Tag Archives: Doncaster

Thursday Selections: July, 12th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

5.45 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Acadian Angel has been largely disappointing this season after largely promising efforts as a three year old last year. As a result she has tumbled down the weights to what looks a dangerous mark.

She returns to a place she’s won before over the same distance and ground conditions. While she hasn’t been knocking on the door lately, digging a bit deeper her form seems not too bad, in fact. She ran to time speed ratings in and around her current mark.

In addition a visor has been applied for the first time, that may eke out some improvement. Certainly having Silvestre De Sousa on board is an added bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Acadian Angel @ 10/3 Coral

Derby Day Selections: June, 1st 2018

Gleneagles

4.30: Group 1, Epsom Derby, 1m 4f

Guineas winner Saxon Warrior looks rock solid judged on anything he has done so far. I love his physique, the way he goes through his races… everything, really. But from draw 1, which comes with so many complications, at odds-on it’s not a bet for me.

I stick to AOB, though. The forgotten one, it seems, The Pentagon, is drifting out to a massive price this morning. It’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to reputation of his sensational pedigree yet, and by any means he isn’t flashy if you see him racing.

The Pentagon was a workmanlike winner of a poor Group 3 last season, enhanced his credentials massively with an excellent 3rd place in the Racingpost Trophy eventually, though. The race wasn’t run to his advantage, he was badly positioned and clearly didn’t have the tactical speed when it was paramount to have. Yet he stayed on eye-catchingly.

This season he’s been disappointing given lofty expectations in two starts: a 3rd place in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown was underwhelming to many. Nonetheless, it was a fair effort in a race that was more about speed than stamina.

Fact is, The Pentagon is all about stamina, nothing about speed. He lacks gears and is a grinder.

He’s high class, I believe, regardless. He needs the right test to show his best. The step up in trip and the usually frantic pace of the Derby might be what he needs to be at his very best. From a good draw he is likely to go forward, he might even be tasked with pacemaker duties.

I don’t mind that at all. In fact it should be to his advantage. The cut in the ground won’t be a problem. It might even help. I can see a scenario where he tracks a fast pace and Wayne Lordan pushes the red button turning for home. It’s a long way home from there but this lad stays all day long….

At 50/1 this looks a cracking each-way bet. The better fancied horses might catch him eventually, but he could stay to the line for some fine place money.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – The Pentagon @ 50/1 WH

…….

2.35 Epsom: Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, 8.5f

The 1000 Guineas form has worked out really well already, so seventh placed finisher Anna Nerium should find the drop in grade a big help. Already a Group 3 scorer, she has trained on, proving it when winnig the Free Handicap on her seasonal reappearance in great style.

The Guineas was probably a bit too hot, however in lesser grade she remains a big gun given she is a full sister to smart Piping Rock. First time going against older horses, now is the time when the WFA allowance starts to swing into an advantage for the three year old’s, I feel.

Epsom is a different test and it remains to be seen whether she likes it or not. Ground isn’t an issue, on the other hand. On the plus side: her sire Dubawi has a tremendous CD record here.

Selection:
10pts win – Anna Nerium @ 9/2 PP

…..

3.45: Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

The ‘dash’ is often a bit of a lottery. In-running luck plays a big part. So there is always a chance for something big to finish in the money. I feel I can enhance my ‘luck’ by selecting a horse that has potential to outrun his price tag.

Storm Over is the one: he won a soft ground 5f handicap at Catterick in his final race of 2017. A massive performance, running to a 4lb higher time speed rating than his then handicap mark. He’s raised for that effort by only five pounds.

He ran with credit on his seasonal debut in April. He should come on for a sixth placed finish in a race that has worked out tremendously well in the meantime.

Cut in the ground works for him. Question will be the track and in-running luck. If both goes his way I anticipate a massive run by this still pretty lightly raced four year old colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Storm Over @ 22/1 PP

……

5.25 Doncaster + 6.10 Lingfield

Sam Gold for Roger Varian ran well in defeat on his seasonal return in a first handicap. The form looks strong with the winner performing with credit in the Guineas. He drops in class and should be hard to beat.

Sir Mark Prescott has identified an easy target for rapidly improving filly Midnight Blue at Lingfield. She won a minor event at Wolverhampton but should be hard to beat under a penalty with the step up in trip a big plus. From a plum draw she’s likely to be up with the pace.

