Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Mandalay King comes good !

Mandalay King finally came good at Hamilton on Tuesday after running not so well at Thirsk previously, however he had first time headgear on and anyone who made a note of my comment from the "Up a bit, down a bit" post for June 8th and decided to stick with the beast will have been rewarded with a 14/1 winner ! .....alas I did not realise that it was running and missed my own note !!(see below)
Grafix Signs Handicap - Class 5 - 5f193y - Good To Soft - Carlisle
Feeling Fresh
won this in convincing fashion by 2 1/2 lengths from Mandalay King and has been raised 6lb by the handicapper to a mark of 76, the third Apache Ridge and fourth Hinton Admiral have already franked the form by winning at Pontefract off their respective marks of 70 and 67. Feeling Fresh looks capable of winning again granted similar conditions, this was his highest winning mark but he did have a good 5lb claimer on board which the stable will probably stick with. Mandalay King who was left alone by the handicapper will also be of interest next time.

A change to the format this week as I'm not doing "The Week Ahead" and will post as I go through the week, so please keep in touch with the blog as much as possible.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 23rd June

Sorry this is a little late but I have been in the Capital for a few days.

Some big races to cover from Royal Ascot and for the third year running The Wokingham Handicap winner recorded a faster time than the Group 1 Golden Jubilee winner !

Buckingham Palace Stakes (Handicap) Class 2 - 7f - Soft - Royal Ascot
This went to the consistent Manassas by a length from Excellent Guest, he seems to thrive in big field handicaps and he got his deserved success here. The winner was put up 6lb for his win to 101 and he should still remain competitive off that mark, the second is up 4lb to 94, whist the 3rd Striking Spirit a neck further behind is up 3lb to 94. The latter ran a big race on his first start over 7f from what appeared to be an unfavourable draw and he can be relied upon to go well again now that he has hit form. There were also rises in the handicap for Decent Fella 4th up 2lb to 92, Docofthebay 5th up 2lb to 97 and Courageous 6th up 1lb to 89.

Golden Jubilee Stakes - Group 1 - 6f - Soft - Royal Ascot
Society Rock followed up hissecond in the race last year by winning here at the large odds of 25/1. For some reason he had been completely deserted by the betting public and as we saw over the last week horses that have run well at this track previously tend to do so again. He won by half a length from Monsieur Chevalier who had the assistance of Fallon on this occasion and his mark has been raised 6lb to 118 although that is of little relevance as he wont be running in a handicap for a while. Elzaam had created a good impression at Newbury and this 3yo ran well to finish 4th on only his 7th start and the July Cup and Nunthorpe are his next targets. Definightly went off a bit quick down the stands side and Roger Charlton had this to say about his run and future plans "Definightly made the running as planned, keeping 5 meters away from the stand rail where I thought that the grounds was less cut up, but having gone perhaps a little too fast in the early stages he faded just before the final furlong post. Being drawn high appeared to be a disadvantage. He seems to have developed tremendous speed and granted 5 furlongs on soft or heavy ground he should be winning another Group race this year"

Wokingham Stakes (Heritage Handicap) Class 2 - 6f - Soft - Royal Ascot 
Deacon Blues followed up here for James Fanshawe and you have to be happy for this quite achiever who didnt have a very good time of it last year and he is back with a bang. The winner had been showing progressive form and had been working well at home and being by Compton Place is probably a tough old sort. He won this by a diminishing neck from the running on Waffle who is another that saves his best for big field handicaps and as a result he has been raised 9lb to 107, whilst the second has been put up 7lb to 107. James Fanshawe said post race "Deacon Blues kept just missing out last year but always showed plenty of ability and really improved from three to four after being gelded. He's from a family that like cut in the ground and he's always had plenty of class. I thought he had a rubbish draw until the Golden Jubilee - then he had a perfect draw". The third Pastoral Player who had dwelt leaving the stalls would probably have been better suited by better going and he remains on the same mark of 103 and is capable of taking a big prize in the coming months. Anne of Kiev in 4th ran really well on going she would not have appreciated and her trainer says that she will go next for the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York in July. Gramercy in 5th was making his seasonal debut and ran very well in the circumstances and has been dropped a pound to 97. Fathsta came into the race on a fair mark and was well supported on the back of the softish going and he ran a good race to finish 6th and has been dropped 2lb to 96. Mac's Power was first home on the stands side by 2 lengths from Lui Rei and he has been left on the same mark of 100. Blue Jack is down 2lb to 100, Victoire De Lyphar 2lb to 101 and Mister Hughie 3lb to 100.

The BHB summed up the weeks sprinting action as follows :

This year’s renewal of the Group 1 6f Golden Jubilee Stakes didn’t quite boast the strong international challenge we’ve been accustomed to in recent years, with thirteen of the sixteen-strong field trained in Britain, writes Stewart Copeland.
Not surprisingly the prize was kept at home and the four-year-old colt, Society Rock, trained by James Fanshawe – who later in the afternoon landed a notable double when Deacon Blues won the Wokingham Handicap – went one better than last year.
Runner-up to Starspangledbanner in 2010, though still sent off at the generous-looking odds of 25/1, Society Rock in my view showed himself better than ever on Saturday with his ½-length defeat of Monsieur Chevalier. Having discussed the sprint division with my colleague, Graeme Smith, who’s responsible for assessing the King’s Stand this week, we took the view that his performance in the Golden Jubilee was worth a rating of 118, with Prohibit awarded 117 for his King’s Stand success, which is something I’ll go into in more detail later.
The Golden Jubilee form has a solid look to it, with the likes of the third Star Witness – who appeared not quite to last home on Saturday – Elzaam (114) in fourth, Bated Breath (113) in fifth, and Amico Fritz in sixth, all pretty much running to the level we’d expect based on what they’d achieved previously.
In a historical context this wouldn’t compare with Starspangledbanner’s 121 last year, and Choisir who recorded the same rating in 2003, but is about average for a winner of the Golden Jubilee from the last decade.
The King’s Stand figure of 117 is also about average in terms of what it’s taken to win the race in recent years. Prohibit’s ½-length defeat of Star Witness undoubtedly represents a career-best from Robert Cowell’s six-year-old, but an accurate rating isn’t that easy to come by at this stage given the international flavour of the finish – the first five represented England, Australia, Hong Kong, Hungary and France respectively.
Historical standards for the first four home proved a good starting point, suggesting a figure of 117 or 118 on Prohibit. Graeme took the view that it was hard to split Prohibit’s winning performance here and that of eighth-placed Sole Power (didn’t get the best of starts) in the Temple Stakes last month – when Prohibit was back in third – and increased Prohibit’s rating by 4lb to 117, the same figure as his rival. With several months of the season remaining there should be plenty of time for the pair to settle their score.

