Tag Archives: Friday

Friday Selections: 27th January 2023

12.45 Lingfield: Class 6 Apprentice Handicap, 7f

I was seriously keen on Healing Power the last time at Wolverhampton. Albeit, that day he finished a disappointing 7th, there is a fair excuse for the below-par run.

Last time, from the #7 draw, the gelding was awkward away hence a step slow, was caught wide early as he moved forward to grab the lead eventually. The race was over there and then for him, as he faded badly in the closing stages.

It was also a strong contest, the winner clearly well handicapped and others have followed up with their own good runs subsequently.

Nonetheless, what made Healing Power a good bet that day remains largely the case why I am prepared to give him another chance here.

He can jump from the #1 gate, is back at his preferred Lingfield where he has a 7-2-3 record and there isn’t too much competition for the lead expected.

The Lingfield run in December remains a strong piece of form, suggesting the 7-year-old is in pretty good form. He is 3lb lower today, down to a mark of 61, which makes him well handicapped, if he can run to the same level of form again, that I believe is not far off his strong summer AW form when he ran twice to strong speed ratings, and won off 60.

10pts win – Healing Power @ 6/1

……….

3.55 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

This looks really competitive with a hot pace but I must give Ooh Is It a chance at the given prices, as he is clearly overpriced, if all is well.

There is a bit money coming, he was available at 16s this morning, but is nibbled at, that gives me a bit more confidence and hope. He missed some recent engagements, so wellbeing is taken at face value.

However, he ran extremely well at the end of last year, seriously caught the eye at Wolverhampton, and wasn’t disgraced when 3rd at Southwell subsequently behind two well handicapped individuals, while it was report that the “gelding had struck into himself on his left fore” during the race.

He missed the break the next time at Wolverhampton, which is unusual. He lost the race there and then.

From a perfect #2 draw today here’s hoping for a good start. A low draw for a prominent/front-running horse is a major advantage over this CD.

Ooh Is It ran to a speed rating of 71 back in November; he’s now down a mark of 66. if he’s healthy and well, he’s certainly quite well handicapped now.

10pts win – Ooh Is It @ 10/1

Friday Selections: 20th January 2023

It was good to back a winner on Wednesday – Iva Feeling did it really well, as hoped, always nicely positioned from her low draw and she saw out every inch of the mile.

The rare trip over to Dundalk was a profitable one for me – finally positive news on the W front, the third winner for the month; yet, January is nothing to shout about on the P/L sheet.

Not so good was the blatant non-trier Northern Chancer. That’s disappointing to see if you back a horse. But then, that’s the nature of the game I willingly participate in. It’s bound to happen, another time in my favour.

Probably even more disappointing, a disappointment with my own decision making, was backing May Remain. I knew pre-race the pace scenario is against him; was blinded by the mantra chanting in my head “but he’s so well handicapped”.

Maybe he was, and perhaps he’s even more so next time, but the way the race was going to unfold was always going to kill off his chances. This is not hindsight bias because I knew it well enough beforehand, identified this issue and still put the money down. Wanted it too much.

It’s important to be honest with oneself. I can be and know: this was a poor bet. You can’t construct good bets. Only bad ones.

……..

12.50: Classified Stakes, 5f

I must give Ustath another chance. He drops down to the minimum trip, which shouldn’t be an issue, given he’s a multiple course and distance winner.

His most recent run in Handicap company over 6 furlongs earlier this month was disappointing, but the damage was done in the first half of the race, and he also was hanging in the straight.

I go back to the penultimate run, though, that was seriously eyecatching. That level of form, if he could run close to it, will see him hard to beat against poor opposition today.

Ideally he would have a low draw, given those low numbers on the far side are clearly preferred over the 5f at Southwell. But there looks to be little real pace on that side in this race, which means it will probably play out in the middle of the track, so the #9 gate is fine.

10pts win – Ustath @ 9/2

………..

5.15 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

It was an excellent comeback run for Seesawing last month at this venue when 6th after a long break. That form looks quite strong as it has started to work out well.

