Tag Archives: Handicap

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.

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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

Saturday Selections: March, 31st 2018

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Good Friday washed out – both selections non-runners thanks to the severe ground conditions at Bath yesterday. Let’s see if today – on Dubai World Cup day (one fancy for the Sheema Classic) – things go more to plan.

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3.00 Musselburgh: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Some of the lesser exposed individuals are interesting, particularly Paco Boy son Fake News. The one I fancy, though, is hardy sort Indomeneo, who has seen plenty of racing as a juvenile.

He is vulnerable to an improver, and will have to overcome a wide draw. However, he has proven himself over this sort of trip and ground last year. He looked good winning two on the bounce at Ripon and Redcar, and he already ran to a TSR of 82 – so of his current mark off 84 he looks a rock solid option.

I like the fact that he is usually up with the pace. Something that is of massive advantage at Musselbourgh particularly in these type of conditions today, I feel. He will need to be sharp at the start, on the other hand – as drawn in 10 is not an easy task.

Selection:
10pts win – Indomeneo @ 7/1 VC

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4.45 Musselburgh: Class 5 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Question marks all over, so I go with one who’s proven to enjoy the ground and might not have shown his best over this sort of trip in these conditions yet: Richard Fahey’s Geoff Potts has a poor win record, however, looked an improved horse last season, particularly with cut in the ground.

He was very consisted in the second half of last season, winning a 6f Handicap on soft ground and going close enough in a handful of races subsequently. A good piece of form over the minimum trip is missing, however only twice in Handicaps did he have the chance and was very much unfancied those times.

With more rain to come, this should turn into a grind and that will suit those who act on this type of ground and stay a bit further. Geoff Potts fits the bill.

Selection:
10pts win – Geoff Potts @ 9/1 Matchbook

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8.45 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Money is already pouring in, yet top weight Fareeq looks still a tasty price. He’s a tricky sort who can make a mess of things at the start and can hang violently in the finish, however judged on his two last CD runs here at Chelmsford he should be bang there when it matters.

He won here in January in fine style, running to a time speed rating of 61 and finished subsequently a good runner-up off a revised mark, when things did not go his way as he missed the break from a widish draw and travelled always wide mostly off the bridle.

Pretty much the same story at Kempton the last time, now back at Chelmsford, a kinder draw and a mark of 60 should give him a big chance with a good 5lb claimer in the saddle.

Selection:
10pts win – Fareeq @ 12/1 VC

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5.10 Meydan: Sheeema Classic, 1m 4f

The Japanese Rey De Oro and Arc runner-up Cloth Of Stars head the market, and probably rightly so. However, at given prices, I do fee Hawkbill is the forgotten horse and way too big.

He had a fine comeback run here at Meydan earlier this months. Overcoming a wide draw and travelling wide throughout, he grinded it out eventually. This is much tougher today, obviously, but that was as good a reappearance as you could expect and shows Hawkbill is still close to his best form.

William Buick is in the saddle of the five times Group winner, including the 2016 Coral Eclipse. I hope he will have Hawkbill close enough to the pace. Stall seven is wide enough but Hawkbill has the pace to get across quickly.

He is not the best horse in the race, but if he gets an ideal run, he could be hard to pass, given race fitness is ensured.

Selection:
10pts win – Hawkbill @ 11/1 PP

Good Friday Selections: March 30th, 2018

Newmarket July Course

4.00 Bath: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Favourite Tony Curtis looks rock solid. He certainly is up to his current rating and may not mind the ground conditions. However he isn’t well handicapped by any means, and this deep going with a first run of the season in combination is a tough assignment. I pass at given prices.

More interesting is Sir Roderic. He tumbled down the weights to a tremendously dangerous mark. He was able to be placed in hot races off 90 and 93 last season and has winning form on deep ground as encountered here at Bath today.

The question mark is obviously his breathing. He had a wind op, as that seemed the issue last year when he didn’t finish his races and subsequently fell dramatically in the ratings.

He reappeared at Doncaster in the Spring Mile last week. He dropped out tamely from 3f out and was eventually a long way beaten. But so were the majority of the field. Hence, I’m inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt today, the second run since he got his wind done.

If the OP had a positive effect, then today he should shine with conditions totally to his liking and a mark a full 9lb lower than his last winning one.

Selection:
10pts win – Sir Roderic @ 5/1 Skybet

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5.05 Bath: Class 4 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Tough going at Bath so this will likely be a slow motion finish despite racing over the minimum trip. You never quite know how horses act until they tried this deep, so siding with September Issue is a little gamble.

