Tag Archives: Flat Racing

Saturday Selections: Doncaster

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

2.55 Doncaster: Gillies Fillies’ Stakes (Listed), 1m 2f

Considering what form is on offer you wouldn’t believe that this is a listed race. It’s quite a poor renewal in all honesty. I can see three, four with legit claims, but more than half of the field can easily be ruled out.

Two times course winner Blue Waltz makes appeal given she won a good class 2 handicap here and has also form on soft ground, although her disappointing performance subsequently at Newmarket last month is slightly concerning.

Polar Eyes finished with loads of credit in fourth in a Listed event in France the other day, following on from a good handicap success at Haydock. She excels in the mud, so can’t be discounted. Her strike rate isn’t the best, though.

Last years runner-up Princess Loulou is a main contender, if she could find back to her best. She has been below par in two starts in 2015 and can’t be trusted to bounce back today. Marco Botti’s Brandybend was 3rd in a Listed contest Newmarket last month, duely outrunning huge odds that day. She may have more to offer.

Two three year old fillies make most appeal to me: Lahayeb is the first one. Currently trading as the 7/2 favourite, she loves the mud and impressed in a class 3 handicap three weeks ago, looking well above what would normally required to win such a race. The same can be said about Bella Nouf. She was successful over course and distance here at Doni recently and won with plenty in hand, albeit only in a class 4 Handicap.

Both fillies are lightly raced enough and have plenty of scope. They’ll enjoy the conditions and are the main dangers in my book. Though Lahayeb is a rather shortish price compared to Bella Nouf who appears under appreciated here.

Bella Nouf @ 14/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win


3.30 Doncaster: November Handicap, 1m 4f

One last go on these big handicaps for the flat season 2015…. and I like a couple of these, actually! Some share recent form with each other, so do Esteem, Green Light and Only Orsenfoolsies when they clashed here at Don in a hot race a fortnight ago. A race of hard luck stories and all three horses where affected by getting stuck in traffic, while all three finished the race well, suggesting they could have gone much closer with a clear run.

On that evidence I am surprised to see Only Orsenfoolsies being the one almost twice the price of Esteem and Green Light today. He finished 4th that day, staying on well without being overly driven, when finally getting a run on the inside.

He enjoys soft ground and is only 3lb above his last winning mark, although it is true that a career best is required today. He may not be up to it, but let’s find out. He’ll certainly find the right conditions here.

Some more contenders to mention: Storm Force Ten is entitled to go close. He’ll enjoy this test for sure, so should be Penhill, who would have a prime chance, if not for being drawn in the car park. .

In general I find all of these hard to distinguish and believe they have all some sort of the same win chance, but Only Orsenfoolsies is a huge 20/1 price and for that reason the best value.

Only Orsenfoolsies @ 20/1 William Hill – 5pts Win


Tuesday Selections: Catterick

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

1.10 Catterick: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f

You can discount half of the field on ground concerns pretty easily, and given the nature of the track, usually favouring handy sorts, it brings the list of contenders down to a handful.

I like to go with a type likely to act in the soft conditions, has form on this strange course and is sure to be up with the pace. Multellie jumps out in this field at 9/1, given he has excellent form to offer, if we forgive him his latest run at Chester from a wide draw in better class.

Down here in class 4, he has a handy draw, won really well at Ripon three back, and confirmed his well-being subsequently with another bold bid here at Cattrick over 12f in a very hot race. He’s on a high mark but with conditions sure to suit he’s overpriced in this field.

Multellie @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts Win


2.15 Catterick: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Plenty in with a chance here but I’m very much drawn to Woody Bay who drops back to his preferred 7f trip as well as in class and looks still on a pretty good mark. He won here over CD last month in excellent style, beating two well handicapped rivals in second and third. He followed up with a strong performance in a hot Class 2 Handicap subsequently, but was found out for the 9f trip when last seen.

With his course and distance form and the soft ground sure to suit, as well as recent forms all franked, he is a likely sort to go close and certainly overpriced. Only concern is the wide draw obviously. He will need to overcome it somehow. If he can get a good break and is right up with the pace early on he will have a great chance.

