Tag Archives: Musselburgh

Saturday Selections: March, 31st 2018

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Good Friday washed out – both selections non-runners thanks to the severe ground conditions at Bath yesterday. Let’s see if today – on Dubai World Cup day (one fancy for the Sheema Classic) – things go more to plan.

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3.00 Musselburgh: Class 2 Handicap, 1 mile

Some of the lesser exposed individuals are interesting, particularly Paco Boy son Fake News. The one I fancy, though, is hardy sort Indomeneo, who has seen plenty of racing as a juvenile.

He is vulnerable to an improver, and will have to overcome a wide draw. However, he has proven himself over this sort of trip and ground last year. He looked good winning two on the bounce at Ripon and Redcar, and he already ran to a TSR of 82 – so of his current mark off 84 he looks a rock solid option.

I like the fact that he is usually up with the pace. Something that is of massive advantage at Musselbourgh particularly in these type of conditions today, I feel. He will need to be sharp at the start, on the other hand – as drawn in 10 is not an easy task.

Selection:
10pts win – Indomeneo @ 7/1 VC

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4.45 Musselburgh: Class 5 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Question marks all over, so I go with one who’s proven to enjoy the ground and might not have shown his best over this sort of trip in these conditions yet: Richard Fahey’s Geoff Potts has a poor win record, however, looked an improved horse last season, particularly with cut in the ground.

He was very consisted in the second half of last season, winning a 6f Handicap on soft ground and going close enough in a handful of races subsequently. A good piece of form over the minimum trip is missing, however only twice in Handicaps did he have the chance and was very much unfancied those times.

With more rain to come, this should turn into a grind and that will suit those who act on this type of ground and stay a bit further. Geoff Potts fits the bill.

Selection:
10pts win – Geoff Potts @ 9/1 Matchbook

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8.45 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Money is already pouring in, yet top weight Fareeq looks still a tasty price. He’s a tricky sort who can make a mess of things at the start and can hang violently in the finish, however judged on his two last CD runs here at Chelmsford he should be bang there when it matters.

He won here in January in fine style, running to a time speed rating of 61 and finished subsequently a good runner-up off a revised mark, when things did not go his way as he missed the break from a widish draw and travelled always wide mostly off the bridle.

Pretty much the same story at Kempton the last time, now back at Chelmsford, a kinder draw and a mark of 60 should give him a big chance with a good 5lb claimer in the saddle.

Selection:
10pts win – Fareeq @ 12/1 VC

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5.10 Meydan: Sheeema Classic, 1m 4f

The Japanese Rey De Oro and Arc runner-up Cloth Of Stars head the market, and probably rightly so. However, at given prices, I do fee Hawkbill is the forgotten horse and way too big.

He had a fine comeback run here at Meydan earlier this months. Overcoming a wide draw and travelling wide throughout, he grinded it out eventually. This is much tougher today, obviously, but that was as good a reappearance as you could expect and shows Hawkbill is still close to his best form.

William Buick is in the saddle of the five times Group winner, including the 2016 Coral Eclipse. I hope he will have Hawkbill close enough to the pace. Stall seven is wide enough but Hawkbill has the pace to get across quickly.

He is not the best horse in the race, but if he gets an ideal run, he could be hard to pass, given race fitness is ensured.

Selection:
10pts win – Hawkbill @ 11/1 PP

Monday Selections – 16th October 2017

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2.40 Yarmouth: Class 5 Nursery, 7f

Owen Burrows’ Mutafarrid appears to be potentially well handicap on his nursery debut. The Dark Angel colt ran well in his last two races in maiden company – in his second career start he used allot of energy from a wide draw to be up with the pace, yet he finished a good fourth in a hot race that worked out well.

Last time at Wolverhampton he missed the break, got bumped into right after and never settled over too sharp 6f. Still he finished with credit in fifth and this athletic type should enjoy the simpler experience that is 7f at Yarmouth.

Judged on collateral form the opening mark of 69 is more than fair and he should be a bit better than that, I reckon.

Selection:
10pts win – Mutafarrid @ 5/1 Bet365

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2.50 Musselburgh: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

Big Tour is a progressive three year old colt with few miles on the clock. He won the last two in good fashion, though looked really home over 7f with a good pace on softish ground at Yarmouth last month.

He appears to be progressive and can easily have more to offer. A 6lb hike is reasonable but may not be enough to stop him.

The slight concern is the wide draw for a horse that likes to be close to the speed at a course where your chances rise and fall with track position. At the price I’m siding with him, nonetheless.

Selection:
10pts win – Big Tour @ 7/2 Skybet

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4.10 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 10f

Very weak contest and that opens the door for a surprise package. That could be handicap debutante My Name Is Jeff. He didn’t show an awful lot in three maiden starts, as you would expect. However he bumped into some decent horses along the way too.

This is way easier and ground and trip could suit perfectly. The dam was a sprinter but there is a bit stamina down the lines plus sire Mount Nelson has a fine track record over this trip with his offspring.

A lowly opening mark gives My Name Is Jeff a fair chance to improve dramatically from anything he has shown to date.