Ive noticed that the Racing Post have started using Trainer Quotes as part of their race analysis in their results section....I wonder where they got that idea from ?

Friday, 24 June 2011

Is it Medici Time ?

Medici Time beat Magical Macey and Ancient Cross last time out at York over 5f on Good and the 3rd has run very well tonight at Newcastle and franked the form off topweight by winning the Gosforth Park Cup after showing a fine burst of speed to win going away by 1 3/4 lengths from Noodles Blue Boy. Medici Time was only raised 3lb for that win and the race at York was run in a decent time and he can go well again for Ted Durcan at Newmarket in the last and 4/1 is a fair price to upset the fav.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Week Ahead - 21st June

Well no Royal Ascot this week but there are some decent sprints throughout the course of the week.

Horses entered to run from The Master List are :
  • Amenable - 2.30 Newcastle Saturday
  • Diman Waters - 8.15 Chester Friday
  • Duchess Dora - 4.20 Chester Saturday
  • Little Garcon - 3.30 Windsor Saturday
  • Misplaced Fortune - 2.30 Newcastle Saturday
  • Singeur - 2.30 Newcastle Saturday - Form boosted by Verinco at Newcastle on Friday
Horses entered to run that heave featured in the "Up a bit, down a bit" posts are :
  • Addictive Dream - 3.30 Windsor Saturday - Can he make amends for missing Wokingham
  • Alpha Delta Whisky - 7.40 Bath Wednesday - 0 - Ran too fast in first part of race.
  • Amenable - 2.30 Newcastle Saturday
  • Cheveton - 3.30 Windsor Saturday - needs the rain
  • Confessional - 7.25 Newcastle Friday
  • Crown Choice - 3.30 Windsor Saturday - Looked good at Goodwood
  • Grandmas Dream - 6.20 Lingfield Saturday
  • Hotham - 8.15 Chester Friday
  • Lost In Paris - 4.20 Chester Saturday
  • Lui Rei - 3.30 Windsor Saturday
  • Medicean Man - 3.30 Windsor Saturday
  • Mon Brav - 7.25 Newcastle Friday - 0 - Given far too much to do by Jockey.
  • Questionnaire - 4.35 Windsor Saturday
  • Sohraab - 3.30 Windsor Saturday
  • Taurus Twins - 9.10 Newmarket Friday
  • Tombi - 2.30 Newcastle Saturday
There are several entered in some races such as the 3.30 at Windsor on Saturday and we will have take a view nearer the event when we know who the declared runners are and what the weather has been like.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Royal Ascot - The Golden Jubilee and Wokingham

Firstly what a great win for the blog today with Manassas winning in the last at the starting price of 12/1. Not only had he featured in the Master List but he has also had a couple of entries in the "Up a bit, down a bit" posts so he was well flagged up by me and you were alerted to his run earlier this week in "The Week Ahead" post (see below).....and he was in bold !!
Here is the entry from "Up a bit, down a bit" following his run in the Victoria Cup :
Hawkeyethenoo showed he had improved over the winter by taking this in taking fashion to win by 2 1/2 lengths from Brian Meehan's Manassas and he will now head for the Wokingham off an 8lb higher mark of 104. The second ran a very good race too and he has only been raised 2lb to 95, he ran well off 96 in last seasons Ayr Silver Cup and he seems to thrive in these big field handicaps.
As I told you earlier in the week I can only provide the dots you have to complete the picture and back the horse.

Anyway onto tomorrow and lets hope we can bag another winner although the going looks like deteriorating to Heavy the way the rain is coming down at the track and one look at the rainfall radar tells you the course is taking a battering this evening.

