Tag Archives: Redcar

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

Monday Selections: 30th May 2022

2.25 Lingfield: Novice Stakes, 1m 1f

Normally this wouldn’t be my type of race but I was very taken with the way Foursome finished on her debut. It was clearly an educational ride and the slow pace didn’t suit her, but she finished pretty much the best under an easy hands and heels ride.

There was good market support for her pre-race – perhaps the Haggas factor. She was alertly out of the gates, but caught wide before settling in rear. While the race developed at the front end, thanks to slow fractions, she became a bit outpaced as the leaders kicked on from over three furlongs out.

She found her feet, though, made good progress from the 2 furlong marker on and moved through a tight gap one furlong from home finishing in fine fashion.

Clearly she needs a better pace and will get into her own when moving up in trip. The additional half a furlong today will certainly suit in that regard.

The race looks for the taking, given the 71 rated Lyrical Lady sets a solid standard but hasn’t set the world alight in six starts. Buick on two-time runner-up Musical Romance is a short priced favourite. Not sure she will truly enjoy this trip, hence worth taking on.

It’s always a risk in these races, whether horses are prepared for handicaps. I feel Foursome will be given every chance to get a win on board today, though.

10pts win – Foursome @ 11/2

………….

4.40 Redcar: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

This could be the day for Captain Claret. I am monitoring him since last summer when he ran a number of times better than the bare form suggested.

He changed yards in the meantime, now with Ruth Carr, he ran twice this year. His return at Redcar over 7 furlongs was an excellent performance when he raced mostly from the front, setting a solid pace and only got caught late in the final furlong.

He couldn’t follow up at Thirsk but there were excuses for the performance. Perhaps a blessing in disguise as a consequence Captain Claret has dropped to a mark off 60 – a career-lowest. If I felt last summer he was capable to run to a 70 rating, then he’s clearly well-handicapped today.

The Ruth Carr yard is in poor form. That’s a definite concern. On the other hand this race is very winnable with questions marks about each and every runner. On the plus side Joanna Mason knows the horse and I hope she can set sensible fractions or track the pace.

There are no concerns over the trip, neither over the ground, even if the rain would arrive.

10pts win – Captain Claret @ 6/1

Eyecatchers #9 2022

A list of horses that caught my eye during the last seven days of racing. These individuals look ready to win a race sooner rather than later given the right conditions.

Brilliant Blue
20/05/22 – 1.35 Goodwood:

Awkward start but wasn’t help by the isolated #1 draw. Was about to move forward when badly hampered on the inside around the 6 furlong marker. Keen afterwards. Made excellent progress from three furlongs out. Looked like coming with big run before fading.

This was his seasonal reappearance. Possible lack of race fitness and mid-race keenness may have been the contributing factor to a lackluster finish.

Should be better than this. Showed promise as a juvenile in two races in Autumn – form worked out well as he finished around some higher rated individuals – before flopping on the All-Weather. The mile trip shouldn’t be an issue on pedigree.

Race Replay

Aeonian
20/05/22 – 3.40 Haydock:

Travelled toward the end of the small field, pretty keen early on, nearly bumped into rival. Slowly run race, eventual first and second – also lto winners – tracked the pace and quickened gradually from three furlongs out. He made good progress on outside once in the clear but couldn’t catch the leaders.

He was also quite heavily sweating on this seasonal reappearance. Given circumstances this was a fine performance against some good and experienced rivals.

Hasn’t been seen since August when winning hot Yarmouth Novice contest overcoming severe greenness. The form looks strong. he could be a smart prospect. May be prohibitive odds next time. Needs monitoring.

Race Replay

Glamorous Express
21/05/22 – 4.35 Goodwood:

Travelling very strongly in rear of the field. Was at a major disadvantage, though. Having to pass the entire field, still last two furlongs from home going well, eventually switched inside the final furlong and finishes easily the best.

Obviously needs step up in trip. Six furlongs should see him improve. Seven furlongs not out of question. Was still green and raw in most races last year. Hence wouldn’t be too harsh on judging his performances beyond the minimum distance in his juvenile campaign.

Won a Novice contest when last seen in 2021 at Bath, battling strongly. A mark of 80 looks fair for the moment, if he can improve for the trip and for race fitness.

Race Replay

Tomfre
21/05/22 – 1.40 York:

Led the field setting solid fractions. Started to come under pressure from over two furlongs out. Headed and eventually lost touch with those that finished in the placings. Stuck gutsily to the task regardless, didn’t fade away.

Strong performance, ran right to form and mark. Was runner-up of 105 OR last May at this track. Comes down to a more realistic marks now, currently 2lb below his last winning mark.

Looks in fine form, this performance confirmed as much. Ideally would love to see a few more pounds off. Needs certainly proper soft ground to be seen to best effect. He’s one to keep monitoring this season for the right circumstances.

Race Replay

Ey Up It’s Maggie
21/05/22 – 2.55 York:

Tracked the early pace, took over the lead halfway through and ran strongly to the line. Only headed and eventually beaten in the final 100 yards.

