Tag Archives: Sandown

Friday Selections: June, 15th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

4.50 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 10f

Bottom weight Kabrit looks to have got in lightly here. He’s got three runs under his belt, the two this season didn’t look to shabby. He was chasing a strong pace on either occasion, proving still a bit raw and green.

Likely to improve in handicaps, he remains with potential particularly of a lowly 65 handicap mark. I feel this opening rating does underestimate the ability of this strong Mastercraftsman colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Babrit @ 11/2 GB

……

7.30 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Top weight Operative has been labeled an “unreliable type” by Timeform. I disagree. Operative has been half of his life starts in the money – 11 of 22 starts. That isn’t unreliable. That is rather reliable, in my book.

Truth is, the five-year old gelding’s form this year reads unreliable: 10-2-7, though it isn’t so much taken circumstances into account.

Operative had no chance on his seasonal debut at Nottingham; hampered at the start, wall of horses in front, hampered in the final furlong, yet wasn’t far away in the end. He ran a strong race finishing second subsequently here at Chepstow over 6f, bumping into a tremendously well handicapped winner.

It’s true, Operative hasn’t done anything over 7f yet. He was again well beaten two weeks ago over CD. That says he did so on rain softened ground. His other two starts over this trip give indication it may be too far. I still remain optimistic, given fast ground today can be a help and he looked like running on well on his penultimate start over a furlong shorter.

Operative also drops down to class 5 for the first time this season. He ran well in a better grade twice this season – this today is a much easier assignment. He may not see out the trip, and we can put that to bed at the end of this day; until then I believe firmly that Operative is tremendously overpriced.

Selection:
10pts win – Operative @ 14/1 PP

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

….

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

……..

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

Pacific Classic: Clash of the Titans

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What a race in prospect tonight: the clash of California Chrome vs. Beholder vs. Dortmund in the Pacific Classic! Should be an absolute cracker.

The mare Beholder tries to defend her crown, after romping home to an 8 lengths plus success in this race last year. It looks a tougher assignment this time, given main rivals Dortmund and California Chrome are sure to be primed.

Both locked horns in the San Diego Handicap most recently where they reappeared after a break. Despite giving weight away, California Chrome came out on top after a tough battle in the home straight.

Quite honestly it’s hard to see Dortmund turning the table today. I’m a big fan of this lad, he just such good looking boy! But he is not quite the class of Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome and is not necessarily appreciating the step up in trip.

No bother for Chrome, though. He has the stamina and class, however will have to overcome a tough draw on the inside – Espinoza has to make a tough call early on.

I believe he’ll keep it simple and will use Chrome’s early speed to make sure he’s not boxed in. And that will be that.

Beholder has tried this trip once before – when she turned last year’s Pacific Classic into a procession. However it was an odd race, with the leaders taking each other on and Bayern not performing on the day.

My feeling is that against tougher opposition, over this trip against a world class animal like California Chrome, who’s sure to stay every inch of the distance, she’s likely to fall short – despite a handy 5lb weight allowance.

Chrome is the class act and clearly the one to beat. He usually improves quite a bit from his first run after a break, so should be ready for a big performance today. In my book he is odds-on.

Selection: California Chrome @ 6/4 Ladbrokes

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Saturday Selections:

3.05 Sandown: Majoris @ 7/1 Ladbrokes
3.25 York: Dream Of Dreams @  12/1 WH
4.50 Sandown: Philadelphia @13/2 Coral
7.50 Chelmsford: Dubawi Hundred @ 3/1 Ladbrokes

Photo: San Diego Tribune

Thursday Selections

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An 8/1 winner, a second, a third and a fourth…. Wednesday wasn’t a bad day, though could easily have been a great one. Put Curriculum in your tracker. He could have finished mush closer than 4th and wasn’t killed with another day clearly looming large.

Also Fleeting Dream is rather obviously up to win a race sooner rather than later and got a not particularly well timed ride – though the handicapper may have seen the potential too by now.

So what’s on the menu today? Not much, I have to say. Two selections nonetheless, although not that confident ones.

7.30 Newcastle: Dream Team @ 20/1 Betfred

The odds-on favourite might be hard to beat but I take a chance on Michael Dods colt who did show little on his debut but now switches to the All-Weather which should very much suit on pedigree. Worth a chance today.

