Tag Archives: UK

Preview: Dewhurst Stakes 2018

Newmarket Rowley Mile tight finish

Odds-on favourite Too Darn Hot couldn’t have been more impressive in his three career starts. Winning the Champagne Stakes thanks to a deadly turn of foot without making it even remotely look hard work was quite something. He’s hard to oppose on that basis.

On the other hand, analyzing a a metric that I personally hold dearly – time speed ratings – the achievements of those lining up today turn this renewal of the Dewhurst into a more open race than one would have thought, if purely checking the betting market and assessing the left-hand column of the racecard.

Best TS Rating to date: 
Too Darn Hot – 106
Mohawk – 104
Anthony Van Dyck – 103
Advertise – 100

Obviously you can’t take this at face value. There is more to racing and performance. Particularly with these unexposed juveniles, performances can fluctuate, improvement can be sudden and unexpected, also TS ratings depend on circumstances.

Nonetheless, this is an interesting additional layer to interpret performance to date. Certainly what this shows is that TDH is likely to be the best horse in the race on what he’s achieved on the clock to date – but only by a slim margin.

For me the takeaway here is the urge to assess the two O’Brien horses, who ran to career best 103- and 104 TS rating last time out. Anthony Van Dyck’s National Stakes performance certainly rates highly. He’s expected to improve for it and he should make it a race for the favourite. He looks useful type who can progress into a top class individual next year.

In saying that, at given prices, his stable mate Mohawk clearly is a much more interesting individual. Five starts already, he didn’t look anywhere near top level when comprehensively beaten in the Futurity- and National Stakes subsequently.

However, this son of Galileo looked still raw and green to some extend those days. On the other hand, as a January foal, he should be rather forward by now. And he finally turned good last month at Newmarket in the Royal Lodge Stakes.

He looked bigger and better than ever. Granted, it was probably not the strongest of Group 2’s ever ran at HQ, it was still an impressive performance visually, as Mohawk quickened nicely in the closing stages to win a shade cozily. The fact that the visual impression is backed up by the TS rating gives me confidence that this lad has learned and improved, indeed.

The Royal Lodge was over a mile. Dropping back to 7 furlongs, a trip Mohawk was outran in Group company already, isn’t ideal. The rain is coming though, should take the fast out of the ground potentially, and may help to make this race more of a stamina test.

That’s a lot of “could be” and “if’s” to hope for – in saying that, as I am trying to make a case for a 25/1 shot, that’s rather expected. The likely outcome is that Mohawk, with Wayne Lordan in the saddle – which isn’t exactly a vote of confidence – won’t be good enough.

Regardless, the price is too big in a race where we can not predict how these juveniles have progressed since we saw them the last time. Given Mohawk appears to be making significant steps in the right direction I feel he’s got a chance to be competitive today.

Selection:
10pts win – Mohawk @ 25/1 PP

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Wednesday Selections: August, 1st 2018

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3.35 Goodwood: Group 1 Sussex Stakes, 1m

On the face of it this is not a vintage renewal of the Sussex Stakes. As always the three year old’s hold an advantage thanks to WFA and that’s not different this time. But you can pick big holes into their form today. After all there is little between the top four or five in the betting market, in my mind.

Given that I can discount both Without Parole and Expert Eye purely for price reasons. The latter one returning to a mile seems not ideal despite a recent impressive success over 7f. Without Parole is clearly a fair favourite, however hasn’t beaten allot to this day, if we’re honest. Andre Fabre always needs to be respected but Orbaan has a lot to find. Gustav Klimt isn’t good enough on this level.

Leaves me with a decision who of the older horses is the best bet. Beat The Bank leads the way. Unlucky in the Queen Anne, he ran into trouble in the Summer Mile at the same venue weeks later again, though found a way to get his head in front.

Lord Glitter is closely matched but I feel he had every chance the other day at Ascot, so even at a big price he’s not one I fancy. While I fancy Beat The Bank to do damage today, at prices I think he’s close to what he should be.

