Thursday, 29 March 2012

The Cammidge Report.

On the first Saturday of the flat season a total of 14 runners  will line up for the first major sprint of the year the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster. The Clerk of the course reports that the going is good and that the track is in good condition.

Amongst those taking part with serious chances are Sirius Prospect, Royal Rock, Mayson and Waffle, whilst 4 of the other runners Fratellino, Googlette, Sos Brillante and Boris Grigoriev look to have it all to do on the ratings.

Sirius Prospect beat Mayson by a quarter of a length here in November on level terms in the Wentworth Stakes over 6f on Soft, however his win was more comfortable than it looks on paper and the 3lb he has to concede this time shouldnt be a problem. He was highly progressive last season winning 5 times and was raised a total of 30lbs in all. However he could easily turn out to be a Group horse and the chances are he will be fully wound up for this and will take all the beating.

Jimmy Styles won the race last season by 1 1/4 lengths from Iver Bridge Lad with Hitchens in 4th and both those will be otherwise engaged in Dubai over the weekend. However the following days handicap won by Horseradish from another of today's contenders Waffle was run in a slightly faster time than the Cammidge and Waffle will have 4lb less to carry this time. Waffle often performs creditably in big field handicaps when he comes weaving through fast and late, however I dont think 14 runners will play to his strengths in doing that. He did however have some very good placed form to other decent horses such as Deacon Blues, Hoof It and Masamah through the course of last season and he must be thereabouts.

Another to consider is the lightly raced veteran Royal Rock trained by Chris Wall, although he could only finish 6th to Jimmy Styles in last seasons race and the continuing drying ground will be worrying for his trainer.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Some Cammidge Trophy trends

Some of the top trends for the Cammidge Trophy are as follows :-

  •  Last time out winners have been responsible for 4 winners from 16 runners.
  •  Horses shorter than 7/1 in betting last time out have provided 70% per cent of the winners from 43% of the total runners.
  • 8 of the last 10 winners have had an RPR of 110 or more.

Below are the past winners from the last 10 years :-

2011 Jimmy Styles 7 9-2 22/1 Clive Cox Adam Kirby 111
2010 Inxile 5 9-5 17/2 David Nicholls Paul Hanagan 111
2009 Prime Defender 5 9-2 3/1F B W Hills Michael Hills 112
2008 Aahayson 4 9-2 14/1 K R Burke Fergus Sweeney 110
2007 Rising Shadow 6 9-5 13/2 David Barron Jimmy Quinn 113
2006 Les Arcs 6 9-2 15/2 Tim Pitt Neil Callan 116
2005 La Cucaracha 4 8-11 16/1 B W Hills Michael Hills 103
2004 Goldeva 5 8-11 40/1 Reg Hollinshead Tony Culhane 101
2003 Red Carpet 5 9-2 7/2F Michael Bell Kieren Fallon 113
2002 Falcon Hill 3 8-6 11/1 Mark Johnston Royston Ffrench 115

Monday, 26 March 2012

Its getting Sirius !

Sirius Prospect is entered for this weekends Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster and looks to hold a very good chance of continuing his progressive form from last season.
Also enetered is Richard Fahey's Mayson and his trainers record speaks for itself at this meeting and I expect him to have another batch of winners this time around.
Both horses feature in my "2012 Master List" and the full list of declarations for the race can be found via the link below.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Croisultan kick starts the turf sprint season in Ireland

Croisultan took the 6f Irish Field Handicap at the Curragh by a neck from Maarek on Sunday aftrenoon and now heads for the Listed Cork Stakes. He was waited with before making headway to chase the leaders from over 1f out, running on well in the final furlong to lead near line.
He had finished 7th of 26, beaten 4 3/4 lengths behind Our Joanthan in the Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 100 and was running here off 104, the second Maarek had finished 4th in the Ayr Silver Cup behind Cheveton, beaten 1 3/4 lengths off a mark of 89 and was running here off 97 having won a handicap here last September when beating "Master List 2012" entry Murura by a length.

Only six days to go !

The flat season will soon be upon us with the Lincoln meeting at Doncaster next weekend. I will put up a few posts during the week as we head towards the big day.

There are plenty of trainers websites that are also gearing up for the new season and Andrew Balding's popular spring magazine The Kingsclere Quarter is now available and worth a read.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Was it a vintage Gold Cup ?

