Tag Archives: Lingfield

Friday Selections: January, 11th 2019

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Finally a winner again after hitting the post a handful of times lately – The Right Choice (11/1) was the right choice indeed! He drew clear in the closing stages to land the 6f sprint after a hectic race that saw him under pressure at the back of the field right from the start.

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6.45 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 2m ½f

Thresholdofadream looks certainly well in here of a rating of 55 after two highly promising efforts in October and November, her first tries on the All-Weather as well stepping up significantly in trip.

She was arguably unlucky not finish closer over 14f here at Wolverhampton and subsequently she should have won at Lingfield the way she finished, if not for her poor positioning way too far off the pace.

This race is in fact even weaker, so given Thresholdofadream remains unexposed on the AW and the trip as well as being still lightly raced, there is every chance for more natural improvement.

The only issue is the wide draw and her running style, which caused her to get into trouble the last two times. Drawn in 11 may see her confronted with the same sort of scenario. Thankfully top man Joe Fanning is on board.

Selection:
10pts win – Thresholdofadream @ 7/2 MB

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Saturday Selections: January, 5th 2019

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1.45 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f

Only three horses that realistically appear to be handicapped to go close here in my book: the short priced favourite, only his second AW start could defy the slight rise in the weights for his winning debut in autumn with a first tongue tie applied this time.

Trallee Hills is dropping down to a rather manageable mark if he could translate his turf form to the sand. Certainly Nylon Speed is the more interesting individual, but no value at given prices.

Really the most compelling case can be made for top weight Dutch Uncle. He changed yards over the summer after a pretty decent – albeit winless – winter campaign, mostly at Lingfield over 10f, finishing 3 out of 6 times in the money in much more competitive races than this one here.

A run to blow the cobwebs away on his Olly Murphy Debut, was followed by a much improved display in an Apprentice Seller at the end of last month. Obviously he was well entitled to win that one.

He did it in style, hard on the bridle. Judged through the runner-up this form looks good and proves Dutch Uncle is as good as ever, certainly on nearly the same level of form as last winter.

That is good, because he stays over 12f at Lingfield, a trip he’s not been racing often over, but he’s got a 2:1-2 record over. The most recent outing wasn’t the fastest race, but the way he saw it out incredibly strongly, accelerating easily without breaking sweat in the final two furlongs suggesting this could be his ideal trip round Lingfield, a place he always performs well at.

Dutch Uncle doesn’t need to improve to win this, he simply needs to run to his mark – which, he is well capable of seemingly.

Selection:
10pts win – Dutch Uncle @ 7/1 VC

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5.15 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

More often than not I get it wrong when saying it – of course, this is horse racing, it’s hard to be overly confident – but I’m excited as heck because I feel Blue Harmony could be supremely well handicapped in this race!

The equation is a simple one: the filly has been dropped dramatically in her handicap mark, mainly on the basis of a string of poor showings which – in my view – came on the back of marks too high as a result of her maiden win and a couple of subsequent decent handicap efforts. It took a while to get the weight down.

But now, second third for a new yard after a bit of a break, she drops to a more realistic distance plus got another few pounds off thanks her most recent 7th place finish at Wolverhampton.

Looking back at race, for the first time of a rather realistic mark, but probably a trip still too far, things didn’t go to plan early on when the inexperienced apprentice jockey removed the hood way too late, the filly bumped into a couple of horses and was lit up.

She dropped over the next furlongs back in the field, finding herself turning wider than ideal for home and when attempting to make a run, she lost her footing, stumbling, losing all momentum.

She still managed to finish 7th in quite a hot contest – the form has worked out rather well for that type of low grade race.

Now down to a mark of 53, one has to remember Blue Harmony has been running to a TS 69 rating in the past and to RPR’s over 53 on on six out of nine occasions on the All-Weather.

Even more significantly she gets the assistance of competent 5lb claimer Megan Nicholls and has the additional aid of a good draw. The price on offer is way over the top I feel given how well this filly could be handicapped.

