Tag Archives: June

Tuesday Selections: 14th June 2022

4.20 Ascot: Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, 1m

Possibly the race of the week? Some exciting prospects go head to head, no more so than 2000 Guineas winner Coroebus. That form is the gold standard for obvious reasons.

It’s hard to pick a negative looking at the son of Dubawi. He won really well at Newmarket, confirmed the hype and clearly is high class as 107 topspeed rating backed up that day.

At this point in time, though, it’s not impossible that one or two others in this field can improve to the same sort of level. It’s from that perspective I feel he can be taken on at odds-on.

For me the obvious choice – and seriously overpriced – is recent German 2000 Guineas winner Maljoom. He overcame a sluggish start, having to make up a lot of ground in the home straight; the eventual runner-up got first run. But he found plenty under pressure, and the phrase “powered home” is quite fitting, eventually winning perhaps a shade cosily.

That was only his third career start. He won all three of them. He clearly improved with each run. There is every chance he can improve again.

A concern is his poor starting habit. Getting too far behind today will kill his chances I reckon. This is a big field and I doubt he’ll get a trouble free run if turning for home last. At the same time he’s got tactical speed and hopefully learns with experience.

Another concern is that this is his fourth race since his debut at the end of March. Both points are relevant question marks but risks worth taking at the prices.

10pts win – Maljoom @ 16

…………

6.45 Beverley: Class 5 Handicap, 8.5f

Monsieur Jumbo drops down to class 5 and headgear is finally applied. This looks an ideal opportunity for the 3-year-old to strike. He’s obviously quite a tricky sort to handle but there is hope with cheek-pieces he can improve, as well as for the trip he’s still unexposed.

It the time of the year when the younger horses tend to take over and dominate against the older. And this big boy shouldn’t have an issue against those older horses in this race.

He caught my eye two back at Wolverhampton messing up at the starting gate as so often, but rattling home in impressive style. He also finished strongly the other day at Nottingham when moving up to 8.5 furlongs, suggesting the trip is no bother.

The jockey on board is an obvious concern, likely low on confidence, having as poor a strike rate as I have with my selections this month.

Tangled is the obvious danger. He really caught the eye the last time too; now down to a sexy mark. I hope he’s one for another day. I feel the additional half furlong doesn’t quite suit him. But he’s seriously well handicapped on past form.

Of course as my form goes, I missed the big prices at around 8/1 this morning. Too late…. still what’s on offer represents value (in my book).

10pts win – Monsieur Jumbo @ 6.5

………..

8.15 Beverley: Class 6 Handicap, 8.5f

Highlight Reel has shown enough this year to suggest he can win a poor class 6 Handicap. He ran with plenty of credit in recent weeks, especially at Wetherby, when he was quite unlucky not to finish closer.

He wasn’t disgraced the next two times, he confirmed his wellbeing at Redcar with a solid front-running performance twelve days ago,

He won of a mark of 47 over 10 furlongs last year, running to topspeed 50. I would argue these most recent performances are reason enough to believe he’s capable to run to a similar level of form.

The 8.5 furlong trip is no concern, he won over 7 furlongs and can stretch out over 1m 2f too. He’s got a good draw and won at this course before. The 5lb claim of Jony Peate is highly valuable.

10pts win – Highlight Reel @ 10.5

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

Sunday Selections: 12th June 2022

2.40 Salisbury: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Meydan Rose looked potentially smart when winning a maiden comfortably last summer. She followed up with an excellent run behind a subsequent Group 3 placed filly. She was badly outpaced over 6f on her final start on fast ground but finished much the strongest indicating she wants to go up in trip.

This chance came earlier this month on her seasonal reappearance. That day she was bumped at the start, as a consequence lit up and seriously keen early on. Yet she travelled strongly approaching two furlongs from home, chasing the lead, but also a bit tight for room, had to be switched to the outside and produced a nice change of gear while doing so.

She didn’t find enough and slightly flattened out, beaten for pace by the early leaders who enjoyed an advantage from the front. She was also entitled to tire for her seasonal debut and the early keenness.

This was a strong 3-year-old debut for the filly. The 7f trip isn’t a problem on the evidence of that run. She looks to have plenty more to offer of a mark off 73. Slight concerns over track and trip given a wide draw but I feel this is an easier race than last time and she is probably well handicapped. It’s David Eagan’s only ride too.

10pts win – Meydan Rose @ 9.4

…………..

5.35 Salisbury: Class 6 Handicap, 12f

Eddie The Beagle ran much better than a 66/1 shot last month at Leicester on his seasonal reappearance. He was outpaced early on, had to be niggled in the early parts of the race as the raced in the rea of the field.

He found his feet eventually and looked to be going okay in the home straight, poised for a challenge three furlongs out, when the door shut multiple times and he couldn’t get a run until very late. Finished strongly with second fastest final furlong split despite not being asked for full effort.

That was his seasonal reappearance. He was seriously eye-catching over a mile at Kempton last November too., although he was always likely to improve for age, experience and certainly a trip.

