Tag Archives: Sea The Stars

Preview: ARC DE TRIOMPH 2017

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“You are prone to bad luck at Chantilly; often the best horse gets beaten there” – John Gosden

Correct. John Gosden, trainer of wonder filly Enable is rightly concerned if it comes to external influences in today’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The dual Oaks and King George champ is the red hot betting favourite for quite some time. Rightly so. There is little more she needs to do to prove her class. She IS all class.

However a long season, a big field of top class contenders, most of them the opposite sex, tough ground and a course that can throw up strange results – there is a lot to overcome today….

…. and a lot to like about Enable! 

On the positive side of things, Enable could have not get a better draw allotted in the lottery that can kill chances of any horse before the race is even run. She can start from stall 2 – it gives her flamboyant star jockey Frankie Dettori every chance to make a decision whereas other rivals have to take what’s left over.

Enable is an uncomplicated filly, she has no problem to race prominently. I’m sure Dettori will settle her close enough to the pace with every chance to get the clearest of runs. The track will be more of an issue for anyone behind her: no excuses.

So – put the mortgage on? 

If she is in the form she presented herself all year – yes, ’cause she’ll win. Plain and simple. Fillies and three year old fillies in particular have a superb record in the Arc.

But what if a season that started in a Conditions Stake at Newbury back in April has taken a toll? You couldn’t begrudge Enable to lose some percentage of her superb form that saw the three year old land spectacular victories throughout the summer.

Well – Autumn, soft ground and Chantilly can do strange things to horses. So at prices I have to take on Enable. As much as I would love the story of her winning the race, as much I feel ENABLEd to say: this is one too many for her this year.

Bigger odds, Bigger Value!

I like three individuals at much bigger odds: the German raider Dschingis Secret, the recent Leger hero Capri and the French Cloth Of Stars .

Why? The German horse has no issues on the soft ground and usually does his best at the back end of his races. The way he finds another gear in the closing stages, as seen in the Prix Foy and Großer Preis von Berlin, is a trait not too many horses posses.

The way he races does not look sexy. He can get sweaty, be a bit keen but also can appear to be off the bridle earlier than a high class individual should be. But that doesn’t matter. The apparent ease – once hitting top gear – he puts away classy contenders suggest that this lad is hitting top form when it matters most.

The draw isn’t ideal, ten is as wide as you want to be and he will need a bit of luck. But hey, this is horse racing. You’ll always need a bit of ” luck” on the big day. 16’s is a serious price for a serious horse.

But Capri? A Leger winner? Yep. The drop in trip won’t be an issue. He’s an Irish Derby winner with form over shorter too. He travells strongly through his races and simply has an exceptional attitude to keep on going, as seen at Doncaster a fortnight ago. Soft ground doesn’t bother him, in fact the true stamina test expected will rather suit him today.

He’s here’s soon enough with little time to recover plus faces the difficult task to break from stall 15. However that is reflected in the price, and I feel taken into account overly negative. Yes, he is not the likeliest winner of the race, but surely a dual Classic winner has a slightly better than 5% chance with conditions likely to suit him?!

It’s been eight years since Sea The Stars became a legend in this very race. His son Cloth Of Stars is one who has the tools to emulate his almighty daddy. He’s got a good draw, a fair prep run under the belt off a four months long break when runner-up in the Foy behind Dschingis Secret and was unbeaten in 2017 before that.

Stamina is a question mark. He is yet to win over 1m 4f. On the plus side he loves the ground and deserves another crack at this distance after only two tries and with some improvement still possible.

Anything else to say?

Don’t count out Ulysses, either. He will love the track, he’s been a revelation this season and acts on softish ground. That says ground and trip in combination should not play to his strengths, I feel.

There is loads of money coming for Order Of St. George. He’s a sexy contender, I admit. He looked SO good in the Irish Ledger. Ground and trip is fine. A stayer with a turn of foot, Arc 3rd twelve months ago. Yeah, he’s a serious chance, Ballydoyle’s best, no doubt.