That’s the obvious question mark as the race may be already lost after the start. I’m prepared to take the risk as even that factored into the price doesn’t justify 8’s in my mind.

Woody Bay @ 8/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Betting: Monday Selections

Leicester Racecourse

A really nice performance by Sound Investment at Aintree yesterday afternoon brought the week down – finally a positive one, betting wise. Sound Investment jumped well, travelled well and out battled his rivals in the closing stages, powering home in the final furlong. Some sight, for me in particular, given that my selections haven’t done that all too often in recent weeks.

1.50 Leicester: Class 2 Handicap, 1m

An open looking affair here at Leicester in the mud today, with most of these having no issue with this type of ground whatsoever. Least the favourite who looks well handicapped on old form and will be difficult to peg back should he enjoy an easy lead up on front. So Robert The Painter is certainly the one to beat, but a rather shortish price in this strong field…

Top of the weights Educate has been disappointing since finishing second in a Listed event back in May. He drops to a handy mark though. Question mark is whether he has the form to take advantage of it. Marcret in contrast certainly has been in good form lately and another good run is on the cards, he isn’t all that well handicapped, on the other side.

Veteran Pintura finds the mile trip his limit stamina wise usually, but he’ll enjoy the conditions today. He showed plenty when close runner-up at the Galway festival in an ultra competitive affair back in August and was a shade unlucky not to win at Ayr one month earlier. He’ll be competitive if the sparkle is back.

Not harshly treated by the handicapper has been Jack’s Revenge after a good runner-up effort at Chester recently. His poor strike is a concern, however. Athletic may find this trip a tick too far in soft ground conditions, but has place claims, at least.

Polar Forest is only 2lb above his last winning mark, although has found life difficult whenever he stepped up in class. He loves these conditions, so can’t be ruled out, still. And the same goes for Spirit Of Law, how might prefer it a bit further generally, but will enjoy the slow conditions. Hard to know what to get from Storm Rock today, but he is still lightly raced, so may have more to offer.

Summary: You can’t rule out any of the nine runners, although some have better credentials than others. I really like Robert The Painter but not his price tag. I take a chance on Pintura instead. He hasn’t been in good form lately, but if he finds back some sparkle he can be dangerous. He’ll be competitive off his current mark, given he finished a head beaten second at the Galway Festival. He’s the overpriced runner in this field in my mind.

Pintura @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win


3.55 Ayr: Novice Handicap Chase (Clas 3), 2m 4f 110y

I feel the favourite Jack Steel is quite a skinny price. I can see why, to an extend: lightly raced and potential for big improvement. But does he look like a chaser? I’m not sure. He is a full-brother to two horses who have achieved zero – I’m prepared to take him on.

I really like the look of the grey Un Noble instead. He is a big, scopey chaser in the making, equally lightly raced. He won a Handicap Hurdle earlier this year in nice style over this sort of trip and any cut in the ground won’t inconvenience him. Un Noble is the type of horse sure to improve for the switch to fences and therefore represents better value than the favourite.

Have to call out Dr Moloney as well, who is likely to benefit from the drop in rip . However I have reservations about the ground and he might be one to keep an eye on for the future.

Un Noble @ 9/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Newbury Preview: St Simon Stakes


2.25 Newbury: St Simon Stakes (Group 3), 1m 4f

Hard to put much face into any of the nine horses – although Romsdal, judged on his placed efforts, would be an obvious pick. But his strike rate is poor, and the fact that he only won on the Kempton All-Weather and never really excelled in similar races like this today means he is one to oppose.

Favourite filly Koora is a likeable, lightly raced sort with room for further improvement. But given what she has done so far it’s impossible to see any value in her 5/2 price tag.

I like Rawaki from the older horses. He has a profile to do well here, if in the right mood. You definitely can’t rule out progressive three year old filly Melodious either, though she has to prove that she can win on this level over a trip that far.

The most intriguing contender, and clearly the one with the most scope for improvement, is three times raced Moderah. She comes into this race as a relatively fresh individual, having only two starts this season. She made a big impression when getting off the mark last month in a Leicester maiden. Travelling all over her modest rivals, finding plenty when given a tiny bit of reign in the final furlong.