Selection:
10pts win – Blue Harmoney @ 15/1 VC/PP

Saturday Selections: November, 24th 2018

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

12.50 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Despite a winless record of 0 for 15, Jeopardy John dropps to an intriguing mark here. This is a competitive race, so a tough assignment on that front, but off 59, judged by past performances, this 3yo gelding has a shout.

He was placed off 69 in the past, and on turf off 71 earlier this year. He also ran to TS rating of 63 and 64 on turf and AW. A recent 3rd place finish at Kempton was a solid performance, suggesting he isn’t too far away from going really close.

Another pound off the mark today and a step up to 7f – a trip that should be close to his optimum on pedigree.

Selection:
10pts win – Jeopardy John @ 17/1 MB

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2.00 Lingfield: Novice Stakes, 6f

The odds-on favourite looks to have a lot going for herself: an impressive winner on debut, she will be hard to beat. However, time wise she didn’t do a lot that day and as we head into winter, fillies are generally vulnerable.

Newcomer No Nonsense is out of a juvenile A–Weather winner and has a good draw to play with on debut. Gerald Mosse is unlikely to come to Lingfield for a nice day out with the family on what is his sole ride.

Mosse and Elsworth have a 3 for 5 record on the All-Weather this season – so you bet the colt is ready to go on day on day.

Selection:
10pts win – No Nonsense @ 12/1 MB

Thursday Selections: October, 4th 2018

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5.35 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

The top weight is the one to beat in my book, despite his “patchy record” over the last weeks. Fact is Roundabout Magic has a proven track record here at Lingfield, particularly over the minimum trip and has achieved twice a TS rating off 67 this season, suggesting he is well up to his current mark off 66.

He’s been racing in better races lately, so dropping back into class 6 is a hint in itself. The last time he raced as low as this he won over CD back in February.

Roundabout Magic has a good draw to ensure he’s close to the pace in case this becomes a muddling affair. It’s a slight concern that he was slowly into stride lto, though this wasn’t a habit in the past, so here’s hoping it was only “Once Off”.

Jockey Nicky Mackay has only this single ride today and he has a pretty decent record for trainer Simon Daw in these type of races and has also won on Roundabout Magic already.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 7/2 WH

Saturday Selections: July, 21st 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.25 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 16.5f

Bottom weight Almoghared drops down into this right from an excellent performance in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot – form that has been franked by the superb winner subsequently.

Almoghared didn’t have a chance but until the final furlong marker was still right in the game. He probably isn’t quite up to that standard and doesn’t look a fast horse. So the step up to this marathon trip on handicap debut looks a good move.

The jury is out, however. His maiden win at Chepstow is worth nothing, though he was incredibly green that day and today marks only his fourth career start. Given Almoghared is superbly well bred there is every chance he can pull out more against older horses now, leveraging a handy WFA allowance.

Selection:
10pts win – Almoghared @ 6/1 PP

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5.50 Ripon: Class 5 Maiden Handicap, 6f

Cobalty Isle must have a cracking chance if he can find back to anything close of his best form. He’s dropped dramatically in the mark after a string of bad performances, though noteworthy he was an excellent 4th in a red hot Wolverhampton Handicap back in March of a 9lb higher mark than today.

He showed promise as as a juvenile, ran to a TS rating of 61 on debut and poses a top RPR of 78. He must go close here with conditions to suit.

That is if there isn’t anything totally wrong with him. Cheek-pieces and tongue tie applied the last time are a concern. The same headgear is on today. Nonetheless at given prices he is a cracking value bet in my book – if he can find back some form.

Selection:
10pts win – Cobalty Isle @ 16/1 VC

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6.30 Haydock: Novice Stakes, 7f

Line Of Duty is the obvious one here, but he is a super short price. Also an expensive yearling is Massam, though, who equally was not quite the luckiest one as Line Of Duty was on their respective debuts.