Really gutsy performance. Highly consistent filly. In the grip of the handicapper. Will always be vulnerable in this class off this mark. A few pounds off, drop in class and proper soft ground over the minimum trip will be really interesting. Wait for it.

Race Replay

Bonus
21/05/22 – 7.15 Lingfield:

Crossed over toward the rails soon after the start and travelled at the end of the midfield group for the most part. Had a lot to do form this position over two furlongs out while the winner enjoyed the perfect run being up with the pace and was also well handicapped. Didn’t have the pace to challenge when gaps opened over a furlong from home but finished well under hands and heels.

He’s still a few pounds above his last winning mark but starts to get some assistance from the handicapper. I feel this run confirmed his wellbeing. Any additional drop in the ratings combined with racing over 7 furlongs on proper soft ground will spark my interest.

Race Replay

La Yakel
22/05/22 – 1.30 Nottingham:

Was away a bit slowly from the widest draw, settled eventually in rear. Still trailed over two furlongs out going very strongly. Didn’t get out for a clear run until about 1.5f from home. Quickened nicely and grabbed third place on the line having been tenderly handled.

This was his debut. He was gelded already back in March but must have some talent. Was a £28,000 foal but changed hands a year later for £120,000 to Shadwell. He will likely improve plenty fold for stepping up to 10 furlongs given his breeding.

The form could be quite useful. The odds-on winner had more experience and tasted success the last time. Given first and second where always prominent and La Yakel made such a good impression from the rear of the field suggest he could be closely matched with the winner. Needs monitoring for the next starts.

Race Replay

Kaasirr
22/05/22 – 3.05 Nottingham:

Travelled well enough in the final third of the field. Looked poised from three out, not clearest of runs from over two furlongs out, in a tight spot. Eventually fades.

I imagine this was a strong race for this class and will work out well in the long-run. He’s got a few solid pieces of form to this name, especially a close runner-up effort behind Al Nafir (who was 2nd behind Cash on debut) last year on his second career start.

His three-year old campaign has been rather disappointing so far. He was fancied in all three races, hang his chances away at Southwell and finished tamely the last two times. I feel a mile is the maximum of his stamina, though.

He comes down to a dangerous mark I reckon. Perhaps some different form of headgear could be interesting. A drop to a mile is key. I would also be interested in 7 furlongs with a bit of ease in the ground.

Race Replay

Orbaan
22/05/22 – 5.05 York:

Settled in rear of the field going well. Travelled much the strongest in the home straight, hard on the bridle, poised to be unleashed for a winning move. Couldn’t get out, though. Repeatedly short of room. No chance whatsoever.

Is an infrequent winner but has ran numerous times really well in defeat. Big run when 5th in last years Lincoln, placed in the summer off a mark off 94 twice.

Now down to a 87 OR, he looks seriously well handicapped if he gets his conditions: a mile at York or Doncaster or generally a relatively flat straight course. He also goes well over 7 furlongs with significant cut in the ground. He looks ready for a big win.

Race Replay

Arab Cinder
23/05/22 – 1.10 Wolverhampton:

Had to overcome the widest draw, outpaced early on and trailed the main body of the field by quite a margin. Made good progress from halfway, in touch turning for home and loomed dangerously. Couldn’t get a clear run, kept inside by rival the entire home straight until dramatic move toward the inside at the final furlong marker.

Would have gone really close with a clear run most likely. This was her Handicap debut and she showed significant improvement from her three qualifying runs.

As a full-sister to a 1m 6f winner who stayed 2 miles, she is likely to get better the further she goes. 7 furlongs is clearly too short therefore it’s noteworthy how well she ran here. The family isn’t overly successful on the ratings front but most win races.

With that in mind I don’t have massive confidence that she can repeat this performance over shorter than 10 furlongs. The pace was likely a big help for her staying on so well. If she moves up in trip I’ll be really interested. One to monitor.

Race Replay

Eddie The Beagle
23/05/22 – 2.20 Leicester:

Outpaced early on, possibly still green, had to be niggled in early parts of the race. Travelled okay into home straight and tried to make progress from back of the field having loads to do. Multiple times stopped and short of room. Ran on a bit late under easy ride.

Seasonal reappearance. Showed bit of progress on second last start last November. Dam won over 1m 4f for the same yard. Would expect this lad to be competitive if he steps up to that sort of distance.

Race Replay

Crownthorpe
24/05/22 – 7.00 Newcastle:

Travelled in rear initially, seemingly not going all that well. Moved into midfield and outpaced over 2 furlong out when the pace increased. Seemed to come with a late move inside the final furlong but badly hampered half a furlong from home. Winner was long gone at that stage though.

He was hampered and short of room on his seasonal reappearance at Redcar, too. Finished the race okayish from the back of the field. The form looks very strong.

Lost form toward the second half of last season. Has fallen significantly in his mark since two subsequent placed efforts in class 2 Hansicaps off 88 and 89 in May and June 2021.

Down to a 74 rating now, he should be really well handicapped in the right conditions. A mile with cut in the ground could be that. He requires a solid pace to be seen to best effect, I feel.

