Tag Archives: Tapeta

Saturday Reflections

Dundalk All-Weather

First things first: Toriano (5/1) got the job done at Lingfield! Got his head in front when it mattered. The third winner of the still quite fresh year.

Late money arrived for American Patrol at Kempton in the evening. From an impossible position he was never any serious questions asked, though, and to my eyes it looked as if PJ McDonald saved him for another day. Still, American Patrol made eye-catching headway in the closing stages. His day will come soon.

The End of the Southwell Dream?

Media reported that Southwell racecourse is likely to change its racing surface to Tapeta next year. The installation of floodlights is also in discussion.

Only a proposal at this point in time, so the official statement. However, the Twitter machine suggested otherwise. The end for the Fibresand surface is more a given than a mere possibility.

There’ll be many who won’t mind. Some who’ll be more than happy to see it go. A few are probably going to miss it.  I’ll be sad. Southwell would becomee “just another one”. Not that there’s anything wrong with Tapeta, or Polytrack for that matter.

Wolverhampton, Newastle, Lingfield, Kempton, Chelmsford – all fine tracks. I love All-Weather racing no matter what. Nonetheless, Southwell is unique. Unique because of the Fibresand. A different test for horses, a different way races are run. It suits some horses. Other don’t act here at all. That’s the fun!

As a betting medium I love it. As a racing fan I applaud it. For being different. A stand-out in the British racing scene. Here’s hoping Southwell will make the right decision: keep the Fibresand and keep the uniqueness of the racecourse alive.

Legal Eagle Does it Again!

For a third consecutive time South Africa’s highest rated horse landed the Group 1 Queen’s Plate over a mile at Kenilworth racecourse. A stunning success, perfectly timed by Anton Marcus in the saddle.

For a moment or two it looked like pace setter Captain America might have got away with it. However, from 2f out Legal Eagle kicked into top gear and cut back the lead rapidly. No problems in the end.

He reminds me a bit of former South African superstar – Variety Club. An impressive Plate winner himself, who went to win at Meydan and Hong Kong. In fact, comparisons aren’t to far off, given Legal Eagle could seek his own international glory in November this year, as thanks to the Queen’s Plate success, he’s automatically earned the right to contest the Breeders’ Cup Mile.

Teenage Triumph in the Welsh National

Horse racing simply delivered the best stories. More often than not. There is young jockey James Bowen, a year ago still riding the ponies, 16 year of age, still claiming five pounds, sitting on 13 year old Raz De Maree.

That in itself is kinda odd But then these two go on the romp home in the Grade 3 Welsh National! That success didn’t look all that likely when the field turned for home with four fences to jump. Raz De Maree had lost contention to the front group, Bowen tried his best to keep the 16/1 longshot going.

The veteran responded. Between third and second last, he seemingly found another gear and with two out suddenly jumped to the lead, which he never gave away again.

A heroic effort, from both, horse and jockey. And certainly a day young James Bowen won’t forget too quickly.

Tuesday Selections: December 26th 2017

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

It was a nice little Christmas present on Saturday when Crystal Deauville ran home strongly to land the seller at Lingfield (4/1 advised). Short-priced favourite Yogi’s Girl didn’t even finish in the money, in the end.

The King George looms large today, a cracking renewal on hand – can Thistecrack find back to his best and defend the crown he grabbed so impressively with both hands twelve months ago? Or are the new kids on the block the ones who triumph?

Well, we find out soon. My eyes, nonetheless, crave more for a betting opportunity on Wolverhampton’s tapeta:

3.25 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f 

Top weight Mr. Christopher blew his chances the other day over CD when he made too much too early from a wide draw. He raced keenly throughout and had nothing left in the tank when it mattered.

However he ran an almighty race at Southwell weeks earlier when an agonizingly close runner-up, proving that on his day he can be a force to reckon.

Mr. Christopher drops in class today and runs from only 3lb above his last winning mark – he enjoys this course and distance, is a 3x CD winner with a 50% place rate and with a decent draw to start from today he has every chance to run a big race.

Selection: 
10pts win – Mr. Christopher @ 10/1 VC

Tuesday Selections – 6th November 2017

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1.10 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Novices Stakes, 5f

After three highly promising runs, with the debut a clear stand-out, Miltia is clearly the one to beat. 5f on tapeta looks ideal with a perfect draw in a race that appears to be very much winnable.

Militia’s sire Equiano has a superb record with juveniles over CD therefore the switch to the All-Weather looks more like a positive than a negative.

Selection:
10pts win – Militia @ 9/4 Bet365

…….

4.45 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

This looks a race where one of the younger, lightly raced three year olds really should land a blow. Mio Ragazzo looks the pick of the lot, if this doesn’t come too soon and he can overcome a wide draw.

However I rather go with experience in this race. From the bottom end of the weights, nine year old Pick A Little looks primed for a big run. He comes here off a nice win at Brighton, yet can race off 2lb lower on the All-Weather, than he did on turf the last time.

Pick A Little is equally as good a horse on the sand as on grass, in fact his win record on the All-Weather is slightly better.

A mile on AW has never led to success, though. However he gets it well enough as seen at Brighton in desperate conditions three weeks ago.

It looks significant that Richard Kingscote takes the ride. He’s sat three times on Pick A Little and steered the gelding to success on each occasion.

Drawn in eight should still be okay and he should have not too many problems settling in a nice position not too far off the pace.

Selection:
10pts win – Pick A Little @ 17/2 VC

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

Stat of the Day

373695-fastnet-rock

22 – If you would have backed every son and daughter of the great Fastnet Rock over the 12 furlong trip at Wolverhampton with one euro each this year, you’d have made a healthy profit of €22! That equates for an impressive 71% strike rate.

It’s not an overly massive sample size, nonetheless potentially significant, given 86% of his runners placed too.

Fastnet Rock offspring generally tends to perform extremely well on Wolverhampton’s tapeta surface, though the 1m 2f success rate is clearly eye-popping. So watch out for his runners.

Friday Selections:

7.50 Wolverhampton: Fastnet Blast @ 11/2 Skybet
8.50 Wolverhampton: Berkeley Vale @ 7/1 Bet365

Photo: The Australian