After an awkward start he moved forward to led toward stands’ side, somewhat isolated there. He seemingly travelled well, before hanging toward the middle of the track from 2 furlongs out; tiering late and losing a few places.

He was entitled to tire, was 330 days off and changed yards in the meantime as well. This run is noteworthy for the strengths of the form and the fact winner and runner-up came from well off the pace, which is no easy task at Newcastle; it gives the form substance, and shows Seesawing ran pretty well from the front.

He’s hopefully fitter today. In any case he’s down to a solid mark that offers opportunities as he’s still lightly raced enough, although also seeking a first career win.

He ran to a speed rating of 63 last year, that ties in nicely with his current mark (minus 3lb claimed by Mark Crehan) and he’s quite unexposed over this sort of trip, especially on the All-Weather and in Handicap company.

I would have liked to see him over 7 furlongs with turn, but the drop to 6 furlongs with a stiff finish as present at Newcastle could be an ideal scenario. There shouldn’t be much competition for the lead and I hope he goes forward, drops his head and will make most of an easy lead.

10pts win – Seesawing @ 5/1

Friday Selections: 6th January 2023

Not the outcome I was hoping for today. Was pretty sweet on both Give A Little Back and Ooh Is It. Unfortunately Ooh Is It missed the break and it was race over there and then. I still believe he’s very much ready to strike. Next time.

A Little Back was an interesting betting story as he was punted down to 5/2 last night, before drifting out all the way 15’s on Betfair minutes before the race, until some late money saw him go off SP 15/2.

He briefly looked like coming with a winning move but couldn’t match the speed of the eventual winner – and supposed gamble – Bondy Power; only managed 3rd place in a photo for second, in the end.

The strange betting pattern aside, I still think, having reviewed the race (keen to see the sectionals, though), he probably ran a bit better than his current mark. He had to make up a bit of ground to the winner, ideally would have been a little closer to tracking the pace, and had an ever so slightly interrupted run in the home straight.

…….

1.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Sense Of Security has been in really good form in her last starts. Although I tend to avoid fillies and mares during the winter, as all data points to them underperforming during this period on the All-Weather, this filly ran to near career best speed ratings in her last two runs.

She caught the eye during the flat campaign earlier this year, and entered my list in October when she returned from a wind operation at Kempton over 6 furlongs.

That day she was badly bumped and squeezed right after the start, was keen in the early parts of the race, possibly as a consequence. She made good progress from 3 furlongs out, kicks well in the home straight and found plenty. The winner from the front was not for catching, and well on top, though.

She followed up a fortnight ago at Chelmsford with another huge run, finishing strongly, against the pace bias.

She ran to speed ratings 57 and 58 in those two runs, which means off her 57 handicap mark she is handicapped to go seriously close. The bonus is the step up to 7 furlongs. I believe she always struggles over the shorter trip when the pace is hot.

Obviously as a maiden after 15 runs you never can be quite sure. Also the fact she was a non-runner a few weeks ago is a concern. But I firmly believe that if her wind is okay, she ‘s going to really enjoy this trip and has a tremendous chance.

There is good money coming in the early market already. I hope it’s not a Déjà vu to A Little Back on Thursday. 9/2 would have been nice… I imagine 4’s is gone soon. Hopefully SOS can justify the support. It would be a nice one for confidence too.

Because the shorter priced horses just don’t deliver for me at all. The last time I had a winner at odds below 13/2 was all the way back in July! That’s 36 selections (shortest was 5/2). Autsch.

10pts win – Sense Of Security @ 4/1

………

8.15 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Favourite Praise Of Shaddows looks a rock solid favourite. Judged on his excellent recent win and speed rating achieved he could be still well handicapped, especially as it looks legit thanks to strong performances in defeat in November and December.

However, he won’t get an easy lead here and has to overcome the #10 draw, plus loses the valuable 3lb claim of Grace McEntee. Reason enough for me to looks elsewhere.

