Tag Archives: Handicap

Thursday Selections: 23rd June 2022

2.00 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Vaynor was quite impressive winning at Bath when stepping up to 14 furlongs for the first time. The improvement wasn’t down to the trip in isolation I feel, but probably was a combination of distance and surface/going.

The surface stays the same, the ground should be fast here at Newmarket, while the drop to 12 furlongs doesn’t worry me. He showed plenty of tactical speed a Bath in what looks solid form, given those behind him ran well in the meantime.

The way he accelerated in the home straight and kicked clear suggested he has enough speed for the shorter trip.

Possibly the penny has dropped too. He was fancied a number of times, although never justified the support in the betting in three starts on the All-Weather this year.

He ran to topspeed 65 at Bath, can race off 67 today, but will go up another two pounds in the future. Given there is potentially more to come in these circumstances he a highly compelling proposition from a handicapping perspective.

10pts win – Vaynor @ 7/2

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4.40 Nottingham: H&H Apprentice Handicap, 1m 6f

This type of race wouldn’t be my cup of tea normally but Master Grey looks to have a good chance to outrun his price here. Form wise he must be in with a big shout and he certainly gets the trip.

He’s one who can catch the eye often when staying on late without winning. He made another of those noteworthy efforts earlier this month when he came from a long way back to finish 5th at Bath.

He’s got the same apprentice rider on board here, who’s pretty solid and looks value for his 5lb claim in this sort of race.

Master Grey strikes me as the horse you can ride hands and heels and he’ll just stay on and on and on. Which looks a good match for this race with potentially a lot of early speed and many inexperienced riders who may judge things wrong.

My hope is Oliver Searle will judge things right, have Master Grey in a position where he’s not have to travel home from as far as another galaxy and then pick them off in the home straight.

10pts win – Master Grey @ 10.5

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6.15 Leicester: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f

Going against a well fancied Haggas handicap debutant isn’t often a smart thing to do but I think bottom-weight Malcolm has nearly as good a chance to win in this rather uncompetitive affair.

Malcolm wasn’t fancied at all on his turf- and handicap debut earlier this month after showing nothing in three starts before. He returned from a break and gelding operation too.

He travelled well in the rear of the field, made a nice move from over 4 furlongs out on the outside getting alongside the actual winner, who eventually quickens a bit better. Malcolm isn’t helped by a rival to his side bumping and pushing him toward the inside at a crucial stage. He still manages to finish 3rd in the end.

This was probably quite a good race for this class that should work out well. With a clearer run Malcolm would have finished even closer and wouldn’t have been allowed to race off the same mark today. With a strong claimer in the saddle he looks weighted for a massive run.

10pts win – Malcolm @ 6.2

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7.15 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap. 6f

The key question for Tyson is obviously how he handles the start and the early phase of the race. He’s a temperamental sort but clearly talented.

He showed some promise as a juvenile, entering his 3-year-old season potentially a bit exposed already. He’s yet to go close in three starts this year, but showed more than the bare form suggests I firmly believe.

Especially last time at Kempton when heavily bumped out of the gates, consequently lit up and way too keen he showed a nice change of gear in the home straight, but ultimately paid for racing way to inefficiently.

He drops another 3lb in his mark and looks certainly dangerous off 75 in this field.

10pts win – Tyson @ 9.2

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9.00 Hamilton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Macho Pride ran well the last two times; he finished a solid fifth in a strong contest at Pontefract after a narrow runner-up performance in a hot Haydock sprint, when he had make a highly inefficient move to the outside of the field to get a run which possibly cost him victory.

He drops down to class 6 today, on the same mark as back in April, 8 pounds lower than his last winning mark.

He clearly is in pretty good form; perhaps not quite as good when a 1.5 lengths beaten fifth in class 4 at Haydock in September off a mark off 80, running to topspeed 75. But down to a 67 rating, with a useful 3lb claimer in the saddle he must have a strong chance to add a third career success.

10pts win – Macho Pride @ 4.6

Wednesday Selections: 22nd June 2022

2.25 Carlisle: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Tangled looks cherry ripe. He was quite unlucky at Doncaster earlier this month when repeatedly a clear run denied. He just failed last week at Beverley when finishing the last three and four furlongs the fastest running to topspeed 75.

His poor starting habits can make life difficult, but the fact he can run off the same 73 mark as at Beverley before going up marginally is a bonus, so is the slight drop back to a mile as well as his return to Carlisle.

Even though he moves back up in class, this class 4 Handicap doesn’t look much stronger than the Beverley class 5 race last week. In fact, if not for 80 rated 3yo War Of Words this would be a worse race judged by official ratings.

Regardless of class, Tangled can add another Carlisle victory to his name. He won back to back over course and distance last summer off 76 and 78, is ground independent and has the added advantage of Laura Coughlan in the saddle claiming 5 valuable pounds on her sole ride.

