Tag Archives: Newcastle

Friday Selections: January, 11th 2018

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

7.15 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

A highly competitive affair where half the field has a realistic chance to be in with a chance. That makes it a race difficult to assess for bookies and therefore there could be some wrong prices here. In my book the 14-16/1 available for My Amigo is certainly too big.

The five year old gelding has been running well- and better than the bare form suggested on a number of occasions this season – his first for the Burke yard. Nonetheless he has dropped down the weights to what is now a really dangerous mark.

He had only three starts on the All-Weather to date; a mile on AW debut was too far, however the imposing grey impressed when third in a hot race that works out well form wise the next time when dropped to 7f.

He followed up with another big performance, despite only finishing 7th. The second widest draw was no help over the 7f trip at Wolverhampton where a turn comes soon after the start, and My Amigo made life very difficult for himself when missing the kick.

He had a lot to do to catch up with the field, travelling wide for most parts of the race then and also turning widest for home, however finished the race well enough; at least on the clock.

Nonetheless the handicapper gives him a chance, taking another 2lb off. Given My Amigo ran – either on turf or AW – in his seven starts this season five times to RPR’s higher than his new mark off 73, means, with a top jockey booked, the only runner for the Burke yard on Friday has a serious chance to go close.

Selection: 
10pts win – My Amigo @ 16/1 Bet365

Thursday Selections: January, 4th 2018

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Off the mark in 2018! Pearl Nation (selected @ 4/1) and Arnarson (9/2) both won their races in rather convincing style! That’s the way to go… long may it last.

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5.35 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 12f

Can you be more unlucky than Widnes was in his last two races? You probably can, but given we deal with lowly rated individuals, the obstacles the four year old son of Showcasing had to overcome recently, were a near impossible task.

Granted, this lad is still a maiden after 16 starts. However, ever since connections opted for a tongue-tie and visor combination he’s ran eye-catchingly well in his last two starts, both over 12f at Lingfield.

He can have some issues at the start; certainly in his penultimate run, when first time tongue-tied, he reared badly and found himself at a near impossible position at the back of a 16-runner strong field.

He made good progress, despite turning extremely wide around the home turn and once re-organised, motored home to finish much the strongest.

Things worked better at the start last time out, Widnes was sent to the front soon, settled close to the pace, however slightly lacking tactical speed, found himself suddenly behind a wall of horses entering the home straight. He did not have clear passage until too late, yet finished strongly again to run on in second.

Form and ratings of those races suggest the handicapper has been lenient here: only 1lb up – if finally he get a good break and clear run, he can win a race off this mark for sure.

A good draw gives him every chance to be in a favourable position in this race; he’s the one to beat, quite clearly.

Selection:
10pts win – Widnes @ 4/1 Bet365

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4.55 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

I am taking the risk that he drifts out and is only here to run the mark down, however there is something to like about longs-hot Daschas.

This will be his third 3rd run since switching yards and being gelded, while a proper performance is dating back to the end of 2016 now. That was a commanding maiden success over 7f at Kempton.

He had to race off high marks subsequently, in races too hot for him. Now dropping in class, down to a more realistic rating, back on the All-Weather, he might be able to surprise trying the minimum trip for the very first time.

Selection:
10pts win – Daschas @ 12/1 Bet365

Tuesday Selections – January 2nd 2018

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

Happy new year! May 2018 be a successful one! In personal life as well as in the world of betting.

2017 didn’t close out with a bang. Brother Tiger, my very last selection in the now old year, ran a blinder, finished 2nd, though lost the race at the start when falling out of the gates. Onwards and upwards…

4.10 Newcastle: Class 4 handicap, 1m

First bet in 2018, of course on the All-Weather – five year old Waarif, with a first time visor applied, fits the profile I am looking for in this race.

Since moving to the O’Meara yard he hasn’t exactly set the world alight, after winning a maiden in Ireland at the third time of asking. However on ratings (RPR & TS) he’s ran well enough, suggesting there is a win in him off his current handicap mark.

An issue has been a habit of bad starts lately. It’s a risk today once more. Here’ hoping the new head-gear fitted can rectify this problem.

Dropping back to a mile, with a good draw in a winnable race, the combination of tongue-tie and visor may be the slight change needed to see Waarif get over the line again.

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

Good Friday Racing

Good Friday, long Easter weekend, no Alcohol….. something isn’t right in this list. I have to work while everyone doesn’t and I’m not allowed to down a well deserved drink in the pub afterwards…. What’s good about that???

Well, what’s certainly good about Good Friday is the excellent All-Weather Champions Day which has been going from strengths to strengths since its introduction a couple of years back.

If you enjoy the sand racing – as I do – and if you enjoy even more so decent horses running on it, well, then Friday is indeed Good Friday!

Some selections for the day as follows below – hopefully following on from two winning days in succession – what a rare feast that has been for quite some time. But thanks to Outcrop on Wednesday, who won at tasty odds of 8/1, things look slightly less bleak than they did a week ago or so.

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2.10: Lingfield: AW Marathon Championships, 2m

I have set my eyes firmly on First Mohican here, fourth in this race last year, when incredibly unlucky. He travelled like the winner for most parts but didn’t get a run whatsoever.

