Tag Archives: Wolverhampton

Saturday Selections – 7th October 2017

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

8.15 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Shocking race, despite the large field. Screams for an upset. Innish Man can be the one who causes it. An upset on last seasons form it wouldn’t be that much, however he’s been off for a long time and got merely a pipe opener under the belt a fortnight ago.

We don’t know whether he has regained full fitness and some of his old “class”, that says he was a progressive performer in low grade All-Weather handicaps in 15/16.

Now 3lb below his last winning mark and a full 6lb below his career highest mark, of which he finished a fair runner-up in a race that worked out well back in January 2016 – anything close to that will see him have a big say off a good draw today.

Selection:
10pts win – Innish Man @ 16/1 Bet365

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9.15 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 9.5f

I do fancy Bebette quite a bit on her debut for a new yard plus first time over this trip and on the All-Weather. The switch to Tapeta over 9.5f should suit her much better than she shorter distances the encountered in her four starts to date.

She remains lightly raced, we may not need to read too much into her four disappointing career outings to date, three came in maiden company and one in a 16-runner Handicap at Yarmouth.

A fair 5lb on board is an added bonus I suspect, with a potentially lowly mark of 53 Babette could easily run a big race.

Selection:
10pts win – Babette 6/1 Ladbrokes

Friday Selection: 18th August 2017

DSC_5986

No luck on Thursday. Beaten in second but certainly fair and square by a better horse was Call Me Grumpy, whereas Grand Myla never got a chance from her position and was hardly touched by Ryan Moore and looked more like a ride where winning was not necessarily the main thing on his mind.

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1.20 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Nursery, 5f

Poor race that is open for an upset. Owen The Law is an interesting All-Weather debutante, who has the pedigree to improve a good bit for the switch to this surface being a half-brother to a fair AW performer in Bazguy and his sire Equianio boosting a strong record with juveniles over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton.

First time visored, also dropping in trip, class and mark, with his latest form looking slightly better than the bare results suggests given it has been franked multiple times by horses around Owen The Law, I believe he can run a big race for a big price.

Selection:
10pts win – Owen The Law @ 18/1 Bet365

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3.10 Newbury: Class 3 Handicap, 1m 5f

Great Sound is one of two three year olds in this field but certainly the more promising one of the two. He is still very lightly raced and showed plenty of greenness in his two career starts to date.

He made a habit of breaking badly, which might be less a problem in the race today, stepping up another couple of furlongs which on pedigree does not look unlikely to suit.

He won on debut when giving his rider a hard time but eventually motored home in impressive style. He followed up with a third place albeit a good way beaten on handicap debut what looked a hot race with the impressive winner franking the form subsequently.

Great Sounds looks one who has still much more to give on his only third career start, he remains on the same mark which appears fair and the new trip can work in his favour.

Selection: 
10pts win – Great Sound @ 3/1 Bet365

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4.30 Wolverhampton, Class 5 Handicap, 9.5f

James Tate usually does incredibly well with his starters at Wolverhampton during this time of the year. So it looks significant that he pitches new recruit Dreaming Time into this wide open looking Handicap.

The filly is now in his care after leaving Hugo Palmer for whom she won a maiden at Lingfield but result wise disappointed on handicap debut at Chelmsford. However things didn’t go her way that day and it was a very hot race.

Back after a break for the new trainer she drops 4lb as well as two classes. So this should be much easier and the step up in trip to 9.5f seems a smart move. If she is race fit she must have a better chance than her price suggests to go close here.

Selection:
10pts win – Dreaming Time @ 10/1 Bet365

Minding’s back with a Bang!

No surprise in the first Group 1 of the new flat season: Evens favourite Cloth Of Stars delivered the goods for Godolphin, Andre Fabre and Mickael Barzelona in the Prix Ganay.

Ridden patiently, Barzelona waited for the right moment to make the decisive move. Once in the clear the Son of Sea The Stars powered home strongly. A first success at the highest level for Cloth Of Stars.

But should it have been a first taste of Group 1 success for last years French Derby runner-up Zarak? Probably. Soumillon in the saddle had to sit and suffer at a crucial stage of the race while Zarak finished like a train eventually – unlucky!

No problems for Minding at Naas. She did it as easily as it gets in the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes and she clearly has not lost anything over the winter.

She made all from the front and the moment Ryan Moore gave her a little squeeze she stretched swiftly clear. Granted, she was shorts odds-on an clear on the ratings, but still on her return to win so easily is impressive.

Next stop on the agenda is the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Currag. The Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot are most likely the subsequent summer target.

Stable mate Johannes Vermeer finished last but got a very light ride with the future clearly in mind. I expect him to come on quite a bit for a run and would not lose hope in him yet.

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2.30 Brighton: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

I look forward to see Equiano son Otomo return to the track as a three year old now dropping to six furlongs for the first time. He showed promise as a juvenile, was twice narrowly beaten here at Brighton, although over 7f, and ended the season with two more decent performances.

In all his races he showed plenty of early pace but did not quite get home, so he looks ready-made for sprinting. An opening mark of 67 seems reasonable, and any age- plus trip related improvement should see him run a big race.

