Tag Archives: Handicap

Thursday Selections: October, 10th 2019

kempton

7.30 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Lightning Charlie has fallen to a career lowest handicap mark and looks poised for a big run with top jockey Jim Crowley booked for the job.

The 7-year-old isn’t the force of old, but now dropping to class 5, having dropped 15lb in his handicap mark since the beginning of the year, even though he has ran with credit in higher class a number of times this summer, returns to the All-Weather where’s posted six times in his career topspeed ratings of 70 and higher.

There’s still life in Lightning Charlie as he showed back in August at Brigton, when a fair 4th in a decent class 4 contest, not beaten fat that day. The latest Ascot effort in big field can be forgiven.

Selection:
10pts win – Lightning Charlie @ 11/2 MB

……..

7.45 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Hat-trick seeking favourite Queen Of Kalahari should go really well and has a big shout to make it three on the bounce, though from a wide draw he’s one to oppose at short odds.

Much more interesting, enjoying a much kinder draw, suitable to his racing style, is Poeta Brasileiro. He’s ran really well since changing yards to David Brown, in the money the last two times over sprinting trips off a similar mark, having a big chance today, given those last two races he ran to a 62 tospeed rating as well, suggesting he’s certainly weighted to go close today.

Back at Southwell where he’s been placed before over the shorter 5f trip, this is only his third start on the fibresand and that offers a bit of upside. His sire has a super record here, and as Poeta Brasileiro has already proven he can go well here, there’s no worries on that front.

The colt has ran to a career highest 65 topspeed rating on the All-Weather last winter also, suggesting with his current form, current handicap mark and a top draw to leverage he’s a massive chance today.

Seletion:
10pts win – Poeta Brasileiro @ 10/3 MB

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Wednesday Selections: October, 9th 2019

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6.40 Kempton: Conditions Stakes, 6f

Marnie James is clearly the class act in this field and will be hard to beat if he can stretch out to 6 furlongs. He remains unexposed on the All-Weather were he’s one win from one start, but more importantly has proven this season a couple of times his classy speed, particularly compared to what he encounters in this field.

Hi second and third place in big handicaps at York over shorter are tremendous pieces of form as he ran to topspeed ratings of 97 and 99 on those occasions. The latter one over 5.5 furlongs in fact, where he didn’t stop, suggesting another half a furlong may not be that big a deal.

Let’s not forget Marnie James has tried 6 furlongs only three times, the last time in September this year, finishing third in the listed Garrowby Stakes. Not exactly shabby form.

He’ll certainly have superior speed to the rest here if they will dawdle and should this end in a sprint finish.

Selection:
10pts win – Marnie James @ 10/3 WH

…………

8.10 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

This looks a wide open race given the favourite drops to a trip that looks on the sharp side for him. There aren’t too many one can have on the shortlist for this poor contest, but Alba Del Sole features highly on mine, that’s for sure.

The mare isn’t a frequent winner, however is a course and distance winner and has dropped to a really tasty mark. Twelve months ago she was still a 70 rated individual, is now down to 52, though hasn’t ran all that badly this season, actually. Since switching yards this August her last two performances at Wolverhampton were decent enough, particularly her debut run for the Charlie Wallis yard was rather promising.

The fact Alba Del Sole has ran 8 times to topspeed ratings of 53+ is also encouraging in that context, suggesting she may be quite well handicapped now. Add the 7lb of useful apprentice Sean Kirrane who takes the ride – his only one on the card -and you have a competitive chance in this race.

The draw isn’t ideal, which really is the only negative, beside the obvious point that one has to trust the mare still has the appetite for the game.

Selection:
10pts win – Alba Del Sole @ 15/1 MB

Sunday Selections: September, 22nd 2019

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2.00 Hamilton: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

JJ Feane may have found a superb opportunity for one of his horses across the pond once again. He’s got a 25% win- and 50% place record with his horses running in UK handicaps over the last number of years. This is poor race which looks a big chance for Fugacious to get his head in front.

The gelding is fitted with first time head-gear, which may bring out a bit of improvement. If it does then he should have too much on his plate for the locals, I reckon. As an April foal he was always likely to get better with time, but he already showed plenty of promise – for this lowly level – this summer.

His Curragh 4th in a highly competitive handicap over 6 furlongs – form that has worked out well since then – is the standout piece of form in this race. Off a 68 handicap mark he finished strongly, only 1¼ lengths beaten, running to a topspeed rating of 65, which is believable.