Race Replay

Reckon I’m Hot
24/05/22 – 5.40 Lingfield:

Caught wide from the #11 draw early on, travelled pretty well into the home straight, going better than most, couldn’t find instant acceleration when finding daylight over 1 furlong out. Perhaps ran out of gas too.

Seven furlongs is probably too far. She was quite unlucky not to win over the minimum trip at Lingfield back in February when she looked to have it won, only be caught late on the line.

Subsequently badly hampered at the start at Chelmsford, she ran better than the result suggested, while she bumped into a very well handicapped winner at Wolverhampton.

She looks capable of winning off her current mark. Would quite like to see her over 6 furlongs on turf.

Race Replay

Billy Wedge
24/05/22 – 8.05 Newcastle:

A bit slowly away, settled in rear, although seriously keen early on. Jockey had to take pulls multiple times. Steered from the middle toward the stands’ side and back again over 3f out. Seemed to travel extremely strongly approaching the 2f marker, still hard on the bridle, only then switched to the widest outside. Finished much the strongest.

Possibly unlucky not getting the clearest of runs but also seemingly a rather conservative ride given. Ran really well at Redcar in April on his comeback run after a near year long break.

Couldn’t repeat, although perhaps mitigating factors. This latest performance shows he is still very much capable of winning. On past form potentially well handicapped if the handicapper doesn’t react too harshly. Was Newcastle winner over 6f of a mark off 52, running to topspeed 55 in February 2021.

Best form on the All-Weather and over 7 furlongs. Rating wise not too far behind what he has achieved on turf, though; however, without winning. I don’t see turf as such a big negative with that in mind. But needs careful monitoring of market and jockey booking. Will require proper soft ground if to be considered on turf.

Race Replay

Thrave
25/05/22 – 3.10 Beverley:

Restrained early on and settled in last pace a few lengths off the main body of the field. Good progress from 4 furlongs out on the inside but headway stopped in home straight. Repeatedly short of room right to the end, while looking poised to win the race if a gap would open.

Ran better on two occasions this season since coming back from a break. Looks poised judged on this, though from a handicapping perspective loos matched with best form from last season.

As eyecatching as this performance was I want to see a couple pounds off the mark. Off 65 or lower at a track that doesn’t favour front runners. 7f-1m fine. The shorter distance not on fast ground. Monitor. Engaged this Friday at Pontefract.

Race Replay

Van Gerwen
25/05/22 – 6.25 Ripon:

Travelled in midfield in a compact field. Perhaps a little bit flat footed entering last three furlongs when pace increased. Found some momentum and looked ready for a challenge but was repeatedly short of room until nearly the very final moment of the race.

Probably ran right up to mark and best of his 2021 form. Won off the same mark last October and ran to topspeed 62, 65 and 67. With that in mind he has clearly proven his wellbeing – important for a 9-year-old.

At the same time he is not overly well handicapped right now. Merely handicapped to what he’s capable of running to. It’s worth waiting one or two more runs to see how his mark is going to be (hopefully) reduced. Is engaged Friday, 27th May at Pontefract.

Race Replay

Twice Adaay
25/05/22 – 8.30 Ripon:

Prominent early on, chased the pace in second line. Lost position when racing room became increasingly tight and was short of room at 2 furlongs from home. Had to delay challenge. Met interference at final furlong marker too. Switched toward the inside and moved nicely through a gap to finish well.

Sole win came over 5 furlongs in soft conditions last year of a mark off 54. Ran to topspeed 56 on turf and 58 on firesand. Ran quite well on a number occasions this year. Consistency means she’s in the grip of the handicapper right now.

If she falls below 65 again and over the minimum trip on proper soft ground she’ll be really interesting.

Race Replay

Lady Lavina
26/05/22 – 1.20 Ripon:

Travelled really strongly and like the potential winner for the most parts of the race. Tried to find a gap from over two furlongs out. Short of room until very late when finally space opens up and she finishes really strongly, even though runs into traffic close to the finish once again.

May filly on debut here seemed ready despite drifting out to 20/1. Most likely will benefit from step up in trip to 7 furlongs. One to see where connections go next. May be too obvious to back next time. Worth to keep an eye for when she moves beyond six furlongs.

Race Replay

Field Of Honour
26/05/22 – 3.50 Ripon:

Pulls really hard pretty for the majority of the race. A slow pace didn’t help. Received a good educational ride. As pace leading trio kicks on four from home he’s kept at the rear of the field behind horses. Pulled out 3f from home and makes eye catching progress to about the final furlong marker.

Debut run for this April foal. Quite well bred, likely to be seen to best effect if stepping up to 10 furlongs. needs to learn to settle. Looks to have a bit of talent given the way he travelled in the home straight and make nice progress.

Will not get involved before going handicapping unless stepping up to 10 furlongs. One to monitor for next entries.

Race Replay

Monday Selections: 16th May 2022

4.25 Redcar: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Competitive race but Dandy Dinmont looks potentially the one with the biggest upside. This is a slightly easier race than the one he caught my eye in last time at Beverley.