Selection: 
10pts win – My Name Is Jeff @ 12/1 Bet365

Saturday Selections: St. Leger Day 2017

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1.30 Chester: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This type of race in this type of conditions won’t suit many in this field, but favourite Show Palace has a prime chance to bounce back to form. He already won three times this year and loves the mud plus looks still to have a bit more to offer with the right conditions.

Franny Norton in the saddle is another bonus, while the positive draw enhances his chances even further.

Selection: 
10pts win – Show Palace @ 3/1 Skybet

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2.40 Chester: Listed Stand Cup Stakes, 1m 4f 

Group 3 winning Duretto proves popular with punters though the well exposed and less sexy Soldier In Action is a better bet in my book. He thrives in tough conditions like the ones to expect at Chester today and stays all day long.

He didn’t land a blow in the Ebor, however won a tough handicap the same month of a mark off 106. So he’s clearly a smart operator. Rated within three pounds of Duretto, match fitness might prove and advantage for Mark Johnston’s inmate, I believe.

Selection:
10ts win – Soldier In Action @ 11/4 Paddy Power

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3.35 Doncaster: Group 1 St. Leger, 1m 6.5f

This years St. Leger shapes as an intriguing contest with five, six horses closely matched on ratings. No doubt, Irish Derby winner Capri warrants plenty of respect, though the ever improving Crystal Ocean, Stradivarius, Defoe and the filly Coronet all real chances to improve again with a big shout over the Leger trip.

However is the forgotten horse in the race another Ballydoyle runner? Venice Beach doesn’t get any love leading up to the race, even though he has some excellent form in the book too.

Sure, he looks short of top class over a mile and a quarter, however he shapes like a grinder who’s crying out for the trip. Watch back the Grand Prix de Paris, where he looked outpaced and beaten in the home straight. Yet he fought back gamely, found more and more and finished an excellent third.

At York in the Voltigeur he wasn’t a match for Cracksman. But he finished a clear second of some decent individuals. It might turn out that he simply is not a Group 1 animal, that says the trip and ground in combination make him a big danger to anyone in this field, I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Venice Beach @ 14/1 Bet365

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5.15 Musselburgh: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 6f

I’ve been keen on Dominating the last time at York in the Melrose Handicap, though he flopped that day. We can draw a line through that I feel, though, given it was a very hot race. This is easier and it remains the fact that Irish St. Leger winner Jukebox Jury has an outstanding record with his first crop of three year old’s in Britain.

Contributing towards this has been the Mark Johnston trained Dominating himself, as he has won already three times this year, including over the 1m 6f trip and at Musselburgh.

I don’t think conditions will be an issue for him, in case the rain arrives. He didn’t perform the one time he raced on soft ground, but on pedigree it looks fine and he’s a different horse now, I believe.

Selection:
10pts win – Dominating @ 9/2 Bet365

Friday Racing Tips

2.30 Musselburgh: Maiden Stakes, 5f

This shapes like a two-horse-race with slightly more experienced Faithful Promise heading the betting at the moment, closely followed by Fahey’s colt Shobrom.

The filly was arguably unlucky the other day when an agonisingly close runner-up. However she goes against boys now for the first time and it won’t be any easier.

Shobrom ran well on debut in a decent Newmarket maiden that already works out okay and should have decent potential for improvement. Richard Fahey’s form with two year old maidens at Musselburgh is quite tremendous over the years, so Shobrom’s chance is enhanced in my book.

Given both, Faithful Promise and Shobrom, ran to pretty similar form the last time rating wise, you would hope that the colt has more upside given he achieved it first time out.

Selection:
10pts win – Shobrom @ 13/8 Paddy Power

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3.40 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This looks like an ideal opportunity for Mark Johnston to follow on from his tremendous record as this track with fine sprinter Highly Sprung. The four year old ran with plenty of credit at Leicester when last seen and remains on his last winning mark too.

However he drops to 5f, a trip he only ran twice over in his career. With his early pace and a decent draw this could suit perfectly here at Lingfield, where Zebedee offspring has a sensational CD record.

Given Highly Sprung ran numerous times to higher RPR’s than his current handicap rating and having been rated 10lb higher only back in September 2016, there is a pretty good chance that he has a bit in hand with conditions very likely to suit.

Selection: 
10pts win – Highly Sprung @ 9/2 Bet365

Race of the Day

After a an excellent Good Friday and overall immensely satisfying week on the betting front I’ll throw my hat into the ring for one final roll of the dice before existing the week for a quiet, peaceful and stress-free weekend!

The race of the day comes from the Scottish Musselburgh today – the Class 2 Royal Mile Handicap for three year old’s sees the return of some promising individuals. Though the nature of this type of race at this early stage of the flat season also means it tends to be quite an open race.

Nonetheless it is no surprise to see a William Haggas trained inmate at the top of the charts. His Sir Prancelot gelding Novoman has been incredibly consistent as a juvenile.He’s  been out of the money only once in six starts last year.

He steps up to the one mile trip for the first time and that could edge out further improvement, which is needed, though, because judged on his juvenile form you can easily argue that he is not overly well handicapped.

