Tag Archives: Eye Catchers

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

Review: 5 To Follow 2022

At the start of 2022 flat season I followed the trend of many racing fans and compiled a personal list of Five to Follow for the new season ahead.

It’s December, and the 2022 flat season belongs to the history books – a good time a look back and check how the five horses have fared this year.

Aldous Huxley

Despite the great name and a highly promising debut on the Kempton polytrack that landed him a spot in my list, Aldous Huxley has not quite fulfilled the early promise.

A fine runner-up behind fellow Godolphin colt New London (more on him later) in a Novice event at Newmarket, followed a neck beaten 2nd place finish in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood.

Despite enjoying the run of the race, Aldous Huxley wasn’t good enough to win at that level. No surprise, because he never bettered the strong speed rating achieved on debut (90) either, suggesting he wasn’t really an improving sort.

He hasn’t been seen since this run in May and was gelded in the meantime.

It remains to be seen whether he can find improvement as a gelding next year. I would certainly hope so. He was a May foal, and his dam was a late bloomer as well.

  • Final Official Rating: 101
  • Best Speed Rating: 90

Cash

The David Simmcock trained colt seriously caught the eye when he blasted home in a Newmarket maiden at the backend of the 2021 season.

Unfortunately, he was only seen twice this year. That was at Sandown in the Group 3 Classic Trial. He was a desperately unlucky runner-up behind a certain Westover.

The French Derby and later QEII were targets subsequently, but neither materialised due to injuries. A real shame as he was so impressive on his debut and clearly trained on.

He made a belated comeback on the Kempton polytrack in November where he was a disappointing third of four starters. He travelled sweetly but hang in the closing stages.

I believe he stays in training. At least that’s what the owners mentioned a few months ago. One would hope so. This talented grey deserves a chance to show his very best. And I’d be more than hopeful he’s better than this last run.

  • Final Official Rating: 108
  • Best Speed Rating: 78

Claymore

He made seasonal reappearance at the place that saw him earn a spot in my 5TF list: Newmarket. A good 2nd place behind 2000 Guineas ante-post favourite Native Trail promised something for the season ahead.

The colt, trained by Jane Chapple-Hyam, subsequently finished last in the French Derby, but that was largely down to being drawn in the car park.

However, he then delivered on the big stage, when next seen, as he went wire to wire to win the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot.

This remained the highlight of his season as he was soundly beaten in the Group 2 York Stakes the next- and the last time we’ve seen him this year.

  • Final Official Rating: 111
  • Best Speed Rating: 89

New London

Without a shadow of a doubt the horse that turned out the best from my 5FT list. It didn’t look like it, initially. Even though, he won at Newmarket on his season debut, a subsequent rather lackluster run in the Chester Vase saw his Derby credentials evaporate.

He dropped into Handicap company the next time, obliged duly, proving to be a pattern horse running in a Handicap. He then went on to land the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood as he stepped up in trip.

He was subsequently installed as the new favourite for the final Classic of the season: the St. Leger at Doncaster.

Going into the Leger as the 11/8 favourite, it was clearly an anti-climax when New London only managed to finish third. He had every chance in the home straight, but wasn’t quite good enough on the day. Perhaps the softish ground wasn’t quite ideal, given his very best performance came in much faster conditions than those present at Doncaster that day.

  • Final Official Rating: 111
  • Best Speed Rating: 108

Subastar

Big things were expected after the Roger Varian trained colt impressed on his sole run as a juvenile. However, he got beaten by over nine lengths on what turned out to be his only start this season, when third of four in the Listed Newmarket Stakes in April.

Connections mentioned they would take their time with this “really nice prospect”. He had subsequent entries at Royal Ascot – the Hampton Court touted as the likeliest race to run in the week leading up to the Royal racing event. He was never seen again, though.

This colt by Sea The Stars was a May foal. I would hope we may see him next year as a 4-year-old. He has been gelded in October, which may be a positive sign for a campaign in 2023.

  • Final Official Rating: 101
  • Best Speed Rating: 61

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

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

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

Sunday Selections: 11th September 2022

3.55 Doncaster: Group 1 St. Leger, 1m6½f

New London is the right favourite. I’ve followed his season with joy, given he was one of my 5 To Follow for the season as well. He’s gone from strengths to strengths and will have a good chance to win this Classic.

This isn’t a vintage renewal and New London has got the strongest form in the book, plus has beaten some of todays rivals already – therefore it’s easy to see why he is clear at the top of the betting.