Ustath is my natural choice. He would have made it on to the next Eyecatchers list if not for this run before publishing it. His most recent run (to some extend the one before as well) indicated that he’s probably in quite good form.

Last time over this CD he was off to a flying start, led early on, before being joined to push the pace as part of a duo racing a number of lengths ahead of field. Obviously he did way too much too soon and faded badly.

Nonetheless, that was a return to form I believe, as he still managed to finish 5th only 3 lengths beaten in the end, by a winner who was handicapped to win.

The enthusiasm for racing is still there. But he can be one that’s hard to catch. In any case he is down to a solid mark again. He ran 3x times to speed ratings 54+ last year.

In an ideal world I would have loved to see him drop below 53, but let’s not be picky because he’s still good value at current prices in this open race, if one is prepared to take on the two market leaders, especially with a low draw that should enable him to move easily forward.

The other well backed one in the market, Bernard Spierpoint, won a poor race earlier this week. He also was on a recent eyecatcher list, but this race is much hotter and his mark isn’t attractive having to defy a 5lb penalty.

He’s also one likely to be right up with the pace. I hope Ustath can feed of him, drawn right beside him, to relax early, but sit comfortably tracking the pace. That should be the ideal scenario for a big run.

10pts win – Bernard Ustath @ 9/1

Friday Selections: 16th December 2022

The eyecatchers win…. but I don’t back them. It pains me that travelling for work all week didn’t leave any time to dig into racing. it meant I missed a number of winners from the current All-Weather eye-catcher list.

But if it’s not possible to analyse a race properly, I won’t have a bet. Simple as that. No bet = no money lost, which isn’t a bad thing, in any case.

Seeing the horses run well gives me solace that the work put in has been solid. Though, you never know whether that continues to be the case, of course.

I try to make up ground on Friday. Although, the selections are much bigger prices than I would have envisioned. That could be good or a bad thing….

In saying that, I still hope racing goes ahead, because even if they run badly, it means they got a run, at the very least, and the may even better handicapped the next time.

…….

4.25 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I am conflicted in this one as there is four possible choices and all four have reasonable claims. I’d feel ready to support in isolation. But the strongest chance could be Surprise Picture from a good draw to attack the race dropped to 7 furlongs again.

His last three runs have all been noteworthy and eye-catching but certainly not economical rides that gave the gelding not the best chance of winning.

He drops another pound after a strong 4th place last week over 8.5f at Wolverhampton. He didn’t get home, but ran to 65 speed rating, once more confirming his excellent form.

Down to 7 furlongs again, as he ran two back at Wolverhampton when arguably a bit unlucky, he ran multiple times to speed ratings 68 plus this year, as well.

There doesn’t seem to be too much proper pace to compete against he wants to, almost certainly, move forward from a solid #6 draw.

10pts win – Surprise Picture @ 13/1

……….

5.25 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

I was keen on Saturday when Lucky Lucky Lucky had an entry over 6 furlongs at Newcastle, before the meeting was called off, and remain interested, although would have preferred to see him race over the shorter trip

But I still think he’s got an strong chance over 7 furlongs, too, in a race as poor as this, if this lad is allowed to run on merit, i.e. the handbrake is off, and he’s trained to be fit.

Granted, on the surface it requires a little bit of imagination, when checking the form of  It’s clearly there to see, though – in my eyes, at least.

For one: while not an eye-catching performance at first glance, his most recent run over 7 furlongs at Newcastle noteworthy. For the simple fact that the gelding broke well and travelled enthusiastically, with his ears pricked, up with a solid pace early on. This isn’t your typical 17-race maiden with attitude issues.

Going back to August, on turf, at Redcar, he finished a strong third. That day over 6 furlongs, he got badly hampered in the closing stages and a clear run denied. He probably wins it if he gets a clear passage. He showed a lovely attitude that day, in my view

His more recent performances were obviously really poor runs on paper. But I believe there is enough to see a horses with sufficient appetite for the game.

