Tag Archives: Handicap

Saturday Selections: January, 6th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

It hurts if your 40/1 shot gets beaten on the line. Never get too high, never too low… if it would be so easy?! For a moment or to inside the final furlong it looked like Monte Cinq looked would have to enough in the tank to hold on and win. He didn’t. A neck beaten. Autsch.

It didn’t help that Snaffled also finished 2nd and Going Native faltering in the closing stages after a way too aggressive front-running ride.

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1.15 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

A prime chance for Toriano to find back to winning ways, if he can build on his fine 4th in a hot class 4 contest at this venue last month.

He made too much over a trip that stretches him in the early parts of the race, but ran well enough in a race that works out really well. A clear return to form in my book.

He drops in trip and gets further help from the handicapper, now back over a CD he’s won before as a juvenile and below his last winning mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Toriano @ 5/1 Bet365

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6.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Trainer Neil Mulholland doesn’t send them over for fun to Kempton in these low grade handicaps, and you got to take them very seriously, indeed.

His inmate American Patrol comes here on the back of a string of poor runs, however there might be fair reasons for it. He didn’t act at Southwell, quite clearly, and neither did softish conditions suit on his sole turf start in 2017.

That says, the Rio De La Plata son looked to have a good deal more to offer than his rating off 55 when he won a Wolverhampton 7f Handicap back in January last year.

He’s down to the very same mark now, only the trip a furlong longer – on pedigree very much possible, and I think he deserves another chance as, for mentioned reasons, runs over a mile before, could be discounted.

Selection:
10pts win – American Patrol @ 14/1 Bet365

 

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Friday Selections: January, 5th 2018

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Dashas gambled from 12/1 into 6/4 at Newcastle yesterday afternoon…. much the opposite way I feared his price would go. Still, not quite good enough to win, eventually. Not quick enough, in fact. Widnes was a non-runner.

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12.55 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

I am always keen to watch out for Sean Levey in the saddle in these races over the minimum trip, particularly if riding for David Brown. His record over the years is phenomenal, even more so when riding one of Brown’s.

Three year old son of Camacho, Snaffled, doesn’t make allot of appeal on paper. Five runs, all well beaten, last four starts at odds of 50/1 and higher.

However, there is promise. He finished still a good deal beaten last time out at Newcastle, when fourth in a class 5 Handicap over 7f. However he travelled extremely nicely throughout, showed a bit of class – as much as that is available in these low grades – when switching and changing gear inside the last three furlongs, just to fade out without ever being really touched in the closing stages.

It was an eye-catching run from a visual point of view. Whether the drop in trip to sharp 5f at Southwell is what he wants remains to be seen. It looks, though, as if he has a bit of speed – tactical speed, so to speak – and market confidence plus jockey booking suggests, today is the day this lad is unleashed.

The fact he is now a three year old and maybe needed the time to mature last season, in combination with a drop in class on his handicap debut, means he’s a prime chance in this contest, as long as he takes to the fibresand, which always is a slight risk.

Selection:
10pts win – Snaffled @ 7/2 Bet365

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2.05 Southwell: Class 5 Maiden Handicap, 1m

A mix of unexposed versus well exposed horses piped – one of the three year old’s should have too much upside for the older horses; hopefully that’ll be Southwell debutant Going Native.

She showed some promise in four starts as a juvenile, however changed yards in the meantime and now dropped into a Southwell maiden handicap on what is only her second handicap start, fresh off a break, gives her an ideal opportunity to show she’s worthy her rather highish looking handicap rating.

That says her mark off 68 could easily be underestimating her true potential at the same time, now as a three year old, particularly here at Southwell’s fibresand.

Going Native is quite well bred, by Speightstown, out of a Group 2 placed mare. Speightstown is one of the what I call “super sires” at Southwell; his record with offspring at this track, particularly over the 1 mile trip, is excellent.

When last seen at Lingfield in a 7f Handicap, Going Native made life difficult for herself when starting badly. In the aftermath she never looked happy throughout the race and seemingly found this trip and track way too sharp.

Nonetheless she stayed on really well from an unpromising position and ran the final three furlongs the quickest sectionals. That’s real promise. Up in trip, at Southwell, she should be bang there.

Selection:
10pts win – Going Native @ 9/2 Skybet

Thursday Selections: January, 4th 2018

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Off the mark in 2018! Pearl Nation (selected @ 4/1) and Arnarson (9/2) both won their races in rather convincing style! That’s the way to go… long may it last.

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5.35 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 12f

Can you be more unlucky than Widnes was in his last two races? You probably can, but given we deal with lowly rated individuals, the obstacles the four year old son of Showcasing had to overcome recently, were a near impossible task.