The step up to to 12 furlongs should be key to unlock improvement. His dam won over 1m 4f for the same yard, in fact. I feel he is potentially well handicapped today and can get off the mark in a winnable race.

10pts win – Eddie The Beagle @ 8.2

Saturday Selections: 11th June 2022

6.15 Leicester: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Small field and interesting from a pace angle, this class 4 Handicap looks a weak race nonetheless. Most if not all of these could have a claim to grab the lead, or at the very least follow it closely. How will this pan out?

Two from my eyecatcher list are running, with Ex Gratia preferred in the market over Devilwala.

The filly caught my eye at Lingfield on the All-Weather and subsequently ran a good race when second on Lingfield’s turf course. Ultimately she didn’t have excuses the last time and off the same mark I don’t think she is anything better than handicapped to her best form. That can be good enough in this weak race today, but her temperamental issues are off putting too.

Devilwala is clearly the one I am most interested from a price perspective, though. Whether today is the day remains to be seen. The jockey booking isn’t inspiring. But there are a number of things I like that make be believe he’s got a better than one in ten chance to win today given he’s down to a really sexy handicap mark.

He came to my attention at Ripon in April when he ran a lot better than the bare result suggested, in my view. He clearly didn’t stay the mile and the opposition was too hot most likely, anyway.

The next three times he races against even hotter competition and stood no chance, although the last time at Chester I felt he didn’t get the best of runs and he could have finished closer.

If I believe this to be true then I must firmly believe he’s a proper chance today, given he drops in class off 5lb lower in the Official Rating running over what’s most likely his optimum trip.

Obviously Devilwala has fallen a long way from the previous heights of being rated 113 and finishing only 2¾ behind St. Mark’s Basilica in the Dewhurst. Obviously there is every chance that he’s gone. But I felt he showed enough this year to assume he still has some appetite for the game.

10pts win – Devilwala @ 10/1

……….

3.40 York: Class 2 Handicap, 6f

This is a ultra-competitive sprint Handicap and I can make the case for more than a handful to be in with a realistic shout. Plenty of potential improvers and loads of strong LTO form on offer.

Yet my eye is drawn to Vintage Clarets, one who’s not shown anything on paper this year so far. He’s far from a likely winner, nonetheless I feel you won’t find many days a better 22/1 shot.

If one looks what’s underpinning his 2022 form then he’s performed with more credit than those naked results would tell. For one he’s raced in hot races three times, the last time over course and distance against older horses. A seriously tough assignment. He was too keen early on and faded away in the closing stages but long time was right in the mix.

At Chester he ran actually quite a good race in unsuitable conditions, even clocking the fasted split for the penultimate furlong. He’s nine pounds lower in the mark than when he started the season at Newmarket – off 87 I think he’s dangerous given he showed enough the last two times to suggest there’s life.

Obviously as an early peaking juvenile last year, third in the Coventry, only 2 lengths down in the highly competitive Super Sprint, one has to take it with a pinch of salt as this often doesn’t translate to 3-year-old form.

But crucially Vintage Clarets will have his preferred fast ground today for the first time this year. He’s likely to have a pace to chase from his draw, which might help him to settle better and tow him into the closing stages with a shot.

Others may improve past him, have better form and he may simply be nowhere near as good an older horse as he was a juvenile. At 22s it’s low risk high reward given at this point in time he looks a horse capable of running to mark in the low 90s in ideal conditions.

10pts win – Vintage Clarets @ 22/1

………..

6.45 Leicester: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

Beryl Burton is a very obvious choice in this and I have her about a 6/4 chance, rather than the generous odds on offer. The favourite Haven Lady is clearly progressing nicely on turf over this trip and may have more to offer, but simply hasn’t run overly fast yet, hence she’s vulnerable in my book.

Contrasting that with Beryl Burton who was seriously unlucky last time out over ten furlongs, she ran to topspeed 56 that day. For a neck beaten 2nd place she is up two pounds but should be well able to defy it with a clear run and for possible improvement over the additional distance.

She doesn’t have a sexy profile with one single victory in 13 lifetime starts, but she knocked on the door a number of times and her pedigree suggests 12 furlongs is well within range, a trip she’s completely unexposed.

Nine days ago at Redcar she was held up and travelled well, making excellent progress in the home straight, but ultimately didn’t get a run at a crucial stage, while the eventual winner, still well handicapped Rocket Dancer, got first run. She got out with a furlong to go and finished much the strongest.

The obvious question marks today aren’t whether she is good enough to win off 56 – she clearly is, and neither is it a mater of stamina, I believe. however she can have a tendency to be keen early on and that can be fatal over the additional distance.

I hope there’s enough pace on with the obvious leaders Haven Lady and Eagle One. It’s a small enough field, which at least should minimise any danger of meeting trouble.

10pts win – Beryl Burton @ 5/2

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

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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

Epsom Derby 2022 Preview

2022 is a unique edition of the Derby as there is not a single Group 1 winner in the field. With that in mind the race is a wide open contest and the betting deceptive.