That day he made good progress throughout travelling notably well for the majority of the race, even though he looked a little bit keen in the first furlong. He had to delay his challenge but eventually made strong progress from 2 furlongs out. It got a bit tight in the final furlong on the inside and he wasn’t knocked about when the race was gone. He also was the only one making a significant impression from off the pace.

It was clear improvement from his seasonal reappearance which was better than the bare form suggest too. He showed a bit of progress as a juvenile but got injured in August and only returned at Doncaster last month after 267 days off the track.

He’s still lightly enough raced and an April foal to think he will progress with time and experience. He should be 100% fit today, is a pound lower than the last time, in an easier race – big chance.

If.… that is a big if: he acts on rain softened ground. With the rain expected to come, the currently fast ground may turn soft. Not sure it’s what he wants. Risk and reward. At given prices I am prepared to run the risk.

10pts win – Dandy Dinmont @ 6/1

Eyecatchers #5 2022

A list of horses that caught my eye during the last seven days of racing. These individuals look ready to win a race sooner rather than later.

Kimngrace
22/04/22: 1.20 Sandown:

After a steadied start she settled in rear of the field. She made some smooth progress from over three furlongs out but was stuck behind a bunch of horses and a clear passage denied until very late. She finished well when a bit of racing room opened up in the closing stages.

The winner made all from the front, the runner-up and third raced close to the pace too. Given these circumstances this was a big run on what was Kimngrace’s seasonal reappearance.

She looks a filly open to improvement, possibly more so if stepping up to 6 furlongs again, or perhaps a really stiff five. When last seen in 2021 she won a Maiden race at Haydock over 6f and looked at home over the trip. That particular form worked out well with the runner-up having ran a huge race in the Fred Darling Stakes recently.

It will be interesting to see what the handicapper does. I feel he can’t raise her mark too much . Of her current 78 rating she looks potentially really well handicapped, though.

Race Replay

Devilwala
23/04/22 – 1.20 Ripon:

I admit this requires a bit of imagination and context. Devilwala travelled okayish, always close to the pace, and attempted to make a move from 3 furlongs out as the pace increased. He looked one of the more dangerous horses at this moment in time, was still there for a good finish with a furlong to go, but ran out of gas eventually.

Not unexpectedly. Devilwala doesn’t stay the mile trip. He was 4th in a 2000 Guineas, and overall highly tried in his first two seasons, but his best came over 6f and 7f, like a strong 4th, less than three lengths beaten in the Dewhurst behind St. Mark’s Basilica.

Those days are long gone. He changed yards twice and has been gelded. He’s fallen from a career highest 114 OR to a modest 84 right now. I suspect he’ll be dropped another couple of pounds soon.

That’s the context to this 4th place finish at Ripon. A solid run over a distance that stretched his stamina. It should bring him on for the moment he drops in trip.

I want to see a few more pounds off the mark plus a drop in class to be seriously interested. This day will come in the not too distinct future.

Race Replay

Buckshaw Village
23/04/22 – 5.10 Ripon:

Travelled in midfield initially, then relegated to the rear and switched to the inside, possibly for more cover. Was behind a wall of horses and stuck to the task to stay in touch and looked poised for a challenge. Didn’t get a run through, slightly impeded 1 furlong out. Finished really well under hands and heels.

This was only the second handicap start for the colt and second run after a lackluster but excusable comeback run at Pontefract. He showed promise last season as a juvenile with three placed efforts in maiden & novice company.

This was a great run though, given circumstances, also over the minimum trip. I feel, given the pedigree, and the way he finished here, he’ll absolutely enjoy going back up to 6 furlongs again, or perhaps even attempting 7 furlongs.

He comes down to a workable mark, particularly if he can improve for experience and trip. Buckshaw Village is ready to win. He certainly wants decent ground, though, and wouldn’t be of interest to me if he stays over the minimum trip.

Race Replay

Billian
23/04/22 – 1.30 Haydock:

Breaking slowly put him at a disadvantage right away. He trailed the field but travelled well enough with good progress. Dramatic move to be switched to the wide outside in order to get a clear run. He looked dangerous there but had too much too do and tired in the closing stages.

Still managed to finish the 2nd fastest combined splits for the final three furlongs, just behind the well handicapped After John (3rd place). This form looks really strong and his performance a definite return to form.

He has fallen 17lb in the mark in the last year, and clearly lost his enthusiasm for racing. Breaking poorly has become a habit and he was never once fancied in 2021.

Nonetheless, he’s coming down to a sexy handicap mark now, possibly with even further assistance from the handicapper after this run. Billian has ran six times to topspeed ratings of 60 and higher throughout his career which gives plenty of hope that he can win soon.

One caveat: I have to account for the slow starts and think they are easier to make up in smaller fields. Plus while he appears ground independent I believe his best comes out on decent ground. Only in those circumstances I will be interested in him.

Race Replay

Strawman
23/04/22 – 7.05 Doncaster:

He completely messed up the start and lost a number of lengths early on (have to monitor whether this becomes a habit). Trailed until turning for home when making rapid progress highlighted by blistering sectionals to move into a challenging position. Pays for the effort in the closing stages but also entitled to tire on his first run in 223 days.

