Tag Archives: Newbury

Saturday Selections: March, 2nd 2019

National Hunt Fence

1.30 Newbury: Class 3 Handicap Hurdle, 2m 4f 118y

Nico de Boinville for Ben Pauling over hurdles at Newbury…. an interesting combination. A winning one, history tells us. They team up here with A Hare Breath. The veteran has question to answers after poor showings lately.

Nonetheless, fitted with CP for the first time, dropping significantly in the weights into an easier race, with conditions to suit, he should have on based on that a tremendous chance to win this race.

Obviously only if he is still in the mood. We probably will know soon after the start whether he is on a going day. At given prices I feel it is a fair risk to take.

Selection:
10pts win – A Hare Breath @ 6/1 MB

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3.00 Doncaster: Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, 3m½f

Danse Idol has top form in the book as runner-up in graded company. She could prove hard to beat if she takes to the trip over this fast ground.

I feel she is short enough in the betting and red hot mare Bonza Girls offers better value. 5-5 in handicaps this season, she is improving rapidly. This is a higher grade and she has to improve again.

However, given she tries 3 miles for the first time, a distance that could suit and may well eke out more improvement, given she has been very game in her races, always running well to the line, it is possible we haven’t seen her best yet.

Selection:
10pts win – Bonza Girl @ 5/1 MB

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3.35 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap Chase, 3m 2f

Given form and ratings, Dingo Dollar offers plenty of upside and looks a shade overpriced in this race. On the surface he was slightly disappointing in the Listed Skybet Handicap Chase here at Doncaster recently, however that form as well as his run in the Grade 3 Landbrokes Chase were strong races.

This looks easier. The trip will suit. The additional furlong should be to his aid. Off 148 back in a handicap I feel there is still a bit more to come.

It’s Wayne Hutchinson’s only ride on the card also. He knows the horse well already, which is a bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Dingo Dollar @ 4/1 PP

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7.30 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Real Estate is clearly in good form as his last performances suggest. He also remains handicapped to go close again. He may have better form over 7f, however he can be keen over that trip, and his latest runs over the shorter trip are promising.

Those races look like rock solid form, he’s also rated a pound below his last winning mark right now. There doesn’t seem to be too much pace on in this race today, so from a good draw there is fair chance he’ll be well positioned to make a break turning for home, playing out his extra bit of stamina in the closing stages.

Callum Shepherd comes here for this one ride only; let’s hope he can make this one a winning one.

Selection:
10pts win – Real Estate @ 10/1 PP

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Thursday Selections: July, 26th 2018

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8.50 Newbury: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Bottom weight He’s Our Star can go back to back today, after a rather impressive maiden win in a class 5 Handicap against his own age four weeks ago at this very venue.

He seemed slightly flat footed early on as the pace was strong – that’s the major concern dropping down to 7f today – but found himself with a wall of horses to pass in the home straight.

Once with  bit of daylight the three year old gelding jump for it, producing a nice turn of foot to win a shade cozily on the line, despite the close winning margin.

He’s only gone up 3lb for this success, while the form has been franked multiple times in the meantime. He also raced to a TS rating of 67 that day, which equals his new mark.

With a low weight today and a potentially underestimation of his true merit by the handicapper, He’s Our Star should have a cracking chance to follow-up on this recent success today, as long he isn’t completely taken off his feat by slightly shorter trip.

Selection:
10pts win – He’s Our Star @ 5/1 PP

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

………

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 – 19th August 2017

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Great Sound made my Friday. Superb win, different class in his race. Shame that Dreaming Time faded badly in the home straight when seemingly travelling well for most of the time. Owen The Law was a non-runner.

Big weekend ahead – I may shove my ass down to the Curragh on Sunday in fact – however Saturday looms large with a tremendous amount of great racing. Winx already kicked us off with a special performance in the Warwick Stakes this morning over in Australia, Arrogate will follow tonight, whereas there are some compelling Stakes races on offer in the UK and Ireland.

However I set my sights, as so often, on the slightly lower end of the class scale. Here we go!

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3.15 Ripon: Class 2 Handicap, 6f

Big and wide open sprint handicap, I feel Right Touch with Franny Norton on board is a massive price to give a bit of a chance here. He is down to his last winning mark, and while ideally the ground would be a bit softer, he does run well on genuine good ground.

