Tag Archives: Paco Boy

Saturday Preview: Lockinge Stakes Day

What a finish in the Yorkshire Cup (Group 2) yesterday – nearly four in line going down to the wire with the Queen’s horse Dartmouth getting the better of 2015 St. Ledger heroine Simple Verse – just!

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3.30 Newbury: Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, 1 Mile

The first big clash of the best older milers this season. And what a mouth-watering race in prospect this is. Three 120/+ individuals  head to head – this could go down to the wire!

Or not? All three main contenders – Ribchester, Galileo Gold and Lightning Spear – have to overcome the slight doubts of full race fitness on their seasonal reappearance.

Could that play into the hands of the master that is Aiden O’Brien? Shrewdly he has placed Somehow – a quality filly in her own right – here in the Lockinge. With her sex allowance and fitness assured, she could certainly cause an upset.

Somewhow won twelve days ago a Group 2 at Newmarket – a fifth career success in ten starts – though the jury is still out whether she is a top-notcher.

Dropping down to a mile in soft conditions I can see a scenario unfold where she cruises closely behind Ribchester’s pacemaker, and then from over 3f out takes over with a big move that puts all behind in trouble. With fitness and stamina a given, she could stay on to lead the field all the way over the line.

The 7/1 odds scream value if you believe in the merit of this scenario. I do. But I also have concerns about the fact that Somehow already had three tough races – two in very tough conditions – in the last five weeks. Plus she has to find a bit with the three big guns if ratings are believed.

On ratings there is not a lot between Ribchester, Galileo Gold and Lightning Spear, though. I would still discount David Simcock’s six year old on the basis of the ground that probably does suit him the least. His very best in the past came on fast ground. Plus Lightning Spear is still searching for the elusive first Group 1 victory.

That is different for Ribchester and Galileo Gold. Both have won on the highest level – Galileo Gold even twice. And both have excellent form with cut in the ground.

The score’s equal between the two. On ratings there’s a single pound between them, yet the market has Ribchester a clear 6/4 favourite. Probably on the basis that the son of Iffraaj has still a bit of improvement left.

He might have but he might not. In fact there is only a single career run betwen Ribchester and Galileo Gold.

On balance I would agree that Ribchester is likely to be the better prospect for the season. He looks the type to do better with age and experience, whereas Galileo Gold appears more likely to regress. However at this point in time it is also Galileo Gold’s best chance to win a big race this year, I feel.

Connections will certainly be aware of this. He should be fully wound up, his record as a fresh horse is fine and of all horses in the field he has the best record on soft ground. So given the prices I have to side with Galileo Gold who I would have more like a 5/2 chance in my book.

Selection:
10pts win – Galileo Gold @ 9/2 Bet365

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4.05 Newbury: Class 2 Conditions Stakes, 6 Furlongs

All about Richard Hannon’s Denaar here. He was an easy winner under hands and heels in a Chelmsford maiden on debut a mere twelve days ago over the minimum trip. The step up to 6f should suit very well and the change in conditions – at least on pedigree – is no problem; in fact can be beneficial.

The form of his maiden success looks rock solid through the experienced runner-up who on his penultimate start ran well in a race that threw up a handful of winners as well as a subsequent listed placed individual.

Selection:
10pts win – Denaar @ 15/8 Paddy Power

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5.10 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 1 Mile

Big field and an open contest, so at a price I give Grand Inquisitor a chance to find back to some sort of form, now returning to turf with cut in the ground off a dangerous mark.

He moved yards during the winter and hasn’t excelled for new connections on the All-Weather the last two starts over seven furlongs, but it might not be wise to judge him too harshly on those efforts.

Back over the slightly longer trip with conditions he’s proven to handle and only 2lb above his last winning mark I see a fair chance for him returning to form Not to forget he ran some massive races off much higher marks last season and knocked on the door in tough Handicaps of marks around 95.

Selection:
10pts win – Grand Inquisitor @ 18/1 Bet365

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5.35 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 5 Furlongs

Richard Fahey’s Paddy Power slipped dramatically in the handicap mark compared to what the four year old ran of last season. Now down to 75 with the benefit of a fine pipe opener on Newcastle’s All-Weather, the gelding seems well handicapped on return to turf.

