Tag Archives: Newmarket

Preview: Dewhurst Stakes 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

Odds-on favourite Too Darn Hot couldn’t have been more impressive in his three career starts. Winning the Champagne Stakes thanks to a deadly turn of foot without making it even remotely look hard work was quite something. He’s hard to oppose on that basis.

On the other hand, analyzing a a metric that I personally hold dearly – time speed ratings – the achievements of those lining up today turn this renewal of the Dewhurst into a more open race than one would have thought, if purely checking the betting market and assessing the left-hand column of the racecard.

Best TS Rating to date: 
Too Darn Hot – 106
Mohawk – 104
Anthony Van Dyck – 103
Advertise – 100

Obviously you can’t take this at face value. There is more to racing and performance. Particularly with these unexposed juveniles, performances can fluctuate, improvement can be sudden and unexpected, also TS ratings depend on circumstances.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting additional layer to interpret performance to date. Certainly what this shows is that TDH is likely to be the best horse in the race on what he’s achieved on the clock to date – but only by a slim margin.

For me the takeaway here is the urge to assess the two O’Brien horses, who ran to career best 103- and 104 TS rating last time out. Anthony Van Dyck’s National Stakes performance certainly rates highly. He’s expected to improve for it and he should make it a race for the favourite. He looks useful type who can progress into a top class individual next year.

In saying that, at given prices, his stable mate Mohawk clearly is a much more interesting individual. Five starts already, he didn’t look anywhere near top level when comprehensively beaten in the Futurity- and National Stakes subsequently.

However, this son of Galileo looked still raw and green to some extend those days. On the other hand, as a January foal, he should be rather forward by now. And he finally turned good last month at Newmarket in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

He looked bigger and better than ever. Granted, it was probably not the strongest of Group 2’s ever ran at HQ, it was still an impressive performance visually, as Mohawk quickened nicely in the closing stages to win a shade cozily. The fact that the visual impression is backed up by the TS rating gives me confidence that this lad has learned and improved, indeed.

The Royal Lodge was over a mile. Dropping back to 7 furlongs, a trip Mohawk was outran in Group company already, isn’t ideal. The rain is coming though, should take the fast out of the ground potentially, and may help to make this race more of a stamina test.

That’s a lot of “could be” and “if’s” to hope for – in saying that, as I am trying to make a case for a 25/1 shot, that’s rather expected. The likely outcome is that Mohawk, with Wayne Lordan in the saddle – which isn’t exactly a vote of confidence – won’t be good enough.

Regardless, the price is too big in a race where we can not predict how these juveniles have progressed since we saw them the last time. Given Mohawk appears to be making significant steps in the right direction I feel he’s got a chance to be competitive today.

Selection:
10pts win – Mohawk @ 25/1 PP

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Saturday Selections: August, 16th 2018

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1.45 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Musharrif had a super busy campaign over the last few weeks. Eventually this will catch up with him. He’s been running consistently well, nonetheless. He came close to win a couple of times too. He dropped to a handy 68 mark regardless.

He is clearly capable of winning off this type of mark. He did it in the past on three occasions and ran 13 times over his career to time speed ratings of 86 and higher.

The interesting fact is the step up to 7f. He solely raced over the minimum trip lately. However, he’s a distance winner, in fact, was placed another time and ran well in a third 7f contest also. So he should be fine to stay the trip, particularly fast ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Musharrif @ 9/2 MB

……..

5.35 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Not that his comeback run has set the world alight but Thechildren’strust is the obvious choice in a race of rather exposed types as he is the handicap debutant with only three starts to his name also stepping up in trip.

He ran pretty well in two starts last season, winning first time out at Goodwood and finishing third subsequently in another fair race. Both forms looks competitive and judged by what the horse around him did since then his opening mark off 81 looks fair.

Thechildren’strust seasonal reappearance dampens the the euphoria, though. Third at Salisbury last month in what looks an ordinary contest, he never looked comfortable and the form hasn’t been franked whatsoever yet.

However, it might have been the firm ground that was unsuitable. It won’t be quick as lightning quick today. The step up to 7f should suit on pedigree. All together he’s the one who has potential to find a bit of improvement today on Hector Crouch’s only ride of the day.

Selection:
10pts win – Thechildren’strust @ 11/2 Sky

…….

7.40 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

As big the field is as poor the race is. That’s a tremendous chance for top weight Desert Cross to continue his fine run of form. He’s won two of his three starts this year and ran well in defeat the other day at Bath.