It’s hard to argue that his Gordon Stakes victory is a key piece of form that makes him the one to beat today.

Yet, I have some reservations over the combination of trip and ground. New London has got a fair chance to stay, though stamina isn’t a certainty over the Leger trip.

More so, his best performances came on fast ground. While It won’t be bottomless today, there is going to be significant give in ground, nonetheless. The price suggests there are zero worries about either parameter. I have concerns and with that in mind have to oppose him at this short price.

My clear number two on the shortlist is Hoo Ya Mal. A surprise runner-up in the Derby, he was subsequently third behind New London in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

On the surface he was fair and square beaten that day. Nonetheless, in my view he is much more closly matched with the favourite than the final result of that race and the price difference in the betting today suggest.

In the Gordon Stakes Hoo Ya Mal seriously caught my eye, in fact. He improved in fine style from five furlongs out; he made rapid progress in the home straight and hit the front two furlongs from home. Ultimately, he paid the price in the closing stages for this huge but inefficient effort.

Plenty has been made of Hoo Ya Mal’s subsequent and most recent victory in the March Stakes. It was a workmanlike performance, rather than a fleshy effort against inferior rivals workmanlike style. But he showed enough to enhance his reputation in my book: he produced a solid change of gear and proved his stamina.

It was a lovely Leger prep, I feel.. Everything points to a big run today. The trip will suit. The ground is unlikely to pose an issue. Different ground conditions and the additional distance could easily see Hoo Ya Mal turn the table with New London.

He’s also closely matched on topspeed with the Godolphin horse: 107 for Hoo Ya Mal’s Derby run; 108 for new London’s victory at Goodwood.

I struggle to make a serious case for other horses in the race. The “hype horse” Haskoy has to prove her class significantly up in class. Eldar Eldarov could improve back over this sort of trip. But I don’t rate him a better chance than Hoo Ya Mal.

Emily Dickinson looks a huge price, and has a solid each-way chance I feel. She stays the trip, has the pedigree and clearly talent; with ease in the ground she may find a bit of improvement, and that would make her dangerous.

10pts win – Hoo Ya Mal @ 8.6

……..

1.15 Curragh: Premier Handicap, 6f

Top-weight Power Under must carry a huge weight in this race. The jury is out whether he’s truly as good as his current 110 Official Rating. However, with soft ground sure to suit, I believe in these type of conditions there’s every chance he is that good, and perhaps a few pound better, in fact.

It has to be, if he should go close today. In saying that, if that turns out to be a correct assessment he’ll be a huge runner in this Premier Handicap.

The 4-year-old caught my eye when last seen over this course and distance. He finished third that day but fared best of those up with the pace. The form looks strong, with the winner holding his own in Group races subsequently, and the runner-up winning a Handicap off a big weight.

One can discount his penultimate run in Group 2 class when he welt, but he was strong in the finish landing a Cork Listed sprint. he seems to do well off breaks, so not having run since June isn’t a concern.

Power Under Me has yet to run to a noteworthy topspeed rating. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though. Today he’s got a super chance: a group horse in a Handicap….

10pts win – Power Under Me @ 10/1

……..

2.25 Curragh: Group 1 Flying Five, 5f

As intriguing as this contest is, especially with Highfield Princess and her wonderful success story this season, the market overestimates her chances today, I feel.

She may well struggle after all her recent exertions on the deep ground likely encountered up the Curragh straight. She handles the going, no doubt, but I firmly believe the rain does suit A Case Of You much more.

Especially over the minimum trip, as A Case Of You holds the strongest piece of form in these conditions – his Longchamp victory from last October in heavy going, awarded a 114 topspeed rating, gives him an outstanding chance if he can be in the same form today.

He was an excellent runner-up in the Flying Five 12 months ago, before landing the Prix de l’Abbaye in dramatic fashion. He proved that wasn’t a fluke when winning the Al Quoz sprint at Meydan earlier this year.

Since then two lesser performances raise a few question marks. But with conditions sure to suit today, a fresh A Case Of You should be hard to beat.

10pts win – A Case Of You @ 8.4

Saturday Selections: 4th June 2022

Kimngrace was the winner I needed yesterday. Despite all the trouble in the world she delivered the good when most needed. Another winner today – on Derby Day – would be very much appreciated.

4.41 Musselburgh: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Northbound was a massive eyecatcher at Thirsk in April on his first outing in 2022. He travelled smoothly on the inside, still hard on the bridle approaching the final furlong but never got a run. He finished eye-catchingly well in one of the fasted final furlong splits despite being hard held.

