Tag Archives: Handicap

A Sunday filly for Ripon

Beaten in the dying strides – life as a horse racing punter can be an agonising affair. Cloud Computing got the better of Classic Empire in the Preakness Stakes. The fresher horse, with the better, less aggressive and more economical ride, won in the end.

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4.10 Ripon: Class 3 Fillies’ Handicap, 6 Furlongs

Open enough looking contest and I take a chance on bottom weight Savannah Slew. Other three year old’s in the field are better fancied and this filly has questions to answer given that she already had eight career runs, is a bit temperamental and wasn’t convincing on her seasonal reappearance.

However she should strip fitter now and will enjoy the return to six furlongs, a trip she won two starts back. Ground wise it won’t be a big deal if any cut is left as her two victories came on softish ground although on pedigree better ground is what should be her optimum.

A mark off 78 is stiff enough and she will need to improve, though juvenile form gives her every chance given she already ran to an RPR of 81 and should be home in the conditions encountered here at Ripon.

Selection:
10pts win – Savannah Slew @ 10/1 Bet365

Saturday Tips

4.40 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I was quite keen on Favourite Royal ten days ago at Wolverhampton but felt she might need the run, so didn’t back her then. Her fast finishing runner-up performance was incredibly eye-catching that day, though, indicating this filly has wintered well and is well able to win a race of her current mark.

She was a very green and raw filly as a juvenile, with a bit of learning and filling of her frame to do. Now as a three year old you would hope that she can still improve a bit and I feel the 2lb added to her rating on the back of the last run might not stop her in a race that should suit.

The bounce factor is a question mark but given she has not a lot of running under her belt yet, this lightly raced filly seems likely to be well handicapped.

Selection:
10pts win – Favourite Royal @ 11/2 PP

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6.50 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 9.5f

Drago seemingly enjoys this track and the unique trip given he has quite a good record around Wolverhampton. He looks improved since fitted with a hood: his last four performances when wearing it were all very decent enough, and he’s only 3lb higher than when winning over course and distance back in November last year.

He already has a run under his belt this season; arguably a pipe opener in a seller. I feel there is a genuine chance that he can still improve a bit over this CD and having a decent 7lb claimer in the saddle should be an advantage.

Selection:
10pts win – Drago @ 9/1 Bet365

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7.05 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Top weight Mr Davies seems to have a tough task assigned on his handicap debut with 9st 9lb to carry, however this completely unexposed gelding could be on a lenient opening mark either.

He got two runs in quick succession as a juvenile, was then put away and reappeared four weeks ago four weeks ago here at Doncaster over 10.5f in a maiden. From the widest draw he pushed forward, travelled well throughout but was entitled to get tired in the final furlong.

Despite never finishing in the money in three maiden runs his RPR suggest those performances are close to in line with his opening mark. It is reasonable to imagine that this big, scopey gelding can improve for his pipe opener and the step up to 12f for the first time.

Selection:
10pts win – Mr Davies @ 11/2 PP

Race of the Day

After a an excellent Good Friday and overall immensely satisfying week on the betting front I’ll throw my hat into the ring for one final roll of the dice before existing the week for a quiet, peaceful and stress-free weekend!

The race of the day comes from the Scottish Musselburgh today – the Class 2 Royal Mile Handicap for three year old’s sees the return of some promising individuals. Though the nature of this type of race at this early stage of the flat season also means it tends to be quite an open race.

Nonetheless it is no surprise to see a William Haggas trained inmate at the top of the charts. His Sir Prancelot gelding Novoman has been incredibly consistent as a juvenile.He’s  been out of the money only once in six starts last year.

He steps up to the one mile trip for the first time and that could edge out further improvement, which is needed, though, because judged on his juvenile form you can easily argue that he is not overly well handicapped.

Personally I’m not sure if Novoman really wants this trip and at odds around 7/2 he appears to be not a particularly good bet.

Hugo Palmer saddles speedy Mazyoun. Already Listed placed, he also ran twice to a RPR of 91, so if he can stay this 1 mile trip plus has improved over the winter then he could well be ahead of his current handicap mark.