He had a busy campaign subsequently, ended it winless, however was placed in some big Handicaps, including an excellent runner-up effort in the Cesarewith!

After a small break during the winter he returned in a conditions race at Kempton, finished a fine third, then went on to win the Fast Track Qualifier over the 2m at Lingfield last month in good style, suggesting he is still as good as ever.

Now, he can start slowly and might be outpaced early on, as a result may well find himself far off the pace, similar to last year. No doubt he will need all things to fall right in order to win, but in an open race he’s a very big price.

Selection:
10pts win – First Mohican @ 20/1 Bet365

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3.10 Lingfield: AW Sprint Championships, 6f

Most of these have collateral form and it is quite hard to split them. Royal Birth looks a prime candidate if he could bring his form to this longer trip, though the form selections would be Kimberella and surely the most likely winner has to be Lancelot Du Lac.

Front running Mythmaker from pole position has the ability to steel the race wheres Boom The Groom at his best has a huge shout.

The “x-factor” in the race is Godolphin’s Pretend. He won this very race two years ago. Since then things did not go right. After yet another absence he returned to the track at Kempton in February and showed that still possesses above average ability when easily sprinting away in a slowly run race, travelling powerfully in rear throughout.

The next two times here at Lingfield things went horribly wrong. In the Cleves Stakes he got a bump soon after the start and was set alight as a consequence, despite racing keenly he found extra in the closing stages but was then short of room when it mattered most.

Dropped to 5f the next time he bottled the start and in a race where you had to be at least prominently positioned in order to have a chance he lost the race right there. Nonetheless sectionals tell its own story and he ran a huge race according to them, though he looked fairly awkward in the home straight.

Making excuses for a horse twice is a never a good sign but I’m inclined to do so for Pretend. He’s better than what he has shown the last two times, is a former winner of this race, a Group 3 winner on the All-Weather and his overall record suggests he is the most talented individual in this race.

The wide draw does not help today, or does it? I suspect it’s better for him so he can come with a big sweeping run on the outside turning for home and then his electric change of gear might see him pick off the leaders, instead of facing a wall of horses.

Selection:
10 pts win – Pretend @ 5/1 Skybet

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4.40 Lingfield: AW Middle Distance Championships, 1m 2f

Favourite Convey produced a massive performance on his reappearance lto and is fancied for good reasons. But is he that much better than the rest as the odds suggest? Unlikely in my book.

You can make a case for a handful of horses, yet the most interesting is Battalion. He loves this course and distance, won twice here this winter, including a listed contest.

He is clearly a quirky character as seen in the Winter Derby and those antics cost him every chance. as a standard he is slowly away and that will make life difficult in a race without a lot of pace today yet again.

But despite his antics he ran incredibly well judged on sections the last two times and that swerve in his direction: if he is on a going day then he clearly has the ability to pick them all up and win.

Selection:
10pts win – Battalion @ 6/1 Bet365

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2.55 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Against the odds I feel Ruth Carr’s five year old gelding Chaplin Bay looks an overly big price on his seasonal reappearance. He ran well as a fresh horse in the past so it would not be a surprise to see him return to form.

He seems to be an exposed sort on turf, however not so much on the sand, where in two career starts he finished runner-up in a Dundalk maiden and fourth in a hot Handicap last season.

Off his current mark he may could still find a bit of improvement on the All-Weather; in fact his breeding suggests there might well be more to come. Fastnet Rock offspring outruns the odds year after year, even more so over the 7f trip and very much so this season at Newcastle.

Selection:
10pts win – Chaplin Bay @ 16/1 PP

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3.30 Bath: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 3.5f

Richard Hannon’s Hushood is thrown into the deep end here on his handicap debut of a rather biggish looking opening mark, judged on what this lad this as a juvenile.

But he is expected to improve big time for the trip. He’s nicely bred and a full-brother to Group 3 placed Seaport. His family is stamina laden and has also form on fast ground, though Hushood himself showed his best  in a maiden on good to soft last year, beating a short odds-on favourite from the Gosden yard, who subsequently franked the form.

Interestingly Hushood is by sire Champs Elysees who has a tremendous record over this trip and on firm ground, which gets even better at this Bath track  – a small sample size it is, but the numbers look significant.

All in all Hushood makes appeal as there is a good chance he finds the improvement needed in these conditions to overcome a mark of 86.

Selection:
10 pts win – Hushood @ 13/2 Skybet

Fastnet Rock the AW Monster?

National Stud

198% – If you would have backed every daughter and son of Fastnet Rock at Wolverhampton and Newcastle this year, you’d have got this massive return on your investment!

Now, in fairness it has to be said the sample size for Newcastle is fairly small – eight runners, four winners – so maybe they are inflated and will even out over time.

However at Wolverhampton on the polytrack, over the last two seasons, Fastnet Rock offspring has also performed extremely well. Eleven from 49 horses won – a 22.4% strike rate and a 42.9% place rate for a near 110% ROI. Not bad, eh?

