Tag Archives: Dundalk

All-Weather Thursday Selections: 16th March 2023

6.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I loved the return off 139 days from Saisons D’Or at Newcastle two weeks ago. He travelled well for a long time and seemed the one going best with less than 1.5 furlongs to go, ready to win the race. He fell away in the final furlong, though.

He ran to a good 59 speed rating, not too far off his current handicap mark. There is every reason to believe he can improve for the run. His spring form is usually really strong, he tends to run really well in the first two-three runs after a winter break.

Now an eight-year-old he isn’t getting any younger, but he’s fallen to a really good mark as he also has dropped into class 6.

This doesn’t look a strong race, hence I think the #7 draw may not be too much an issue to overcome. The yard tends to avoid this track with fancied runners at all, though. That’s a concern.

10pts win – Saisons D’Or @ 11.5/1

…….

8.00 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Plenty of unknowns here but one wo is most likely to improve significantly from his three starts as a juvenile is Get Stuck In.

He caught my eye in his final two runs last year; at Kempton and then Newmarket, he ran with tons of credit in pretty hot contests. What I loved most was the attitude he showed on those occasions.

Not only did he look straightforward enough, but also went forward, and tried really hard when challenged heavily in the closing stages.

Going up in trip to a mile can only be a positive, given his pedigree. He’s been gelded, which in itself may bring out additional improvement.

What gives me plenty of hope that this lad is ready to roll is the fact Mark/Charlie Johnston’s 4-year-olds have an excellent record on their reappearance off a break on the All-Weather.

Further to this, the pace in this race could be a muddy. But he likes to go forward, most likely, and could enjoy an uncontested lead. He may be hard to peg back.

10pts win – Get Stuck In @ 7/2

…….

8.20 Dundalk: 47-70 Handicap, 1m

Leabaland must be one of the unluckiest horses on Dundalk circuit given this winter. He’s often ran a lot better than bare form would read; one who definitely seems to find the trouble more often than not, has also been unfortunate with wide draws.

Each of his last five runs since he entered my radar in mid-October produced their own drama, and it wasn’t different when last seen in February over this course and distance as he just couldn’t get that the clear run, from entering the home straight until it was game over.

He looks clearly capable of his slightly revised mark of 60. Especially this time he enjoys a low draw, which will be a huge advantage. He’s a solid starter, and can just move forward, see how things fall, but in any case should be in a position to get a clear run this time.

There shouldn’t be any excuses this time. If he’s good enough this time is the day…. I think he’s good enough; added bonus having Seamie Heffernan in the saddle, who rode Leabaland to his last victory, ten month ago.

Hence I think these current prices are total bonkers. Of course, if things look too good to be true, often they aren’t true. We’ll find out tomorrow night.

10pts win – Leabaland @ 17/2

All-Weather Eyecatchers #9

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

Primo’s Comet
20/02/23 – 6.00 Newcastle:

Restrained in rear, possibly slightly impeded around 4f out as pace wasn’t rapid and it got tight amongst those held up. Switched toward inside rail but didn’t get a run until late. Seriously light ride.

Rapidly falls in his rating. Still managed to run to 61 and 63 speed rating in October and November. Should be ready for big run soon over minimum trip.

Race Replay

Streetscape
20/02/23 – 7.30 Newcastle:

Moved forward to track the early pace. Challenged leaders from over 2 furlongs out to hit the front soon after. Gutsy run right to the line but beaten by winner and second from rear of the field.

Handicap debut, off a break; should be able to improve. Remains of interest over 1m but looks to have even options over 10 furlongs on pedigree.

Race Replay

Samba Lady
21/02/23 – 6.30 Southwell:

Seriously keen in the first half of the race on first try over 7f. Made excellent progress and was fastest through 4 to final furlong. Pushed eventual winner who made all hard to the line.

Looks increasingly exposed but off this lowered 63 mark should be really competitive, if the handicapper leaves her untouched, in similar 0-65 Handicap once more down to 6f.

Around a turn with a good draw and not too much pace to compete is the obvious ideal scenario over the shorter trip.

Race Replay

Beneficiary
23/02/23 – 7.00 Newcastle:

Moved forward, pushed solid pace as part of a duo, took up the lead 2f out, still ahead approaching final furlong but then tired rapidly.

Second run for new yard. Ran to 63 speed rating in the past. Good form this here, looks to be hitting peak soon. Drop in grade or any help from handicapper will be intriguing, as would be 6f around a bend of 5f at Newcastle once again.

