Tag Archives: Newcastle

Thursday Selections: March, 1st 2018

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A day vanished in the snow…. when I woke up this morning looking outside of the window and saw all this white stuff in the garden it was only a matter of time before the message would transpire of Newcastle being abandoned, as not only has Ireland’s east been hit by the snow chaos, so has been the UK. Let’s see if things go differently on Thursday…

5.15 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

If the race goes ahead then I am really keen on Rich Again. He drops down to a really tasty handicap mark, given he won off 3- and 7lb higher respectively last winter. The question whether he is still that good is easily answered: yes.

His 3rd place finish, when one lengths beaten over CD last month of a mark of 80 – so 3lb higher than today – when he ran to a time speed figure of 80 very much confirms this.

He was a long way beaten last time out, however that was over 6f, and there is no doubt that Rich Again is a different animal over the minimum trip.

This is a highly competitive race, and he will have to run to the sort of form he ran to when winning last year. That says he is still as good as ever and with a 50% strike rate over this course and distance he must be a live chance.

Selection: 
10pts win – Rich Again @ 11/1 VC

Wednesday Selections: February, 28th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

6.45 Newcastle: Class 7 Handicap, 1 mile

As poor a race as you would expect for this lowest of classes which looks. Nonetheless Optima Petamus should have a cracking chance dropping down to a mile.

The six year old has, despite an overall poor strike rate, a pretty fair record on the All-Weather, and has been running to time speed ratings in the past suggesting anything close to those past forms will see him being hard to beat.

Optima Petamus has shown good form in the last couple of weeks. Most importantly on his most recent outing, when third at Newcastle over 10f. He was keen early on and was up with the pace, looked like winning but got tiered as the eventual winner stayed on from far back in the field.

Rhe drop to a mile should help now. A better pace should ensure he settles better and the fact remains Optima Petamus’ only win came over the mile distance. With a competent 7lb claimer in the saddle this looks a golden opportunity for Optima Petamus.

Selection:
10pts win – Optima Petamus @ 9/2 VC

Friday Selections: February, 16th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.35 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Down to a very dangerous mark, as well as down in class on the back of an encouraging run, Van Huysen looks to be in with a major shout in this contest.

The six year old is a multiple Course and distance winner, he won of 77 and 80 respectively back in 2016 here and ran well of even higher marks.

The son of Excellent Art has been rather disappointing on a number of occasions ever since, however, dropping to a very low mark now, I thought his recent run a muddling class 3 Handicap was as good as his best.

He was left wanting in a very undesirable position once the pace increased over 3f out after the field was crawling along for most parts, that meant he didn’t really have a chance to better than the bare result – however he finished as fast if not faster the last three furlongs than those horses in front of him.

The handicapper drops him another couple of pounds and in this easier grade and bigger field things might fall a little bit more his way. If they do, he’ll be bang there.

Selection:
10pts win – Van Huysen @ 8/1 Bet365

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8.45 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

There is no doubt in my mind that Alfonso Manana is a well handicapped horse in this race today. His penultimate form of a four pound higher mark in very competitive Chemlsford Handicap gives him a big chance here.

This four year old son of Dutch Art has only a win in a claimer to his name, however, he ran well in a handful of decent maiden races last season.

I believe you can forgive him his comeback run in early January this year and his most recent Southwell performance, but his Chelmsford run and some other performances from last season do give him a big chance, if he runs to that sort of level today, off 59 mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Alfonso Manana @ 5/1 Bet365

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