He’s been not setting the world alight this season yet, mostly campaigned over 7f. The drop down to 6f should suit him, though, and given he is a also a course winner means at 25’s it is worth a nibble.

Selection:
10pts win – Right Touch @ 25/1 Bet365

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4.05 Newbury: Maiden Stakes , 1m 4f

Those with experience haven’t achieved an awful lot I feel, so to give a newcomer a chance isn’t that big a deal. John Gosden’s Gns750k yearling with the slightly unflattering name Erdogan, is a super interesting newcomer, one we have waited a long time to see.

A son of Frankel out of the superb Dar Re Mi who already has produced noticeable stakes performers no less so with So Mi Dar, Erdogan boosts the most magnificent pedigree.

Whether he is ready to go we will find out today, but given we’re midway through the season with some big targets on the horizon, one would think he has to run well today in order to have a chance to compete in the big stake races in autumn.

Selection:
10pts win – Erdogan @ 7/2 Coral

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4.40 Newbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Black Bolt bolted up on his second career start in a Kempton maiden back in December. Not seen since fitness is taken on trust.

However he has the pedigree to do well as a three year old and should enjoy the step up in trip to 10f. His sire Cape Cross has a significant record in softish conditions at this track too.

An opening mark of 82 in a race where the main rivals are seemingly older horses could be lenient.

Selection:
10pts win – Black Bolt @ 13/2 William Hill

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4.45 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Bidding for a hat-trick, Barwell can easily find still a bit more and is very dangerous here, however I’m firmly in the Alfarris camp. The Shamardal son is still lightly raced and has improved with each run after landing an All-Weather maiden earlier this year.

His runner-up performance at Chelmsford in May rates strongly with the form book and his subsequent run at Ascot in a hot class 2 Handicap is equally a strong performance. He was carried to the left by the eventual winner over 2f out but more importantly looked disorganized which meant he could not finish closer than 4th.

Head-gear applied for the first time should help in this case, he also drops back to suitable 10f and quite a bit in class. He could have too much on his plate for this lot I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Alfarris @ 10/3 Bet365

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5.35 Ripon: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Chocolate Box looks ready to strike and may regret betting against him, however Sole Mission is equally a sporting chance, however a better price and has already proven he can get his head in front.

So he did at Carlisle on his penultimate start in excellent fashion. Things did not quite work out the next time however we can probably draw a line through that run and give him another chance.

He has been improving this season which one would expect from a very late May foal. Being a hold up horse is something i usually feel not totally comfortable betting on, however his sire Sea The Stars boots a tremendous record at this track.

Selection: 
10pts win – Sole Mission @ 7/1 Bet365

Friday Selection: 18th August 2017

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No luck on Thursday. Beaten in second but certainly fair and square by a better horse was Call Me Grumpy, whereas Grand Myla never got a chance from her position and was hardly touched by Ryan Moore and looked more like a ride where winning was not necessarily the main thing on his mind.

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1.20 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Nursery, 5f

Poor race that is open for an upset. Owen The Law is an interesting All-Weather debutante, who has the pedigree to improve a good bit for the switch to this surface being a half-brother to a fair AW performer in Bazguy and his sire Equianio boosting a strong record with juveniles over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton.

First time visored, also dropping in trip, class and mark, with his latest form looking slightly better than the bare results suggests given it has been franked multiple times by horses around Owen The Law, I believe he can run a big race for a big price.

Selection:
10pts win – Owen The Law @ 18/1 Bet365

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3.10 Newbury: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 5f

Great Sound is one of two three year olds in this field but certainly the more promising one of the two. He is still very lightly raced and showed plenty of greenness in his two career starts to date.

He made a habit of breaking badly, which might be less a problem in the race today, stepping up another couple of furlongs which on pedigree does not look unlikely to suit.

He won on debut when giving his rider a hard time but eventually motored home in impressive style. He followed up with a third place albeit a good way beaten on handicap debut what looked a hot race with the impressive winner franking the form subsequently.

Great Sounds looks one who has still much more to give on his only third career start, he remains on the same mark which appears fair and the new trip can work in his favour.

Selection: 
10pts win – Great Sound @ 3/1 Bet365

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4.30 Wolverhampton, Class 5 Handicap, 9.5f

James Tate usually does incredibly well with his starters at Wolverhampton during this time of the year. So it looks significant that he pitches new recruit Dreaming Time into this wide open looking Handicap.