Race Replay

Regal Glory
24/02/23 – 1.20 Lingfield:

Overcame widest draw easily to lead early one, before settling second closely following the leader. Attacked from 3f out before slowing over 2f out, before badly hampered. In the clear over half a furlong from home and got going again.

Mile is probably too far. Won nicely over 7f two runs back, and also ran to 57 speed rating prior. Ideally drops down in trip again. any help from the handicapper will be a bonus.

Race Replay

Man Made Of Smoke
24/02/23 – 1.20 Lingfield:

Moved forward, led keenly, set even gallop, led until turning for home. Paid for keenness in the final part of the race.

It seems he doesn’t really get trip. It was not a hot pace, but he struggled to settle well at this slower gallop. He remains amaiden, but run often well in the past as evidence of his mark that didn’t move much.

He’s usually up with pace, so should enjoy a drop to 7f when he can go a bit faster. He didn’t have too many chances over this trip on AW.

Race Replay

Game Nation
24/02/23 – 2.50 Lingfield:

Chased the hot pace, going pretty well as he started his challenge over 2f out. Led 1.5f from home but tired badly in the closing stages.

Still a maiden but remains unexposed and has dropped rapidly in the mark to something more realistic. Will almost certainly enjoy a step up in trip.

Race Replay

Sir Rodneyredblood
25/02/23 – 6.40 Chelmsford:

Excellent early speed, helped by low draw. Led, strong pace. Tried hard but eventually fading from 1f out.

Back from a small break. Ran well a number of times in autumn. Best at Chelmsford and Lingfield over 5 to 6 furlongs.

Ideally drops down to 0-60, but will keep open mind in right race, depending on track, draw and pace map.

Race Replay

Bang On The Bell
17/02/23 – 7.30 Wolverhampton

Quick start from the widest draw to get to the leaders as the field entered the turn. Pushed strong pace as part of trip, before getting quite tired in the home straight.

Much better thank comeback run, although that was over 6 furlongs. Increasingly drops to a dangerous mark again. Ideally want to see him below 70 over the minimum trip. He could be really-well handicapped then in the right race.

Race Replay

Candy Warhol
28/02/23 – 7.00 Southwell:

Restrained from widest draw, travelled in rear. Makes progress from over 3f out as pace increased to be in a challenging position at the top of the home straight. Kept in a pocket there and didn’t get a clear run until late. Unlucky.

Handicap debut. Looks on a fair opening mark judged on this effort. Any natural improvement would see this lightly raced 4yo well capable of winning a similar race.

Race Replay

Fanzone
28/02/23 – 7.30 Southwell:

Not quite the sharpest out of wider than ideal draw, bit keen, settled in midfield. Travelled well for a long time and fond plenty once pulled out and asked for full effort.

Excellent comeback run after 188 days off. Caught eye a number of times last year on the flat. Not one to trust too much but should be on a pretty good mark now if he could hold his form.

Race Replay

Eastern Star
01/03/23 – 5.30 Kempton:

Grabbed lead and set seriously hot pace early on. Had the field on the stretch, still going well turning for home. Severely under pressure from 2 furlongs out. Impressive how he pulled out more and fought back gamely.

Must be in serious form. Better over 7 furlongs. Was due to drop 2lb but unlikely that’s going to happen now. Should be really intriguing as he has a 7f entry next Friday as he was off 54 only a shoulder beaten in a similar contest exactly 12 months ago.

Race Replay

Secretary
02/03/23 – 1.25 Newcastle:

Restrained in rear early on but quite keen, gradually pulled his way forward. Came with good looking challenge but faded badly in the final furlong.

Probably doesn’t stay the trip. Family is sprint heavy dam won over 7 furlongs, though. Eye catching win when last seen in 2022 at Chelmsford overcoming widest draw. Looks potentially on a lenient mark if dropping down to 7f again.

Race Replay

Spartan Fighter
03/03/23 – 7.15 Newcastle:

Chased pace early on, before applying pressure on the leaders from three furlongs out to lead as he kicked on; still ahead approaching the final furlong before getting tired.

Outran his odds in the last runs. Looks in form. Won of higher marks last March at Newcastle. also running to 71, 74 and 77 speed ratings. Worth monitoring for some support in the market. Can’t be long before he’s ready to strike.

Race Replay

Punk Poet
03/03/23 – 8.00 Dundalk:

Excellent start from wide draw, up with the pace early on, before he settled in the chasing pack. Travelled really strongly into the home straight but faded rapidly.