He couldn’t follow up at Wolverhampton last month but his race was effectively over as soon as it began. Impeded right out of the gates and the door shut for any progress he had to settle at the rear of the field while the race very much developed at the front. This run is best ignored and I take the Thirsk performance as reference for his current form.

He hasn’t won since his juvenile days, but has been competitive and placed numerous times last season without winning. He was placed of 65 and ran to Topspeed 58, 59 and 61 last year. He also has a career best 71 TS rating, albeit over the minimum trip.

His mark has fallen another 3lb in the meantime, in fact it’s 5lb lower than at Thirsk. He looks seriously well handicapped if he can show the level of performance he did in April.

10pts win – Northbound @ 7/1

Eyecatchers #10 2022

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

Wooders Dream
27/05/22 – 1.35 Brighton:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Igotatext
27/05/22 – 3.05 Chepstow:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Sharrabang
27/05/22 – 2.20 Carlisle:

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

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

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

Race Replay

End Zone
27/05/22 – 6.30 Pontefract:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Tar Heel
27/05/22 – 9.00 Pontefract:

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

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

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

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

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

Race Replay

Music Society
28/05/22 – 4.05 Haydock:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Key Look
28/05/22 – 3.39 Catterick:

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

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

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

Race Replay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Race Replay

Pure Dreamer
30/05/22 – 6.10 Windsor:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Raydoun
01/06/22 – 6.05 Ripon:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Nibras Again
01/06/22 – 8.10 Ripon:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Stone Circle
31/05/22 – 5.29 Yarmouth:

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

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

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

Race Replay

Special Times
02/06/22 – 2.45 Leicester:

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

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

Race Replay

Eyecatchers #9 2022

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

Brilliant Blue
20/05/22 – 1.35 Goodwood:

Awkward start but wasn’t help by the isolated #1 draw. Was about to move forward when badly hampered on the inside around the 6 furlong marker. Keen afterwards. Made excellent progress from three furlongs out. Looked like coming with big run before fading.

This was his seasonal reappearance. Possible lack of race fitness and mid-race keenness may have been the contributing factor to a lackluster finish.

Should be better than this. Showed promise as a juvenile in two races in Autumn – form worked out well as he finished around some higher rated individuals – before flopping on the All-Weather. The mile trip shouldn’t be an issue on pedigree.

Race Replay

Aeonian
20/05/22 – 3.40 Haydock:

Travelled toward the end of the small field, pretty keen early on, nearly bumped into rival. Slowly run race, eventual first and second – also lto winners – tracked the pace and quickened gradually from three furlongs out. He made good progress on outside once in the clear but couldn’t catch the leaders.

He was also quite heavily sweating on this seasonal reappearance. Given circumstances this was a fine performance against some good and experienced rivals.

Hasn’t been seen since August when winning hot Yarmouth Novice contest overcoming severe greenness. The form looks strong. he could be a smart prospect. May be prohibitive odds next time. Needs monitoring.

Race Replay

Glamorous Express
21/05/22 – 4.35 Goodwood:

Travelling very strongly in rear of the field. Was at a major disadvantage, though. Having to pass the entire field, still last two furlongs from home going well, eventually switched inside the final furlong and finishes easily the best.

Obviously needs step up in trip. Six furlongs should see him improve. Seven furlongs not out of question. Was still green and raw in most races last year. Hence wouldn’t be too harsh on judging his performances beyond the minimum distance in his juvenile campaign.

Won a Novice contest when last seen in 2021 at Bath, battling strongly. A mark of 80 looks fair for the moment, if he can improve for the trip and for race fitness.

Race Replay

Tomfre
21/05/22 – 1.40 York:

Led the field setting solid fractions. Started to come under pressure from over two furlongs out. Headed and eventually lost touch with those that finished in the placings. Stuck gutsily to the task regardless, didn’t fade away.

Strong performance, ran right to form and mark. Was runner-up of 105 OR last May at this track. Comes down to a more realistic marks now, currently 2lb below his last winning mark.

Looks in fine form, this performance confirmed as much. Ideally would love to see a few more pounds off. Needs certainly proper soft ground to be seen to best effect. He’s one to keep monitoring this season for the right circumstances.

Race Replay

Ey Up It’s Maggie
21/05/22 – 2.55 York:

Tracked the early pace, took over the lead halfway through and ran strongly to the line. Only headed and eventually beaten in the final 100 yards.

