Tag Archives: October

Tuesday Selections: 1st November 2022

It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn…. I am very, very happy this morning. Gold Trip landed the Melbourne Cup, giving me a much needed 21/1 winner!

This was the best possible start to November, after the most horrible number of weeks in the last while on the punting front.

It couldn’t have gone much smoother for the top-weight: a relaxed start, he settled well, and then brilliantly maneuvered through the field by jockey Mark Zahra, to be in the perfect position entering the home straight.

Gold Trip quickened nicely, and stayed on strongly all the way to the line. I mentioned beforehand that he’s the class horse in my view – and so it proved. Thankfully, once in a while things do work out the way envisioned.

At least it did for Gold Trip. Stockman ran a huge race to finish 8th, after encountering plenty of trouble around the home turn. He was never given a real chance to challenge.

No complaints, though. It doesn’t happen often that I back a winner these days, let alone a 20/1+ winner. A much needed booster for the P/L sheet.

…………

5.00 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Captain Vallo drops down to class 6 with another 2lb off his back. He is seriously well handicapped if anywhere near the form he showed on turf this season when he got his conditions.

I look back especially to his Redcar run three back, where he nearly got his head in front off 68. He ran to speed ratings in the 60’s a number of times this year, including to 68 and 69.

I don’t think he’s a lesser horse on the All-Weather. In fact, his record is 6-1-2 and his career best speed rating was achieved at Newcastle.

The jockey booking and form of the yard isn’t a confidence booster, but I hope he’s on a going day and can take advantage of running in poor contest that’s there for the taking off 7lb lower than his last winning mark.

A lot of money has been coming for him this morning too. I missed the big prices. But he’s still good value if there’s no handbrake on.

10pts win – Captain Vallo @ 7/1

Monday Selections: 31st October 2022

7.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

This is a shocking contest in terms of quality. This fact opens the door for a little surprise, I feel, or perhaps hope, more than anything.

No doubt, the filly Queen Of Ipanema should have a good chance to win back to back under a penalty, given she ran to a strong speed rating the last time.

However, I have the feeling she is vulnerable, certainly too short in the betting. Personally I never like a to see a 3-year-old filly shooting up in the weight so suddenly from 9.0st to 9-12, especially if a strong winning performance came off the low weight.

There are only one or two other solid rivals in the field, though, hence I can see why she is as short as 6/5 this morning. Any repeat of the last run will see her hard to beat.

In saying that the one that looks overpriced here is Rumourmonger. The 3-year-old filly runs off bottom weight and remains open to improvement, especially with the new headgear combination working well last time out.

One has to note, though: the filly can be quite a tricky customer. She messed up at the start a number of times in the past, as she did two back at Chelmsford. She still ran better in my eyes there and then, given the circumstances. This tiny step in the right direction was followed up by quite a significant step in the right direction the next time.

Rumourmonger stepped up to 10 furlongs, a combination of hood and blinkers applied, she jumped better, attempted to make all, was a bit keen early in, was joined by the eventual winner to set the pace, and was bang up there for an awful long time.

She was eventually passed in the home straight, yet I like the fact she kept going pretty well to the line. No question this filly can win a race if she can get her act together on the day.

This most recent race worked out incredibly well form wise (11r: 3w, 5p). Hence it’s intriguing that Rumourmonger drops from that recent 0-62 down to 0-55 level.

The slight drop in trip today can also be in her favour. She probably doesn’t quite get 10 furlongs. No hot pace is expected, so from a good #4 draw Theodor Ladd should have every option to move forward and settle this girl.

Obviously, you can’t be anything more than hopeful that she runs her race. It may well be over if he rears in the gates again. She may drop out tamely. But I also think she showed enough the last time to suggest she can win off this lowest of handicap marks, and on the plus side we can be certain she will be allowed to run on merit.

10pts win – Rumourmonger @ 25/1

All-Weather Eyecatchers #2

A list of horses that caught my eye during the recent days and weeks of racing on the All-Weather.

Eye Of The Water
17/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Widest draw, moved forward to join leader after the first bend. Pushed on and increased pace from 4 furlongs out, but eventually caught approaching the final furlong. held on for third.

Had to carry big weight dropping into 0-60. Ran right to current rating, possibly a couple of pounds better; in line with performances this year as he ran to speed ratings 60, 64 and 65. Also his January 3rd at Southwell over 6 furlongs from the widest draw off 65 rates strongly.

Ran next week over 8.5 furlongs at Wolverhampton another stormer from the front, just going down late.