If he gets a clean run to the line and doesn’t mess up completely at the start I can’t see him getting beaten; he’ simply so well handicapped. He certainly is overpriced in my book, taking everything into account.

10pts win – 7/2 Tangled

Tuesday Selections: 21st June 2022

7.40 Newbury: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Dreaming drops in class and will have a better chance to produce a competitive performance over this trip than the big price suggests, I think.

The three-year-old gelding is still quite unexposed over trips beyond 6 furlongs as well as on turf. He also comes down to a good mark, after having excuses this year on a number of occasions.

He was heavily bumped right out of the gates at Kempton the last time, subsequently didn’t look comfortable and never landed a blow, although this was quite a strong class 4 Handicap, too.

He seriously caught the eye two back at the same course over 7 furlongs, when he was caught wide giving ground away all the time; after hitting a flat spot he rattled home much the strongest in the closing stages, suggesting the trip won’t be an issue and a mile isn’t out of question either.

He tried the 8 furlongs distance once, on his seasonal debut at Newmarket where he stumbled badly over two furlongs from home.

I don’t like to make excuses repeatedly for a horse but feel this lad is better than what he has shown this year. The market isn’t fond of him, but he’s a totally wrong price if on a going day, with the 3lb claim of Georgia Dobie rather useful too.

10pts win – Dreaming @ 19.5

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8.10 Newbury: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I am tracking the filly Ebtsama since her eyecatching February runner-up effort at Southwell. She caught the eye a number of times subsequently, yet the right day to back her didn’t materalise, yet.

Today looks a solid opportunity. She has no hope according to the betting but that couldn’t be further from the truth, if – and that’s the key – she can settle.

The hood is on and has to make a difference, especially over this trip. It’s not a given that there’s a blistering pace today, and that’s a clear danger to her chances. She may pull her race away as she has done on a number of occasions before. However, 7 furlongs should be, in theory, the ideal trip.

Ebtsama is completely unexposed on turf, apart from a promising Newmarket debut last year in June. She raced on the All-Weather ever since. She pulled way too hard last time out at Kempton but produced a nice change of gear in the home straight, which petered out as she ran out of energy, nonetheless giving the impression she has got talent.

She gave this impression in her other three starts this year too. The aforementioned runner-up performance at Southwell looks good with the form franked, and she was unlucky the next time at Lingfield, not getting a clear run, which was also the story at Wolverhampton. On that evidence alone she should/could/would be any number of pounds higher in the ratings today if things would have gone more her way.

Down to a mark of 71, she takes on older rivals for the first time today. As bottom-weight I think she has a good opportunity today to be competitive as long as she settles.

10pts win – Ebtsama @ 16/1

Saturday Selections: 18th June 2022

5.35 Ascot: Class 2 Golden Gates Stakes, 1m 2f

I really like the two Gosden horses, but given the prices have to side with Aldous Huxley who I feel can defy top weight with the excellent assistance of 5lb claiming Benoit De La Sayette in the saddle.

Overcoming a mark of 101 in such a competitive Handicap isn’t an easy task. But I still feel Aldous Huxley has much more to offer than what he has shown to date; he should be a Group class horse in my view.

I’m a keen follower since his brilliant Kempton debut earlier this year when he overcame greenness and still ran to topspeed 90. Since then he was beaten behind New London, and a close runner-up in the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood most recently.

The drop back to 10 furlongs will suit. The #1 draw will provide every opportunity to go forward and be in a good position turning for home. He will stay, no question about that and I’m not too worried about the fast ground either.

10pts win – Aldous Huxley @ 10.5

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4.54 Ayr: Classified Stakes, 1m 2f

Highlight Reel was disappointing on Tuesday when he got going too late, although some of that had to do with how the race developed for him. This today looks easier, while the step up to 10 furlongs isn’t an issue.

His last win came over this sort of trip 12 months ago and those latest runs suggested it’s what’s possibly required these days. He ran with plenty of credit a number of times lately, proving wellbeing and form.

I felt he outran his price tag two back at Redcar over 10 furlongs in a pretty hot contest for the low grade, he also caught the eye at Wetherby.

Ideally the ground would dry out with no soft in the description. Not sure how likely that is. He acts on soft, but probably is best on faster surfaces. But I only see Oot Ma Way as a proper danger in this field.

10pts win – Highlight Reel @ 10.5

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5.18 Lingfield: Class 6 Classified Stakes, 1m

Surrey Territories is one I am interested in since his strong Kempton third place at the end of March. e was the only one able to finish from off the pace. He’s clearly capable of winning a race but need things to fall right.