The filly is now in his care after leaving Hugo Palmer for whom she won a maiden at Lingfield but result wise disappointed on handicap debut at Chelmsford. However things didn’t go her way that day and it was a very hot race.

Back after a break for the new trainer she drops 4lb as well as two classes. So this should be much easier and the step up in trip to 9.5f seems a smart move. If she is race fit she must have a better chance than her price suggests to go close here.

Selection:
10pts win – Dreaming Time @ 10/1 Bet365

Saturday Preview: Lockinge Stakes Day

What a finish in the Yorkshire Cup (Group 2) yesterday – nearly four in line going down to the wire with the Queen’s horse Dartmouth getting the better of 2015 St. Ledger heroine Simple Verse – just!

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3.30 Newbury: Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, 1 Mile

The first big clash of the best older milers this season. And what a mouth-watering race in prospect this is. Three 120/+ individuals  head to head – this could go down to the wire!

Or not? All three main contenders – Ribchester, Galileo Gold and Lightning Spear – have to overcome the slight doubts of full race fitness on their seasonal reappearance.

Could that play into the hands of the master that is Aiden O’Brien? Shrewdly he has placed Somehow – a quality filly in her own right – here in the Lockinge. With her sex allowance and fitness assured, she could certainly cause an upset.

Somewhow won twelve days ago a Group 2 at Newmarket – a fifth career success in ten starts – though the jury is still out whether she is a top-notcher.

Dropping down to a mile in soft conditions I can see a scenario unfold where she cruises closely behind Ribchester’s pacemaker, and then from over 3f out takes over with a big move that puts all behind in trouble. With fitness and stamina a given, she could stay on to lead the field all the way over the line.

The 7/1 odds scream value if you believe in the merit of this scenario. I do. But I also have concerns about the fact that Somehow already had three tough races – two in very tough conditions – in the last five weeks. Plus she has to find a bit with the three big guns if ratings are believed.

On ratings there is not a lot between Ribchester, Galileo Gold and Lightning Spear, though. I would still discount David Simcock’s six year old on the basis of the ground that probably does suit him the least. His very best in the past came on fast ground. Plus Lightning Spear is still searching for the elusive first Group 1 victory.

That is different for Ribchester and Galileo Gold. Both have won on the highest level – Galileo Gold even twice. And both have excellent form with cut in the ground.

The score’s equal between the two. On ratings there’s a single pound between them, yet the market has Ribchester a clear 6/4 favourite. Probably on the basis that the son of Iffraaj has still a bit of improvement left.

He might have but he might not. In fact there is only a single career run betwen Ribchester and Galileo Gold.

On balance I would agree that Ribchester is likely to be the better prospect for the season. He looks the type to do better with age and experience, whereas Galileo Gold appears more likely to regress. However at this point in time it is also Galileo Gold’s best chance to win a big race this year, I feel.

Connections will certainly be aware of this. He should be fully wound up, his record as a fresh horse is fine and of all horses in the field he has the best record on soft ground. So given the prices I have to side with Galileo Gold who I would have more like a 5/2 chance in my book.

Selection:
10pts win – Galileo Gold @ 9/2 Bet365

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4.05 Newbury: Class 2 Conditions Stakes, 6 Furlongs

All about Richard Hannon’s Denaar here. He was an easy winner under hands and heels in a Chelmsford maiden on debut a mere twelve days ago over the minimum trip. The step up to 6f should suit very well and the change in conditions – at least on pedigree – is no problem; in fact can be beneficial.

The form of his maiden success looks rock solid through the experienced runner-up who on his penultimate start ran well in a race that threw up a handful of winners as well as a subsequent listed placed individual.

Selection:
10pts win – Denaar @ 15/8 Paddy Power

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5.10 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 1 Mile

Big field and an open contest, so at a price I give Grand Inquisitor a chance to find back to some sort of form, now returning to turf with cut in the ground off a dangerous mark.

He moved yards during the winter and hasn’t excelled for new connections on the All-Weather the last two starts over seven furlongs, but it might not be wise to judge him too harshly on those efforts.

Back over the slightly longer trip with conditions he’s proven to handle and only 2lb above his last winning mark I see a fair chance for him returning to form Not to forget he ran some massive races off much higher marks last season and knocked on the door in tough Handicaps of marks around 95.

