Tag Archives: Tuesday

Tuesday Selections: 7th February 2023

8.30 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

I’m somewhat puzzled as to what the early market sees here. Of course, value is always personal, but I’d argue – even if he would find a way to win – Dinoo at 7/4 is shocking price, for a variety of reasons.

Sure, you can argue he was a shade unlucky lto, but I am adamant he’s a highly suspect stayer over this trip. I was wrong before about his stamina, though; perhaps I’m not the judge to trust in this matter. Nonetheless, I happily take him on.

He’s a son of Starspangledbanner who has an atrocious record at Wolverhampton, and is clearly not a great influence of stamina.

To be honest, there isn’t much else in this race. Possibly that makes Dinoo the default favourite, in fairness. Bit Harsh is up in trip, a son of Australia has a chance to improve for the trip, but he certainly has to do s, as he’s yet to run a fast enough speed rating to believe he’s anywhere near as good as his new mark asks him to be.

Spiritofthenorth has a fine record fresh. If he’s fit, he has the profile to keep improving over this sort of trip. But he’s been off since August, and he may not get an easy lead here, has a career-highest AW mark to defy.

Bottom-weight Order Of St. John with a 7lb claimer in the saddle would be dangerous if allowed to get his own way up front. But he had a poor comeback run and is yet to win over this longer trip.

That’s how I came to the position of believing Percy Willis is hugely overpriced. Ideally I would have liked a couple pounds less or at least, formally, a slightly lesser race. However, this is not a strong 0-75 Handicap.

The gelding is in superb form. He was certainly a bit unlucky not to finish a lot closer the last two times since coming off a small break. In a slowly run race at Wolverhampton he seemed to hit top gear – he needed a moment or two to get there – as he was badly squeezed out at a crucial stage of the race. He got going again, which was impressive.

He found his route forward blocked two furlongs from home the next time at Newcastle as well after travelling strongly.

It’s the risk attached to this lad. He makes life tough for himself. That’s a danger here, especially if they don’t go a solid gallop, he may find himself in a tricky spot when the field enters the home straight.

He has got a #3 draw. Ideal, normally. He can jump and simply settle third or fourth a few lengths behind the pace setters who are jumping from 1 and 2 gates.

If he gets too far behind, he will likely be stuck in a pocket and may get out too late. There is a danger. But there is plenty of upside if he can get into a prominent racing position. Those horses tend to fare best over this course and distance.

Percy Willis is currently rated three pounds lower than his last victory (this CD), and a pound lower than his second last win. These performances came last year, and it was only as recently as October that he was just beaten by a head off a 72 mark, running to a 71 speed rating over this course and distance.

Clearly having proven to be in the same sort of form right now, he is one of the likelier horses to run to form here, with no doubts over stamina and track suitability.

There is currently still a significant discrepancy in odds on offer with traditional bookies and on exchanges. I can’t imagine this to last much longer. I grabbed every bit of the 9’s on offer and supplemented for my full stake to get 15/2, which I feel is absolutely massive for this horse.

10pts win – Percy Willis @ 15/2

Tuesday Selections: 17th January 2023

8.00 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Surprise Picture should have a cracking chance in this field from the #1 draw back over 7 furlongs. He dropped 6lb since his eye catching run over this trip at Wolverhampton in a hot class 4 contest in November.

That day he was hurried up to move forward from the start, even though heh looked a bit awkward. He tracked the pace, but didn’t received an economical run before finding himself short of room 1f from home when coming with a challenge.

He caught the eye earlier in November, too, when caught wide, and again received a seriously uneconomical ride, and he followed up with another strong run over this CD mid-December. I can forgive the last 6f effort from a wide draw.

He ran multiple times ran to speed ratings of 68+ last year; so down to am mark of 64, having shown good form lately, gives him a superb chance as he drops in grade as well.

10pts win – Surprise Picture @ 10/1

………

8.30 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I am delighted to see Paddy K dropping in trip. It was obvious the last number of times that he just finds a way to get beat if he races beyond this distance. He’s certainly a tricky character, and his winless record tells the tale.

But down in trip, in a race that should suit from a pace scenario, with a good draw, off a career lowest mark, he looks seriously overpriced.

