Tag Archives: Jamie Spencer

Thursday Selections: February, 8th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.40 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4½f

Small but ultra-competitive field. Paddypley drops in class and went close the last time; he’s sure to have a big shout. French recruit Stonific is an interesting contender for David O’Meara. His opening mark looks very workable. Recent CD scorer Theglasgowwarrior may not be stopped by a 5lb hike in the mark.

Yet, The Resdev Way seems to be the forgotten horse in the race, certainly in the betting. The five-year old gelding, however, has a sensational course and distance record. From five runs he won three and was placed in two others, while his last CD effort, back in 2016, when he finished third off 4lb higher than his current handicap mark, is quite a strong piece of form as well.

Things didn’t go to plan for quite a while afterwards. Neither on the flat nor over hurdles did he show anything, until he returned to his beloved Newcastle mid-January, then over 2 miles – he travelled strongly, looked like the winner when approaching the final furlong, though, he bumped into a well handicapped individual who found more when The Resdev Way tired in the dying strides over a trip probably stretching his stamina.

Still, a fine piece of form, given the winner has won subsequently again. The Resdev Way returned ten days later at Chelmsford over 1m 5½f, without landing a blow. I wouldn’t judge him too harshly on that, as clearly here at Newcastle he seems to be an entirely different beast.

Finally he returns to Newcastle over his optimum trip; with Paul Hannagan booked for the ride, I feel The Resdev Way is overpriced in this race, despite its competitive nature.

Selection: 
10pts win – The Resdev Way @ 14/1 VC

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9.00 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 1 mile

Gala Celebration returns from a break for a new yard. He has shown in the past he can win fresh; in fact 11 months ago fresh reappearing from a 156 day-long break, he got off the mark in a 7f Handicap at Lingfield, putting up a near freakish performance from the front – in the context of the class of the race and level of the horses involved – when overcoming a wide draw and coming home strongly totally unchallenged.

He didn’t strolled along that day, he set good fractions, yet nothing in the race could get by him, he ran them totally into the ground.

He was pretty on and off in all his next starts. However, now back from a break and 2lb lower in the mark than for last year’s Lingfield success, he seems dangerously weighted in this contest.

That says, Gala Celebration needs to stretch out to a mile, a trip he has tried twice before. He didn’t run too badly on turf in softish conditions and certainly it looks possible on pedigree.

Interesting jockey booking with Jamie Spencer taking the ride on what is Ian Williams’ sole runner on the night. Both enjoy an excellent strike rate together and with the additional aid of a good draw it looks likely that Gala Celebration is ready for a big run.

Selection: 
10pts win – Gala Celebration @ 9/2 GB

Tuesday’s Racing Talk

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SLOW burning day, but no surprise given the Ebor Festival is looming large. Not much caught my eye today with the exception of the story that Jamie Spencer lost the ride on The Grey Gatsby in the Juddmonte International.

“The horse needs a fresh pair of hands” says trainer Kevin Ryan. So Danny Tudhope gets the nod. Tudhope is a bit the man of the hour after his sensational ride in the Arlington Million last Saturday.

Question is: does this jockey change make actually any difference in the big race tomorrow? Probably not. Jamie Spencer, regarded as villain number one of every armchair jockey, has done little wrong when riding The Grey Gatsby.

But you know how it is: changing things for the sake of it can sometimes make you feel better, though how often does it lead to something good? Well, just think about how often football teams change their manager and how often this leads to sustained success…..

Stat of the Day:

35 – James Tate’s win percentage in Handicaps at Wolverhampton in the summer! Delivers an ROI of 94%, and he’s been even better over the last two summers posing an ultra impressive 62.5% place strike rate at this venue!

Interestingly his success rate drops significantly for the rest of the year, so it seems Tate exploits those often less competitive races on the Wolverhampton All-Weather, knowing how to target particularly the low grade handicaps.

His top contender today is filly Mayasa – her chances are boosted by her pedigree, given Iffraaj offspring acts extremely well at the Wolverhampon tapeta.

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Tuesday Selections:

6.30 Wolverhampton: Suffragette City @ 3/1 WH
7.30 Wolverhampton: Mayasa @ 9/4 Ladbrokes
7.40 Leicester: Alnashama @ 5/2 Ladbrokes
9.00 Wolverhampton: Sharp Jack @ 18/1 Coral

Tuesday Selections

Jamie Spencer

A day of seconds and thirds… let’s not dwell on it. Much more fun is to watch he ATR “Ride of the Month”! As always the At The Races team  selected a number of spectacular rides seen at tracks they show racing from.

I honestly find it hard to get excited about jumpers at this time of the year, so to see those type of rides appearing on my screen…. It feels odd, regardless of how spectacular they are.

Nonetheless, I want to give Ruby Walsh an honourable mention for the heroics he had to perform to get Penhill over the line at Galway. Any other month it might be the ride of the month….

