Tag Archives: Handicap

Thursday Selections: August, 22nd 2019

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4.15 York: Listed Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes, 1m 4f

This is a wide open race and the betting tells you as much. What’s intriguing: the vast majority of horses in here have yet to run fast – at least judged by topspeed ratings. You could possibly forgive the lightly raced fillies a bit more, although the likes of Frosty or favourite Search For A Song had chances when running in pretty decent races.

Hence the standout chance in this contest appears to be Frankellina. This daughter of the almighty Frankel has pretty decent form in the book, running in some hot races, while she is the only one in this field running to a 90+ topspeed rating – which is something I want to see from any serious contender in this class.

It’s her career best, which looks rock solid as she also run to 89 before, which still would be the highest TS rating achieved by any filly in the field.

This is in line with her official rating of 105, the highest of any filly in the field. Granted, Frankellina has not quite lived up to possibly high expectations at the start of season. She had won on her debut in her single start as a juvenile, but remains without victory this year in four starts.

A runner-up effort in the Musidora – which is questionable form to be fair – followed by a promising 6th place effort in the Oaks, a 6th place in the Ribblesdale and a slightly disappointing 4th here at York in a listed contest last month.

I would argue, though, those last three pieces are pretty fair form, given this race looks much easier. Also Frankellina will profit from drying ground at York today – the quick surface should benefit her chances and hopes that she truly stays the 1m 4f trip.

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

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4.50 York: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

I’m a little bit late to the party but still feel there is significant juice in the price of Whitefountainfairy. Albeit this is a big field, it is not as competitive a handicap as other races this week.

Whitefountainfairy should, if having a clear run, take all the beating here. Really. Saying that in a 20-runner strong field feels weird but I guess anyone who can read and has half-decent eyesight will have seen what handicap mark the filly is and what tremendous run she produced at Goodwood last time out.

Most importantly, Whitefountainfairy is down to a super dangerous mark. Down to 85, she ran to higher topspeed in the past, has been falling gradually, while remaining relatively low mileage, actually not all that much disappointing in her last runs either.

She was brutally eye-catching at Goodwood lately. Losing the race in the starting gate, hitting it in fact once the gates opened, she lost a good deal of ground, which is far from ideal over 7f. She settled at the rear, but then in the final two furlongs weaved her way through, finishing so strongly, that surely with a better start she would have gone very close.

I believe, despite a higher grade, this today is actually an easier race. She also runs against her own sex, and a simpler track will be a bonus, so will be the decent ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Whitefountainfairy @ 7/1 MB

………

8.00 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Mutabaahy is ripe for victory. He’s been running quite well this year without getting a deserved “1” credited to his name. This here will be his best chance. It really isn’t a good race and I feel this lad stands out.

He’s 2lb above his last winning mark, but 67 seems a more than fair mark for him. He has ran to 68 and 70 topspeed ratings in the past, in fact he ran to a career best when runner-up at Ripon.

One can argue Mutabaahy had chances of the same mark this season already. True, but he also run really well then in highly competitive races that have worked out strongly.

Track, trip and ground conditions will suit today. Back after a 4-wee-long break he’s hopefully fresh and ready to go. In saying that I am slightly worried by the drift in the betting – but it’s the risk I’m prepared to take.

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

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Monday Selections: August, 19th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.40 Windsor: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Harry Hurricane steps back into more suitable territory after being outclassed at Goodwood. Given he had been a non-runner on a vet’s cert and a poor showing at Bath before that he’s got some questions to answer – but the majority of his performances earlier this season have been good and to quite a high standard.

In fact, he achieved twice a topspeed rating of 79+ this season already. So, now down to a mark of 79, with a further 5lb claim of highly useful apprentice Cieren Fallon, he looks ripe for a big run.

Granted, Harry Hurricane isn’t a frequent winner and hasn’t done so since the 2016 season. But I feel this track, his racing style, an uninspiring field or rivals to beat, a supr dangerous handicap mark and a classy apprentice in the saddle are a winning combination, as long as he’s right.