This was Strawman’s first “poor” run in a year. He won three races and finished another one second of his four starts last season. And this most recent one is a much stronger performance than the 7 lengths beaten 5/5 result suggests.

In fact this run suggests the handicapper may still not have caught up with him and he can win again as long as it’s 9-10 furlongs on decent ground.

Race Replay

Secretfact
24/04/22 – 2.40 Bath:

Was very alertly out of the gate, travelled strongly in midfield to the 2 furlong marker. Had nowhere to go from there, though, trying different routes. Eventually pushed toward the inside when he runs out of fuel.

The 9-year-old was entitled to get tired on his first start in 2022, but clearly ran much better than the result and price suggested. He has still a lot of enthusiasm for racing.

Down to a mark of 65, which is probably a fairer reflection of his class these days, but a little bit of additional assistance from the handicapper will mean he’s got to be well handicapped over the minimum trip on lightning fast ground.

Side note: He ran at Chepstow on Thursday in the meantime. Same mark, same trip. Fine performance, leading from the front, just to tire in the closing stages and drop to 4th late. He should be ready for a big run next time if conditions suit (5f, fast going).

Race Replay

Sense Of Security
24/04/22 – 4.55 Bath:

Was well away from the gates and travelled in midfield for the majority of the race. She was quite keen too, pulling hard from midway through. Yet she appeared to go easily and strongly turning for home, the jockey taking a pull over 3 furlongs out.

She seemed to travel like the winner, with the only problem how to get a run for home. It didn’t happen until very late when the race was over. She is obviously much better than this result.

Sense Of Security has shown promise last year, was placed over 5.5f at this track in an eye-catching performance. She was a good third at Kempton earlier this month too, having ran to topspeed 61.

With experience she should improve. I feel a drop to 7f wouldn’t be an issue, neither would be a step up in trip out of question given the pedigree. Though, given her tendency to pull hard, a mile is probably the maximum right now.

Race Replay

Dream Composer
24/04/22 – 4.05 Wetherby:

Travelled in last position for most of the race, until turning for home when he attempted to make progress on the wide outside. Wasn’t helped by moving horses in front but also struggled with top-end speed on this fast surface.

Was brave in the final furlong to move through a gap and finished well. Clear improvement on recent poor Pontefract showing, which was a first run after a break, though. Performance is notable for the fact he ran so well here on fast ground even though he’s a much better horse with cut in the ground.

Comes down to a really nice mark having won of 1lb higher last summer and having ran a massive race in a big Ayr Handicap of 7lb higher. Interesting next time whenever on soft ground.

Race Replay

Hodler
25/04/22 – 4.55 Windsor:

Travelled strongly in rear, hard on the bridle approaching the last two furlongs. Stuck behind a wall of horses he’s switched to the inside but that doesn’t make the situation any better. Short of room there until very late when switched even wider.

I really liked how Hodler travelled here. He spotted a hood for the first time. Still pretty lightly raced it’s clear racing him over sprint trips is far from ideal given his pedigree. But potentially required to bring the mark down from what was a stiff opening mark (78).

He will clearly benefit moving up in distance. 10 furlongs looks possible. The fact he has been keen in the past is the obvious question mark for that sort of project. Nonetheless worth waiting for it to happen before backing him.

Race Replay

Homemade Andrea
25/04/22 – 7.55 Windsor:

Settled in rear of the field and travelled much the strongest to the 2 furlong marker, although had to delay her challenge. Once things opened up she dropped away tamely.

The mile trip could be too far for her. The filly’s best is over 7 furlongs which looks more in line with her sire and dam’s sire stamina index too. I imagine she might be best with a bit of cut in the ground as well.

Clearly 13 runs and 1 single win isn’t an overly sexy profile. But she managed to win of a mark of 50 as a juvenile and was a good runner-up of 2lb higher at Lingfield in January, when also running to a 50 topspeed rating, validating this form.

She’s likely to fall another couple of pounds for this run. If dropping back to 7 furlongs she’ll be interesting with a bit of cut in the ground I reckon.

Race Replay

Golden Apollo
25/04/22 – 7.05 Thirsk:

Didn’t have a good start and as a consequence settled in the final third of the field. Travelled okay and looked in with a shot if getting a clear run. He was kept up to the task the entire race but didn’t find a gap. Finished easily and seemingly with something left in the tank.

The golden years are obviously behind the 8-year-old but he still performed of marks in the 80s last year and also ran to topspeed 84 when runner-up in a hot Redcar Handicap.

He’s been a shade unlucky a number times too in the meantime, as a results his mark is reduced all the time. He’s down to a good mark already, but any additional help from the handicapper will be welcome. A 6f race of a 75 rating in class 4 could be an optimal scenario.

Race Replay

Northbound
25/04/22 – 20.05 Thirsk:

Keen at different stages of the race, nonetheless travelling smoothly on the inside. Still hard on the bridle over a furlong out, although absolutely no chance to get a run. Gently switched to the middle of the track very late and finished eye-catchingly well in one of the fasted final furlong splits despite being hard held.