He caught the eye a few times – when seen the last time and only time on the All-Weather over 6 furlongs at Newcastle in October when he fought gamely despite having a far from ideal race.

He ran really well prior to this on his final turf start of the 2022 campaign as well, and followed up with a number of solid runs on the sand over 7 furlongs, before running his possibly strongest race at the end of November at Kempton.

His form has tailed off subsequently, and that’s a concern. But he doesn’t stay a mile and 7 furlongs is a stretch too; especially when he pulls hard and goes hard from the front, as he did the last time. I think, with that in mind, those last two runs can be forgiven.

Now, you don’t want to make constantly excuses for a horse still without a career win after 16 starts. He is a seriously tricky horse. Can pull, can hang, can mess up at the gate, but clearly he also on a good mark, if he can run to anywhere near the level of form he showed toward the end of last year, now down in trip.

I won’t give him any more chances beyond this. 6 furlongs from a good aw with what could be an ideal scenario with Dapper Man possibly giving him a lead; he’ll never find a better chance to get his head in front, ever.

10pts win – Paddy K @ 15.5/1

Wednesday Selections: 4th January 2023

2023 started with a bang as Toplight won in comfortable style his race at Wolverhampton in the evening.

The 10/1 looked massive in the end; in fact, he went off the 5/2 favourite. 10’s were still widely available in the morning, before the money came in truckloads.

He was obviously on a going day and the race itself couldn’t have worked out any better. I mentioned as much in my preview:

We likely know well in advance of the race whether he’s in it to win it. If he is, the early price should be tremendous value in my book.

In contrast to the smooth run Toplight enjoyed, my second selection – Expert Opinion – didn’t get the race he needed. He was well backed, but was slightly hampered soon after the start, was lit up and looked once again awkward around the bend.

……

1.50 Newcastle: Classified Stakes, 7f

Less than a handful of horses have a realistic chance in this poor Classifified Stakes. One of those is the short priced favourite Inaam. Although, he makes the least appeal of those better fancied runners.

Of course if the money is on you have to take notice, the handbrake may be off and he could improve dramatically. But he’s a 10 year old. Happy to take him on.

Hardy sets the standard thanks to his course and distance win from last October. He’s been poor ever since but will find this horrible race much easier.

Nonetheless, better value as double the price is Lucky Lucky Lucky. I backed him two runs ago at Southwell after he showed glimpses of enthusiasm at Newcastle prior.

This Southwell 7f performance is the strongest most recent and relevant performance in this field and gives him a cracking chance in a much easier contest to land a first victory.

He finished really well that day, not being favoured by his racing position as the race was dominated by those in front of him. He was the only one who really made significant progress from those travelling off the pace.

Possibly ridden too aggressive the next time as a countermeasure, he had no chance to stay a mile at Southwell when last seen, and dropped out badly. I rather judge him on the penultimate effort, as he drops down to 7 furlongs once again.

The pace scenario could work out really nicely for him I feel, not much will get in his way from his #13 draw, and he can get a nice lead into the final two furlongs by those that want to blast from the front.

10pts win – Lucky Lucky Lucky @ 9/1

……..

2.50 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

I am delighted to see Tricky Business dropping down to six furlongs. I hope that is a sign that he is allowed to run on merit, on what will be his second run for the Dalgleish yard.

Last month on his debut for the yard he finished 17 lengths beaten but showed a lot of positive signs, actually. His enthusiasm was evident as he bounced out of the gate happily, rapidly moved forward to grab an uncontested lead, setting pretty good fractions.

He was beaten 2f out and fell completely away in the closing stages. Nothing that ran close to the pace was able to sustain an effort, though; everything came from off the pace .

He had no hope to stay a mile. Even 7 furlongs most likely is a stretch (despite his sole career win over the trip) . 6 furlongs is going to be his optimum.

He drops also significantly in class. From 0-65 into an 0-55. The right trip, lesser rivals, probably not too much other pace to fight off: he’s got to have a much better chance than the price.

Slight concern over the huge weight. Obviously he is top weight. His best performances came off lower weights and he doesn’t look to have the biggest frame from what I can tell. I am prepared to roll the dice, though.

