Tag Archives: September

Thursday Selections: September, 19th 2019

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3.00 Ayr: Class 5 Handicap, 1 Mile

Despite a big field this race is a rather uncompetitive one with only few appearing to be anywhere near what you’d describe as well-handicapped. There is no doubt, that when on a going day, Vive La Difference is surely one who is well-handicapped, though.

The 5-year-old gelding has been struggling to find his best for a while, certainly starting slowly on pretty much every occasion doesn’t help. At the same time a few performances have been promising this year, when not far beaten in competitive races at Wetherby or Ripon earlier this season.

Vive La Difference has fallen quite a bit in his handicap mark, now 10lb lower than he started the season. He ran twice in his career to topspeed ratings of higher than 70, and a number of times around his current handicap mark of 68, including this year.

That gives hope that today of a near career lowest mark he can run a big race with conditions sure to suit, particularly if first time blinkers can help sharpen him up at the beginning of the race.

Selection:
10pts win – Vive La Difference @ 11.5/1 MB

……

3.10 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

I was keen on Aiya the last time at Thirsk. Things didn’t pan out as hoped, but the gelding conveniently dropped another 3lb in the mark and also to a more suitable 1m 2f trip, I believe.

Most what I talked about in my analysis leading up to the Thirsk race still holds true today:

The 4-year-old was a little bit unlucky not get his head in front on grass yet, because he got close at Redcar when beaten by a neck back in May.  He ran to topspeed 80 in that mentioned Redcar race and clocked 77 on the All-Weather in the past.

With conditions likely to suit – fast ground and 10f delivered his career best of an 80 ORR and a TS 80 – and a decent draw, there is no reason why Aiya shouldn’t run a massive race today.

Selection:
10pts win – Aiya @ 10/1 MB

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Wednesday Selections: September, 18th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

1.50 Sandown: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Leo Minor has fallen a long way in his handicap mark since finishing 2nd at Leicester twelve months ago off a 89 mark and running to a 88 topspeed rating that day.

The gelding hasn’t come close ever since but hasn’t ran so badly as the dramatic 22lb drop in OR suggest, in my mind.

The lowered mark and grades he raced in have seen Leo Minor produce a number of fair performances this season, as when last seen of his current 67 rating, a decent runner-up at Bath.

He also ran to a 68 topspeed rating this summer already, backing it up with near similar TS ratings this season a a number of occasions, suggesting he is weighted to win soon of his current handicap mark.

A first time tongue tie is tried today. Possibly that’ll help. Certainly the booking of 3lb top apprentice Cieren Fallon helps. From the plum draw he hopefully can steer Leo Minor to a prominent position grabbing the rail leading to victory this afternoon.

Selection:
10pts win – Leo Minor @ 17/2 MB

Sunday Selections: September, 15th 2019

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3. 45 Ffos Las: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

This is quite a competitive little race, to be honest. However, it looks a hot mess pace wise and could be set up for a filly or mare who needs it fast to produce some sort of strong staying finish.

I feel this could finally be the day of Accomplice, who has been running really well this season, finishing in the money a number of times, without quite getting there. It’s not so much her ability alone as more the fact she really needs things to fall right, given her running style.

Her last two runs she already looked poised, having fallen to a seriously low handicap mark. Her runs were eye-catching, but she had too much to do both times. Last time out was the clearest of signs, though, that she is ready to win. She trailed the field, but stayed on strongly, weaving through the field, only beaten by three-year-olds in first and second eventually.

Accomplice is now down to an official mark of 54. That is seven pounds lower than she started the turf season and 12lb lower than she started the year, including All-Weather! She won last year a handicap off 66, and achieved seven times already a topspeed rating of 54 plus.

Ground and trip are fine today, the simple test of Ffos Las is sure to suit. A smaller field, likely with a good pace, going against her own sex of a career lowest mark – Accomplice has a prime chance.

Selection:
10pts win – Accomplice @ 8/1 MB

………

3.55 Bath: Class 2 Handicap, 5.5f

Competitive only on the surface, and a race, due to ground and course configuration, that requires in-running luck, but I can easily strike out more than half the field on the simple question: well handicapped?

Big Lachie is one who needs all the luck in the world, given he is drawn low, has a habit of starting slowly and therefore will need gaps to open. But that is offset by the simple fact the 5-year-old is tremendously well handicapped.

He has no issues with the firm ground, which is an important factor on lighting fast bath turf today. He has the speed to win over the minimum trip but can stretch out for an additional furlong, no bother. He’s been in good form all year long and has won already of his current 71 handicap mark here at Bath over 5 furlongs earlier this year.

I feel the handicapper has overreacted a little bit in the mean time and has given Big Lachie a massive chance, dropping him down to 71 again – we’ll take it, of course!

He has won last year twice off 75 and has ran nine times in his career to topspeed ratings of 71 plus. He ran this year to TS 75 when he won here back in June, in fact!

He may lose the race right at the start or won’t get the breaks needed – but if he does, he’ll likely be hard to beat. And if no today, there’ll be a tomorrow, certainly.

Selection:
10pts win – Big Lachie @ 15/2 MB

Saturday Selections: September, 14th 2019

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3.40 Leopardstown: Group 3 Stakes, 1m 4f

I probably should know better: backing an Aiden O’Brien horse coming back from a lay-off. But by all accounts, if the rumblings are anywhere near true that Mount Everest was considered a proper Derby contender, and if judged by his entries for the rest of the season, he’ll need to show something significant today in order to go on those dates in a few weeks time.

Aiden O’Brien has played down expectations. That’s only fair. And surely Mount Everest won’t be at 100% today. It’s a gamble and you never know how far in their preparation these horses are coming off a long injury break, and whether they ever come back to their best, and in this case whether this particular individual has trained on over the winter.

