Tag Archives: Saturday

Saturday Selections: June, 9th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

3.30 Catterick: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

His best is behind him, however the handicapper has given 8-year-old Rene Mathis a massive chance of a mark off 87. The gelding hasn’t been firing lately but proved still competitive last season off a good deal higher ratings.

Rene Mathis won a strong Conditions Stakes at Thirsk on fast ground in April 2017, edging out subsequent Group 3 scorer Custom Cut. He also ran out a highly respectable 5th place finish in a hot class 2 Handicap at Leicester subsequently off a 10lb higher mark than his current one.

A good 5lb claimer is on board, plus the advantage of a low draw should ensure Rene Mathis has a cracking chance to win his first race in over a year.

Selection:
10pts win – Rene Mathis @ 12/1 VC

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Derby Day Selections: June, 1st 2018

Gleneagles

4.30: Group 1, Epsom Derby, 1m 4f

Guineas winner Saxon Warrior looks rock solid judged on anything he has done so far. I love his physique, the way he goes through his races… everything, really. But from draw 1, which comes with so many complications, at odds-on it’s not a bet for me.

I stick to AOB, though. The forgotten one, it seems, The Pentagon, is drifting out to a massive price this morning. It’s fair to say he hasn’t lived up to reputation of his sensational pedigree yet, and by any means he isn’t flashy if you see him racing.

The Pentagon was a workmanlike winner of a poor Group 3 last season, enhanced his credentials massively with an excellent 3rd place in the Racingpost Trophy eventually, though. The race wasn’t run to his advantage, he was badly positioned and clearly didn’t have the tactical speed when it was paramount to have. Yet he stayed on eye-catchingly.

This season he’s been disappointing given lofty expectations in two starts: a 3rd place in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown was underwhelming to many. Nonetheless, it was a fair effort in a race that was more about speed than stamina.

Fact is, The Pentagon is all about stamina, nothing about speed. He lacks gears and is a grinder.

He’s high class, I believe, regardless. He needs the right test to show his best. The step up in trip and the usually frantic pace of the Derby might be what he needs to be at his very best. From a good draw he is likely to go forward, he might even be tasked with pacemaker duties.

I don’t mind that at all. In fact it should be to his advantage. The cut in the ground won’t be a problem. It might even help. I can see a scenario where he tracks a fast pace and Wayne Lordan pushes the red button turning for home. It’s a long way home from there but this lad stays all day long….

At 50/1 this looks a cracking each-way bet. The better fancied horses might catch him eventually, but he could stay to the line for some fine place money.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – The Pentagon @ 50/1 WH

…….

2.35 Epsom: Group 3 Princess Elizabeth Stakes, 8.5f

The 1000 Guineas form has worked out really well already, so seventh placed finisher Anna Nerium should find the drop in grade a big help. Already a Group 3 scorer, she has trained on, proving it when winnig the Free Handicap on her seasonal reappearance in great style.

The Guineas was probably a bit too hot, however in lesser grade she remains a big gun given she is a full sister to smart Piping Rock. First time going against older horses, now is the time when the WFA allowance starts to swing into an advantage for the three year old’s, I feel.

Epsom is a different test and it remains to be seen whether she likes it or not. Ground isn’t an issue, on the other hand. On the plus side: her sire Dubawi has a tremendous CD record here.

Selection:
10pts win – Anna Nerium @ 9/2 PP

…..

3.45: Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

The ‘dash’ is often a bit of a lottery. In-running luck plays a big part. So there is always a chance for something big to finish in the money. I feel I can enhance my ‘luck’ by selecting a horse that has potential to outrun his price tag.

Storm Over is the one: he won a soft ground 5f handicap at Catterick in his final race of 2017. A massive performance, running to a 4lb higher time speed rating than his then handicap mark. He’s raised for that effort by only five pounds.

He ran with credit on his seasonal debut in April. He should come on for a sixth placed finish in a race that has worked out tremendously well in the meantime.

Cut in the ground works for him. Question will be the track and in-running luck. If both goes his way I anticipate a massive run by this still pretty lightly raced four year old colt.

Selection:
10pts win – Storm Over @ 22/1 PP

……

5.25 Doncaster + 6.10 Lingfield

Sam Gold for Roger Varian ran well in defeat on his seasonal return in a first handicap. The form looks strong with the winner performing with credit in the Guineas. He drops in class and should be hard to beat.

Sir Mark Prescott has identified an easy target for rapidly improving filly Midnight Blue at Lingfield. She won a minor event at Wolverhampton but should be hard to beat under a penalty with the step up in trip a big plus. From a plum draw she’s likely to be up with the pace.

Selection:
10pts win double – Sam Gold + Midnight Blue @ 3.72/1 VC

Saturday Selections: April, 28th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Deep into April and here I was celebrating a winner at Chelmsford… well, it doesn’t really matter where it is as long as “the good thing” gets the head in front. Thursday selection Mancini (13/2) won well in the end, looking like a horse with more to come this year.

It’s been a pretty quiet April in general. The clam before the storm?

……

7.45 Doncaster: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Trappy affair, open and hard to judge some of these fillies and mares. One of those is Toy Theatre who returns off a 114 days long break.

She didn’t quite excel over the winter on the All-Weather after a largely progressive campaign in 2017. She won twice on turf, including over CD as well as a very competitive class 3 Handicap at Newmarket.

I don’t judge her too harshly on those last efforts on the sand. However, given she has to overcome a career highest mark and a lay-off one might wonder where the improvement is coming from.

It looks obvious to me: Toy Theatre had only 6 starts on turf. Three of those came as a juvenile when she wasn’t supposed to win. The other three came last season, starting with a tough assignment at Chester in a class 3 Handicap where she wasn’t disgraced in 4th place from a wide draw.

