Tag Archives: Handicap

Saturday Selections: 2017 November Handicap

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

The favourite, albeit most likely with the best form in the book, looks a reasonably short price compared to Time Chaser, currently trading as the second fav.

Both fillies remain lightly raced with potential upside, however I feel Time Chaser has more upside and is a better price at the same time.

She is a full-sister to the very smart Time Test, so taking that as an indicator, there is a good chance Time Chaser might still do a bit better than her current official rating of 91 suggests.

She won three on the bounce from debuting in April until stepping up into a class 2 Handicap in September at Haydock, after producing two fine performances to win at Sandown, over a mile and ten furlongs on fast to soft ground respectively.

Beaten in third a long way the last time in heavy conditions, I feel there are valid excused for this slightly disappointing showing. Time Chaser certainly did not receive an overly smart ride that day.

She probably did a bit too much right after the start and also in the middle part of the race, while racing wide without cover all the way. That is a deadly combination in heavy conditions. The impressive winner, in comparison, was tucked away at the end of the field until he made his winning move.

A decent draw and champion jockey Jim Crowley on board may help to see her ridden a bit more intelligently. It’s soft ground again. She probably likes it a bit better but has proven to act on it.

A step up to listed level seems fair judged on what she has done so far. She is not out of her depth here.

Selection:
10pts win – Time Chaser @ 7/2 Bet365

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3.15 Doncaster: November Handicap, 1m 4f

A full 23 runner strong field. It couldn’t be any more competitive. Nonetheless I feel bottom weight Al Destoor is a bit overpriced. True, he’s never won over 12f and his pedigree does not necessarily says he should, but he’s still been placed twice in three tries over the trip and has shown excellent form in softish conditions over trips up to 1m 2.5f.

Al Destoor also is an incredibly consistent animal. He rarely runs a bad race. So given the trip is not totally out of his reach, he loves the ground conditions and has a feather weight on his back, I think it is not out of this world to see him going close.

The 7 year old didn’t have a too hard season either and looked still in fine shape when runner-up at Chester back in September. The aid of excellent Franny Norton in the saddle is a bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Al Destoor @ 25/1 Skybet

Friday Selections – 10th November 2017

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.45 Newcastle: Class 4 Fillies’ Handicap, 6f

A race very much for the taking and favourite Cashla Bay should be very hard to beat from a perfect draw. That is if she can regain form shown previously to a abysmal performance in her last start, when finishing down the field.

However all other three life time starts were quite excellent efforts in the context of the race and how the form has worked out in the long term.

Cashla Bay achieved a time speed rating of 81 on her debut back in October last year, which suggested she is potentially smart, and with natural improvement surely better than her current rating of 80.

A tongue strap is fitted for the first time. That might be the key to unlock improvement. Certainly one thing is for sure: there is no excuse today.

Selection:
10pts win – Cashla Bay @ 9/4 Bet365

Tuesday Selections – 6th November 2017

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1.10 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novices Stakes, 5f

After three highly promising runs, with the debut a clear stand-out, Miltia is clearly the one to beat. 5f on tapeta looks ideal with a perfect draw in a race that appears to be very much winnable.

Militia’s sire Equiano has a superb record with juveniles over CD therefore the switch to the All-Weather looks more like a positive than a negative.

Selection:
10pts win – Militia @ 9/4 Bet365

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4.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

This looks a race where one of the younger, lightly raced three year olds really should land a blow. Mio Ragazzo looks the pick of the lot, if this doesn’t come too soon and he can overcome a wide draw.

However I rather go with experience in this race. From the bottom end of the weights, nine year old Pick A Little looks primed for a big run. He comes here off a nice win at Brighton, yet can race off 2lb lower on the All-Weather, than he did on turf the last time.

Pick A Little is equally as good a horse on the sand as on grass, in fact his win record on the All-Weather is slightly better.

A mile on AW has never led to success, though. However he gets it well enough as seen at Brighton in desperate conditions three weeks ago.

It looks significant that Richard Kingscote takes the ride. He’s sat three times on Pick A Little and steered the gelding to success on each occasion.

Drawn in eight should still be okay and he should have not too many problems settling in a nice position not too far off the pace.

Selection:
10pts win – Pick A Little @ 17/2 VC

Photos: 2017 Birdcatcher Day at Naas

A few of my images from the Birdcatcher Day at Naas, featuring the similarly named Premier Handicap plus two Listed contests with the Garnet & Bluebell Stakes.

Been a wet day. Desperate conditions made it hard work for horses and jockeys. Still some good performances. Most notably the ones of team Lyons/Keane. Trainer and jockey teamed up for a hat-trick on the card.

