Tag Archives: Fibresand

Tuesday Selections: February, 6th 2018

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4.40 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

A poor race, where the favourite looks solid, but vulnerable after a 4lb hike in his handicap rating after a recent success. This race could well turn into a muddling affair and I’d rather be a layer at odds-on for Star Ascending.

A speculative punt on Clayton Hall looks more interesting. Visor is back on for the second time, the five year old finally has the aid of a good draw here at Southwell, and that could help him to be in a better position than certainly five days ago over course and distance.

He didn’t start all that quickly from the second widest draw but also got bumped by the horse drawn beside him; subsequently Clayton Hall raced wide throughout. Turning for home widest of all, he didn’t seem to go anywhere, however, the gelding stayed on quite well in the closing stages, finishing the last two furlongs fastest of all.

Clayton Hall is five pounds out of the handicap and on overall form has a lot to find with the market principles, nonetheless. However, he won a class 4 handicap on turf off 72 back in May 2017, so there is clearly a bit of talent there.

With his recent slight improvement, a low weight, a better draw and a trip he seemingly stays, he could be the one causing an upset in this race.

Selection:
10pts win – Clayton Hall @ 14/1 VC

Thursday Selections: February, 1st 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Ending January with a bang – Jack The Truth (9/2) won the lucky last at Chelmsford in fine style. Bringing the total for the first month of 2018 to seven winners and a profit of 325pts for a 95.59% ROI!

That says, it was Cosmelli, the 33/1 shot  at Southwell, who clearly made January the excellent month it was – thankfully, after so many other big prices were hitting the post. Onwards and upwards…

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1.30 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Pretty much a week ago I put Archimedes up to win a similar race over CD – I’ll do it again, despite the 5-year old gelding having been a flop that day – at least judged on pure form.

However, there were plenty of positives to take from the race, which was his first one after a 99-day-long lay-off, seeing him undergoing wind surgery during that time.

So, Archimedes was probably entitled to tire as he eventually did a week ago, while looking threatening all the way until the final furlong marker.

Again, he has the luxury of the prime draw in 1 – as mentioned in my preview the other day, Archimedes is for many reasons – not only the positive draw – an intriguing individual.

For one, he is a course and distance winner – last January he won this exact race off 3lb higher than his current handicap rating. He ran to a whopping RPR of 70 that day (in the context of his official rating).

He backed this up later in the year on turf at Bath on fast ground over 5f, when winning off the same mark running to a similar RPR.

Problems started soon after. He missed plenty of assignments and ran mostly poorly. That when they identified the wind as an issue and he got the OP and break.

Archimedes drops into a weaker race, from a competitive class 5 into this very winnable class 6 handicap. He meets the winner his comeback race again – Something Lucky attempts the four-timer. He may well have still something in hand, judging how easily he did it a week ago – but has not the advantage of a low draw this time.

Selection:
10pts win – Archimedes @ 7/1 Bet365

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7.30 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 3f

Another one I was keen on earlier this month: Azam, when he ran over 14f at Wolverhampton recently; on the back of some decent performances in really hot races with form working out quite well, off a dropping mark he looked ripped to win a race himself.

In fact, he travelled like the winner turning for home, hard on the bridle, but then when in the midst of unleashing it all, got badly interfered and lost all momentum subsequently.

In truth, he probably wouldn’t have won regardless, as the trip is probably a bit too far, however he was every chance robbed to do better than he eventually did, after going so well for so long.

Azam drops in trip to potentially very suitable 11f while also dropping another couple of pounds in his handicap rating. This gives him a tremendous chance I believe – he looks incredibly well handicapped now, off a career lowest mark, as one should not forget he performed okaish enough of marks in the 80’s on the flat last summer.

Only judged on his recent All-Weather form he also must have a huge chance, running to RPR’s of 75, 82, 76 and 79 in his last four races, while three back matched a 75 time speed figure, too!

