Tag Archives: York

Preview: York – Lonsdale Cup 2019

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2.25 York: Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, 2m 56y

There is precious little between the market principles on form and ratings – merely 2lb on official ratings, merely 2lb on career best RPR’s, in favour of odds-on favourite Stradivarius, and 3lb on highest topspeed, in favour of Dee Ex Bee.

Both horses are high class stayers, they met a couple of times already when Stradivarius had the upper in any case. The last time they met at Goodwood: Stradivarius victory that day, one could argue appeared with a bit in hand, although the eventual margin was tight.

He got a peach of a ride and had everything going for himself that day, with a fast pace to chase and no issues in finding cover until getting a crystal clear run to produce a strong finish.

You could argue Dee Ex Bee didn’t enjoy the same luxury that day. He saw plenty of daylight, was much closer to the fast pace and simply didn’t race s economical as Stradivarius did. Yet he dug deep, stayed strongly to the line and achieved the same topspeed rating as the winner.

Regardless, on the surface it appears he simply isn’t quite as good as Stradivarius. And that might well be true. But I feel the numbers don’t lie: if there is anything between these two, then it’s previous little.

So a 3lb swing in the weights today may turn the table on fast ground that will suit Dee Ex Bee down to the grounds, in a small field where the pace situation could pan out very differently than the last two times also.

You can’t discount Dermot Weld’s charge Falcon Eight. Lightly raced, progressive, he may well improve again. However, he would have to improve tons to be at the level of the market leaders.

For me the value choice in this race is undoubtedly Dee Ex Bee. When everything points to the fact that Stradivarius is a slightly better horse – having as little as 2lb in hand on official ratings – then it’s hard to fathom why one is a 4/9 chance and the tother a 7/2 chance.

Selection:
10pts win – Dee Ex Bee @ 7/2 MB

Thursday Selections: August, 22nd 2019

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4.15 York: Listed Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes, 1m 4f

This is a wide open race and the betting tells you as much. What’s intriguing: the vast majority of horses in here have yet to run fast – at least judged by topspeed ratings. You could possibly forgive the lightly raced fillies a bit more, although the likes of Frosty or favourite Search For A Song had chances when running in pretty decent races.

Hence the standout chance in this contest appears to be Frankellina. This daughter of the almighty Frankel has pretty decent form in the book, running in some hot races, while she is the only one in this field running to a 90+ topspeed rating – which is something I want to see from any serious contender in this class.

It’s her career best, which looks rock solid as she also run to 89 before, which still would be the highest TS rating achieved by any filly in the field.

This is in line with her official rating of 105, the highest of any filly in the field. Granted, Frankellina has not quite lived up to possibly high expectations at the start of season. She had won on her debut in her single start as a juvenile, but remains without victory this year in four starts.

A runner-up effort in the Musidora – which is questionable form to be fair – followed by a promising 6th place effort in the Oaks, a 6th place in the Ribblesdale and a slightly disappointing 4th here at York in a listed contest last month.

I would argue, though, those last three pieces are pretty fair form, given this race looks much easier. Also Frankellina will profit from drying ground at York today – the quick surface should benefit her chances and hopes that she truly stays the 1m 4f trip.

Selection:
10pts win – Frankellina @ 11/2 MB

……..

4.50 York: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

I’m a little bit late to the party but still feel there is significant juice in the price of Whitefountainfairy. Albeit this is a big field, it is not as competitive a handicap as other races this week.

Whitefountainfairy should, if having a clear run, take all the beating here. Really. Saying that in a 20-runner strong field feels weird but I guess anyone who can read and has half-decent eyesight will have seen what handicap mark the filly is and what tremendous run she produced at Goodwood last time out.

Most importantly, Whitefountainfairy is down to a super dangerous mark. Down to 85, she ran to higher topspeed in the past, has been falling gradually, while remaining relatively low mileage, actually not all that much disappointing in her last runs either.

