Tag Archives: Goodwood

Preview: York – Lonsdale Cup 2019

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2.25 York: Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, 2m 56y

There is precious little between the market principles on form and ratings – merely 2lb on official ratings, merely 2lb on career best RPR’s, in favour of odds-on favourite Stradivarius, and 3lb on highest topspeed, in favour of Dee Ex Bee.

Both horses are high class stayers, they met a couple of times already when Stradivarius had the upper in any case. The last time they met at Goodwood: Stradivarius victory that day, one could argue appeared with a bit in hand, although the eventual margin was tight.

He got a peach of a ride and had everything going for himself that day, with a fast pace to chase and no issues in finding cover until getting a crystal clear run to produce a strong finish.

You could argue Dee Ex Bee didn’t enjoy the same luxury that day. He saw plenty of daylight, was much closer to the fast pace and simply didn’t race s economical as Stradivarius did. Yet he dug deep, stayed strongly to the line and achieved the same topspeed rating as the winner.

Regardless, on the surface it appears he simply isn’t quite as good as Stradivarius. And that might well be true. But I feel the numbers don’t lie: if there is anything between these two, then it’s previous little.

So a 3lb swing in the weights today may turn the table on fast ground that will suit Dee Ex Bee down to the grounds, in a small field where the pace situation could pan out very differently than the last two times also.

You can’t discount Dermot Weld’s charge Falcon Eight. Lightly raced, progressive, he may well improve again. However, he would have to improve tons to be at the level of the market leaders.

For me the value choice in this race is undoubtedly Dee Ex Bee. When everything points to the fact that Stradivarius is a slightly better horse – having as little as 2lb in hand on official ratings – then it’s hard to fathom why one is a 4/9 chance and the tother a 7/2 chance.

Selection:
10pts win – Dee Ex Bee @ 7/2 MB

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Saturday Selections: May, 4th 2019

Twilight Son

Read my 2000 Guineas Preview Here

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2.30 Thirsk: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

I was keen on Paddy Power the last time at Ripon; although he didn’t win, he ran with credit in a hot contest that looks rock solid form. He dropped another pound since then – not that this will make a huge difference, but it means he’s fallen below his lowest winning mark now.

Paddy Power’s form is showing a downward trend in general, no doubt; I still believe he retains enough ability to win of his current mark. Let’s not forget he won a competitive York handicap of a 6lb higher mark-  and was an excellent 4th in a hot class 2 Handicap subsequently last summer.

Selection:
10pts win – Paddy Power @ 15/2 MB

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2.40 Goodwood: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

This looks competitive in nature, though I find few of these with any secrets left for the handicapper. Slightly different story for the filly Whitefountainfairy, who we haven’t seen all that often in handicap company and who looks on a tasty mark, returning to the turf.

She looked a promising juvenile and continued to do so as 3-year-old, although on the surface she may have been a little bit disappointing as her rise in pattern company didn’t continue. However, Whitefountainfairy wasn’t disgraced in some hot races regardless, running well of high marks in ultra competitive handicaps.

She returned on the All-Weather in March from her winter break, and finishing strongly in superb 6f contest at Kempton, that has worked out incredibly well form wise. Well backed at Chelmsford the next time, she didn’t quite live up to the price tag.

Returning to turf and a course and distance Whitefountainfairy has achieved a career best as a juvenile, down to a mark of 87 with a good 3lb claimer on board who has only this one ride today – Whitefountainfairy should run a huge race.

Selection:
10pts win – Whitefountainfairy @ 9/1 MB

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3.40 Thirsk: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I struggle to split Knowing Glance and Exchequer, and that’s not only because them being drawn so closely to each other or because of their respective odds being similar. So I don’t even attempt it. One of these two will win, if the wide draw doesn’t catch them out.

Big if, but both horses appear supremely well handicapped. Exchequer for a start hasn’t won on turf yet and appears to be a much better All-Weather horse. This notion is slightly skewed by efforts in unsuitable conditions.

Checking his record for fast ground, Exchequer’s record still doesn’t show a victory, but three excellent efforts, including to 3rd placed efforts, in hot class 3 handicaps. Those forms date back a few years – which means, he hasn’t been running on his most suitable turf conditions for a long time.

Exchequer does today. Of a 20lb lower turf mark than his current All-Weather rating. He performed with plenty of credit of a 89 mark on the All-Weather throughout the winter. His claims are blindingly obvious today, even more so dropping down to class 5 as well.

They are pretty much as obvious for Richard Fahey’s Knowing Glance. He won on his seasonal reappearance a class 5 Handicap of his current mark last year, running to a 71 TS rating that day – the form has worked out well.

Knowing Glance remains relatively low mileage. He couldn’t quite kick on from his Carlisle success, but performed with credit in better class a couple of times in autumn.

Given he seems to run well fresh, drops down to class 5 again, with fast ground and trip sure to suit, down to his last winning mark, with a fine 5lb claimer on board, he looks sure to go well.

Selections:
5pts win – Knowing Glance @ 13/2 MB
5pts win – Exchequer @ 13/2 MB

Sunday Selections: October, 14th, 2018

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4.55 Goodwood: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

The Daley Express is already a course and distance winner and will enjoy any bit of additional rain falling between now and off time. He’s won well earlier this year off a similar handicap mark at Bath over 5.5f, granted not a race that looks particularly strong judged by subsequent form.

Nonetheless, the four year old gelding ran well in defeat on numerous occasions in the aftermath – without troubling the judges, it has to be said, though.

However, slowly he drops down to a decent mark now. Franny Norton is in the saddle; he’s boosting a 26.3% strike rate when riding for trainer Ronald Harris.

