Its here again, the weekly look at the ups and downs of the handicapper. I did email the sprint handicapper at BHB Headquarters about his handicapping of the Wokingham, but I never received a reply.....poor show !
Anyway on with this weeks summary and lets begin with the Gosforth Park Cup at Newcastle, where like in Ireland at the weekend, there was a big draw bias on the stands side. This race was won by Captain Dunne who had banged his head last time when coming out of the stalls and he was able to bag the rail here and win by a head from Secret Asset, as a result he was raised 4lb to 104 and the 2nd went up 3lb to 97. Behind Fol Hollow finished full of running and was left on the same mark of 98. The race itself was run in 58.94s which was fast by 0.66.
Also at Chester on Friday night we saw Feeling Fresh win the Class 5 Handicap over 7f for Paul Green in convincing fashion. He had been off the track for best part of a year and won this despite suffering interfernce once in the straight. If he progresses again he could well be up to defying the 4lb rise in the weights taking him to 64.
On Saturday the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle went to Barney McGrew by 2 1/2 lengths on the favoured ground near the rail, however if you run well in these races you have to take your punishment and he was raised 8lb as a result to 108, aged 7 it will be a while before he gets back to a realistic handicap mark again.
In the following Class 2 Handicap Johhny Mudball also came up the favoured stands side to win by 4 1/2 lengths from Poet's Place. He was raised a hefty 9lbs for this taking him up to 99, which seems harsh as this was the 3rd sprint race on the trot that the stands side dominated. All the horses that came up the middle struggled and as a result were all dropped 1 or 2lbs. River Falcon was dropped 2lb to 75 and this admirable old sprinter keeps running his race and he looks sure to go in sometime, he was running off 96 at the beginning of last season and if he gets the breaks he should win soon.
The Class 2 Handicap at Windsor over 6f went to Parisian Pyramid, winning by a length from Prohibit who was running in a first time visor. Prohibit hadnt run that well in the Wokingham but he was woken up here. The winner was raised 5lb to 96 and the 2nd went up 2lb to 98. The eyecatcher for me was Signor Peltro who met a lot of trouble in running and was flying at the finish and he remains on the same mark of 100. The 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th had all run in the Wokingham the previous Saturday.
So there we have it, there are a few highlighted one's for you to keep a lookout for and be sure to look in over the weekend for my appraisal of the sprint action.