Tag Archives: Galway

Sunday Selections: August, 4th 2019


2.00 Chester: Class 4 Nursery, 5f

Rarely do I get involved with juveniles, but I feel this race is for the taking, given the favourite has to deal with a stiff opening mark given by what he has shown in three starts so far, and the second favourite is certainly not well handicapped.

But the filly Shammah appears to be massively underestimated based on two below part efforts lately, however on unsuitably fast ground.

She looked potentially smart winning a novice contest at Windsor in June, though. Which is pretty strong form judged through the 3rd placed horse Hubert, who subsequently was only half a lengths beaten behind smart Homespin.

Shammah’s Windsor performance earned her a topspeed 79 rating, which came on good to soft. She’s dropped below that mark in handicapping terms, now on an official rating of 78. So from that perspective, given she also has a top draw today, finds conditions she likely enjoys, there is potentially more to come and she can easily be well in.

It’s important to note that more rain is on its way to Chester and Shammah’s dam has shown her best certainly with cut in the ground. Despite plenty of stamina in the pedigree, Shammah appears to break sharply, so she ma well be able to utilize the plum draw and her superior stamina, in a bid to go hard from the front today.

10pts win – Shammah @ 5/1 MB


3.55 Galway: Premier Handicap, 7f

another rarity: a bet on Irish flat racing! But, again, I feel pretty strong about a horse today, even though it’s the madness of Galway. Quickly turned out again, albeit slightly different circumstances, Rufus King looks sure to outrun his price.

He was a fine 4th on Tuesday here but ran out of gas in the closing stages over a trip stretching him as well as from a wider than ideal draw, which meant he had to do a little bit more than he’d want to have done in the early part of the race.

Today Rufus King drops down to 7 furlongs, is drawn in stall four and remains on a tasty handicap mark. He’s hasn’t won of this or similar ratings lately, however ran with plenty of credit, not only at Galway, but also of a pound higher in an ultra competitive handicap at Ripon last month.

Certainly he is on a handicap mark he’s sure to have a good chance of winning, granted he ran to higher topspeed ratings in the past a few times as well.

10pts win – Rufus King @ 13/2 MB

Piri Wango can land the Ahonoora

Gordon Lord Byron

3.15 Chester: Queensferry Stakes (Listed), 6f

You can pick holes into any horse here, even the rather shortish favourite. Eastern Impact’s Royal Ascot performance sets obviously a very high standard, but earlier this season he wasn’t capable of winning a listed event. So while the drop in class is significant today, it doesn’t mean he’ll have an easy task.

With the rain falling, I like to give proven soft ground performer Canny Kool a chance here. He tries 6f for the first time and will have raise his game in order to feature. But he should be well suited by the trip on pedigree and may well be able to pull out more. He has a good draw and is usually up with the pace, which always helps at Chester.

Canny Kool @ 12/1 Betfred – 5pts Win


3.50 Chester: Class 3 Handicap, 1m

Apostle need to have things fall inch right for him in order to win, as happened exactly one year ago when he landed this very same race. He is down to the very same mark today, hasn’t been disgraced in a very hot handicap lately and therefore should be in with a fine chance here.

The draw isn’t ideal and it appears to be a deep enough race, so chances are that he may not get the all clear run he needs. But despite the quality on offer in the field, not many are well handicapped, unlike Apostle.

Apostle @ 10/1 Bet365 – 5ps Win


3.20 Galway: Ahonoora Handicap, 7f

A surprisingly lacklustre affair, with a clear lack of quality on offer. Only a handful of horses should be good enough to feature. That makes it easier to narrow down the field. Last years winner Baraweez ran well earlier this week at Festival and must have a prime chance off the same mark today. I can see why Hidden Oasis features prominently in the betting, but the step up in trip is a worry.

Beau Satchel won earlier this week and loves the track, so does old boy Pintura – both make plenty of appeal, but the money is coming in for Ger Lyons’ charge Piri Wango and there is a strong case to be made for him.

He is proven over course and distance, finished runner-up in the Topaz Mile last year and in good form lately. He’s the class act in the field with excellent Group form to his name, but that is also the reason why he has to carry top weight. It’s a tough ask but he performed well under big weights in the past and should love the conditions today.

Seven furlongs is as sharp a trip as he likes it these days, but blinkers and a good draw will clearly help to see him early in position. I believe he has a prime chance to go close today.

Piri Wango @ 7/1 Bet465 – 5pts Win

Friday Selections: Goodwood & Galway

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

2.35 Goodwood: Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3)

Bold entry from Mick Channon to send his classy filly Malabar into the race. But then, there are good reasons for it. Goodwood is the place of her biggest triumph, when she landed a Group 3 here last year. Since then she contested at the highest level against top class opposition while performing consistently well. She is however a filly who runs consistently into trouble as well.

She was unlucky in a handful of her starts, most recently in the Irish 1000 Guineas and subsequently the Prix De Diane. She drops markedly in class today and I believe that should make all the difference. She just doesn’t have quite the high cruising speed or change of gear you need at Group 1 level.

But down in Group 3 class, she should be a major player in this wide open race. Visors fitted may help her to stay focused until the race is over as she often travelles well but seem to lack sharpness when it really matters. Negative is De Sousa who just can’t ride Goodwood. But it’s worth the risk as Malabar strikes me as a filly with a massive chance.