First up then is the Golden Jubilee at 3.45 were there are currently 17 runners and on this ground Definightly (0) must come into consideration with the one of the darlings of Ascot Olivier Peslier on board. This horse hasnt run for 217 days but is drawn highest of all and high have dominated all week up to now. I say now because people with memories of last year will remember there was a similar scenario only for it to change completely on the last day when there had been some over zealous watering by the Groundstaff the night before. That said high numbers were still to the fore in the last today(Friday) and its not as if they can de water the track, so it must be high again for me. This is a step up from Group 3win to a Group 1 race, albeit that win was a comfortable one on very soft in France. Roger Charlton had this to say about his chances "Definightly needs the ground to be as soft or heavy as possible and is drawn in stall 17 and as a front runner should have the advantage of being able to come up the stand rails. When he ran at Maisons- Laffitte he beat Dalghar no less than 9 1/2 lengths in heavy ground. Definightly has now won 6 of his 18 races and all on soft ground".
The stable also run Bated Breath and Genki however neither of those looks sure to appreciate soft ground.
Society Rock (1st 25/1) was a fast finishing 2nd in this last year on only his seventh start and although he hasnt quite lived up to that so far this year he remains one to keep on your side and the stable have been more pleased with him of late but how he will cope with soft is anyones guess as he has never run on it to date. Earlier in the week the stable's website had this to say "Society Rock had long time off and is as well as he has been all year but that may not be good enough to win the Golden Jubilee but we will be disappointed if he doesn't run well.
Irish raider Bewitched (0) wont have any trouble with the underfoot conditions and he won a Group 3 at the track at the backend of last year on Good to Soft when beating Genki into second and only having had 1 run 20 days ago when he beat Zoffany in another Group 3 he comes into this fresh horse.
Elzaam (4th) comes into this on an upward curve having shown a decent turn of foot last time out at Newbury when winning a Listed race by 6 lengths. This will only be his seventh start so it may come a bit too soon and he is another who we have no idea how he will act on the forecast going.
Star Witness (3rd) ran well here on Tuesday in the Kings Stand and he was only beaten 4 lengths by compatriot super sprinter Black Caviar on Good to Soft last November albeit he had no chance with the winner. He could improve now that he has Tuesdays run under his belt and he was staying on there.
Delegator (NR) is another that might not be suited by the going and one wonders how many of these will not be risked if the going gets really bad. He however obviously has a bit of class about him and his trainer has had this to say about his chances  "We don’t want the ground to be too soft for Delegator. There was a lot of rain at the course on Thursday morning and the forecast looks unsettled. He proved that he liked racing over six furlongs when he won at York and he has been working very well.He is ready to go and I am looking forward to seeing him run another excellent race, providing the ground is suitable."
It will be interesting to see if Fallon can get a better tune out of Monsieur Chevalier (2nd 25/1) and what happens with Hooray as Sir Mark Presott doesnt usually run them unless there good enough.
The going is definitely going to be the key to this and Definightly is worth chancing ew on his first run back at 20/1 from what has been a decent draw all week on the straight track.

The Wokingham sees 28 runners declared for this annual cavalry charge over 6f and on first look we have to check out proven mudlarks such Fathsta (6th) and Cheveton (12th), the latter is 7lb better off with Hoof It for beating him a neck on soft at Haydock over 5f last September and gets the strong assistance of Silvestre De Sousa so he must have a chance of doing better than his 40/1 price suggests particularly as Hoof It is the 13/2 fav at the time of writing. Fathsta fairly scooted up at York last year in the Coral Sprint Trophy on Soft over 6f beating a competitive field and 33/1 surely wont be around tomorrow morning for this proven mudlark, interestingly De Sousa was on him that day but is now on Cheveton. I have a sneaking suspicion though that the trainer wasnt best pleased with the manner of that victory in that he may have wanted to keep something up his sleeve for the future. Still he is only 4lb higher here and he won so well in that he must have a chance of being placed and the only niggling doubt is his draw, although Tom Segal tells us we should not put too much faith in that for any race. However we saw on Tuesday in the Kings Stand that there is not much between these sprinters when Prohibit came out and won a Group 1 and this soft ground may tip the balance in favour of the two selections.
There are several top horses in the lineup but the two above should give you a run for your money at big prices.

10.35 am Saturday : Not as much rain overnight as I thought but still 7mm and Clerk says its very soft. Delegator is a non runner in the Golden Jubilee as thought and in the same race Definightly is down to 9/1 in some places. There has also been money for Fathsta in the Wokingham also I hadnt noticed before but the first 5 in the betting for that race have all only had 1 run each this season and all featured in the Blogs Master List.

Good luck with your selections whatever you do.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 17th June

Prestige Scotland Handicap - Class 4 - 6f5y - Good To Soft - Hamilton
Grissom won this by a short head and a neck in a driving finish with Ursula and Karaka Jack and the 3 have each been raised 2lb, 3lb and 2lb respectively putting them each on marks of 80, 79 and 79. The second remains a horse to follow and will be out this weekend.

Lay Back And Win At betdaq.com Handicap - Class 5 - 3yo - 6f Standard - Kempton
This was won in comfortable fahion by Mosaicist who followed up her recent win under a confident Fallon ride. She caught the eye of the handicapper too who has raised her 10lb to 84, however she is definitely capable of winning again and she is going to go on to better things. Her trainer said after the race "She is improving. She just had lots of problems last season. She is bred for this trip but we are not sure where we will go with her now". Any plans for her to go to the sales though have now been shelved. Behind her here was Speighstown Kid who was by 2 1/2 lengths away and he has been dropped 2lb to 67 and we shall here more about him later in the weeks review.

Tom Jones Live On 18th June Handicap - Class 4 - 5f - Good To Soft - Haydock
Taurus Twins got his head back in front after a few runs have not gone quite right for him recently and he beat Angelo Poliziano by 3/4 of a length and has been raised 7lb to a mark of 84. 3yo Lady Royale in 5th was one that caught the eye behind as she made a bit of headway mid race which may have told in the latter stages and she should be watched next time.

Onshore Marine Medical Services Bristol Maiden H'cap - C5 - 6f16y - Gd To Firm - Chepstow
Questionnaire could be a name to keep on the lips for the next few weeks as she won this in good fashion by 3 1/2 lengths from Abeer with Muroona a further neck back in third. The winner though was fighting for her head as soon as the stalls opened and she eventually made her way over to the stands rail were she was always in command to win going away. She has been raised 8lb but she was only on 57 to begin with so a mark of 65 is not going to stop her winning again and she is due to run here again next Monday.

J T C Dobell Handicap - Class 5 - 3yo - 5f6y - Good To Soft - Sandown
Speightstown Kid ran here quickly after his 2 1/2 length 2nd behind Mosaicist 2 nights earlier and he finished 3rd to Alpha Delta Whisky beaten 3 1/2 lengths this time. The winner though has only been raised 3lb for this win unlike Mosaicists 10lb and although he may not have been as impressive he still won with a bit in hand and off a mark of 73 can be relied upon to win again. The second Grandmas Dream did well too considering she was carrying 4lb more than the winner and she has been left on the same mark of 74 and is entered at Lingfield on Saturday.

