Tag Archives: Southwell

Saturday Selections: January, 20th 2018


8.15 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

A quiet week so far, and here we go with a horse I’ve already been interested in a week ago, when he ran – and finished poorly, well beaten at Southwell.

Nonetheless, I’m prepared to give Emigrated another chance here, in this pretty poor contest that screams for an upset.

Reasons are pretty much the same as last week – however there is a slight bonus this time: Emigrated returns to a surface he probably likes a lot more, which he showed here in December when running his best race in a very long time over CD.

It was his second start for the Derek Shaw yard, after a promising initial display at Southwell coming off a break. At Chelmsford he backed it up with a fine 5th, only 2¾ beaten despite not having things going his way throughout – form that looks solid enough in the book, also.

Emigrated didn’t run well the last two times. There was little excuse last week other than a fluffed start at an unkind surface that can be hard to recover from a scenario like that – still a run to forget. The penultimate start at Chelmsford over 10f, a third run in quick succession, is easier to forgive when seen in the right context.

However, it has to be said, the five year old gelding did show eye-catching improvement in his first starts for his new trainer Derek Shaw.


Now, you don’t want to make too many excuses for a long standing maiden who hasn’t shown a lot his whole life. Nonetheless, those two forms in early December give him a fair shout in this race.

Interesting fact that Emigrated’s sire Fastnet Rock has quite an excellent record over this trip in Chelmsford Handicaps.

10pts win – Emigrated @ 50/1 PP/VC/BF

Monday Selections: January, 15th 2018


33/1 get in Cosmelli! It seemed a long time coming this week, hitting post and crossbar so often. Today was the day; though, I was nervous when Tom Eaves set very fast fractions early on. However, stamina is Cosmelli’s strengths and he clearly outstayed them all in impressive manner! A wonderful end to the week.


7.40 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

This looks like a battle between the top two in the market. Two potentially very well handicapped individuals, with Fareeq and Waneen – one of them should have too much in the locker for the rest in the field.

Fareeq drops down to a career lowest mark. He looks able to exploit it on the back of a recent 3rd place finish that looks decent form. A further drop of 2lb provides him with a prime chance – however he is drawn wider than ideal and that might swing the pendulum towards Waneen.

Waneen is ideally drawn in five which gives his jockey plenty of options. He also has dropped to a career lowest mark. After a string of mainly poor performances in slightly higher grades and higher ratings, he dropped to 58 the last time, when back off a 158 long break as he reappeared over CD – and the money was clearly down, backed into favoritism before the off.

Issue was a wide draw that day. He made allot to get across as soon as possible from the widest draw to share the lead. He was still in with a fair shout two furlongs out, and only dropped away late paying for his start and potentially his first run in a while. This is a solid piece of form, regardless, as it has been franked multiple times in the meantime.

The handicapper relives him off another pound. That is nothing in the grand scheme of things. Fact is, however, Waneen is a course and distance winner who won off 68 and was 74 rated, which seemed exactly a year ago pretty much alright.

He’s got another 56 days to recover from this big last run – hopefully fit and well, with most things falling his way, he looks sure to go close, as he seems incredibly well handicapped now.

10pts win – Waneen @ 10/3 Skybet


Sunday Selections: January, 14th 2018


Another runner-up, would you believe it? Presence Process seemed to get there, just to finish 2nd eventually. The fourth time this week hitting the post. Frustrating, particularly as the majority were double figure prices. Well, I got to carry on. That’s part of the game.


2.55 Southwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 4f

The favourite could well have too much in the locker, seeking a fourth victory in a handful of starts since October. Nonetheless this seems to be quite an open affair to me, and I would not be surprised if there is someone causing an upset.

This someone could be longshot Cosmelli. If he’s not in here to run his mark further down but will be ridden to merit, he’s a chance to go close, I feel.

Cosmelli found life difficult coming over to Britain from Italy. He raced in strong races off high marks, yet was generally not disgraced in a good deal of them. A key piece of form is his 8th place in the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle – only 3 lengths beaten in a race that has been franked multiple times.

As for recent form, I feel those last three runs since being gelded have been better than the bare form suggests. Particularly at Newcastle in a strong Conditions Stakes where he had to give weight away to most in the field, he did quite well, particularly if looking at the sectionals but also the visual fact that he only dropped away inside the two final furlongs.

It is noteworthy that Cosmelli achieved RPR’s of 90, 94 and 89 in his last three runs on the All-Weather – his handicap mark dropped to 87 in the meantime. He also drops in class – this is much easier than many of the races he ran in over the last year or so. So I can see he could outrun his price….