His win record is dismal, but he raced of up to 10lb higher in good Handicaps last year has performed more often than with credit – in fact on RPR’s he ran 11 times to ratings above his current mark of 75.

Softish conditions should be no problem, he has some okay form on this type of surface. His sire performs decent enough too, and the dam is a Listed winner on soft ground. Added 3lb apprentice allowance is a little icing on the cake.

Selection:
10pts win – Paddy Power @ 4/1 Bet365

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8.50 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 6 Furlongs

I give handicap debutante Manshood a good chance to outrun his price tag. He’s had five starts in maiden company so far, placed three times, the two times he ran over today’s trip he was in the money running to RPR’s of 72 and 73.

He’s got a fine pipe opener under his belt last month, that should set him up nicely and didn’t sacrifice his potentially lenient opening mark.

Potentially lenient if he improves for his first handicap start in new conditions. Soft ground, though, should suit quite well on pedigree.  Martin Lane was the other day in the saddle, so got to know Manshood, and has the ride today too. Could be an advantage.

Selection: 
10pts win – Manshood @ 14/1 Paddy Power

Friday Selections – Sandown

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4.40 Sandown: Class 3 Handicap, 1m

Bartholomew Fair has been pretty disappointing this season as he has never fulfilled the promise he showed as a juvenile. You could make excuses for Derby Trial performance where he was potentially found out for class and stamina, which was also his seasonal reappearance. But his subsequent Haydock performance left many scratching their head.

This is an extremely well bred colt, who won a Yarmouth maiden in very taking fashion last year. Subsequently he was far from disgraced in the G3 Autumn Stakes at Newmarket where he ran much better than the bare result suggests as he was always wide without cover and it didn’t help that he was unable to handle Newmarket’s undulations either.

He’s had a bit of a break now and has been gelded in the meantime. Shame because of his pedigree, but something wasn’t right with him as physically he looks top notch, very athletic and scopey. Hopefully this will help him to find his true form. Down to a mark off 87 in this class 3 Handicap, he must rate a big chance if the gelding op has an impact. It usually works well for Dansili’s and trainer Cumani has a good track record with geldings first time out.

Bartholomew Fair @ 8/1 Stan James – 5pts Win

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5.15 Sandown: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

I loved Paco Boy – my all time favourite. He’s done well so far with his offspring. Pacolita might not be the best daughter he has produced, but she is reasonably talented and has a massive chance to give her prominent daddy a good winner today.

Pacolita was seriously unlucky in her last run at Wolverhampton. Travelling super strongly, she never got a run until late, her jockey had to take hard pulls several times but she stayed on strongly to the line, suggesting she can cope with another furlong. She gave this indication as well when winning in a dramatic finish at Epsom before over 7f.

Pacolita @ 10/3 Paddy Power – 10pts Win

Preview: German 2000 Guineas – First Classic Success for Paco Boy?

Capella Sansevero 

Excellent line-up for the German 2000 Guineas. The home team looks to have a very strong hand and it could be tough for the foreign raiders to land a blow.

Andreas Wöhler trains two exciting colts in Karpino and Making Trouble. The former is trading as the red hot favourite after he won the Dr. Busch Memorial (G3) in excellent fashion on his seasonal debut, which was only his second career start. He drops slightly in trip today, which must not be an inconvenience, but he might be vulnerable against speedier sorts I feel, as he poses a very stamina laden pedigree.

Stable mate Making Trouble has the 1 mile trip written all over as a son of former world class miler Paco Boy. He won a Listed event over 1.500m on his seasonal reappearance in really good style and is expected to come on for the run. He should certainly improve for the step up to 1m and his trainer voiced satisfaction with Making Trouble’s progress prior to the big race.

Brisanto won the Group 3 Preis des Winterfavoriten in horrible conditions when last seen in October 2014. He’s a definite player if race fit, though the better ground is not sure to suite entirely. Agent Provocateur can’t be ruled out with fitness assured. He won a Conditions Race in France earlier this month and should get the additional furlong today but obviously has to raise his game in order to be competitive in this field.

