Tag Archives: Handicap

Curragh: Best Of The Rest


3.50 Curragh: Handicap (Class 1, 1m)

A 16-runner strong field for this 1m Handicap, but it doesn’t look overly competitive. It is easy to discount plenty on pure form or for the reason of unsuitable ground. With heavy conditions at the Curragh, you will need to get every inch of the trip and of course you need to love it bottomless.

Three horses intrigue me, though. One of those is Princess Glamour. Still a generally lightly raced filly, she ended her three year old campaign on a high note thanks to an impressive success in a good Navan Handicap. She sliced nicely through the field and stayed on strongly to prevail in tough conditions over one mile.

This form works out well, but Princess Glamour is only 2lb up for this victory. Now as a four year old there might be still more to come from here. Money is pouring in for her and trainer Edwar Lynam seems to hit a bit of form lately. You would expect her to be ready to go today. The 10lb claimer on board looks pretty useful and is a nice bonus.

Main rival should be equally lightly raced filly Bobby Jean. She was just touched off in a 6.5f race at Limerick and the step up to a mile could work for her. She won well over 7f before and relishes soft conditions. She is on a fair mark and I like her. If she stays the trip, she will thereabouts.

The third horse to mention is Yes I Am. This gelding hasn’t won on turf yet but was a bit unlucky the last two starts when he wasn’t favoured by the way the races unfolded. But he goes well on soft ground and his fine third place behind Princess Aloof at Leopardstown gives her a pretty fair chance.

Summery: On balance I feel Princess Glamour is the one offering the biggest value at 8/1. She is still unexposed and could be rather well treated of her current mark with a promising apprentice on board. That says the other two mentioned should go really well and it could be one of those races where I have the right ideas but may end up on the wrong horse.

Princess Glamour @ 8/1 Betfred – 5pts Win


4.55 Curragh: Handicap (Class 1; 1m 2f)

The two horses at the head of the betting market are clearly two very solid individuals with fair credentials to win this race. Fair mark, get the trip and no issue with the ground. However they are nothing more than fair prices in my book.

However the four year old filly Sweet Cherry makes plenty of appeal at 12/1. She should improve from her recent Leopardstown outing. A wide draw worked against her and she didn’t seem to travel at all when caught wide throughout. But with a run under her belt she can be easily much better today.

She was a fairly progressive three year old as she improved from being as low rated as it gets over in the UK to being able to win a Handicap off 70 when she moved to Ireland. She got off the mark in a maiden, and then subsequently upped in trip to 10f saw her successful in Handicap company.

She followed up with another good effort in a 12f Handicap, though one could argue that she was maybe a bit unlucky, when stumbling in the closing stages. Her final outing over 1m wasn’t the right test for her.

Sweet Cherry can race of a mark off 71, which looks generous, given that she won off 1lb lower last season. With conditions definitely to suit today I can see her running a big race.

Sweet Cherry @ 12/1 Betfred – 5pts Win


Educate will relish Newmarket conditions


A couple more selections for Newmarket’s Guineas card. The supporting races are pretty good, though not overwhelmingly classy. However the last race on the card, the 1m Handicap, looks the pick of them all in terms of future prospects and it’ll be particularly interesting to see how the favourite Mutasayyid fares – he beat my Guineas fancy Intilaaq in a maiden last season in quite good style!

Says this is not a race I want to have a bet in. But there are two other races that do offer some value indeed:

2.00 Newmarket: Suffolk Stakes (Handicap, C2)

In the context of the race I feel Educate is a rather big price. His recent form isn’t all that inspiring, but he ran in hot Group races with credit. He drops back into a Handicap now and with that comes a further slip in the ratings.

In fact he is now down to his last winning mark off 104. Off this mark he was successful in the prestigious Cambridgeshire, back in 2013 over course and distance. That says today’s conditions at Newmarket are no problem for Educate by any means.

He loves fast ground, as he won the Cambridgeshire in similar conditions as another two races on good to firm. With William Buick in the saddle, he is bound to be ready for a big run today.

