Tag Archives: Thrave

Tuesday Selections: 29th November 2022

A lovely winner thanks to Thrave at Kempton yesterday afternoon. It was his day to shine, finally.

In fairness, despite the rather generous price, I was quietly confident he could go seriously close, if the handbrake is off. 7 furlongs with a solid pace, from a good draw and a career lowest mark – I couldn’t have dreamt of a better opportunity for him, as mentioned beforehand.

It doesn’t always work like that, of course. More often than not you can dream up all you want and you go home empty handed. This is an especially sweet one, though. Having tracked the gelding for the entire season it’s pleasing when it all comes together as you envisioned it in your mind.

Things look a lot brighter now. In fact, much brighter, after I realised my P/L sheet had a filter activated that hid a number of selections from a specific cohort… and with that some winners, too. This was the cherry on the cake today.

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3.50 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

My good friend Pockley bids for back-to-back wins here. Of course, I backed him the two times prior to winning at Newcastle last time out. He should run well here again, but has to carry 5lb more, which may be enough to stop him from winning.

The one I seriously fancy in this field only managed to finish in 6th place, beaten more than three lengths, by Pockley, in the same race a fortnight ago. Nonetheless, there is a lot to like about Never Dark, who’s finally back racing around a bend.

He caught the eye at Pontefract and also in his last two All-Weather runs at Newcaste and showed a good level of consistency this year, too. He was never beaten more than 3.5 lengths in his last seven starts since early September, managed speed ratings of 69+ twice and often travelled quite well to suggest he’s a horse that performs in and around his current handicap marks.

Perhaps he was somewhat in the grip of the handicapper, largely down to this consistency. He finally drops below 70 now, a career lowest mark, as the handicapper gives him an opportunity, I believe.

The #5 draw is fine for his style of racing. He shouldn’t be too far off the pace. The bend will help him, if he’s up with the pace, as well.

All in all: trip, track, surface, draw, handicap mark, class, opposition – nothing to worry, but much to like.

10pts win – Never Dark @ 8/1

Friday Selections: 24th June 2022

2.10 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

Thrave shaped really well a number of times ever since being rather unlucky at Beverley in May. He ran well on three subsequent occasions, and his most recent run at this track over the shorter 7 furlongs suggested he’s ready to win.

That day he found himself in a tight spot and squeezed out soon after the start, then relegated to the rear of the field. He weaved his way through as the only one truly coming from off the pace, and finished much the strongest.

He’s clearly well capable of winning off 65 over a mile, particularly in this slightly easier race. He goes really well over this course and distance, having gone close off 3lb higher last September, running to topspeed 67 too then.

10pts win – Thrave @ 9/1

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3.55 Doncaster: 1m 6.5f

Interesting little race that should be a solid stamina test given the pace chart. I think that will really suit handicap debutant Havaila who ran really well earlier this month in a strong maiden over 12 furlongs.

He was quite green in his first two career runs but showed more professionalism at Salisbury. He’s not one who does things quickly, though. Nonetheless he stuck to the task nicely behind two solid horses in first and second.

He ran to topspeed 75 that day, so his opening mark of 76 provides a good opportunity if he can progress for experience and distance.

The step up to this new trip will surely suit. The visuals are backed up by the pedigree as he’s out of Waila who was a smart mare over 12-14 furlongs.

10pts win – Havaila @ 3/1

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8.20 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

By Your Side could still be well handicapped after recent turf exploits now back on the All-Weather, but the drop to 7 furlongs is a concern. Hence a proper alternative is Key Look who shaped the last time at Catterick like a winner in the making.

That day Key Look was one of the slower starters, settled in rear, travelled pretty okay, but had still only one rival behind turning for home.

She made excellent progress on the inside in the home straight until short of room about 1.5 furlongs from home. As a consequence she lost momentum, had to regain full effort, which she didn’t quite manage, but also wasn’t ask to do so. Yet finished nicely under hands and heels giving impression there was more left in the tank.

She ran well a number of times in defeat in recent weeks. Now a pound below her last winning mark she makes plenty of appeal, especially as her last victory came over the Newcastle CD. Having a solid 5lb claimer in the saddle is an added bonus.

10pts win – Key Look @ 11/2