Reappearance off 26 days off the track. Most likely needed the run, given the way he dropped out quickly. Down to good mark already but may get additional help now from the handicapper.

Won off 82 and 82 last year, also ran to 82 speed rating. Versatile as he stays a mile and is pacey enough for 7 furlongs. Usually likes to be up with the pace.

Race Replay

Pulse Of Shanghai
03/03/23 – 8.o0 Dundalk

Pushed forward from very wide draw, eventually got to the lead entering the bend. Had to do a lot to get there. Kicked on nicely approaching the home straight, still leading 1.5f out, before rapidly falling away.

Good run. Outperformed big odds more often than not lately, but never threatening. Comes to intriguing mark. Anything closer to 60 now over 6 or 7f at Dundalk with good, draw will be interesting. 7f is a stretch, though. Depends on the other pace in the race. Also turf off 58 intriguing.

Race Replay

Little Keilee
03/03/23 – 9.00 Dundalk

Bit keen early on and was forced to settle in rear on the inside as the way forward was closed from her wide draw. Travelled well entering the home straight and went for a run toward the stands’ side. Badly hampered and repeatedly clear run denied.

Appeared to be going well enough to suggest she could have gone close with a clear run, although was a bad drifter in the betting on the day. Lightly raced, only second handicap start; was in season lto, that run can be discounted.

Race Replay

Friday Selections: 24th February 2023

Another desperately disappoint effort from my selection last night. Gowanbuster one of the top negative market movers ran exactly like that. Last bunch of selections all beaten before it mattered… makes for grim reading.

I am the first to be critical of my decisions and work, but in hindsight I must say to feel totally comfortable with each and every selection. It’s hopefully just one of those times, a wild downswing.

It’s been a long week in any case. I was so tired last night I forgot to press the “Publish” button for this post as well as to even check whether the entire stake got matched. It didn’t. Thankfully, prices haven’t changed too dramatically for my Dundalk selection with 10s finally matched.

A winner would do me wonders, perhaps…. that says, Saturday is one to be excited about in any case, and I can’t wait for it: Cape Derby in South Africa with the return of Charles Dickens!

……….

6.00 Dundalk: 47-65 Handicap, 7f

Despite the slightly wider than ideal draw, Royal Tribute makes tons of appeal on the basis of his most recent course and distance run earlier this month.

That day he travelled incredibly well, made his challenge toward the inside rail and pocked his head in front 2 furlongs from home. He wasn’t a match for the eventual winner who came with a strong finish on the stands’ side.

But he ran on for second place, having the measure of two subsequent winners in third and fourth place. The form looks strong, therefore, and a better race than this one.

In my view Royal Tribute wasn’t disgraced last time out when dropped to 6 furlongs. He travelled well once again but didn’t have the pace to challenge and fell away in the closing stages.

Back over 7 furlongs, as a course and distance winner off the same mark he looks one of the likelier sorts to run his race. He clearly continues to be in good form and has the added bonus of Colin Keane in the saddle.

CTK was riding two runs back as well, so he is familiar with the horse, who can be a tricky starter. navigating the #9 draw will be a fine balancing act.

Hope the pace will play out isn’t entirely clear, with some f those potentially eager to move forward drawn wide as well. I hope Keane gets him off to a solid start and can settle no worse than midfield without being caught wide, which leaves every option entering the home straight.

Challenging wide toward the stands’ worked well often in the last weeks in general, so the #9 draw may force Keane’s hands to go down that route, which wouldn’t be a disadvantage per se.

Dangerous opposition in form and well handicapped is scare in the field. One can argue Royal Tribute is rated close enough to his current merit. However, given he was left on the same mark after the huge recent CD performance, gives him in this poor field a strong chance.

10pts win – Royal Tribute @ 10/1

Wednesday Selections: 18th January 2023

3.10 Dundalk: 4yo+ Handicap, 1m

An unusual one for me: I rarely bet Irish races, certainly not Dundalk. I struggle to trust the form, the races can be chaotic and these usually full fields throw up odd results.

But Iva Feeling has everything going for herself, stepping up to a mile as I hoped she would eventually, and is still a huge price on the exchanges (smarkets especially) – this looks such a superb opportunity tomorrow, everything speaks in her favour, nothing against backing a mare at Dundalk, other than backing a mare at Dundalk…

Anyway, the mare was a huge eyecatcher in early October over 7 furlongs at Dundalk:

That day she missed the break from the widest draw, was right away at massive disadvantage and travelled in rear, also quite wide. She but made excellent progress gradually entering the home straight to finish best from those off the pace.

