Tag Archives: October

Wednesday Selections: October, 17th 2018

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5.05 Bath: Class 5 Handicap, 1m3½f

The form that Doctor Knox has produced in three starts looks underappreciated as he steps into handicap company for the first time. Both his final start as a juvenile and most recent performance in a Novice race at Kempton are way better than the bare form suggests, in my mind.

Both times he was a long way beaten, however in front of him a few excellent individual, and those forms work out quite well. On his comeback run last month Doctor Knox made a bold move from a wide draw right from the start to challenge for the lead.

He paid the price for it behind two superior horses that where also up with the pace. The eventual winner has franked the form with a credible effort in Listed company already, and the runner-up was behind high class performers in previous starts also.

Doctor Knox kept going, though, and held on for third place. Now in his first handicap, a mark of 70 looks potentially underestimating him.

Selection:
10pts win – Doctor Knox @ 9/1 MB

……..

7.15 Newcastle: Class 6 Nursery, 6f

Gainsborough Hat looks a likely improver on his first handicap start. He didn’t set the world alight in three starts so far, but an opening mark off 64 doesn’t look too far fetched given he is well bred.

The son of Exceed And Excel should be well suited to the All-Weather as his sire has an excellent record on the sand, particularly over sprint distances, plus he is out of a Listed placed and All-Weather winning mare.

Selection:
10pts win – Gainsborough Hat @ 9/1 MB

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Sunday Selections: October, 14th, 2018

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4.55 Goodwood: Class 3 Handicap, 6f

The Daley Express is already a course and distance winner and will enjoy any bit of additional rain falling between now and off time. He’s won well earlier this year off a similar handicap mark at Bath over 5.5f, granted not a race that looks particularly strong judged by subsequent form.

Nonetheless, the four year old gelding ran well in defeat on numerous occasions in the aftermath – without troubling the judges, it has to be said, though.

However, slowly he drops down to a decent mark now. Franny Norton is in the saddle; he’s boosting a 26.3% strike rate when riding for trainer Ronald Harris.

In a race where little stands out, The Daley Express looks one of the more likely sorts to put his nose in front today. With conditions to suit a big run is expected.

Selection:
10pts win – The Daley Express @ 14/1 PP

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

Tuesday Selections: October, 9th 2018

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1.20 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 5.5f

The usual fast ground at Brighton even in October – this makes it an ideal opportunity for CD winner Archimedes, who landed a similar race this summer on similar ground.

You can draw a line through his last run, also here at Brighton, when he missed completely the break as the hood was removed too late, or so it seemed.

Archimedes is on his hast last winning mark, he 59 rating he’s won of here in early July. He ran well enough in defeat in his subsequent handful of starts and with ideal conditions remains one of the more likely win candidates in this race.

Selection: 
10pts win – Archimedes @ 12/1 PP

………..

2.25 Brighton: Class 5 Nursery, 7f

Handicap debutant Red Armour makes plenty of appeal thanks to a workable opening mark and handy 3lb claim from an apprentice in the saddle, but I feel Nayslayer is the one who clearly underestimated here.

Both in terms of value for his most recent win as well the price on offer – Nayslayer ran a handful of fine races in defeat, before getting off the mark at Chelmsford over 6f last month. That was a strong race, and even though he had an absolute featherweight to shoulder, previous forms proved he is well up to the grade.

That last day he held on strongly, running all the way to the line and beyond, giving the impression and additional furlong may not be the issue. Only a 4lb hike in the mark, this doesn’t look a stronger race and he should be home on turf much the same way.

Selection:
10pts win – Nayslayer @ 6/1 Coral

PREVIEW: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2018

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It’s Enable’s race….. to lose. Can anyone stop the wonder filly? Or can she follow on from a magical Saturday where Winx thundered home to a 28th consecutive success?

The queen of European racing was so impressive twelve months ago when she landed the big one, she’s blessed with an excellent draw this Sunday – surely, she’s more than justifying her 11/10 price tag.

