Tag Archives: horse racing

Monday Selections: 13th June 2022

It’s Royal Ascot week. Exciting for many reasons, but mostly due to all the international competition. My excitement is slightly tempered nonetheless because on the bread and butter betting front I struggle to back a winner.

Even though the Eyecatchers perform really well, I simply don’t back the ones that win. That can happen. A number of poor decisions haven’t helped and that means I’m on 15 losers on the bounce right now. Today are pure value selections that are low percentage plays not necessarily likely to turn that around.

But I got to believe in the process that served me well for six straight years, not to forget April and May were green months, in fact. So here we go:

2.45 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I am interested in Stone Circle here for obvious reasons, but I don’t think the fast ground will suit entirely, hence there is zero juice left in his price this morning.

One who looks seriously overpriced is the 6-year-old gelding Sharrabang. He showed some spark the last time at this venue, even though over 5 furlongs.

He was up with the pace early on, disputed the lead as part of a trio. He started to come under pressure from over 2 furlongs out, struggling to keep up the tempo. But he kept going, only to be ever so gently being pushed toward the inside by a rival, finding himself in a tight spot.

As a consequence he was a bit short of room over 1f from home, lost momentum and couldn’t find it again. This should be strong form for this grade in my view.

The minimum trip on fast ground was never to suit entirely, so the fact he ran so well despite the trouble is noteworthy. He needs 6 furlongs, despite a win over 5 furlongs last year – but that came on softish ground – and stays up to 7f on fast ground too and acts well on the All-Weather.

Hence I do think the stiff 6 furlongs at Carlisle suit him down to the grounds, a notion his past form would support. He has come down some way in the mark ever since the victory last May. Yet he also ran well a number of times last season when he achieved topspeeds of 50 and 52, was competitive of marks in the low 50’s and therefore could take advantage of a basement mark with the right conditions I feel.

In terms of conditions I can’t see any reason for excuses. The 3lb claim of Faye McManoman is good value normally and she knows the horse. The #7 isn’t a big deal in my view. I really expect a good run today from Sharrabang despite the massive price.

10pts win – Sharrabang @ 19/1

……….

3.15 Carlisle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I was really keen on Marselan the other day at Catterick – which was stupid for the simple fact he never stood a chance from the wide draw and I got blinded by his sensational LTO performance, simply negating the obvious facts of track bias.

It happened what must happen. Marselan was never in the race. It’s one to draw a line through.

Ideally I want to see him over 7 furlongs, no question. So am I about to make the same mistake twice? I don’t think so. Off a 61 mark over a stiff 6 furlongs that requires some stamina in the final third it all play to his strengths today. The #8 draw is nowhere near as big a deal as the wider draw at Catterick was.

Marselan was one of THE eye-catchers of the year so far, for me personally. At Thirsk last months he raced as part of a duo isolated on the stand’s side. The pair was lengths behind the main bunch and had plenty to do with two furlongs to go. Marselan found tons to finish much the strongest to grab 2nd place, the only with a finish speed of over 100%. He also achieved a career best 60 topspeed rating that day.

He returned fresh from a wind operation which seemingly worked. The loss of form last year can most likely be attributed to breathing issues.

He won of 65 and 67 last summer over 7 furlongs. Now down to 61 he’s obviously well handicapped with the breathing issues rectified. Ryan Sexton claims highly valuable 5lb too, the cherry on the cake, so to speak.

10pts win – Marselan @ 11/1

Monday Selections – 6th June 2022

6.15 Windsor: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

With the rain arriving at Windsor turning the going soft Firenze Rosa encounters ideal conditions over the minimum trip today. The handicapper has been kind enough to drop her mark to 53 since her latest – I felt – eye catching run over the same CD.

There she travelled pretty well until about the halfway stage. Was then stuck behind horses. Briefly tracking the initial winner but not getting through on the inside. The inexperienced jockey perhaps wasn’t quite brave enough to take a gap on the stands’ side until very late too.

She was 1lb out of the weights, too. Today is an easier race. She won of a mark of 56 in soft here at Windsor about a year ago and she finished the turf season in October with a really strong runner-up effort of a 57 mark running to a 57 TS rating that day.

The #10 draw will give her every chance to get a clear run on the outside I hope, Mollie Phillips claims valuable 5lb and knows the mare from previous rides.

10pts win – Firenze Rosa @ 14.5

…………

7.30 Pontefract: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

The top three in the market are all vulnerable from their current handicap mark, hence this looks a good opportunity for Van Gerwen to get his head in front as a value alternative.

He was far from disgraced ten days ago over course and distance in a stronger race where he didn’t get an ideal run, only two days after encountering trouble in the closing stages at Ripon that prevented him from potentially winning.

That day he seemed poised for a major move but was repeatedly short of room until nearly the very final moment of the race.

The gives him a real chance having dropped him to a mark of 66. He’s a pound below his latest winning mark with that. He also ran to topspeed 62, 65 and 67 last season. A highly consistent sort, wellbeing confirmed down to a good mark and down to a realistic class.

10pts win – Van Gerwen @ 8.6

Thursday Selections: 2nd June 2022

3.46 Hamilton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 5f

This isn’t a competitive race as you would expect over this extended trip in this class. You can make a case for the short-priced favourite Haven Lady, but she looks quite high in the ratings now and is opposable.

Ghostly comes down to a good mark again but handicap newcomer Aighear is clearly the most interesting. Off bottom weight she looks ready to strike moving up in trip.

She caught my eye in her last run at Carlisle when finishing at the back of the field, never put into a position to challenge, but travelled quite well through the race over an inadequate 7 furlongs trip.