Granted, this lad is still a maiden after 16 starts. However, ever since connections opted for a tongue-tie and visor combination he’s ran eye-catchingly well in his last two starts, both over 12f at Lingfield.

He can have some issues at the start; certainly in his penultimate run, when first time tongue-tied, he reared badly and found himself at a near impossible position at the back of a 16-runner strong field.

He made good progress, despite turning extremely wide around the home turn and once re-organised, motored home to finish much the strongest.

Things worked better at the start last time out, Widnes was sent to the front soon, settled close to the pace, however slightly lacking tactical speed, found himself suddenly behind a wall of horses entering the home straight. He did not have clear passage until too late, yet finished strongly again to run on in second.

Form and ratings of those races suggest the handicapper has been lenient here: only 1lb up – if finally he get a good break and clear run, he can win a race off this mark for sure.

A good draw gives him every chance to be in a favourable position in this race; he’s the one to beat, quite clearly.

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

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4.55 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

I am taking the risk that he drifts out and is only here to run the mark down, however there is something to like about longs-hot Daschas.

This will be his third 3rd run since switching yards and being gelded, while a proper performance is dating back to the end of 2016 now. That was a commanding maiden success over 7f at Kempton.

He had to race off high marks subsequently, in races too hot for him. Now dropping in class, down to a more realistic rating, back on the All-Weather, he might be able to surprise trying the minimum trip for the very first time.

Selection:
10pts win – Daschas @ 12/1 Bet365

Wednesday Selections – January, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Beaten on the line…. oh so unlucky, Waarif, this afternoon at Newcastle. No. He wasn’t unlucky. Simply beaten by a better horse on the day. Yes, agonizingly close it was, however Waarif had no excuse and every chance being gifted a soft lead.

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3.10 Southwell: Class 6 Claimer, 1m

Not the type of race I tend to find winners, however question marks over each and every single one of this group of largely veterans, makes it an interesting betting proposition.

Favourite Tatlisu can be opposed on the fact he has to overcome two “firsts” in surface and trip, plus does not stand out on ratings as much as the price would suggest.

Last years winner Vivat Rex has a lot to prove after a dismal comeback run, nine-year old Athassel should find the trip too far.

Top weight Pearl Nation has equally to prove that he still wants it.  His reappearance in a claimer at Wolverhamption four weeks ago looked only good on paper – a runner-up effort in a poor field suggested he’s nowhere near as good as his handicap rating suggests, and subsequently he bombed out in handicap company.

To be fair, that was a class 4 handicap over sharp 6f – probably beyond him at this stage in his career. However overall hi profile gives me the impression he is still as good as the rest in this field – with the advantage that he clearly loves Southwell and certainly stays the trip, given he is a CD winner.

He’s got to give a bit of weight away, nonetheless, this race seems the best chance for Pearl Nation to find back to the winning ways.

Selection:
10pts win – Pearl Nation @ 4/1 Bet365

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5.10 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Still a maiden after 14 starts, yet Arnarson heads the market in this race, and is probably still slightly underestimated. While yet to get off the mark, in Handicap company he’s been placed in two from three starts and overall on the All-Weather in 70% of his starts.

His last three starts, all in 6f handicaps, have been more than solid forms, particularly his runner-up- & 3rd placed effort at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton. Those results have been franked and rating wise are strong form, suggesting a win is only a matter of time for Arnarson.

He steps up to 7f here, which should help, given he stays a mile alright. The fact that he is still a colt – the only one in the line-up – and that connections gave him time before to get off in a maiden, and haven’t gelded him yet, gives the impression that Arnarson must show something at home that promises something.

He certainly promises to have a prime chance to win this race, from a fine draw, with seemingly everything in place for a bit performance.

Selection:
10pts win – Arnarson @ 9/2 Bet365

Friday Selections: December 29th 2017

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2.25 Southwell: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Competitive race over the minimum trip on the fibresand. I do fancy the chance of eight-year old veteran Brother Tiger.

A 5f furlong specialist, who’s shown his best at Lingfield in the past. He’s been seen only once at Southwell before, back in 2016, when placed over this very same trip.

Back from a break after two below-par efforts ended an until then busy season, potentially he needed it as 2017 was in fact his busiest campaign ever, which in general was a decent one including a Lingfild 5f win in May.

Brother Tiger is down to this last winning mark now and if fit after his break, could play a pivotal role from the perfect draw. The golden highway, those low numbers, and even more the 1 draw, can often be a significant advantage here.

Selection: 
10pts win – Brother Tiger @ 15/2 Bet365

 

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