Tag Archives: February

Wednesday Selections: February, 27th 2019

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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

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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

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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

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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

Friday Selections: February, 22nd 2019

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4.40 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f 

First time out for a new yard, relatively unexposed Gendarme looks significantly overpriced today. On paper he hasn’t shown too much for Richard Hannon, however a closer look shows a horse slipping down to an intriguing mark over a trip that’ll be close to his optimum.

Still a maiden, but his last two runs were quite promising, in better class, over slightly shorter, on both occasions at Kempton Gendarme wasn’t beaten all that far, in races that have worked out quite well.

The most recent of those looks quite strong form. Gendarme travelled supremely well that day until the 2f marker and ran well to the line, though not having quite the speed to quicken as required against some good opposition.

Dropping down in class, an additional furlong with a bit less weight – given he has ran to consistent RPR’s around his current mark and achieved a significantly higher career highest TS rating less than a year ago, albeit on turf, suggests he may be ripe for a big run.

Selection:
10pts win – Gendarme @ 21/1 MB

………

6.15 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Jack The Truth is proven class here as a course and distance winner a 3-1-1 record. He’s in fine form, having ran to a career best in January at Southwell over 6f and following up with two excellent performances over 5- and 6f respectively here at Chelmsford.

Those were hot races, and he looked like the winner entering the final furlong lto, though found the 6f a bit too far eventually. Dropping back to the minimum trip, off a fair mark, Jack The Truth appears weighted to go really close.

With not too much opposition likely to be handicapped to win, he’s a rock solid choice and should be more like a 5/2 shot in my book.

Selection:
10pts win – Jack The Truth @ 7/2 MB

…….

8.15 Chelmsford: Class 7 Handicap, 1m 6f

This is a long-shot quite literally, but London Glory is interesting here for a new trainer returning from a break. He has been dropping significantly in the weights and you have to hope change in scenery can revive him – he may well have lost the appetite for the game.

But of his current mark, dropping into the lowest grade, over a suitable 1m 6f trip, he’s one not to underestimate if he can find back to somewhere close of his better form.

A year ago London Glory finished a fine runner-up at Wolverhampton over this trip and his record shows he ran six times to TS ratings similar or above his current handicap mark.

Selection:
10pts win – London Glory @ 23/1 MB

Thursday Selections: February, 21st 2019

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4.10 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Despite returning from a longer break, top weight Zylan looks an intriguing contender here given his excellent course record. The seven year old is four from five here and two from two over CD.

His last success came last summer of a 3lb lower mark. Effectively 5lb higher today, given the same apprentice is on board and claims two pound less these days. That was a strong effort though, giving the impression Zylan could still have a lot more to offer over CD.

Returning from a break is no red flag at all. His record fresh is quite excellent as he did the last two seasons over the minimum trip here at Southwell, when he won and was a fine runner-up respectively.

Selection:
10pts win – Zylan @ 7/1 MB

……..

5.20 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5 furlongs

The favourite Gorgeous General looks hard to beat for obvious reasons, but in truth his record over the minimum trip isn’t that impressive to not take him on, particularly with a strong alternative.

Kyllukey has ran well on his return to the track first time out for the Wallis yard. He was fancied that day, so expected to perform. He now returns to Southwell, he’s only had a single start here a few years ago but seemingly took well to the fibresand.

He’s fallen significantly in the ratings over the last while, nonetheless he ran with credit more often than not. A race like this, that could suit, plus the additional aid of a fair 5lb claimer on board, should give him a prime chance today.

Selection:
10pts win – Kyllukey @ 6/1 MB