I say that because it’s only the 1st October and Winter is not coming – not today. The superstar filly has done it all this season, but this is a step too far. Sure, as a daughter of Galileo all is seemingly possible – but a long year, tough ground, a trip as far as she’s never gone before – too much.

The point is….

….. this is a wide open Arc! Much more open than the betting suggests. We have a star filly in Enable who is likely to take plenty of beating if all goes right for her. But this is the Arc, it’s autumn, it’s Chantilly, it’s tough ground, it’s a high class field…. there is plenty of room for things to pan out in a completely different way. Let’s hope it goes my way.

Selections:
10pts win – Dschingis Secret @ 16/1 Bet365
10pts win – Capri @ 20/1 Bet365
5pts win – Cloth To Stars @ 28/1 Bet365

Hit It A Bomb Returns

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Finally we have the chance to see Hit It A Bomb hitting the race track as a three year old.! The most impressive winner of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – that’s now almost ten months ago – had plenty of problems early on this season and missed several assignments.

But Aiden O’Brien said the son of War Front is ready to go today to start of his campaign in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.

Question mark are all over the place though: did he train on? Has he retained his brilliant turn of foot despite the long lay-off? Is he fit enough to beat a more or less competitive, albeit given his own potential class, rather ordinary looking bunch of mostly well seasoned horses?

Here’s hoping. Hit It A Bomb produced one of the most memorable performances of recent time when landing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – from the widest draw having to finish from an impossible position turning for home…. it was spectacular!

I suspect there is plenty enough left to work on for this very first step back into racing action today; as always with O’Brien horses, bigger targets loom large.

All I want to see today is him having trained on, finishing well, without getting a hard race. Victory is not necessarily the main objective here.

That obviously opens the door for someone else to step up and land a nice paycheck. Custom Cut, given he’s only 2lb rated below Hit It A Bomb, looks most likely do be the one benefiting from a potential lack of fitness of the favourite.

He hasn’t really show all that much this season though, certainly he’s not in the same form as all the years before, so whether he can still run to his current rating of 114 is questionable.

It’s not a betting race for me at all, but Jim Bolger can have horses ready after a break, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tribal Beat, last years second in the Killavullan Stakes, to run a big race here.

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Thursday Selections:

Two winners yesterday. Those were balsam for the ill-treated betting soul. Northern Thunder made most of a lack of pace in his race at Kempton and held on gamely, whereas it seemed the penny dropped for Sea The Stars son Space Mountain at Beverly.

1.50 Beverly: Street Jazz @ 11/1 Skybet
3.40 Salisbury: Bess of Hardwick @ 4/1 Ladbrokes

Lightly Raced Tamasha Can Improve Big Time

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5.10 Haydock: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

Satellite wasn’t too far beaten in a very tough Handicap at York the last time. He didn’t have the run of the race and can come on for it. Back up in trip, down in grade and dropped 2 pounds he’s a key contender today. That says he’s to raise his game too, given that his only win was a maiden success over a year ago and since then he hasn’t finished in the money.

Revitalized Chancery goes back to 12f and has already shown some fine form this season. He needs to be back to his very best to win off his current mark and I’m not sure if he is really up to it these days. English Summer is on a workable mark without giving the impression to be overly well handicapped. Chance on best form, but not shown anything this year so far.

The race will inevitably evolve around lightly raced filly Tamasha. She was very impressive winning a maiden at Salisbury last year and was clearly not disgraced in a hot Listed event on the Lingfield All-Weather subsequently, when she got a troubled trip due to a wide draw.

As a daughter of Sea The Stars she is likely to improve as a three year old and out of a Group 3 winning Sadler’s Wells mare she is sure to relish middle-distance trips. Race fitness and quick ground are questions marks, but if she can overcome them she is entitled to run a big race of a mark which could easily underestimate her true potential. At 4/1 I’m rather on her than against her in this field.

Tamasha @ 4/1 Sportingbet – 5pts Win