Malabar @ 10/1 Sportinbet – 5pts Win


3.10 Goodwood: Betfred Mile Handicap, 1m

This should be an incredibly close race and I feel Ocean Tempest is very much overlooked. He hasn’t really excelled at Meydan and seemed to feel this tough campaign on his UK comeback in the Lincoln. Back from a break now, he is finally dropped to a realistic mark again in a grade where he belongs.

He has the draw to get into a positive position right from the start here, which should suit. He may not get an easy lead, but tracking it would work too. Off 105 he must certainly enter calculations if back in form, given he won off ten pounds higher last year.

Ocean Tempest @ 33/1 Coral – 5pts Win


4.20 Goodwood: Nursery, Class 2, 6f

Richard Fahey’s filly Zahrat Narjis makes plenty of appeal here on her Nursery debut. She is very well bred, by a sire who gets often excellent 2 year olds, out of a Group 3 winning dam. She showed promise in all her three maidens and now switched to this company should help her. She could easily be better than her opening mark off 72.

Zahrat Narjis @ 12/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win


6.50 Galway: Guinness Handicap, 1m 4f

Dermot Weld’s Show Court went close in this last year when runner-up off a 2lb higher mark. He travelled strongly but maybe hit the front a bit too early. 12f seems his absolute limit stamina wise and the same scenario could very well happen today again – but at 7/1 I’m rather on him, given that he appears to be well handicapped now.

Show Court @ 7/1 Betfed – 5pts Win

Thursday Selections

Cheltenham Festival

2.35 Goodwood: Qatar Richmond Stakes (Group 2)

Long Island at 6/1 is a huge price in my mind. Forgive him the run at the Curragh which came too soon after a big performance at Royal Ascot. He’s more suited to 6f though and after a bit of rest should be back to his best today. He went into the Royal meeting as the most exciting 2yo and I think it’s too early to give up on him.

Long Island @ 6/1 Betfred – 5pts Win


3.00 Galway Handicap (90-60), 1m

Top weight of ten stone and a wider than ideal draw are tough asks, but lightly raced Champagne Or Water makes plenty of appeal in this field nonetheless. She came out off her seasonal break really well at the Curragh earlier this month when she won a good Handicap in fine style.

She came miles clear with the runner-up and might well be able to pull out more, despite a rise off 9lb in the mark. She is overpriced here.

Champagne Or Water @ 9/1 Coral – 5pts Win


3.10 Goodwood: Goodwood Cup (Group 2), 2m

I like to think that Pallasator is capable to bounce back today. He’s a really interesting runner – the three year old filly Vive Ma Fille is the one that intrigues me most. She is wonderfully bred, is a full-sister to Group 1 winning Vif Monsieur and she stepped up successfully to Listed class at Royal Ascot last month.

She tried 2m for the first time and attempted to make all. She set a steady pace and was in with a big shout over one furlong out, however hang her chances literally away. Whether this performance is prove enough for her ability to truly stay 2m isn’t clear yet as on pedigree she hasn’t really a right to do so, but it was an encouraging effort in a competitive field.

Today is tougher of course in a better grade against seasoned stayers, and the fact remains that she has won only one single race to date. But she has been very consistent in her form. What I like is thee fact that she receives a truckload of weight from the rest of the field. The Johnston yard is flying too, so there’s plenty to like about her chances.

Vive Ma Fille @ 20/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win


4.45 Galway: Galway Hurdle, Handicap, Class 1, 2m

It was Diakali first, the rest nowhere on his seasonal comeback at Tipperary eleven days ago. If this doesn’t come too soon today, it’s hard to look beyond him. This six year old is the class act, still improving and as long as he takes to the track, will take all the beating, despite top weight. I feel 5/1 is rather generous.

Diakali @ 5/1 Coral – 5pts Win


7.15 Ffos Las: Class 6 Handicap, 10f

I’m sure Kingdom Of Alba is better than what he’s shown in three maidens yet with the yard going strongly, but the same could easily apply to Rebel Yell who makes plenty of appeal on his handicap debut either. He’s pretty well bred and should be very well suited by the step up in trip.

Gelded since his last run will help to focus him more on the task ahead. Usually this works well for Shamardal offspring. This is very winnable race, so with plenty in his favour, he’s a worth a nibble at 10/1.

Rebel Yell @ 10/1 Betfred – 5pts Win

Wonder Holy bound to improve


6.40 Galway: 3yo Handicap, 1m

The trip is a concern for the favourite, although the light weight is a huge advantage for Laganore. I feel the horses higher up the marks facing quite a stiff task and my interest mainly applies to the lower weights.

With Laganore making not much appeal due to a shocking price, the next best choice appears to be Wonder Holy. Of a mark off 79 with a useful 5lb claimer in the saddle, he is an intriguing sort.

He hinted a bit of ability in a maiden at Fairyhouse when he finished strongly coming from an impossible position. He got off the mark the next time at Killarney, when again not favoured by the way the race was ran, but he got there in time.

Today represents a massive step up in class, but I believe there is a good chance he is a bit better than his current rating. He has a good draw today and the ground won’t bother him at all – therefore he seems quite a big price.

Wonder Holy @ 20/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win