He hasn’t won since his juvenile days, but has been competitive and placed numerous times last season, without winning though, and sometimes unlucky.

His mark continues to fall and is down to what makes him a well handicapped individual now. He was placed of 65 and ran to Topspeed 58, 59 and 61 last year. He also has a career best 71 TS rating. 7f fast ground may be ideal.

Race Replay

Golden Melody
26/04/22 – 3.30 Nottingham:

This was a really slow race for the most part resulting in a sprint finish. Golden Melody was disadvantaged by her racing position but made eye-catching progress on the inside from 4 furlongs out against a rapidly increasing pace.

The leaders where not for catching holding all the aces due to the nature of how the race developed, but Golden Melody finished the last four furlongs still much the fastest. It’s speculative but she was probably the best horse in the race on handicapping terms and would have won in different circumstances.

The 4-year-old filly looks quite exposed on paper, given 23 lifetime starts already. However, she was still progressive in a busy campaign last year. Particularly from summer on this March filly was prolific: three wins and a number of quality efforts.

She’s up to a 73 mark now and hasn’t matched that with topspeed yet. However she came close enough with a 69 TS effort in a hot class 2 York Handicap last year. She can improve again as this most recent run suggests. Anything between 9-10 furlongs is probably ideal with relative ground independence.

Race Replay

Kraken Power
26/04/22 – 6.15 Ayr:

Got a bump right after the start and was quite keen in the aftermath. Yet travelled much the best and made a big effort from 3f out to contest the lead on the outside of the field approaching the final furlong marker. Tired in the closing stages.

He possibly paid for a big effort from three to one furlongs out. Despite fading away late, he finished the last three furlongs fast and wasn’t knocked about in the closing stages. This performance is a clear return to form and build nicely on a solid comeback run at Thirsk earlier this month.

He changed yards late last year after obviously losing his way. He hasn’t exactly fired in the first two starts for Jim Goldie but was better than the bare form suggested at Thirsk and really caught my eye here too.

Kraken Power has talent. He was rated as high as 86, was placed in good races of 82 last season, as well as ran to topspeed 82. He’s now down to 70. If this upward trend continues he’ll be a massive chance next time. Both minimum trip and 6 furlongs are fine, although fast ground 6f may be the ideal scenario.

Race Replay

Hathlool
27/04/22 – 1.50 Ascot:

Awkward start, settled in rear travelling notably well. Made eye-catching progress from midway through the race, switching toward the inside looking for a clear run, although there’s also a noticeable lack of urgency from the jockey . He’s short of room one furlong out again and finishes easily under hands and heels.

This was an eye-catching run for a number of reasons and the stewards thought so too, holding an inquiry into the ride. Whatever the lack of in-running luck, in my view the jockey didn’t really try to obtain the best possible position in the race.

Hathlool has been quite progressive over the last half year on both turf and All-Weather, winning three times and running better than the bare form suggested the last two times on turf.

His mark is probably high enough now as he’s not yet run to a topspeed above 58. But I feel once he goes up to 9-10 furlongs again, and drops to 75 or lower he’ll be really interesting.

Perhaps that’s exactly the idea of connections to get him into that type of scenario. He’s got an entry for Beverley over 8.5f on Monday. With his sketchy starting habits and the trip perhaps slightly below his preferred optimum, I can see him not running too well there. That could bring him down to the rating I want to see.

Race Replay

Rocket Dancer
27/04/22 – 5.30 Pontefract:

Had a wide draw to overcome and as a consequence settled in rear, which was a huge disadvantage in a race dominated by those up or close to the pace.

Cut the corner turning for home and then made significant progress against the inside rail to finish 4th, staying on as one of very few from the back of the field.

Clear sign of life for a horse that lost form in the second half of last season. He was still a fine runner-up over this course and distance twelve months earlier of a mark of 62, won subsequently of 64 on the All-Weather. Was well beaten in all other runs then.

Down to a 52 rating now he appears to be supremely well handicapped on past form. This performance gives me the impression he is ready to win soon.

Race Replay

Chant For More
27/04/22 – 7.55 Musselburgh:

The gelding travelled nicely enough on the inside rail behind the leading trio but had to wait for a gap to open. It only really opened up for him very late, over half a furlong from home, he went through bravely and ran on strongly for 3rd place in a tight finish.

This was a significant improvement on his juvenile form. A recent wind operation must have done the trick here. He was a cheap vendor foal but offers some upside as a 3-year-old I feel, given he was an April foal and has scope to get better with experience, now that his wind is okay.

A step up to 6 furlongs would be really interesting in a low-grade race next time.

Race Replay

Perfect Symphony + San Juan
28/04/22 – 4.05 Lingfield:

Despite a solid break from the gates Perfect Symphony got behind soon, perhaps also got a bit tight amongst horses around the first bend (hard to see). Was pushed along from 4 furlongs out and turned home in last position. Thundered home in impressive fashion to finish runner-up eventually.

The 8-year-old has still something to give as evidence by his latest performances. He ran well on a number of occasions over the last weeks and months on the All-Weather. At his age he’s a bit quirky and needs things to fall right, though.