It’s fair to say she has been buried in her first three starts on the flat after a promising debut in a bumper in March. That particular form looks quite strong thanks to the winner who franked the form significantly. Even that day, possibly not surprisingly on her a debut, Aighear got an education ride and only late was called on to ride for a proper finish.

Her dam was a solid staying handicapper, so stamina is assured, if any further evidence was needed after the debut over 1m 7.5f in a bumper. Any rain will be welcome today. That is the one concern I have that things will still happen too fast today.

But at the same time I’m quite confident that t she is better than a 44 or 46 mark over this sort of trip. The fact she steps up in distance so sharply suggests there is no hiding place today – it’s “D-Day” for her.

10pts win – Aighear @ 4/1

Tuesday Selections – 31st May 2022

Last chance to make some hay in May. Yesterday was a huge disappointment having Lingfield’s races around a bend called off; Captain Claret ran no sort of race later in the afternoon.

5.52 Thirsk: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Gold Charm caught the eye on handicap debut on the Lingfield polytrack earlier this month. She travelled stylishly into the home straight, but didn’t get the clearest of runs while also giving the impression she wants further.

This opportunity presents itself today. She moves up to 12 furlongs, which looks within her range on pedigree. The opening mark of 73 was no gift from the handicapper – he dropped her merely a single pound in the meantime. But she is quite nicely bred and certainly travelled like a nice horse at Lingfield.

She goes against her own sex today. This race doesn’t look too competitive, the favourite aside who could be well handicapped if she gets her attitude right. She hang the last two times, so it worth taking her on.

The arrival of the rain will be a question mark for many in this field, including my filly. I’m hopeful given Golden Horn’s often handle softish conditions and the dam won on soft.

Marco Ghiani on board looks a positive given he’s got a 20% strike rate for William Knight and 50% place rate.

10pts win – Gold Charm @ 9/2

Monday Selections: 30th May 2022

2.25 Lingfield: Novice Stakes, 1m 1f

Normally this wouldn’t be my type of race but I was very taken with the way Foursome finished on her debut. It was clearly an educational ride and the slow pace didn’t suit her, but she finished pretty much the best under an easy hands and heels ride.

There was good market support for her pre-race – perhaps the Haggas factor. She was alertly out of the gates, but caught wide before settling in rear. While the race developed at the front end, thanks to slow fractions, she became a bit outpaced as the leaders kicked on from over three furlongs out.

She found her feet, though, made good progress from the 2 furlong marker on and moved through a tight gap one furlong from home finishing in fine fashion.

Clearly she needs a better pace and will get into her own when moving up in trip. The additional half a furlong today will certainly suit in that regard.

The race looks for the taking, given the 71 rated Lyrical Lady sets a solid standard but hasn’t set the world alight in six starts. Buick on two-time runner-up Musical Romance is a short priced favourite. Not sure she will truly enjoy this trip, hence worth taking on.

It’s always a risk in these races, whether horses are prepared for handicaps. I feel Foursome will be given every chance to get a win on board today, though.

10pts win – Foursome @ 11/2

………….

4.40 Redcar: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

This could be the day for Captain Claret. I am monitoring him since last summer when he ran a number of times better than the bare form suggested.

He changed yards in the meantime, now with Ruth Carr, he ran twice this year. His return at Redcar over 7 furlongs was an excellent performance when he raced mostly from the front, setting a solid pace and only got caught late in the final furlong.

He couldn’t follow up at Thirsk but there were excuses for the performance. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as a consequence Captain Claret has dropped to a mark off 60 – a career-lowest. If I felt last summer he was capable to run to a 70 rating, then he’s clearly well-handicapped today.

The Ruth Carr yard is in poor form. That’s a definite concern. On the other hand this race is very winnable with questions marks about each and every runner. On the plus side Joanna Mason knows the horse and I hope she can set sensible fractions or track the pace.

There are no concerns over the trip, neither over the ground, even if the rain would arrive.

10pts win – Captain Claret @ 6/1

Saturday Selections: 28th May 2022

3.39 Catterick: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Marselan should have a good chance to outrun his odds in this open contest. The wide draw is a real concern, given he isn’t a lightning fast starter. But he could be really well handicapped today and may benefit from a red hot pace with many of the rivals keen to be on the front foot.

The 4-year-old was a major eyecatcher last time out. That day he raced as part of a duo isolated on the stands’ side. The pair was lengths behind the main bunch and had plenty to do with two furlongs to go. Marselan found plenty to finish much the strongest to grab 2nd place. He also achieved a career best 60 topspeed rating.

This was the first time after a wind operation. The loss of form last year can most likely be attributed to those issues.

He won of 65 and 67 last summer over 7 furlongs. Now down to 62 he’s obviously well handicapped with the breathing issues rectified. 7furlongs on fast ground could be his optimum – so he’s a play for me today.

10pts win – Marselan @ 10/1

…………..

5.00 Beverley: Class 6 Handicap, 7.5f

Cobra Kai couldn’t have been unluckier at Musselburgh earlier this month when he got a horrible trip in the closing stages yet was only beaten in a photo eventually.

The handicapper was lenient and has added only 2lb to the mark for that massive effort that should have seen him win potentially with a bit in hand, which means he should still be a well handicapped today.

The race comes soon enough, which is a question mark. Otherwise I feel the favourite is worth taking on. The Covex Kid won well on the All-Weather and could improve, but this is a different test under a 6lb penalty today.

Cobra Kai been a somewhat unlucky horse in his career, still a maiden, catching the eye a few times. Before the huge lto run he caught my eye at Musselburgh in April over 7 furlongs when he was hampered early on, lit up as a result and still ran a fine race.

The fast ground poses no problems today, the #1 draw is fine and Buick booked is a major bonus given the poor decision making by Mullen was a key reason for Cobra Kai still being a maiden.

10pts win – Cobra Kai @ 4.8/1