Really gutsy performance. Highly consistent filly. In the grip of the handicapper. Will always be vulnerable in this class off this mark. A few pounds off, drop in class and proper soft ground over the minimum trip will be really interesting. Wait for it.

Race Replay

Bonus
21/05/22 – 7.15 Lingfield:

Crossed over toward the rails soon after the start and travelled at the end of the midfield group for the most part. Had a lot to do form this position over two furlongs out while the winner enjoyed the perfect run being up with the pace and was also well handicapped. Didn’t have the pace to challenge when gaps opened over a furlong from home but finished well under hands and heels.

He’s still a few pounds above his last winning mark but starts to get some assistance from the handicapper. I feel this run confirmed his wellbeing. Any additional drop in the ratings combined with racing over 7 furlongs on proper soft ground will spark my interest.

Race Replay

La Yakel
22/05/22 – 1.30 Nottingham:

Was away a bit slowly from the widest draw, settled eventually in rear. Still trailed over two furlongs out going very strongly. Didn’t get out for a clear run until about 1.5f from home. Quickened nicely and grabbed third place on the line having been tenderly handled.

This was his debut. He was gelded already back in March but must have some talent. Was a £28,000 foal but changed hands a year later for £120,000 to Shadwell. He will likely improve plenty fold for stepping up to 10 furlongs given his breeding.

The form could be quite useful. The odds-on winner had more experience and tasted success the last time. Given first and second where always prominent and La Yakel made such a good impression from the rear of the field suggest he could be closely matched with the winner. Needs monitoring for the next starts.

Race Replay

Kaasirr
22/05/22 – 3.05 Nottingham:

Travelled well enough in the final third of the field. Looked poised from three out, not clearest of runs from over two furlongs out, in a tight spot. Eventually fades.

I imagine this was a strong race for this class and will work out well in the long-run. He’s got a few solid pieces of form to this name, especially a close runner-up effort behind Al Nafir (who was 2nd behind Cash on debut) last year on his second career start.

His three-year old campaign has been rather disappointing so far. He was fancied in all three races, hang his chances away at Southwell and finished tamely the last two times. I feel a mile is the maximum of his stamina, though.

He comes down to a dangerous mark I reckon. Perhaps some different form of headgear could be interesting. A drop to a mile is key. I would also be interested in 7 furlongs with a bit of ease in the ground.

Race Replay

Orbaan
22/05/22 – 5.05 York:

Settled in rear of the field going well. Travelled much the strongest in the home straight, hard on the bridle, poised to be unleashed for a winning move. Couldn’t get out, though. Repeatedly short of room. No chance whatsoever.

Is an infrequent winner but has ran numerous times really well in defeat. Big run when 5th in last years Lincoln, placed in the summer off a mark off 94 twice.

Now down to a 87 OR, he looks seriously well handicapped if he gets his conditions: a mile at York or Doncaster or generally a relatively flat straight course. He also goes well over 7 furlongs with significant cut in the ground. He looks ready for a big win.

Race Replay

Arab Cinder
23/05/22 – 1.10 Wolverhampton:

Had to overcome the widest draw, outpaced early on and trailed the main body of the field by quite a margin. Made good progress from halfway, in touch turning for home and loomed dangerously. Couldn’t get a clear run, kept inside by rival the entire home straight until dramatic move toward the inside at the final furlong marker.

Would have gone really close with a clear run most likely. This was her Handicap debut and she showed significant improvement from her three qualifying runs.

As a full-sister to a 1m 6f winner who stayed 2 miles, she is likely to get better the further she goes. 7 furlongs is clearly too short therefore it’s noteworthy how well she ran here. The family isn’t overly successful on the ratings front but most win races.

With that in mind I don’t have massive confidence that she can repeat this performance over shorter than 10 furlongs. The pace was likely a big help for her staying on so well. If she moves up in trip I’ll be really interested. One to monitor.

Race Replay

Eddie The Beagle
23/05/22 – 2.20 Leicester:

Outpaced early on, possibly still green, had to be niggled in early parts of the race. Travelled okay into home straight and tried to make progress from back of the field having loads to do. Multiple times stopped and short of room. Ran on a bit late under easy ride.

Seasonal reappearance. Showed bit of progress on second last start last November. Dam won over 1m 4f for the same yard. Would expect this lad to be competitive if he steps up to that sort of distance.

