Tag Archives: Thirsk

Saturday Selections: August, 4th 2018

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3.25 Thirsk: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

A big field that screams competitiveness. However, judged purely by TS ratings, there are very few in it who appear to be well handicapped, actually. Most of these older horses are capable of running to some sort of form close to their current rating – but better than that?

Usually this isn’t my cup of tea, a race like this, neither the horse I fancy – particularly at a price as short as it is. Nonetheless there is still a bit of juice in the price of Richard Fahey’s Borodin, I feel.

For a start: he’s the only 3 year old in the race thanks to WFA racing off bottom weight while his actual rating should see him rather toward the top third of the weights. This is going to be his handicap debut and there is an obvious question mark in first place whether Borodin is as good as a lofty 86 handicap mark.

The answer is emphatically “yes” judged by the form of his last two starts that also came here at Thirsk. He appeared to be still pretty green on both occasions, which makes sense as it was only lifetime start two and three.

He disposed an experienced runner-up over 7f on his second outing easily. This runner-up – Kawasir – was subsequently a good deal beaten but not disgraced when finishing within 6 lengths of an individual that’s now rated 95.

Borodin then stepped up to a mile. Still quite green and keen to get on with things he was swept by late by a promising horse in New Show who ran well in a hot class 2 Handicap subsequently. Also the third,  History Writer, 2¼ behind Borodin, won a decent Sandown Handicap on his next start racing off 85.

In summary: judged by this form, an opening mark of 86 doesn’t look harsh. In fact, if Borodin has learned from his three starts he should improve quite a bit and can be a few pounds better than that.

The fact that he has been here at Thirsk before and ran well, also is one who is likely be up with the pace, which is an advantage at this track, means this rather smallish gelding shouldn’t be too intimidated by the big field. That says he’ll need a good break from a less than ideal draw in 10.

Selection:
10pts win – Borodin @ 11/2 Sky

Monday Selections: 21/08/2017

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Disappointment with Lomu at Ponti today. Pulled his race away early on as was my main fear. Drop to 7f with pace should suit and this lad has still something to offer.

Still a brilliant week, with 6 winners from 16 selections for a 190.63pts profit. No complaints as the general positive form from spring has clearly translated into summer and hopefully well into autumn, the season I traditionally have struggled in the past.

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2.45 Thirsk: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

This appears to be an open contest with a good handful on seemingly handy marks, however the standard is set by Perfect Symphony I feel, who does not get enough credit in the betting for his last two performances.

He showed promise as a juvenile last year and continued this trend in two of three starts this year since returning to the track as a gelding. The last two at Pontefract, probably not quite getting the breaks when needed.

I loved Perfect Symphony’s most recent run a good month ago there over 6f, when travelling well but conceding first run by the eventual winner while he had to wait for the gap to open and show some elbows to go through, yet he found plenty once in the clear.

Step up to 7f for the first time should suit on pedigree, his sire has a really good record over this trip and the dam raced over further. He seems to settle well in his races so over-exuberance shouldn’t be an issue here.

Selection:
10pts win –  Perfect Symphony @ 8/1 Bet365

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4.15 Thirsk: Maiden Stakes, 7f

Naaeebb looks a wrong price. Yes, the form looks great, but he finished a long way down the field so hard to say he’s anywhere near as good as those promising individuals ahead of him.

Fair favourite should be the relatively consistent Dance Teacher. However she finds it hard to get her head in front and may find one better yet again.

I do not often go with an unraced newcomer and usually get burned, but given their is a clear lack of depth in this maiden race I feel Kevin Ryan’s expensive yearling Sacred Way is worth a nibble.

Fetched gns 115k as a yearling and makes a belated debut, already gelded. So things clearly didn’t go to plan. Nonetheless he is related so some fine individuals and if he can overcome inexperience and a less than ideal draw can win.