In fairness, that’s probably one of the phrases I (too?) often use. Perhaps it’s down to a simply tendency of mine to take on short-priced favourites. However, I truly feel this Derby is a wide open contest. A huge upset isn’t out of question. One only has to look back at the previous years to find that a long-shot winner isn’t something out of the ordinary, anyway.

That’s not to say Desert Crown – 2/1 favourite at the time of writing – won’t turn out the be the best horse in the race. He could be a superstar in the making.

The fact he won the Dante in impressive style on what was only his second career run and seasonal reappearance, despite uneasiness in the market beforehand, rates as significant in my book.

Will he stay? It’s widely assumed he does. As a son of Nathanial he should posses plenty of stamina. The way he kept going and hit the line in the Date suggests he got every chance to stay the Derby trip.

I’ve got concerns, regardless. Green Desert as the dam’s sire. Yes, some of the dam’s offspring stayed 1m 4f. Nonetheless it’s far from certain Desert Crown truly want’s the trip.

Not to glance over the fact he’s also a highly inexperienced horse, hasn’t encountered anything close to the test Epsom provides, the rain is unlikely to be of any help to him either, and we have a large field with 16 other horses all competing for positions and a clear run once they leave Tattenham Corner behind.

Yet, I’ve come slowly around to the believe he is most likely the most talented colt in the Derby field – once we look back in a few years time. In the context of today and everything that comes with it I have to oppose him at the given price, though. I have him more a 7/2 shot than the 2/1-9/4 on offer this morning.

Aiden O’Brien won the Oaks on Friday and he could do the double today. Stone Age is widely assumed to be his prime chance in the Derby. The Leopardstown Derby Trial winner has got his head in front twice this year after failing to do so as a juvenile in five starts.

He was visually impressive at Leopardstown, although his overall profile doesn’t scream Derby winner to me. Topspeed underlines this notion. He ran to 88 and 91 in those races this year. He has to improve significantly. Not a price to back.

Frankie Dettori’s mount Piz Badile enhanced his Derby claims with victory in the Ballysax. The impression he gave that day was he will stay all day long given how strongly he rallied in the home straight. He may well do. An 81 career best topspeed rating (71 in the Ballysax) means he’s got to improve significantly, though. I’m not convinced he will improve so dramatically for the trip.

The incredibly impressive winner of the Newmarket Stakes was Nations Pride. Godolpin’s first string and choice of William Buick today. He’s an obvious improver on his sixth career run having progressed with each run to date. My concern is the trip, once again. The line through his dam out of Oasis Dream doesn’t scream stamina in abundance.

From the other two Godolphin runners – Nahaani and Walk Of Stars – the latter is the one I would prefer. Last years Derby winning rider is on board Nahaani, but the colt doesn’t appear to have enough class I believe.

Walk Of Stars could have the class, though. Runner-up in the Lingfield Derby trial, he ran to topspeed 99 that day; he’s is still very much learning his trade. Stamina won’t be an issue. I expect him to improve for his fifth career run, the additional half furlong and possibly the emphasis on stamina today, depending how the race pans out. He is a big price at 16/1+. The track is a serious question mark, on the other hand and that makes me waver.

Star Of India won the Dee Stakes at Chester. He ran to topspeed 99 that day. Whatever the ground today, I don’t have too much concern about it, neither over track and trip. But how much more can he improve? The family hasn’t been top-class to the most part yet. He’s a full-brother to S J Tourbillon, these day an ordinary handicapper in Hong Kong.

It’s the question of the day: how much can these horses improve? You can’t be too sure about any of the fancied horses that they have it in them to progress to the level required to land the Derby in the ground, over this trip at this track.

In truth that’s only natural for three-year-old colts. My issue is the potential improvement is taken for granted in the betting for the likes of Desert Crown and Stone Age. I’m much more cynical in only believing what I’m seeing.

Which leaves me with Changingoftheguard. He has been on my mind ever since winning the Chester Vase in brilliant style. Sure, the form can be knocked for its small and rather uncompetitive field on soft ground. The favourite didn’t fire and left the race to win for the Aiden O’Brien trained colt.

Nonetheless, Changingoftheguard did it the “hard way”. Ryan Moore went to the front and pushed on right from the start. The son of Galileo galloped the others into submission. And he didn’t stop in the home straight. He just kept going all the way to the line.

He achieved a 106 topspeed rating for the Chester performance – a strong marker and the best on offer in the field today. With that in mind Changingoftheguard has delivered on multiple fronts unlike many of his rivals today.

However, he’s all stamina and vulnerable if the Derby would become a test of speed rather than stamina. But Wayne Lordan – not the most inspired jockey booking – has a say in how the race pans out. From his double-figure draw he can move forward and dictate, if he wants to. He won’t need to worry about stamina.

The application of cheek pieces is added bonus. This has worked wonders for Aiden O’Brien trained colts in this race before. It can help bring out additional improvement in Changingoftheguard too.

Therefore I feel the prices available, with the ground unlikely to be too fast, are way over the top. Any further rain beyond what hit Epsom this morning already will be a big help. And that’s why this lad is going to be hard to pass once in front.

10pts win – Changingoftheguard @ 10/1