She is still a quite lightly raced mare for her age with some scope on the sand, especially back over a mile. She is also on a pretty good handicap mark now as her last three runs are prove. She ran better than the bare form at Curragh in her final turf start; she caught the eye at Dundalk and Leopardstown in spring. Her most recent effort over 7 furlongs again was also quite strong.

She started much better, but kept fighting hard to keep up with the pace and not losing position. She ran strongly to the line, achieved a good speed rating and once again looked like she could appreciate a return to a mile.

She never had the chance to tackle a mile off such a low mark. She is drawn in #4, and has the assistance of a good 5lb claimer in the saddle. As much as these races can feel like a lottery sometimes, she looks ready to rock.

10pts win – Iva Feeling @ 6/1

…….

4.25 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

May Remain finally drops to 6 furlongs again. It was about time. The last number of runs over 7 furlongs he ran his heart out and performed with plenty of credit in the circumstances, but the trip was literally a furlong too far, as evidence when last seen once again last time out.

Hasn’t looked a winner waiting to happen since joining Ivan Furtado

Racingpost Spotlight

Obviously the RP analyst and myself have seen different races because for the last four or five runs I thought May Remain looks definitely a winner waiting to happen with the right trip.

He has fallen to a career lowest mark as a consequence. Off 54, over a more adequate trip – all of May Remain’s 6 career wins came over the minimum trip or 6 furlongs – he must be a huge runner in this field.

The one concern is the pace scenario. There could ne too much competition for early speed. His #6 draw isn’t ideal either. But not many appear well handicapped at all, and some may resist the urge to move forward this time.

It’s a gamble, to some extend hope, that he can find quickly a good spot tracking the likely leader in Jupiter Express. he may be caught wide, too, if things go badly.

But I am prepared to go risk, feel he is so well handicapped over this trip.

10pts win – May Remain @ 11/1

…….

7.15 Southwell: Classified Stakes, 6f

Shocking race. But longshot Northern Chancer caught the eye on his handicap debut and is stepping up to 6 furlongs, which should suit, being completely unexposed.

Last time at Newcastle over the minimum trip, he was a tiny step slow off the gate, before quickly moving forward against the stands’ side to lead. He was fastest over first half of the race, setting quite a strong gallop that compared well to other sprint races on the card, contested by older horses.

He appeared to be hanging throughout, though, which is a concern, and faded badly in the last two furlongs. perhaps he was just green and raw, and have learned from this run.

It was his comeback run since August and Handicap debut. He was gelded in the meantime. That may help, so will the step up in trip. I think he showed enough to suggest he can win a poor race. Also: his family tends to do well on All-Weather.

10pts win – Northern Chancer @ 11.5/1

All-Weather Eye-Catchers #1

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

Brazen Akoya
07/10/22 – 8.15 Newcastle:

Squeezed at the start, never travelled too well throughout the race. Outpaced from 3f out, kept on solid enough right to the line, not given too hard a ride.

Off a 94 day break, this was a step in the right direction after two poor showings. Ran well on the All-Weather last winter/spring, a bit unlucky at Wolverhampton in May racing off 62 when runner-up.

Ran to topspeed 59, 57, 54 and 52, all on AW over 5 furlongs. Possibly would enjoy step up to 6 furlongs. Down to OR 55, becomes intriguing and can race in a prominent position.

Race Replay

Rose Bandit
07/10/22 – 8.15 Newcastle:

Travelled okay tracking the pace, came off the bridle over 2 furlongs from home, didn’t find enough to challenge and appeared to lack the pace over the minimum trip.

Still pretty unexposed on the All-Weather, but strong performance in May over 6 furlongs at Newcastle. Was badly hampered and unlucky lto at Hamilton. Can race off 56, 7lb lower than last (turf) winning mark.

Ran 4x to higher topspeeds in his career – career-bests back in 2021, over 6 furlongs. I want to see him back over that trip.

Race Replay

Iva Feeling
07/10/22 – 6.00 Dundalk:

Missed the break from the widest draw, right away at massive disadvantage. Travelled in rear widest, but made excellent progress gradually entering home straight to finish best from those off the pace.

Lightly raced mare, gradually comes down in her ratings. Looked solid at the Curragh; caught the eye at Dundalk and Leopardstown in spring.

Better draw and back over a mile interesting. Risks attached as can miss the break, but usually settles no worse than midfield if she breaks well.