Massam showed allot of greenness at Chelmsford earlier this month after getting tied up in a battle for the early speed right after the start. He didn’t get the clearest of runs turning for home either and was hanging toward the far rail in the home straight too.

He should have learned plenty that day and has allot of scope to improve dramatically for that experience. Whether he is quite good enough to be beat the favourite remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Massam @ 6/1 MB

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7.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 10f

Things have slowed down a bit for excellent apprentice Ger O’Neill but it looks significant that he has this one ride today on veteran Save The Bees who has dropped to a tasty mark after a rather poor campaign this year so far.

However, down to a mark of 72, with conditions to suit and a visor r-fitted to sharpen him up, Save The Bees looks dangerous if he can find a bit of form. The 5lb claimed by O’Neill are worth every single pound, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ten year old gelding in the shake up tonight.

Selection:
10pts win – Save The Bees @ 14/1 PP

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7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Competitive race where a case can be made for pretty much all of these. I feel Ralf Beckett’s gelding Raskolnikov is overpriced, though on the back of one poor effort when he had excuses last time.

Judged by his first two career starts at Bath beforehand, on the other hand, his form does not look too different from what the market leaders have achieved to date.

This son of Excelebration has nicely improved from a physical point of view since his debut and his fourth and fifth place finishes in April and May where quite good form given how those races have worked out since then.

An opening mark of 67 could underestimate his true merit now stepping up to more suitable 6f also.

Selection:
10pts win – Raskolnikov @ 6/1 PP

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8.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Sitar hasn’t been firing in a light campaign to date, however she drops to a dangerous mark 3lb lower than her last winning mark. Conditions are unlikely to pose an issue, despite her two career wins achieved with a bit of cut in the ground.

She has the assistance of red hot Ben Curtis and offers much better value than odds-on favourite Boundary Lane.

Selection:
10pts win – Sitar @ 6/1 PP

Saturday Selections: June, 30th 2018

Newmarket July Course

3.30 Newmarket: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

Lightly raced Gather gives the impression of a filly with plenty more to offer. As an April foal she is likely to come into her own right now, and after showing excellent promise as juvenile in her final start in 2017 when 3rd in a red hot Kempton maiden, she followed on from there on her seasonal debut when running out a gutsy win over 10f at Goodwood.

That looks a fair performance, albeit more is required today, no doubt. She steps up to 12f for the first time which looks possible on pedigree. The quick surface is an unknown.

With an opening mark off 81 Gather could be undervalued judged on her last two performances. Wit that in mind, in this wide open contest I have her closer to the market leader.

Selection:
10pts win – Gather @ 7/2 VC

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3.35 Windsor: Class 3 Handicap, 1M 3F 99Y

An open and incredibly competitive little handicap, though few appear to be well handicapped. A fair case can be made for relatively lightly raced favourite Humble Rock. But he is short enough in the betting.

I can entertain the thought of Majeed to return to form, though. Anything close to what he ran to on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in a similar contest when runner-up should see him in with a big shout.

Now an eight year he isn’t the force of old, however of a mark off 94 he is dangerous in a contest like this. The fast ground is fine, the trip ideal and the fact he ran 14 times in 32 career starts to RPR’s higher than 94 means he is well capable of living up to his current mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Majeed @ 16/1 PP

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7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

The only colt in the race Roundabout Magic has an excellent chance to continue his superb run of form. His latest run at Brighton was a slight disappointment compared to how well he performed in weeks before, however after pulling incredibly hard for half of the race his jockey didn’t beat him up in the closing stages. He still was less than 3 lengths beaten.

He was a bit unlucky twice before, at Lingfield on the AW in a hot class 4 contest when finishing super strongly after having his momentum coming to an abrupt end by a slowing horse in front.

Arguably a career best performance came on Lingfield’s 5f turf track five days earlier when again running into a bit of trouble but finishing with a burst of speed on the inside. He ran to a career best speed rating and RPR that day, which came on the back of a fine win at Brighton a fortnight ago.