Selection:
10pts win – Azam @ 11/2 GB

Thursday Selections: January 25th, 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.10 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

From top draw start Archimedes in this contest over the minimum trip tomorrow. To be drawn low over this CD is a massive advantage as pointed out on this blog several times in the past; drawn in 1 is the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

Archimedes is for many reasons, not only the positive draw, and intriguing individual. For one, he is a course and distance winner – last January he won this exact race off 3lb higher than his current handicap rating. He ran to a whopping RPR of 70 that day (in the context of his official rating).

He backed this up later in the year on turf at Bath on fast ground over 5f, when winning off the same mark running to a similar RPR.

Problems started soon after. He missed plenty of assignments and ran mostly poorly. An issue with his wind was identified and hopefully rectified through a wind OP in November. He returns to the track after a near 100 day long break for his first run after the OP.

Obviously this procedure might not work as hoped, however, given the fact he won this very same race last year, is dangerously well handicapped and has a top draw, in combination one would hope he can return to some sort of last seasons form which would see Archimedes go close.

Selection:
10pts win – Archimedes @ 12/1 William Hill

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3.55 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

Open contest with no standout, however Zorovan, despite tumbling odds, looks still a tasty option.

The 5-year old is a course and distance winner and finished a fine 2nd in a class 4 Handicap over CD subsequently of a mark off 77. Both runs awarded him RPR’s of 81 and 85 and he followed up with a success on turf of a handicap mark off 80 some weeks later.

Racing in strong handicaps of high marks, he couldn’t quite continue to ride the wave of success and hasn’t been in the money ever since.

After a half-year long break he reappeared at Newcastle in December, probably needed the run badly when well beaten. He did a bit better the next time at Chelmsford in a deep race, tiring late.

A return to this course and distance as well as a further 3lb drop in the weights should see Zorovan in much better light, though. It’s Keith Dalgleish’s only runner on the card and a fair 3lb claimer is booked for the ride – a big run is expected here, I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Zorovan @ 13/2 PP

Tuesday Selections: January 23rd, 2018

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3.40 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

This is a pretty deep race for a low grade handicap on a random January Tuesday on the Southwell Fibresand. Any number of horses could easily have a fair shout – but it is the new Michael Appleby recruit Canford Thompson that may hold all the aces.

The five year old gelding remains a maiden on the flat after 11 starts, although he won a maiden hurdle in 2016. Nonetheless, he is a super interesting individual after catching the eye on the last two occasions at Lingfield.

Back from a near year long break back in November over 2 miles, followed up in early December over 12 furlongs – in both races Canford Thompson ran an awful lot better than the bare form suggests, as in both cases he made eye-catching progress from over 4f out on the wide outside. The sectionals back both performances up as quite significant in the context of these moves and are valid excuses for him finishing tired in the final furlong.

The forms of those races, particularly the 12f contest in December, work out really well. They give the form credit and upgrade his performances in both contests in my book. Regardless, the handicapper dropped him 3lb to a career lowest mark.

I believe Canford Thompson is incredibly well handicapped if receiving a more solid & economical ride. Concerns I do have over the surface which he tries for the first time in combination with his habit to start slowly.

This more demanding surface and a hopefully good pace might be what he wants but it easily could not suit him if he finds himself behind early on when blowing the start. We shall see.

However, then he’s of even more interest the next time. It is worth a try, though, and the fact that Alistair Rawlinson is in the saddle, who has a superb record for the Appleby yard at this course, suggests a big run is certainly expected.

Selection:
10pts win – Canford Thompson @ 11/2 Bet365

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4.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

Take out the favourite Indigo Princess, who may not be able to reproduce her massive performance from three days ago, and you are left with a race wide open for anyone who is on a “going day” to take it.

Despite four poor performances to date, long-shot Shackles might be the answer here. He hasn’t shown an awful lot, though, with a bit of goodwill there were some positives to take from his comeback run at Wolverhampton in December on his first start for the Nicky Richards yard.

Only four career starts, this here will be his second run in a handicap, and he can do so off a rating lowered to 53 now. There is a fair chance Shackles is a bit better than that. On pedigree the jury is out particularly on the question of the Fibresand surface – though, on the dam side is plenty of hope with the dam’s sire having an excellent record at this track.

Shackles was a late April foal, so turning four now, he may needed the time to mature, so his year long absence before his reappearance last month might actually be a good thing.