It’s noteworthy that the Hide yard is in good form, with a fantastic record at this track and with Liam Keniry in the saddle. Also Equaino offspring tends to perform incredibly well at Brighton.

Selection:
10pts win – Otomo @ 6/1 Bet365

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4.20 Nottingham: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 2f

Well bred Secret Soul was relatively well fancied in her three career outings so far but despite two decent performances she never came close to win. However it’s fair to assume she simply needed the experience and now going handicapping with a pipe opener already under her belt she could improve.

She is fitted with first time visor as a reaction to her most recent fourth place at Kempton where tried to make all from the front. It may keeps her focused on the job when it really matters.

Given what she has achieved an opening mark of 68 seems slightly on the stiff side. However she ran in and around that level on RPR’s the last two times and clocked fair speed ratings too, so potentially she could be well in, if the combination of experience, race fitness, suitable trip and headgear sees her putting the best foot forward.

Selection:
10pts win – Secret Soul @10/1 Bet365

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6.30 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

If anywhere near full race fitness Brimham Rocks should be able to exploit his potentially very lenient opening mark here. His three maiden runs last year have been nothing of note but they were more of educational nature, over partly wrong ground and trips too short anyway.

H’s been a very late foal who’s sure to improve as a three year old once stepping up in trip, given this well bred son of Fastnet Rock is out of an Oaks trial places mare. So the 1m 4f trip should suit hands down.

Also Brimham Rocks’ sire has a 43% strike rate with offspring at Wolverhampton over this distance. All points toward that this lad is certainly well handicap on his handicap debut.

Selection:
10pts win – Brimham Rocks @ 5/2 Skybet

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9.10 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 6f

I feel Addicted To You has a pretty good chance to follow up on a recent maiden success over 12f. At Lingfield this Medicean colt made all from the front. He got a bit idle in the closing stage which meant a closer from behind got a bit too close for comfort eventually, but overall it was a convincing win.

Now of a 75 rating he could still be undervalued even more so as he steps up in trip which should suit more than it is a problem. He’s got the profile to improve with age and according to sire stats the 1m 6f trip, particular around Chelmsford, should suit.

Given Addicted To You’s two sisters both achieved RPR’s of 80+ it is fair to assume that he can still find a bit to get off the mark in handicap company now.

Selection:
10pts win – Addicted To You @ 7/2 Bet365

Saturday Tips

4.40 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

I was quite keen on Favourite Royal ten days ago at Wolverhampton but felt she might need the run, so didn’t back her then. Her fast finishing runner-up performance was incredibly eye-catching that day, though, indicating this filly has wintered well and is well able to win a race of her current mark.

She was a very green and raw filly as a juvenile, with a bit of learning and filling of her frame to do. Now as a three year old you would hope that she can still improve a bit and I feel the 2lb added to her rating on the back of the last run might not stop her in a race that should suit.

The bounce factor is a question mark but given she has not a lot of running under her belt yet, this lightly raced filly seems likely to be well handicapped.

Selection:
10pts win – Favourite Royal @ 11/2 PP

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6.50 Wolverhampton: Class 5 Handicap, 9.5f

Drago seemingly enjoys this track and the unique trip given he has quite a good record around Wolverhampton. He looks improved since fitted with a hood: his last four performances when wearing it were all very decent enough, and he’s only 3lb higher than when winning over course and distance back in November last year.

He already has a run under his belt this season; arguably a pipe opener in a seller. I feel there is a genuine chance that he can still improve a bit over this CD and having a decent 7lb claimer in the saddle should be an advantage.

Selection:
10pts win – Drago @ 9/1 Bet365

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7.05 Doncaster: Class 5 Handicap, 1m 4f

Top weight Mr Davies seems to have a tough task assigned on his handicap debut with 9st 9lb to carry, however this completely unexposed gelding could be on a lenient opening mark either.

He got two runs in quick succession as a juvenile, was then put away and reappeared four weeks ago four weeks ago here at Doncaster over 10.5f in a maiden. From the widest draw he pushed forward, travelled well throughout but was entitled to get tired in the final furlong.

Despite never finishing in the money in three maiden runs his RPR suggest those performances are close to in line with his opening mark. It is reasonable to imagine that this big, scopey gelding can improve for his pipe opener and the step up to 12f for the first time.

Selection:
10pts win – Mr Davies @ 11/2 PP

Tuesday Tips

4.25 Yarmouth: Class 5 Handicap, 7f

Favourite Wurood looks a skinny price and certainly one to take on at the top of the weights against the boys at the back of a visually fine looking maiden win at Wolverhampton, where, however, she was most likely flattered given she had the run of the race from the front.

I’m much more keen on the equally lightly raced Derek Duval. This son of Lope De Vega was a very late fool and should be open to a good deal of improvement now as a three year old, even more so stepping up to 7 furlongs for the first time.

On his seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton over 6f last month he got off the mark which was only his second career start. He stayed on nicely to win by a close margin, though he was good for more.

On handicap debut a fortnight later he pulled hard in the early stages of the race and was subsequently disadvantaged by his position at the back of the field where he was also forced to race wide. Still he came with a storming run on the outside to finish a close third in the end.