Race Replay

Navagio
07/10/22 – 6.30 Dundalk:

Grabbed the lead and led the field into the home straight. Looked a bit too enthusiastic early on though, and did too much. Faded.

Better than this. Money came in the morning. Still lightly raced enough. Should stay a mile but can be a tricky customer. Any reduction in his mark will see him potentially well handicapped. Trainer was quite bullish earlier this year after a maiden win.

Ideally want him over a mile but not ruling out 7 furlongs either. Depends on the race and draw.

Race Replay

Sicilian Vito
08/10/22 – 6:30 Chelmsford:

Moved forward from a wide draw to make the pace as part of a duo. Still led approaching the final furlong, then tired rapidly, although less so than his pace setting partner.

Caught the eye one week later at Wolverhampton too (seriously well backed), when again having to overcome a wide draw, was aggressively pushed forward to make all and paid for it.

Still a maiden, but showed some ability earlier this year on the All-Weather. He’s dropping in the ratings and will be interesting with any further reduction, especially with a good draw over a mile, perhaps a drop to 7 furlongs is also worth a try.

Race Replay

Phoenix Beach
09/10/22 – 2.50 Southwell:

Made most of a low draw and grabbed the lead. Travelled extremely well into home straight, still on the bridle approaching 2 furlong marker. Dropped out quickly.

Was found to have lost a shoe. How much that made a difference is hard to know. First handicap start after winning comfortably over this CD. Opening mark wasn’t a giveaway. Deserves another chance, given how well he travelled, and remains unexposed in handicaps.

Race Replay

Adatorio
10/10/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Settled in rear, travelling strongly. Hard on the bridle approaching home straight, made progress on inside but had to delay full effort until the final furlong marker. Finished fastest.

Still a maiden, but ran a number of times quite well, catching the eye when things not going his way over 7 furlongs up to a mile races, especially on the All-Weather. Can be ridden closer to the pace, too.

Ran to 57 topspeed already, down to a rating of 56 now. Was ridden with confidence here and should be really competitive wherever he goes next.

Race Replay

Twistaline
10/10/22 – 7.30 Wolverhampton:

Settled in rear, had a lot to do when turning for home in last position. Finished very much the fastest over the last three furlongs and slowed the least in final furlong.

Has issues at gate. Will need a bit of luck. But will be seriously of interest once mark drops below 54 and she can race against 0-55 opposition again. Proved to be capable of strong performances on that level off those sort of ratings.

Race Replay

Silver Kitten
10/10/22 – 7.30 Wolverhampton:

Rushed forward from widest draw to grab the lead. Did way too much in the first half of the race, setting good pace. Kicked on from 4f out, had field on the stretch but emptied quickly.

Too high in the ratings and always struggles under big weights. Once below a mark of 62, ideally not carrying more than 9-3, she can be a strong front-runner.

Race Replay

Rocket Rod
11/10/22 – 6.35 Newcastle:

Slowly away, travelled really well in rear, jockey appeared overly patient, avoided getting a clear run on the outside, instead stuck behind horses. Rocket Rod still hard on the bridle approaching final furlong until finally let go and finished in serious fashion.

Somewhat similar story last time out over same CD. Clearly still very well in form after reaching new heights on the All-Weather this season.

Might be really popular in the betting next time. Has an entry this upcoming Friday, albeit over 7 furlongs. I’d be happy to sit that out and wait for a reappearance over a mile.

Race Replay

Pockley
11/10/22 – 8.05 Newcastle:

Way too keen in first half of the race as pace wasn’t quick. Travelled in midfield but ultimately too far off pace as eventual winner was always tracking it and got first run eventually. Finished fast and could have won in different circumstances.

Serious performance that confirmed he’s back in form. Especially the strong finish was encouraging. Was eye-catcher earlier the year on turf. Dangerous off same mark next time again.

Race Replay

Yazaman
11/10/22 – 8.05 Newcastle:

Travelled off pace, which wasn’t ideal due to the slow early fractions. Plenty to do over 2 furlongs out. Made huge impression once pulled out to the outside to finish much the strongest over the last three furlongs.

Has his issues, will need some luck as comes from off the pace due to often slow starts. Clearly has talent and seems to has retained some of it. A repeat of this run should see him go close wherever he goes next if the pace is better.

Race Replay

Araifjan
12/10/22 – 3.50 Wolverhampton:

Tracked the pace but under pressure from three furlongs out, seemingly going backwards but kept finding under pressure and ran well to the line. Similar performance to solid lto run.