He wasn’t disgraced in his next two starts; perhaps a shade unlucky at Wolverhampton, although the trip maybe stretching his stamina, too. Last time out he had a tough assignment on the weights in a Claimer.

This Classified Stakes is easier and quite a poor race. Less than a handful of horses give the impression of serious contenders. With a fine 7lb claimer on board and his 3yo weight allowance Surrey Territories looks to have a major shout.

The concern is the fact he will have to come from off the pace. If there is no pace on, which is far from impossible, he’ll struggle. It’s a risk I’m prepared to take because I also can see him flying home late to win.

10pts win – Surrey Territories @ 5/1

Friday Selections: 17th June 2022

8.15 Goodwood: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Those at the top of the market have to defy career-highest marks while bottom-weight Brilliant Blue has been dropped 2lb since his eye-catching run over course and distance a few weeks ago.

That day he had an awkward start but wasn’t help by the isolated #1 draw. He was about to move forward when hampered on the inside around the 6 furlong marker and subsequently quite keen.

I thought he made excellent progress from three furlongs out and looked like he’d have a big say in the finish, until fading away. That was his seasonal reappearance. Possible lack of race fitness and mid-race keenness may have been the contributing factor to a lackluster finish.

There is a solid chance he’s better than that run and has a bit to offer off a 76 mark. He showed promise as a juvenile in two races in Autumn – the form worked out well as he finished around some higher rated individuals – before flopping on the All-Weather.

The mile trip shouldn’t be an issue on pedigree. Tongue tie is on for the first time. A combination of that with added race fitness and potentially the better ground helpful too can see him go close.

10pts win – Brilliant Blue @ 9/1

Tuesday Selections: 14th June 2022

4.20 Ascot: Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, 1m

Possibly the race of the week? Some exciting prospects go head to head, no more so than 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus. That form is the gold standard for obvious reasons.

It’s hard to pick a negative looking at the son of Dubawi. He won really well at Newmarket, confirmed the hype and clearly is high class as 107 topspeed rating backed up that day.

At this point in time, though, it’s not impossible that one or two others in this field can improve to the same sort of level. It’s from that perspective I feel he can be taken on at odds-on.

For me the obvious choice – and seriously overpriced – is recent German 2000 Guineas winner Maljoom. He overcame a sluggish start, having to make up a lot of ground in the home straight; the eventual runner-up got first run. But he found plenty under pressure, and the phrase “powered home” is quite fitting, eventually winning perhaps a shade cosily.

That was only his third career start. He won all three of them. He clearly improved with each run. There is every chance he can improve again.

A concern is his poor starting habit. Getting too far behind today will kill his chances I reckon. This is a big field and I doubt he’ll get a trouble free run if turning for home last. At the same time he’s got tactical speed and hopefully learns with experience.

Another concern is that this is his fourth race since his debut at the end of March. Both points are relevant question marks but risks worth taking at the prices.

10pts win – Maljoom @ 16

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6.45 Beverley: Class 5 Handicap, 8.5f

Monsieur Jumbo drops down to class 5 and headgear is finally applied. This looks an ideal opportunity for the 3-year-old to strike. He’s obviously quite a tricky sort to handle but there is hope with cheek-pieces he can improve, as well as for the trip he’s still unexposed.

It the time of the year when the younger horses tend to take over and dominate against the older. And this big boy shouldn’t have an issue against those older horses in this race.

He caught my eye two back at Wolverhampton messing up at the starting gate as so often, but rattling home in impressive style. He also finished strongly the other day at Nottingham when moving up to 8.5 furlongs, suggesting the trip is no bother.

The jockey on board is an obvious concern, likely low on confidence, having as poor a strike rate as I have with my selections this month.

Tangled is the obvious danger. He really caught the eye the last time too; now down to a sexy mark. I hope he’s one for another day. I feel the additional half furlong doesn’t quite suit him. But he’s seriously well handicapped on past form.

Of course as my form goes, I missed the big prices at around 8/1 this morning. Too late…. still what’s on offer represents value (in my book).

10pts win – Monsieur Jumbo @ 6.5

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8.15 Beverley: Class 6 Handicap, 8.5f

Highlight Reel has shown enough this year to suggest he can win a poor class 6 Handicap. He ran with plenty of credit in recent weeks, especially at Wetherby, when he was quite unlucky not to finish closer.

He wasn’t disgraced the next two times, he confirmed his wellbeing at Redcar with a solid front-running performance twelve days ago,

He won of a mark of 47 over 10 furlongs last year, running to topspeed 50. I would argue these most recent performances are reason enough to believe he’s capable to run to a similar level of form.

The 8.5 furlong trip is no concern, he won over 7 furlongs and can stretch out over 1m 2f too. He’s got a good draw and won at this course before. The 5lb claim of Jony Peate is highly valuable.

10pts win – Highlight Reel @ 10.5