Tag Archives: Listed Race

Preview: Pomfret Stakes

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4.00 Pontefract: Pomfret Stakes (Listed), 1m

The boys in blue have a red hot favourite here in Let’s Go. This three year old gelding recently smashed some decent handicappers on only his second ever career start and on that evidence, given the weight for age allowance, he might be hard to beat today.

However it’s completely different – i.e. stronger – opposition as well as a different surface he meets here – we’ll find out how he handles it. Given his skinny price I look elsewhere.

I feel there isn’t much between the others well fancied rivals. Mondialiste can bounce back from a slightly disappointing effort at Royal Ascot. He’s having a strong season nonetheless and his third behind French Navy in Group 3 company sets the standard.

Short Squeeze ran his heart out at Windsor last month; he’ll be competitive today as long as he can overcome the track bias. He usually comes from well off the pace, however Pontefract suits more prominent runners.

Consistent Fire Ship is unbeaten over course and distance and has some creditable performances to his name this year: a fair third behind Top Notch Tonto when last seen, and an excellent 3rd in a hot Leopardstown Group 3. He’s hasn’t won since 2013, though.

Birdman has been a revelation this season. He’s now as highly rated as he has been back in his promising juvenile days. He deserves a shot at this race but I feel this could be too hot for him. The other 3yo in the field, Hail The Hero, will find this a tough assignment her, despite WFA in his favour.

Verdict: Whether the quick ground will hold up with rain falling right now, I’m not sure. But if it goes into the ground it shouldn’t inconvenience too many. However I feel Fire Ship is overpriced in this field. He loves it around this track, won’t mind the rain, and has been in good form. I don’t see why he is twice the price of Mondialiste. There isn’t much between them.

Fire Ship @ 8/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win

Merry Me Can Upset in Pipalong Stakes

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3.10 Pontefract: Pipalong Stakes (Fillies’ Listed), 1m

Favourite Temptress should be hard to beat given her brilliant run at Royal Ascot when she followed up on an ultra impressive performance on her seasonal debut. However her draw and running style are a slight negative at this track, so she might be vulnerable to someone who gets first run.

I feel this could be Merry Me. The filly seems on the upward with age. She left a poor season opener behind with a massive run in a Handicap at Epsom. She travelled strongly chasing the pace, didn’t seem to be impacted by a bit of a rough ride in the home straight and went clear inside the final furlong, just to get a bit tired or idle in the dying strides when eventual winner Gratzie came out of nowhere to get up on the line.

Merry Me didn’t have time to respond to this challenge and gave a good deal of weight away to the winner as well. The slight drop to 1m should suit perfectly today though as well as track and ground.

Merry Me @ 6/1 Coral – 5pts Win

Boom The Groom Back With A Bang On Turf?

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Okay, I know one shouldn’t do this, but hey, I’m only human, right? I have to admit 1f out I was counting my cash as Greatest Journey loomed large on the outside in the Tattersalls Millions and I would have thought he will easily outstay Cape Clear Island….. I was wrong. A close 2nd was all he got in the end.

Moheet’s bubble burst. Quite badly in the Craven Stakes. Backed off the boards beforehand but didn’t show anything that would have warranted the hype (which I wanted to believe as well). Hail The Hero didn’t quite get a clear run on the inside, though is not up to this standard. Says off his current mark of 87 I’d think he could be still well in if back in Handicap company….

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3.55 Newbury: Dubai Duty Free Handicap (Class 2)

A very tight Sprint Handicap without the one obvious candidate. It’s all to play for here and I feel that the first two in the betting are definitely skinny prices and therefore to take on. No doubt, Lucky Beggar is a fine sprinter and dropping down into Handicap company after a fair, though not sparkling effort in a very hot Listed contest over 6f at Doncaster, gives him a chance to be competitive. Though he also drops in trip, and this combination of minimum distance plus quick ground looks not quite ideal.

Robot Boy was a creditable third in the Borderlescott Sprint Trophy two weeks ago and should strip fitter. Ground and trip is fine and he has some good form to his name, though his last win came five starts ago off 11lb lower. Seven year old Steps has to give plenty of weight away and may be better suited with a bit of cut in the ground. Normal Equilibrium has to follow-up his recent Chelmsford success under a penalty. His win record doesn’t inspire too much confidence.

