Tag Archives: Selection

Preview: Dewhurst Stakes 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

Odds-on favourite Too Darn Hot couldn’t have been more impressive in his three career starts. Winning the Champagne Stakes thanks to a deadly turn of foot without making it even remotely look hard work was quite something. He’s hard to oppose on that basis.

On the other hand, analyzing a a metric that I personally hold dearly – time speed ratings – the achievements of those lining up today turn this renewal of the Dewhurst into a more open race than one would have thought, if purely checking the betting market and assessing the left-hand column of the racecard.

Best TS Rating to date: 
Too Darn Hot – 106
Mohawk – 104
Anthony Van Dyck – 103
Advertise – 100

Obviously you can’t take this at face value. There is more to racing and performance. Particularly with these unexposed juveniles, performances can fluctuate, improvement can be sudden and unexpected, also TS ratings depend on circumstances.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting additional layer to interpret performance to date. Certainly what this shows is that TDH is likely to be the best horse in the race on what he’s achieved on the clock to date – but only by a slim margin.

For me the takeaway here is the urge to assess the two O’Brien horses, who ran to career best 103- and 104 TS rating last time out. Anthony Van Dyck’s National Stakes performance certainly rates highly. He’s expected to improve for it and he should make it a race for the favourite. He looks useful type who can progress into a top class individual next year.

In saying that, at given prices, his stable mate Mohawk clearly is a much more interesting individual. Five starts already, he didn’t look anywhere near top level when comprehensively beaten in the Futurity- and National Stakes subsequently.

However, this son of Galileo looked still raw and green to some extend those days. On the other hand, as a January foal, he should be rather forward by now. And he finally turned good last month at Newmarket in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

He looked bigger and better than ever. Granted, it was probably not the strongest of Group 2’s ever ran at HQ, it was still an impressive performance visually, as Mohawk quickened nicely in the closing stages to win a shade cozily. The fact that the visual impression is backed up by the TS rating gives me confidence that this lad has learned and improved, indeed.

The Royal Lodge was over a mile. Dropping back to 7 furlongs, a trip Mohawk was outran in Group company already, isn’t ideal. The rain is coming though, should take the fast out of the ground potentially, and may help to make this race more of a stamina test.

That’s a lot of “could be” and “if’s” to hope for – in saying that, as I am trying to make a case for a 25/1 shot, that’s rather expected. The likely outcome is that Mohawk, with Wayne Lordan in the saddle – which isn’t exactly a vote of confidence – won’t be good enough.

Regardless, the price is too big in a race where we can not predict how these juveniles have progressed since we saw them the last time. Given Mohawk appears to be making significant steps in the right direction I feel he’s got a chance to be competitive today.

Selection:
10pts win – Mohawk @ 25/1 PP

PREVIEW: Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 2018

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It’s Enable’s race….. to lose. Can anyone stop the wonder filly? Or can she follow on from a magical Saturday where Winx thundered home to a 28th consecutive success?

The queen of European racing was so impressive twelve months ago when she landed the big one, she’s blessed with an excellent draw this Sunday – surely, she’s more than justifying her 11/10 price tag.

I’m saying that as I find it hard to see her getting beaten here. Enable has clearly shown on her reappearance at Kempton in the September Stakes that she’s hitting top form right when it’s required. As easily as she let a 129 rated Crystal Ocean look like a one paced plodder, one can’t help but be incredibly impressed.

From a betting perspective I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing Enable. From my own perspective it’s not a price for me – so I’m looking for a bit of “Each-Way Value” in a race that appears to be pretty open if it comes to the minor placings.

Sea Of Class and Waldgeist both make appeal. Form wise they are a clear standout compared to the rest of the field – bar Enable, of course. Though, the draw is a concern, even more so for the filly who’s likely to need a lot of luck from off the pace. The French colt, on the other hand, is the biggest danger to Enable but may get rolling too late, I feel.

Leger winner Kew Gardens should be okay dropping back in trip. He’s got a fair shout, depending on the start of the race where I’d like to see him ridden positively, which might be detrimental to his chances as he’s got to deal with a wide raw also, but it could also play into his hands, making use of stamina reserves at the backend of the race. If ridden with restraint he’s got even less a chance, most likely. At given prices it’s a pass for me, anyhow.

Stable mate Capri, high class as he is on paper, is hard to fancy after his interrupted season and a rusty return to the track in the Prix Foy.

