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Friday Selections: 16th September 2022

6.45 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Competition for the pace doesn’t look too hot, which brings Dion Baker right into the equation, who drops down to 7 furlongs on his polytrack debut.

He is still a maiden but ran with credit a number of times; in fact he was arguably unlucky not to win at either Catterick, or subsequently on his Handicap debut at Haydock.

On both occasions he hang his chances away, otherwise he’d have a W to his name, I reckon.

Dion Baker ran well enough three weeks ago at Newmarket in softish conditions over a mile, just fading entering the final furlong. Given his early gate speed he should have no issues getting to the lead from the #1 draw here.

As he drops in class, he should find this race a bit easier, and has shown he has the quality to win off a 72 mark. He has the early speed and potentially the bit of extra stamina to keep it up right to the line.

10pts win – Dion Baker @ 9.2

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8.15 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 3f

Arab Cinder caught the eye a few times now and looks ripe to win a race, stepping another furlong on her second start for William Knight.

She did well over shorter trips for Roger Varian, seriously catching the eye at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs in May. With a clear run she would have gone really close as she had to contend with the widest draw, and found herself severely hampered in her challenge in the home straight.

Her subsequent final start for the Varian yard at Goodwood was better than the bare for suggests. When last seen four weeks ago on her first start for new connections, Arab Cinder caught the eye when finishing well in the closing stages.

She has enough stamina for this new trip as a full-sister to 1m 6f winner on the All-Weather. Three pounds lower than her excellent Wolverhampton run and down in class she rates a major chance in this field from a good draw.

10pt win – Arab Cinder @ 9/2

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

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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

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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: 6th August 2022

Saturday again, and I come up with the exact same selection as seven days ago! All-Weather, Lingfield…. again. Given it’s the height of the summer and supposedly the flat season this is remarkable. But this was a light week already, as I struggled to find compelling betting opportunities.

The same goes for today. The fast ground at the Curragh deprives me of one opportunity I’d have been excited about otherwise; Shergar Cup isn’t a betting proposition for me.

Saying that, tomorrow is German Oaks day. Really looking forward to the race; there’s oneafilly I can’t wait to see. But more on that later….

………

5.00 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Richard P Smith was desperately only a week ago over course and distance when he was way too patiently ridden and never given a chance under a shocking ride by Rob Havlin. He finished strongly, seemingly the best horse in the race. 2lb up for that effort shouldn’t stop him today.

He showed to be most likely ahead of his mark earlier in June on his handicap debut too. There he ran a huge race at Chepstow as he was quite keen early on and was hanging ever so slightly too. He attempted to make all from the front, had the field on the stretch from three furlongs out and found under pressure. He was eventually beaten by a horse from off the pace.

That form looks quite strong already. This race today is a poor contest. He really should be winning this especially as I expect him to be ridden much more positive dropping down to a mile.

Concerns as I write this over the drift in the market. He’s available at bigger prices than what I got and deemed value already.

10pts win – Richard P Smith @ 9/4

Wednesday Selections: 3rd August 2022

3.50 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Twice now in his last three runs Tangled has seriously caught the eye as an unlucky loser. In truth, he doesn’t make life easy for himself when starting slowly, though.

Nonetheless, last time out at Ripon when he was at a disadvantage from his position travelling off the pace, he also didn’t get a clear run at a crucial stage and had to delay his challenge. He didn’t get the clearest of runs at Beverley back in June, either. He finished strongly in the manner of a horse ripe for victory on both occasions.

In between Tangled produced a disappointing performance at Carlisle when well fancied. A run too bad to be true, and I take confidence from his return to form a fortnight ago.

A mile on decent to fast ground looks perfect conditions. I have slight reservation about Pontefract as a suitable venue simple because coming from off the pace isn’t the easiest task here. However, he appears to be so well handicapped in a pretty uncompetitive race, with only one real danger to beat, that at the price I have to side with him here.