He followed up with another fine performance at Gowran Park stepping up an additional furlong, though a mile at competitive Galway and a drop to the minum distance didn’t quite saw him to best effect.

Fugacious should, however, enjoy the 6 furlongs with cut in the ground today. The 3lb claim of Harrison Shaw, who has already ridden a winner for this yard, is an additional bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Fugacious @ 5.4/1 MB

……..

3.00 Hamilton: Class 6 Handicap, 5 furlongs

If David’s Beauty can find back to form she’ll be a big runner in this poor race. She has been going close twice this season already, most notably when beaten on the line at Chepstow in June.

That day she ran to a career best, in fact, achieving a 59 topspeed rating. Watching the race it’s easy to see why. On the widest outside away from pace she had a lot going against herself from that perspective, but the mare rallied strongly and only got beaten by a strongly finishing horse on the other side she couldn’t see in her blinkers while already for quite a bit in front.

She followed up with another strong performance a few weeks later at Carlisle with a half lengths beaten third. However, David’s Beauty’s last three runs were poor. As a consequence she has fallen in her handicap mark down to 55, which is a pound lower than that massive Chepstow run.

Given she has achieved seven times throughout her career topspeed ratings of 55 and higher, and ran to a career best earlier this year, it is believable that she can turn her form around again. If so she’s the one to beat here.

Selection:
10pts win – David’s Beauty @ 11.5/1 MB

Saturday Selections II: September, 21st 2019

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

6.20 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

I might rue my decision in the end, because I strongly feel that Consequences is most likely a well-handicapped individual. He’s ran to higher topspeed than his current mark, he did so, in fact, when last seen at Chelmsford when nothing more could have gone wrong for him. Untouched by the handicapper, he has a massive chance if things fall right for him.

However, he is an individual who seems to draw misfortune. Hence at prices I go with the other I fancy nearly as strongly, who also appears to be potentially “well in”: Tathmeen.

Whether 6 furlongs is truly his trip is still kind of a question to be answered. Given he is 1 from 8 over the trip (the one win is incredibly poor form) and has won more races over the minimum trip. But on the other hand his career best speed ratings came over 6 furlongs.

Down to a mark of 72 now, Tathmeen has ran to TS 76 on the AW and 79 on turf in the past. A career best on the All-Weather was achieved back in February at this track, albeit over 5 furlongs, when he ran out a strong victory, form that is highly credible and he did so of his current 72 OR.

Fine 3 lb claimer William Cox is on board. With a few horses already out, the draw that looked pretty bad initially doesn’t look quite as challenging any more.

Selection:
10pts win – Tathmeen @ 11/1 MB

 

Saturday Selections: September, 21st 2019

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I may add more selections later on for Newmarket and Wolverhampton, but with this race I am keen on approaching fast, here on short notice the first selection of the day:

3.00 Catterick: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f

This is a prime opportunity for Mister Chiang who stays the trip, having won on fast ground over 1m 6f at Bath earlier this season and having performed with plenty of credit in a good All-Weather handicap over this trip when last season.

His success at Bath is key form: fast ground, as today, he ran off 1lb lower than today but crucially achieved a 78 topspeed.

With a good draw he should be able to be where it matters most at this track and this type of race, and as little else makes any appeal here, Mister Chiang looks hard to beat if he runs to form.

Selection:
10pts win – Mister Chiang @ 10/3 MB

Friday Selections: September, 20th 2019

Postulation

7.20 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Decent race for this class, and favourite Chaplin Bay, who’d made me a happy boy a number of times in the past, is a strong favourite. But it’s Mostahel who really makes strong appeal on his return to Tapeta.

His career has certainly not developed as one would have envisioned when he demolished a field of maidens at Wolverhampton back in spring 2017, even though he followed up with a strong handicap performance at Newmarket, ever since then the now 5-year-old gelding has been falling down off a cliff.

Clearly this lad has had his fair share of issues, endured twice long absences from racing and has changed yards but on the plus side is potentially on a sexy handicap mark and may not yet be finished, given he’s been rather lightly raced for his age.

There was clear signs of a return to some sort of form when Mostahel finished a strong third – albeit in a messy race – at Redcar two starts back. He pulled pretty hard early on over the 7f trip and then didn’t get a run until finally in the clear over a furlong out. He finished strongly, suggesting victory is imminent.

Mostahel didn’t kick on the next time, dropped to 6 furlongs when upped in class, though that was a hot contest and he ran okay, I felt.