Unlike veteran Lightning Spear. Now a seven year but as good as ever, he’s chasing the elusive first Group 1 victory. Today could be the day. He is as good as ever as proven in his two starts this year when a tight runner-up in the Lockinge Stakes and an excellent third in the Queen Anne.

He is an uncomplicated type who is a CD scorerm multiple Stakes winner and seven times placed on the highest level. Lightning Spear is the ultimate pro who will run his race which might be enough to finally get his head in front.

Selection:
10pts win – Lightning Spear @ 12.5/1 MB

……

3.55 Redcar: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

Lightly raced Nathanial colt Global Style drops back to 10f here as well as down in a class 5 Handicap. He didn’t look exactly like a truly well handicapped horse the last couple of starts, however had ran well enough all the same and in my eyes those performances looked slightly better than the bare form.

He clearly has a race in him, particularly one like this here, a rather uncompetitive affair, that is for the taking.

He’s not a speedy horse by any means. So pace will be key. You’d be hopeful there is a bit here today. That should allow Global Style to grind his way to the front when it matters.

He clearly is up to his current mark, and potentially a tad better. His third in a good class 3 contest over 12f at Thirsk, behind two good horses, proved it. A fair runner-up over CD back in June saw him only beaten for a turn of foot in the closing stages. Given he’s also an April foal means he may simply needed a bit of time to find his way also.

Selection:
10pts win – Global Style @ 5/1 MB

Tuesday Selections: January 23rd, 2018

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3.40 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

This is a pretty deep race for a low grade handicap on a random January Tuesday on the Southwell Fibresand. Any number of horses could easily have a fair shout – but it is the new Michael Appleby recruit Canford Thompson that may hold all the aces.

The five year old gelding remains a maiden on the flat after 11 starts, although he won a maiden hurdle in 2016. Nonetheless, he is a super interesting individual after catching the eye on the last two occasions at Lingfield.

Back from a near year long break back in November over 2 miles, followed up in early December over 12 furlongs – in both races Canford Thompson ran an awful lot better than the bare form suggests, as in both cases he made eye-catching progress from over 4f out on the wide outside. The sectionals back both performances up as quite significant in the context of these moves and are valid excuses for him finishing tired in the final furlong.

The forms of those races, particularly the 12f contest in December, work out really well. They give the form credit and upgrade his performances in both contests in my book. Regardless, the handicapper dropped him 3lb to a career lowest mark.

I believe Canford Thompson is incredibly well handicapped if receiving a more solid & economical ride. Concerns I do have over the surface which he tries for the first time in combination with his habit to start slowly.

This more demanding surface and a hopefully good pace might be what he wants but it easily could not suit him if he finds himself behind early on when blowing the start. We shall see.

However, then he’s of even more interest the next time. It is worth a try, though, and the fact that Alistair Rawlinson is in the saddle, who has a superb record for the Appleby yard at this course, suggests a big run is certainly expected.

Selection:
10pts win – Canford Thompson @ 11/2 Bet365

…..

4.10 Southwell: Class 6 Handicap, 1 mile

Take out the favourite Indigo Princess, who may not be able to reproduce her massive performance from three days ago, and you are left with a race wide open for anyone who is on a “going day” to take it.

Despite four poor performances to date, long-shot Shackles might be the answer here. He hasn’t shown an awful lot, though, with a bit of goodwill there were some positives to take from his comeback run at Wolverhampton in December on his first start for the Nicky Richards yard.

Only four career starts, this here will be his second run in a handicap, and he can do so off a rating lowered to 53 now. There is a fair chance Shackles is a bit better than that. On pedigree the jury is out particularly on the question of the Fibresand surface – though, on the dam side is plenty of hope with the dam’s sire having an excellent record at this track.

Shackles was a late April foal, so turning four now, he may needed the time to mature, so his year long absence before his reappearance last month might actually be a good thing.

Eye-catching jockey booking with Paul Mulrennan who has only two rides on the card while Nicky Richards has only this one runner – Mulrennan has to weight nearly two hours until the final race on the card until he can go home after his initial ride.

