Tag Archives: Wednesday

Wednesday Selections: 28th December 2022

4.55 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Bin Hayyan was a massive eye-catcher when last seen back in November, one few may have missed. It’s a question whether you have the trust that today is the day connections are serious about winning or not.

The early prices are probably more driven by this recent impressive run than anything else. Market moves during the day will tell us what to expect in this rather open and intriguing contest, in any case.

As for Bin Hayyan, he probably showed more to the handicapper than perhaps he should have, in an ideal world, when finishing incredibly strongly last time out. But it’s the reason I am clearly prepared to back at the prices on offer, in the hope he will run on merit.

Back then over the same course and distance he was restrained in rear, which was a disadvantage as the field crawled for the first half of the race. He made eye-catching progress from three furlongs out, travelled seriously strongly, but couldn’t get a clear run until approaching the final furlong. As he found daylight he finished by far the strongest.

He was a big price on the day (SP 25/1), and unusual race tactics were deployed. He was seen to best effect when more prominently ridden in the past.

He is almost certainly better than his current Official Rating of 69. He ran to a 71 speed rating on turf this summer, and has clearly proven his suitability to an All-Weather surface when last seen.

I also would argue his comeback run prior, off a small break, at Kempton, over a mile on his first attempt racing on sand, can be upgraded given the way he was ridden that day, over a trip possibly that stretches his stamina.

This smaller field of eight horses, with a modest pace expected, could suit Bin Hayyan really well, if he can settle closer to the pace. He is drawn close to the most likely pace setter, so should get a lead into the finish, And he has shown to be able to quicken nicely.

10pts win – Bin Hayyan @ 7/2

Wednesday Selections: 26th October 2022

6.30 Kempton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m

The pace in this race shapes as nothing more than modest and this will greatly play into the hands of those racing in a prominent position.

From the #1 draw, one who likes to be tracking the pace, who can sit behind the leader or make it all, if needed, is Asdaa. He got too far behind the last time at Wolverhampton as he tends to be not an overly sharp starter, but I would hope for things to play out differently today.

There isn’t as much competition for a prominent position this time and from his low draw he should get to a good early position without much hassle.

This is a seriously weak race, too. Asdaa, while far from a consistent horse, and neither in flying form, won at Pontefract in the summer over a mile three starts back and ran to a 70 speed rating that day – that’s rock solid form in my book, and the best on offer, only matched by Bin Hayyan in this field, who is an intriguing runner after gelding operation, if he can stretch out over the mile, but is drifting in the market, suggesting he’s not really expected today.

He wasn’t in the same form since, but a return to the All-Weather will surely suit over the mile trip. He’s only a pound higher than at Pontefract, but is arguably a better horse on the sand.

He ran 8 times to speed ratings 69+ (i.e. matching or higher than current OR), six of those on the All-Weather., including three times at Kempton, and the top three efforts over a mile as well.

Not many hoses in this field can offer the same level of consistent speed ratings on this level, and as a consequence few, if any, appear well-handicapped.

Asdaa, though, off a 69 mark is handicapped one win off a correct Official Rating (in my assessment), hence he should have an excellent chance to score with circumstances firmly in his favour.

Kingscote/Johnston enjoy a fruitful partnership on the All-Weather: 6/20 this season, with more than half of the runners placed.

Taking everything into consideration you’d really hope for a big run tonight. Of course, you can’t put too much trust into an inconsistent class 5 handicapper. Yet, Asdaa appears quite a bit overpriced in this field.

10pts win – Asdaa @ 5/1

Wednesday Selections: 19th October 2022

8.00 Kempton: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

I feel this is a pretty uncompetitive race for its class and field size. The one that stands out as certainly overpriced in my book is the 3-year-old Michael Bell trained gelding Spring Is Sprung.

He is one who usually goes forward to track the pace and will sit handy, or even can lead, as seen at Royal Ascot. The #1 draw won’t pose an issue for him, given his gate speed, to get that early advantageous prominent position. As we know, Kempton, over this trip, clearly favours those up with the pace.

Spring Is Sprung drops back to 6 furlongs, after an unsuccessful attempt over 7 furlongs at Lingfield when last seen in August. It was s still a credible performance, as he received an early bump out of the gates, and was keen early on, denying himself of the best opportunity to stay the trip. He still ran to topspeed 78 which gives this performance solid merit.