Personally I’m not sure if Novoman really wants this trip and at odds around 7/2 he appears to be not a particularly good bet.

Hugo Palmer saddles speedy Mazyoun. Already Listed placed, he also ran twice to a RPR of 91, so if he can stay this 1 mile trip plus has improved over the winter then he could well be ahead of his current handicap mark.

A whole armada goes to post for Richard Fahey. He has four in the race, with the four-timer seeking Rashford’s Double the most likely winner. He is already a distance winner and has potential to be even better than what he showed last year given Zoffany offspring tends to age well.

The ground is a slight worry for me as  he already stayed beyond a mile as a juvenile and might find quick ground not necessarily playing to his strengths.

Top weight Mailshot has a big assignment of mark off 99 and is certainly exposed enough compared to others, however one the other hand he’s ever improving, won last month a fine Handicap at Chelmsford and is sure to run well today.

Rusumaat hails from the same yard as Mailshot does, providing Mark Johnston with a strong hand in the race. This lad is a busy campaigner who has already eight runs under his belt, but it is fair to say he went from strengths to strengths last season.

His final appearance in a big sales race at Doncaster can be forgiven as he reared at the start and made too much too soon subsequently. The trip is the worry today, yet not totally beyond him. He’s certainly fast, however breeding gives him a chance and he will love the fast ground.

That brings me to the one I feel could be well handicapped: It’s one Fahey’s four: Society Red – a mark of 80 could well be underestimate what he can do as a three year old. It’s only 2lb higher than when finishing a strong runner-up in his final race and handicap debut last season.

That day the leader eventually pulled out more in a slowly run race and Society Rock was clearly not favoured by the pace. However he was only beaten by a neck eventually behind a then 92 rated individual who also franked the form in the meantime.

This son of Arcano could easily improve as a three year old and despite not fully tested over the slowly run mile in his final race last year, given his dam is a winner of a listed race over this trip in soft ground , he is likely to see out the trip strongly.

From a good draw, with conditions likely to suit, I feel he’s overpriced in a race that has questions marks over all of the twelve individuals going to post at 3pm this afternoon.

Selection:
10pts win – Society Red @ 12/1 Bet365

Starshaped’s a “Good Thing” at Musselburgh

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Thanks to gutsy Bondi Beach the weekend didn’t end in a draught. The 9/1 winner of the Group 3 Curragh Cup clearly limited the losses, nonetheless it wasn’t a particularly good weekend at Irish flat racing’s HQ – from a punting perspective at least. Here’s hoping for better this week….

9.15 Musselburgh: Handicap (Class 6), 1m

Usually I avoid these low grade handicaps, but I believe to have found a “good thing” in this particular race. Starshaped has been moved to the UK after three poor performances in maiden company in Ireland. He took advantage of a lenient opening mark in a low grade handicap at Newcastle four weeks ago.

Up with the leading pack, he quickened away from 2f out once the pace collapsed. He won pretty easily in the end. 7lb hike in the mark for this success looks fair but may not stop him. He has been gelded in the meantime and that as well as natural progression should bring out a bit more.

He has been allocated a poor draw but may be able to overcome it – and hopefully does, since it is an advantage to be up with the pace at Musselburgh. Positive tactics were employed the last time, so it’s likely to be same today. If they make a bit of use of his stamina early on it shouldn’t be a problem as he is entitled to stay further on pedigree.

So I’d expect him to be in the right position when it matters. It’s a very winnable race and it looks significant that jockey Ronnan Whelan comes over from Ireland for this one single ride.

Starshaped @ 10/3 Betfred – 10pts Win

Preview – Musselburgh Gold Cup

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An intriguing contest which should turn into a real stamina test. Progressive stayer Handiwork looks to have a big shout with Joe Fanning on board. His ability to handle soft ground and to stay two miles are a key combination today. I feel further improvement is already very much reflected in the short odds, though. Top weight Lady Kashaan goes well with cut in the ground, but the trip stretches her stamina and with a very big weight to overcome, she may struggle here. Usually in attacking mode, Be Perfect must have a serious chance if he handles the ground. But despite drying ground, it remains very much on the slow side, and that is a concern.

Streets Of Newyork was in good nick over hurdles this year already and now back on the flat off a fair mark, he should have a good chance, though his best performances on the flat came over shorter trips. The lightly races Royal Signaller could easily have still more to offer. The trip and ground are slight worries. If he handles both, he’ll  be a big runner. Same applies to Braes Of Lochalsh. First start in handicaps & feather weight are an interesting combination, but he’s completely unproven on ground and trip and could be anything.

From a betting perspective I feel Richard Guest’s runner Precision Strike is a very big price. It remains to be seen if the track plays to his strengths, but the five year old clearly handles ground and trip. He was a really progressive stayer last season, culminating back in October in an excellent success in a 2m Handicap at Haydock. He probably needed his recent outing at Wolverhampton and while he was a long way beaten, one would expect him to be much more competitive today. If he can make enough progress entering the home straight to be not too far of the pace, he will have a big shout in this I feel.

3.25 Musselburgh: Musselburgh Gold Cup
Precision Strike @ 22/1 Bet365 – 5pts win