Interestingly, Richards had only one runner at Southwell up until now – ridden by Paul Mulrennan. It was a winner.

Selection:
10pts win – Shackles @ 25/1 Bet365

Monday Selections – 14/08/17

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4.45 Ayr: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

Kentuckyconnection has won only once in fourteen attempts however showed promise when finally dropped to a more realistic mark the last two outings. He contested Group races earlier in his career and was fifth in the 2000 Guineas last season, a result that flattered him, as a consequence he had to race beyond his actual capabilities.

He can build on a strong runner-up performance at Newcastle in June, dropping in class while stepping up to 10f again. It’s his first realistic attempt over this distance and on pedigree looks possible. Cut in the ground, as long as it does not become bottomless, should be okay.

Graham Lee on board is in red hot form is a bonus. Kentuckyconnection has only to repeat his last two efforts to have a big say in the outcome of this race and as such is a big price.

Selection:
10pts win – Kentuckyconnection @ 11/1 Bet365

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7.10 Windsor: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 2f

Don’t Give Up looks rock solid and in this field very hard to beat. He’s lightly raced with a strong pedigree and won well on debut at Kempton’s All-Weather. He followed up with a strong Handicap debut when runner-up at Newmarket.

Stepping up in trip is sure to suit him and there is potentially plenty of improvement left in him-. Only one other 3yo to fear in the field, I expect Don’t Give Up to use his WFA allowance to full advantage.

Selection:
10pts win – Don’t Give Up @ 15/8 Bet365

Saturday Selections – 24th June 2017

1.35 Redcar: Novice Stakes, 6 furlongs

David O’Meara has generally a healthy record in these type of races. So Gabrial The Devil is interesting. Seemingly in need of the pipe opener at Chester a fortnight ago he should be sharper today dropping into an easier race as well. There is a bit of money arriving this morning, which looks a good sign.

His sire, albeit a small sample size, has a very fine record over this sort of trip and ground with offspring so I do expect improvement from Gabrial The Devil, which could see him go very close in an open contest.

Selection:
10pts win – Gabrial The Devil @ 16/1 bet365

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3.20 Newmarket: Class 4 Fillies’ Handicap, 1 mile

Top weight Fleeting Motion makes plenty of appeal in a weakish race. Ignore her last form at Newmarket in softish conditions which never suited and also came possibly too soon. She looked gutsy when landing a fair maiden at Doncaster and followed up with a nice 4th place in a good Conditions race at Ascot.

She came off a break that day and travelled like the winner just to get tired in the final furlong. A repeat of that performance should enough to be very competitive in this race.

Ground and trip will suit and a mark off 84 offers hope as there is potentially still a bit of improvement left in this daughter of Sepoy.

Selection: 
10pts win – Fleeting Motion @ 6/1 Coral

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3.40 Ascot: Hardwicke Stakes, Group 2 , 1m 4f

Dartmouth over 12f on fast ground? Possible, but not a 5/2 chance in a big and hot field like this. Most intriguing runner is Wings Of Desire for obvious reasons. Runner-up in the King George last year, hasn’t been seen since a subsequent off effort.

The solid horse who surely appreciates conditions and is very likely to be good enough and have trained on is Ballydoyle’s Idaho. This is his second start after a decent comeback run – this seems the ideal opportunity to land a top level prize.

He was 3rd in the Epsom Derby and close runner-up in the Irish Derby, subsequently scored in the Great Voltigeur Stakes last season. All rock solid form and as good as anything in this field.

I have slight concerns whether he’ll be ridden with too much patience but hope they are positive and use his stamina as otherwise he may get rolling too late. That worth a risk to take.

Selection:
10pts win – Idaho @ 9/2 Bet365

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4.40 Newmarket. Class 2 Handicap, 5 furlongs

Favourite Jumira Bridge could easily have too much on his plate in this race. He landed the odds as expected in a Brighton maiden when dropped to the minimum trip and followed up with a strong win at Sandown in a hot Cl2 Handicap.