The other two times she won, seemingly showing a preference for softish conditions. That aligns with the fact that she was withdrawn due to unsuitable ground when the going turned fast.

Thy Theatre’s Newmarket win looks incredibly strong. The form worked out really well. She won a shade cosily, despite the tight margin, subsequently over CD.

Given that this here will be the softest ground she has ever encountered, showing in the past that this what she might prefer, the fact that she always looked a filly to improve with time and her potential scope for improvement on turf, I feel Toy Theatre is a rather big price in this open field.

Selection:
10pts win – Toy Theatre @ 9/1 WH

Saturday Selections: February, 10th 2018

DSC_1062

4.35 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Open contest that might see Ed Walker’s reappearing Dream Farr return to form. Walker has an excellent record in these big handicaps for older horses and Dream Farr certainly has a lot going for himself today.

The five year old son of Dream Ahead goes well fresh, he’s proven the last couple of years, but more so is he down to a dangerous handicap mark.

He won off 70 and 74 respectively last season. He ran to time speed ratings of 70 and 77 in these two races, which is a good indicator that he’s likely to be capable of running to this type of mark, if not even a bit better.

Luke Morris takes the ride. That suggests Dream Farr is not here for a public gallop. Morris is one who always tries to win, leading the AW Jockey Championship at the moment, and the Morris/Walker combo has been a pretty successful one in the past, too.

It’s probably fair to believe that Dream Farr could have a couple of pounds in hand today and therefore should go close in this contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Dream Farr @ 9/1 Bet365

Saturday Selections: February, 3rd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

Kicked the month off as the last one ended: with a winner on Thursday: Archimedes (7/1), despite looking in trouble halfway through the race, found plenty when it mattered most. The one I actually fancied even more, though, Azam at Kempton in the evening, was a disappointing flop.

……

7.45 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 

Hat-trick seeking Humbert looks the one to hard with more to come and a lenient hike in the ratings unlikely to stop him. That says a far better price, with a lot of potential upside too, is William Muir’s Cyrus Dallin.

The son of Irish 2000 Guineas winner Roderic O’Connor has been gelded over the winter and that could make him an easier ride now, which in turn could eke out some additional improvement.

He also looks the type of horse likely to improve as he gets more mature, as his father’s offspring tends to do best as four-year old horses.

Cyrus Dallin certainly showed more than just glimpses of talent last year, winning on debut, despite showing plenty of greenness and getting bumped into in the home straight; he followed up on turf over 7f in a Handicap during the summer, suggesting he could develop, if stepping up in trip back to a mile, into a mid-80 rated individual, at the very least.

He ran fine in softish conditions at Newmarket subsequently, but two poor performances afterwards saw him being put away for the rest of the year. With added maturity and less interest in the ladies, he could be better than what his current rating of 78 suggests.

Remains to be see whether Cyrus Dallin is fit on his seasonal reappearance. I suspect he is. Because he has an entry for the Lincoln but in order to be able to take up that assignment he’d need to put some more pounds against his handicap mark.

Selection:
10pts win – Cyrus Dallin @ 7/1 GB

Saturday Selections: January, 13th 2018

DSC_2622-HDR

3.10 Lingfield: Class 6, 10 furlongs

This is a poor race, and therefore an open contest. That says, half the field can easily be discarded. The other half could go close, but doesn’t necessarily have to.

Maiden Presence Process falls into this category, even though he may not stand out as an obvious winner at first glance.

However, I believe he has some things going for himself: he second up after a break and his comeback run at this venue over further was fine, in fact quite eye-catching, actually.

He pulled hard early on – so the drop to 10f will likely suit – and had to finish from an impossible position while not getting a ride that seemed to have the intention of finishing as good as possible.

He still ran on well enough in the closing stages and I take this as a sign of better things t come now. Key is the fact Presence Process carries a career lowest handicap mark, a further 3lb claim by decent apprentice Charlie Bennett helps too.

A pivotal piece of form for him – while he looked half-promising earlier in his career – came twelve months ago here at Lingfield over a mile when he finished 4th in a really hot race.

That day he hit a flat spot around 3f out when the pace quickened, but was then also hampered entering home straight, yet ran on strongly to finish 4th. The form has been franked multiple times by several horses in the race, no less so by the winner who was subsequently Group 3 placed.

Presence Process tried the 10f trip only once, on turf at Windsor from a much higher mark. I feel this is his optimum trip and of a mark off 55 he has a real chance in this race.

Selection:
10pts win – Presence Process @ 14/1 Skybet

……

 

Saturday Selections – 7th October 2017

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

8.15 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Shocking race, despite the large field. Screams for an upset. Innish Man can be the one who causes it. An upset on last seasons form it wouldn’t be that much, however he’s been off for a long time and got merely a pipe opener under the belt a fortnight ago.

We don’t know whether he has regained full fitness and some of his old “class”, that says he was a progressive performer in low grade All-Weather handicaps in 15/16.

Now 3lb below his last winning mark and a full 6lb below his career highest mark, of which he finished a fair runner-up in a race that worked out well back in January 2016 – anything close to that will see him have a big say off a good draw today.

Selection:
10pts win – Innish Man @ 16/1 Bet365

…….

9.15 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

I do fancy Bebette quite a bit on her debut for a new yard plus first time over this trip and on the All-Weather. The switch to Tapeta over 9.5f should suit her much better than she shorter distances the encountered in her four starts to date.

She remains lightly raced, we may not need to read too much into her four disappointing career outings to date, three came in maiden company and one in a 16-runner Handicap at Yarmouth.

A fair 5lb on board is an added bonus I suspect, with a potentially lowly mark of 53 Babette could easily run a big race.

Selection:
10pts win – Babette 6/1 Ladbrokes