Probably best over 6 furlongs. Will be really competitive over 7 furlongs with good draw as well. Really interesting next time over either distance, with good draw and possibly the assistance of a good claimer. He’s ready to win again.

Race Replay

Cleveleys
18/10/22 – 3.08 Newcastle:

Started well and led the field for half the race until put under pressure on the outside. Tired but kept going well enough to finish best of those up with the pace.

The slow tempo helped him to get home so well over this trip. 7 furlongs most likely the absolute limit for win purposes, and then in a race with an advantageous pace chart.

Caught the the eye before on turf in his first two runs for the O’Meara yard. Clearly in good nick and comes down to a possibly generous mark. Ran to speed ratings of 65 and 66 in October last year, although over sprint trips.

Can have issues at the gate, one with risks attached. Still, drop to 6 furlongs or 7 furlongs on the All-Weather will be interesting.

Race Replay

Quanah
18/10/22 – 4.13 Newcastle:

Led isolated on far side, set hot fractions and ran to 3 furlong marker faster than preceding class 3 6f Handicap. Tired soon after, as one would have excepted. Was big price too.

Poor showings last starts since return from break. But comes down to last winning mark and can be a big runner down to 5f again. Usually goes from the front.

Ran at Catterick on Tuesday 25th in the meantime, without having an impact.

Race Replay

Thrilla In Manila
18/10/22 – 5.20 Newcastle:

Set a seriously fast pace, despite not breaking the sharpest. Did too much and tired from 2 furlongs out. Overall race time and the pace he set compare favourably with Division I on the same card of the race.

This represented a solid return to form, after being heavily beaten on his comeback run off a near year long layoff.

Continues to drop to a good mark and can become dangerous over the minimum trip pretty soon.

Race Replay

Intervention
19/10/22 – 7.30 Kempton:

Reared in stalls, crossed soon over from widish draw in a wild opening phase. Was seriously keen throughout, yet travelled powerfully. Couldn’t go with the front-running winner – nothing could on the day – and tired in the final furlong.

Trip is too far, especially without any sort of pace to aim at. A drop to 6f will be ideal. Has been progressive and is possibly handicapped to his best. A reduction to under 80 with the right trip will be interesting again.

Race Replay

Tyger Bay
19/10/22 – 8.00 Kempton:

Dropped to rear of field soon after the start, had a lot to do, yet travelled much the best. Couldn’t get through until late, finished in eye-catching fashion.

One who often tends to catch the eye. Has won off 4lb higher over this CD earlier this year. Will need a bit of luck, as can start sluggishly.

It will be worth to wait until he drops down in grade and a few more pounds in the mark.

Ran at Catterick entry on Tuesday 25th in the meantime; excellent 3rd; doesn’t help the mark for the immediate future. One to monitor for a a while.

Race Replay

Nat Love
20/10/22 – 1.55 Southwell:

Went with the early pace from his #8 draw, travelling wide early one. Didn’t have much to offer when tired in the home straight.

The fact he remains enthusisatingly racing up with the pace is encouraging, though. This race came probably too soon, hence I can forgive the way he faded. It was a third race in the space of four weeks, after returning from 446 days off.

First two runs back appeared full of promise. Especially the Newcastle comeback run can be upgraded.

He’ll come down to a highly compelling mark. Once down to/below OR 60 he should be really well handicapped. He ran four times to speed ratings of 58+, three of those 60+.

Race Replay

Abbey Heights
20/10/22 – 3.05 Southwell:

Bounced out of the widest draw to move rapidly forward, lead the field. The damage was done at that point, all attempts to slow down didn’t help him from tiering badly.

Still a solid performance back from a year long break. The ability to break quickly and to travel well on the lead should see him competitive, especially off the current mark. Ran to a 76 speed rating when landing a solid Newcastle Novice race last year.

Race Replay

Milbanke
20/10/22 – 4.35 Wolverhampton:

Moved quickly into the lead from widest draw, led the field by a couple of lengths, took a keen hold on this first attempt over 7 furlongs. Slowed the tempo down, and tried to kick on when put under pressure 3f out. Finished good second, running well to the line.

This performance ties in well with the lto run that can be upgraded when he travelled really wide. Won on debut over 6 furlongs last year, remains unexposed an open to progress, especially over this trip if he settles better, as the pedigree gives him every chance to stay 7 furlongs.

The new mark, 2lb lower now, should see him potentially quite well handicapped. He may be too short a price to back nto, though.

Race Replay

Roman Dynasty
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:

Already mentioned in the last edition as one who caught the eye. Did so here again, even more dramatic this time. Always travelling off pace on the inside, he looked poised approaching the home straight. Came with a strong looking move over 1 furlong out but the gap closed in that very moment. Eased eventually.