In any case, Lucky Lucky Lucky is down to a mark of 49 now. Dropped another 3lb since the last Newcastle run. Although I was really curious to see him over 6 furlongs, there is not too much concern that he can’t stay stay further on pedigree as a full-brother to a listed placed Dundalk mare (1m).

Speed ratings suggest he could (should) be well handicapped now. First time blinkers are tried. It may help to sharpen him up. The jockey booking is a slight concern. Alex Jary simply doesn’t ride many winners. Nonetheless, he looks solid in the saddle visually, but largely sits on horses with no hope.

It’s different here. Lucky Lucky Lucky has plenty of hope. The additional 7lb claim, which looks good value, make the 3-year-old gelding an great chance on handicapping terms.

10pts win – Lucky Lucky Lucky @ 15/1

……….

8.15Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Sense Of Security has been in tremendous form in her last starts. Although I tend to avoid fillies and mares during the winter as all data points to them underperforming during this period on the All-Weather, this filly ran to near career best speed ratings in her last two runs.

She caught the eye during the flat campaign earlier this year, and entered my list in October when she returned from a wind operation at Kempton over 6 furlongs.

That day she was badly bumped and squeezed right after the start, was keen in the early parts of the race, possibly as a consequence. She made good progress from 3 furlongs out, kicks well in the home straight and found plenty. The winner from the front was not for catching, and well on top, though.

She followed up a fortnight ago at Chelmsford with another huge run, finishing strongly, against the pace bias.

She ran to speed ratings 57 and 58 in those two runs, which means off her 57 handicap mark she is handicapped to go seriously close. The bonus is the step up to 7 furlongs. I believe she always struggles over the shorter trip when the pace is hot.

Obviously as a maiden after 15 runs you never can be quite sure. But I firmly believe that if her wind is okay, she will really enjoy this trip

Should be handicapped to win. Probably more so over 7 furlongs. 6 furlongs isn’t impossible, because she really kicked hard here – I really rate this performance. Class could see her through an easier race over the shorter trip off a career lowest mark.

10pts win – Sense Of Security @ 6/1

Friday Selections: 11th November 2022

4.55 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I find it really exciting to see Rose Bandit stepping up to 6 furlongs before a 2lb hike in her mark kicks in. From a good #5 draw, she looks cherry ripe to win a race.

She caught the eye about four weeks ago here at Newcastle over the minimum trip, then off 4lb higher than she’s on Friday.

She tracked the pace that day, came off the bridle over 2 furlongs from home as she tried to keep up with the leaders, which was ultimately too hot for too long for her, yet she wasn’t beaten all that far in the end and ran much better than the 7th place finish suggested.

She quite well the next two times as well; once more at Newcastle, and especially when last seen at Southwell; on both occasions over 5 furlongs. Clearly the mare is in excellent form but needs the additional furlong on the All-Weather to be seen to best effect.

She remains somewhat unexposed on the All-Weather – yet to win in five runs, but the majority of her performances can be upgraded. The last time she ran over 6 furlongs on the All-Weather was in May at Newcastle when she finished strongly, but not getting the best of runs, off a 63 mark.

She also was badly hampered and unlucky three starts back at Hamilton on turf, building a really strong case for this mare as she has kept her good form over the last weeks.

Because of her recent runner-up performance at Southwell she will go up to 56, but can race still off 54 here, 9lb lower than her last (turf) winning mark. She also ran 7x to equal or higher speed ratings in her career.

This is an Apprentice race. She has a highly inexperienced jockey on board. Although Poppy Wilson has been riding rather well, in the limited rides she got so far.

She claims 7lb. That’s a fair compensation because Rose Bandit looks a pretty easy ride. Just bounce her out, stay close to the pace and don’t fall off.

10pts win – Rose Bandit @ 7/1

Friday Selections: 4th November 2022

It was two on the bounce on Tuesday when Captain Vallo won at Southwell with a bit of authority in the closing stages. A rare sight over the last weeks… well, even months: not only one winner, but two, on the same day!