Saying that, a small field sprint over the minimum distance on the All-Weather is certainly a possibility for him to win, particularly of such a low mark he’s fallen to. He was fancied in the betting for the first time in a while here, so I’ll want to monitor the market before backing him.

San Juan had to contend with the widest draw which wasn’t ideal given he has starting issues. Consequently he was slowly away, lost ground early on and played catch-up. Made rapid progress over three furlongs out but turned a bit awkward and wide. Took time to get organised, then rattled home to finish 3rd.

Given the circumstances this was a massive performance. The first furlong aside hampered by the start, he ran incredible sectionals. He was unlucky last time out not getting a clear run 2f out and also losing a shoe.

He’s obviously a horse with issues and one has to account for his habit of starting slowly. Now down to a mark of 48 though, he looks supremely well handicapped even taking those issues into account. He clearly acts well on the All-Weather, but I would love to see him on turf, perhaps with a bit of cut in the ground.

Race Replay

Cobra Kai
28/04/22 – 4.35 Musselburgh

A big keen to get on with the job early on, but totally lit up once hampered over five furlongs out. Was stuck on the inside in a pocket behind the long-term leader and eventual winner, always kept up to work and stuck nicely to the task. Finished well in the closing stages given the circumstances.

He was well fancied here as the favourite after a highly promising seasonal reappearance at Newcastle in March. That day he finished strongly and in contrast to what one would have expected given the price tag.

Still a maiden after eight lifetime starts now, but he looks well capable of winning of his current mark. Ideally runs over 7 furlongs or over a mile, which looks realistic on pedigree. He needs to learn to settle, that’s key, though.

If he does, perhaps with the application of some headgear, he’ll make a mockery of a 49 handicap mark I feel.

Race Replay

Eye-Catchers #2 2022

A list of horses that caught my eye during the last seven days of racing. These individuals look ready to win a race sooner rather than later.

Makeen
02/04/22 – 4.25 Leicester:

He travelled well in rear of the field behind a wall of horses having to wait for the gap to open on the inside. He’s finally getting clear 2 furlongs from home. Although the acceleration isn’t blistering, he’s gathering momentum with every stride for potentially a winning move as he’s approaching the final furlong marker. (2nd last furlong more than half a second faster than the rest)

That’s the exact moment when Makeen finds himself short of room one more time – his chance is gone. He still manages to finish easily in 4th place.

The form looks rock solid with the first three home running to strong topspeed ratings. Makeen himself ran to TS 69 which enhances the validity of the visual performance given his current 72 handicap mark.

He won of a mark of 67 last summer and and ran to a 71 Topspeed rating in the past as well. The fast pace helped him here and with that in mind I feel a fast 7 furlongs is the optimum to his chances and may see him improve again a bit because he’s still quite unexposed over this special distance.

> Race Replay

Global Effort
02/04/22 – 1.00 Leicester:

Eye-catching debut for this son of Gleneagles. He had the widest draw to overcome, far away from the “golden highway” that is the inside rail. He received a heavy bump soon after the start and as a consequence was lit up.

With those circumstances in mind it’s noteworthy how well Global Effort travelled for the majority of the race, looking really dangerous from his disadvantaged position.

He is clearly better than the bare result and doesn’t seem to lack speed given he’s out of an Equiano dam. I imagine 6 furlongs will be ideal. It’s one to monitor where he goes next and what the market says. He looks ready to win a race soon.

> Race Replay

Chief Little Hawk
01/04/22 – 7.10 Southwell:

This was a strange race with fierce fight for positions early on having a detrimental impact on the chances of a number of horses which probably helped the winner and runner-up who dominated the pace for the majority of the race .

Chief Little Hawk wasn’t really impacted by the early issues, but was awkwardly away from the gates himself and settling two to three wide in last position.

He had plenty to do turning for home while travelling well, with the entire field to pass and still last approaching the final furlong. He found an opening there and then and went through easily making nice progress in eye-catching fashion.

He certainly looked like having a much closer finish in him and wasn’t a true 40/1 shot. This former Ballydoyle charge is with Jamie Osborne since last summer. He’s rarely fancied in any run for the yard yet. Although a fine 4th in a class 3 Handicap in August showed there’s plenty of ability retained.

Th 4-year-old gelding is 10lb lower rated these days and this Southwell performance was perhaps the right signal that a fruitful turf campaign could loom on the horizon. Listed placed as a juvenile and having ran to topspeed ratings of 83+ three times, I feel he’s ripe for a big run back on turf over 6 furlongs.

> Race Replay

Red Lacewing
03/04/22 – 4.22 Cork:

Unruly pre-race when making her way out of the parade ring. Broke poorly and had ground to make up compared to the eventual winner who was always right there with the pace up.

She made good progress from 2 furlongs out on the stands side but saw her momentum stopped from a furlong to run by the winner who was hanging to his left. Red Lacewing had to switch and go again, which she did, but it was too late.

This was a fine comeback run. The form should be solid. She clearly has trained on and looked lovely from a physical perspective in the parade ring. She was also an eye-catcher in all three starts last year as a juvenile.