As a juvenile Group 2 winner, but now a four year old, Green Door hasn’t won since his big day in autumn 2013. With a dropping mark it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going close, but hard to know what to expect. Veteran Noble Storm is hard to fancy these days off a high enough mark.

Leaves us with Boom The Groom. He was a fine juvenile in Ireland but has really taken off since moving to the UK. He really excelled on the All-Weather and has won three races in the last four month. Not to forget he has been placed a dozen of times in good races. He won a Handicap off 97 and was a fine 3rd in a hot Listed race subsequently.

He wasn’t disgraced in the AW Championships Sprint either, given that he finished behind some higher rated individuals. Back on turf now, the quick ground should suit, so does the trip. His mark looks fair and he deserves his chance in this race. He may well improve again and looks the value in this race.

Boom The Groom @ 10/1 PP – 5pts win

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6.10 Bath: Lansdown Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)

I feel this five furlong sprint evolves around the two top rated older horses. I tend to believe that it is not easy for three year olds to compete with seasoned older horses in sprint races, particularly not at this stage of the season. As for the other older horses: They have an awful lot to find on the ratings.

The consistent Demora is the favourite to land this race and her record as well as top rating means she has a top chance here. She is ground independent and has strong form on a quick surface, which is what is expected at Bath. Her record fresh is excellent and while she hasn’t won in her last five starts, she ran more often than not strong races.

She is entitled to go really close, but considering her short price, I feel there isn’t much between her and most feared rival Milly’s Gift, who makes more appeal from a betting perspective.

The five year old mare Milly’s Gift has been progressive over the last two season. She won two races last year in fine style, and particularly on her most recent success, which was her penultimate start last season, she looked to have still a bit in hand. That says she didn’t enjoy the run of the race subsequently at Ascot but finished a fine third, which makes me believe she is clearly up to her current rating, if not even a bit better, and that makes her a closely matched rival with Demora.

She was a bit unlucky in a couple of big Handicaps at Ascot last year, where she also shares form with Demora and actually beat her. She probably should have won most certainly the Class 2 Herritage Handicap at Ascot in July.

On balance she may have a bit to find with the favourite on the ratings, but effectively looks as good as Demora and has done well as a fresh horse in the past. Milly’s Gift has also winning form at Bath. In my mind she looks overpriced.

Milly’s Gift @ 5/1 Coral – 5pts win

Preview – Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes

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This intriguing staying contest sees last years St. Leger sixth Forever Now reappearing. The Galileo son is still generally lightly raced and has been progressive throughout his three year old campaign. He won a Listed contest over 1m 6f at Goodwood, following on from a fine third in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy. There is every chance that he has still a bit more to offer.

The only question mark is the ground. He has some sort of form with a bit of give in the ground, but he showed his best on a better surface. Todays conditions at Nottingham are soft, though the good weather may help. One has to consider though that Forever Now is a very short price. On that basis I think it’s possible to oppose him here on his seasonal reappearance.

The filly Island Remede has the benefit of a recent run and finished a very creditable runner-up to Windshear in a Conditions Stakes over 12f on her seasonal reappearance. She clearly loves the mud and that should ensure that she’s in with a good chance to run well today.

The Ralf Beckett trained Cinnilla progressed nicely through the ranks last season, though she was found out in better class on heavy ground in France at the end of the year. Lightly raced Deuce Again has done well on the All-Weather recently, but this is a completely different test and it remains to be seen if she’s suited by it.

Clearly the most interesting runner is Godolphin’s Blue Rambler. Unbeaten in France as a three year old, where he won a Listed race over 12f in softish conditions, he moved yards subsequently but ran only once for Charlie Appleby last season, when he finished a fair third in a hot Handicap. He steps up in trip now but that shouldn’t be a problem on pedigree, and he’ll love the ground today.

First time headgear is interesting and suggests he’s not in it for a public gallop. The yard is going strongly too. While there are question marks about fitness after a long lay-off, he may have still a good deal of improvement left in him. With conditions sure to suit, I expect a big run and he looks overpriced in this field.

3.40 Nottingham: Barry Hills Further Flight Stakes (Listed)
Blue Rambler @ 13/2 Stanjames – 5pts win