Two lovely winners this week, yet it was a week filled with frustration, nonetheless. Put simply: all too often I was “riding” the wrong horse, or conversely: not riding the right horse.
Saturday epitomised this fact in no uncertain ways: Paddy K – well backed from 7/1 to 9/4 – finished a good runner-up… behind Ustath. Of course. It couldn’t have been any different. The same Ustath I backed 24h earlier, when he finished 2nd.
My mood wasn’t lifted when I saw that Eye Of The Water – another eyecatcher I have been monitoring for the right day for quite some time – won the Wolverhampton opener. Unbacked. Of course.
It’s always good to see work validated, the eyecatchers have been running sensationally well this winter so far. But their victories found their way into my P & L sheet not nearly as often. Decisions, decisions…
Anyway, the latest edition – with 16 largely new entries to the list – can be found here: All-Weather Eyecatchers.
On a different topic: we’re less than a week away from the Cape Met. South Africa’s most important Group 1 race over 10 furlongs. I am fairly sweet on recent G1 Paddock Stakes winner Make It Snappy.
Top-class fillies have a strong record in the race. Make It Snappy’s brave style of racing reminds me of one of my all-time favourite fillies: Igugu! She won the Met 11 years ago, against a backdrop of pre-race worries and during the race when she looked beaten only to come back for more.
Class, guts, all heart: Igugu.
1.50 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m
Favourite Lordsbridge Girl hasn’t really impressed on speed ratings yet, hence I’m more than happy to take the filly on with a recent eyecatcher, that is 5-year-old gelding Wake Up Harry.
He should have a massive chance up in trip and significantly down in class (he drops from 0-75 into 0-65) after an excellent run over shorter 7 furlongs at Lingfield earlier this month.
That day he was restrained after a path forward was blocked early on, then travelling smoothly off the pace. He was still going well when turning for home, although perhaps turning wider than ideal, before unleashing a solid challenge in the home straight from to furlongs to the final furlong marker. He didn’t quite have the speed to get to leaders and came from too far back, and wasn’t able to sustain his effort in the closing stages.
Nonetheless, he appears to be hitting peak form. He didn’t race over the right trip the last two runs and one can forgive the comeback run after a long break.
He looks all set for being unleashed here tomorrow, though. A mile suits him really well, he’s got a 4-1-2 record but hasn’t ran over it since his final run before a gelding operation back in May 2021.
It’s clear that he was well too highly rated after a promising in maiden and novice races, but is down to a more than fair 65 handicap mark. John Egan comes here for this one ride only, which could be significant, too.
I usually don’t get involved in such a short price, but this gelding should be still quite a bit shorter, in my book.
10pts win – Wake Up Harry @ 11/4