Charles Clinkard Fine Footwear Anniversary Stakes (Handicap) Class 3 - 5f Good - York
This was won by Medici Time who like Grissom earlier in the week had finished behind Wokingham fancy Addictive Dream previously. He beat Magical Macey by a length here and he had finished 5th behind Lost in Paris at Musselburgh, Ancient Cross was a short head away in third and Captain Carey a nose away in fourth. This was the winners highest winning mark to date and he has gone up a further 4lb to 85 so life wont be easy. Geoff Harker's Tombi was backed as if defeat was out of the question and was 9/1 from 25's, he finished 7th and his rating of 87 is a lot lower than the start of 2010 when he was on 103, he's won 3 times at 6f. There were 2lb drops for Rocket Bob and Haajes whose turn must come round soon.

Totesport.com Scurry Stakes (Listed Race) Class 1 - 3yo - 5f6y - Soft - Sandown
Margot Did had no trouble with the soft ground here and fairly scooted up 5 lengths from Dinkum Diamond albeit she had the best of the draw, but even so by 5 lengths from the second who had finished 3rd in the Abernant. She is not resting on her laurels as she will be out again this Saturday up at Ayr were she is likely to take some stopping again. Her trainer had this to say after the race "She probably would have won at York without the bump which saw her saddle slip and I was sure she would turn the form round with Night Carnation and Move in Time and she has. The logical step would be the Nunthorpe as she has run well at York already and after liking this softer ground the Abbaye has to be in mind in the autumn now. She could go for the King George V at Goodwood as well as there aren't many five furlong races for her now".

Bet totepool At totesport.com Handicap - Class 4 - 5f6y - Soft - Sandown
The winner Macdillon got the better of Tuarus Twins who had scored at Haydock earlier in the week. The winning margin was 1 1/4 lengths and he has been raised 6lb to a mark of 80 which is still 12 lb below his mark in 2009 when he showed decent form as a 3yo. Taurus Twins himself ran another fine race particularly as he had the worst of the draw and to finish 2nd to the winner was no disgrace.

Bond Tyres Trophy Stakes (Handicap) Class 2 - 3yo - 6f - Good - York
Lexi's Hero had only just failed to hold Strictly Pink at Pontefract, he then won at Chester off a mark of 89 before running a below par race at Newmarket. He won this very competitive 3yo sprint by a length off a mark of 95 and has been raised a further 5lb to 100. He's only had 12 starts to date so maybe capable of a bit more yet if he repeats the positive ride given here and this race has proved to be a reliable yardstick in the past. The next 5 or 6 to finish should be watched also and they were Cocktail Charlie, Acclamazing, Swiss Dream, Majestic Myles and New Planet. The latter was topweight and is obviously held in high regard by his connections as he started the season on only his 4th run of his career in the Temple Stakes, he ran well here and he was making progress towards the finish and is capable of stepping up. Forjatt was interfered with when making his effort and he too has only had 7 races to date.

Charles Henry Memorial Stakes (Handicap) Class 4 - 6f - Good - York
Last but not least Entitled took this 20 runner handicap in the manner of a good horse and she is in the right hands to continue her improvement through the ranks. She beat a good yardstick in Collect Art who has been in fine form and when the stalls opened you wouldnt have given anything for her chance as she completely fluffed it by rearing up. However Ryan Moore got her settled and she made steady progress throughout to win going away. She has been raised 8lb to 86 but one look at her relatives shows dual Group 1 winner Peeress in there so theres plenty of room for improvement yet over this trip.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Week Ahead - 14th June

Well there are no more sprints at Royal Ascot until Saturday but there are some others along the way at the other meetings.
Here we go then I will supply the dots and you just need to join them up to get the full picture.

This week the week ahead see's the following horses run from the Master Lists (see right of page for full details) :
  • Bated Breath 3.45 Ascot Saturday
  • Deacon Blues 4.25 Ascot Saturday - 1st
  • Definightly 3.45 Ascot Saturday - 0
  • Hoof It 4.25 Ascot Saturday - 7th
  • Kelly's Eye 8.10 Newmarket Friday
  • Macs Power 4.25 Ascot Saturday -
  • Manassas 5.35 Ascot Friday - 1st 12/1
  • Singeur 8.10 Beverley Thursday - 2nd
  • Tropical Treat 8.10 Beverley Thursday - See below  -4th of 4
  • Victoire De Lyphar 4.25 Ascot Saturday -
Horse to run that have featured in the "Up a bit, down a bit" posts are (Latest additions are in Orange) :
  • Ajjaadd 7.30 Lingfield Saturday - 1st
  • Apace 3.40 Newmarket Saturday
  • Barnet Fair 9.10 Kempton Wednesday - Kieran Fallon booked - 1st 5/2
  • Blue Jack 4.25 Ascot Saturday
  • Chosen One 6.45 Haydock Saturday
  • Commander Veejay 9.20 Ayr Friday
  • Deacon Blues 4.25 Ascot Saturday - 1st
  • Docofthebay 5.35 Ascot Friday
  • Elzaam 3.45 Ascot Saturday - 4th
  • Fathom Five 3.25 Ayr Saturday
  • Feeling Fresh 8.15 Haydock Saturday
  • Grandmas Dream 7.30 Lingfield Saturday
  • Lady Royale 3.55 Redcar Saturday
  • Lui Rei 4.25 Ascot Staurday
  • Manassas 5.35 Ascot Friday - 1st 12/1
  • Mango Music 3.25 Ayr Saturday
  • Margot Did 2.20 Ayr Saturday - 1st
  • Questionnaire 8.00 Chepstow Monday
  • Sonny Red 2.45 Ripon Thursday - Nicholls/Claiming Race - 0
  • Ursula 4.40 Ayr Saturday - 0
  • Verinco 8.10 Beverley Thursday - See below - 3rd
Ive put in bold some of the horses I expect to run well which makes a shorter list for the week, however there are several horses in the list that are entered in The Wokingham, some wont get in the race but some will and I will be looking at that race and the Golden Jubilee in more detail on Friday evening. There are only 4 runners in the 8.10 at Beverley on Thursday and as luck would have it 3 are mentioned above so I will need to take a view on that tomorrow night. Of course you can check all comments for all horses mentioned by just putting their name in the search box at the right of the page and that will bring up a list of all the entries made since the start of the blog in April 2010.