In a race where little stands out, The Daley Express looks one of the more likely sorts to put his nose in front today. With conditions to suit a big run is expected.

Selection:
10pts win – The Daley Express @ 14/1 PP

Sunday Selections: September, 30th 2018

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4.10 Epsom: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

A competitive 7f handicap as you would expect it that leaves it open for an upset. Nonetheless I feel top weight and fancied Dourada could have all the right answers today.

The colt is a two times course and distance winner, who ran well in defeat in a number of races this year. That says his last two efforts – both came over CD – were below par, although he had some fair excuses four weeks ago.

Now down to a mark off 80 again – a rating he came as close as a neck and was arguably a bit unlucky due to his positioning and the way the race was run when runner-up at Goodwood back in May – Dourada will encounter ideal conditions today.

This race also looks slightly easier in terms of rivals encountered compared to most of the other handicaps he contested this season. There is the added bonus of an excellent 3lb claimer on board to steer the four-year-old home today.

Selection:
10pts win – Dourada @ 5/1 PP

Sunday Selections: August, 26th 2018

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3.15 Beverley: Class 3 Nursery, 5f

The short priced favourite is a foolish price in this rather competitive nursery in my mind. Most importantly, that leaves my selection Snazzy seemingly undervalued in the market.

This filly won – arguably a not overly strong race, granted – very impressively on debut earlier this year at Newcastle overcoming all sorts of trouble. Subsequently placed in Listed company, she was found out for class stepping up to Group 2 class at Royal Ascot.

But, despite not coming too close to win, Snazzy ran extremely well in defeat in two subsequent starts when things didn’t quite went her way in highly competitive events that have worked out well form wise in the meantime.

A drop to the minimum trip should work in her favour and with first time visor applied from a good draw I would expect her to go forward here.

Selection:
10pts win – Snazzy @ 10/3 PP

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4.25 Beverley: Class 4 Handicap, 8.5f 

I was keen on Ghazan on handicap debut back in May after the colt showed plenty of promise in three juvenile starts, particularly the final run in 2017 looked excellent form.

From a wide draw he had a lot to do at Leicester on what was his seasonal reappearance and always travelling wide as a consequence didn’t make it an easy task. After coming briefly off the bridle over 4f out a shake of the reign saw Ghazan travelling notably strongest of all until nearly 2f out when he then tired and wasn’t given a hard time.

That form has worked out quite well in the meantime, so the fact Ghazan was able to travell all over that sort of field is encouraging as I felt beforehand he might have been underestimated by an opening 75 mark.

He’s on 74 today, drops a bit in trip. That in combination with the rain arriving should suit him well. Hanagan is in the saddle, a bonus. Question remains why the absence since May. If he’s fit and well then Ghazan should have a big chance today.

Selection:
10pts win – Ghazan @ 11/2 PP

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5.20 Goodwood: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

A pretty consistent runner. albeit on the go for a long time, Roundabout Magic is one who more often than not gives you a good run for your money. He is also one who finds trouble on a regular basis.

So happened a week ago at Windsor. He travelled strongly and seemed to come with a big run when badly hampered 2f out.

He’s already won this year and was multiple times placed plus ran a career high time speed rating of 67. This small field should suit, if the pace is on.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 6/1 VC

Friday Selections: August, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Three on the bounce! What rare joy to find a winner on three consecutive days – Land Force (7/2) clearly stayed the trip as hoped and won the Richmond Stakes in commanding style under a class ride by Ryan Moore.

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5.50 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 12f

It was a disappointing handicap debut for Floria Tosca the other day after she showed a bit of promise in three maiden starts. I was keen on her the last time as I thought that judged by her second start at Chelmsford she could be well treated off her opening mark. That form worked out incredibly well and her subsequent performance at Bath looked more than decent too.

A fortnight ago the race then didn’t quite worked out the way as hoped. They were crawling for most parts, Floria Tosca was left flat footed over 4f out but then made quite a bit of stylish progress to lead briefly over 2f out. She didn’t see it out eventually and that becomes a bit of a habit now, which is a concern.

Hopefully it is more greenness than anything else. She is bred for the job so upped to 12f may suit. There should be a fair pace on the cards today and it is very winnable race. Dropped 3lb to a mark off 70 plus interesting young apprentice Marco Ghiani in the saddle who claims another 7lb means the filly must enter calculations here.

Selection:
10pts win – Floria Tosca @ 11/1 PP

Thursday Selections: August, 2nd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

He’s finally done it! Lightning Spear after more than two handful of attempts finally broke through the barrier to land a Group 1! And how he did it – beautifully timed and produced with patience and poise by Osisin Murphy, the seven year old colt stormed to success in the Sussex Stakes. A great price he was all the same (selection @ 12.5/1)!

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3.00 Goodwood: Group 1 Richmond Stakes, 6f

Ballydoyle isn’t going quite as strong as one would usually see this time of the year. There were issues in the yard reportedly. Nonetheless Land Force looks a supreme candidate to land the Richmond Stakes today.

He’s been a February foal so no surprise to see him having quite a bit of racing already in his legs as he also appears to be a good looking and imposing individual. He took the step up to graded class in his stride when finishing a strong 3rd in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. Arguably a race he wasn’t advantaged due to his positioning toward the stand side for most parts of the race.

He finished very strongly, indicating a step up to 6f will be beneficial. He remained over the minimum trip next time out in a Listed contest at Tipperary. Not the strongest of contests, but he only needed to be pushed under under hands and heels to win cozily.

Today’s test looks ideal for this speedy individual. The additional furlong won’t be a problem, neither is the ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Land Force @ 7/2 PP