Clearly in good form. I hope his mark will drop a couple of pounds now. He’s then a potentially well handicapped horse.

Race Replay

Dinoo
22/10/22 – 6.30 Chelmsford:

Travelled always wide and seriously keen as consequence of his draw. Refused to settle until late in the race. Went inside route in the home straight and could have gone close but had to delay full effort having to work his way through the field.

Big run given the circumstances and the energy he must have burned early on. Most likely will be better served down to 7 furlongs again. Usually raced prominently over that distance, but last twice off pace; perhaps to get him settled.

He ran to a 68 speed rating earlier tis year on turf. Comes down to a good mark now and is still unexposed on the All-Weather, having been placed on two of his three starts on the sand already. He should be really competitive for a drop to 7 furlongs.

Race Replay

Twilight Madness
22/10/22 – 7.00 Chelmsford:

Bang up with pace from widest draw, always travelled wide and without cover. Kept going strongly to the line nonetheless; did much the best of pace setters.

Caught the eye the last two times on turf, too. Especially the Windsor performance was seriously impressive, given the circumstances and the big move he made mid-race.

This race confirmed he’s down to a good mark, and clearly capable to win off 74. Speed ratings say he hasn’t tons in hand, so it’s worth paying attention to draw and pace chart.

Race Replay

Lucky Lucky Lucky
24/10/22 – 7.30 Newcastle:

Not an eye-catching performance on the surface. But the fact he jumped off well and travelled enthusiastically was noteworthy as it suggests there is somewhere a performance still in him.

Was seriously unlucky at Redcar in August over 6 furlongs. Has mainly finished down the field subsequently, all over 7 furlongs.

Want to see him back over 6 furlongs here at Newcastle. Is a full-brother to a listed placed Dundalk mare. Pedigree would suggest he has a bit of stamina to stay a mile, but the way he travelled suggests 6 furlongs could be ideal.

His sire has an excellent record at Newcastle over this trip. Which ties in with this observation. Has an entry next week over 7 furlongs again. I’ll sit that out.

Race Replay

Never Dark
24/10/22 – 8.00 Newcastle:

Was early up with the pace on the outside toward the stands’ side as part of a trio. Tried to kick on over 2 furlongs but faded away entering the final furlong. Not far beaten.

Is quite consistent, got close a number of times year. As a consequence appears to be in grip of the handicapper. As a prominent/front-runner he’ll be really intriguing if his mark comes to 70 or lower, perhaps a slightly easier race and a switch to a track with a turn.

He’s ran five times to speed ratings matching- or bettering his current mark. In aforementioned circumstances he will be well handicapped, given he looks as good as ever.

Race Replay

Sir Sedric
27/10/22 – 1.40 Lingfield:

Tracked the pace setter, always travelling prominent. Started good looking move from over 3 furlongs out and travelled strongly into the home straight, before fading quickly.

Was back from a two months break. Ran seriously well the last two times prior, ran to to 58 speed rating three back, in line with other strong performances and speed ratings achieved within the last twelve months.

Should drop below a mark of 58 soon, really intriguing over 7 furlongs then.

Race Replay

Delegate This Lord
27/10/22 – 6.00 Chelmsford:

Quickly out of the gates, pulled back to midfield soon after and seriously keen, especially around the turn. Looked quite awkward and a rough ride in home straight, seemingly hanging, but still able to finish pretty easily fourth without ever asked a real question.

Showed a bit of form on turf during the summer. Now drops down to intriguing handicap marks. Should be a massive runner down to 5 furlongs. Best form all below 6 furlongs.

All-Weather form looks horrible, but six of eight starts went off 16/1 plus. This performance suggests he won’t struggle on the surface, if he can settle, which is more likely over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Guitar
29/10/22 – 5.30 Wolverhampton:

Wasn’t advantaged by wide draw and as consequence travelled always on outside. Looked to do a bit too much early on, seemingly not finding a position to relax. Appeared threatening turning for home before fading.

Solid run in circumstances. hated Chelmsford kickback lto, but quite promising on comeback run before.

Won well over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton in January, ran to 49 speed rating. Strong follow-up performance when a bit unlucky not to win. I don’t think he truly stays a mile. 7 furlongs possibly ideal. Looks a big lad. Wouldn’t want to back him off a break. Will come down to interesting mark soon.

Race Replay

Thrave
29/10/22 – 7.00 Wolverhampton:

Obviously the handbrake was on. Restrained at the back of the field, pulling for his head, this natural front-runner wasn’t in it to win it. He caught the eye earlier this season on turf, running a number of strong races.