He’s also down to a good mark again, down from a seasonal high of 87, that saw him finish 3rd at Southwell over 6 furlongs in a Class 3 Handicap.

Weeks earlier he won on his seasonal reappearance over the same CD in taking style, off a mark of 81, beating subsequent Listed place Fearless Angel. He looked poised for better that day, but was possibly found out for class against better opposition the next few runs, in truth.

He attempted to make all at Royal Ascot when dropped to the minimum trip. He ran well enough finishing 13th of 27 starters; a subsequent 3rd place finish of three, only a lengths beaten, though, at Newmarket, and then his first really disappointing effort this year, when the application of a visor backfired.

A return to the All-Weather, 6 furlongs and down to 82 OR after a small break looks a perfect scenario. He’s still unexposed on the sand, only 1lb higher than his impressive Southwell win, achieved solid speed ratings before, and could be hard to beat if he can run to that sort of level this evening.

10pts win – Spring Is Sprung @ 7/1

Wednesday Selections: 3rd August 2022

3.50 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Twice now in his last three runs Tangled has seriously caught the eye as an unlucky loser. In truth, he doesn’t make life easy for himself when starting slowly, though.

Nonetheless, last time out at Ripon when he was at a disadvantage from his position travelling off the pace, he also didn’t get a clear run at a crucial stage and had to delay his challenge. He didn’t get the clearest of runs at Beverley back in June, either. He finished strongly in the manner of a horse ripe for victory on both occasions.

In between Tangled produced a disappointing performance at Carlisle when well fancied. A run too bad to be true, and I take confidence from his return to form a fortnight ago.

A mile on decent to fast ground looks perfect conditions. I have slight reservation about Pontefract as a suitable venue simple because coming from off the pace isn’t the easiest task here. However, he appears to be so well handicapped in a pretty uncompetitive race, with only one real danger to beat, that at the price I have to side with him here.

10pts win – Tangled @ 7/2

……..

5.20 Pontefract: Class 4 Handicap, 6f

Mobarhin should have a nice chance to get a handy position thanks to the #2 draw. He drops to 6 furlongs on turf for the first time after being gelded since last place finish at Linfield’s polytrack in June.

He seriously caught my eye two back at Newmarket, though. Then over 7 furlongs, he set suicidal fractions from the front and had the field off the bridle from three furlongs out. He tired and was headed 2 furlongs from home but it was noteworthy how well he continued to run to the line even then.

He showed promise earlier the year on the All-Weather, too: a 6f Handicap win over 6f off a 70 mark, he ran to topspeed 74 that day. He followed up with a nose beaten second over the same course and distance the next time.

Off a 73 mark over 6 furlongs on decent ground I feel he offers a bit of upside, especially at a track and a draw to suit.

10pts win – Mobarhin @ 17/2

Wednesday Selections: 27th July 2022

It’s a funny old game. It really is. Early in the month things were just flowing and going my way. Now the total opposite is the case.

Today was especially hard to swallow because I was quite clearly on the best horse in the race. Night On Earth ran a huge race in 3rd place today. Especially taking into consideration that the jockey lost an iron early after an awkward start. The gelding severely lit up went off way too hard in front subsequently.

Only half a lengths beaten in the end, he clearly was seriously well handicapped. I fear he possibly has shown too much to the handicapper now. Wait and see if he remains of interest.

In any case, it’s fitting for a 12th consecutive loser. I really could do with a winner again.

……

5.20 Goodwood: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

Even though Mums Tipple hasn’t won in well over a year and was most likely fully tuned up for his latest Newmarket run, he is of high interest in this race, given he is allowed to race off the same 92 handicap mark as last time out.

About three weeks ago he travelled nicely, tracking the eventual winner for most of the race, made rapid- and certainly eye-catching progress from three furlongs out and looked sure to go close.

If he would have ran in a straight line he may well have won on the day, but he hang to his left and that cost him not only the victory but also second place in the end.

Yet Mums Tipple ran the fastest combined split for the last two furlongs and showed he has enough stamina to see out the trip strongly even in a tough finish. He also ran right to his current Official Rating on topspeed, which underlines the quality of this performance.