Clearly tries and is possibly running to his current level, but clearly not as good as in the past and struggles in this grade on 0-70 level.

He’s genuine and usually up with the pace. Will become really interesting once he drops to OR <60 and into 0-60 company.

Race Replay

Havana Goldrush
12/10/22 – 4.57 Kempton:

Widest draw, bumped by rival as gates opened, pushed to the outside but found quickly his stride and cut to the inside travelling strongly in the middle of the field. Seemingly going best in the home straight, he failed to put the race to bed, apparently hanging in the closing stages.

His two runs prior to this race were noteworthy too. A fine 3rd when attempting to make all lto and unlucky when hampered at a crucial time at Chelmsford.

Tends to hang in finishes. Tricky sort. But clearly in excellent form and ready to strike.

Race Replay

Sense Of Security
12/10/22 – 7.30 Kempton:

Badly bumped and squeezed right after the start, keen in the early parts of the race, possibly as a consequence. Good progress from 3 furlongs out, kicks well in the home straight and finds plenty. But winner from the front not for catching, and well on top.

Excellent comeback run after a wind operation. Topspeed awarded matches current mark (pending handicapper review). Caught the eye a number of times in the summer on turf.

Should be handicapped to win. Probably more so over 7 furlongs. 6 furlongs isn’t impossible, because she really kicked hard here – I really rate this performance. Class could see her through an easier race over the shorter trip.

Race Replay

Roman Dynasty
13/10/22 – 8.00 Chelmsford:

This was an odd ride, to say it diplomatically. From a good draw, restrained early and then always travelling in rear, made solid progress from 3f out. Stuck in traffic but also not helped by some of the jockeys decisions. Some late headway.

Better than this, no doubt. Ran well earlier this year a number of times. Especially his Brighton 3rd place; ran to topspeed 72 then. If using this as guide in combination with his best AW efforts, he will be become intriguing to watch out for, once he drops below a mark of 72.

Race Replay

Mythical
14/10/22 – 4.45 Newcastle:

Moved forward from the widest draw to dispute the lead until entering the home straight when opinions diverged and he went to the stand’s side. Quickly faded.

Fell over 20lb since start of the year that coincided with move to a new yard. Never fancied since, though not too bad at Ripon two runs back; lto Chester run can be upgraded. Had wide draws to overcome in his recent starts as well.

It’s one to wait for, once the money is down. Clearly has more to offer on the right day. Can move forward, has no starting issues.

Race Replay

Hathlool
14/10/22 – 4.45 Newcastle:

Back over 10 furlongs, settled off pace from wide draw, travelled strongly, but short of room in home straight. Bird was flown when he really got going, but ran on well.

Have been tracking the horse all year, missed when he won; too high in the mark now. Ideally want him about 5lb lower and over 10 furlongs. It might take a few more runs for that to materialize.

Race Replay

Saisons D’Or
14/10/22 – 5.45 Newcastle:

Led the field, made a good move from 4 furlongs out, was cooked by 2 furlongs from home. Faded.

Big price, too high in the mark right now. Won twice this year on All-Weather and turf. Ran to good speed ratings. Will become of interest down to a mark around 66 over 7 furlongs on AW.

Race Replay

Kraken Power
14/10/22 – 8.15 Newcastle:

Travelled in rear of field strongly, had to delay run as not clear run. Smooth progress but never got the chance to be fully unleashed.

Looks ahead of mark. Was of interest earlier this season during the summer off much higher marks. Needs to be ridden in a specific way, though.

May be too short to back next time. But clearly of interest when he reappears.

Race Replay

Leabaland
14/10/22 – 7.00 Dundalk:

Broke well from double-figure draw and travelled well in midfield. In touch with lead entering home straight. Looked awkward in closing stages, carried over by rival and short of room. Seemed to have more left in the tank. Jockey said his whip became caught in his reins, too.

Really interesting back over a mile and with a good draw ideally. Likes to go forward too. If handicapper isn’t too harsh in his assessment, he could be well handicapped in those circumstances.

Race Replay

Amber Dew
15/10/22 – 6.00 Wolverhampton:

Grabbed the early lead and tried to go wire to wire. Gradually kicked on from 4f out and got a bit of a break approaching the home straight. Just tired in the final furlong, but not far beaten.

Caught the eye last time out as well, when slowing the least in the closing stages, despite overcoming a slow start. Can miss the break but if not then usually up with the pace. Ran well a number of times this season.