But it’s the flat season, so for me the three top rides were:

  1. Jamie Spencer – Deavuille
  2. Pat Smullen – Xsquared
  3. Josephine Gordon – Dltripleseven

Of course Pat Smullen on a slipping saddle was horsemanship at its best, but I got to give it to Jamie Spencer.

Usually at the receiving end of stick of an army of armchair jockeys (predominantly on social media), he gave Deauville a peach of a ride from an impossible draw in the Belmont Derby, and miraculously had the horse in a prime sport turning for home, while saving enough fuel for when it really mattered. Well done!

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Tuesday Selections:

6.00 Nottingham: Champion Harbour @ 7/1 Bet365
6.15 Lingfield: Great Expectations @ 13/2 Bet365
7.00 Nottingham: Atlan @ 11/4 Skybet
7.45 Lingfield: Kristjano @ 7/1 Bet365

Progressive Life Less Ordinary Can Bounce Back

Jamie Spencer

Oh yeah, that feels good – back with a bang last night! After an unbelievable week, with dramatic losses, the new week started SO much better at Ballinrobe. 2 selections, 2 winners – I really needed that. Sherlock Holmes didn’t enjoy the tight track but still managed to win. He’s a nice prospect for the stayers division. Oceania Queen overcame some in-running trouble to get up impressively eventually – both winners drifted to 11/8 and 6/1 SP respectively.

3.45 Salisbury: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

This looks a wide open race with plenty of question marks over each and ever runner. So I’m puzzled to see a rather clear favourite emerging with Darshini. Sure, the lightly raced colt with first time headgear may well improve for experience and the new trip, yet it is not a given that he stays, nor that he is capable of overcoming a career highest mark off 90. He’s opposable in my mind.

Process is one of few who is sure to stay the trip as he has form over 12f. He won a mediocre race at Kempton and followed up with a decent runner-up effort at Newmarket, which however implicated that this Nayef son has already reached his limit. He is vulnerable to any improver.

Oceane was only seen in France so far. It’s a tough task assigned today and he is best watched. Simple Verse is a distance winner and was a fine second at Goodwood recently. She could have more to offer but the handicapper takes no chances with her – 5lb up for 3/4l defeat – that’s a bit harsh.

Unexposed Life Less Ordinary won a 12f Handicap at Windsor in very taking style. He was quickly turned out again but the drop in trip as well as softish ground didn’t seem to suit. He travelled like the winner for a long time but hung badly in the closing stages. Back to 12f with quick conditions sure to suit, appeals as an improver.

Roger Charlton’s Marmot won a class 5 Handicap at Brighton recently. He may get the new trip but much more is required here today up in class. Polarisation looks a bad price given his overall record. The step up in trip seems more like the last resort than anything likely to suit.

Man Look is lightly raced and was not disgraced in fourth the last time. As feather weight in this contest he can’t be underestimated. Steady Major is well exposed and hard to fancy.

Verdict: On the prices on offer I feel Life Less Ordinary is the overpriced runner in this field. He looked to have tons in hand when he won at Windsor and travelled equally well the next time for a long time while conditions seemingly didn’t suit. Back from a little break and with trip and ground in his favour today, he strikes me as a potentially well handicapped individual.

Life Less Ordinary @ 15/2 VC – 5pts win

Oracolo can outrun his price!

Newmarket Rowley Mile False Rail

8.30 Newmarket: Handicap, Class 4

I really like the Cape Cross gelding Oracolo in this open looking race. Rated a fair 71 on his handicap debut, he appeals as the type to improve with age.

He needed three attempts to get off the mark last year, finished third on his second start in a good Redcar maiden and won at Wolverhampton eventually in a decent race. Thhat day he gave the impression of talent individual as he had to overcome a wide draw which is never an advantage there, but made eye-catchingly progress from 3f out on the wide outside and won the race in a photo in the end.

Step up to 1m is sure to suit on pedigree, Jamie Spencer booked may indicate that a good run is expected on his seasonal reappearance. Interestingly he has also been gelded over the winter. In a nutshell – there could be plenty more to come. In this open little race he looks a big price!

Oracolo @ 16/1 Coral – 5pts win 

Steve Prescott Can Improve As A Gelding

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4.55 Chester: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

I’ll be having a speculative on Richard Fahey’s Steve Prescott. On pure form this horse has a bit too find on his seasonal reappearance but there is plenty to like about him nonetheless. His penultimate performance last season over course and distance rates a good one. He missed the kick but stayed on strongly to finish 2nd. Off a 2lb higher mark he couldn’t follow up in a subsequent start, but most of his racing came here at Chester and he did rather well.

However he seemed to develop a habit of starting slowly, which would be a problem today. He’s never been tried on really soft ground before, however his sire is one with a good record in these conditions usually. Furthermore he should improve with age.

What makes him interesting is the fact that he’s first time out as gelding today. That may well help him to overcome temperamental problems and he could be able to improve a bit. As a fresh horse today, now gelded, you would expect him to be ready for this meeting given who the trainer and owner is. Draw isn’t ideal, but it is a wide open race with a good but overbet favourite.
Steve Prescott @ 25/1 Coral – 5pts Win