We know he has plenty of speed over shorter trips, too. He acts well on fast ground. He enjoys a top draw in stall #2 and should himself in a perfect spot for the majority of the race, which will Sean Levey plenty of options.

Ultimately Mums Tipple is a straightforward, uncomplicated horse. There don’t appear many well-handicapped horses in this field. He won’t need luck in running – he simply needs to show the same level of form as three weeks ago.

Therein lies the only concern I have: can he back up such a strong performance only 19 days later? I’m happy to find out with my money riding on him.

10pt win – Mums Tipple @ 9/1

Wednesday Selections: 20th July 2022

7.08 Sandown: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Autumn Festival is an obvious choice off the same mark as when going agonisingly close over half a furlong further last time out, hence is possibly the right favourite. But odds-on? No, that not.

Down to 7 furlongs on fastish ground doesn’t look ideal given he won over a mile on soft ground, while his career best topspeed rating doesn’t say he’s well handicapped at all.

I am really interested in the filly Sense Of Security – again. I backed her at Leicester in May off her current same mark when she came home strongly to finish 2nd. There were reasons to mark her up for that performance, and it confirmed the promise she showed earlier the year, especially at Bath when seriously catching the eye.

She didn’t enjoyed softish ground subsequently and when last seen lost a shoe and was reportedly heavily in season, so it’s another performance with legitimate excuses.

The handicapper doesn’t take a chance with her, nonetheless off 63 she looks still capable of winning a race like this. Her Bath and Leicester runs gave the impression she can be a bit better than this Official Rating.

If the ground stays fast she certainly must got a prime chance in this field. If the new combination of headgear helps her to focus a bit better she will almost certainly be better than the mark. The track should suit her running style.

10pts win – Sense Of Security @ 11/1

Wednesday Selections: 6th July 2022

5.20 Catterick: Class 6 Handicap, 7f

Three eyecatchers in the same race – nothing I normally like to see. However, Far From A Ruby is one I hope to catch on the All-Weather, she’s clearly not as competitive on turf but with her pace dangerous at this sort of track, nonetheless. Key Look, even though a CD winner, with her starting habits at Catterick is not an overly attractive proposition.

That leaves me with Liberty Breeze. Down to a 48 mark despite some highly credible efforts, lately, including over this course and distance last month, she appears nicely handicapped to go close if things work out her way.

Last month she was condemned to settle in rear from a high draw, always travelling wide, which is never ideal here. In a 10+ runner field at Catterick you’re at such a severe disadvantage in that type of scenario that it is noteworthy how well Liberty Breeze ran. She finished much the strongest, coming home really strongly to finish 3rd in the end.

She ran well in a subsequent hot Classified Stakes at Wolverhampton. She was carried across the track in the home straight so can be be marked up.

The jockey booking is a real concern, but Phil Dennis makes a low weight for the ride. A #6 draw shouldn’t pose too many problems with only eight runners. The pace looks right. Liberty Breeze should be in a good position turning for home and then has every chance.

10pts win – Liberty Breeze @ 8.5

………

8.20 Kempton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m

Mr Marvlos seriously caught the eye at Newmarket last time. He raced highly inefficient, made halfway through a big move on the outside while also hanging away from the main field towards the far side rail. He was kept up to the task and only tired in the closing stages.

He’s down in grade and returns to the All-Weather and course and distance of his career best. He was probably a shade unlucky last year not to get off the mark here on his second career start.

He also ran well on debut at Chelmsford, clearly showing he acts on the All-Weather. His three-year-old season didn’t start all too promising with two poor showings on turf, but the recent performance shows he’s got ability to win off his current rating.

He’s on a 62 mark, having been dropped a couple of pounds despite the recent promise. Although juvenile form and therefore not always conclusive, he ran on debut last year to topspeed 64. He’s got the low draw to attack the race today.

10pts win – Mr Marvlos @ @ 8.3

Wednesday Selections: 29th June 2022

Make that three days three winners on the bounce. Ideal Guest stormed his way up and down the Brighton 7 furlongs today. There was no pace on, nobody wanted to get on with things other than Ideal Guest. That was a concern, but it didn’t matter in the end.