Singeur looks to be ok at the weights and being in fine form so far this season is the natural choice in the 8.10 at Beverley on Thursday and one would hope that it doesnt develop into a tactical affair. Unfortunately Singeur's Jockey didnt take up a very good position for a 4 horse race and lost ground when he eventually made his move and thereby lost the race and the best horse didnt win.

Below is a picture of Manassas winning at Royal Ascot for the blog on Friday at 12/1 !

Monday, 13 June 2011

Royal Ascot - The Kings Stand

We wont have much to work on as regards as to what part of the track they will elect to come down and I would imagine they will follow whoever is the fastest to begin with and that will either be Tangerine Trees, Bridgetown or Holiday for Kitten. The fastest part of the track according to the going stick is up the middle so I would imagine on that basis that Bridgetown will lead. The going tomorrow is said to be Good on the straight track according to the clerk of the course and time will tell if that is so.

Well the race itself doesnt look as bad as I thought it would be and I'm going to start by putting them into stalls order and commenting briefly as I go through the field about their chances :-
  1. Swiss Diva - Best form has been with cut and difficult race first time out for contenders in the past.
  2. Sole Power - Will appreciate the fast pace but not any ease in the going and only time will tell if he has a good draw.
  3. Tangerine Trees - Blitzed the first 4f in the Temple Stakes at Haydock before fading into 10th, will have plenty of company for the leadhere and I can see same scenario developing again.
  4. Mar Adentro - Ran well in the Abbaye from a poor draw, however may want a bit more cut than he has got here to show his best.
  5. Rose Blossom - Difficult to see her doing any better than her 6th place in the Temple Stakes.
  6. Arctic - Ran well from good draw when 5th in Abbaye but probably wants softer going.
  7. War Artist - Finished 2nd in Dubai in March, will appreciate fast pace but may have needed a prep run before running here.
  8. Kingsgate Native - Ran well in the Temple at Haydock, a course he does well at, finished a modest 6th in this last year beaten 4 lengths behind Equiano and probably best of the home team.
  9. Stone of Folca - Cant see any improvement on run in Temple Stakes.
  10. Sweet Sanette - Looks to be  a speedy type that Spencer could get a tune out of.
  11. Bridgetown - A seriously fast horse who has only had 12 starts to date and warmed up for this recently at Churchill Downs when 2nd and has settled in well at Newmarket.
  12. Astrophysical Jet - Not conviced we have seen anything out of the ordinary so far and will need to step up in my view.
  13. Iver Bridge Lad - Probably not up to this standard although will appreciate the going.
  14. Prohibit - Race should be run to suit and has been running consistently lately and it would nt be a suprise to see him catching up fast at the end.
  15. Overdose - Supposedly struggled at Haydock behind Sole Power but still only beaten 4 lengths and this easier going will help him to get a little closer, however he will be up against even speedier types this time than at Haydock.
  16. Monsiuer Chevalier - Ran well behind Bated Breath recently but stable are hoping for a place more so than expecting a win.
  17. Holiday For Kitten - Has a high draw and may head for the stands rail, she is fast and gets weight all round. Has only run over 5f once when winning in a time of 55.48secs but that was 1.45 seconds slower than Bridgetown recorded at the same track.
  18. Star Witness - Has seen the backend of Black Caviar 3 times but is no back number all the same, has claims on his win at Flemington albeit that was over 6f and he should be able to lie up with the pace before being produced.
  19. Group Therapy - Ran on well when beaten 3 lengths into 5th behind Sole Power in the Temple Stakes at Haydock, should appreciate the fast pace and will get good tow off Holiday For Kitten and provided they dont come over to the stands rail should get a clear run up the stands side.
Bridgetown looks to have a decent ew chance, he's drawn in the middle and I would imagine he will be bang up there from the off and 14/1(Coral and Totesport) is a fair price about his chances. Star Witness will also be on the premises come the end and could be the likely winner (5/1 Paddy Power). Its anyone's guess as to which of the others will be running on to gain the minor honours as there are a few that will relish the fast pace we are likely to get. Kingsgate Native looks to be about the best of the home runners but I dont think that will be good enough even in what appears to be a sub standard race apart from the foreign raiders.

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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Royal Ascot ahead !

As Royal Ascot approaches I will be posting on Monday evening for the Kings Stand on Tuesday so please have a look at the blog then when I will go through all of the runners in the race to assess their chances. The regular blog posts "The Week Ahead" and "Up a bit, down a bit" will be on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings as normal.

There are a few runners today from last weeks "The Week Ahead" post which I blogged on Tuesday of this week, so please take a look at that, to find previous comments on the horses mentioned you can use the search facility at the right hand side of the page.
If you had chance to look at "The Week Ahead" post today you will have seen that 4 of the horses mentioned from previous "Up a bit, down a bit" posts were running in the 3.25 at Doncaster namely Dungannon, Mon Brav, Medicean Man and Dorback and the first three of those finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd producing a tricast payout of £374.32.
1st Dungannon - 15/2
2nd Mon Brav - 9/1
3rd Medicean Man - 6/1

Friday, 10 June 2011

Friday Night Update !