Educate @ 8/1 PP – 5pts Win


2.30 Palace House Stakes (Group 3)

This looks a race that should be all about the fast conditions. For that reason I do like the filly Online Alexander. She usually gets beaten when the word soft appears in the ground description but won three times on anything faster than good.

I do like sprinters to improve from three to four years of age and she might be one that has more to offer now as an older filly. Matured and more experienced, there could easily be more to come.

Fresh off a break, she gets her conditions today and could easily improve for that in a way that would see her going close. That says fillies have a horrible record in this race, so I only have a small punt. But on price, she is the one that sticks out to me.

Online Alexander @ 14/1 Stan James – 2.5pts Win

Big chance on Handicap debut for Victoriously


Plenty of unexposed types in this race and naturally this can be a bit like a guessing game. That says I feel the Brian Meehan trained Victoriously is potentially underestimated on his Handicap debut.

The Azamour colt ran a dismal race on his seasonal reappearance in a hot maiden at Newbury earlier this week. Probably a performance to ignore and he should strip fitter this time. It’s more interesting what he has done as a juvenile last season.

Victoriously  improved massively from his debut run last summer when he finished a good third over 7.5f at Lingfield’s turf. He was very green throughout the race that day, most of the time without cover too but showed a bit of talent the way he made progress from 3f out. That was enough to suggest he could turn into a nice individual and was put away for the rest of the year as he was always one who should improve with age given his pedigree.

Pedigree is the key: He tackles 12f for the first time here. It’s quite a dramatic step up in trip but connections must feel this is the best thing to do to give him a chance to win. He is out of a 7.5f Listed race winning mare but she is by Monsun and in general there is plenty of stamina on both sire and dam side, which suggests the step up in trip is the right move indeed. He has a very good chance to stay the trip, particularly on a sound surface.

He will be first time blinkered tomorrow. That may help to sharpen him up. Most interestingly is his open handicap mark. A moderate 67 gives him every chance and could underestimate his true merit, particularly over a trip more suitable.

8.00 Windsor: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 3f 135y
Victoriously @ 14/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Can Sennockian Star bounce back?


Very interesting day at Epsom tomorrow. It’s the Derby Trial Day. Exciting Christophermarlowe is the hot favourite to land the feature race on the card. If you have red my Horses To Follow List then you’ll know by know that I’m pretty sweet on this son of Tapit. The trip will certainly suit tomorrow and I expect a big run.

Betting wise I’m most intrigued by the 1m 2f Handicap, though. An open & competitive looking contest but I’m not sure if the right horses are at the head of the market. I can see why What About Carlo is favoured to run well after a fair effort in the Lincoln Handicap. The step to 10f should suits perfectly, given that he won over course and distance last year. Though a caree best is required on ground that didn’t seem to suit in the past.

The progressive Mount Logan may relish the fast surface in contrast, but will he be able to cope as well with the drop in trip? Recent Windsor winner Collaboration takes a steep rise in class. He looked good winning a class 5 Handicap, but much more is required here. Fire Fighting looks not out of this by all means, however has to overcome a very tough mark.

For me by far the most interesting runner is Sennockian Star. He won this very same race last year and won another big Handicap at Glorious Goodwood of a 4lb higher mark than what he is rated right now, and with conditions very much to suit, one would hope that he can run well.

He is a horse that can be on or off and you never quite know when he is on a good day. His recent form isn’t too inspiring, but the gradual drop in the mark, plus a track and conditions to suit could see him easily being there or thereabouts. He looks a tasty price and offers value in this field.

3.55 Epsom: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f
Sennockian Star @ 14/1 William Hill – 5pts win

Master’s Golden Opportunity


3.20 Curragh: Handicap, 6f (3YO plus) 

I suspect that Master Speaker won’t ever find a better chance to win a race than this. A usually solid, competitive runner, he won only once in 14 starts, and that on the All,Weather, albeit placed in seven more races. Mainly in hot Handicaps of marks around 90 plus. He’s down to a career lowest mark now, the same as when finishing a fine second behind Bubbly Bellini in a very competitive 6f Handicap here at the Curragh last month. That particular piece of form looks strong and works already out with a subsequent winner.