It helps seriously with the P/L sheet that looked brutal after the recent losing run. Although, what always helps is also putting it all into a historical context. My betting records tells a story: every year I struggle massively in autumn, October is always red, September often too. Perhaps something to review for the future.

That future is about ten months down the line. The immediate future sees the return of the Breeders’ Cup. I wouldn’t say I am a massive fan. Not really of the Friday card, and certainly not of the dirt races. But the turf races on Saturday are usually quite intriguing.

Currently I’ll probably have only one bet in mind for this Saturday. I’ve got a bit more work to do on the races, though. Prior to top-class action at Keeneland, it’s all about more mundane things, like sand racing at Newcastle. Selections as follows below.

I don’t want to leave unmentioned the queen of the mile, Goldikova, when talking about the Breeders’ Cup. The mighty mare was so good over there in 2009, when she the landed the Turf Mile. A wide draw, sitting far off the pace, second last turning for home… no bother. One of my favourite BC moments. What a star she was.

…………….

3.05 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

The right conditions are present for Twistaline, who caught the eye at Wolverhampton in no uncertain terms the last time. That day she travelled in rear, seemed to struggle from 4f out before running home in quite sensational style, finishing the last three furlongs much the fastest, without being asked for everything.

Granted that was a poor race, but this Newcastle content is even worse. She drops into a 0-55 Handicap, her mark down to 54 as she lost another 2lb in the meantime, and she steps up to the straight mile which will be an ideal scenario for her on the All-Weather.

I don’t really like to back horses that have to come from off the pace on the sand, least a filly. But over a mile at Newcastle hold-up horses perform strongly. This will suit her, and her patchy starting habits won’t matter nearly as much as it is a clear disadvantage at sharp Wolverhampton.

Twistaline showed quite solid form on this modest level on the All-Weather earlier this year. She ran to consistent speed ratings of 50, 51 and 53.

She is clearly in that sort of form, perhaps even better, given the way she finished last time out.

I was initially worried about the jockey booking. Jason Watson isn’t riding any winners of late. But he’s been sitting on 20/1 shots on average. If further examined for his record with trainer Appleby, things look much brighter.

10pts win – Twistaline @ 11/2

………

5.45 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

I must give Pockley another chance. He was unlucky not to finish closer than 3rd last time over this CD and that form has worked out seriously well in the meantime.

That day he travelled in midfield, but was quite keen for the first part of the race. He didn’t get a clear passage at a crucial stage when the pace increased and the eventual winner got first run. He kicked on well from 2 furlongs out, but was reportedly hanging soon after.

Surprisingly, the handicapper has dropped him another pound. Down to a career lowest mark, even though he caught the eye on turf this year too, he moves up slightly in class – this is an 0-75 vs 0-70 the last time; as a consequence he’s got a low weight with the additional of 5lb claiming Mark Winn again. I feel there are only two or three other properly competitive horses in the field, so it’s not a strong race.

This could be well set up for him too: he’s got pace around him to follow right from his #5 draw. That should in theory tow him nicely into it, if he doesn’t miss the break, which he can, and which is the only real risk attached in my view.

The other question mark is the form of the Linda Perratt yard – 2/50, 0/12 over the last four weeks. But I rate Pockley’s chance so highly that I (stupidly?) ignore this.

10pts win – Pockley @ 4/1

Friday Selections: 16th September 2022

6.45 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Competition for the pace doesn’t look too hot, which brings Dion Baker right into the equation, who drops down to 7 furlongs on his polytrack debut.

He is still a maiden but ran with credit a number of times; in fact he was arguably unlucky not to win at either Catterick, or subsequently on his Handicap debut at Haydock.

On both occasions he hang his chances away, otherwise he’d have a W to his name, I reckon.

Dion Baker ran well enough three weeks ago at Newmarket in softish conditions over a mile, just fading entering the final furlong. Given his early gate speed he should have no issues getting to the lead from the #1 draw here.