His relative consistency means he is too high in the mark to win at this stage of his career, clearly in the grip of the handicapper. Connections seem to have realised this reality. One to monitor for drop to 7 furlongs down a few pounds.

Race Replay

Wednesday Selections: 26th October 2022

6.30 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

The pace in this race shapes as nothing more than modest and this will greatly play into the hands of those racing in a prominent position.

From the #1 draw, one who likes to be tracking the pace, who can sit behind the leader or make it all, if needed, is Asdaa. He got too far behind the last time at Wolverhampton as he tends to be not an overly sharp starter, but I would hope for things to play out differently today.

There isn’t as much competition for a prominent position this time and from his low draw he should get to a good early position without much hassle.

This is a seriously weak race, too. Asdaa, while far from a consistent horse, and neither in flying form, won at Pontefract in the summer over a mile three starts back and ran to a 70 speed rating that day – that’s rock solid form in my book, and the best on offer, only matched by Bin Hayyan in this field, who is an intriguing runner after gelding operation, if he can stretch out over the mile, but is drifting in the market, suggesting he’s not really expected today.

He wasn’t in the same form since, but a return to the All-Weather will surely suit over the mile trip. He’s only a pound higher than at Pontefract, but is arguably a better horse on the sand.

He ran 8 times to speed ratings 69+ (i.e. matching or higher than current OR), six of those on the All-Weather., including three times at Kempton, and the top three efforts over a mile as well.

Not many hoses in this field can offer the same level of consistent speed ratings on this level, and as a consequence few, if any, appear well-handicapped.

Asdaa, though, off a 69 mark is handicapped one win off a correct Official Rating (in my assessment), hence he should have an excellent chance to score with circumstances firmly in his favour.

Kingscote/Johnston enjoy a fruitful partnership on the All-Weather: 6/20 this season, with more than half of the runners placed.

Taking everything into consideration you’d really hope for a big run tonight. Of course, you can’t put too much trust into an inconsistent class 5 handicapper. Yet, Asdaa appears quite a bit overpriced in this field.

10pts win – Asdaa @ 5/1

Monday Selections: 24th October 2022

Thank The Lord: on Saturday the wait was finally over – after 30 consecutive losers, it was the appropriately named Thank The Lord who gave me the first winner in ages. The 3-year-old gelding won the 5 furlong handicap quite handsomely under the Chelmsford floodlights.

Even better, the 13/2 from the morning looked really big in the evening, given the fact he went off 3/1 fav in the end. I needed that. Badly.

Until this incredibly rotten spell – where it felt like I would even struggle to pick my nose if I’d ever tried (I didn’t; too afraid) – the flat season went quite well, actually. No more. I burned through all the profit. That hurts.

This was the worst losing run I have ever experienced; certainly since betting with some seriousness. The thing is, if I look back at it: the majority of selections I’d do again. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing? The future will tell.

………

4.10 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 2f

Oscar Doodle looks ready to romp home here off bottom weight after a surprisingly lenient treatment by the handicapper after his recent course and distance win.

He looked to get home a shade cozily, I felt, after always travelling well while tracking the pace. He was entitled to win off a basement mark of 45 after showing clear signs of improvement for a change to the 10 furlong trip with cheekpieces applied.

He was unlucky the first three attempts over 1o furlongs. The saddle slipped on his first attempt over this CD and blunted a better finish. But from there on he ran three huge races in a row: first at Beverley, and then even more so when desperately unlucky back at Newcastle.

No hard lucky story when last seen, and I reckon he’s got more left in the locker. He can pull hard, as shown in the past, and still was able to finish well. He seemed to settle much better last time out, though – has the penny dropped?

The pace looks solid enough here, he won’t have a problem to find a good posi from #8 draw either.

I am normally not a huge fan of Luke Morris in the saddle, but him taking the ride is a major advantage, especially as he goes down to 8st 5lb to take the ride. His record when doing these low weights on fancied horses is excellent, and he hasn’t ridden so low for weeks.

This is a solid race, not uncompetitive, but Oscar Doodle could still be quite well handicapped and should be able to follow up on his recent maiden victory off this weight.

10pts win – Oscar Doodle @ 9/2

………….

4.50 Redcar: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

This looks a competitive Apprentice handicap for this class. Half the field is in with a shot. That says Stallone appears to be a silly price, even more so if the ground doesn’t dry out too much until late afternoon.

Over the 6 furlong trip he needs give in the ground to be seen to best affect. Currently it’s still proper soft ground and I hope it doesn’t get much quicker.