Irish raider Capella Sansevero tries to redeem himself today after a lacklustre performance in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas. The runner-up of last years Coventry Stakes is a very speedy sort and that means he is not a sure stayer. On pedigree it’s certainly doubtful and his last run doesn’t instil much confidence either.

Maroc Botti has a proven track record in this race so it seems significant that he brings progressive Fanciful Angel over to Cologne. He won a Listed event at Lingfield last month and could have easily more to offer. More is needed here today, though, as this form hasn’t really worked out yet.

Verdict: If Karpino fails to fire today then victory can still go Andreas Wöhler’s way. His second string Making Trouble seems overpriced. He was impressive when winning a Listed event recently and should improve for the new trip. He can provide a first classic success for his sire Paco Boy and has clearly inherited a lot from his prominent daddy, most notably the sharp turn of foot.

Making Trouble @ 12/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Dubai World Cup Carnival is truly alive

SURFER: It was his target, and he ran like he clearly knew what he was supposed to do on the day. Surfer won the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round two in taking style while making most of his draw. Never too far off the pace, he attacked turning for home and was able to get lose one furlong out to draw clear by a bit more than two lengths in the end. This is particularly sweet since he was my selection for this race. Favourite Outstrip absolutely hated the Dirt on his Meydan debut. He was outpaced early on and subsequently never really in the race. The tough English runner Ocean Tempest also didn’t look happy at all on this surface. A fact we may have to conclude more often than not in the next couple of weeks when we talk about European runners on the Meydan Dirt track.

TRUE STORY: Impressive success for True Stroy in the Listed Singspiel Stakes. In hindsight, one could say he was very much entitled to win as good as he did. First time headgear, the gelding operation and being fresh clearly rejuvenated him. The change of gear he was able to produce entering the home straight demonstrated why he was once thought to be a leading Epsom Derby contender. Question is now if he’ll be able to reproduce the same sort of form against tougher opposition the next time. This win meant that James Doyle was off to a flying start for the boys in blue. Recently acquired as the retained jockey for Godolphin, he couldn’t have envisioned a better start.

DE KOCK: South Africa’s top trainer has a rather slow start this season but one should expect that form will pick up soon. Some horses did perform eye-catchingly today and believing his words, his whole string is expected to improve with growing match fitness. Ajeeb was one that particularly caught my eye. Over 5f in the turf sprint, he travelled very well for a long time trailing the field and making some really nice progress late without getting a particularly hard race.

Given the fact that he was off for more than a year and was once runner-up in a 7f Group 2 in Australia as well as only five lengths beaten in top class company behind Atlantic Jewel, one can easily see why this colt could be very interesting moving forward from here. Expect him to strip fitter next time and when stepping up in trip, he’ll be one to have the money on I feel. Another interesting De Kock runner to keep in mind might be classy Sansaawhes. He was in receive of a slightly odd ride by Soumillon but finished very well and should come on for this run after being back from a break as well.

MUSIC THEORY: An absolute nightmare run for the Godolphin gelding in the final race. He travelled extremely well in rear of the field but had absolutely nowhere to go in the home straight. He got bumped and had to fight for a gap, but once he got out late, he finished like a train. Keep an eye on him, he could go all the way into pattern class. Music Theory was a very promising juvenile when he finished once less than three lengths behind Kingman in the Solario Stakes. He had only two starts last year but ended 2014 with a fine runner-up effort at Lingfield. His lightly raced profile let’s assume that there is still a good deal of improvement left.

Paco Boy

DIRT: It is almost impossible to win from the rear of the field. The kick-back is horrible and it looks a bit like Wolverhampton at its worst days before the relay of the new surface… well Meydan today looked probably even worse! The vast majority of dirt races were won by horses very much up with the speed – with the only exception the 7f Handicap where they went a relentless gallop. So the trend from the minor meetings clearly continues in that sense.

Doesn’t mean that spectacular racing is a thing unlikely to happen on this surface, however visually it isn’t particularly pretty – not to my eyes at least. The beauty of flat racing for me is when you see a strong travelling horse looming hard on the bridle around the 2f marker, waiting to be unleashed to go and win the race. That’s why I once fell so much in love with Paco Boy. His 2010 Lockinge Stakes success or the year before the Queen Anne triumph – simply poetry in motion!