As he drops in class, he should find this race a bit easier, and has shown he has the quality to win off a 72 mark. He has the early speed and potentially the bit of extra stamina to keep it up right to the line.

10pts win – Dion Baker @ 9.2

……..

8.15 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 3f

Arab Cinder caught the eye a few times now and looks ripe to win a race, stepping another furlong on her second start for William Knight.

She did well over shorter trips for Roger Varian, seriously catching the eye at Wolverhampton over 7 furlongs in May. With a clear run she would have gone really close as she had to contend with the widest draw, and found herself severely hampered in her challenge in the home straight.

Her subsequent final start for the Varian yard at Goodwood was better than the bare for suggests. When last seen four weeks ago on her first start for new connections, Arab Cinder caught the eye when finishing well in the closing stages.

She has enough stamina for this new trip as a full-sister to 1m 6f winner on the All-Weather. Three pounds lower than her excellent Wolverhampton run and down in class she rates a major chance in this field from a good draw.

10pt win – Arab Cinder @ 9/2

Friday Selections: 29th July 2022

2.25 Goodwood: Group 3 Thoroughbred Stakes, 1m

Rocchigiani caught the eye twice this year. Now stepping up to a mile again he looks the one to beat in this contest in my eyes, hence I am delighted with the odds on offer.

The German raider always tracked the pace and travelled pretty well until 2.5 furlongs from home in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. He couldn’t move forward with horses right in front of him but also appeared flat footed when gaps opened up. He ran on nicely in the closing stages for a solid 5th place finish, though.

He had to give about three pounds of weight away to the majority of the field that day. No easy task, even less so on fast ground and 7 furlongs. Clearly the test was too sharp, but equally clearly he came out with his reputation enhanced.

Earlier the season he would have been a runaway winner of the German 2000 Guineas, if not for the exciting Maljoom. Rocchigiani was always right on the speed and kicked on as soon as he entered the home straight. He had the entire field off the bridle; only the late finishing Maljoom got to him in the end.

The fast ground at Goodwood is a slight question mark. Although, it wasn’t slow at Cologone either, so I’m hopeful it won’t be too much of an issue for him here.

10pts win – Rocchigiani  @ 13/2

……

6.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Scale Force finished a few weeks ago over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton in a manner that suggested he’s ready to win. He had a troubled run, which started with usual poor start, and was short of room over a furlong out at a crucial stage.

Down to a mark of 56 now, he’s possibly quite well handicapped, given he performed strongly off higher marks earlier this year, most notably off a 66 mark over 5 furlongs at Wolverhampton in February when he finished half a lengths beaten in third, and his topspeed matched his mark.

If he doesn’t mess up the start this time he should be a prime chance to win, especially with the valuable 5lb claim of Aiden Keeley in the saddle.

10pts win – Scale Force @ 12/1

Friday Selections: 15th July 2022

Boundless Ocean won the Group 3 contest at Leopardstown in fine fashion today. The faith paid off, he was too good for this field. The significant drop in class and distance helped. He was certainly less keen – by his standards – travelled like a dream and won in the manner of a horse with bigger targets on the horizon.

Ustath didn’t quite make it a perfect day. A solid 2nd place, beaten by half a lengths. Went off too fast I reckon and then got into trouble up the stiff Hamilton finish. He’s one to keep an eye on in terms of handicap mark. If the handicapper doesn’t react too harshly then he remains of interest over 6 furlongs on fast ground.

……..

3.18 Newbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f

Vaynor goes for a hat-trick and I back him to be able to win his third race in a row. The penny has dropped and the gelding looks vastly improved from run to run ever since returning to turf this year.

He won a poor class 6 Handicap over 1m 6f at Bath in early June, although in fine fashion and running to a 4lb better topspeed than his mark then. He followed up in better grade next time at Newmarket, although dropping in trip. He won going away and with a bit in hand, also finishing much the fastest on sectionals over the last three furlongs.