Even though Stallone’s very best form comes over 7 furlongs, he is also a winner over the shorter 6 furlongs. He’ s also highly consistent, especially if the word “soft” appears in the going description (9 of those 13 races on proper soft he finished in the money).

He also acts on a faster surface, though, as seen when finishing a strong third place at Pontefract two races back in June this year.

That piece of form worked out incredibly well, and Stallone ran a huge race, confirmed by a 62 speed rating matching his handicap mark on the day. He ran to 56 and 57 speed ratings this season as well, proving consistency.

He couldn’t follow up from Pontefract when finishing eight of ten nine days later at Hamilton. Most like the race came too soon after that big Ponti run. He’s been off since then.

That specific form on fast ground gives me plenty of hope that even if it dries out to good to soft, he can be a seriously competitive runner in this field. Down to a mark off 61 he’s certainly handicapped to go close, having run six times to speed rating of 61+.

Also: Stallone never had the opportunity to race off such low mark on softish ground over 6 furlongs. So, while his win record looks poor over the trip, seen in the context of this, I’ll give him a better chance than the market does.

The elephant in the room is the jockey booking, though. This is an apprentice race and Paige Hopper is the least experienced rider in the field. From I have seen she looks solid enough in the saddle, and her 7lb claim can prove really valuable.

I might be completely wrong, of course, but I feel Stallone could be quite well handicapped, that with the additional weight allowance could mean Paige Hopper just has to make sure to stay in the saddle and not fall off.

That is if he’s fit. Not see since June is a question mark. But the yard is in good form, outperforming expectations. And this will likely be his final race this year. There is no need to hold back or run for a better handicap mark Therefore I am hopeful Stallone is allowed to run on merit.

10ps win – Stalone @ 14/1

Saturday Selections: 22nd October 2022

1.20 Doncaster: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

It pays off to be have a low draw in this ground over this trip at Doncaster. Two that have the draw and are potentially handicapped to land this big handicap have caught my eye:

The money clearly is coming for Master Zoffany. One can see why: he travelled strongly when last seen at York earlier this month, then over a mile, before fading in the closing stages.

The drop to 7 furlongs will suit. He’s a distance winner and goes well in softish conditions. Currently one pound above his last winning mark, but 2lb lower than his best speed rating, he looks in with a clear opportunity to go really well after a much lighter campaign than many others in this field, perhaps with freshness the bonus to push him over the line.

At a bigger price, one I don’t want to leave out, though, is Mystery Fox. He was an impressive winner at Goodwood over a mile, quickening in fine style and put the race to bed from two furlongs out. He improved nicely for the application of cheekpieces.

A drop to 7 furlongs won’t be an issue, especially in properly soft conditions. He has to overcome a career highest mark, but if he can continue to progress with the new headgear, there is every chance he can defy a mark off 88 today.

5pts win – Master Zoffany @ 7.4
5pts win – Mystery Fox @ 14

………

4.45 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Emperor Caradoc didn’t quite see out the mile at Pontefract recently, particularly after showing signs of keenness early on. However, his impressive Carlisle win is still relatively fresh in mind.

He was really gutsy to win from the widest draw that day, and kicked in well in the homes straight, finding the most in the final furlong.

He responded well to a gelding operation in spring and his lightly races profile offers potential for further progress, now down to 7 furlongs again with plenty of give in the ground. A mark off 77 does look not overly harsh.

Floral Splendour looked to be have a bit of talent when she won in impressive style on debut at Haydock back in July. She was found out in Listed class subsequently, though didn’t help herself with a slow start.

She was far from disgraced at Wolverhampton the next time, and caught the eye on her first start for the Jardine at Musselburgh lately. Nothing went her way that day, from start to finish.

She is better than that. 7 furlongs and soft ground suit. A mark off 74 and this easier grade make her really dangerous if she gets a clear run.

5pts win – Emperor Caradoc @ 15.5
5pts win – Floral Splendour @ 3
2

……..

8.00 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Not much pace is expected here, which should play into the hands of Thank The Lord, who can go forward; in fact I would expect him to get it pretty easy from the front, given he also has a #1 draw to attack the race from.

He won nicely at Salisbury going wire to wire in July. afterwards looked out of sorts at Wolverhampton, before fading over 6 furlongs at Yarmouth and earlier this month here at Chelmsford.

That performance was a big one in my view. He had the widest draw, was a little bit sluggish away, made up ground rapidly soon after, and found plenty under pressure until tiring in the final furlong.

10pts win – Thank The Lord @ 13/2