Last year’s runner-up Cloth Of Stars is an interesting individual at a big price, if quirky and hard to know what to get on the day. If he could find some sort of his best form again he can be a fair place chance. So can be defending Breeder’s Cup Turf champ Talismanic. The ground may turn against him, though.

For my selection I’ll look even further down the packing order, still. 50/1 shot Patascoy, the French Derby runner-up, is the one who appeals most to me given this massive price.

The jury is still out whether he stays the trip. This lightly raced colt hasn’t raced beyond 10.5 furlongs yet, the pedigree isn’t exactly screaming “stayer” but isn’t entirely discouraging either.

Certainly in the Derby – not an overly strong form, it has to be said – he was running hard to the line after hitting a flat spot entering the home straight. His return after a bit of a summer break in the Group 2 Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Haras du Logis Saint-Germain was good – although not form you would associate good enough for an Arc winner, to be totally fair.

What I like about Patascoy is the fact he remains open for improvement after only eight career starts and in addition he is pretty straightforward, uncomplicated in the way he can be ridden – from an excellent draw, most likely tracking the pace in the Arc. That should ensure he’s in a good position when it matters most. If I trust him to stay, then he could outrun his price tag to finish in the money, in the end.

Selection:
5pts Each/Way – Patascoy @ 50/1 PP (4 places, 1/5)

Tuesday Selections: October, 2nd 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

3.45 Ayr: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

See You remains a maiden after 13 starts so not too much confidence can be placed in the gelding. But the fact he’s got the perfect draw to replicate tactics from his most recent run is interesting.

Third at Beverly last months attempting to make all and setting a frantic pace under an inexperienced rider, he was caught late. Dropping down to 7f again should suit. A 2lb hike in the mark remains a dangerous mark in my mind.

A repeat of that type of performance may well be enough to win this race today. Here’s hoping David Allan makes use of the good draw, indeed.

Selection:
10pts win – See You @ 9/1 PP

…..

5.45 Kempton: Class 7 Handicap, 5f

The lowest grade and a truly shocking race. Nonetheless, the still lightly raced Broughton Excels offers some promise for improvement. He showed glimpses of ability when fifth on his seasonal- and new yard debut last month at Wolverhampton when not ideally placed at the back of the field.

This late may foal should improve with time, hopefully – so dropping into a poor race stripping fitter for his latest run is interesting.

Drawn perfectly for the 5f trip at Kempton, Broughton Excels has a big chance of a career lowest mark, granted he can get the break right, which as been an issue in the past.

Selection:
10pts win – Broughton Excels @ 13/2 MB

Saturday Selection: September, 15th 2018

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5.10 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 1M 5F 66Y

A risky shout out for long-shot Global Style here. He’s yet to win a race and didn’t exactly come close yet. However, he has a few half-decent performances to his name; most importantly his latest Windsor run.

That was a better race than this here today, he was pretty keen in first time blinkers and didn’t get the breaks when needed with a wall of horses in front, hampered slightly over 3f out and a bit more severely in the closing stages. Yet he galloped all the way to the line and wasn’t far beaten.

He doesn’t exactly cries out for a stamina test, but with first time tongue tie and the added benefit of the pedigree there is a fair chance he can last the 1M 5F 66Y trip today.

He’s only slowly coming down in the mark. It remains to be seen whether he can win off 71. But against lesser rivals there is a fair chance I reckon. Robert Havlin on board with a super record for Ed Dunlop in this type of races. Worth a nibble.

Selection:
10pts win – Global Style @ 22/1 PP

Thursday Selection: August, 29th 2018

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5.00 Catterick: Class  5 Handicap, 6f

It was a narrow margin on the line last month when Indian Pursuit won over course and distance. The five year old is a true course specialist and has won off higher marks here in the past. Most notably his final win in 2017, over CD of a mark off 65.

He’s been running to time speed ratings a good deal higher than his now revised mark off 62 in the past also. So in theory the 3lb raise for the latest success may not stop him yet.

It was a much more commanding win than the winning margin says, in my mind. First time visor fitted seemed to help as he crossed over from a wide draw and went to lead by a frantic pace by a couple of lengths for most parts and only inside the final furlong he tired.

Same conditions today, the wide draw, as we have seen, isn’t a problem. Indian Pursuit looks in with a big shout once more.