She was brutally eye-catching at Goodwood lately. Losing the race in the starting gate, hitting it in fact once the gates opened, she lost a good deal of ground, which is far from ideal over 7f. She settled at the rear, but then in the final two furlongs weaved her way through, finishing so strongly, that surely with a better start she would have gone very close.

I believe, despite a higher grade, this today is actually an easier race. She also runs against her own sex, and a simpler track will be a bonus, so will be the decent ground.

Selection:
10pts win – Whitefountainfairy @ 7/1 MB

………

8.00 Leicester: Class 5 Handicap, 6f

Mutabaahy is ripe for victory. He’s been running quite well this year without getting a deserved “1” credited to his name. This here will be his best chance. It really isn’t a good race and I feel this lad stands out.

He’s 2lb above his last winning mark, but 67 seems a more than fair mark for him. He has ran to 68 and 70 topspeed ratings in the past, in fact he ran to a career best when runner-up at Ripon.

One can argue Mutabaahy had chances of the same mark this season already. True, but he also run really well then in highly competitive races that have worked out strongly.

Track, trip and ground conditions will suit today. Back after a 4-wee-long break he’s hopefully fresh and ready to go. In saying that I am slightly worried by the drift in the betting – but it’s the risk I’m prepared to take.

Selection:
10pts win – Mutabaahy @ 9/1 MB

Friday Selections: July, 12th 2019

Twilight Son

4.45 Newmarket: Class 3 Handicap, 7f

Im very much interested in Jim Crowley’s mount La Maquina here. This lightly raced four-year-old only has his fourth start on turf and should still have a bit more to give, than what his current handicap mark has revealed.

He showed promise as a juvenile and also last season, even though without getting his head in front. As an April foal he was always more likely to need a bit more time and finally at Goodwood back in May he got off the mark in a 7f Handicap.

He ran of 3lb lower than today but achieved a 82 topspeed rating, matching his revised handicap rating. He couldn’t follow up the net time at Kempton, however was badly hampered when making progress. So it’s a performance to ignore.

Ground and trip looks perfectly fine today. If La Maquina can find a bit of improvement, he’ll be a big runner in this, otherwise quite competitive race.

Selection:
10pts win – La Maquina @ 15/1 MB

…….

4.55 York: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

I’ll take a risk on Militia, having dropped 4lb below his last winning mark. This horse had issues, quite obviously. He’s been gelded and had a wind OP during a long seasonal break and was well beaten on his return last month.

That’s obvious concerns, but he possibly needed the run. The fact remains he is a 5f winner on fast ground, and also won of a 77 mark, running to a topspeed rating of 79 last July.

So, if he strips fitter today, can find some of last summer’s form back, with a god 3lb claimer in the saddle today, he certainly will outrun a massive price tag.

Selection:
10pts win – Militia @ 33/1 MB

Sunday Selections: June, 16th 2019

Newmarket Rowley Mile Winning post

It’s been another pretty quiet week – but, with only the second bet of the week (the first one  came yesterday as well and was a major disappointment, mind) the betting bank got a major boost, thanks to Gold Mount’s (SP 16/1) decisive victory in the Grand Cup at York.

To be honest I didn’t expect that after he drifted badly before the off, only minutes before the race available at 20/1. It was clear expectations were low and my worry this might only be a pipe opener seemed reflected in the market. On the other hand, even then, given his class, which I felt stood above the rest in the field, should see him go close.

In the end Gold Mount outclassed his opposition:

…….

2.30 Salisbury: Class 6 Handicap, 1m 4f

A quick one for today – I am missing the good prices as just as I made my decision to back this lad his odds start to tumble. Regardless, he remains one to back here – talking about favourite Robert Fitzroy who’ll take a lot to get beaten today.

He drops in grade after a highly encouraging 1 lengths beaten 4th place finish at Doncaster recently. That is fair form and I expect him to be able to improve for the different ground today.

As he ran to a top speed rating of 66 that day, equivalent of his current handicap mark, any improvement this still fairly lightly raced gelding can find, will likely be good enough to get his head in front today.