Will be interesting in easier race and down to a 70 mark; ran to topspeed 71 over 6f in February. This was an 0-85 and she was found out in the closing stages by classier individuals.

Race Replay

Privilige
15/10/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Awkwardly away from the gates, not ideal having to content with a wide draw. Moved quickly forward, though. Disputed lead and did well to hold on for third.

Backed up strong and somewhat similar lto effort when led from wide draw and just beaten late. Two strong efforts at big prices now. Could be big chance over 6 furlongs.

Race Replay

Monday Selections: 2nd May 2022

It’s bank holiday here in Ireland and I am looking to one of the big Handicaps at the Curragh to sweeten the day with winner.

4.40 Curragh: Apprentice Handicap, 7f

Normally, these competitive Handicaps with tons of runners wouldn’t be quite my cup of tea, I have to admit. However, I can’t look past the potentially well handicapped No Patience here.

He was a massive eye-catcher last month in a similarly hot Handicap at the Curragh, then over 6 furlongs. It was his first run since February and for the John C McConnell yard over a trip possibly a touch too sharp these days.

That race was utter carnage and you could pick out a number of unlucky horses. No Patience showed good early speed, then settled in midfield of the main pack on the stands’ side. He was shuffled back from three furlongs out and boxed in without the option to improve his position until about half a furlong from home when he ran on strongly under an easy ride.

He finished really well, proving his wellbeing and you would hope he can improve from the run now stepping up to an ideal 7 furlongs again.

He’s down to a sexy mark of 59 now, given he won of 65 over 7 furlongs at Dundalk last April, ran a good race in a hot Leopardstown Handicap last September from 11lb higher than he’s rated today, and achieved a 71 topspeed rating in the past. 

Apprentice Cillian McConnell claims valuable 4lb – it’s the cherry on the cake. He’s riding really well over the last number of weeks and months, albeit with a limited number of rides lately.

There are a few solid dangers in the field but the biggest danger is no getting a clear run. Drawn in stall one is probably not ideal. Patience will be key. If No Patience gets a run for home, he’ll be a big chance, regardless, I reckon. He’s simply so well handicapped now.

10pts win – No Patience @ 15/2

Friday Selections: December, 20th 2019

Postulation

7.00 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 6f

Dragon Mountain steps up in trip here; he’s yet to prove his stamina beyond 12 furlongs fully, but after his latest excellent run over 1m 4f, staying strongly to the line, he is not without hope.

The gelding has also come down significantly in his handicap mark since his last victory dating back to September 2018 over 10 furlongs. Down to 63 now, having ran three times to higher tospeed ratings in the past, he appears to be weighted to go close, if he stays the additional two furlongs today.

He was a fine 3rd early this month at this course over 1m 4f, travelling strongly, just to be beaten by a well-handicapped winner. 2lb for that effort, with the visuals implying the longer trip can work, he’s clearly a prime candidate today.

On top of that fine jockey Callum Rodriguez comes here for this one ride only, which seems significant as trainer and jockey enjoy a 29% strike rate (59% place) at Wolverhampton!

Selection:
10pts win – Dragon Mountain @ 4/1 MB

……….

8.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

Kirby on board in these type of races is a huge bonus his booking appears significant for the chances of promising Clem A. The 3-year-old stayed on well after a little break when returning to the track here at Wolverhampton over a bit shorter, suggesting the step up in distance isn’t impossible for him to enjoy, albeit on pedigree it is a slight question mark.

Down to a 63 handicap mark, Clem A is of obvious appeal, given he won off 62 on turf this season, running to TS 63 that day also. With more experience and the trip potentially bringing out a bit more improvement, he can win a rather poor contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Clem A @ 9/2 MB

……..

8.15 Dundalk: Handicap, 1m 2.5f

There are two potentially well handicapped individuals in this field in my view: Ragtime Red loves this CD and is on a good mark, but has a poor draw and will need luck from off the pace.

Monsieur Piquer is the other one and clearly in with a big shout, if the handbrake is off: he finished an excellent runner-up over 1m 4f earlier this month here. He pulled hard for the first two furlongs, yet travelled strongly into the straight and led over a furlong out briefly.

The drop to this shorter distance should suit and a good draw will help to be in a position to challenge turning for home. Monsieur Piquer is still a maiden after 15 starts but now down to a 50 official mark and having shown enough speed to achieve a 56 topspeed rating suggests to me he’ll hardly find a better opportunity to get his head in front.