Selection:
10pts win – Indian Pursuit @ 13/2 MB

 

Sunday Selections: August, 26th 2018

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3.15 Beverley: Class 3 Nursery, 5f

The short priced favourite is a foolish price in this rather competitive nursery in my mind. Most importantly, that leaves my selection Snazzy seemingly undervalued in the market.

This filly won – arguably a not overly strong race, granted – very impressively on debut earlier this year at Newcastle overcoming all sorts of trouble. Subsequently placed in Listed company, she was found out for class stepping up to Group 2 class at Royal Ascot.

But, despite not coming too close to win, Snazzy ran extremely well in defeat in two subsequent starts when things didn’t quite went her way in highly competitive events that have worked out well form wise in the meantime.

A drop to the minimum trip should work in her favour and with first time visor applied from a good draw I would expect her to go forward here.

Selection:
10pts win – Snazzy @ 10/3 PP

…….

4.25 Beverley: Class 4 Handicap, 8.5f 

I was keen on Ghazan on handicap debut back in May after the colt showed plenty of promise in three juvenile starts, particularly the final run in 2017 looked excellent form.

From a wide draw he had a lot to do at Leicester on what was his seasonal reappearance and always travelling wide as a consequence didn’t make it an easy task. After coming briefly off the bridle over 4f out a shake of the reign saw Ghazan travelling notably strongest of all until nearly 2f out when he then tired and wasn’t given a hard time.

That form has worked out quite well in the meantime, so the fact Ghazan was able to travell all over that sort of field is encouraging as I felt beforehand he might have been underestimated by an opening 75 mark.

He’s on 74 today, drops a bit in trip. That in combination with the rain arriving should suit him well. Hanagan is in the saddle, a bonus. Question remains why the absence since May. If he’s fit and well then Ghazan should have a big chance today.

Selection:
10pts win – Ghazan @ 11/2 PP

……

5.20 Goodwood: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

A pretty consistent runner. albeit on the go for a long time, Roundabout Magic is one who more often than not gives you a good run for your money. He is also one who finds trouble on a regular basis.

So happened a week ago at Windsor. He travelled strongly and seemed to come with a big run when badly hampered 2f out.

He’s already won this year and was multiple times placed plus ran a career high time speed rating of 67. This small field should suit, if the pace is on.

Selection:
10pts win – Roundabout Magic @ 6/1 VC

Saturday Selections: August, 16th 2018

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1.45 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Musharrif had a super busy campaign over the last few weeks. Eventually this will catch up with him. He’s been running consistently well, nonetheless. He came close to win a couple of times too. He dropped to a handy 68 mark regardless.

He is clearly capable of winning off this type of mark. He did it in the past on three occasions and ran 13 times over his career to time speed ratings of 86 and higher.

The interesting fact is the step up to 7f. He solely raced over the minimum trip lately. However, he’s a distance winner, in fact, was placed another time and ran well in a third 7f contest also. So he should be fine to stay the trip, particularly fast ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Musharrif @ 9/2 MB

……..

5.35 Newmarket: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

Not that his comeback run has set the world alight but Thechildren’strust is the obvious choice in a race of rather exposed types as he is the handicap debutant with only three starts to his name also stepping up in trip.

He ran pretty well in two starts last season, winning first time out at Goodwood and finishing third subsequently in another fair race. Both forms looks competitive and judged by what the horse around him did since then his opening mark off 81 looks fair.

Thechildren’strust seasonal reappearance dampens the the euphoria, though. Third at Salisbury last month in what looks an ordinary contest, he never looked comfortable and the form hasn’t been franked whatsoever yet.

However, it might have been the firm ground that was unsuitable. It won’t be quick as lightning quick today. The step up to 7f should suit on pedigree. All together he’s the one who has potential to find a bit of improvement today on Hector Crouch’s only ride of the day.

Selection:
10pts win – Thechildren’strust @ 11/2 Sky

…….

7.40 Chepstow: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

As big the field is as poor the race is. That’s a tremendous chance for top weight Desert Cross to continue his fine run of form. He’s won two of his three starts this year and ran well in defeat the other day at Bath.

His winning forms work out rather well. So does already the third place at Bath from last months as the runner-up won next time out. Desert Cross was simply not well positioned and couldn’t peg back the two leaders on lightning quick ground.

This is a career highest mark today to defy. I feel in the context of the race he’s a good chance to to do so. Jonjo O’Neill has a sublime record with his flat handicappers at Chepstow also.

Selection:
10pts win – Desert Cross @ 7/1 MB