Roundabout Magic is in superb form, he may hold little secrets from the handicapper, but judged by the last efforts, he may still overcome a career highest mark in a race that looks not too strong on paper.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 7/2 MB

Derby Day Selections: June, 1st 2018

Gleneagles

4.30: Group 1, Epsom Derby, 1m 4f

Guineas winner Saxon Warrior looks rock solid judged on anything he has done so far. I love his physique, the way he goes through his races… everything, really. But from draw 1, which comes with so many complications, at odds-on it’s not a bet for me.

I stick to AOB, though. The forgotten one, it seems, The Pentagon, is drifting out to a massive price this morning. It’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to reputation of his sensational pedigree yet, and by any means he isn’t flashy if you see him racing.

The Pentagon was a workmanlike winner of a poor Group 3 last season, enhanced his credentials massively with an excellent 3rd place in the Racingpost Trophy eventually, though. The race wasn’t run to his advantage, he was badly positioned and clearly didn’t have the tactical speed when it was paramount to have. Yet he stayed on eye-catchingly.

This season he’s been disappointing given lofty expectations in two starts: a 3rd place in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown was underwhelming to many. Nonetheless, it was a fair effort in a race that was more about speed than stamina.

Fact is, The Pentagon is all about stamina, nothing about speed. He lacks gears and is a grinder.

He’s high class, I believe, regardless. He needs the right test to show his best. The step up in trip and the usually frantic pace of the Derby might be what he needs to be at his very best. From a good draw he is likely to go forward, he might even be tasked with pacemaker duties.

I don’t mind that at all. In fact it should be to his advantage. The cut in the ground won’t be a problem. It might even help. I can see a scenario where he tracks a fast pace and Wayne Lordan pushes the red button turning for home. It’s a long way home from there but this lad stays all day long….

At 50/1 this looks a cracking each-way bet. The better fancied horses might catch him eventually, but he could stay to the line for some fine place money.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – The Pentagon @ 50/1 WH

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2.35 Epsom: Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, 8.5f

The 1000 Guineas form has worked out really well already, so seventh placed finisher Anna Nerium should find the drop in grade a big help. Already a Group 3 scorer, she has trained on, proving it when winnig the Free Handicap on her seasonal reappearance in great style.

The Guineas was probably a bit too hot, however in lesser grade she remains a big gun given she is a full sister to smart Piping Rock. First time going against older horses, now is the time when the WFA allowance starts to swing into an advantage for the three year old’s, I feel.

Epsom is a different test and it remains to be seen whether she likes it or not. Ground isn’t an issue, on the other hand. On the plus side: her sire Dubawi has a tremendous CD record here.

Selection:
10pts win – Anna Nerium @ 9/2 PP

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3.45: Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

The ‘dash’ is often a bit of a lottery. In-running luck plays a big part. So there is always a chance for something big to finish in the money. I feel I can enhance my ‘luck’ by selecting a horse that has potential to outrun his price tag.

Storm Over is the one: he won a soft ground 5f handicap at Catterick in his final race of 2017. A massive performance, running to a 4lb higher time speed rating than his then handicap mark. He’s raised for that effort by only five pounds.

He ran with credit on his seasonal debut in April. He should come on for a sixth placed finish in a race that has worked out tremendously well in the meantime.

Cut in the ground works for him. Question will be the track and in-running luck. If both goes his way I anticipate a massive run by this still pretty lightly raced four year old colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Storm Over @ 22/1 PP

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5.25 Doncaster + 6.10 Lingfield

Sam Gold for Roger Varian ran well in defeat on his seasonal return in a first handicap. The form looks strong with the winner performing with credit in the Guineas. He drops in class and should be hard to beat.

Sir Mark Prescott has identified an easy target for rapidly improving filly Midnight Blue at Lingfield. She won a minor event at Wolverhampton but should be hard to beat under a penalty with the step up in trip a big plus. From a plum draw she’s likely to be up with the pace.

Selection:
10pts win double – Sam Gold + Midnight Blue @ 3.72/1 VC