8.25 Sandown: Fidelma Moon @ 7/2 Coral

This horse is quite consistent, running well this year most of the time, without quite cracking it. Will go up in the weights in the future for a recent runner-up effort and should go close here today once more.

The trainer & jockey combo of Burke/Vaughan enjoys quite some success when they team up at Sandown and it looks significant that the young rider goes there for only this one ride.

The race looks open, with the three year old’s surely having a good crack at it, particularly feather weight Cooperess looks interesting, though didn’t look like winning in a similar race off an even lower weight the other day.

The Big Race: 2016 Coral Eclipse

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ONLY seven go to post, the Derby winner isn’t here, the 2000 Guineas winner isn’t here, yet only two individuals can boast Group 1 success in their CV…. this years Coral Eclipse is a slightly underwhelming affair, I have to say.

But the good thing is: potential superstar The Gurkha lines up in an attempt to make amends for what has to be regarded as a wasted chance when he was beaten in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot roughly a fortnight ago.

The Gurkha went off odds-on in the Group 1 contest, though endured not the best of luck in-running and maybe, only maybe Ryan Moore didn’t have his brightest moment either.

Whatever, it’s the past – the here is now. Aiden O’Brien’s inmate, a son of Galileo (how could it be any different?!) stormed last month to global attention in the Poule D’Essai Poulains – the French 2000 Guineas – where he blew his rivals away with a turn of foot that looked out of this world. Can he do the same today?

Absolutely! This lad is massive talent! Stepping up to 1m 2f should not be a problem at all, if not even bring out further improvement, and the softish ground is no trouble either. As a three year old he receives some handy amount of weight in a race without a clear danger from the brigade of older horses. Right?

Probably. Though the top rated horse is the four year old My Dream Boat. On official ratings The Gurkha has to find two pounds with the winner of the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. Trained by Clive Cox, My Dream Boat clearly ran to a career best at Royal Ascot, helped by the soft ground that day. He’s a real mud lover, without a shadow of a doubt and will hope Sandown retains as much rain in the turf as possible.

In my view he is clearly the biggest threat to The Gurkha from the older horses, though whether he can give the weight away against a rival most likely to improve another couple of pounds – I find it hard to see.

Widely regarded as the biggest threat in the public opinion is Roger Charlton’s Time Test. What’s in his favour is the relative freshness. He only had one start this season – a successful one, here at Sandown in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, a Group 3 event. It’s fair to say he may come on for the run and remains with potential to improve a bit for age, now as a four year old.

That says, he’s yet to prove himself on the highest level and probably is better suited to a fast surface. Yes, he does handle cut in the ground, but given a career best is required today, the ground is a worry.

Godolphin’s Hawkbill was a fine winner of the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s unbeaten in his last five starts, so obviously on the up and could still have more to offer. He relishes today’s conditions and his prominent racing style should see him in a good position when it matters most.

We can’t completely rule out Western Hymn. The “senior” in the race, he’s ultra consistent and usually puts his best foot forward here at Sandown. So it would not be a surprise to see him finish in the money. Still, something dramatic would have to happen for him to win.

Verdict: Whenever I side with a hot odds-on favourite, it usually is the kiss of death for the well fancied horse. Nonetheless I can’t look past The Gurkha today and find it surprising to been able to snap up evens odds. He’s more like a 4/6 chance in my book.

Prediction:
1. The Gurkha
2. Hawkbill
3: My Dream Boat

Photo: thoroughbreddailynews.com

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

Ejaazah Value in Dragon Stakes

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Sherlock Holmes looks a really nice prospect. He’s a real stayer, a relentless galloper, as he proved last night at Bellestown once again. He didn’t win by much, but he finished the job, despite unsuited by the track and despite looking green. He won’t go up for much in the mark and wherever he pops up next will be potentially well in. Not so much luck with the other two, though they run well in fairness.

2.50 Sandown: Dragon Stakes (Listed), 5f

Red hot favourite Soapy Aitken was’t disgraced when fourth at Royal Ascot. But he’s not an outstanding chance in this field in my eyes. On paper, the form of Riflescope looks stronger, as he ran on strongly to finish fourth in the Norfolk Stakes. Is he speedy enough though?

The lightly raced filly Ejaazah makes appeal. She showed prime speed in a hot maiden on debut, progressed from that in a good manner when she won at Chester subsequently. She is well bred and open to any kind of improvement. She is overpriced in this field.

Ejaazah @ 15/2 Paddy Power – 5pts Win