Tag Archives: Fibresand

Thursday Selections: January, 3rd 2019

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A perfect start to 2019: Paparazzi delivered in style the first winner of the new year @ 12/1! It remained the only winner on the night, as Athollblair Boy ran a competitive race finishing third while Admiral Rooke didn’t last the pace.

I’ll have a full roundup of the 2018 betting year up over the weekend, similar to the on from last season.

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2.00 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

For the low grade this is, this is quite a competitive race. The favourite looks sue to go well to follow-up on his recent success and you can easily argue a handful of these have a chance on their best to go close.

The one I like most on handicap debut is Point Zero. This lad is still winless after 13 career starts, however went close on multiple occasions, looking sure to win over course and distance this winter approaching the final furlong, just to be picked up late.

He clearly has an issue to finish his races, but some was also down to the fact he went off way too fast in the early parts of his races. Dropped to the minimum trip lately didn’t work to counteract this.

Point Zero looks a 6f horse to me. Ridden a bit more sensible early on and he could have enough left in the tank when it matters. Collateral form of his best 6f efforts suggest a mark of 67 is fair – in fact I believe, he could be a bit better than that.

The draw isn’t a huge help today, and he had a lot of racing lately, most notably only 3 days ago here over 5f – but he clearly goes well over this CD and could be well in at this grade if things worked out the way I imagine they can.

Selection:
10pts win – Point Zero @ 6/1 MB

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5.20 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1 mile

The lightly raced favourite Holy Heart is sexy and could prove too good of his opening mark. However, it’s hard to judge what his recent win is worth, as the form has been franked subsequently but looked bad on the clock.

Proven class is 8-year-old Lacan. He appears to be as good as ever, certainly running to of 80 in all his recent starts, even though without quite finding enough to get over the line.

The handicapper drops him to 78 now. Not a lot but potentially enough: Lacan was a CD scorer off 82 in Spring last year. A big run seems to be expected: job jockey Rossa Ryan comes here for this one ride only.

Selection:
10pts win – Lacan @ 7/1 MB

Friday Selections: November, 30th 2018

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11.20 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Less than a handful of horses appear to be in with a shout here – Decision Maker is one of them – if he is ready to go after a break and his breathing won’t prevent him from finishing strongly.

That clearly been an issue in the past, as tongue tie and wind surgeries suggest. He’s been off since June after a poor showing on turf. A 3l beaten 6th at Nottingham prior, though, looks pretty strong form, so do some of his placed efforts here at Southwell in early 2018.

Decision Maker drops to a handy mark, that should see him being potentially well handicapped. Blinkers first time fitted is interesting; a decent draw should help too.

Selection:
10pts win – Decision Maker @ 17/2 MB

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3.15 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

A fortnight ago I wrote about Sooqaan as he was about to run in a similar type race:

“Reasons why I like this lad allot are plenty; a simple reason why I’m wondering is: there is fair chance this isn’t the race to let the handbreak off. 

Sooqaan is handicapped to win on his best form. He won off 64 over course and distance earlier this year. However, he was on a roll at that time, completing a hat-trick, kicking it off wit a CD success of a mark of 54. So I can see why connections would want to lower his current rating a bit, still.

On the other hand Sooqaan could find an excellent chance to score, despite the competitive nature of the race. 

The fact that is: in class 6 over this course and distance he is 4 from 4! So, it looks significant that he drops down to this grade for the first time since he last win, coming back the his happy hunting ground all the while.” 

That still holds true. Sooqaan didn’t go close that day, but it was a fair enough performance. He’s now 3lb lighter, which is an added bonus, as surely that makes him a well handicapped horse today.

An additional 3lb claim by the competent apprentice in the saddle, in a less competitive race and a decent draw to start from – Sooqaan should have a massive chance today.

Selection: 
10pts win – Sooqaan @ 17/2 MB

Thursday Selections: November, 15th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

That’s the way I like it – a much needed 20/1 winner in Iley Boy tonight. A superb ride by Joey Haynes, who certainly made his only ride on the card count!

His mount didn’t seem to travel overly well early on, particularly after being hampered soon after the the start. He was well off the pace turning for home but was cruising hard on the bridle then and found the gaps when needed. The question “Is today the day to let Iley Boy loose?” was firmly answered!

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12.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

This looks a rather competitive affair for this type of low grade race. That makes it difficult to assess. The same goes if it comes to get a clear grip on the horse I fancy quite a bit actually: Sooqaan.

Reasons why I like this lad allot are plenty; a simple reason why I’m wondering is: there is fair chance this isn’t the race to let the handbreak off. 

Sooqaan is handicapped to win on his best form. He won off 64 over course and distance earlier this year. However, he was on a roll at that time, completing a hat-trick, kicking it off wit a CD success of a mark of 54. So I can see why connections would want to lower his current rating a bit, still.

On the other hand Sooqaan could find an excellent chance to score, despite the competitive nature of the race. 

The fact that is: in class 6 over this course and distance he is 4 from 4! So, it looks significant that he drops down to this grade for the first time since he last win, coming back the his happy hunting ground all the while. If the mark should be run down further, surely a spin around Chelmsford or similar would do? 

Small bonus: Sooqaan has an excellent draw to attack the race. So weighing it all up, at given prices I am happy to roll the dice! 

Selection:
10pts win – Sooqaan @ 8/1 PP

……….

3.20 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Always risky to punt a Southwell virgin – nonetheless, three-year-old Kabrit is an interesting contender here thanks to a featherweight I feel. He’s shown a bit of promise on turf this year when placed on three occasions in races that have had their form franked since then.

He comes here after a poor showing in his final turf start last month; however it was off a break and first time gelded. You’d hope he can come on for the run. 