Eye-catching jockey booking with Paul Mulrennan who has only two rides on the card while Nicky Richards has only this one runner – Mulrennan has to weight nearly two hours until the final race on the card until he can go home after his initial ride.

Interestingly, Richards had only one runner at Southwell up until now – ridden by Paul Mulrennan. It was a winner.

Selection:
10pts win – Shackles @ 25/1 Bet365

Saturday Selections: January, 20th 2018

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8.15 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

A quiet week so far, and here we go with a horse I’ve already been interested in a week ago, when he ran – and finished poorly, well beaten at Southwell.

Nonetheless, I’m prepared to give Emigrated another chance here, in this pretty poor contest that screams for an upset.

Reasons are pretty much the same as last week – however there is a slight bonus this time: Emigrated returns to a surface he probably likes a lot more, which he showed here in December when running his best race in a very long time over CD.

It was his second start for the Derek Shaw yard, after a promising initial display at Southwell coming off a break. At Chelmsford he backed it up with a fine 5th, only 2¾ beaten despite not having things going his way throughout – form that looks solid enough in the book, also.

Emigrated didn’t run well the last two times. There was little excuse last week other than a fluffed start at an unkind surface that can be hard to recover from a scenario like that – still a run to forget. The penultimate start at Chelmsford over 10f, a third run in quick succession, is easier to forgive when seen in the right context.

However, it has to be said, the five year old gelding did show eye-catching improvement in his first starts for his new trainer Derek Shaw.

 

Now, you don’t want to make too many excuses for a long standing maiden who hasn’t shown a lot his whole life. Nonetheless, those two forms in early December give him a fair shout in this race.

Interesting fact that Emigrated’s sire Fastnet Rock has quite an excellent record over this trip in Chelmsford Handicaps.

Selection:
10pts win – Emigrated @ 50/1 PP/VC/BF

Sunday Selections: January, 14th 2018

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Another runner-up, would you believe it? Presence Process seemed to get there, just to finish 2nd eventually. The fourth time this week hitting the post. Frustrating, particularly as the majority were double figure prices. Well, I got to carry on. That’s part of the game.

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2.55 Southwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

The favourite could well have too much in the locker, seeking a fourth victory in a handful of starts since October. Nonetheless this seems to be quite an open affair to me, and I would not be surprised if there is someone causing an upset.

This someone could be longshot Cosmelli. If he’s not in here to run his mark further down but will be ridden to merit, he’s a chance to go close, I feel.

Cosmelli found life difficult coming over to Britain from Italy. He raced in strong races off high marks, yet was generally not disgraced in a good deal of them. A key piece of form is his 8th place in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle – only 3 lengths beaten in a race that has been franked multiple times.

As for recent form, I feel those last three runs since being gelded have been better than the bare form suggests. Particularly at Newcastle in a strong Conditions Stakes where he had to give weight away to most in the field, he did quite well, particularly if looking at the sectionals but also the visual fact that he only dropped away inside the two final furlongs.

It is noteworthy that Cosmelli achieved RPR’s of 90, 94 and 89 in his last three runs on the All-Weather – his handicap mark dropped to 87 in the meantime. He also drops in class – this is much easier than many of the races he ran in over the last year or so. So I can see he could outrun his price….

If he acts on fibresand. I can see this work, though. While he drops to 1m4f, the fact Southwell emphasizes stamina generally, it could suit him well if there is a decent pace, too.

It has to be remembered that Cosmelli is a Listed winner over 1m 3f in Italy and is pretty well bred for an Italian individual. His dam’s other offspring has all been at least placed in pattern class.

Selection:
10pts – Cosmelli @ 33/1 Bet365

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3.55 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

It probably looks mad to select another longshot that has seemingly no hope to do anything here. And results may say so tomorrow at 4pm. Nonetheless, Emigrated has in my book a chance in this really poor race.

Realistically there is the favourite and not much else in the field. Even though with form in the book, Chaucer’s Tale looks hardly dangerous. Neither does Scribner Creek, however, a yard change may see him revived.