10pts win – Tricky Business @ 12/1

………

5.30 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

John The Baptist caught the eye significantly last time out, which represented a return to some sort of form, after finishing in his last nine races either last or at best second last.

In fact since his maiden victory on debut, this was his first proper finish since summer 2021, then still trained in Ireland.

Nonetheless, the December run at this venue, then over 7 furlongs, was noteworthy for a variety of reasons:

He was under a drive early on to get into position, became outpaced from 4f out, lost many positions in the home straight when completely flat footed, until he rallied strongly in the final furlong to finish 4th, somewhere out of nowhere.

He is clearly a difficult sort, as evidence by headgear combination. But back up in trip to a mile, another 2lb lower, and dropping into 0-60 class there aren’t many in this field that appear well handicapped. John The Baptist clearly could be, as the handbrake goes off.

An #11 draw is not ideal, but he should be capable to overcome it and only two or three others want to be on the pace. The price is skinny, just about backable. Wouldn’t want to take a punt much shorter.

10pts win – John The Baptist @ 7/2

……….

8.00 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Lost In Time was one the most impressive eyecatchers this winter, when he finished under light hands and heels ride much the fastest in a hot Handicap at Kempton in November.

That day he reared in the stall and as consequence was slowly away, settled in rear, and had loads to do from off the pace in a race where the pace wasn’t really on. He sliced his way through the field in impressive manner, without being hard ridden and then the last three furlongs fastest of all.

Second run off a break and for a new yard, showing a revival of form. However, the next two runs are a clear concern, especially the latest one, even though that was a somewhat strange race.

Hard to gauge whether he “lost confidence” as the trainer brought forward as explanation lately, or something else. In any case, he’s been dropped another 4lb in the ratings. On past performances he is absolutely well handicapped.

He achieved three 77+ speed ratings, although these date back some time now, but more recently, he ran to 66 and 68 speed ratings, which would give him an excellent shot to win here, if in the same sort of form.

10pts win – Lost In Time @ 14.5/1

Tuesday Selections: 3rd January 2023

2.00 Chelmsford: Class 6 Handicap, 6f

Quite a competitive and wide open race. You can’t easily discount too many of the nine runners. A possible lack of clear front-runner doesn’t help the picture, either.

Nonetheless, the one I am most interested in is Expert Opinion. He drops down in class, and looks ripe off a 64 handicap mark with a capable 3lb claimer in the saddle.

He should be a bit better than his current mark; at this stage of his career he’s possibly got a solid win left in him, in my view. He’s shown it a number of times in 2022. He put up two big performances at this course over 5 furlongs in November – his third place two runs back represented a career best on speed ratings as well.

Four times in his career (three of those runs in2022) he achieved speed ratings of 64+; he was placed off OR 70 at Newmarket in May and has largely been consistent.

That says, Expert Opinion is a tricky sort. His poor strike rate tells a tale. There is a positive and a negative side to the fact that’s he’s been placed 3 of 4 over this course and distance – albeit without winning. His overall course record reads 11-1-7.

The application of blinkers didn’t help last time out at Southwell. It was an uncharacteristically poor run. That’s a question mark, but I am prepared to forgive that off day.

I probably would have preferred to see him over the minimum trip here at this track, though. Nonetheless, he stays 6 furlongs, and the possible lack of pace means he may be able to travel right at the front of the field, which is always and advantage around Chelmsford.

His possibly superior speed could see him hard to beat in this class.

10pts win – Expert Opinion @ 9/1

…….

7.30 Wolverhampton: Classified Stakes, 5f

A poor race and you can’t trust anyone of the market principles to deliver. That brings Toplight right into the mix, if he’s on a going day and allowed to run on merit. Jockey booking suggests that should be the case.

Toplight was well backed in most of his runs since changing yards, now in the care of Tony Carroll. He also ran quite well more often than not.

His most recent run, only four days ago is a concern, on the other hand. He was backed into 7/2, but made a bit of a mess at the start and hung badly around the home bend, never appearing happy at all.

I’ll take the risk and hope they wouldn’t run him so quickly again, if all is well. In any case, his penultimate performance sets the standard in this field, in my view.

