Tag Archives: February

Friday Selections: February, 14th 2020

DSC_1062

5.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

Equidae has caught my in all of his last three starts. In my book he ran much better than the bare form of those races suggest. He didn’t receive hard rides in of those, while running well to the line, even if things weren’t in his favour on multiple occasions.

The two Newcastle runs over a mile a visually quite taking, although his latest run here at Southwell over the shorter 7 furlongs trip is equally compelling, as Equidae was mad keen early on, pulling loads of energy away  but still managed to finish a fair 4th.

Another couple of pounds off, he will race off 7lb less than when winning over this course and distance last May. Equidae also matched or battered his current mark on topspeed ratings multiple times.

Cheek-pieces on for the first time may help him to settle a bit better as he has the tendency to race freely.

Selection:
10pts win – Equidae @ 3.6/1 WH

………..

5.45 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 3f

Earl Of Bunnacurry has probably the key piece of form with his 3rd over 1m 6f back in December – form that worked out tremendously well. The gelding made most likely too much early on and ultimately didn’t have anything left in the tank when it mattered most.

He changed yards, was largely disappointing in two starts for new connections since, particularly when send off 4/1 on stable debut.

However, back over a possibly suitable trip, at Southwell where he usually runs rather well, with two pounds off his mark and new headgear, I feel Earl Of Bunnacurry is an intriguing runner in a race where there is little to fear.

A return to that December form will see him having a massive chance to get his head in front again.

Selection:
10pts win – Earl Of Bunnacurry @ 8/1 MB

Saturday Selection: February, 1st 2020

DSC_1062

4.45 Kempton: Class 7 Handicap, 1 mile

Mrs Benson caught the eye on her return a eight days ago at Lingfield. Off for 141 days she had to overcome the widest draw and as a consequence travelled widest for most of the race and had to do more than most to be in a decent position turning for home, as sectionals clearly show.

Sectionals clearly show also that this was quite a good performance taking everything into account and she was for that plus the fact that this was her first run in half a year entitled to tire in the final furlong.

Dropping another pound as well as in class, with a much better draw today, she must have a massive chance if she can follow-up. That isn’t a given, as Mrs Benson is inconsistent and remains a maiden after 18 starts.

On the other hand she ran four times to 55+ tospeed ratings, including Kempton as well as twelve month ago over a mile at Lingfield, achieving a 61 TS.

Only three starts back, in summer on the flat, she was a fair third in a Salisbury handicap – the form looks rock solid – she did it of OR 53 that day and there isn’t an indication she isn’t as effective on the All-Weather as on turf. With that in mind, she could be well handicapped today.

Selection:
10pts win – Mrs Benson @ 12/1 MB

Wednesday Selections: February, 27th 2019

DSC_1062

7.30 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 3f

Monsieur Fox is still a maiden, but the gelding has outran in half of his lifetime starts his SP, and therefore market expectation, quite considerably. He did so in January running to a career best 3rd place finish here at Kempton as well as a 44/1 BSP chance.

Consistency is the question: can he back up the latest performance? Monsieur Fox didn’t only outran his price tag but also the track bias that day, as the 10f trip at Kempton heavily favours the speed horses. He, though, was held up and turned widest home, finishing strongly eventually.

That form looks strong with the runner-up winning subsequently a race that has also worked out well already.

This will only be his 4th All-Weather start, he also remains on the same 55 handicap mark, with a better draw and a trip over a fairer course and distance, with champion jockey Luke Morris in the saddle, there is a good chance for a repeat performance which could be enough to see Monsieur Fox go close.

Selection:
10pts win – Monsieur Fox @ 14/1 MB

Monday Selection: February, 24th 2019

DSC_1062

7.55 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

If not for his running style that frequently sees him finding trouble when it matters most getting clear passage, King of Naples would have won more often than he has to date. There is no denying he is well in here, particularly now dropping down to class 6.

One only has to re-watch his latest efforts, particularly the penultimate one over course and distance, where he was cantering all over the field but simply couldn’t get a run. Last time out, when last of 11, the bare form looks worse than it is, as King of Naples was simply carried out wider and wider which killed off his chances.

And that is the main issue: he needs the breaks in the closing stages. If King of Naples can get finally a run through, he’ll hammer this field I’m pretty sure. He certainly has the aid of a top man in the saddle, who comes here for this one ride only also.

Selection:
10pts win – King of Naples @ 8/1 PP

Sunday Jumps: February, 24th 2019

DSC_6417

As the start to 2019 has been quite tough, it’s delightful for the mind when getting it (finally) right. Southfield Stone (10/1) did that quite nicely yesterday to land the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, despite the little fright a the end. He looks a nice prospect, though maybe will turn out to be an even better chase?