There are a couple of decent sprints on tomorrow, I myself may be off to the Chester races if its decent weather !

At York there are two races on the card that look on paper wide open handicaps, but there didnt look to be much in the draw today with middle to lower numbers being favoured at the last meeting and the winner today coming up the stands side. I'm going to give this 3yo handicap a miss although Jamesway ran well in the Epsom Dash and he's drawn in the middle so he has the option of going where the pace is and Fahey had this to say about him "I  thought Jamesway ran a blinder the other day in the Dash, he was only beaten about half-a-length and in another four or five strides would have got there. This would be a downgrade from Epsom and Jimmy Quinn was desperate to ride him again but has to go to Sandown".
In the 5.30 Class 4 Feeling Fresh gets the assistance of Jamie Spencer who has a good record for the stable and he will no doubt be leaving it late on the selection. The way he won last time suggests that he will be able to win again off his revised mark and the 3rd and 4th from that race have both won since, however there are 20 runners and there several other in form horses to contend with such as Collect Art and Steelcut. The former has managed to win 6 races this year and only go up 15lbs which as a feet in itself, however he has never won a race of more than 12 runners so may feel a bit swamped here. The one who could be the major stumbling block is Entitled who has the potential to be a lot better than she has shown, related to dual Group 1 winner Peeress who was rated 118 at her best she has her first run over a sprint trip off a mark of 79. However I'm going to go with Feeling Fresh as there should be a decent pace and the stable have not felt the need to stick with a claimer so they must be confident he can defy the mark with Spencer booked. Entitled wins at 9/2

At Sandown there is the Listed Scurry Stakes at 3.30 over 5f and the going there is Soft on the sprint track. Night Carnation gave 8lb to Ahtoug here in April and won by 2 lengths, whereas tomorrow she is in receipt of 5lb, so there shouldnt be a problem for her in that battle, she doesnt have the best of draws in stall 9 but she does have a turn of foot. Margot Did (13/2 Betfred)gets the best of the draw here and she didnt get the clearest of runs last time when she was unlucky to finish 4th beaten a length behind Night Carnation on levels and she may be able to get the better of her this time. Margot Did wins easily at 4/1.

The 5f Class 4 Handicap at 4.05 sees 15 runners line up and the draw may well have a big effect on this race although the only fancied runner drawn low is Sharpened Edge who made all last time and wont mind the bit of cut she gets here and she may well have come on for her first run of the season. Of the others Ajjaadd has looked a little unlucky on occasions and was only 3 lengths behind Taurus Twins (winner on wednesday night at Haydock) on levels at Windsor when the course record was broken and meets that rival on 12lb better terms here although Taurus Twins has 5lb taken off with the claimer and Ajjaadd looks the value. Ajjaadd Non Runner, Taurus Twins 2nd at 13/2.

At Chester the 5.05 could be another win for the progressive Barkston Ash although Lord Avon is a speedy sort who could take advatage of the number 1 draw. Lord Avon wins at 9/2, backed in from 7/1.

Good luck everybody and lets hope the day goes well.

If anyone wins any money as a result of what they have read on this blog then please feel free to use the donate button at the top each page, you never know with a little bit of encouragement I may be obliged to provide even more winners !

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Up a bit, down a bit - 8th June

We have been in fine form of late with 2 wins and a very close 2nd in the last 2 days and lets hope the good run continues into next week at Royal Ascot.

Grafix Signs Handicap - Class 5 - 5f193y - Good To Soft - Carlisle
Feeling Fresh won this in convincing fashion by 2 1/2 lengths from Mandalay King and has been raised 6lb by the handicapper to a mark of 76, the third Apache Ridge and fourth Hinton Admiral have already franked the form by winning at Pontefract off their respective marks of 70 and 67. Feeling Fresh looks capable of winning again granted similar conditions, this was his highest winning mark but he did have a good 5lb claimer on board which the stable will probably stick with. Mandalay King who was left alone by the handicapper will also be of interest next time.

Weatherbys Bank Handicap - Class 4 - 5f - Good To Firm - Redcar
This went to Bedloe's Island who stayed on strongly to beat Nomoreblondes by 3/4 length with Hamoody in third. The winner was raised 3lb to 73, whilst the 3rd remained on the same mark of 85 and Ishetoo and Diman Waters were dropped 2lb and 1lb to marks of 74 and 80.

Directors Cup (Handicap) Class 3 - 6f - Good - Ripon
Addictive Dream was having just his tenth start here and won in taking style by two lengths from Grissom who franked the form on Wednesday night. The winner who is entered in the Wokingham has been raised 7lb to a mark of 98 and if any of you were quick enough he was available at 25/1 with Ladbrokes after the race for Royal Ascot handicap. The second on the far side Kelly's Eye was 6 1/2 lengths behind the winner and this was probably an improved effort for him and he has been dropped 2lb to 89 which is only 2lb above his last winning mark. Other's of note to be dropped were Amenable 2lb to 87 and he is 3lb above his last winning mark, Hotham 3lb to 78 and he is now 13lb below his last winning mark at York in July last summer and Noverre to Go 2lb to 92 and he is now 5lb below the mark on which he finished 5th to Evens and Odds in last years Stewards Cup.
Medici Time who finished 4th in this won a Class 3 Handicap off a mark of 81 on Friday 10th at York beating Magical Macey and Ancient Cross in the process. He had been dropped 1lb for the Ripon race where he finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Addictive Dream and that horse remains at 16/1 for the Wokinghan a week tomorrow.
Edgen Murray Europe Ltd Tartan Trophy Handicap (Consolation Race for the Scottish Sprint Cup) Class 3- 5f - Good - Musselburgh
Lost in Paris took this by 2 1/4 lengths after coming from off a strong pace to win going away from Bosun Breese. As a result he has been raised 7lb to a mark of 87 and he mighnt get the same scenario next time for him to take advantage of particularly as this was already his highest winning mark by 5lb. Of those behind Garstang, who finished 6th, is favourably treated on turf compared to the All Weather and he was dropped 2lb to 59 despite being drawn 3 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd coming from stalls 13, 12 and 14. Invincible Lad was dropped 2lb to 77 and Jarrow 1lb to 77, with the latter surely capable of better at some stage.