If he acts on fibresand. I can see this work, though. While he drops to 1m4f, the fact Southwell emphasizes stamina generally, it could suit him well if there is a decent pace, too.

It has to be remembered that Cosmelli is a Listed winner over 1m 3f in Italy and is pretty well bred for an Italian individual. His dam’s other offspring has all been at least placed in pattern class.

10pts – Cosmelli @ 33/1 Bet365


3.55 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

It probably looks mad to select another longshot that has seemingly no hope to do anything here. And results may say so tomorrow at 4pm. Nonetheless, Emigrated has in my book a chance in this really poor race.

Realistically there is the favourite and not much else in the field. Even though with form in the book, Chaucer’s Tale looks hardly dangerous. Neither does Scribner Creek, however, a yard change may see him revived.

Still, Emigrated, despite a mark that can’t get much lower, still a maiden after 18 runs under rules – “only” ten on the flat, though – he has shown improvement in two of his last three starts for his new trainer Derek Shaw.

Off a break in December for the new yard, on his sole Southwell start, he broke badly and never really settled, as a consequence got a mouthful of kickback and eventually had to turn widest from 4f out. Surprisingly easily did he pick up rival after rival to look in with a real shout over 2f out, nonetheless.

Probably in need of the run and paying tribute to the bad start, he faded badly in the end. That says this runs is much stronger than the bare form suggests. Interestingly Emigrated followed up with another pretty good run at Chelmsford only four days later.

A fine fiftth, less than three lengths beaten, while not getting the best of runs; one week later his third run within eleven days, was then a bit too much and I would not read too much into it. Rather see that for his new yard he put together two subsequent performances that can be classified as eye-catching.

Back after a four week long break, he might be perfectly set up for a big performance on a surface he has proven he can act on. The trip is a slight question mark; does he really stay a mile?

I feel Emigration deserves a chance here. At the given price it is more hope than anything else. But in a poor race like this, an upset wouldn’t be a major shock at all.

10pts win – Emigration @ 25/1 Bet365

Thursday Selections: January, 10th 2018


Hitting the post with two second places on Monday hurt. Both selections run fine races and that is all I can ask for.  On the other hand, given the fact those were runner-up selections number four and five in this still relatively young month, I can’t help but from time to time think “what if”….


6.30 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I backed hot favourite Arnarson myself the other day when he got off the mark in impressive style. A 6lb penalty might not be enough to stop him from a repeat effort. However, it was a slowly run affair, particularly early on, so he was potentially flattered by the winning margin. Given his patchy record overall, he can be opposed this time.

I do like, though, the Richard Guest runner Amazing Grazing here. He’s got very little mileage on the clock yet, and has, since getting off the mark, improved with each run.

He broke his maiden tag in a really poor Newcastle maiden in September hence his opening mark of 68 looked a bit extreme to my eyes. That says, back from a little break and for a new yard, he made his handicap debut here at Chelmsford over 7f in December and travelled very strongly, approaching the home straight like the winner.

He subsequently tired in the closing stages and hang badly to the left also, throwing his chances away.

Next time at Southwell, from a wide draw, he was very slowly away and had to do a lot to get back to the field, then travelling wide until switched to the inside around the home turn getting a mouthful of kickback.

Again he travelled strongly, nonetheless, even lead 2f out coming with a huge run, however had to pay for his bad start eventually, finishing a close third.

That was in my book a pretty good performance, taking everything into account, and back to a more familiar surface, over 7f, I feel he could potentially be well handicapped, given his mark has been left untouched so far.

From a good draw, with a yard in good nick, and a good jockey booked for the ride, I think Amazing Grazing can easily outrun his price tag in this field.

10pts win: Amazing Grazing @ 9/1 Paddy Power

Tuesday Selections: January, 9th 2018


12.15 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

It’s rare I bet punt short prices, however, in this case, Acker Bill looks too much of a good thing in this race. The only two rivals in his age group can be easily opposed, while the older rivals have a fair shout if they run to form.

That says, Acker Bill is the lightly raced four year old in the field with plenty of upside judged on his last two performances. It’s a quick turnaround for the son of Rip Van Winkle – he won a Handicap at Wolverhampton over 12f in impressive style only a week ago.

He had no problem overcoming a wide draw and posted impressive sectionals in the context of the race, despite looking a bit raw in the finish. On RPR he ran 10lb higher than his current mark, even including the 6lb penalty.