Selection:
10pts win double – Sam Gold + Midnight Blue @ 3.72/1 VC

Friday Selections: June, 1st 2018

Curragh

4.30 Epsom: English Oaks, 1m 4f

This looks an intriguing renewal of the Oaks. With soft ground on offer, the race is thrown wide open and cases can be made for- or against anyone in this field.

Guineas fourth Wild Illusion is a fair favourite and she’s probably got a decent chance to follow-on from the Fillies’ Classic as I feel she’s got a decent chance to stay the new trip. The price is rotten, though.

From the market principles Magic Wand is the one I prefer, no question. I liked what she did at Chester and she should have plenty of improvement left. The ground is a slight question.

My money runs with one of the outsiders of the field: Ejtyah. She is inexperienced and had only two starts. That isn’t ideal. She looked raw and green on debut at Chelmsford toward the end of last year and was still very much learning her trade in the Musidora last month.

That was her seasonal debut, she is entitled to come on a fair bit for the run. A good performance that was, finishing third, on ground possibly too firm for her when she was probably shy of full fitness as well.

Ejtyah should have learned plenty that day – she has to, though. Now stepping up to the Derby distance looks a big bonus and so could be the softish ground. Frankel has a remarkable record on soft ground (+12f) with his offspring, actually, so from that perspective it isn’t a negative.

Connections also believe a fast surface isn’t the best for her as she was withdrawn from the Lingfield Oaks Trial for ground reasons.

No doubt, Ejtyah isn’t the likeliest winner. She has quite a bit to find with the market principles on pure form. She may not find enough to go close. That says, she is entitled to improve quite a bit for her seasonal reappearance run, for experience, the trip and potentially the ground.

All of that makes her a compelling bet at a massive price in an open Oaks.

Selection:
10pts win – Ejtyah @ 20/1 WH

……..

8.40 Doncaster: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 1m 2f

Favourite Maid Up is rock solid and one I do like allot. However, given prices, I do fancy even more long-shot Girls Talk.

You can totally discount her recent Beverly run – a wide draw, she ended up four wide nearly for the entire time of the race and she simply had no chance. Look at what she done before and it gets interesting.

Her seasonal comeback run at Lingfield, albeit 5th and three lengths beaten, is quite a good one. She crossed over from a her draw to lead the field until the final furlong marker when eventually fading away in the closing stages. Given it was her first race since October she was entitled to get tired.

The sectionals aren’t anything special, nonetheless, the fact she led a pretty decent field for that type of race in commanding style for as long as she did from her then 5lb higher mark than the current one, is intriguing. The form of that race works out pretty well, so I rate this performance highly.

She showed flashes as a juvenile, particularly in her second start; however, as an April foal she is due to be a much better horse with experience and age.

Down to a rating off 62, stepping up to 10f for the first time, she seems overpriced, as on pedigree the trip looks very much possible.

Selection:
10pts win – Girls Talk @ 25/1 VC

…….

9.10 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Handicap debutant Moon Of Baroda looks ripe for a massive run. He showed glimpses of potential in Novice and Maiden company. Now going handicapping, while stepping up to 12f on ground likely to suit, this son of Dubawi is in with a big shout in this race.

Still a colt, connections give him every chance to develop. He didn’t run as a juvenile last year, only made his debut this winter. His future is clearly over longer trips, so stepping up to the longer 1m 4f is a big plus.

Moon Of Baroda hails from a good family, and Dubawi’s stats for three year old handicappers over 12 furlongs are off the charts! Blinkers are fitted for the first time too, hopefully sharpen him up.

Selection:
10pts win – Moon Of Baroda @ 11/2 PP

Saturday Selections: May, 5th 2018

Gleneagles

3.35 Newmarket: 2000 Guineas, 1 mile

You can’t deny the fact he has been massively disappointing in his last two runs, however, there were very valid excuses for Expert Eye to finish last in the Dewhurst when a warm favourite to land it, as well as when a slightly underwhelming runner-up in the Greenham a fortnight ago.

Regardless, Expert Eye possesses tons of talent as he proved in the Vintage Stakes last summer – a Group 2 event he took with so much ease only the really good ones are capable of.

No doubt, his chances hinge on him settling early on. We have seen Expert Eye pulling his chances away before, and if we see the same here, him pulling the arms off Andrea Atzeni over the first few furlongs then his race is over before it really started.

That’s the reason why Expert Eye is as big a price as he is. Still too big, as I trust Sir Michael to teach the horse how to settle and his seasonal debut run should help in that regard as well.

Selection:
10pts win – Expert Eye @ 12/1 VC

…….