Tom Queally is a good pilot and was an even better passenger here. He didn’t fight to be the boss. Ideal Guest was firmly in charge and had the field off the bridle approaching 3 furlongs from home going a thousand miles an hour. Any doubts that he may die up the final hill to the finish line were quickly put to bed.

7/1 was a huge price. In the preview I said Ideal Guest could have up to 10lb in hand and will win if he settles. He didn’t settle but had too much in hand with the fast conditions and the drop in trip doing wonders too. It’s good to get it right once in a while.

Back in healthy profit for June. I can’t fathom how quickly this game can turn. I must confess I gave it a good fist bump when Ideal Guest passed the line. Never too high, never too low should be the mantra of any aspiring punter who wants to make a long-term profit. It’s never about the now and always about the later.

However, sometimes it’s very much about the “now”. It’s only a few days ago that I was writing about experiencing one – if not the – worst slump of form in the last five years or so. Was it bad luck or were my methods broken? I wasn’t sure other than I knew something did go badly wrong. It started already in May. perhaps I gonna write another time in more detail on the lessens learned from these last four weeks. There was plenty learned. And that is always a good thing.

……..

7.50 Bath: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 3.5f

Small field but competitive field. Yet it looks significant that the Johnston team travels to Bath with Franny Norton in the saddle for this single race. They have a strong record here, even though not as many runners lately. Norton has been quite selective with his Bath rides, too, it seems.

That gives me added confidence that Cavendish is ready to strike. He looks to be running over the right trip and showed more than the bare form suggested the last couple of runs, especially as the form of those races looks pretty solid.

He fared best of the leaders at Yarmouth when setting a fast pace and I quite liked the way he kept going pretty much right to the end after being heavily challenged over three furlongs out. The runner-up has already won in the meantime, giving this form a good look.

Next time Cavendish was up in trip to what looked on paper ideal, but he raced wide and inefficient for the most part, and hadn’t much left in the home straight.

He dropped another 3lb in the meantime but is still pretty unexposed over these sort of distances. His dam was a smart handicapper and winner over 12f furlongs and 13 furlongs. So there’s every chance Cavendish can improve over the trip.

He ran to topspeed 49 at Yarmouth, that ties in well with his current mark. Any bit of improvement will see him go very close.

10pts win – Cavendish @ 4/1

Wednesday Selections: 22nd June 2022

2.25 Carlisle: Class 4 Handicap, 1m

Tangled looks cherry ripe. He was quite unlucky at Doncaster earlier this month when repeatedly a clear run denied. He just failed last week at Beverley when finishing the last three and four furlongs the fastest running to topspeed 75.

His poor starting habits can make life difficult, but the fact he can run off the same 73 mark as at Beverley before going up marginally is a bonus, so is the slight drop back to a mile as well as his return to Carlisle.

Even though he moves back up in class, this class 4 Handicap doesn’t look much stronger than the Beverley class 5 race last week. In fact, if not for 80 rated 3yo War Of Words this would be a worse race judged by official ratings.

Regardless of class, Tangled can add another Carlisle victory to his name. He won back to back over course and distance last summer off 76 and 78, is ground independent and has the added advantage of Laura Coughlan in the saddle claiming 5 valuable pounds on her sole ride.

If he gets a clean run to the line and doesn’t mess up completely at the start I can’t see him getting beaten; he’ simply so well handicapped. He certainly is overpriced in my book, taking everything into account.

10pts win – 7/2 Tangled

Royal Ascot Selections – 15th June 2022

3.40: Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, 1m 2f

This is going to be the coronation of Bay Bridge, right? It feels like it, reading all the previews and various opinion pieces this morning – the Sir Michael Stoute trained colt only has to turn up, do a lap of honour in the pre-parade ring and Group 1 glory is his.

Now, who am I to dare and say I know better than fabulous experts like Simon Rowlands who is quite strong about Bay Bridge in his piece. No question about it, Bay Bridge is a potential superstar.

His Brigadier Gerard victory by five lengths easy as you like – awarded a 102 topspeed rating; he could have ran faster that day, if he would been asked to do so. These are the signs of potential superstar. No denying.