Investec Entrepreneurial Class "Dash" Handicap - Class 2 - 5f - Good To Firm - Epsom
The fastest race in the uk calendar went to the in form Captain Dunne who led the field throughout to win by just a neck from Confessional under the welter burden of 9-10 making him the first topweight to win since 1990. The time of 54.30s was decent enough compared to previous runnings but there was only 3 1/4 lengths covering the first 13 home so that may hold things down a bit. The second has gone up 3lb to 94, the 4th Sohraab who came from stall 1 has gone up 1lb to 85 but he remains favourably handicapped, the 5th Fathom Five may have run his best race in this for his new trainer and he has been left on the same mark of 91 and if he comes back here later in the year he should go close. Jamesway one of the 3yo's in the race who didnt have a very good record in it finished 7th which was good considering he came from stall 5 and he should be capable of winning for Richard Fahey off his mark of 88.

Investec Specialist Bank Handicap - Class 2 - 6f - Good To Firm - Epsom 
The concluding race on Derby Day went to Gerard Butler's Swiss Cross by half a length from Tajneed with Fireback a further nose back in third. The winner has been raised 6lb to 98 and heads next for the Wokingham, the second will probably go for the Great St Wilfrid although he would be 12lb worse off with last years winner Damika in that. Lui Rei had the worst of the draw in 16 but still managed to finish 4th coming with a strong run and he has been raised 1lb to a mark of 100. Of those behind Baby Strange was dropped 2lb to 90, Green Park 3lb to 83, Olynard 3lb to 83, Esprit De Midas 2lb to 85 and Sonny Red 3lb to 85. Esprit De Midas was having his first run for David Nicholls having been claimed earlier in the week and his last win came off 85 at Haydock on Soft last September and he may be capable of further improvement for his new trainer given the right conditions. The same stables Sonny Red is also favourably handicapped judged on his 2nd behind Colonel Mak in last seasons Ayr Silver cup when he was beaten 3/4 of a length of 89 although he had a 3lb claimer riding.

Totesport 0800 221221 Saltire Sprint (Handicap) Class 2 - 3yo -5f - Good To Firm - Musselburgh
Barnet Fair had run well last time out at York when being left at the start and he showed here what he is about by winning this Class 2 by 1 1/2 lengths from Bold Bidder who had only just been beaten by the progressive Ahtoug at Chester. He seemed to win in comfortable fashion and his trainer who is doing well with what he has is sure to find some more opportunities for him off his new mark of 84 having been raised just 4lb.

Totescoop6 Scottish Sprint Cup (Handicap) Class 2 - 3yo+ 5f - Good To Firm - Musselburgh
The big sprint at the Scottish track was won by the lightly raced Burning Thread at 50/1 although he had the best of the draw in stall 16 and how he went off at such a price is suprising. His trainer didnt think it was such a suprise though and he said afterwards "He had a nasty time in the stalls on his final start last season, so I sent him down to Gary Witherford, who is a genius with stalls work. Unfortunately on his first run back the blindfold came off late and he injured himself. So it wasn't a big surprise". As a result he has been raised 4lb to 98 which is fair, the seond Verinco was a length behind and the fast finishing Kaldoun Kingdom was 3rd and he has been left on the same mark of 98. Doctor Parkes who has been in good form finished 4th and holds the form up, whilst Fol Hollow ran his best race for a while to finish 5th and is starting to look well handicapped. Others to receive some leniency were Hazelrigg down 2lb to 84, Cheveton down 1lb to 95, Colonel Mak down 2lb to 96, Courageous down 2lb to 88 and Striking Spirit down 2lb to 91. Paul Hanagan had this to say about Doctor Parkes "He ran an absolute blinder at Musselburgh last Saturday when he was fourth. He didn’t get a great run a furlong out but more important, he hated the ground which was loose and he wants it rattling fast. If it stays dry over the coming months there is a very decent sprint waiting for him".

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The week ahead - 7th June

Last week was the second week of this new feature and it produced wins for the "Up a bit, down a bit" posts as follows :
  • Captain Dunne at 13/2
  • Barnet Fair at 4/1
  • Lost in Paris at 4/1
It also produced the exacta in the Dash with Captain Dunne 1st and Confessional 2nd which paid £88.00 and there were places for Kaldoun Kingdom at 33/1 and Confessional 2nd at 10/1, backed in from 20/1.