A listed sprint race could be the next target and she might be underestimated, given she has only one win from four runs. I wouldn’t back her in a Handicap, because she’s likely to go up another couple of pounds for this excellent runner-up performance and that would be an awful lot of weight to carry for the filly.

Fristel
04/04/22 – 1.40 Windsor:

Turf debut for Fristel who was bit awkward out of the gate and as a consequence in rear for most of the race, behind a wall of horses. He was still trailing approaching the final furlong as racing room came at a premium price. When switched inside the final 200 yards he found some space to run on quite well, but the race was long gone.

I believe he would have gone seriously close with a clear run. With that in mind he could be well handicapped. Perhaps a step up to 6 furlongs will see more improvement.

He was eye-catching when trying 6f for the first time on his second career run, too. That day at Wolverhampton he was clearly minded but travelled and finished eye-catchingly well.

On pedigree 7 furlongs isn’t out of question, although, he tried it once and pulled way too hard. He’s clearly ready to win, but I wouldn’t give him too many chances to prove it because none of his four siblings were able to win a race either.

> Race Replay

The Rain King
04/04/22 – 4.30 Windsor:

Travelled well enough for a long time yet had a bit to do from back of the field 3f out. Looked dangerous while searching for a gap that didn’t open, though; or when it opened briefly over 1 furlong out it closed soon again…. and again.

This was an encouraging reoccurrence for The Rain King after a wind operation last November. Whether breathing was the only reason for his loss of form ever since winning a Galway maiden and subsequently leaving Donnacha O’Brien and Ireland for the Alexandra Dunne yard is hard to know. But certainly he’s down to a much more realistic mark now and seems to be in improved form.

The Rain King was an expensive £250k yearling and clearly has ability. He’s a risky proposition, but still relatively low mileage for a 5-year-old and really one I am interested in over the mile trip next time out. Also a step up in trip looks not impossible.

> Race Replay

Captain Claret
04/04/22 – 2.05 Redcar:

Pulled his way to the front soon after the start establishing a solid lead from 5 furlongs out, travelling well and having the field on a stretch. With 2 furlongs to go it looked like he could steal it from the front but eventually tired and relinquished the lead with half a furlong to go.

This was his comeback and first run for the Ruth Carr yard. With a strong performance – given the trip was on the sharp side and the ground too soft – Captain Claret proved his well being.

He is on my radar since last August when running at Windsor a better race than the bare form suggested. The next time at Kempton the start-stop nature of the race didn’t suit. That was the last time we saw him until this Tuesday race.

He comes down to a really good mark now and will be a strong chance over a mile on no worse than good to soft ground. I also would be intrigued to see a step up in trip.

Bronze River
06/04/22 – 5.00 Nottingham:

In a rather pedestrian affair he was keen for most of the race travelling on the inside rail and still pulled for his head 4 furlongs from home. Nonetheless, he travelled well with a big chance, if only he would have got a clear run.

Amongst a group of horses he was short of room and hampered multiple times, had to delay his challenge until about 1.5 furlongs out when some space opened up. As he’s capturing momentum some horses shifting over from the right and hamper him badly. He had absolutely no chance here.

Bronze River is certainly down to a super sexy handicap mark. One pound lower than when winning at Redcar last October overe softish 7 furlongs. He ran to topspeed 64 and proved he’s still going well during a winless but credible All-Weather campaign this winter when running often well given the circumstances.

He is a tricky horse to win with, though. He often messes up at the starting gate and tends to pull hard. With that in mind I envisage a fast paced mile (evaluate pace chart) or 7 furlongs on softish ground as ideal.

> Race Replay

Jungle Inthebungle
06/04/22 – 1.00 Catterick:

Was much closer to the pace early on than in most of his last runs, surprisingly showing solid early speed here. Looked outpaced three furlongs out and seemed to go backward. Even more Impressive how he kept going and ran on in the closing stages to finish 4th eventually.

He was completely unfancied here and one needs to watch the market if consider backing next time. But I reckon only a hose in form can finish as he did. In any case Jungle Inthebungle comes down to an interesting rating, considering that back in September he was a fine runner-up off a 55 mark at Thirsk.

This run confirmed his well-being and rates a big run also having in mind that soft ground doesn’t tend to bring the best out of him. So, with any further help from the handicapper or perhaps also a solid apprentice on board he’s one I feel will have a winning chance soon.

> Race Replay

Brazen Idol
06/04/22 – 2.25 Lingfield:

Was bit keen early on wanting to get on with things. Eventually settled prominently tracking the pace. Turning for home when attempting to unleash a challenge he was short of room. He had his run stopped again over a furlong from home.

How close he’d gone with a clear run is hard to gauge but given he encountered trouble twice I am willing to mark him up.

He also ran much better than expected given he was out of weights and showed nothing in three starts as a juvenile. This was his first start since October too.

In the meantime he has been gelded and changed yards. Taking into account how poorly the yard performed this year this was a promising comeback. I’d be interested to see him over the minimum trip next time. Most likely on the All-Weather, as the yard tends to have winners predominantly there.

> Race Replay