But from a betting perspective I have to be cynical and try to see if there are any holes to be found in the odds-on shot. And there certainly are.

For one: Bay Bridge steps up to Group 1 company for the first time. He hasn’t been to Ascot before, certainly not encountered a unique atmosphere as the Royal Ascot meeting provides, and whether he truly can be at his very best on proper fast ground remains to be seen.

These are only small question marks. And I am pushing it hard to find faults. Nonetheless, this edition of the POW – albeit small in field size – is highly competitive. And I feel there is value in the market behind Bay Bridge.

The Japanese Derby- and Sheema Classic winner Shahryar is proven top-class. Perhaps more so over the 1m 4f trip, which makes him vulnerable on fast ground in small field, potentially. Regardless, he’s one to respect.

The only filly in the race, Grand Glory, looked strong in two starts this spring. Fast ground is a question mark, but she clearly performs really well over 10 furlongs.

Lord North ran a fine race in defeat at the Curragh recently. The Tattersalls Gold Cup was an ultra-competitive affair and he ran to topspeed 104, not too far off a 107 rated performance when winning the Dubai Turf in March, or a 104 when runner-up in the Winter Derby, and also not far off his career best 110, suggesting he’s still running close to his best form at the age of six.

Undoubtedly the main rival for Bay Bridge I see in Joseph O’Brien’s State Of Rest, though. He’s had a number of tough races this year already, and that’s a question mark. Most recently at the Curragh when finishing one better than Lord North. But connections say the colt thrives on racing and is a hardy sort. He clearly must be, if you read through his form.

In my view he enhanced his reputation with the third place effort in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. He travelled much the best approaching the home straight, perhaps was asked a little bit too late for full effort, though. That gave the eventual winner Alenquer an advantage. State Of Rest finished the last three furlongs fastest and on another day wins the race, I believe.

The 4-year-old seriously impressed me on different occasions. His Saratoga Derby victory last year, doing it in a canter, despite having to overcome some trouble; his gusty Cox Plate success. The brilliant win at Longchamp in the Prix Ganay six weeks ago.

And he looks still improving. Topspeed 102 at Longchamp, 107 at the Curragh. Yes, this isn’t always a totally accurate reflection of performance, but it’s one I do trust to the most part.

With that in mind State Of Rest sets a high standard that Bay Bridge first has to run to. Not to forget that State Of Rest is probably at his best on fast ground. Exactly what he encounters today.

Therefore at given prices I can’t miss out on backing the proper Group 1 horse against a favourite where all potential improvement is more than factored into the price already – before we have truly seen it delivered on the race course.

10pts win – State Of Rest @ 8.4

………..

4.20: Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes, 1m

It was impossible not be totally in awe with the way Bashkirova won at Ascot. She didn’t have the perfect race but found a way to win. Despite hanging a bit she kicked clear in the closing stages in impressive style, running to a 108 topspeed rating.

She improved nicely from an excellent seasonal reappearance at Goodwood, when a close runner-up after a fine juvenile campaign that saw her win three of four starts. She look still improving and I reckon might enjoy this more conventional track even more so than Epsom.

Backing up so quickly is always a concern, but if she runs to the same level of form she’s hard to beat today, I firmly believe. Thanks to that Epsom performance she owns the fastest topspeed in the field, by quite a bit. The competition in this Group 2 contest today is solid but not frightening.

Saffron Beach carries a penalty and never ran to anything better than topspeed 90. She’s a Group 1 winner and ran with credit at Meydan. I don’t see the appeal at current odds, though.

Mother Earth is hard to trust these days. Primo Bacio hasn’t won since impressing at York last May, but never looked able to bring that sport of form to the next level subsequently.

German raider Novemba has obvious claims judged by her Coronation Cup performance from last year. Her runner-up effort behind Real World last October is also noteworthy. She was desperately disappointing on her return three weeks ago though. Sibila Spain perhaps wants a longer trip, especially on fast ground.

Everything brings me back to Bashkirova. Perhaps beside the quick turnaround, the wide draw is another slight concern as well as potentially a lack of pace, unless Novema and Saffron Beach do the donkey work. Nonetheless, she looks a cut above these.

10pts win – Bashkirova @ 3/1