There is an interesting fact he has on his side: sire stats. Oasis Dream has a tremendous record at Thirsk with his 3yo offspring. So at 14’s I’m happy to back his son in this contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Sacred Way @ 14/1 Skybet

Saturday Tips

4.05 Thirsk: Class 3 Handicap, 5f

I’m quite keen on Dakota Gold here who ran four times as a juvenile and showed plenty of promise when winning a pretty decent maiden at Hamilton following up with a really good fifth in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in his final start in 2016.

Given the three year old Equiano son was a late April foal you would expect him to progress as a three year old He drops in trip today, first time over 5f and that could be exactly what he wants. He has a super draw and might use the bit extra stamina to his advantage with a canny front-running performance?

Interestingly his sire has an excellent record with three year old’s dropping down to the minimum trip. Also on the ratings front he is set up for progress. He already ran to an RPR of 81, so if natural improvement kicks in and he is ready to go on his seasonal debut then a mark of 79 could easily underestimate him.

Selection:
10pts win – Dakota Gold @ 12/1 Bet365

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6.30 Nottingham: Maiden Stakes, 10f

The Sea The Stars colt Crystal Ocean at the top of the market looks really exciting and could be too good for the rest in this field, but the equally very well bred Godolphin runner Forever Song might well be in the same category.

Forever Song is by Dubawi and a full-brother to the very useful Whispering Gallery, a Group 3 winner and rated a 112 on the flat. He was also a very sharp on his debut, winning first time out and subsequently two good handicaps.

This lad has a Derby entry so there is a chance that this debut race is more like an educational run, but I am be rather confident in his sharpness and race fitness given that William Buck heading over from Newbury in the afternoon for this single ride.

Selection: 
10pts win – Forever Song @ 7/1 Bet365

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8.00 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Competitive little race but bottom weight The Big Short could easily exploit a possibly lenient mark here. He showed that he is not useless in a couple of races last season, finishing in the money without winning.

He was, however, a mid-March foal and looked often sluggish with a huge frame to fill that would need a bit of time. He appears scopey and one that will improve as a three year old, no doubt.

There are slight worries about the fast ground and the widest draw, but that aside Franny Norton makes the journey here on his sole ride at Nottingham and he has an impressive strike rate in this scenario.

Selection:
10pts win – The big Short @ 7/1 Bet 365

Monday’s Racing Talk

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Always a great feeling to get it right, particularly if it yields in a 12/1 winner. I spotted yesterday that Dandy Man juveniles perform exceptionally well in maidens at Pontefract – albeit a small sample size, a 100% place record seemed significant enough.

Sky Gypsy enhanced the record to three winners from six starters (6/6 placed) and while this could be all just pure chance and luck, I feel there is more to it, given Pontefract is quite a special track.

Overall ten from 18 runners have been placed for Dandy Man at Pontefract, which is a good indicator that this is a legit trend – but his offspring generally tends to do best in their juvenile season.

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So there is no surprise to see his two year old’s fare so well in maidens here at Ponti. Certainly a trend to monitor.

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Protectionist an Arc Contender? 

I’d say so! The 2014 Melbourne Cup winner never seemed happy at ‘Down Under’ after landing the big race, so it was a wise decision from connections to send him back home to Germany.

Here he’s finally back to his best, as seen at Berlin Hoppegarten on Sunday where he won the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin in emphatic style!

Protectionist obviously possesses an abundance of stamina, though he is not only a world class stayer, but equally a top class middle distance horse in my view.

In fact he looks perfectly suited to a test like the Arc in October. He thrives in big fields, he doesn’t mind cut in the ground and he has a bit of a turn of foot.

Protectionist is now three from three this season and if he comes through his next test, which will be the Grosser Preis von Baden, then he’s definitly Arc bound in a bid to emulate the last German winner of the big race: Danedream.

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Monday Selections:

2.45 Thirsk: Humbert @ 9/2 Skybet
4.15 Thirsk: New Signal @ 6/1 Coral