Tag Archives: Ripon

Saturday Selections: July, 20th 2019

Newbury racecourse

3.00 Newbury: Group 3 Hackwood Stakes, 6f

Fantastic renewal – you can make a case for more than half in the field, predominantly I have high on my shortlist the well backed Donjuan Triumphant, who will enjoy conditions, as well as the two 3-year-old s Khadeem and Oxted. Plus, probably a fair favourite, The Tin Man.

He’s a short price and you can see why. With cut in the ground, he takes a significant drop in class and has a high strike rate. Is he still the force of old, though? Maybe. But this is a super deep race and I can easily oppose him.

On prices, the one I like most now is last years runner-up Projection. He hasn’t shown the same level of form in two runs this year, but I like the fact he comes here with low mileage this season and he ran better than the bare results suggest in the Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He also drops in grade and will love the underfoot conditions today. There is a slight question mark whether all is well with him, given he dropped out tamely the last two races. A tongue tie is applied now. That is concerning, at the same time intriguing.

If the tongue tie does have any positive impact, it is easy to see Projection making a 16/1 price tag look foolish in the closing stages. So, there is risk attached here, but at given odds I’m prepared to take it.

Selection:
10pts win – Projection @ 16/1 MB

…….

5.00 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

I really like the look of both Durrell and Ironclad. Both met at Chelmsford recently and fought out first and second. Durrell had the upper hand that day and he is a fine prospect, though I wonder whether he will turn out to be a much better horse on the All-Weather.

Ironclad in contrast, who ran to a topspeed rating of 83 at Chemsford, has already proven his effectifness on turf, as he landed a minor race at Beverly in the meantime. That’s not form to shout about, and Ironclad still appeared plenty green enough, but it was probably a good learning experience.

This April foal is obviously well bred and through his pedigree offers plenty of upside, having every chance to be a better horse than an 81 rated handicapper. This imposing lad could be well handicapped of this opening mark I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Ironclad @ 4/1 MB

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5.15 Ripon: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Two I’m keen on here from the lower end of the betting market: Alqaab stepping up to 6 furlongs for the first time is one of these. He’s a 4-year-old, so has to give weight away. But he’s a compelling horse over the new trip after a pretty decent effort over the minimum distance at Doncaster lately.

That was a super hot contest, and the fact he finished close enough, also posting a 61 topspeed rating, but has fallen to a 60 handicap mark now, is intriguing. He ran well in a couple of Novice races also, but now on a potentially good handicap mark, he can go well in this open contest.

The other one is the filly Sophia Maria in first time blinkers. She drops in trip, which should suit. She has some fine performances already in the book actually, finishing in the money on three occasions over 5- and 6 furlongs.

She also drops to a potentially tasty mark of 62 now, given she matched a 62 TS rating on her final start as juvenile already. There might be a bit more to come from her over this distance in handicap company I feel. Interesting jockey booking with Andrew Elliott, who has a superb record when having only one ride at Ripon in the Summer season!

Selections:
5pts win – Sophia Maria @ 21/1 MB
5pts win – Alqaab @ 17/1 WH

……

7.00 Haydock: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

Quick turnaround for Indomeneo, who ran well here at Haydock only 24 hours ago. He looked a little bit awkward in a race where he tracked a hot pace over a mile.

Upped to 10 furlongs, which looks fine on drying ground, a trip, even though he has a poor strike rate, he posted a career best topspeed rating in the past, won’t be an issue I reckon.

Indomeneo as fallen down to a sexy mark, having ran well of around ten pounds higher last season and is now 9lb lower than his last winning mark.

An excellent 3lb claimer is in the saddle – significantly it is Connor Murtagh’s only ride today.

Selection:
10pts win – Indomeneo @ 11/2 MB

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Monday Selections: July, 8th 2019

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7.10 Ripon: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

He looks not the likeliest on recent form, however a wind surgery might do the trick for 3-year-old Fume. A son of Frankel, and a half-brother to solid Mesquite, now down to a rating of 69 in a rather poor contest offers a big opportunity to get off the mark, if the wind OP has helped.

Fume showed promise as a juvenile, particularly on the All-Weather, having beaten only by a neck twice last November of 69 and 72 ratings, also running a topspeed rating of 69.

A fair 3rd place effort in April this year also showed he’s trained on, so the breathing may indeed have been the problem the last twice.

