Tag Archives: Saratoga

Sunday Selections: 27th August 2017

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Flymetothestars cruelly denied in the closing stages of the Ebor… kind of sums up this week. Thankfully Hochfeld went on to win impressively at Newmarket (4/1) to lessen the agony.

In the evening over in the US there was some fantastic racing at Saratoga on Travers Day. It was an impressive coast-to-coast success for Mike Smith (yet again) the winning jockey on West Coast in the feature race.

However it was the Sword Dancer Stakes on turf that caught my eye even more. Aiden O’Brien trained Idahoo was the favourite, though faded badly. The home team landed the big money in a thrilling finish. Well worth to watch back as Julien Leparoux gave the winning Sadler’s Joy a tremendous joy, utilizing the special change of gear this improving individual possesses.


2.55 Yarmouth: Class 4 Novice Stakes, 6f

Hard to know what to expect of this lot, however I happily take a chance on Frankel filly Ganayem. She cost some serious money as a yearling and naturally has a sensational pedigree, being not a daughter of the almighty Frankel but also half-sister to some graded winners on the dam side.

She has an entry for the Group 2 Rockfell Stakes next month, so you would expect she has to be ready if she wants to run there. As far as today goes, Frankel offspring tends to perform exceptionally well over the 6f trip on fast ground. He has a 70% win record with his two year olds under these conditions.

10pts win – Ganayem @ 5/1 Bet365


4.05 Yarmouth: Class 2 Handicap, 1m 2f

This race looks more open on paper than the betting suggests. Neither Another Eclipse nor Mafaaheem are deserve to be so much more fancied than some others in the field.

Mostly I feel hat-trick seeking Teodoro is the one all have to beet. He sets the standard in my mind. Yes, he steps up into unknown territory class wise, however his last two wins indicate that he clearly belongs here.

Upped in class and a revised mark make life tougher today, no doubt. Still, the combination of a hood fitted and more prominent racing tactics have seen this son of Teofilo transformed. He keeps improving and as 3yo old April foal he may not be the finished article yet.

10pts win – Teodoro @ 7/1 Bet365

Spectacular Arrogate in the Travers!


ANOTHER spectacular Saturday in the US – European import Flintshire’s stock continues to rise, but it was an underdog who stole the show with a record breaking performance in the Travers!

Formerly trained in France by Andre Fabre, Flintshire finds it much easier to get his head in front since being moved to the US. In top company often found out at the highest level, he’s thriving under US sun where he’s encountering slightly lesser opposition on fast Amercian turf.

Last night he ran out an easy success in the Sword Dancer – a third Grade 1 victory in the US – despite having to delay his run when he found himself short of room on the inside rail when turning for home. But he found away out and surged through the gap as soon as it open up.

In the end a commanding win for a classy middle-distance horse. Flintshire has now five Group 1 victories to his name – certainly not shabby!

Flintshire was impressive, but it was only a harbinger for things to come. The Travers loomed large and clearly promised to be an absolute cracker. It didn’t disappoint!

Preakness and Haskel winner Exaggerator was the logical favourite, but he – and very few others – where able to land a blow as they all where quite literally blown away by what was arguably one the most spectacular Dirt performances we’ve seen in a very long time – Arrogate simply ripped the field to pieces in the home straight!

A rather unfancied 10/1 chance, he had to overcome a tricky draw on inside and was pushed forward right from the start to grab the lead around the first turn. They were flying, setting some frantic fractions, yet Arrogate, despite being pressed for the lead throughout, travelled strongly and kept his rivals at bay.

Only a few horses where even in contention when Arrogate turned for home as the sole leader. Once Mike Smith called on for everything, the three year old son of Unbridled’s Song put the hammer down and blew open a huge gap.

A final winning margin of 13 and half lengths plus a new track record are clear indicators for what sort of special performance Arrogate produced in the Travers. A success that came out of the blue, given the Bob Baffert inmate only won a couple of Allowance Claimers up to that point – what a dramatic improvement!

Arrogate’s odds to land the Breeders Cup Classic subsequently tumbled – he’s now as low as 11/4 in the betting! And that leads to the question: can he re-produce this stunning piece of form in the November 5th showdown at Santa Anita?


Sunday Selections:

2.40 Beverly:
Dominating @ 9/1 Ladbrokes
Golconda Prince @ 6/1 Betfred

3.10 Goodwood: Fidaawy @ 9/4 Sky

Photo: NYRA

Saratoga Preview: Test Stakes


Speed-ball Kareena is hot favourite for this intriguing Grade 1 for three year old fillies, but you wonder whether she stays the 7f trip in what shapes like a race sure to be run at a red hot pace.

Mother Goose winner Off The Tracks appears to be a more dependable candidate over the distance. She clearly stays all the way and doesn’t lack speed – yet the drop to this shorter distance is something that puts me off.

Lewis Bay ran out a fine runner-up behind Off The Tracks at Belmont after bottling it at the start. Given he won over further, I also slightly wonder about the drop in trip.

At the prices Lightstream makes most appeal. A three times winner over 7f on dirt and turf, she lost her unbeaten record in the Mother Goose but was far from disgraced. She encountered a bad trip on the far outside around the home turn and just didn’t have enough left to challenge in the end.

The drop back to 7f will certainly suit, and this filly is tremendously talented in my mind. She often leaves it late, which could make things very nervy here, given Off The Tracks and Lewis Bay will go hard to the line. Still, at 15/2, she is the value in this contest.

 Saratiga – Test Stakes: Lightstream @ 15/2 Coral