That says he won over course and distance in September on good to soft outstaying a fine rival who went on to perform quite well subsequently – this looks excellent form and on pedigree it looks not unlikely that softer will be a big issue for him.

September Issue needs a career best today. On the other hand, judged on TS and RPR’s he has ever chance to still find a little bit more; he also ran well off marks around his current 79 in the past. So with right conditions he should be thereabouts for sure.

De Sousa is booked for the ride, which seems a bonus. The draw doesn’t concern me, it’s more a ground question, which hopefully September Issue answers in the best possible way.

Selection:
10pts win – September Issue @ 7/2 VC

Thursday Selections: March, 29th 2018

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4.05 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap, 1 mile

A trappy affair where at least half the field make some sort of appeal. Yet, Bobby Biscuit is the one I really like here on his handicap debut.

A big, scopey individual, who didn’t run his race in a hot conditions stakes contest earlier this months, he probably wasn’t helped by the eventual winner who jumped into his lane while turning for home, as a consequence Bobby Biscuit lost momentum. He didn’t look to travel all that well at this point anyway, though, this was the final nail in the coffin.

He won a Novice Stakes in January, however. Overcoming an awkward start and subsequent keenness. He looked idling once in front but held on to win what looks like a fair contest, given the runner-up subsequently franked the form with another strong runner-up display behind a 92 rated individual.

Thanks to collateral form a case can be made for Bobby Biscuit having a good chance to be a bit better than his opening mark off 79. Given he was a January foal and looks physically quite strong his chances to win another race or two in the first half this year look enhanced.

Selection:
10pts win – Bobby Biscuit @ 17/2 Unibet

Thursday Selections: March, 1st 2018

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A day vanished in the snow…. when I woke up this morning looking outside of the window and saw all this white stuff in the garden it was only a matter of time before the message would transpire of Newcastle being abandoned, as not only has Ireland’s east been hit by the snow chaos, so has been the UK. Let’s see if things go differently on Thursday…

5.15 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

If the race goes ahead then I am really keen on Rich Again. He drops down to a really tasty handicap mark, given he won off 3- and 7lb higher respectively last winter. The question whether he is still that good is easily answered: yes.

His 3rd place finish, when one lengths beaten over CD last month of a mark of 80 – so 3lb higher than today – when he ran to a time speed figure of 80 very much confirms this.

He was a long way beaten last time out, however that was over 6f, and there is no doubt that Rich Again is a different animal over the minimum trip.

This is a highly competitive race, and he will have to run to the sort of form he ran to when winning last year. That says he is still as good as ever and with a 50% strike rate over this course and distance he must be a live chance.

Selection: 
10pts win – Rich Again @ 11/1 VC

Wednesday Selections: February, 28th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.45 Newcastle: Class 7 Handicap, 1 mile

As poor a race as you would expect for this lowest of classes which looks. Nonetheless Optima Petamus should have a cracking chance dropping down to a mile.

The six year old has, despite an overall poor strike rate, a pretty fair record on the All-Weather, and has been running to time speed ratings in the past suggesting anything close to those past forms will see him being hard to beat.

Optima Petamus has shown good form in the last couple of weeks. Most importantly on his most recent outing, when third at Newcastle over 10f. He was keen early on and was up with the pace, looked like winning but got tiered as the eventual winner stayed on from far back in the field.

Rhe drop to a mile should help now. A better pace should ensure he settles better and the fact remains Optima Petamus’ only win came over the mile distance. With a competent 7lb claimer in the saddle this looks a golden opportunity for Optima Petamus.

Selection:
10pts win – Optima Petamus @ 9/2 VC

Thursday Selections: February, 22nd 2018

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8.00 Chelmsford: Class 4 Handicap , 1m 2f

A competitive race as it’s hard to rule any of the eight starters out completely. However, Ourmullion is the one that catches my eye for a variety of reasons.

The four year old gelding found 11- and 12 furlongs too far in his last two outings, although the Kempton run looks a solid form in general.

Down to 1m 2f again, he looks competitive in this contest. He won two on the bounce over course and distance in September, followed up in December here with an excellent effort in a red hot contest.

Ourmullion still hasn’t too many miles on the clock, particularly on the All-Weather and the 10 furlong trip. His current handicap mark off 77 is workable and from a good draw he should have not too many excuses today.

Selection:
10pts win – Ourmullion @ 8/1 Bet365