ability of this strong Mastercraftsman colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Babrit @ 11/2 GB

……

7.30 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Top weight Operative has been labeled an “unreliable type” by Timeform. I disagree. Operative has been half of his life starts in the money – 11 of 22 starts. That isn’t unreliable. That is rather reliable, in my book.

Truth is, the five-year old gelding’s form this year reads unreliable: 10-2-7, though it isn’t so much taken circumstances into account.

Operative had no chance on his seasonal debut at Nottingham; hampered at the start, wall of horses in front, hampered in the final furlong, yet wasn’t far away in the end. He ran a strong race finishing second subsequently here at Chepstow over 6f, bumping into a tremendously well handicapped winner.

It’s true, Operative hasn’t done anything over 7f yet. He was again well beaten two weeks ago over CD. That says he did so on rain softened ground. His other two starts over this trip give indication it may be too far. I still remain optimistic, given fast ground today can be a help and he looked like running on well on his penultimate start over a furlong shorter.

Operative also drops down to class 5 for the first time this season. He ran well in a better grade twice this season – this today is a much easier assignment. He may not see out the trip, and we can put that to bed at the end of this day; until then I believe firmly that Operative is tremendously overpriced.

Selection:
10pts win – Operative @ 14/1 PP

Champions Jockey Luke Morris?

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Another week older…. in fact another year older!!! It’s my birthday and I could do well with a birthday present. Why?

Because last week started so exceptionally well with three winners on the bounce but from from mid-week on turned into nothing but disappointment, agony and despair. A real nightmare, we can call it. And that’s only the horses. Let me not get started on the soccer….

I’ve really lost some money in those last four days or so. But always look on the bright side of life, eh? I try, I really try hard. But when you advance beyond a certain age, when you are very much entitled to attend the Over 30’s discos, when you…. ah let’s leave it there.

Thankfully there is enough racing to get stuck into and to forget about all the moaning and groaning. Age is just a number.

Jockeys  Championship

The British Flat Jockeys Championship has never really caught my imagination, I have to admit. Although I firmly believe it has its place in the racing season (there was an interesting discussion on its value on yesterdays ATR Sunday Forum – check it out). Whether the current format is the right one is a different matter.

Nonetheless I like the fact that it rewards the hard working jockey, the one who goes up and down the country, who’s sacrificing for a slim chance of a winner in the class 6 Handicap for three year old’s on a dreary Wednesday night at Wolverhampton.

Now, in recent weeks the Jockeys Championship moved a bit into focus because it developed into an intriguing head-to-head battle between defending champion Silvestre De Sousa and Jim Crowley, the latter one only recently emerging as a serious contender.

I ran the numbers and dug through the stats and come to the conclusion that Crowley does  have the edge – not only on the actual numbers of winners (he’s leading by 2) – but basically every other significant metric. So it’s no surprise to see him being installed as the odds-on favourite to wrestle the title off De Sousa.

As a betting man, though, I’m always on the hunt for value. And I just couldn’t get my head around when I saw last years All-Weather Champion Luke Morris readily available at a whopping 50/1! Are you serious?

Yes, Morris is 15 winners behind Crowley at the moment – but Crowley himself trailed De Sousa by a more or less similar margin not too long ago either. So it’s not impossible to make it up.

Now, it’s a long-shot, no doubt. Crowley gets great support, is going all out…. but you know what? So is Luke Morris! He’s proven it all the years that he’s a tremendously hard working jockey, usually right up there with the most number of rides of any jockey in the country. He also has a proven pedigree of being able to sustain the pressure in a title race, given he is the reigning All-Weather Champion jockey.

With the assistance of some good trainers, mainly Mark Prescott, I feel Luke Morris has enough ammunition to grind his way closer and closer into contention. There is still enough time on the clock.

Interestingly the difference between Morris and Crowley over the last 50 rides is a mere 4 winners – quite close, isn’t it? Well, yes and no. Crowley has a higher strike rate and is only really getting into full swing right now, so the gap might widen inevitably. But then, Morris has shown in the past that once he sets his signs on a jockeys title, he can really dig deep and get his hands on an awful lot of winning rides too.

It remains a long-shot, and let’s not rule out Silvestre De Sousa at all, nor James Doyle – though he said he’s not all in -, Adam Kirby or Oisin Murphy. But it’s the 50/1 price tag for Luke Morris that really looks tremendously over the top.

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Monday Selections:

2.35 Chepstow: Cocoa Beach @ 10/1 Ladbrokes
4.15 Chepstow: Work @ 12/1 Williahm Hill

Betting: Sunday Selections

Ivawood

3.05 Goodwood: Class 4 Nursery, 7f

Lightly raced Alabaaly only makes his second start in this company after showing some decent promise in three maiden races. First time blinkers lid him up the last time and he tired badly towards the end, yet finished 3rd nonetheless. Headgear has been dropped, he’s 3lb down in the mark and has been gelded in the meantime – a promising combination which should see him in much better light today.

Alabaaly @ 10/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

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4.30 Chepstow PERSIAN WAR NOVICES´ HURDLE (Grade 2)

Emerging Talent sets a fine standard but can be opposed at a skinny price, given he has to prove that he can find something off the bridle – although the step up in trip should suit.

Against him Definite Outcome looks a reasonable danger. He is a former Irish point winner, who got easily off the mark in a NHF back in March when he looks still raw and green. He’s probably a nice chaser in the making but should take well to hurdling as well, for the moment. The trip must not be an issue and with the yard going well, he’s an interesting runner.

Definite Outcome @ 4/1 VC – 5pts Win