His winning forms work out rather well. So does already the third place at Bath from last months as the runner-up won next time out. Desert Cross was simply not well positioned and couldn’t peg back the two leaders on lightning quick ground.

This is a career highest mark today to defy. I feel in the context of the race he’s a good chance to to do so. Jonjo O’Neill has a sublime record with his flat handicappers at Chepstow also.

Selection:
10pts win – Desert Cross @ 7/1 MB

Friday Selections: August, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Three on the bounce! What rare joy to find a winner on three consecutive days – Land Force (7/2) clearly stayed the trip as hoped and won the Richmond Stakes in commanding style under a class ride by Ryan Moore.

……

5.50 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 12f

It was a disappointing handicap debut for Floria Tosca the other day after she showed a bit of promise in three maiden starts. I was keen on her the last time as I thought that judged by her second start at Chelmsford she could be well treated off her opening mark. That form worked out incredibly well and her subsequent performance at Bath looked more than decent too.

A fortnight ago the race then didn’t quite worked out the way as hoped. They were crawling for most parts, Floria Tosca was left flat footed over 4f out but then made quite a bit of stylish progress to lead briefly over 2f out. She didn’t see it out eventually and that becomes a bit of a habit now, which is a concern.

Hopefully it is more greenness than anything else. She is bred for the job so upped to 12f may suit. There should be a fair pace on the cards today and it is very winnable race. Dropped 3lb to a mark off 70 plus interesting young apprentice Marco Ghiani in the saddle who claims another 7lb means the filly must enter calculations here.

Selection:
10pts win – Floria Tosca @ 11/1 PP

Friday Selections: July, 20th 2018

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5.35 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

For all that favourite Gravina has achieved up until now she is simply an awful price. Ryan Moore in the saddle gives the filly a fair chance, no doubt, but I struggle to see why she is 11/8.

Luca Cumani’s filly Floria Tosca appeals much more. Bred for the job, she makes her handicap debut after three more or less decent qualifying runs. Judged by her second start at Chelmsford, though, she could be well treated off her opening mark.

That form worked out incredibly well but she couldn’t follow-up at Bath when stepping up to 11.5f. Tracking a slightly too fast pace she didn’t quite see out the trip in the end, but her 3rd place finish looks good form regardless, judged through the winner of the race.

Now back over 10f on handicap debut with the French master Gerald Mosse in the saddle I feel she has a bit more to offer than the 73 rating she’s been given.

Selection:
10pts win – Floria Tosca @ 9/2 PP

……….

8.45 Newmarket: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Fieldsman is on an incredibly long losing run and doesn’t seem to get closer to change this on the face of his form. Looking a bit deeper into his races this year it looks more like that he ran quite consistently well most of the time, however.

His runs at Doncaster or Redcar in June give him a fairly decent chance to go really close in this race here, I feel. A mark off 68 is something he clearly is up to these days, possibly a bit more than that.

He ran to RPR’s of this sort or higher on six of his eight starts this year and with no three year old in this contest but with the assistance of top man Jim Crowley on the back may finally get his head in front again.

Selection:
10pts win – Fieldsman @ 12/1 WH/PP/VC

Saturday Selections: July, 14th 2018

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1.40 Newmarket: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

Tough race to break down, but I feel, despite the big price, there is a good case to be made for the only three year old in the race – Cardsharp.

A runner-up in the Middle Park Stakes last year, he has trained on as he won a good listed race last month and subsequently wasn’t totally disgraced in hotter company.

This here ain’t much easier, given he has a massive handicap mark to carry around. But WFA allowance lessens the burden a bit. He also has ran to a 100+ time speed rating in the past, which is a sign of high class horse.

Given he brings proven Group class form into this race, enjoys fast ground and has fair recent form. The step up to 7f is a question mark as he’s not proven yet to be able to bring his 6f form over the longer trip.

But, in fairness, he ran in hot races over 7f and on pedigree he actually should be excel this sort of distance. The likely fast will surely be a help today to see him to best effect, so at a big price I give Cardsharp a decent chance to be in the shake up when it matters.

Selection:
10pts win – Cardsharp @ 20/1 PP

……..

7.30 Hamilton: Class 4 Handicap, 12f

Killdeer should progress nicely and with the WFA advantage is clearly the one to beat. Nonetheless it’s not a given, and with proven force Mutadaffeq in the race, I side with the experience here.

Mutadaffeq has dropped to a sexy mark despite running relatively well in recent weeks. It’s true he looked in the grip of the handicapper but that solely because of consistency. He’s down a pound on his last winning mark, even though on soft ground, he also has winning form on a fast surface.