I’m saying that as I find it hard to see her getting beaten here. Enable has clearly shown on her reappearance at Kempton in the September Stakes that she’s hitting top form right when it’s required. As easily as she let a 129 rated Crystal Ocean look like a one paced plodder, one can’t help but be incredibly impressed.

From a betting perspective I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing Enable. From my own perspective it’s not a price for me – so I’m looking for a bit of “Each-Way Value” in a race that appears to be pretty open if it comes to the minor placings.

Sea Of Class and Waldgeist both make appeal. Form wise they are a clear standout compared to the rest of the field – bar Enable, of course. Though, the draw is a concern, even more so for the filly who’s likely to need a lot of luck from off the pace. The French colt, on the other hand, is the biggest danger to Enable but may get rolling too late, I feel.

Leger winner Kew Gardens should be okay dropping back in trip. He’s got a fair shout, depending on the start of the race where I’d like to see him ridden positively, which might be detrimental to his chances as he’s got to deal with a wide raw also, but it could also play into his hands, making use of stamina reserves at the backend of the race. If ridden with restraint he’s got even less a chance, most likely. At given prices it’s a pass for me, anyhow.

Stable mate Capri, high class as he is on paper, is hard to fancy after his interrupted season and a rusty return to the track in the Prix Foy.

Last year’s runner-up Cloth Of Stars is an interesting individual at a big price, if quirky and hard to know what to get on the day. If he could find some sort of his best form again he can be a fair place chance. So can be defending Breeder’s Cup Turf champ Talismanic. The ground may turn against him, though.

For my selection I’ll look even further down the packing order, still. 50/1 shot Patascoy, the French Derby runner-up, is the one who appeals most to me given this massive price.

The jury is still out whether he stays the trip. This lightly raced colt hasn’t raced beyond 10.5 furlongs yet, the pedigree isn’t exactly screaming “stayer” but isn’t entirely discouraging either.

Certainly in the Derby – not an overly strong form, it has to be said – he was running hard to the line after hitting a flat spot entering the home straight. His return after a bit of a summer break in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain was good – although not form you would associate good enough for an Arc winner, to be totally fair.

What I like about Patascoy is the fact he remains open for improvement after only eight career starts and in addition he is pretty straightforward, uncomplicated in the way he can be ridden – from an excellent draw, most likely tracking the pace in the Arc. That should ensure he’s in a good position when it matters most. If I trust him to stay, then he could outrun his price tag to finish in the money, in the end.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – Patascoy @ 50/1 PP (4 places, 1/5)

Saturday Selections: October, 6th 2018

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

7.45 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

When a long-standing maiden heads the market you know it got to be a poor race. This is, indeed, as poor as it gets. Perfect regarding conditions I’m looking for, as handicap debutant Boston Party ticks a lot of boxes to make him a decent chance to improve enough to be competitive compared to what he’s shown in three starts to date.

You can draw a line under those performances; it was handicapping for him all day long and he wasn’t beaten up in any of his races. However, stepping up in trip is interesting, particularly on his All-Weather debut – both look suitable on pedigree.

The opening mark is stiff enough, however from a top draw in a poor race as this he can overcome it. Sire Declaration Of War has an outstanding record with three-year-old colts on the sand to date, so this is clearly noteworthy.

Selection:
10pts win – Boston Party @ 6/1 PP

Thursday Selections: October, 4th 2018

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5.35 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

The top weight is the one to beat in my book, despite his “patchy record” over the last weeks. Fact is Roundabout Magic has a proven track record here at Lingfield, particularly over the minimum trip and has achieved twice a TS rating off 67 this season, suggesting he is well up to his current mark off 66.

He’s been racing in better races lately, so dropping back into class 6 is a hint in itself. The last time he raced as low as this he won over CD back in February.

Roundabout Magic has a good draw to ensure he’s close to the pace in case this becomes a muddling affair. It’s a slight concern that he was slowly into stride lto, though this wasn’t a habit in the past, so here’s hoping it was only “Once Off”.

Jockey Nicky Mackay has only this single ride today and he has a pretty decent record for trainer Simon Daw in these type of races and has also won on Roundabout Magic already.

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