Race Replay

Crownthorpe
24/05/22 – 7.00 Newcastle:

Travelled in rear initially, seemingly not going all that well. Moved into midfield and outpaced over 2 furlong out when the pace increased. Seemed to come with a late move inside the final furlong but badly hampered half a furlong from home. Winner was long gone at that stage though.

He was hampered and short of room on his seasonal reappearance at Redcar, too. Finished the race okayish from the back of the field. The form looks very strong.

Lost form toward the second half of last season. Has fallen significantly in his mark since two subsequent placed efforts in class 2 Hansicaps off 88 and 89 in May and June 2021.

Down to a 74 rating now, he should be really well handicapped in the right conditions. A mile with cut in the ground could be that. He requires a solid pace to be seen to best effect, I feel.

Race Replay

Reckon I’m Hot
24/05/22 – 5.40 Lingfield:

Caught wide from the #11 draw early on, travelled pretty well into the home straight, going better than most, couldn’t find instant acceleration when finding daylight over 1 furlong out. Perhaps ran out of gas too.

Seven furlongs is probably too far. She was quite unlucky not to win over the minimum trip at Lingfield back in February when she looked to have it won, only be caught late on the line.

Subsequently badly hampered at the start at Chelmsford, she ran better than the result suggested, while she bumped into a very well handicapped winner at Wolverhampton.

She looks capable of winning off her current mark. Would quite like to see her over 6 furlongs on turf.

Race Replay

Billy Wedge
24/05/22 – 8.05 Newcastle:

A bit slowly away, settled in rear, although seriously keen early on. Jockey had to take pulls multiple times. Steered from the middle toward the stands’ side and back again over 3f out. Seemed to travel extremely strongly approaching the 2f marker, still hard on the bridle, only then switched to the widest outside. Finished much the strongest.

Possibly unlucky not getting the clearest of runs but also seemingly a rather conservative ride given. Ran really well at Redcar in April on his comeback run after a near year long break.

Couldn’t repeat, although perhaps mitigating factors. This latest performance shows he is still very much capable of winning. On past form potentially well handicapped if the handicapper doesn’t react too harshly. Was Newcastle winner over 6f of a mark off 52, running to topspeed 55 in February 2021.

Best form on the All-Weather and over 7 furlongs. Rating wise not too far behind what he has achieved on turf, though; however, without winning. I don’t see turf as such a big negative with that in mind. But needs careful monitoring of market and jockey booking. Will require proper soft ground if to be considered on turf.

Race Replay

Thrave
25/05/22 – 3.10 Beverley:

Restrained early on and settled in last pace a few lengths off the main body of the field. Good progress from 4 furlongs out on the inside but headway stopped in home straight. Repeatedly short of room right to the end, while looking poised to win the race if a gap would open.

Ran better on two occasions this season since coming back from a break. Looks poised judged on this, though from a handicapping perspective loos matched with best form from last season.

As eyecatching as this performance was I want to see a couple pounds off the mark. Off 65 or lower at a track that doesn’t favour front runners. 7f-1m fine. The shorter distance not on fast ground. Monitor. Engaged this Friday at Pontefract.

Race Replay

Van Gerwen
25/05/22 – 6.25 Ripon:

Travelled in midfield in a compact field. Perhaps a little bit flat footed entering last three furlongs when pace increased. Found some momentum and looked ready for a challenge but was repeatedly short of room until nearly the very final moment of the race.

Probably ran right up to mark and best of his 2021 form. Won off the same mark last October and ran to topspeed 62, 65 and 67. With that in mind he has clearly proven his wellbeing – important for a 9-year-old.

At the same time he is not overly well handicapped right now. Merely handicapped to what he’s capable of running to. It’s worth waiting one or two more runs to see how his mark is going to be (hopefully) reduced. Is engaged Friday, 27th May at Pontefract.

Race Replay

Twice Adaay
25/05/22 – 8.30 Ripon:

Prominent early on, chased the pace in second line. Lost position when racing room became increasingly tight and was short of room at 2 furlongs from home. Had to delay challenge. Met interference at final furlong marker too. Switched toward the inside and moved nicely through a gap to finish well.

Sole win came over 5 furlongs in soft conditions last year of a mark off 54. Ran to topspeed 56 on turf and 58 on firesand. Ran quite well on a number occasions this year. Consistency means she’s in the grip of the handicapper right now.

If she falls below 65 again and over the minimum trip on proper soft ground she’ll be really interesting.