That’s a second winner this week (Zylan, 7/1, Thursday) – but of course what sticks in my little head is the one that got away: Gendarme on Friday at Lingfield, ahead before and after the line, it would have been the well needed ‘big one’….

Anyway, better to focus on what’s ahead. Cheltenham, obviously. Trials Day at Naas today for a starter. I’m more interested in the Handicaps there and have a selection (see below), otherwise I am all geared up getting my trends, stats and tissues ready for this one week of craziness that is approaching rather rapidly now!

……

4.35 Naas: Handicap Chase, 3 miles

I quite like the favourite Mon Lino back over fences of his lower mark here, but at the same time he is hard to trust and not a backable price.

Much more interesting is King’s Son, who is also back over fences and who could find ideal conditions to return to form. The nine-year-old changed yard over the winter and hasn’t shown much in his first two starts for the Broad yard, but over hurdles and 2 miles he was never in it to win it.

His latest 4th place finish in the Cross-Country at Punchestown is a clear return to some sort of good form, on the other hand. And now down to a mark of 111, he appears to be weighted to go close. His UK form from last summer in particular gives him a significant chance here, if in the mood.

Ground and trip are absolutely ideal and 7lb claiming Kevin Brogan looks a good prospect in the saddle, his claim is a big bonus today I feel. This does not look an overly competitive race, so it could be a fine bit of placing by his new trainer.

Selection:
10pts win – King’s Son @ 15/2 MB

………

4.55 Fontwell: Maiden NHF, 2m1½f

Normally not my type of race, however, I do feel quite strongly about the chance of Thunderstruck as he is overpriced here. He was quite an expensive purchase, is clearly well bread and ran promising on his rules debut at the end of last year at Sandown.

That form isn’t particularly strong, but the Fame And Glory gelding should have learned plenty that day. The tough going was clearly not to his likening then, so he’ll likely enjoy the return to much better ground today.

It’s the only ride for Aiden Coleman and the only runner for trainer Emma Lavelle today also. I feel Thunderstruck should be closer matched in the market to the two leading principles.

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

Saturday Jumps: February, 23rd 2019

Cheltenham Festival

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

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

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

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

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

…….

4.50 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap Chase, 2m

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

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

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

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

Saturday Selections: February, 23rd 2019

DSC_1062

1.30 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

With the champ on board, Hidden Depths looks poised for a big run returning to Lingfield. In his two starts since changing yards and coming back from a break the gelding has ran well, but now dropping in trip to 10f should suit.

He’s got a good draw which hopefully ensures a prominent position. Two runs back here at Lingfield over 12f in a maiden Hidden Depths tried to make all from the front going pretty hard, leading by as many as ten lengths. He got tired eventually but judged on that piece of form he looks competitive in this field.

His latest performance at Southwell was okay, but he didn’t seem to travel with the same fluency on fibresand. As a maiden after nine career runs he has all to prove, nonetheless, a key piece of form could a Novice Stakes run from last summer over 10f at Windsor, which looks a strong bit of form, as he was only beaten by a subsequent class 2 handicap winner now rated in the 90’s.

Selection:
10pts win – Hidden Depths @ 6/1 MB

………

2.05 Lingfield: Listed Hever Sprint Stakes, 5f

This will be fast and furrious and we know with these sprinters they are usually closely matched and throwing a blanket over this field, anyone is in with a fair shout.

Favourite Encore d’Or looks the one all have to beat, though. He’s in fine form, group placed and was a close runner-up in this race last year.

However better value looks Corinthia Knight, who is much bigger then he should be, probably due to recency bias on the back of a few less impressive runs.

That says, at level weights it should be a lot easier here, actually. Also down to 5f at Lingfield, a CD where he is 2/2. The four-year old was last years Year Old All-weather Championships winner.

Corinthia Knight got the perfect draw to be close to the pace. He’s 2lb lower rated on BHA ratings to the favourite, however 1lb higher on RPR’s. I expect a big performance today.

Selection:
10pts win – Corinthia Knight @ 11/2 MB

……….

3.50 Lingfield: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Mr Scaramanga returns quickly after finishing full of running at this venue yesterday when pretty unlucky in a 7f event. His draw and sometimes starting habits killed off his chances as he didn’t get a clear run through the field while travelling much the best, though.

That is a fine follow-up effort in line with his penultimate CD win, when albeit only by tight margin, he won cozily. Mr Scaramanga is still only 2lb higher for that effort, which, judged by what we know he is capable of on the All-Weather could underestimate him, given he seems in top order.

He has some form with others in the field from the past, when he was a lot higher rated, such as his close runner-up performance in this very same race twelve months ago, finishing a nose beaten of a mark of 99.

Selection:
10pts win – Mr Scaramanga @ 4/1 WH