Obviously she has it all to prove, stepping up dramatically in trip. But with the fair chance of improvement this seemingly talented individual makes loads of appeal to me. In the context of the race I believe she is too big a price.

Moderah @ 6/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Windsor: St Saviour Can Bounce Back

Lexington Times

5.00 Windsor: Handicap (Class 4), 1m 2f

If the ground dries further it’ll be a big help to favourite Freight Train who is sure to try and make all. There is a bit of pace in the field though and with a bit of rain expected around Monday afternoon, soft patches are likely to remain in the ground, so it could expose the in-form Mark Johnston inmate.

Devonshire Place makes appeal dropping back to 10f. I’m worried though that his racing style will leave him with too much to do when it matters.

I feel St Saviour deserves another chance and could be quite a bit overpriced. After a below par effort at Sandown last month he has been dropped to a mark off 79 but in reality could be easily be a bit better than that.

He showed plenty of promise when 3rd here at Windor in a super hot maiden back in April, a form that works out extremely well. He got off the mark two starts later in a small field at Brighton but flopped subsequently as mentioned before. But it was a very competitive race in bottomless conditions off a higher mark – so lets draw a line through the performance.

Good to Soft ground at Windsor should suit well though as he acted well on it at Brighton, and with Oisin Murphy in the saddle, St Saviour may bounce back here.

St Saviour @ 12/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Saturday’s Flat Tipps

Newmarket Rowley Mile

3.10 Newmarket: Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1), 7f

Two super exciting colts go to post to fight it out here: Aiden O’Brien’s Air Force Blue and Godolphin’s Emotionless. Both created big impressions this season, both look special.

However I feel Air Force Blue should be a clear favourite here, given he already is a two times Group 1 winner – in fact he landed the two most important races for two year olds in Ireland, the Phoenix Stakes and National Stakes – and he seems to get better with each run.

The son of War Front has no issues with the ground today, after winning on yielding ground before. And he looked even more home over the 7f trip in the National Stakes than the sprints.

Air Force Blue @ 6/5 Racebets – 10pts Win


5.35 Newmarket: Darley Stakes (Group 3), 9f

Mutakayyef is a very fair favourite to land this race but his odds offer no value so I go with lightly raced Ooty Hill who could easily be good enough to win at this level. He looked smart when getting off the mark last year at this venue but has had only two starts since.

A very promising runner-up effort behind subsequent Group 1 scorer Starof Seville was followed by a setback and a half year long lay-off. When he repapered at Newbury last month in an Arc Trial trainer Roger Charlton warned that Ooty Hill will most likely need the run.

The three year old colt dropped out tamely over 3f out which is a worry but he didn’t get a hard time either and one would hope the race has brought him along nicely for today.

Whether that is the case remains to be seen. Some horses never recover from their injuries. Ooty Hill deserves his chance today, though, and if he can find back to his form he’ll be a big runner with conditions very much to suit.

Ooty Hill @ 14/1 Coral – 5pts Win


6.05 Chelmsford: Nursery (Class 5), 1m

Cogent makes his nursery debut and looks a very likeable sort. An opening mark off 70 looks stiff enough, but given the fact that he was far from disgraced in a super hot maiden when last time seen gives the indication that is a fair start. This son of Paco Boy is related to plenty of decent All-Weather winners and steps up to 1m which on pedigree will suit perfectly.

First time gelded today after a bit off a break, he makes plenty of appeal, given that sons of Paco Boy have often improved quite dramatically after a gelding op in the past. A good draw today is a help too – so in an open race, Cogent could easily outrun his odds.

Cogent @ 12/1 Coral – 5pts Win

Monday Quickie at Redcar

A quick tip for this Monday – Godolphin stable jockey William Buick has only one single ride today and he should make this a successful one. His mount Second Wave reappears after a promising debut win at this course last season. The yard is going really well, so one would assume the colt is probably fit enough for his comeback.

Second Wave is sure to appreciate the trip, which is a step up from his 7f maiden win, where he overcame greenness and stayed on well. He has scope to improve with age as well and meets perfect ground conditions today on his Handicap debut. That says his opening mark could be quite lenient as he is nicely bred and bound to progress – on paper at least.

4.20 Redcar: Second Wave @ 11/10 Ladbrokes – 10pts win