Things did not go his way at the start yet he was authoritive eventually. When last seen in a Listed event at York he was clearly not suited by the softish conditions, however fast 5f today will likely see him to his best.

He looks still capable of better and both speed- and RP ratings back this up. It’s only his seventh run, the fourth over 5f, two of those he won – he’s a good thing today.

Selection:
10pts win – Jumira Bridge @ 13/8 Bet365

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9.05 Haydock: Class 5 Maiden, 1 mile

Race fit Najashee sets a good standard and will improve from his experience, however Godolphin’s Big Tour makes more appeal to me in a race that shapes as one between the two market leaders.

This expensive purchase is obviously well bred and should be reasonably talented judged on a fine debut run at Kempton last season. It’s fair to assume he is ready to go today with the yard having a strong record in maiden races this year and Bin Suroor enjoying a near 40% strike rate in Haydock maiden races over the years.

The step up to a mile will suit this Dubawi son quite a bit, so should be the decent ground. It’s a bit of a gamble sometimes on these type of Godolphin runners, however at 15/8 I feel there is a bit too much juice in the price.

Selection:
10pts win – Big Tour @ 15/8 Bet365

Friday Racing Tips

2.30 Musselburgh: Maiden Stakes, 5f

This shapes like a two-horse-race with slightly more experienced Faithful Promise heading the betting at the moment, closely followed by Fahey’s colt Shobrom.

The filly was arguably unlucky the other day when an agonisingly close runner-up. However she goes against boys now for the first time and it won’t be any easier.

Shobrom ran well on debut in a decent Newmarket maiden that already works out okay and should have decent potential for improvement. Richard Fahey’s form with two year old maidens at Musselburgh is quite tremendous over the years, so Shobrom’s chance is enhanced in my book.

Given both, Faithful Promise and Shobrom, ran to pretty similar form the last time rating wise, you would hope that the colt has more upside given he achieved it first time out.

Selection:
10pts win – Shobrom @ 13/8 Paddy Power

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3.40 Lingfield: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

This looks like an ideal opportunity for Mark Johnston to follow on from his tremendous record as this track with fine sprinter Highly Sprung. The four year old ran with plenty of credit at Leicester when last seen and remains on his last winning mark too.

However he drops to 5f, a trip he only ran twice over in his career. With his early pace and a decent draw this could suit perfectly here at Lingfield, where Zebedee offspring has a sensational CD record.

Given Highly Sprung ran numerous times to higher RPR’s than his current handicap rating and having been rated 10lb higher only back in September 2016, there is a pretty good chance that he has a bit in hand with conditions very likely to suit.

Selection: 
10pts win – Highly Sprung @ 9/2 Bet365

Monday Fancies – Kempton Park

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3.00 Kempton: Star Of The Stage @ 6/1 Bet365 – 10pts win

I think this horse has not seen to best effect yet since moving to his new yard and was minded on the last two occasions. Now a pound below his last winning mark when romping home over a mile at Lingfield last season he’s of interest. Cheek-pieces are back on – these were off the last three times.

A field that doesn’t appear to have to much pace may suit this lad allot given he has a fine draw and is usually at his best when ridden aggressively.

With Kirby in the saddle I expect a strong front-running ride tomorrow – he might be hard to peg back once let lose in front given he has stamina for further.

…….

5.00 Kempton: Light Of Air @ 7/1 Coral – 10pts win

Open race with a bit of pace in it. Bottom weight Light of Air with first time blinkers (on the flat) is an interesting contender, slightly overpriced. He’s yet to get off the mark but has been placed on his two starts on the All-Weather lately, both times he finished with plenty of credit.

He looked to win at Kempton when he came with a big run but lacked a bit of focus in the closing stages, whereas he looked again a bit awkward at Lingfield lto in the closing stages.

A mark of 70, blinkers and hopefully a decent pace should help massively and he has a prime chance in my book.