Selection:
10pts win – Grand Inquisitor @ 18/1 Bet365

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5.35 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 5 Furlongs

Richard Fahey’s Paddy Power slipped dramatically in the handicap mark compared to what the four year old ran of last season. Now down to 75 with the benefit of a fine pipe opener on Newcastle’s All-Weather, the gelding seems well handicapped on return to turf.

His win record is dismal, but he raced of up to 10lb higher in good Handicaps last year has performed more often than with credit – in fact on RPR’s he ran 11 times to ratings above his current mark of 75.

Softish conditions should be no problem, he has some okay form on this type of surface. His sire performs decent enough too, and the dam is a Listed winner on soft ground. Added 3lb apprentice allowance is a little icing on the cake.

Selection:
10pts win – Paddy Power @ 4/1 Bet365

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8.50 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 6 Furlongs

I give handicap debutante Manshood a good chance to outrun his price tag. He’s had five starts in maiden company so far, placed three times, the two times he ran over today’s trip he was in the money running to RPR’s of 72 and 73.

He’s got a fine pipe opener under his belt last month, that should set him up nicely and didn’t sacrifice his potentially lenient opening mark.

Potentially lenient if he improves for his first handicap start in new conditions. Soft ground, though, should suit quite well on pedigree.  Martin Lane was the other day in the saddle, so got to know Manshood, and has the ride today too. Could be an advantage.

Selection: 
10pts win – Manshood @ 14/1 Paddy Power

Crystal Ocean – a Derby contender?

It’s been quite an excellent week – another one, I dare to say – as Dakota Gold went in at 12/1 and did so in fine fashion. Enjoy as long as it lasts…. desperate times may be around the corner at any given point as the past has taught.

Betting aside, it’s bee a huge day for racing. The jumps still feature big time, despite May only days away. The Scottish National was on the cards today, and one I fancied allot for Aintree, who then fell at the very first fence, made amends here and made it back to back victories in the Scottish equivalent: Vicente!

At Newbury we saw a potential 2000 Guineas contender – a serious one, most likely. Barney Rot looks a brute of a horse and overcame inexperience to score readily in the Greenham Stakes for his daddy Exelebration who himself was runner-up in this race who then went on to win the German Guineas subsequently.

Bareny Rot, though, will run at Newmarket and must be a serious contender if he turns up healthy. He’s now a mere 6/1 chance and should be ready for a step up to the 1 mile trip. That says I remain firmly in the Al Wukair camp, of course!

We may saw a different Classics contender at Nottingham: in the 6.30 Maiden the well fancied Sea The Stars colt Crystal Ocean impressed me with an easy victory in what appeared not a bad race at all. But he did it so nicely, all hands and heels. A bright future lies ahead?

Possibly. He is certainly bred to be a really good horse. Crystal Ocean is closely related to the excellent Crystal Capella and the Derby trial might be next on the agenda now that’ll give us a better idea of how good he really is.

It’s noteworthy that Crystal Ocean is trained by shrewd Sir Michael Stoute who certainly knows how to get one ready for the big day. With a muddy Derby picture at this point in time I’ll do have a small nibble at 40’s – he may not run, but if he does, this price could easily look incredibly big.

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4.55 Navan: Class 1 Handicap, 1m 2f

Prendergast’s Althiba is one who looks ready to step up and take advantage of a fair looking mark after a fine placed effort on her seasonal debut. However I feel the top weight Massif Central could easily do the same but offers much better value at a huge price.

Massif Central ran pretty well in maiden company, achieving mid-80 RPR’s that make his handicap mark appear fair. However on handicap debut which was also his seasonal comeback he started awkwardly and was soon relegated to the back of the field. He didn’t really look comfortable throughout and turning widest didn’t help either.

He still ran better than the bare form suggests, though this looked more like a pipe opener than anything else. On the other hand he seems physically improved. A fine, biggish, scopey colt, who now steps up to 10f for the first time.

Not a given that he stays the trip, but there is a fair chance he does and if that turns out to be true than it is not unreasonable to believe he can improve for his second seasonal run too. If same happens then he could be a bit better than his current rating. Also this is an easier race than the other day plus the better ground should suit.

With a top jockey in the saddle I feel connections expect a big run from this Arcano son – at 12’s he seems quite a bit overpriced in an open race.

Selection:
10pts win – Massif Central @ 12/1 Paddy Power