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Friday Selections: 8th September 2017

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5.00 Ascot: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

I was keen on Big Baz when he ran a blinder in the big Logistics Handicap at York a fortnight ago. He finished an excellent sixth that day in a hot contest suggesting he’s back to somewhere near his best.

The handicapper dropped him 2lb subsequently which should give him a massive chance to outrun his price tag today given conditions will surely suit well with cut in the ground over his preferred trip.

Selction: 
10pts win – Big Baz @ 10/1 Bet365

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5.30 Ascot: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

The lightly raced favourite African Friend looks sure to go well, though I prefer the experience of Duke Cosimo who drops to a dangerous mark here.

He hasn’t won for a long time, however showed some spark at Redcar when last seen in a hot race that already works out quite well. Softish ground is no issue for him and a 3lb claimer on board should help too.

Selection: 
10pts win – Duke Cosimo @ 14/1 PP

 

 

Tuesday Selections – 29th August 2017

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Ended last week with a bang – Teodoro made all to win easily at Yarmouth despite drifting out to 8/1. So broke even for the week in the end. Not a bad result given how badly it started.

Can things look brighter this week? Granted today is my birthday, here’s hoping for a big winner!

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4.30 Ripon: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

Monticello struggled the last two times, however a drop in class may help. He also tackles older horses with WFA allowance still an advantage I feel.

He’s won only twice in his career, over 7f, though showed strong performances over 10f in hot class Handicaps earlier this year. The drying ground should help too.

Sire Teofilo does extremely well at this track and trip, and the usually prominent racing style of Monticello can often be a bonus at Ripon.

Selection:
10pts win – Monticello @ 14/1 Skybet

Saturday Selections – Ebor Day 2017

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Still searching for the elusive first winner of the week. Another rather disappointing run from my selection Galactic at Salisbury yesterday. Let’s not dwell on it. Huge day today. Ebor day!

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2.25 York: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 6f

Irish St. Leger winner Jukebox Jury has an outstanding record with his first three year old’s in Britain. Contributing towards this has been the Mark Johnston trained Dominating, who ha won already three times this year.

In fact in his last five starts Dominating has either won or finished second. The handicapper starts to catch up and going up significantly in class doesn’t make things easier.

Still, at a big price and off a very low weight, with conditions likely to suit, he can run a big race and cause an upset I feel.

Selection: 
10pts win – Dominating @ 33/1 Paddy Power

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3.35 York: Class 2 Ebor Handicap, 1m 6f 

Normally it is not my style punting the favourite in a big Handicap as the Ebor undoubtedly is, however there is so much to like about Flymetothestars that I can’t ignore the facts and feel despite being plenty short enough for a race like this there is still juice in the price.

Why? Well, you can try and read what you want into his form this season, whether a third in the Northumberland Plate was a slight disappointment or not, but fact is this lad is the least exposed in the field, who tackles turf for the first time from the lower end of the weight scale.

There is very chance for further improvement to come. He is a well bred son of Sea The Stars, so ground and trip aren’t an issue at all and his older sons are progressing.

The draw is an issue so is the fact Flymetothestars can be very keen early on. Also does missing the kick become a habit? Nonetheless if the stars fall right then he is very hard to beat indeed.

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

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3.50 Newmarket: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 6f

The three year old Hochfeld has a prime chance here returning to the most suitable 1m 6f trip. His runner-up performance behind Tor at Hamilton is a very strong piece of form. A return to that will see him hard to beat here.

He is still progressing after a busy juvenile campaign won twice at the beginning of the year and followed up with the strong mentioned performance at Hamilton. A slightly disappointing run at Goodwood the last time, though conditions may have been against him.

Selection:
10pts win – Hochfeld @ 4/1 Bet365

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4.15 Chester: Class 3 Handicap, 7.5f 

This today is arguably the toughest test of his long career, yet Echo Of Lightning appears still improving at the grand age of 7 as he has won already three times this year and has been impressively consistent over the last 12 months.

He has to defy a career highest mark and an impressive display at Pontefract earlier this month, though he might have been helped by the rain and small field.

Nonetheless the numbers tell he improved in each of his last five runs and with a decent draw, a bit of cut in the ground and a sort of specialist trip at a specialist track, he can run big I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Echo Of Lightning @ 15/2 Skybet

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7.55 Redcar: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

At 16’s I’m happy to take a punt on Majestic Stone who lost his race at the start when seen last and has to bounce back from that. He’s never been the best starter, so that is an obvious concern, however the return to quick ground is a big plus.

His best performance to date came on good to firm at Thirsk in April. He was unlucky the day and the form has been franked. Up four pounce from there he has confirmed he is up to that sort of mark the next time, however with cut in the ground.

Slight change of gear today, better ground and hopefully a better start may him see go close at a big price.

Selection:
10pts win – Majestic Stone @ 16/1 Bet365