Master Speaker drops into a much lesser race here, can race off the same mark over the same CD with ground conditions to suit – he looks a huge price to my eyes. Main danger is in form Oor Jock, who travelled like the winner at Leopardstown recently, but found the additional furlong the deal breaker. His Curragh record is dismal though.

Master Speaker @ 6/1 Coral – 5pts win


4.20 Curragh: Alleged Stakes (Listed) 

Questions marks over almost every horse in this renewal of the Alleged Stakes. Former Dewhurst winner Parish Hall was beaten in this very same race in exact same conditions as favourite last year. That time it was his seasonal reappearance, this season he has already a race under his belt, then beaten odds-on at Dundalk by an 88 rated individual. He looks vulnerable here yet again. But to whom?

Well, the 7/4 favourite Massinga makes plenty of appeal. Trained by red hot Dermot Weld, lightly raced, recent Listed race winner. She ticks plenty of the right boxes. I’m wondering if the drop in trip is what she really wants, though? She stayed easily 12f on bottomless ground a fortnight ago. Maybe, she is fine as she has form over shorter as well. Says she is still a short price and I’m too overwhelmed.

There aren’t too many alternatives, on the other side. Can you fancy one time Derby fancy Geoffrey Chaucer? Not really. He’s lightly raced and hasn’t been seen since finishing last in the Derby. But his last win dates back to September 2013…. over 1m! In-form Aussie Valentine should give a good account. But the drying ground could be against her I feel. Loch Garman was a smart individual…. 2 years ago. God knows what to expect from him after 686 days off the track.

A chance is taken on Canadian filly On Location. She is extremely well bred and won a maiden at Dundalk earlier this month in good style, despite being in season. I understand she’s been covered by Dawn Approach since then and the trainer is pretty sweet on her. Ground shouldn’t be too much of a problem as we may end up with something like good to yielding I suspect.

The step up to 10f should be suitable, as on pedigree she has it. A daughter of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, out of a multiple Stakes races winning mare of up to 12f – she may be rushed into this here, but has clearly talent and may be able to spring a surprise, which in fact wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.

On Location @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win

Corbata’s Golden Opportunity


The lightly raced Corbata ran a big race on his seasonal reappearance in a hot Handicap at the Curragh last month. He finished really well and looked moment like the winner close home, just to get beaten in the dyingstrides by two better horses.

The winner went on to win a Group 3 last week, while the runner-up finished 4th in the 2.000 Guineas trial. That shows this form is very strong and merits serious respect. The handicapper has been lenient, though, as Corbata’s new mark is up by only one single pound. He takes on much lesser opposition here at Leopardstown on Wednesday and could have way too much on his plate for this lot.

Bottom weight Sakhees Jack is the main danger. A fine second on his seasonal reappearance, he has a chance of an unchanged mark. Red Ivy drops in class but has to prove her stamina. Fields Of May for Jim Bolger with first time blinkers can’t be discounted of a slipping mark.

4.55 Leopardstown: Corbata @ 15/8 PP – 10pts win

Monday Quickie at Redcar

A quick tip for this Monday – Godolphin stable jockey William Buick has only one single ride today and he should make this a successful one. His mount Second Wave reappears after a promising debut win at this course last season. The yard is going really well, so one would assume the colt is probably fit enough for his comeback.

Second Wave is sure to appreciate the trip, which is a step up from his 7f maiden win, where he overcame greenness and stayed on well. He has scope to improve with age as well and meets perfect ground conditions today on his Handicap debut. That says his opening mark could be quite lenient as he is nicely bred and bound to progress – on paper at least.

4.20 Redcar: Second Wave @ 11/10 Ladbrokes – 10pts win