This week the week ahead see's the following horses run run from the Master Lists (see right of page) :
  • Duchess Dora - 4.25 York Friday
  • King of Eden - 3.25 Doncaster Sunday - 10th
  • Russian Spirit - 3.40 Salisbury Sunday - 0
  • Tropical Treat - 3.40 Salisbury Sunday - NR
Horse to run that have featured in the "Up a bit, down a bit" posts are :
  • Ajjadd - 4.05 Sandown Saturday - NR
  • Barkston Ask - 5.05 Chester Saturday
  • Barnet Fair - 8.20 Ripon Wednesday
  • Crown Choice 2.55 Sandown Saturday
  • Dorback - 3.25 Doncaster Sunday - 0
  • Dungannon - 3.25 Doncaster Sunday - 1st 15/2
  • Feeling Fresh - 5.30 York Saturday - 0
  • Haajes - 4.25 York Friday - 10th
  • Hotham - 5.50 Thirsk Tuesday
  • Medicean Man - 3.25 Doncaster Sunday - 3rd 6/1
  • Mon Brav - 3.25 Doncaster Sunday - 2nd 9/1
  • Mosaicist - 7.15 Kempton Wednesday - 1st 3/1
  • Sutton Veny - 2.30 Salisbury Sunday - 3rd 11/2
  • Taurus Twins - 7.20 Haydock Thursday - 1st 4/1, 4.05 Sandown Saturday 2nd 13/2
  • Ursula - 7.30 Hamilton Wednesday - 2nd 7/1 btn short head
Obviously we cant back all of the above as there are 3 or 4 entered in the same race and we will have to take a view as the week goes on taking account of non runners and running plans.

Friday, 3 June 2011


Well I didnt do too bad today with Lost in Paris winning and I'm hoping to do a little better tomorrow.

At Epsom we have the Dash which I have covered in the previous blog post below, I think Fallasteen gets a decent weight pull with both Captain Dunne and Masamah and out of the three I would be inclined, on thinking about it, to just favour him over Captain Dunne but there's going to be nothing in it and it will come down to luck and who breaks best and whether they can get a decent position etc.

The 6f race later on I'm going to give a miss as nothing really stands out for me, although I suppose Fallon on Joseph Henry is interesting at 14/1.

Up at Musselburgh the high numbers dominated todays sprint and I would imagine things will go the same way tomorrow, I highlighted Barnet Fair after his extraordinary run last time out(watch it if you can) and he could go well in the 2.05 over 5f and he probably has Bold Bidder to beat.

Later in the afternoon at 3.40 seventeen line up for the Scottish Sprint Cup and Doctor Parkes (15) looks to be a worthy fav, he seems to have improved this year and he could lead all the way from Hazelrigg (14) and Favourite Girl (11). Four and five year olds have a good record in the race winning 9/10 and the draw often favours those near the stands rail and it was confirmed again today so its Doctor Parkes for me. If your superstitious stall 6 has produced the winner 3 times in the last ten years and Courageouus is berthed in that this time and at 25s you could back worse. Fol Hollow usually runs at Epsom on this day but he's been sent up here this time and he will get the Fanning treatment, he is 6lb below his last winning mark and has the best of the draw in 17 if he gets a good break.

Triple Aspect runs in the 6.40 at Baden-baden, just in case you havent had enough by then.

Finally and unfortunately due to issues with blogger I am unable to comment as myself on any of my posts at the moment.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Epsom Dash !

Dont blink as your likely to miss this if you do. Once again all the speedsters line up for this popular annual Derby Day race over the Epsom 5f course. Seventeen runners are here and low drawn horses have had a poor record down the years and although you can never safely write off anything, those drawn 1-7 may have a problem to overcome, with the following record for winners over the last 7 years when there have been similar sized fields :
2010 - drawn 15 0f 19
2009 - drawn 18 of 18
2008 - drawn   8 of 19
2007 - drawn 15 of 18
2006 - drawn 17 of 20
2005 - drawn 10 of 20
2004 - drawn   8 of 20
Pace will also be a key factor as the winner will almost certainly comefrom off the back of that and with the likes of Fallasteen 12, Strike up the Band 11, Captain Dunne 9 and Masamah 8 the winner could well be drawn away from the rail, although Fathom Five may end up having an uncontested run along the rail in stall 17 unless Fallasteen moves over as he did last time here. This is his second run for sprint king Nicholls who has no less than six entered although Crimea drawn in 14 is doubtful. His record here reads 61175 with his 2 wins coming off handicap marks of 93 (time 55.64 on Good) and 91(time 55.31 on Good to Firm), he is on 91 for this and Adrian Nicholls rides. He finished 6th when he had the best of the draw in 2008 off 97 and 7th last year when he again had a very good draw off 94 so it's hard to see him improving on what he has done previously given that he isnt getting any younger and you have to rely on the change of stable giving him the required improvement to win.
Last years winner Bertoliver has a low draw in stall 4 draw which is going to be difficult to overcome for him and for the others drawn low around him.
Topweight Captain Dunne (9.10) may well be bringing the best recent form into the race with his 2nd at Chester behind Doctor Parkes and his 2nd Group 3 in France at Longchamp behind Nicholls Inxile where he was caught on the line after leading throughout in a time of 55.92. Just behind him there was Prohibit who then finished only 1 1/2 lengths behind Sole Power at Haydock in the Group 2 Temple Stakes. He looks like being one of the main pacesetters here but he is10lb higher than when coming 2nd in 2009 when he broke well.
On the subject of weight 6 of the last 10 winners caried 8-08 or less with the best weight carring performance being Fire Up The Band in 2005 who carried 9.09 to victory.
Fallasteen is 2-2 at the course and the last time he won here was when he was drawn 5 of 14 and on that occasion he did exceptionally well to get over to the rail to lead virtually throughout, so you can imagine he will be making the same move again from his better draw this time. He has the assistance of William Buick with Spencer riding for Kevin Ryan as he often does but that could well be an advantage.
Beat the Bell was only 1 3/4 lengths behind Fallasteen on his first run here, he is now 5lb better off but is drawn better in stall 7, had 1 last time, although in contrast Fallasteen doesnt have as far to get to the rail.
It could be a difficult ask for Perfect Blossom to win on her first run of the season but this has apparently been the plan for sometime, however draw 6 and a not so experienced jockey put me off.
Masamah will be bang up there but he is another that is a virgin at the track although he has the form to win if liking the experience.
At this stage I would be looking at in no particular order Fallasteen, Captain Dunne and Masamah to fight it out, but I will have another post tomorrow evening to try and bring it all together.