He was an excellent runner-up behind Waverley Star, who was clearly well handicapped on the day, given he followed up with another huge run subsequently off 7lb higher.

That day Toplight tried to go with the speedy front-runner, and paid for it in the final furlong, but held on for second.

His overall strike rate is poor. He hasn’t won since November 2021. However, he’s got a fine course and distance record (8-2-3). Over the last 12-13 months he only ran 4 times at Wolverhampton, 3x over CD and ran strongly on all bar the most recent occasion.

I hope Clifford Lee makes use of the perfect #2 draw. Others want to grab the lead, but he could set handily, tracking the pace, without wasting too much energy, if all goes to plan.

There’s every chance Toplight is drifting during the day. We likely know well in advance of the race whether he’s in it to win it. If he is, the early price should be tremendous value in my book.

10ts win – Toplight @ 10/1

Tuesday Selections: 13th December 2022

2:13: Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 5f

Ooh Is It is back over the minimum trip and has been left untouched by the handicapper after his latest eye catching front-running performance over 6 furlongs.

That day he started quickly and set the world alight in the first half of the race. No surprise to see him tire rather badly from 3f out. Nonetheless, he still held a 1 lengths advantage at the final furlong marker.

This is strong form, a good race in my view. The winner was well handicapped and caught the eye before. Ooh Is It ran to strong 71 speed rating as well – in comparison to his current mark that’s seriously intriguing, as he’s currently on a mark of 68.

The fact he ran so well over 6 furlongs, a trip I believe is too far, means he should be in excellent form right now. Clearly he’s rated to win. He ran three times to speed ratings 70+, all his best performances over 5 furlongs, nine pounds below his last winning mark from January this year.

The #3 draw here is a positive. Even though it’s a straight five, a low draw has proven favourable over this CD. The question mark is whether he’ll be drawn into a pace battle. There is plenty of it in this race.

He’s got an entry on Saturday at Lingfield over 5 furlongs again, perhaps another prime chance, in case this one doesn’t go to plan. In any case, Ooh Is It is ready to rock.

10pts win – Ooh Is It 5/1

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.

……….

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

Tuesday Selections: 26th July 2022

4.10 Goodowood: Class 2 Handicap, 5f

Night On Earth really catches the eye here off 2lb lower than earlier this month when he ran a huge race at Newmarket. He was isolated on the near rail but looked dangerous for quite some time until fading in the final furlong. I felt that performance was noteworthy and clear proof the 4-year-old is in fine form.

He ran quite well a number of times this year already, whether that be on turf or the All-Weather, including two victories at Kempton and Lingfield and even more importantly in my view, a strong third place in April at Newmarket off a 95 mark while running to topspeed 94 that day.

He couldn’t quite match those heights in the following weeks and months but had mitigating factors more than once. As a consequence he’s now down to a rating of 89.

On the basis of those forms from earlier this season he’s seriously well-handicapped; in the light of his recent eye-catching run he’s almost certainly in with a huge shout in this race.

The cherry on the cake is the booking of Frederick Larson, who claims 5lb. There aren’t many negatives – if one, then there’s the draw that may prove tricky, depending how the pace plays out. On the other hand he usually starts well, can be ang up with the pace, and that can be an advantage at this speed favouring track.

Even though this is a typically competiive and hot sprint Handicap at Glorious Goodwood, not many appear overly well threated off their current marks. Night On Earth is one of very few who ticks most boxes. For me he is significantly overpriced here.

10pts win – Night On Earth @ 10.5

Tuesday Selections: 12th July 2022

No fifth winner in a row. Sophiesticate got close. Really close. Despite drifting out to 12/1 SP. Beaten a neck in the end after a brave performance. This was probably her best chance to win for the next while.

Mellecamp got off to a quick start, led the field and did simply too much too soon. He ran out of gas from two furlongs out and hang quite badly under pressure too. The 7.5f trip was borderline stamina wise but I maintain hope that he can win a race and is better than this mark, which may be reduced even further now. A stiff 6 furlongs looks ideal.

……….

3.10 Beverley: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Canaria Prince caught the eye a number of times with some brave front-running performances. In a competitive 20-runner handicap at Thirsk when last seen he produced his usual game effort but didn’t quite last the 6 furlongs as the winner and runner-up came from off the pace.