A whole armada goes to post for Richard Fahey. He has four in the race, with the four-timer seeking Rashford’s Double the most likely winner. He is already a distance winner and has potential to be even better than what he showed last year given Zoffany offspring tends to age well.

The ground is a slight worry for me as  he already stayed beyond a mile as a juvenile and might find quick ground not necessarily playing to his strengths.

Top weight Mailshot has a big assignment of mark off 99 and is certainly exposed enough compared to others, however one the other hand he’s ever improving, won last month a fine Handicap at Chelmsford and is sure to run well today.

Rusumaat hails from the same yard as Mailshot does, providing Mark Johnston with a strong hand in the race. This lad is a busy campaigner who has already eight runs under his belt, but it is fair to say he went from strengths to strengths last season.

His final appearance in a big sales race at Doncaster can be forgiven as he reared at the start and made too much too soon subsequently. The trip is the worry today, yet not totally beyond him. He’s certainly fast, however breeding gives him a chance and he will love the fast ground.

That brings me to the one I feel could be well handicapped: It’s one Fahey’s four: Society Red – a mark of 80 could well be underestimate what he can do as a three year old. It’s only 2lb higher than when finishing a strong runner-up in his final race and handicap debut last season.

That day the leader eventually pulled out more in a slowly run race and Society Rock was clearly not favoured by the pace. However he was only beaten by a neck eventually behind a then 92 rated individual who also franked the form in the meantime.

This son of Arcano could easily improve as a three year old and despite not fully tested over the slowly run mile in his final race last year, given his dam is a winner of a listed race over this trip in soft ground , he is likely to see out the trip strongly.

From a good draw, with conditions likely to suit, I feel he’s overpriced in a race that has questions marks over all of the twelve individuals going to post at 3pm this afternoon.

Selection:
10pts win – Society Red @ 12/1 Bet365

Preview: Lincoln Handicap

Leicester Racecourse home straight

One week after the Irish flat season kicked off with a bang, it’s now time for the neighbours across the pond to open the gates to their traditional Lincoln meeting held at Doncaster. So let’s have a look at the main event of the day:

Classy Yuften greets from the top of the betting market. A relatively short priced favourite at around 10/3 with most firms. A case can be made easily why he is well fancied.

Yuften made a fine return to the race track last month in a Listed event at Wolverhampton finishing a narrowly beaten third. He clearly is in good nick and looks ripped to follow on from where left off in 2016 when he landed the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on British Champions Day.

An only four pounds higher handicap mark today with conditions sure to suit – he’s a huge chance. BUT this is the Lincoln! A race that cause often upsets. In fact 7 of the last 10 winners started at double figure odds!

That must bring second favourite Donncha into play. A 10/1 chance at the moment – that illustrates fittingly how open this race is, if the second! favourite is a double figure price. The six year old horse is an ultra-consistent sort and was an excellent runner-up in the Spring Mile last year. Jamie Spencer in the saddle indicates another big run is on the cards.

The improving On This Is Us for the Richard Hannon team with Ryan Moore taking the ride is back in the UK after a stint at Meydan over the winter months where he performed not too badly. He can go well.

However the two Fahey runners are the ones that do intrigue me most personally:

There is Third Time Lucky  – one who looks sure to relish this test. He performs well in big-field handicaps and won’t mind whatever juice is left in the ground. He’s also race fit and in form, as recent results on the All-Weather prove.

Due to a recent win he has to carry a penalty but this is pretty much cancelled out due to the 7lb claimer in the saddle. Young Connor Murtagh looks quite useful, indeed. I do really like his calm riding style which should be of benefit  in the Lincoln.

The younger and less exposed Dolphin Vista receives the assistance of Paul Hanagan and runs of near bottom weight. There might still be a bit improvement left in this son of Zoffany and I’m sure he’s ready to run a big race after on his seasonal reappearance.