Race Replay

Lady Lavina
26/05/22 – 1.20 Ripon:

Travelled really strongly and like the potential winner for the most parts of the race. Tried to find a gap from over two furlongs out. Short of room until very late when finally space opens up and she finishes really strongly, even though runs into traffic close to the finish once again.

May filly on debut here seemed ready despite drifting out to 20/1. Most likely will benefit from step up in trip to 7 furlongs. One to see where connections go next. May be too obvious to back next time. Worth to keep an eye for when she moves beyond six furlongs.

Race Replay

Field Of Honour
26/05/22 – 3.50 Ripon:

Pulls really hard pretty for the majority of the race. A slow pace didn’t help. Received a good educational ride. As pace leading trio kicks on four from home he’s kept at the rear of the field behind horses. Pulled out 3f from home and makes eye catching progress to about the final furlong marker.

Debut run for this April foal. Quite well bred, likely to be seen to best effect if stepping up to 10 furlongs. needs to learn to settle. Looks to have a bit of talent given the way he travelled in the home straight and make nice progress.

Will not get involved before going handicapping unless stepping up to 10 furlongs. One to monitor for next entries.

Race Replay

Eyecatchers #8 2022

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

Saulire Star
13/05/22 – 6.45 Hamilton:

Solid start from double-figure draw. Settled a few lengths off the pace setter, travelling strongly. Smooth headway into the home straight, heading the leader about two furlongs from home. Eventually had to pay tribute for chasing the hot pace when fading in the final furlong.

He did best of those up or close to the pace. The winner and runner-up both came from off the pace. He is unlucky to be a maiden after 16 career runs having been hampered/short of room the last two times at crucial stages of the race. Especially the lto performance is noteworthy for the way he finished the race.

Down to a mark of 48 and unlikely that the handicapper will be harsh after this run, he stays up to 10 furlongs, though, perhaps doesn’t want it genuinely soft over that trip. I believe he’s ready to win a race.

Race Replay

Scorpio
13/05/22 – 2.40 Newbury:

Bit slowly away, also drawn low no advantage given where the race developed. Travelled well enough in midfield but looked for an opening from over two furlongs out. No instant change of gear when gap opened with about a furlong to go but kept going nicely to finish well in 5th without being asked too many questions.

Fine debut run given circumstances as she lost her left fore shoe in the closing stages. This could be pretty solid form. She likely ends up as a miler. Will be interesting if going up in trip. Needs monitoring for the next starts. Should be one for handicaps.

Race Replay

Tammani + Ramiro
13/05/22 – 4.45 York:

Tammani settled in rear and had loads to do entering the home straight. Tried to move toward stands’ side over two furlongs out. Repeatedly short of room until late when he finishes incredibly well on the inside under hands and heels.

Even a blind man would have spotted this eyecatching run. He’s obviously down to a really good mark, having been a Listed winner at two and Group 3 placed at three. Could be too obvious for nto.

He’s not ran to a topspeed rating matching his current handicap mark but that is most likely because he used to race in France until last summer where TS is often not available.

He’s a tricky horse, nonetheless, and I am prepared to wait for ideal conditions. That is a mile on soft ground. I would also consider 7 furlongs with a stiff finish. Soft ground is non-negotiable, though.

Ramior was also an unlucky horse in the race. He was touch slowly away, but then appeared to be going strongly approaching the 2 furlong marker. Behind a wall of horses he had to delay his challenge and was severely short of room in a tight spot a furlong from home. He was eased and reportedly lost his action after the 1f incident.

This was his best run since moving to Brian Ellison. He won races of marks of 74 and 78 the last two seasons in Ireland. In that context I am not too bothered that his best topspeed rating is only 73.

Ease in the ground is key for him too. Another reduction of the mark and 7 furlongs with a bit of cut in the ground is the scenario I am looking for.

Race Replay

Mobarhin
13/05/22 – 1.40 Newmarket:

Had the perfect draw to grab the rail and did so right from the start. Moved forward and set a red hot pace having the entire field on the stretch 3 furlongs out. Headed eventually but kept going gutsily right to the line.

He looks capable of staying 7 furlongs with a more conservative ride but perhaps 6 furlongs is his optimum. Won in January over the trip on the All-Weather of a mark of 70, achieving a 74 topspeed rating.

I believe he has still a bit of scope on turf, especially over 6 furlongs on decent ground. Ideally he gets a bit assistance from the handicapper before backing him.