Selection:
10pts win – Harry Hurricane @ 13/2 WH

Friday Selections: August, 16th 2019

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2.25 Newbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1 mile

Medieval is a tricky sort who can make a mess of his chances in a race. But he’s down to a really attractive handicap mark, as was evident when he finished 2nd at Brighton a week ago.

That is a performance you can upgrade as he finished strongest of those that were prominent, while the winner and third came from a long way back, taking full advantage of a generous pace. It didn’t help that Medieval also appeared to hang in the closing stages, which he tends to do frequently.

Nonetheless, he is only 1lb higher for this effort, still well below his last wining mark, while he also ran multiple times to much higher topspeed ratings in the past. With soft ground sure to suit, and the mile trip no issue, I feel in this race today he has a prime chance to get his head in front again.

Selection:
10pts win – Medieval @ 6/1 MB

………

8.20 Curragh: Handicap, 6 furlongs

A lot of rain over night here in Kildare, the ground will be soft and make for tough conditions. Makes this one an even more open race. I think this cries out for a long-shot to upset the market.

The one I am most interested in is Blyton. He hasn’t really kicked on as a 3-year-old since moving to Ireland, however he drops to a pretty low mark for what he has achieved as a juvenile as well as going down to a more suitable trip.

Also quite important: Blyton has good form with cut in the ground, so should not mind the rain whatsoever. In fact the combination of lowered mark, perfect ground and suitable trip can see him being competitive today.

He also achieved topspeed ratings of 80 and 84 last season, suggesting he is capable of running to a level of form required to win here. First time blinkers are an interesting addition, possibly sharpen him up, dropping from a 8.5 furlongs as when last seen at Galway.

Selection:
10pts win – Blyton @ 33/1 MB

Thursday Selections: August, 15th 2019

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4.45 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

The favourite Simba Samba is likely to go well here, but has to prove full effectiveness over the minimum trip yet. At a bigger price I’m much more intrigued by Arnoul Of Metz who is still a turf maiden, but has ran well in a number of races, often looking like a horse that just needs to get the right break to get his head in front.

Of course if a horse is “unlucky” again and again it probably is not down to luck and more to lack of talent. Arnoul Of Metz is not a classy individual, for sure. But he only missed out narrowly on the Wolverhampton All-Weather last month and got hampered or buried behind a wall of horses in his last two turf starts at Chepstow and Musselburgh.

On his current handicap mark of 54 he offers the potential to find a bit more, if things fall his way finally. He already ran to a 56 topspeed rating when finishing off strongly at Muselburgh in May, when arguably unlucky.

The fast ground is sure to suit. The usual 5lb claimer is back on board. There is plenty to like about Arnoul Of Metz in a pretty winnable race.

Selection:
10pts win – Arnoul Of Metz @ 9/1 MB

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6.40 Chepstow: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Cool Strutter looks ready for a massive run tonight. The 7-year-old doesn’t win often, but has fallen to a really low mark that should see him being certainly well in against poor opposition.

He’s ran to higher top-speed ratings twice within his last seven starts, suggesting he is capable of doing better than a 48 handicap mark.

Conditions will likely suit Cool Strutter. He’s won with cut in the ground and has been multiple times places when it’s really soft. The 6 furlongs seem ideal in these conditions, and the track should favour his running style also.

The added bonus of a fair 5lb claimer in the saddle make this a standout betting proposition in my mind.

Selection:
10pts win – Cool Strutter @ 6.2/1 MB

Saturday Selections: August, 10th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile pre-parade ring

3.40 Haydock: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

I usually don’t like backing last time out winners, but make an exception for Fantasy Keeper here. He won really well at Sandown over the shorter 5 furlongs in soft conditions, being really well backed.

A little break since then, now back, moving up to 6f, only 3lb higher in the mark, which could underestimate him today. Fantasy Keeper  loves cut in the ground and then it doesn’t matter if five- or six furlongs.