Now back over 7 furlongs, with a strong pace likely, only his second ever start on the All-Weather, the sole one was the demolition job at Wolverhampton, he makes plenty of appeal of a mark of 68, given as a juvenile he ran to topspeed ratings of 79 on turf and 86 on the Wolverhampton Tapeta. He’s not that good these days, obviously. But doesn’t have to be to land this contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Mostahel @ 11/2 MB

……….

8.20 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Fard is a fair favourite but nothing more. The case of Groupie is much more intriguing for her return to the All-Weather, after a number of respectable efforts this year, all the while she keeps falling in the official ratings.

Clearly the mare is now on a dangerous handicap mark, given she has ran nine times in her career to topspeed ratings of 52 and higher, plus did so this season already and caught the eye when last seen on the All-Weather at Wolverhampton in August.

That form is a key piece I feel. Even though over an additional furlong, it was a stronger race than this today, Groupie travelled really well but didn’t get a run until entering the home straight when the bird was flown with first and second, in fact also the third, all enjoying first run.

She finished a fair 4th nonetheless, best of those from the ones off the pace. She did so off a 59 handicap mark. One can clearly see how she’d gone much closer with a clear run and 8lb less on the back.

The drop to 6 furlongs isn’t an issue. The fair straight at Newcastle should suit. Big run expected.

Selection:
10pts win – Groupie @ 10.5/1 MB

………

6.00 Dundalk: Handicap, 1 mile

Speculative and unlikely to happen, but should Masalai get in here as third reserve he’d have a big chance to go pretty close of a big price. Otherwise he’s one to stick into the tracker for another day.

Masalai is a course and distance specialist who has won of a 63 handicap mark earlier this year, while also having ran four times to topspeed 57+ over CD. Therefore it is rather obvious that currently down to a 56 handicap mark the 5-year-old is potentially well in here.

He hasn’t excelled during the turf season in three starts, so a lightly campaign in the last few months should ensure he’s fresh and ready for a big run.

Selection:
10pts win – Masalai @ 12/1 MB / Edit: ***NR***

……..

6.30 Dundak: Handicap, 1 mile

The draw is a big negative, but Dubai Rainbow appears to be so well handicapped today that I take the risk. It also helps knowing the filly usually breaks smartly.

Despite strong performance at Bellwestown when last seen in July, the handicapper has dropped her 3lb. She was a beaten favourite that day but it was a messy finish, not unusual for that track, and a good 3rd place finish was rather encouraging, proving her fallen mark will see her get her head in front soon.

Dubai Rainbow returns to the All-Weather now, where her career best performances came in two starts – a win in a claimer, and a strong 3rd place in Handicap company last autumn. That day she raced off a 70 handicap mark and ran to a 70 topspeed rating.

With excellent Oisin Orr on board today I’m hopeful she can break well and overcome the wide draw. If that’s the case she’ll go close of a mark of 59.

Selection:
10pts win – Dubai Rainbow @ 9/2 MB

Thursday Selections: September, 19th 2019

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3.00 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 1 Mile

Despite a big field this race is a rather uncompetitive one with only few appearing to be anywhere near what you’d describe as well-handicapped. There is no doubt, that when on a going day, Vive La Difference is surely one who is well-handicapped, though.

The 5-year-old gelding has been struggling to find his best for a while, certainly starting slowly on pretty much every occasion doesn’t help. At the same time a few performances have been promising this year, when not far beaten in competitive races at Wetherby or Ripon earlier this season.

Vive La Difference has fallen quite a bit in his handicap mark, now 10lb lower than he started the season. He ran twice in his career to topspeed ratings of higher than 70, and a number of times around his current handicap mark of 68, including this year.

That gives hope that today of a near career lowest mark he can run a big race with conditions sure to suit, particularly if first time blinkers can help sharpen him up at the beginning of the race.

Selection:
10pts win – Vive La Difference @ 11.5/1 MB

……

3.10 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

I was keen on Aiya the last time at Thirsk. Things didn’t pan out as hoped, but the gelding conveniently dropped another 3lb in the mark and also to a more suitable 1m 2f trip, I believe.

Most what I talked about in my analysis leading up to the Thirsk race still holds true today:

The 4-year-old was a little bit unlucky not get his head in front on grass yet, because he got close at Redcar when beaten by a neck back in May.  He ran to topspeed 80 in that mentioned Redcar race and clocked 77 on the All-Weather in the past.

With conditions likely to suit – fast ground and 10f delivered his career best of an 80 ORR and a TS 80 – and a decent draw, there is no reason why Aiya shouldn’t run a massive race today.

Selection:
10pts win – Aiya @ 10/1 MB