It’s seems obvious that an additional furlong can only be a positive and a 2lb rise in the mark with further natural improvement to come might underestimate Derek Duval, as long as he acts on fast ground turf.

Selection:
10pts win – Derek Duval @ 7/1 Bet365

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6.30 Wolverhampton: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 1f 103y

Top weight London Master is a full-brother to relatively smart Irish filly Booker good sire by Mastercraftsman. This lightly raced, though winless maiden, has a pretty good chance to can improve this season as a three year old.

In 2016 he had three obligatory maiden runs without setting the world alight –  he was clearly ridden with the future in mind, nonetheless his RPR’s were quite in line with the opening handicap he received for those performances.

And that might ensure he’s potentially well handicapped now moving into Handicap company for the very first time. That is because this colt is quite good looking, with a big, scopey frame to fill, and he step ups in trip which should very much suit given his mother was a winner over 10 furlongs.

He was a January fool, so at this stage as a three year old, also taking the visual impression from last season into account, he should be definitely ready to use his strengths (and hopefully class) to exploit a rating of 60.

Interestingly Jockey Adam Beschizza makes the journey to Wolverhampton for this one ride – probably not for a leisure spin around the track.

Selection:
10pts win: London Master @ 11/2 Bet365

Fastnet Rock the AW Monster?

National Stud

198% – If you would have backed every daughter and son of Fastnet Rock at Wolverhampton and Newcastle this year, you’d have got this massive return on your investment!

Now, in fairness it has to be said the sample size for Newcastle is fairly small – eight runners, four winners – so maybe they are inflated and will even out over time.

However at Wolverhampton on the polytrack, over the last two seasons, Fastnet Rock offspring has also performed extremely well. Eleven from 49 horses won – a 22.4% strike rate and a 42.9% place rate for a near 110% ROI. Not bad, eh?

So what’s behind it? Well, an obvious thought is: could it have something to with the fact that these two courses are left-handed? Maybe, although if that is the case one would assume the success rate should be excellent at Southwell, Chelmsford and Lingfield too. So is it? Yes and no.

Fastnet Rock offspring doesn’t do badly at those tracks, particularly Southwell looks encouraging with a healthy 27.3% strike rate, though not substantially higher place rate (around 36%) from a limited sample size.

Lingfield and Chelmsford both are a good deal below the strike rate average of Newcastle & Wolverhampton but still healthy compared to the overall All-Weather average. Nonetheless they are posting a negative ROI, whereas Southwell, Newcastle and Wolverhampton show a massive return on investment if you would have backed every runner there.

There is only one right handed All-Weather track in the United Kingdom: Kempton. How does Fastnet Rock offspring perform there? Poor. In fact shockingly poor. Abysmal. Only one single horse from 34 runners could win and the place rate isn’t much better with 23.5% – the lowest of all All-Weather tracks for Fastnet Rock offspring!

Interestingly, comparing this with turf statistics, there appears to be no dramatic disparity between performances at left- and right handed tracks. The difference is neglectable, even if further broken down to flat or tight tracks, which may come closer to the nature of AW courses.

So it turns out this disparity between left- and right handed tracks only exists on the All-Weather. I could speculate why; maybe it’s indeed the special nature of flat tracks, with tight turns and short run-in and that Kempton stands out in that regard, given the longer home straight and it’s more galloping nature.

Now the sample sizes aren’t massive but they aren’t exactly small either. At least for Wolverhampton we can say with a bit of confidence that Fastnet Fasntet Rock’s performance is most likely legit.

What else to look out for? Well, focusing on Wolverhampton for Fastnet Rock, older horses in low grade Handicaps perform best – over 1m 4f these are perform exceptionally well, if the numbers are trusted. Spring and winter are the most profitable seasons.

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Friday Selections:

3.55 Ffos Las: Shongololo @ 8/1 Ladbrokes
4.30 Ffos las: Zoffanys Pride @14/1 Ladbrokes
5.05 Fos Las: Sun’aq @ 20/1 William Hill
7.35 Newcastle: Depth Charge @ 6/1 William Hill

Stat of the Day – Thursday 25th August 2016

Wet Dundalk Polytrack

33.33 – the percentage of winners trainer James Tate had in lower grade handicaps at Wolverhampton this year!

In fact more than one half of all his starters have been placed in 2016; with the addition of Luke Morris in the saddle the success rate increases even more.

This is not a new trend, given that Tate has always been smart in identifying the right type of horse to exploit those uncompetitive races on the All-Weather during the summer months when there is so much racing going on elsewhere.

He’s doing this mainly with three year old’s in races against older horses where during the summer months the weight for age allowance provides its most substantial advantage for the younger horse against older, often exposed individuals.

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Thursday Selections:

Three days into the week and three winners richer! It’s been quite a week so far, so long may it last. Three selections today; most interesting James Tate’s runner in the penultimate race at Wolverhampton.

2.30 Musselburgh: Lil’s Affair @ 9/1 Bet365
6.45 Wolverhampton: Control Centre @ 16/1 Coral
8.45 Wolverhampton: Rocket Power @ 4/1 Bet365