The fact Mutadaffeq has ran to time speed rating of 85 in the past suggests he’s due for a big performance today over a distance he’s a 23% strike rate.

Selection:
10pts win – Mutadaffeq @ 4/1 MB

Saturday Selections: June, 30th 2018

Newmarket July Course

3.30 Newmarket: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

Lightly raced Gather gives the impression of a filly with plenty more to offer. As an April foal she is likely to come into her own right now, and after showing excellent promise as juvenile in her final start in 2017 when 3rd in a red hot Kempton maiden, she followed on from there on her seasonal debut when running out a gutsy win over 10f at Goodwood.

That looks a fair performance, albeit more is required today, no doubt. She steps up to 12f for the first time which looks possible on pedigree. The quick surface is an unknown.

With an opening mark off 81 Gather could be undervalued judged on her last two performances. Wit that in mind, in this wide open contest I have her closer to the market leader.

Selection:
10pts win – Gather @ 7/2 VC

………

3.35 Windsor: Class 3 Handicap, 1M 3F 99Y

An open and incredibly competitive little handicap, though few appear to be well handicapped. A fair case can be made for relatively lightly raced favourite Humble Rock. But he is short enough in the betting.

I can entertain the thought of Majeed to return to form, though. Anything close to what he ran to on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket in a similar contest when runner-up should see him in with a big shout.

Now an eight year he isn’t the force of old, however of a mark off 94 he is dangerous in a contest like this. The fast ground is fine, the trip ideal and the fact he ran 14 times in 32 career starts to RPR’s higher than 94 means he is well capable of living up to his current mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Majeed @ 16/1 PP

…..

7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

The only colt in the race Roundabout Magic has an excellent chance to continue his superb run of form. His latest run at Brighton was a slight disappointment compared to how well he performed in weeks before, however after pulling incredibly hard for half of the race his jockey didn’t beat him up in the closing stages. He still was less than 3 lengths beaten.

He was a bit unlucky twice before, at Lingfield on the AW in a hot class 4 contest when finishing super strongly after having his momentum coming to an abrupt end by a slowing horse in front.

Arguably a career best performance came on Lingfield’s 5f turf track five days earlier when again running into a bit of trouble but finishing with a burst of speed on the inside. He ran to a career best speed rating and RPR that day, which came on the back of a fine win at Brighton a fortnight ago.

Roundabout Magic is in superb form, he may hold little secrets from the handicapper, but judged by the last efforts, he may still overcome a career highest mark in a race that looks not too strong on paper.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 7/2 MB

Saturday Selections: May, 5th 2018

Gleneagles

3.35 Newmarket: 2000 Guineas, 1 mile

You can’t deny the fact he has been massively disappointing in his last two runs, however, there were very valid excuses for Expert Eye to finish last in the Dewhurst when a warm favourite to land it, as well as when a slightly underwhelming runner-up in the Greenham a fortnight ago.

Regardless, Expert Eye possesses tons of talent as he proved in the Vintage Stakes last summer – a Group 2 event he took with so much ease only the really good ones are capable of.

No doubt, his chances hinge on him settling early on. We have seen Expert Eye pulling his chances away before, and if we see the same here, him pulling the arms off Andrea Atzeni over the first few furlongs then his race is over before it really started.

That’s the reason why Expert Eye is as big a price as he is. Still too big, as I trust Sir Michael to teach the horse how to settle and his seasonal debut run should help in that regard as well.

Selection:
10pts win – Expert Eye @ 12/1 VC

…….

6.20 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

Some interesting horses at the top of the market, though I do prefer the chance of bottom weight Chingachgook. A son of Eclipse winner Al Kazeem (wonderful memories, I was at Sandown that day to see him romp home), in five career starts he has shown plenty of potential.

After few fine performances on the All-Weather over the winter he made his handicap debut at Newcastle in February – the only time he bombed out up until now. Switched to turf for the first time at the end of March at Musselburgh, Chingachgook returned to form.

In bottomless ground conditions he didn’t have an ideal break from the widest draw and found himself for most parts of the race in the uncomfortable position chasing the pack. That’s never good at Musselburgh, particularly in those type of conditions.

Chingachgook also didn’t get the clearest of runs through the field and the bird was flown once he was in the clear. Still, he ran on well to finish a good second, doing anything as the only horse from those held up. The form has been franked by the winner and fourth subsequently.

Same handicap mark, slightly better ground, upped in grade, however having the chance to race off a featherweight – Chingachgook should be able to outrun his price tag. Whether that is enough to beat the better fancied market principles remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Chingachgook @ 9/1 WH