6.20 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

Some interesting horses at the top of the market, though I do prefer the chance of bottom weight Chingachgook. A son of Eclipse winner Al Kazeem (wonderful memories, I was at Sandown that day to see him romp home), in five career starts he has shown plenty of potential.

After few fine performances on the All-Weather over the winter he made his handicap debut at Newcastle in February – the only time he bombed out up until now. Switched to turf for the first time at the end of March at Musselburgh, Chingachgook returned to form.

In bottomless ground conditions he didn’t have an ideal break from the widest draw and found himself for most parts of the race in the uncomfortable position chasing the pack. That’s never good at Musselburgh, particularly in those type of conditions.

Chingachgook also didn’t get the clearest of runs through the field and the bird was flown once he was in the clear. Still, he ran on well to finish a good second, doing anything as the only horse from those held up. The form has been franked by the winner and fourth subsequently.

Same handicap mark, slightly better ground, upped in grade, however having the chance to race off a featherweight – Chingachgook should be able to outrun his price tag. Whether that is enough to beat the better fancied market principles remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Chingachgook @ 9/1 WH

Sunday Selections: April, 29th 2018

DSC_1062

Despite drifting out to a 6/1 SP, Candidate (7/2) won with plenty to spare in the end to make it two on the trot after Mancini kicked this week off in the best possible way a couple of days ago. A hat-trick wasn’t to be, though. Toy Theatre ran well but only managed 3rd place.

……

2.30 Salisbury: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f

It’s fair to say Pack It In has not shown a lot for his new yard since switching to Alexandra Dunn last summer. Jumping didn’t work out and he never seemed to take to the sand racing during the winter months.

Back on turf things might be different. He returns to grass a full 10lb lower than when finishing a good runner-up at Bath in a class 4 Handicap back in August. He’s also 5lb and 11lb lower than his last two winning marks.

Pack It In has no problem with cut in the ground, in fact it seems to be what he prefers. So the tough going might well be in his favour here. The fact that his two highest time speed ratings (68) came last year off similar handicap marks suggest to me he could potentially incredibly well handicapped now.

Selection:
10pts win – Pack It In @ 6/1 GB

Saturday Selections II: April, 28th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

7.15 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

I do fancy Camelot son Candidate here. Interesting to see him stepping up markedly in trip on his seasonal reappearance. This late May foal showed promise as a juvenile on his second career start when a two lengths beaten fourth at Windsor. He was down the field in his to other runs, then in hot company, though.

This represents a drop in class and easier assignment on handicap debut. An opening mark off 75 on the other hand looks slightly on the stiff side.

However, Candidate should enjoy the soft ground and has every chance to stay the trip. So, he appears to be an individual with plenty of scope hence may turn out better than this mark.

Kirby booked for this yard is generally a big plus, even more so as Hughie Morrison’s only runner today.

Selection:
10pts win – Candidate @ 7/2 VC

Saturday Selections: April, 28th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Deep into April and here I was celebrating a winner at Chelmsford… well, it doesn’t really matter where it is as long as “the good thing” gets the head in front. Thursday selection Mancini (13/2) won well in the end, looking like a horse with more to come this year.

It’s been a pretty quiet April in general. The clam before the storm?

……

7.45 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Trappy affair, open and hard to judge some of these fillies and mares. One of those is Toy Theatre who returns off a 114 days long break.

She didn’t quite excel over the winter on the All-Weather after a largely progressive campaign in 2017. She won twice on turf, including over CD as well as a very competitive class 3 Handicap at Newmarket.

I don’t judge her too harshly on those last efforts on the sand. However, given she has to overcome a career highest mark and a lay-off one might wonder where the improvement is coming from.

It looks obvious to me: Toy Theatre had only 6 starts on turf. Three of those came as a juvenile when she wasn’t supposed to win. The other three came last season, starting with a tough assignment at Chester in a class 3 Handicap where she wasn’t disgraced in 4th place from a wide draw.

The other two times she won, seemingly showing a preference for softish conditions. That aligns with the fact that she was withdrawn due to unsuitable ground when the going turned fast.

Thy Theatre’s Newmarket win looks incredibly strong. The form worked out really well. She won a shade cosily, despite the tight margin, subsequently over CD.

Given that this here will be the softest ground she has ever encountered, showing in the past that this what she might prefer, the fact that she always looked a filly to improve with time and her potential scope for improvement on turf, I feel Toy Theatre is a rather big price in this open field.

Selection:
10pts win – Toy Theatre @ 9/1 WH