Selection:
10pts win – Fume @ 14/1 MB

……

8.50 Windsor: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 3.5f

Small and competitive field but the most upside is with Fearless Warrior I believe. He’s a tricky sort now fitted with blinkers for the first time after three rather disappointing efforts this season.

He should be a sort that’s improving with age as a son of Sea The Stars born in April, so’ll happily give him another chance.

Fearless Warrior is down to a mark of 80 now, but finished last season with a strong runner-up effort at Newmarket running to a topspeed rating of 83. If there is still a bit more to come and the blinkers help to focus, then he should run a huge race today.

Selection:
10pts win – Fearless Warrior @ 7/2 MB

Thursday Selections: April,18th 2019

Second Step

Besides having a runaway winner in Kylie Rules (10/1) at Beverley yesterday, I absolutely loved the debut win of UAE Jewel in the Wood Ditton. You take note if they back a newcomer in an early-season maiden at HQ as if  defeat is out of question – and boy, defeat was out of question!

Judged purely on the visuals the TV screen is giving away, this son of Dubawi looks physically impressive. The way he lengthened away so easily from the field in the final furlong left me with my mouth a little wider open than usual, as well.

UAE Jewel is an April foal, so you would think age is on his side and he can only improve with any passion week. He certainly looks an exciting prospect and I can’t wait to see him next time out, most likely at Newmarket again, in the Newmarket Stakes on Guineas weekend, then over 10 furlongs.

……..

2.50 Ripon: Class 5 Handicap, 6 furlongs

This looks like an ultra-competitive race for a low-grade handicap on a random Thursday in Spring. You can make cases for a number of these, and as a result some are heavily overpriced in my book.

The most compelling case can be made for recent Irish recruit Dancing Mountain. If she’s in here to take her chances and not to run the mark down (drifting in the market) – which she may not need to I feel as she looks a strong contender already – then, from a good draw, she can outrun his massive price tag.

Dancing Mountain will have her second start in the UK since moving from Johnny Murtagh to the Roger Fell yard. Her debut run off a break at Newcastle wasn’t anything the shout about; if anything it served as a pipe opener.

However, now down to a handicap mark of 60, judged by juvenile form in Ireland, and the fact she’s an April foal, I think there is potential upside. She won a competitive Naas handicap over 5.5f last autumn, running to a TS rating of 61 that day.

Subsequent performances are rated well in my book, as Dancing Mountain’s 5th and 4th in her next two starts at Fairyhouse and Cork look pretty decent form, given she is now rated 8lb lower as well.

Selection:
10pts win – Dancing Mountain @ 28/1 MB

……….

3.25 Ripon: Class 4 Handicap, 6 furlongs

The draw isn’t ideal, nonetheless Paddy Power looks supremely well handicapped on past form. He will not even at his best to be highly competitive, given the 6-year-old is now down a mark of 75, which was the lowest mark he’s won off throughout his career.

The gelding won a competitive York handicap off 5lb higher last summer and was an excellent 4th in a hot class 2 Handicap over course and distance when having to overcome a less than ideal draw also.

I like the fact Paddy Power already has a run under his belt this season, albeit on the All-Weather. He should strip fit and ready for a big run today, and has shown in the past to have sufficient gate speed to find himself in a good spot.

Selection:
10pts win – Paddy Power @ 5/1 Coral

…….

5.45 Ripon: Class 4 Apprentice Handicap, 5f

Ideal conditions for front-running Bowson Fred who also has a good draw to content with most likely. He’s also dropped to a dangerous mark – even though not quite the force of the past – last season the 7-year-old still managed to run to a TS rating of 86, backing it up with another 78 performance later the year.

A recent runner-up performance on the All-Weather, followed by a wind OP, should set Bowson Fred up for a big run today. He’s got a valuable 3lb claimer on board as well – an advantage that Josh Quinn has already ridden the gelding in the last handful of starts.

Selection:
10pts win – Bowson Fred @ 6/1 MB

Saturday Selections: July, 21st 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.25 Newbury: Class 2 Handicap, 16.5f

Bottom weight Almoghared drops down into this right from an excellent performance in the Group 2 Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot – form that has been franked by the superb winner subsequently.

Almoghared didn’t have a chance but until the final furlong marker was still right in the game. He probably isn’t quite up to that standard and doesn’t look a fast horse. So the step up to this marathon trip on handicap debut looks a good move.