Race Replay

Gumdrop
14/05/22 – 4.05 Thirsk:

Travelled initially on the outside quite keenly, perhaps being quite fresh on his comeback run. Was going well enough, even though perhaps a little bit outpaced halfway through at the rear of the field. Not the clearest of runs from two furlongs out. Finished nicely under hands and heels late.

First run since September 2020. Gelded in the meantime. Promising return to the track. Drifted out 18/1 on the day. Won of a mark of 75 and ran to topspeed 81 as a juvenile at Chester. Still lightly raced and seems to retain ability.

Should enjoy a step up in trip on pedigree. There is plenty of stamina on the dam side, although the dam only won over 6 furlongs herself. Should be monitored next time in the betting.

Six furlongs perhaps with some ease in the ground can work but I wouldn’t mind the step up to 7f. Also need a bit help from the handicapper before I’m really interested.

Race Replay

Dusky Prince
16/05/22 – 4.25 Redcar:

Raced right in the middle of the pack, slightly niggled halfway through as pace was red hot but kept going and looked in with a big shout if only a gap would have opened. He couldn’t get a run right until the very end. Wasn’t needlessly knocked about even when some space opened up late.

The form book might suggest that he’s in the grip of the handicapper. But I feel he’s probably been quite an incredibly unlucky horse on the All-Weather in his last three runs.

He caught the eye on all those runs, especially at Newcastle (badly hampered when most likely coming with the winning move) in February and Lingfield when he got too far behind but was flying home with a sub 11 second final furlong.

Some of the bad luck is self-made, though. It is absolutely clear that he’s not quite speedy enough for the minimum trip and that is a reason why he meets trouble. Clearly he needs to move up to 6 furlongs.

The dam was a winner over 6 furlongs as well as twice a winner over 7 furlongs on the All-Weather. He tried 6 furlongs only twice before and that was in really hot company. So there is plenty of scope for better, both on turf or All-Weather. He’s absolutely ripe to win if he moves up in trip.

Race Replay

Gurkhali Girl
16/05/22 – 4.15 Carlisle:

Despite being quite keen in the early part of the race she travelled well into the home straight looking to have a big say in the outcome of the race. Bit inconvenienced by a horse crossing over from the right side around 2.5 furlongs from home. Tries hard to get going but runs completely out of energy in the end.

Was quite keen last time out in a maiden over a mile at Ayr on her first run since July 2021 but travelled notably well there. Didn’t get the clearest of runs on the inside either. Faded badly but was entitled after being off the track for such a long time.

In these two runs she caught my eye for the way she travelled strongly into the home straight. She cost £50k as a yearling and is quite well bred. I assume she needed the run these two times and soft ground accentuated her tired finish here at Carlisle.

The Iain Jardine yard is in poor form. it’s something to watch out for. A mile looks possibly an ideal trip on pedigree. The way she can be fresh and pull for her head is a concern. On the other hand she’s going to drop to an interesting mark now. The jury is out whether she can perform on soft ground as her sire did.

Race Replay

Corinthia Knight + Firenze Rosa
16/05/22 – 5.10 Windsor:

Corinthia Night was outpaced from an early stage, hampered over two furlongs out, wandering around behind a wall of horses in order to get a clear run. It only opens up inside the final furlong when he runs on well for a 5th place finish.

He’s fallen dramatically in the weights in the last months. It was only back in July 2021 when he won back to back, including of a mark of 92 running to a near career best topspeed rating of 92.

Ever since he’s hardly ever shown much. Now down to a 73 rating, this most recent performance was a first proper sign that there’s still some spark. In my mind he wants 6 furlongs these days, though. He acts on soft but I wouldn’t back him unless it’s reasonably fast ground.

Firenze Rosa travelled pretty well until about the halfway stage. Was then stuck behind horses. Briefly tracking the initial winner but not getting through on the inside. The inexperienced jockey perhaps also not quite brave enough to take a gap on the stands’ side until very late. Finishes well enough under an easy right suggesting there was more left in the tank.

She was 1lb out of the weights here, yet I hope the run motivates the handicapper to give here a bit leeway.

She won of a mark of 56 in soft here at Windsor and she finished the turf season in October with a really strong runner-up effort of a 57 mark running to a 57 TS rating that day.

If she drops below a mark of 55 over 5 furlongs on proper soft ground she should have a really good chance.

Race Replay

D Day Odette
16/05/22 – 7.40 Windsor:

Went left at the start, then settled in last trailing the field. Still last approaching three furlongs out. Eyecatching progress on the bridle when switched to the outside of the field challenging two furlongs from home. Possibly a bit tired in the closing stages after the big effort.

