Tag Archives: Polytrack

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

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Saturday Selections: January, 20th 2018

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8.15 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

A quiet week so far, and here we go with a horse I’ve already been interested in a week ago, when he ran – and finished poorly, well beaten at Southwell.

Nonetheless, I’m prepared to give Emigrated another chance here, in this pretty poor contest that screams for an upset.

Reasons are pretty much the same as last week – however there is a slight bonus this time: Emigrated returns to a surface he probably likes a lot more, which he showed here in December when running his best race in a very long time over CD.

It was his second start for the Derek Shaw yard, after a promising initial display at Southwell coming off a break. At Chelmsford he backed it up with a fine 5th, only 2¾ beaten despite not having things going his way throughout – form that looks solid enough in the book, also.

Emigrated didn’t run well the last two times. There was little excuse last week other than a fluffed start at an unkind surface that can be hard to recover from a scenario like that – still a run to forget. The penultimate start at Chelmsford over 10f, a third run in quick succession, is easier to forgive when seen in the right context.

However, it has to be said, the five year old gelding did show eye-catching improvement in his first starts for his new trainer Derek Shaw.

 

Now, you don’t want to make too many excuses for a long standing maiden who hasn’t shown a lot his whole life. Nonetheless, those two forms in early December give him a fair shout in this race.

Interesting fact that Emigrated’s sire Fastnet Rock has quite an excellent record over this trip in Chelmsford Handicaps.

Selection:
10pts win – Emigrated @ 50/1 PP/VC/BF

Thursday Selections: December 28th 2017

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12.10 Lingfield: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Backing the girls during the winter against the boys is something I try to avoid. Numbers have proven they tend to underperform on the sand when it’s cold. However this field here is made up of more than half of fillies and it has a rather open outlook despite a 6/4 fav greeting from the head of the market.

Far from the most obvious choice, nonetheless I like the chance of three year old Sea Tea Dea. The daughter of Archipenko has one impressive course and distance success from earlier this year on her CV and now 3lb lower rated than that day, she is potentially dangerously weighted.

It’s true on form she hasn’t shown much ever since. However you can make excuses if you want: either for an unrealistic handicap mark, or unsuitable ground or trip – in all her subsequent starts.

Now dropping back to 7f second up after a break with the handicapper offering a lifeline, I would not be surprised to see Sea Tea Dea return to form. Her sire has an excellent record over this CD, particularly with fillies in the winter months, surprisingly.

Her CD win achieved the joint-highest time-speed rating in the field, suggesting a return to anything close to her winning form will see her go really close.

Selection:
10pts win – Sea Tea Dea @ 16/1 Bet365

Assegai’s a big price on the Greyville Poly

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.25 Greyville: MR 95 Handicap, 1.900m

Not much going on on the domestic front so lets head to South Africa for an intriguing Handicap on the Greyville Polytrack. Some really good horses are going to post there, most notably the top weight Blance Sheet, a 3 year old gelding who tried to take on the best in Graded company recently.

He’s not been disgraced but found it much easier when dropped into Handicap company the last time when landing a good MR98. He’s up in the mark and tries a new trip today – which he failed to stay in the past – so that is a negative for the short favourite.

Lightly raced Krambambuli took on much stronger the last two. He was a fair third in the Cape Derby, but couldn’t back it up. This is easier and he is likely to get the trip, but in truth he has only won a low-grade handicap to date.

De Kock’s Trip To Rio could be interesting if he stays the 1900m trip. He was second in a 1m Listed event on the poly last year but utterly disappointing when last seen in a MR92 Handicap. He could well improve, though definitely has to so as more is required here.

I’m quite interested in four year old Assegai. He is the only course and distance winner in the field and was impressive when landing a MR 90 Handicap over CD on his penultimate run. He wasn’t disgraced when fifth in a very hot Listed event subsequently, taking on seasoned top class graded hoses. He will find this today much easier. He had a little break since then but usually does very well as a fresh horse.

He has to be at his best in order to give weight away to the smart three year olds, though with conditions very much in his favour, might well be able to do so. Top jockey is booked today – at 10/1 he looks overpriced in this field.

Assegai @ 10/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win

Friday Night at Dundalk: Report + Photos

Dundalk last night has been great! As always – I have to say. It never disappoints. Of course it helps if your 10/1 selection goes in, though! It was my third visit to Ireland’s only All-Weather track. The course is often hailed by trainers for its consistently excellent surface. Well maintained, not much kick-back, and with the false rail installed it is a fair track to race on these days.

Punters alike favour the track because the form stands up and most importantly you can see some good horses in action as well, usually in the feature race on the night. So happened yesterday, as outlined in my preview. The Irish Stallion Farms E.B.F. Race saw some really nice sorts going to post and it promised to be a real cracker. It didn’t disappoint! A three runner photo finish – exciting stuff!

Postulation held on to win it for Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen. He finished a good runner-up behind subsequent John F Kennedy conqueror Success Days – so no surprise to see him going close here. Favourite Queen Nefertiti finished only third – but she should come on for the run and looked well in the parade ring before, like a filly that has clearly trained on.

Postulation
Postulation

Runner-up The Happy Prince for Aiden O’Brien in hands of his son Joseph travelled like the winner until the furlong marker, but didn’t quite find enough in the end. Yet he followed-up with a good performance on his recent Limerick success and is a nice type for the future.

Shannon Soul was beaten in fourth but was clearly the most impressive individual in the parade ring. Put him in your tracker, he may be able to win a nice race soon.

Kilimanjaro was a nice winner for the O’Brien team in the last race on the card. He contested in two hot maidens last season, showed himself much improved on his second start back then, but really made visually a good impression here at Dundalk in the parade ring. He won the maiden over the extended 10f trip in good fashion, really seemed to get rolling in the closing stages. He has a Derby entry. You wouldn’t expect him to be good enough. But the first time hood helped and sometimes these O’Brien horses can improve explosively, as we all know.

Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro

Personal highlight on the card was undoubtedly the win of Iron Major. If you read my preview yesterday, you know I tipped him to win at 10/1 – and he obliged duly. Inexperienced 10lb claimer Oisin Orr delivered a confident ride from the back of the field and went through an open gape 2f out. Iron Major found plenty when asked for an effort and was clearly well handicapped, as imagined beforehand.

Iron Major
Iron Major

Dundalk All-Weather