The jury is out, however. His maiden win at Chepstow is worth nothing, though he was incredibly green that day and today marks only his fourth career start. Given Almoghared is superbly well bred there is every chance he can pull out more against older horses now, leveraging a handy WFA allowance.

Selection:
10pts win – Almoghared @ 6/1 PP

…….

5.50 Ripon: Class 5 Maiden Handicap, 6f

Cobalty Isle must have a cracking chance if he can find back to anything close of his best form. He’s dropped dramatically in the mark after a string of bad performances, though noteworthy he was an excellent 4th in a red hot Wolverhampton Handicap back in March of a 9lb higher mark than today.

He showed promise as as a juvenile, ran to a TS rating of 61 on debut and poses a top RPR of 78. He must go close here with conditions to suit.

That is if there isn’t anything totally wrong with him. Cheek-pieces and tongue tie applied the last time are a concern. The same headgear is on today. Nonetheless at given prices he is a cracking value bet in my book – if he can find back some form.

Selection:
10pts win – Cobalty Isle @ 16/1 VC

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6.30 Haydock: Novice Stakes, 7f

Line Of Duty is the obvious one here, but he is a super short price. Also an expensive yearling is Massam, though, who equally was not quite the luckiest one as Line Of Duty was on their respective debuts.

Massam showed allot of greenness at Chelmsford earlier this month after getting tied up in a battle for the early speed right after the start. He didn’t get the clearest of runs turning for home either and was hanging toward the far rail in the home straight too.

He should have learned plenty that day and has allot of scope to improve dramatically for that experience. Whether he is quite good enough to be beat the favourite remains to be seen.

Selection:
10pts win – Massam @ 6/1 MB

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7.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 10f

Things have slowed down a bit for excellent apprentice Ger O’Neill but it looks significant that he has this one ride today on veteran Save The Bees who has dropped to a tasty mark after a rather poor campaign this year so far.

However, down to a mark of 72, with conditions to suit and a visor r-fitted to sharpen him up, Save The Bees looks dangerous if he can find a bit of form. The 5lb claimed by O’Neill are worth every single pound, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ten year old gelding in the shake up tonight.

Selection:
10pts win – Save The Bees @ 14/1 PP

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7.45 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Competitive race where a case can be made for pretty much all of these. I feel Ralf Beckett’s gelding Raskolnikov is overpriced, though on the back of one poor effort when he had excuses last time.

Judged by his first two career starts at Bath beforehand, on the other hand, his form does not look too different from what the market leaders have achieved to date.

This son of Excelebration has nicely improved from a physical point of view since his debut and his fourth and fifth place finishes in April and May where quite good form given how those races have worked out since then.

An opening mark of 67 could underestimate his true merit now stepping up to more suitable 6f also.

Selection:
10pts win – Raskolnikov @ 6/1 PP

………

8.30 Haydock: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Sitar hasn’t been firing in a light campaign to date, however she drops to a dangerous mark 3lb lower than her last winning mark. Conditions are unlikely to pose an issue, despite her two career wins achieved with a bit of cut in the ground.

She has the assistance of red hot Ben Curtis and offers much better value than odds-on favourite Boundary Lane.

Selection:
10pts win – Sitar @ 6/1 PP

Monday Selections: July, 9th 2018

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Made To Conquer did as his name promised: conquering the Durban July! Turned out pace wise and how the race could turn out tactically went as analysed in my race preview. What wasn’t forecasted, though, that stable mate Do It Again would come sweeping past my selection with half a furlong to go.

The pair came miles clear of the rest of the field. But no doubt, Do It Again was well on top in the end and a deserved winner of South Africa’s most prestigious race. There was no pace in the early stages whatsoever so jockey Grant Van Niekerk decided to go for a dramatic move  when maneuvering race favourite African Night Sky from the back of the field to the lead halfway through the race.

Didn’t end well. The 3/1 chance faded into insignificance in the closing stages. No fairytale ending for Jeff Lloyd either. The retiring veteran jockey hit the post, but remains luckless in a bid to win the July.

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2.00 Ayr: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 6f

You can pick big holes into the three market leaders so it might be worth siding with the man who knows how to win these type of races: Mark Johnston. His charge Royal Big Night was well supported on his debut nine days ago but appeared plenty green enough when jumping left at the start and seemed clueless in the closing stages.

The way he faded in the final two furlongs is slightly worrying, but the positive early speed he showed soon after the start is enough for me to believe this lad can do much better with the run under his belt.