Whether Kabrit truly stays the trip, particularly on the fibresand remains to be seen – Mr. Lee in the saddle seems a positive, given his excellent record when riding for Andre Balding.

Selection:
10pts win – Kabrit @ 9/1 PP

Monday Selections: November, 12th 2018

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1.05 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Low draw is usually preferred here; from those individuals only Optimickstickhill makes appeal, though the minimum trip might be too sharp.

Despite drawn much wider than usual, Fareeq looks well handicapped on his return to Southwell second up from a break. He missed the break on his return at Chelmsford, so that run off  145-day lay-off is excused.

He finished a creditable CD runner-up when last seen here; the form looks strong as the winner went on to win two more races. That effort came off a 4lb higher mark than Fareeq’s last winning mark as he landed a CD race off 60 back in April.

Down in class 6, over a seemingly perfect course and distance off mark he looks well capable of – it should give Fareeq a good chance to overcome the disadvantage of the wide draw in a poor race.

Selection:
10pts win – Fareeq @ 5/1 WH

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2.45 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

The grey veteran Lucky Beggar has been in fair form on turf in recent weeks, without threatening the judge, though, to be fair. However a return to Southwell’s fibresrand over the 6f trip is quite interesting, as it comes with a chunky drop in the mark and drop in class as well.

When last seen over this CD back in August – only his second ever Southwell start, despite a less than ideal start, he ran on very strongly from the middle of the pack in a very hot race, finishing a clear third. The winner to some extend, the runner-up very much so, having franked the form in the meantime.

Lucky Beggar’s effort that day came in higher grade and off a 7lb higher mark than his current one. He will be in with a big shout here, if he can overcome the draw. No doubt, drawn in 11 isn’t ideal; but then that is also reflected in the price, which still undervalues the eight-year old’s chances.

Selection:
10pts win – Lucky Beggar @ 7/1 Sky

Monday Selections: April, 30th 2018

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I got it wrong: Cracksman did that so easily in the Prix Ganay this afternoon. He certainly looked like the horse the betting suggested he is. On the other hand you have to hand it to Frankie Dettori. He gave Cracksman a peach of a ride. Tracking the pace, always in the right position.

That’s the difference between a good jockey who gets it often right and a top class jockey who is at the top of the game for decades who gets it very rarely wrong

Dettori’s judgement was stark contrast to the rather poor ride Cloth Of Stars received from Mikael Barzelona. The idea behind dropping the five year old in seemed sensible. However, you got to be flexible and be able to react to the fact that you can’t concede first run to Cracksman, or at least come from miles off the pace if you want to beat him over this trip is not rocked science (says the armchair jockey that I am).

Would a different ride have made any difference in terms of outcome of the race? Likely not. Though, we might have gotten a contest, at least.

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4.25 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 9.5f 

This is a really good field with the majority of these interesting moving forward this season. Clear preference is with recent Chelmsford scorer Mootasadir. He nicely bred and sets a good standard here.

He is a short price and gives weight away to some other promising individuals. Same goes for Well Suited, also a winner on the Chelmsford All-Weather. One with scope but also weight he’s conceding.

I am most interest in that context in the first son of wonderful Shirocco Star: Starcaster. He’s obviously incredibly well bred but also receives a good deal of weight from the market principles due to them already being off the mark. A further 3lb claimed by a fine apprentice in the saddle is a little bonus.

Starcaster caught the eye in his first two career starts towards the end of last season. He certainly was desperately unlucky not finish closer than a 1½ lengths beaten third at Goodwood.

Judged on those performances as well as collateral form, Starcaster, with the weight he gets, should be in with a big shout in this race. Whether he is fully wound up first time out this year remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Starcaster @ 9/2 WH

 

6.50 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1 mile

In an open contest I feel it’s worth siding with one who is likely to give his running: CD specialist Muqarred. He may well be in the grip of the handicapper, however, in a slightly less competitive contest than the ones he raced in over the winter months, given he has been eight out of eleven runs in the money over CD, even as top weight he appeals to me.

The main reason is that he has shown to be competitive of marks around his current rating off 77 – a run to this sort of mark will see him go close. The bonus that could Muqarred the edge is fine apprentice Ben Sanderson in the saddle.

The 7lb claimer has been striking a fine partnership with trainer Roger Fell lately, particularly at this venue. He is certainly worth his claim – taking that into account means Muqarred has a prime chance here.

Selection:
10pts win – Muqarred @ 6/1 PP

Sunday Selections: April, 1st 2018

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Hawkbill (11/1) makes the day! A superb front-running ride by William Buick, who rode his jockey colleagues to sleep, saw Hawkbill striding home nearly gate to wire.

As much brilliance as it was from Buick, as surprising it was that some of the finest jockey talent around, did let him get his own way up front so easily. I take it, as one turf closer to home things didn’t quite go to plan as hoped.

……….

2.05 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Despite still chasing this elusive maiden win after 22 starts I do feel Iconic Figure may have found a golden opportunity here in race. He clearly enjoys the Southwell fibresand given the way how well he usually travelles and that he has achieved some of his best career performances here.

He was second and third respectively in his most recent starts earlier this months. Coming off a small break he finished a good runner-up over CD, chasing home Poppy May – who’s here today as well off 3lb higher – who got first run, which was decisive.

Only two days later Iconic Figure reappeared, dropping to 6f. From those up with the pace he was pretty much the only one finishing the race, ending up in third eventually – bar the eventual winner, who, however, seemed to have tons in hand that day.

The slightly longer trip should suit better. A perfect draw and coming here in fine form with a good 5lb claimer in the saddle, Iconic Figure could get finally this first iconic career victory on the board.

Selection:
10pts win – Iconic Figure @ 8/1 VC

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