The ground conditions are the most likely factor that can have positive impact. Robert Fitzroy is a full-brother to smart filly Bolder Bob who is a multiple winner over this sort of trip with plenty of cut in the ground. Big Bad Bob offspring generally tends to perform well in soft ground conditions anyways.

SDS on board is the cherry on the cake.

Selection:
10pts win – Robert Fitzroy @ 3/1 MB

Saturday Selections: June, 15th 2019

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2.35 Sandown: Class 4 Handicap, 5f

Bahamian Sunrise is 4-2-2 over this course and distance. So if the return to Sandown can re-ignite the fire again, then the 7-year-old has a massive shout. It’s a big if, granted, given he’s been in abysmal form this year so far.

However, a near-career best came only last August at Epsom over 5f in soft ground when only a neck beaten in a hot class 2 Handicap, running to top speed of 80. He’s dropped a long way down the ratings since then, allowed to let go off 67 today.

Eleven times has Bahamian Sunrise ran to top speed ratings of 69+, which shows that he’s incredibly well handicapped today, if any return to some sort of form can be sparked by this course and distance, while the ground is fine.

Selection:
10pts win – Bahamian Sunrise @ 10/1 MB

………

3.00 York: Listed Grand Cup, 1m 6f

Some of these have to prove their worthiness to compete in this class, most have a question to answer on the soft ground. The short priced favourite Mekong acts with cut in the ground and his recent form is compelling, on the other hand he’s yet to run fast enough to warrant such a price tag in my view.

That is mainly down to the fact that Gold Mount (formerly known as Primitivo) looks a major danger, if ready to go after a break and his return from Meydan/Hong Kong.

The gelding was a promising three-year-old a few years ago and was sold to Hong Kong, where he developed into a classy performer over three seasons. His form tailed a bit off in the last season, though a trip to Dubai and the 2 mile Gold Cup proved he is still as good as ever.

Fourth of eight and a good deal beaten behind reigning Melbourne Cup champion Cross Counter, the race clearly didn’t pan out ideally for Gold Mount, who was held up and finished strongly as the only one of those in the back third of the field.

That was a highly encouraging performance that rates the strongest piece of form in this field today, no doubt. Dropping down to listed class, he’s the joint highest rated individual.

The ground will be fine, Gold Mount acts on a soft surface. He’s got an engagement next week at Ascot – that’s the one concern, that today is merely a pipe opener, which may be the reason why he’s as big in the market as he is. It’s worth taking the risk, though.

Selection:
10pts win – Gold Mount @ 13.5/1 MB

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3.30 Bath: Class 3 Handicap, 1 mile

Given his current mark, Medieval looks a highly competitive runner in this race: 4lb lower than his last win mark, he also has been placed of even higher than that and ran t top speed ratings of 85+ on four different occasions. So an 82 mark seems sexy.

The trip is usually fine, the ground no bother – in combination, a mile and rain softened ground is a stretch, but possible. Medieval is also in fair form, having finished 3rd the last two times – even though a fair way beaten.

The different applications of headgear this year are a little worrisome, suggesting he may not quite have the same appetite for the game any longer, which may suggest even as good as he appears to be handicapped, he may not be in actual fact. It’s the risk here. One I’m prepared to be taking in a race where little else stands out.

Selection:
10pts win – Medieval @ 13/2 MB

Saturday Selections: May, 25th 2019

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2.35 York: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 4f

On last season form Ad Libitum is an obvious chance here today, now with a run under his belt, he’ll strip fitter I reckon. With that in mind, his reappearance at Thirsk a fortnight ago is one I happily excuse.

Ad Libitum won twice last year and ran well in defeat a number of times as well. Most importantly is he was able to match his current handicap mark twice in terms of time speed ratings, running to 74 and 76, as well as winning of a 77 handicap a 12f a class 4 handicap at Ripon.