This colt is related to some nice dirt winners in the US, so the rattling fast ground will certainly to his liking. He has to improve from his first run, however dropping two classes from a class 3 York Novice race into this here seems on paper at least a bit easier.

He also gets a good deal of weight from those with winning form in the book. That’s an added bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Royal Big Night @9/2 Sky

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5.55 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

I find it noteworthy that jockey Kieren O’Neill makes the journey to Wolverhampton for his only ride on the entire day at the peak of the British flat season. That enhances the already strong case I feel able to be making for bottom weight Trinitas.

A tree-times raced maiden on his handicap debut, he did achieve little on pure merit of his results and ran according to his SP’s: without a chance. However, further analysis of his last two starts provide a different answer.

The Nathaniel colt did more than he should in the parts of both races burning a lot of fuel in what turned out be two pretty hot maiden contests. Though, he wasn’t there to win, only to gain experience. He should have plenty of it now plus showed glimpses of ability too.

A step up in trip to 12f is likely what he needs. So with that in mind, an opening mark off 64 could underestimate the ability ready to be unlocked in Trinitas. Going from pole position in stall 1 with he has every chance to make this a winning handicap debut.

Selection:
10pts win – Trinitas @ 9/1 Coral

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7.00 Ripon: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

Ripon and a biggish field over a mile – you got to need a bit of luck if you aren’t up with the pace. Hence my selection Al Ozzdi is risky. However, he is the only three year old in the race and can make his weight advantage count – the Simon Crisford charge is certainly handicapped to win.

Last time out at Windsor was a slight disappointment, given Al Ozzdi showed an awful lot of potential when finishing third in a hot Yarmouth maiden on his penultimate outing. Only 5th in the end, well beaten – not good. But there were reasons.

Windsor can be a tricky track for hold up horses and Al Ozzdi wasn’t the fastest out of the blocks to be closer to the pace than trailing. You got to get the breaks here and he didn’t. A wall of horses in front, when finally angled out and in the clear the bird was flown.

This still quite lightly raced lad has found an ideal opportunity to score. The long home straight should help jockey Paul Hanagan to move out in time this time.

Selection:
10pts win – Al Ozzdi @ 9.5/1 PP/VC

Thursday Selections: June, 7th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

5.20 Yarmouth: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

The 3 year old’s add spice to this open contest. Macho Guest is the one I prefer from the lot.

The son of Camacho did show little in three maiden starts, but with a run this season already under his belt he should strip race fit. Now stepping up to 1 mile for the first time off a very low opening mark Macho Guest looks dangerous.

Apprentice Jane Elliott claims valuable 5lb and has a strong record for trainer George Margarson.

Selection:
10pts win – Macho Guest @ 12/1 Sky

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6.25 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f

Very competitive race where pace and positioning may become key. That worries me about my selection Manor Park, who was raw, green and to some extend clueless when winning a Windsor Handicap over 11.5f on handicap- & seasonal debut last month.

However, the way he was grinding it out regardless was impressive. He matched his opening mark with the time speed rating achieved that day. Stepping up in trip looks sure to suit with fast ground no issue whatsoever.

His revised handicap mark could easily underestimate him given the new trip and experience gained.

Selection:
10pts win Manor Park @ 7/1 VC

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2.10 Ripon: Class 5 Novice Stakes, 6f

I believe the odds-on favourite is bad value while Mark Johnston’s runner is a tasty price. MJ has a superb record with juveniles in Novice company, particularly if they drop in class.

Yellow Fire does drop significantly in class after a promising debut at Bath where he ran green and made too much early on. This form looks strong through the third who is a fair benchmark with a place behind a subsequent Listed winner.

Despite being a May foal, Yellow Fire looks big, strong and scopy. This easier 6f trip should suit him, though the draw away from the rails is a slight concern, in fairness.

Selection:
10pts win – Yellow Fire @ 4/1 WH

Sunday Selections: May, 20th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

2.20 Ripon: Class 6 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Currently trading as favourite, I believe there is good reason to believe indeed, that Sir Derrick can get off the mark today.

The gelding has ran with promise in his two starts this season, now that he’s eligible for a handicap mark. Soft ground was probably not ideal on those occasions and the 7f trip stretched him the last time.

However, as a late May foal he is due to come into his own and looks certain to improve dropped to 6f again now on fast ground. With a small ease in the weights as well, Sir Derrick seems poised for a big run.

Selection:
10pts win – Sir Derrick @ 4/1 PP