So what’s behind it? Well, an obvious thought is: could it have something to with the fact that these two courses are left-handed? Maybe, although if that is the case one would assume the success rate should be excellent at Southwell, Chelmsford and Lingfield too. So is it? Yes and no.

Fastnet Rock offspring doesn’t do badly at those tracks, particularly Southwell looks encouraging with a healthy 27.3% strike rate, though not substantially higher place rate (around 36%) from a limited sample size.

Lingfield and Chelmsford both are a good deal below the strike rate average of Newcastle & Wolverhampton but still healthy compared to the overall All-Weather average. Nonetheless they are posting a negative ROI, whereas Southwell, Newcastle and Wolverhampton show a massive return on investment if you would have backed every runner there.

There is only one right handed All-Weather track in the United Kingdom: Kempton. How does Fastnet Rock offspring perform there? Poor. In fact shockingly poor. Abysmal. Only one single horse from 34 runners could win and the place rate isn’t much better with 23.5% – the lowest of all All-Weather tracks for Fastnet Rock offspring!

Interestingly, comparing this with turf statistics, there appears to be no dramatic disparity between performances at left- and right handed tracks. The difference is neglectable, even if further broken down to flat or tight tracks, which may come closer to the nature of AW courses.

So it turns out this disparity between left- and right handed tracks only exists on the All-Weather. I could speculate why; maybe it’s indeed the special nature of flat tracks, with tight turns and short run-in and that Kempton stands out in that regard, given the longer home straight and it’s more galloping nature.

Now the sample sizes aren’t massive but they aren’t exactly small either. At least for Wolverhampton we can say with a bit of confidence that Fastnet Fasntet Rock’s performance is most likely legit.

What else to look out for? Well, focusing on Wolverhampton for Fastnet Rock, older horses in low grade Handicaps perform best – over 1m 4f these are perform exceptionally well, if the numbers are trusted. Spring and winter are the most profitable seasons.

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Friday Selections:

3.55 Ffos Las: Shongololo @ 8/1 Ladbrokes
4.30 Ffos las: Zoffanys Pride @14/1 Ladbrokes
5.05 Fos Las: Sun’aq @ 20/1 William Hill
7.35 Newcastle: Depth Charge @ 6/1 William Hill

Friday Selections

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So, the much anticipated return of Hit It A Bomb ended in third place. Not really surprising; it unfolded very much like I thought it would. He was clearly not fully wound up, with bigger fruits to chase in the next couple of weeks.

The general perception of many of those I follow at the highly credible social media platform Twitter was a slightly underwhelming one. He didn’t train on, not only a few voices argued.

That could well be possible. But this run doesn’t tell us whether he did or did not. In fact this run doesn’t tell us an awful lot. That says I feel less negative about it, actually rather upbeat. In my eyes this was a very respectable reappearance.

Hit It A Bomb travelled like the winner for a very long time, he even showed a nice bit of pace coming around the home turn where he made his move – which was not the winning move because he got tired in the closing stages – but after a long lay-off that’s fair enough.

In the end he got beaten by two lengths, which is not that much. Let’s not forget it was a Group 3 against some half decent opposition, and the winner, an improving Jim Bolger horse, was already placed in Group  company as a juvenile with a profile to do better this year.

It’s also noteworthy that the winner and runner-up both were held up for much longer than Hit It A Bomb, even appearing to not being able cope with the pace Hit It A Bomb and Custom Cut set when these two poured it on from 3f out. But they simply stayed on stronger in the end.

So all in all, it’s been a fine return in my murky eyes. Hit It A Bomb should improve having a run under his belt and then when stepped up in class the next time we will see what he really is about, now as a three year old.

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Friday Selections:

3.35 Newcastle: Awesome Quality @ 2/1 Skybet
6.10 Catterick: Forster Square @ 5/2 WH
7.10 Newmarket: Blue Gernaium @15/8 Coral

Thursday Selections

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An 8/1 winner, a second, a third and a fourth…. Wednesday wasn’t a bad day, though could easily have been a great one. Put Curriculum in your tracker. He could have finished mush closer than 4th and wasn’t killed with another day clearly looming large.

Also Fleeting Dream is rather obviously up to win a race sooner rather than later and got a not particularly well timed ride – though the handicapper may have seen the potential too by now.

So what’s on the menu today? Not much, I have to say. Two selections nonetheless, although not that confident ones.

7.30 Newcastle: Dream Team @ 20/1 Betfred

The odds-on favourite might be hard to beat but I take a chance on Michael Dods colt who did show little on his debut but now switches to the All-Weather which should very much suit on pedigree. Worth a chance today.

8.25 Sandown: Fidelma Moon @ 7/2 Coral

This horse is quite consistent, running well this year most of the time, without quite cracking it. Will go up in the weights in the future for a recent runner-up effort and should go close here today once more.

The trainer & jockey combo of Burke/Vaughan enjoys quite some success when they team up at Sandown and it looks significant that the young rider goes there for only this one ride.

The race looks open, with the three year old’s surely having a good crack at it, particularly feather weight Cooperess looks interesting, though didn’t look like winning in a similar race off an even lower weight the other day.