He certainly enjoys fast ground, posting a 25% strike rate and having been placed in four out of eight starts.

Selection:
10pts win – Ad Libitum @ 9/1 MB

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2.55 Chester: Class 2 Handicap, 7.5f

Super competitive race: more than half the field in with a fair shout. At the bigger prices bottom weight Arcanada makes a lot of appeal, though, even though he hasn’t won on turf for a number of years now.

Nonetheless, his overall form profile looks still highly competitive, and the surface isn’t an issue. More the fact that he found life tough in hot races, racing of high marks.

Arcanada has now dropped to a tasty mark of 88 – on turf alone he has ran to TS ratings of 90+ on five occasions throughout his career and he matched a 89 TS rating last December winning a Listed contest on the All-Weather.

The 6-year-old is a course specialist also, having a 50% strike rate here. His draw is wider than ideal for his running style, but with a visor fitted for the first time and a good 5lb claimer on board I hope he can bounce out of the gates and then hold on for the lead.

Selection:
10pts win – Arcanada @ 25/1 MB

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6.50 Salisbury: Class 5 Maiden Stakes, 6f

It’s a small sample size, but Kyllachy offspring have a fabulous record in Salisbury maiden races over the years. His offspring generally performs well here, particularly the 3-year-olds.

That is the reason why I am interested in his daughter Twilighting in this particular race. She amplifies the sire angle with an encouraging debut run herself coincidentally.

A fortnight ago at Lingfield she didn’t have the best of starts, was subsequently badly outpaced but found her rhytm from 4f out and looked suddently threatening over 2f out. The early effort to catch up took its tool eventually, but she ran pretty well in these circumstances until the final furlong marker.

The fast ground looks sure to suit today with a good jockey in the saddle, Twilighting could be well capable outrunning her price tag.

Selection:
6pts win – Twilighting @ 22/1 MB

Edit: This has been absolutely smashed in the betting since writing the post, is now joint second favourite! 

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7.20 Salisbury: Class 4 Handicap, 1m 6f

Airton looks ready for a big run on his return to the flat for the first time since October. He clearly thrives over fast ground and stays this distance without an issue.

He won of his current mark a similar contest over 2 miles at Catterick last Summer – a piece of form that looks strong.

Over this sort of trip and ground Airton has achieved multiple 80+ RPR’s as well as having run to a career best TS rating of 79, which he also achieved on the All-Weather. As he ran to a 83 RPR when winning the last time, which isn’t that long ago, it suggests with the right conditions, of his current mark Airton can be a big runner in this class and type of race.

Having fine Finley Marsh on board claiming 3lb is the cherry on the cake, I feel.

Selection:
10pts win – Airton @ 7/2 PP

Thursday Selections: August, 23rd 2018

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4.50 York: Class 2 Handicap, 7f

Ultra competitive and in-running luck will play its part here, though it can be argued Move Swiftly has a cracking chance if all goes smoothly given her progressive and at the same time impressive profile.

Further down the packing order seems Richard Fahey’s Clubbable who’s not expected to run well if the market is any useful guide. I feel this filly has a bit more to offer than credit is given to, though.

She’s won two races this year already, was visually incredibly impressive when landing a good Chelmsford class 2 Handicap in June when things didn’t go to plan but she found a superb turn of foot once in the clear.

She backed this up with another big performance in the Listed Eternal Stakes at Carlisle when a close runner-up behind 100 rated Dance Diva. A subsequent Newmarket run stepping up to a mile was disappointing, however once shouldn’t judge her too harshly on a subsequent 16th place finish at Ascot most recently.

She received a heavy bump right after the start by the horse to her left and found herself subsequently behind a wall of horses and on the disadvantaged far side.

She’s down to a mark off 92 which looks high enough but also offers room for a bit of improvement with the right conditions. She will need luck in-running given her often sluggish start, but if Clubbable gets the right breaks she’ll have a better chance than her current odds suggest.

Selection:
10pts win – Clubbable @ 29/1 MB