Still, Emigrated, despite a mark that can’t get much lower, still a maiden after 18 runs under rules – “only” ten on the flat, though – he has shown improvement in two of his last three starts for his new trainer Derek Shaw.

Off a break in December for the new yard, on his sole Southwell start, he broke badly and never really settled, as a consequence got a mouthful of kickback and eventually had to turn widest from 4f out. Surprisingly easily did he pick up rival after rival to look in with a real shout over 2f out, nonetheless.

Probably in need of the run and paying tribute to the bad start, he faded badly in the end. That says this runs is much stronger than the bare form suggests. Interestingly Emigrated followed up with another pretty good run at Chelmsford only four days later.

A fine fiftth, less than three lengths beaten, while not getting the best of runs; one week later his third run within eleven days, was then a bit too much and I would not read too much into it. Rather see that for his new yard he put together two subsequent performances that can be classified as eye-catching.

Back after a four week long break, he might be perfectly set up for a big performance on a surface he has proven he can act on. The trip is a slight question mark; does he really stay a mile?

I feel Emigration deserves a chance here. At the given price it is more hope than anything else. But in a poor race like this, an upset wouldn’t be a major shock at all.

Selection:
10pts win – Emigration @ 25/1 Bet365

Tuesday Selections: January, 9th 2018

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12.15 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

It’s rare I bet punt short prices, however, in this case, Acker Bill looks too much of a good thing in this race. The only two rivals in his age group can be easily opposed, while the older rivals have a fair shout if they run to form.

That says, Acker Bill is the lightly raced four year old in the field with plenty of upside judged on his last two performances. It’s a quick turnaround for the son of Rip Van Winkle – he won a Handicap at Wolverhampton over 12f in impressive style only a week ago.

He had no problem overcoming a wide draw and posted impressive sectionals in the context of the race, despite looking a bit raw in the finish. On RPR he ran 10lb higher than his current mark, even including the 6lb penalty.

A month before on handicap debut Acker Bill was probably a bit unlucky not to win. Again he had to overcome a wide draw – the widest in fact, travelled like the winner nonetheless but didn’t quite quicken as needed and took a moment to hit top gear. He was slightly impeded in the closing stages, too.

I like his scopey frame and given recent performances, he should have at least another win in the locker. The switch to Fibresand is the main question mark. The way he usually travells through his races suggests to me he’ll be fine plus his sire has – albeit small sample size – a 75% strike rate in CD Handicaps here.

Selection:
10pts win – Acker Bill @ 13/8 Bet365

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1.45 Sothwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 

Drop a pen and you might find the winner of this race. This thing is such a wide open affeir. You can pick holes and question marks into each and every runner. Fitness? Form? Class? Surface? Trip? Age?

Funny, I think the two at the bottom of the weight scale, despite out of the handicap by some pounds, are the most solid options. Both Alpha Tauri and Muqarred have excellent course and distance form.

Age wise I rule out Alpha Tauri, however feel that given the conditions of this race, Muqarred offers value, regardless of the burden being 4lb out of handicap.

His two questions to answers are: can he bounce back from an unusual poor showing a week ago over CD? And is he good enough?

Fact is, Muqarred has won twice- and has been only once outside the first two over the Southwell mile. I can forgive him the run the other day. He probably made too much too early, and the other front-runner faded badly in the closing stages also.

Class wise; well, his success has all come in class 4- or the majority in class 5. Stepping into a class 3 Handicap is tough. He’s probably not well handicapped off 76. But if his consistency counts for something, in a race where there should be a lot of pace early on, the fact he has a super draw in 2 and clearly stays the trip, could be a big advantage when it matters most.

Many others in this field have to prove that they either stay the trip or act on the Fibresand surface. Interesting also, at least class wise, that time speed rating- and RPR rating wise, he is third- and joint-fourth highest in the field, with both ratings having only a few pounds between all runners.

That says, this is a wide open and close call, as initially mentioned. Given Muqarred, despite a long handicap, runs of a feather weight, while having a proven track record. At the given prices, he makes plenty of appeal.

Selection: 
10pts win – Muqarred @ 11/1 Bet365