He ran to a 67 topspeed rating off a 67 handicap mark and that looks pretty good given how commanding the performance was. His revised mark of 73 is more than fair and potentially on the lenient side. He could easily have more to offer and can improve again given he was also a May foal and needed time to mature.

Pace seems crucial to him. There should be enough in the race to make it a solid test. But he’s versatile enough to make his own race too. Even though he races against better rivals, there isn’t really another well handicapped individual in the field.

10pts win – Vaynor @ 7/2

……..

7.10 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f

Pub Crawl is a horse I am monitoring since the start of the season. His seasonal reappearance at Leicester was eyecatching but it was his subsequent Epsom Handicap debut that got me seriously interested in the 3-year-old gelding.

That day plenty of things went wrong but he finished incredibly strongly once out in the clear giving the impression of potentially being ahead of his mark, especially if going up in trip.

He’s clearly a tricky sort as sluggish starts are his “trademark” and he can find trouble during races as well. He put all those bad traits on show the next two times.

Although he looks regressive and hasn’t gotten any help from the handicapper, he wasn’t disgraced in his last two runs in my view. Those were competitive affairs over ten furlongs and things didn’t go his way.

He now steps up to 12 furlongs. A trip he’s not certain to stay. On the other hand things happen a whole lot slower here and that will suit. It’s not impossible on pedigree and he can run on strongly in the closing stages, which suggests he stays.

Interestingly Pub Crawl has been noted in the Weekender paper Newmarket Gallops section to have worked really well on two occasions since his Sandown flop. He’s got the assistance of excellent 5lb claiming Benoit De La Sayette in the saddle. This is also a wide open contest. He must have a strong chance to get his head in front if he stays.

10pts win – Pub Crawl @ 5/1

Friday Selections: 8th July 2022

Two lovely winners at good prices the last two days – the ups and downs of the game…. funny how it all goes. Last night at Epsom Hector Loza went from the front and never really looked in danger once he kicked on. 13.5 was always a big price for a potentially seriously well handicapped horse if he was right.

He was. And he was a massive price for all the right reasons. Easy said in hindsight, of course. Often enough these type of horses finish bottom last (and i made a habit of backing them). But he clearly showed in his recent starts still some appetite for the game. No habit of starting slowly. Also a lovely, confident, positive ride by Jack Duern. His 3lb are highly valuable.

June started so badly with those 18 consecutive losers; July started in a rather pleasant way with four winners already. I wouldn’t mind this good spell of form to continue for a while.

……….

2.40 York: Group 3 Summer Stakes, 6f

If the effects of a tough race at Royal Ascot having left too many marks than Flotus should be hard to beat today. The filly looks still improving after a productive juvenile campaign, having ran seriously strong races in defeat the last two times this season.

Obviously her third place finish in the Commonwealth Cup rates the best piece of form in this race. She was bang up with the pace and raced pretty hard in the early stages. She couldn’t bring it quite home, but that’s no shame in such a quality Group 1 sprint.

Arguably even more impressive, in my eyes, was her desperately close runner-up effort at Haydock behind smart Sense Of Duty. The winner has franked the form in no uncertain terms and overall it looks an incredibly strong piece of form.

Flotus fought all the way to the line after attempting to lead wire to wire while Sense Of Duty was held up. I really loved how Flotus kicked on again at the final furlong marker after being heavily challenged. Great attitude!

Trip, ground and track are of no concern today. She poses the fastest speed rating in the field and has confirmed her form this season in excellent style.

There are a few dangers in the field, Gale Force Maya probably the biggest one if she could repeat her latest strong performance. She ran a fast topspeed, a clear career-best, but I wouldn’t trust her to do it again.

Hala Hala Athmani looks improving. Only her fourth start, she can do better. But drawn on the opposite from where most likely the pace will come is far from ideal.

Also on the up is Benefit, a recent Listed race winner. Zain Claudette may improve from her seasonal debut at Ascot. She was a Group 3 winner as a juvenile. But she’s got something to find even at her best with Flotus.

10pts win – Flotus @ 3/1