2.00 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f
Vaynor was quite impressive winning at Bath when stepping up to 14 furlongs for the first time. The improvement wasn’t down to the trip in isolation I feel, but probably was a combination of distance and surface/going.
The surface stays the same, the ground should be fast here at Newmarket, while the drop to 12 furlongs doesn’t worry me. He showed plenty of tactical speed a Bath in what looks solid form, given those behind him ran well in the meantime.
The way he accelerated in the home straight and kicked clear suggested he has enough speed for the shorter trip.
Possibly the penny has dropped too. He was fancied a number of times, although never justified the support in the betting in three starts on the All-Weather this year.
He ran to topspeed 65 at Bath, can race off 67 today, but will go up another two pounds in the future. Given there is potentially more to come in these circumstances he a highly compelling proposition from a handicapping perspective.
10pts win – Vaynor @ 7/2
4.40 Nottingham: H&H Apprentice Handicap, 1m 6f
This type of race wouldn’t be my cup of tea normally but Master Grey looks to have a good chance to outrun his price here. Form wise he must be in with a big shout and he certainly gets the trip.
He’s one who can catch the eye often when staying on late without winning. He made another of those noteworthy efforts earlier this month when he came from a long way back to finish 5th at Bath.
He’s got the same apprentice rider on board here, who’s pretty solid and looks value for his 5lb claim in this sort of race.
Master Grey strikes me as the horse you can ride hands and heels and he’ll just stay on and on and on. Which looks a good match for this race with potentially a lot of early speed and many inexperienced riders who may judge things wrong.
My hope is Oliver Searle will judge things right, have Master Grey in a position where he’s not have to travel home from as far as another galaxy and then pick them off in the home straight.
10pts win – Master Grey @ 10.5
6.15 Leicester: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f
Going against a well fancied Haggas handicap debutant isn’t often a smart thing to do but I think bottom-weight Malcolm has nearly as good a chance to win in this rather uncompetitive affair.
Malcolm wasn’t fancied at all on his turf- and handicap debut earlier this month after showing nothing in three starts before. He returned from a break and gelding operation too.
He travelled well in the rear of the field, made a nice move from over 4 furlongs out on the outside getting alongside the actual winner, who eventually quickens a bit better. Malcolm isn’t helped by a rival to his side bumping and pushing him toward the inside at a crucial stage. He still manages to finish 3rd in the end.
This was probably quite a good race for this class that should work out well. With a clearer run Malcolm would have finished even closer and wouldn’t have been allowed to race off the same mark today. With a strong claimer in the saddle he looks weighted for a massive run.
10pts win – Malcolm @ 6.2
7.15 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap. 6f
The key question for Tyson is obviously how he handles the start and the early phase of the race. He’s a temperamental sort but clearly talented.
He showed some promise as a juvenile, entering his 3-year-old season potentially a bit exposed already. He’s yet to go close in three starts this year, but showed more than the bare form suggests I firmly believe.
Especially last time at Kempton when heavily bumped out of the gates, consequently lit up and way too keen he showed a nice change of gear in the home straight, but ultimately paid for racing way to inefficiently.
He drops another 3lb in his mark and looks certainly dangerous off 75 in this field.
10pts win – Tyson @ 9.2
9.00 Hamilton: Class 6 Handicap, 6f
Macho Pride ran well the last two times; he finished a solid fifth in a strong contest at Pontefract after a narrow runner-up performance in a hot Haydock sprint, when he had make a highly inefficient move to the outside of the field to get a run which possibly cost him victory.
He drops down to class 6 today, on the same mark as back in April, 8 pounds lower than his last winning mark.
He clearly is in pretty good form; perhaps not quite as good when a 1.5 lengths beaten fifth in class 4 at Haydock in September off a mark off 80, running to topspeed 75. But down to a 67 rating, with a useful 3lb claimer in the saddle he must have a strong chance to add a third career success.
10pts win – Macho Pride @ 4.6