10pts win – Tangled @ 7/2

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5.20 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

Mobarhin should have a nice chance to get a handy position thanks to the #2 draw. He drops to 6 furlongs on turf for the first time after being gelded since last place finish at Linfield’s polytrack in June.

He seriously caught my eye two back at Newmarket, though. Then over 7 furlongs, he set suicidal fractions from the front and had the field off the bridle from three furlongs out. He tired and was headed 2 furlongs from home but it was noteworthy how well he continued to run to the line even then.

He showed promise earlier the year on the All-Weather, too: a 6f Handicap win over 6f off a 70 mark, he ran to topspeed 74 that day. He followed up with a nose beaten second over the same course and distance the next time.

Off a 73 mark over 6 furlongs on decent ground I feel he offers a bit of upside, especially at a track and a draw to suit.

10pts win – Mobarhin @ 17/2

Thursday Selections: 28th July 2022

1.50 Goodwood: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

A seriously competitive Handicap. I can make a case for a number of horses here. And that’s why I’d rather not get involved in these type of races – usually. But I am too excited about Migdam not to get involved after all.

He is short enough in the betting but I reckon could look like a generous price post race if he turns out to be anywhere near as good as I think he can be.

Leaving his debut firmly behind in when winning his second and third career run last year, he started this season at Doncaster last month. It was his handicap debut as well and he proved to be well ahead of his opening mark.

He travelled well, he was brave, he overcame some bumps and trouble during the race and then kicked away in impressive fasion in the final furlong to leave some decent opposition standing – including next time out winner Adjourn.

This here is much harder and he’s 5lb higher in the mark: he’s yet to run especially fast judged on topspeed. But he looks to have tons of upside, possibly as a stakes horse and should be capable of better than a 95 Official Rating. He was also noted to have been working really well at home too, which gives me additional confidence.

10pts win – Migdam @ 7/2

…….

7.30 Epsom: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Falesia Beach on decent ground over 7 furlongs off a 71 mar? Sounds like the ideal scenario I envisioned when she ran into my notebook at Newmarket six weeks ago.

Back then over 6 furlongs, she was outpaced at various stages of the race but fought really gamely all the way to the line to finish third only half a lengths beaten.

Clearly she needs an additional furlong, as does her pedigree suggest given the stamina on the dam side, plus previous performances indicating that too.

She is still lightly raced enough to see some improvement, certainly over 7 furlongs on decent to fast ground, which, judged by the Newmarket performance, could be what she wants.

She ran to topspeed 71 that day too. So if she can improve for the additional furlong on this type of ground then there is every chance she will be well-handicapped.

10pts win – Falesia Beach @ 7/2

Tuesday Selections: 26th July 2022

4.10 Goodowood: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Night On Earth really catches the eye here off 2lb lower than earlier this month when he ran a huge race at Newmarket. He was isolated on the near rail but looked dangerous for quite some time until fading in the final furlong. I felt that performance was noteworthy and clear proof the 4-year-old is in fine form.

He ran quite well a number of times this year already, whether that be on turf or the All-Weather, including two victories at Kempton and Lingfield and even more importantly in my view, a strong third place in April at Newmarket off a 95 mark while running to topspeed 94 that day.

He couldn’t quite match those heights in the following weeks and months but had mitigating factors more than once. As a consequence he’s now down to a rating of 89.

On the basis of those forms from earlier this season he’s seriously well-handicapped; in the light of his recent eye-catching run he’s almost certainly in with a huge shout in this race.

The cherry on the cake is the booking of Frederick Larson, who claims 5lb. There aren’t many negatives – if one, then there’s the draw that may prove tricky, depending how the pace plays out. On the other hand he usually starts well, can be ang up with the pace, and that can be an advantage at this speed favouring track.

Even though this is a typically competiive and hot sprint Handicap at Glorious Goodwood, not many appear overly well threated off their current marks. Night On Earth is one of very few who ticks most boxes. For me he is significantly overpriced here.

10pts win – Night On Earth @ 10.5