Selection:
10pts win – Monsieur Piquer @ 10/1 MB

Friday Selection: November, 29th 2019

Dundalk All-Weather

6.45 Dundalk: Handicap, 6 furlongs

Currently a reserve, so remains to be seen whether he actually gets in, Aloysius Lilius looks a highly competitive chance in this field if he would get a chance to run. Noteworthy he also got an entry for Lingfield on Saturday.

Aloysius Lilius dropped to a tasty handicap mark but can’t be really faulted given he ran some fine races this year on turf when going close on a couple of occasions over the minimum trip.

His first attempt to tackle the All-Weather was highly promising here at Dundalk a fortnight ago. A wide draw was a big disadvantage and receiving a heavy bump right after the start didn’t do him any favours. This was a wild race, he was at the back of the field and didn’t receive the clearest of runs, but finished strongly on the outside in the final furlong.

He stays on the same 66 OR. Interesting: Aloysius Lilius ran twice to 67+ topspeed in his career, including in his penultimate run. So with a much better draw here, and potentially enjoying the step up to 6 furlongs (he’s a half-brother to a 6f winner on the All-Weather) I feel there is a strong case for this 3-year-old having a major chance if getting in.

Otherwise, Lingfield one day later may well be another opportunity and you’ll read about it here.

Selection:
10pts win – Aloysius Lilius @ 28/1 MB

Friday Selection: November, 15th 2019

Postulation

8.45 Dundalk: Handicap, 6 furlongs

Quite an interesting contest and I like nearly a handful, in fact, though, most of them I decide to monitor today and hope the handicapper might be lenient so they become hot property next time.

The one I do fancy today to run really well is Comhghairdeas. The gelding has fallen to an Official Rating of 47 now, after starting year on a 24lb higher handicap mark. He was largely well beaten throughout the season, albeit showed a little bit of hope when 5th at Listowel in December and sixth here at Dundalk in his most recent start.

It is also noteworthy Comhghairdeas achieved a 51 topspeed rating at Limerick back in June, on what his second run after coming off a near year long break. Before that break he was highly competitive of marks in the 70’s up to winning off 80. And he ran eleven times to topspeed 51+ in his career.

So if any life is left in Comhghairdeas then he could be handicapped to go close today, particularly as he drops down to 6f, which is a more suitable distance than the 7f from last month.

That most recent performance is a much better one than the bare form suggests, though. Comhghairdeas  finished sixth, 5 lengths beaten in a competitive race – the form has been franked in the meantime. He travelled really well for long, didn’t quite get the clearest of runs in the closing stages but more likely also didn’t quite get home over the 7 furlong trip.

Now another 2lb lower, down to a more suitable trip, a fair 7lb claimer on board and decent draw to play with, I feel Comhghairdeas can outrun his price tag, that is already coming down significantly anyway.

Selection:
10pts win – Comhghairdeas @ 17/1 WH

 

Friday Selections: November, 8th 2019

Iron Major Dundalk

6.35 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

Back after a little break, Lucky Violet appears a compelling alternative to the market principles in an open race that lacks standout chances.

The seven-year-old isn’t the force of the past, however arrives off a career lowest handicap mark on either turf or All-Weather. He is still searching for a maiden victory on the sand, though, only had eight starts, all of a higher marks and only three over his preferred mile trip.

Lucky Violet showed that there is still life when running well earlier this year on turf – a number of placed efforts at Ayr at Hamilton off 64 and 65 ratings in higher class.

Down in class 6 back on the All-Weather, his mark a lowly 49 rating, given he ran to much higher topspeed ratings in the past, in fact he did so in 2019, albeit on turf, but also a 51 TS performance last November at this venue, suggest he could go well today.

Selection:
10pts win – Lucky Violet @ 23/1 MB

………

6.45 Dundalk: 45-65 Handicap, 7 furlongs

If Crest Of A Wave can bounce back after a recent below part effort she is in with a big chance of her current mark. That is a substantial if, given she remains a maiden after twelve starts. Equally there is plenty to like about her chance today.

For one, she ran well in her other two Dundalk starts this autumn, when not beaten far and in fact finishing a good third place last month. She is two pounds lower today, which is a career lowest for her.

Crest Of A Wave showed promise on the All-Weather earlier this year already, when finishing runner-up and 4th on two subsequent occasions. She ran to topspeed ratings of 50 and 59 back then, suggesting there is opportunity for her today with a good draw and lowly 47 handicap mark to play with.

Selection:
10pts win – Crest Of A Wave @ 16/1 MB