He stays further and has a career highest mark to overcome but this is only his ninth handicap start, now as a four year old, if he can return to the form of his penultimate run when a winner of a 10f handicap at Beverly, he’s a big chance I firmly belief, given he’ll most likely will be ridden positively close to the leas so he can make his stamina count.

From the bigger prices I think you can make a good case for You’re Fired (40/1) to be competitive. He often runs well in these type of races and has fitness on his side.

Selection:
5pts win – Third Time Lucky @ 16/1 Unibet
5pts win – Dolphin Vista @ 14/1 Bet365

Featherweight Seattle Swing Worth a Punt

polytrack

1.35 Fairview: MR 84 Handicap, 2000m

Muzi Yeni has a sensational record riding for du Plessis, so Oh So Modus must rate a massive chance. The four year old already is a course and distance winner too and proved himself to be in fine form lately.

You don’t have to look far for dangers though. Another four year old gelding, the Justin Snaith trained Galao has been running extremely well, having been placed or won in all his last four starts.

The eight year old veteran Money Grubber is probably in the grip of the handicapper at the moment, however can’t be taken lightly as this is his trip.

However I take a chance with the only three year old in the race, Seattle Swing. Still rather lightly raced, he may be able to improve for what he has shown so far. He won over 1600m on yielding ground last season, followed later by an impressive success here on the polytrack over 2.200m. Off only 52kg I see a chance of him being extremely well in, though only if he can take another step forward  given this is a tougher race than those he contested in before.

Seattle Swing @ 10/1 Coral – 5pts Win

Kempton: Menelik a prime chance with Coackley booked

Dundalk All-Weather

7.10 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

My attention is drawn to three horses here in this low grade Handicap. Favourite Bridge Of Sighs won a poor class 7 race the last time, however on his first try over 1m. His lightly raced profile, modest rise in the mark and 3lb claimer on board gives him a decent chance to follow-up.

Two form horses but at the same time with eye-catching runs the last time are Thermal Column and Menelik. The former on is clearly very consistent since changing yards.

Three starts in the last weeks resulted in a placed effort, a hard fought win and an eye-catching runner-up effort most recently. Off an unchanged mark he is a serious contender, although a poor draw makes life difficult.

Menelik is down to a very handy mark at the moment and has been placed the last two of his current rating off 60. He caught the eye the last time at Wolverhampton when he overcame a wide draw and engaged in a fierce fight for the lead early on.

He made allot in those first two furlongs of the race but eventually settled in fourth, tracking a mad pace. He travelled strongly around the home turn approaching the straight leading the pack but was soon headed by the eventual winner and worn down by him as well as the runner-up in the final furlong.

He still came clear a long way of the rest and wasn’t beaten fast. Given that first and second came from way off the pace while he committed allot this rates as a very strong performance.

The slight drop back to 1m will help here, so will the kind draw. Most interestingly is the jockey booking. A good Irish 5lb claimer is over to ride this one race at Chelmsford. His allowance gives Menelik a prime chance in this field.

Menelik @ 8/1 Bet465 – 5pts Win

Kempton: Salient Can Outrun Big Odds

Dundalk All-Weather

19.55 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Really only one horse stands out here: Salient. He’s quite a big price which opens the question whether today is his day. However his record says he can cause an upset alright. He meets ideally conditions here in terms of field size, trip and is down to his last AW winning mark.

His Kempton record is slightly concerning, given Slient is usually an excellent All-Weather horse. But then those poor runs came all over much shorter trips. He was found out for class in a class 4 Handicap at Epsom when last seen but won back in September at Goodwood.

He gets the assistance of talented 7lb claimer Callum Shepperd who has ridden Salient in most of his races this season and won twice on him, including back in May at Lingfield’s All-Weather over 12f off the same mark Salient is on at the moment. Plum draw should suit to go forward.

All depends whether Salient is on a good day – if so he’s going to be a big danger to the short priced favourite Jack Bear, who has fair credentials but doesn’t look like a 2/1 shot at all!

Salient @ 16/1 VC – 5pts Win