However, this Group 3 is such a lackluster contest that I am prepared to back the “potential” today. Very few in this field have achieved a topspeed rating over 90 to date. Those that have can be discounted for a variety of reason of trip or ground or legitimacy of that particular posting – in my book at least.

The favourit Buckhurst, despite having three career wins to his name, has never ran faster than 67. The main dangers I actually see in the race are Norway, who has proven to be a rock solid horse and has achieved a career best when last seen, plus long-shot and stable mate Blenheim Palace, who could easily outrun his massive price tag and is a compelling each-way candidate.

But at given odds, Mount Everest is clearly of major interest. When last seen twelve month ago in the Bresford Stakes, he finished second in a tight finish behind Japan, having Sovereign more than three lengths behind. That form looks incredibly strong in hindsight and a topspeed of 94 achieved that day is credible.

No doubt this is the strongest piece of form in this race. Given Mount Everest is a May foal, one would have expected him to be a much better 3-year-old, so it’s plausible that improvement is to come with Mount Everest maturing. How much of that he’ll show today is the question mark.

On the other hand, given a long break and injury to overcome he may never fulfill this potential. He may not be ready to go today either. AOB’s record with those returning isn’t all that strong either. I am prepared to take the game in this particular race, though.

Selection:
10pts win – Mount Everest @ 4/1 MB

……….

4.50 Leopardstown: G2 Boomerang Stakes, 1m

The 6/4 for Lancaster House can only be described as a silly price. Possibly my judgement looks silly in a few hours time, though? I’m puzzled, regardless, because I feel Richard Fahey’s Space Traveller should be a much shorter price than he is.

The 3-year-old colt will need to things to pan out right given his running style, that is a clear concern for me, given that it can prove difficult to peg prominent horses back at Leopardstown if the pace isn’t overly strong.

It’s a risk I take, simply because Space Traveller has overwhelmingly the strongest form in the book. His Royal Ascot success is a tremendous piece of form, given how the race has worked out ever since, and a 106 topspeed rating he achieved that day looks all the more real for it.

Space Traveller stayed 9 furlongs three weeks ago at Haydock, when less than a lengths beaten in a highly competitive of the Strensall Stakes.

Ground and trip will suit today. A good pace looks likely. Now it’s up to WJ Lee to time it right. If he does, Space Traveller should be the one they all see the back of at the finish line.

Selection:
10pts win – Space Traveller @ 11/2 MB

Friday Selections: September, 13th 2019

Telescope

5.35 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 2f

There is little in this race that is anywhere near well handicapped, with the exception of Zzoro who looks to have found a tremendous opportunity to get his head in front, and the market has reacted accordingly since favourite Skyman is out.

The six-year-old is a consistent sort, has ran pretty well in a number of races this season already, in line with his handicap mark and not too far off his best, in fact. His last four starts are all excellent pieces of form, particularly in the context of this race.

Drying ground is an issue. All his victories came with cut in the ground. But it may not be so much of an issue, on the hand, given Zzoro’s career best topspeed came over this course and distance on good, good to firm in places!

Zzoro has ran three times to TS 77 and higher. He ran to 75 already this season. What makes him incredibly well handicapped is the vital assistance of highly capably 7lb apprentice Marco Ghiani.

Selection:
10pts win – Zzoro @ 4/1 MB

Thursday Selections: September, 12th 2019

Balty Boys

2.15 Epsom: Class 5 Handicap, 1m½f

Bombastic has not really honoured his name since last summer. Particularly his last four starts in the old season as well as this year have been poor. However, as a consequence he really dropped to a sexy mark now, one that makes him dangerous to oppose if on song.

Trip and ground will be fine today, Epsom of course always a slight question mark. But fact of the mater is that Bombastic ran four times to a higher topspeed rating than his current – career lowest – handicap mark.

With hot jockey Pat Cosgrave on board I can see him running a big race today, also with a bit of money already coming.

Selection:
10pts win – Bombastic @ 22/1 MB

……….

5.05 Epsom: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

This type of course really suits Swanton Blue, who is already a course and distance winner, doing so off 3lb higher than his current handicap mark twelve months ago.

The six-year-old has consistently clocked topspeed ratings that show he can is weighted to go close today, having achieved TS ratings of 64 and over on four occasions. He also ran to 62 only in July, suggesting he is as good as ever, and with the right conditions, i.e. his preferred downhill track, he’ll be contender today of a 63 handicap mark.

Swanton Blue gets the assistance of capable 5lb claimer Toby Eley, for whom this is the only ride today. I see this as another positive in a wide open race.

Selection:
10pts win – Swanton Blue @ 11/1 MB

Monday Selections: September, 9th 2019

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3. 50 Brighton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

Escape The City continues to disappoint when expected to run much better. As evens favourite she was beaten in a small field wen last seen – however, she takes another drop in the mark and also moved down to class 5.

Fast ground and 10 furlongs look like an ideal scenario for her. Now down to a rating of 70 the filly is a full 10lb lower than when she started the season. Largely in hotter races this year she wasn’t beaten all that far, actually, suggesting she has retained some ability.

Last season Escape The City ran four times to topspeed ratings of 70 plus, which means any return to form – although maybe running to that sort of level she ran to in higher grade of higher marks earlier this year may also be good enough – will see her go really close in this race.

Freckles looks the main danger in my book. Having won last time out and having ran to a higher tospeed rating than turned out here under a penalty earlier this year, she remains a lively chance.

But I stick with Escape The City, who appears to have a prime chance to get her head in front today. The jockey booking is the cherry on the cake so to speak, given how strongly Hollie Doyle is riding at the moment.

Selection: 
10pts win – Escape The City @ 6/1 MB