He bumped into some well-handicapped horses lately too. Especially the close runner-up effort behind Elzaal in May at Carlisle rates strongly in my book.

That’s when he tried the minimum trip for only the second time in his career, and also the last time until now. He had excuses on his final start in 2021, the only other run over five furlongs.

Back in May at Carlisle they came clear of the rest of the field and Canaria Prince showed that he has the speed for 5 furlongs but also has a lovely attitude as he always fights well to the line.

Fast ground, a stiff 5 furlongs at Beverley from a good draw looks an ideal combination. If he runs to same level of form as in recent weeks he’s a solid chance, if he can find a tiny bit of improvement for track and trip then he’s probably hard to beat in a poor field.

The three-year-olds Primo and Chant For More rate the biggest threats. Primo in particular, comes here in great form and may be able to defy a hefty rise in the mark, though isn’t one to trust fully and can mess up at the start.

I imagine Mokaman to jump out the quickest, grabbing the rail and setting a fast pace, with Canaria Prince tracking him. There should be no hard luck story for him at all, the race is set up for him to win.

10pts win – Canaria Prince @ 4/1

Tuesday Selections: 5th July 2022

4.00 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Red Evelyn ran a big race from the front for the most part over a mile the last time at Yarmouth when fading in the end to finish a good third behind a well handicapped LTO winner and wasn’t knocked about it when it became clear better than third isn’t possible on the day, possibly with another day in mind.

This day should be here at Wolverhampton. Perfect conditions for the 4-year-old filly who was placed twice in three attempts over this course and distance in the past off higher marks.

She can attack the race from the pimp slot with Kirby in the saddle. She stays a mile, given her sole career victory came over that trip, but her best performances all came over the shorter 7 furlongs distance.

She ran twice to topspeeds above her current handicap mark, both times at Lingfield on the polytrack over 7f. She also was only a neck beaten off 58 at Wolverhampton over 7f furlongs. This year alone on the All-Weather she now ran to topspeeds of 53 (2x) and 57. She’s ready to win.

I must say the market looks a bit iffy for the race with a big discrepancy between mainstream bookies and exchanges. That might change during the day but I can only go by what my eyes tell me and that is this filly won’t get many better chances to get her head in front.

10pts win – Red Evelyn @ 10/3

Tuesday Selections: 28th June 2022

4.10 Brighton: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

There is no doubt that King Of War looks potentially well in under a penalty given top apprentice Benoit De La Sayette takes five pounds off. He may well be hard to beat. On the other the overall record of the horse doesn’t give total trust in him backing this latest performance up at a short price.

In any case one who I feel can be perhaps even better handicapped is Ideal Guest. Still a maiden after ten starts and only one place to show. Yet I couldn’t have envisaged a better scenario for this lad. How can that be?

In my mind this son of Shalaa hasn’t been helping himself very much, often pulling incredibly hard and throwing races away as a result. However, his form this season is quite competitive. He ran fine races at Windsor in April, and Yarmouth the last two times – both strong forms.

Last time out over a mile he didn’t stay the trip in softish conditions after fighting for his head for the first half of the race. If I look back to his penultimate run at the same venue over 7 furlongs, though, that specific piece of form is quite strong and he only went down late as the field entered the final furlong.

The handicapper gives Ideal Guest a tremendous chance now. Having dropped him to 56, a whopping 7lb lower than at Yarmouth in May. He also drops down to 7 furlongs again, which can only help. Fast ground should suit.

The key question is always: can he settle? I reckon if he can hen can he is potentially 10lb better than this current mark. The way the pace looks in this race will do him a huge favour. Nearly everyone likes to get on with things.

I don’t think he has to lead. He often lead because he pulled his way to the front. With plenty of other runners keen to move forward, he might find a good pace to chase this time, and that in turn can help him settle. If it does he wins this.

Obviously the recent yard and jockey form are rather poor. But over the last twelve months Margarson/Queally had an 18% strike rate and with tough Royal Ascot this month impacting their form I am not overly concerned.

10pts win – Ideal Guest @ 7/1