A month before on handicap debut Acker Bill was probably a bit unlucky not to win. Again he had to overcome a wide draw – the widest in fact, travelled like the winner nonetheless but didn’t quite quicken as needed and took a moment to hit top gear. He was slightly impeded in the closing stages, too.

I like his scopey frame and given recent performances, he should have at least another win in the locker. The switch to Fibresand is the main question mark. The way he usually travells through his races suggests to me he’ll be fine plus his sire has – albeit small sample size – a 75% strike rate in CD Handicaps here.

10pts win – Acker Bill @ 13/8 Bet365


1.45 Sothwell: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 

Drop a pen and you might find the winner of this race. This thing is such a wide open affeir. You can pick holes and question marks into each and every runner. Fitness? Form? Class? Surface? Trip? Age?

Funny, I think the two at the bottom of the weight scale, despite out of the handicap by some pounds, are the most solid options. Both Alpha Tauri and Muqarred have excellent course and distance form.

Age wise I rule out Alpha Tauri, however feel that given the conditions of this race, Muqarred offers value, regardless of the burden being 4lb out of handicap.

His two questions to answers are: can he bounce back from an unusual poor showing a week ago over CD? And is he good enough?

Fact is, Muqarred has won twice- and has been only once outside the first two over the Southwell mile. I can forgive him the run the other day. He probably made too much too early, and the other front-runner faded badly in the closing stages also.

Class wise; well, his success has all come in class 4- or the majority in class 5. Stepping into a class 3 Handicap is tough. He’s probably not well handicapped off 76. But if his consistency counts for something, in a race where there should be a lot of pace early on, the fact he has a super draw in 2 and clearly stays the trip, could be a big advantage when it matters most.

Many others in this field have to prove that they either stay the trip or act on the Fibresand surface. Interesting also, at least class wise, that time speed rating- and RPR rating wise, he is third- and joint-fourth highest in the field, with both ratings having only a few pounds between all runners.

That says, this is a wide open and close call, as initially mentioned. Given Muqarred, despite a long handicap, runs of a feather weight, while having a proven track record. At the given prices, he makes plenty of appeal.

10pts win – Muqarred @ 11/1 Bet365


Saturday Selections: January, 6th 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

It hurts if your 40/1 shot gets beaten on the line. Never get too high, never too low… if it would be so easy?! For a moment or to inside the final furlong it looked like Monte Cinq looked would have to enough in the tank to hold on and win. He didn’t. A neck beaten. Autsch.

It didn’t help that Snaffled also finished 2nd and Going Native faltering in the closing stages after a way too aggressive front-running ride.


1.15 Lingfield: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

A prime chance for Toriano to find back to winning ways, if he can build on his fine 4th in a hot class 4 contest at this venue last month.

He made too much over a trip that stretches him in the early parts of the race, but ran well enough in a race that works out really well. A clear return to form in my book.

He drops in trip and gets further help from the handicapper, now back over a CD he’s won before as a juvenile and below his last winning mark.

10pts win – Toriano @ 5/1 Bet365


6.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Trainer Neil Mulholland doesn’t send them over for fun to Kempton in these low grade handicaps, and you got to take them very seriously, indeed.

His inmate American Patrol comes here on the back of a string of poor runs, however there might be fair reasons for it. He didn’t act at Southwell, quite clearly, and neither did softish conditions suit on his sole turf start in 2017.

That says, the Rio De La Plata son looked to have a good deal more to offer than his rating off 55 when he won a Wolverhampton 7f Handicap back in January last year.

He’s down to the very same mark now, only the trip a furlong longer – on pedigree very much possible, and I think he deserves another chance as, for mentioned reasons, runs over a mile before, could be discounted.

10pts win – American Patrol @ 14/1 Bet365


Friday Selections II: January, 5th 2018


2.40 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Speculative given there is no money for him, however long-shot Monte Cinq has been given a big chance by the handicapper, dropping him another 5lb on the back of a string of poor results.

That says, off an already lowered mark, the other day, over 5f here at Southwell, he probably ran a bit better than the bare form suggests.

This race looks a good marker, has been franked in the meantime and Monte Cinq’s run can be upgraded for the fact that he had to make his move on the disadvantaged stands side.

He showed some good performances on the All-Weather last winter, running in much higher grades off bigger marks. If he can find back some spark, now stepping up to 6f, which should suit, he can go close in a race where other than the short priced favourite, not an awful lot makes appeal.

10pts win – Monte Cinq @ 40/1 Skybet