Second start. Seasonal reappearance. Frist time with a tongue tie. Changed yards in May. Purchased at breeze up for €58k. Should stay 10 furlongs on pedigree with relative certainty.

One to monitor next time. Most likely one for handicaps when moving up in trip.

Race Replay

Kelapa
17/05/22 – 1.30 Brighton:

Out of the #1 draw, bit keen early on travelling on the inside okay and looked in with a shout. Short of room 2f out, not getting a run, hampered at the final furlong marker. Gets some space late and finished nicely under an easy ride.

Handicap debut for the filly after three no-shows last year. 7 furlongs should be fine on pedigree. There is plenty of fast ground form in her line, so I reckon that will be ideal conditions. She may have enough speed for 6f too. Would prefer a stiff finish in that case, though.

Race Replay

Cabeza De Llave
17/05/22 – 1.20 Wolverhampton:

Appeared to be outpaced at stages in the first half of the race racing in midfield. Got back on the bridle and travelled well into the home straight. As the eventual winner kicked form he front he didn’t have the pace to challenge but kept to the task and wasn’t overly hard ridden. Finished well enough for 4th place on a day when it was certainly beneficial to be up with the pace.

Handicap debut and first outing in 2022. Expected to come on and learn from this. Certainly needs a step up to 6 furlongs. 7 furlongs looks possible on pedigree as well.

Race Replay

Shahnaz
17/05/22 – 3.50 Wolverhampton:

Awkward start and as a consequence at the backfoot right away, also outpaced early on. Flat footed from 4 furlongs out as pace increased again, turned wide and make impressive challenge on the outside of the field, finishing much the strongest visually and on the clock.

Interesting performance last time out at Nottingham too. Ran much better than result suggest in strong race. Had been handed tough assignment by handicapper with opening mark. Comes steadily down.

Last two performances suggest she can win. I like to see her up in trip to 10 furlongs again. Ideally the handicapper gives her an an opportunity.

Race Replay

Makyon
19/05/22 – 1.30 Wolverhampton:

He’s one who featured on the list last week. Ran in the meantime at Wolverhampton over an extended mile. That wasn’t interesting from a betting perspective. The trip is too far in my view.

He travelled very well at the back of the field, though, notably on the bridle right into the home straight. But not much got involved here, certainly not from the back of the field, and he certainly didn’t have a chance stuck behind tons of traffic.

Trainer has given a positive mentioning the last two times. He’s got another entry on the AW over 8.5 next week. I’ll maintain to wait for a drop to 6 to 7 furlongs on turf.

Race Replay

Lory
19/05/22 – 2.50 Wolverhampton:

Did a lot in the first half of the race racing around the first bend to dispute the lead on the outside. Travelled nicely until 3 furlongs out. Faded away in the closing stages but not asked a question either.

Former Andre Fabre and Godolphin horse, caught the eyes on two starts in France. Those races have worked out quite well. She hasn’t seen the whip in any of her three starts to date so it’s hard to gauge how much she would find if ever properly asked.

Seven furlongs seems to be as far as she would want it at this stage I reckon. Perhaps dropping down to six wouldn’t be an issue either. She’s going handicapping and is to monitor for her opening mark.

Freedom Flyer
19/05/22 – 3.50 Wolverhampton:

Wasn’t ideally positioned from his wide draw in rear of the field in a slowly run race. Eventual winner got a soft lead and everything caught napping in behind. FF travelled strongly into the home straight but locked behind horses only got really into the clear about a furlong from home which was to late. Finished well enough but not overly hard ridden, smart ride by jockey.

Continues to fall slowly in his mark. Comes down to a good rating. Went almightily close over CD in October of 64. Ran to topspeed 62 over CD before that, as well as TS 72 on turf.

Would be interesting to see him back on turf over 6 furlongs on decent ground of his current mark.

Bomb Squad
19/05/22 – 4.25 Wolverhampton:

Travelled in midfield, seemingly bit outpaced midway through, looking strong coming into the home straight, waiting for room to challenge. Consistently short of room, though, and badly hampered inside the final furlong, still finds momentum late to finish 2nd.

Runs consistently well on the All-weather and possibly in the grip of the handicapper on this surface. However will be really interesting back on turf on proper soft ground.

He has excellent form in those conditions over 6 furlongs. Given current wellbeing and strong form, he’ll be dangerous. Worth to wait for the right circumstances.