He ran to a topspeed rating of 83 at Sandown, before that over an additional furlong to 81. So, given he finds ideal conditions today, he looks on a fair handicap mark, potentially being able to pull out a bit more, as he’s had only three starts on soft or heavy going to date, with a win and two placed efforts to his name then.

Selection:
10pts win – Fantasy Keeper  @ 5/1 MB

……..

7.55 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

The chips are down for Chaplin Bay today, I feel. He’s backed all day long and that makes perfect sense with conditions sure to suit. He’s somewhat of a 7f specialist, who definitely enjoys cut in the ground and has a 50% place SR over course and distance as well.

He hasn’t been winning for a while, so as a consequence dropped rather dramatically certainly in his turf mark. Down to 50 now, he looks supremely well handicapped in a race like this.

Judged on form this year, he still has appetite for the game and didn’t ran too badly on a number of occasions, actually. One to keep an eye out: he’s got an entry here at Ayr for Monday also.

Selection:
10pts win – Chaplin Bay @ 17/2 MB

Thursday Selections: August, 8th 2019

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2.00 Haydock: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 1m

With Classic Charm out this appears a wide open race with barely anyone appearing to be well handicapped. The one who have more to offer is Sootability, though.

The 3-year-old hasn’t shown anything of note this yer yet, but as an April foal by Camelot she may still find some improvement with time. The fact she also ran to a topspeed rating of 68 on her final start in 2018 shows there is a least a bit of hope also.

After four poor showings in 2019 Sootability has dropped to a 65 rating now, she also drops down to class 5 for the first time and back to a slightly shorter trip, which in combination may well turn out to be a magical combination – at least in the context of this race.

Selection:
10pts win – Sootability @ 10/1 MB

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4.40 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

If Admodum would find back to some sort of form he’ll be in with a massive shout. In fact, this looks like the ideal race: a poor field, he drops further in the mark down to 60 now, a good 5bl claimer in the saddle plus most importantly fast ground!

If appetite for the game is still there I’m pretty confident the ground conditions will make a massive difference. The last time Admodum raced on a fast surface he won.

Obviously on old form he is massively well handicapped. But it is a concern the poor efforts he showed for more than a year. Albeit over potentially trips stretching him or ground not quite as suitable. Second start off a break for the new yard today, while the market speaks favourably – big shout.

Selection:
10pts win – Admodum @ 13/2 MB

……….

7.35 Newcastle: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 1m 4.5f

Soloist looks a possible improver for the switch to Tapeta as Camelot has quite a fine record on this surface, even more so with fillies. This 3-year-old also showed a bit of promise already when a good runner-up at Carlisle in June.

She ran to a topspeed rating 70 that day, so currently on 68 official rating, with potential to improve for the surface, as well a still being rather lightly raced, supports the notion that Soloist could be well handicapped today.

The drop in trip looks positive; only thing I worry about is the potential pace angle and that she may sit off the pace in a slowly run race. Otherwise there isn’t much to beat here and I suspect she is certainly better than a <70 mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Soloist @ 7/2 MB

Wednesday Selections: August, 7th 2019

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8.15 Yarmouth: Class 5 Fillies’ Handicap, 7f

Still a turf maiden, but down to really dangerous handicap mark is Roman Spinner. She is a three times winner on the All-Weather and also has been in the money four times on turf already, doing so of higher marks than her current official rating.

She also ran multiple times to relatively high topspeed ratings compared to current handicap mark, suggesting she is now knocking heavily on the door.

The same suggests Roman Spinner’s most recent performance, when runner-up in strong four-runner contest at Chepstow last month where she finished strongly but was probably not advantaged by the pace scenario.

She drops another pound, down to a rating of 71 now. Conditions are sure to suit and a big run is very much on the cards today.

Selection:
10pts win – Roman Spinner @ 7/1 MB