With Synchronised winning the Gold Cup from The Giant Bolster I guess it was'nt everyones idea of the first two home, the exacta paid £707.80.
The winner was rated 143 when he won the Midlands Grand National in 2010 and he had only moved up 7lbs higher to 150 when he won Welsh Grand National in January 2011. He was thought by many to be nothing more than a good stayer.
The 50/1 second The Giant Bolster was rated 145 at the begining of this year when winning a handicap at Chepstow and here he was mixing it with the big boys in the Gold Cup and performing with plenty of credit too.
Some say that the third home Long Run was not a worthy Gold Cup winner last season but on times recorded in recent years his was the fastest time we have seen this century so far.
Kauto Star was obviously still feeling the effects of his fall and with Nicholls not having had a chase winner at the festival since he won the Gold Cup in 2009 it was always going to be a huge task for the 12 year old.
Looking at the times of the race in recent years and the ratings of the horses that finished first and second at the start of their respective seasons we have the following :-

2012 Synchronised 6m 36.19  GD - Rated 150 2nd The Giant Bolster 146
2011 Long Run 6m 29.70s GD - Rated 158 2nd Denman 182
2010 Imperial Commander 6m 43.90s GD Rated 165, 2nd Denman 174
2009 Kauto Star 6m 44.95s GD to SFT Rated 179, 2nd Denman 182
2008 Denman 6m 47.84s GD to SFT Rated 176, 2nd Kauto Star 179
2007 Kauto Star 6m 40.46 GD to SFT Rated 179, 2nd Exotic Dancer 139
2006 War of Attrition 6m 31.70s GD Rated 146, 2nd Hedgehunter 160

Supposedly a good field on paper the race lacked any real depth in my view and the fact that a horse who was struggling to go the pace for virtually the whole of the race could win shows us that. He simply outstayed those that were in front of him in the home straight and finished full of running up the Cheltenham hill which has in the past made many a class horses falter in its stride in this race.
If he were to turn up for the Grand National (14/1 with Stan James) then he would have a leading chance even though he is by Sadlers Wells who is not usually an advertisement for staying ability.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Flat Out !

I know where in the middle of Cheltenham week but its now only just over 2 weeks to the start of the flat season and at this time of the year we are offered several publications to titilate our thoughts for the months ahead.

One such publication is the Raceform 100 winners, Horses to Follow - Flat 2012, which is now in its 50th year and this booklet puts forward several sprinters to follow over the coming season.

A couple of the obvious ones are Hoof It, Mac's Power and Sirius Prospect but there are also mentions for Dakota Canyon, Eland Ally, Gowanharry, Hawk's Reef, Indego Blues, Lisiere, Pearl Secret, Pea Shooter, Swan Song, Swiss Spirit, Tartiflette and York Glory.

I will have a look thorugh some of the ones that dont feature in my own lists of horses to follow and see if they can be added.


Although the Queen Mother Chase was an all action race it left you wondering afterwards if the right horse had won - what with all the shenanigans that went on after what turned out to be the last fence. Both trainer and jockey of Sizing Europe were left bemoaning their luck but in all fairness he was leading coming round the dolled off fence so he may well have been run out of it up the hill in any event. Maybe we will see both horses back out at Aintree or Punchestown for a rematch.

I was in my local Ladbrokes today and one interesting stat that was mentioned was that Paul Nicholls hasnt had a chase winner at the festival since Kauto Star won the Gold Cup in 2009....surely that must be broken soon ?

Donald McCain certainly put everyone right who read his column on Betfair today, see below :-

16:00 2m5f Handicap Hurdle
Son of Flicka
He ran a screamer when he was second in the 'boys' race last year and he has been aimed at this meeting all season. He wasn't in much form earlier in the year but his work has been better in recent weeks and he does seem to be coming to himself - he's back down to a more realistic mark and the conditions should suit him well. It's obviously a very hard race but the signs at home have been more encouraging of late.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Festival fever taking hold !

Well Monday night I went to the Cheltenham Festival preview evening at Maghull Town Hall, Near Liverpool. Those present on the panel were John Parrott, John Morris (Jumping Prospects) and David Carr (Racing Post) who compiles the David Pipe feature on a Saturday. Unfortunately Stuart Machin was unable to attend.

First race up was the Supreme Novices Hurdle, everyone thought that Darlan was the class act but it was a case of whether he will be able to last out, John Parrott went for Alan King's Montbazon whilst John Morris sided with Donald McCains Cinders and Ashes(1st 10/1), the latter had been given the thumbs up by Cholmondley maestro earlier in the week at Bangor.
Sprinter Sacre is another Henderson hotpot but the likely Odds on price now that Peddlers Cross is heading for the Jewson led the panel to seek out some ew value and DC selected Menorah and JM Cue Card.
JLT Chase
Not much mentioned for this that I can recall but JP thinks that Lie Forritt may be the one for some ew cash.
Champion Hurdle.
All seemed to agree that Hurricane Fly will be difficult to beat as he may be better than ever, JP thinks that race could be run to suit Binocular who will get the fast pace he needs from Overturn.
Cross Country
Try and avoid this if you can, unless you know something we dont.
Mares Hurdle
Race not covered
Novices Hcap Chase
Ferdy Murphy's Going Wrong was mentioned for this.

That's Day one out the way, unfortunately due to lack of time I will not be able to post Tuesday to Friday selections until tomorrow evening. However several of the evenings are covered on

National Hunt Challenge Cup
Race not covered
Neptune Novices Hurdle
JP went for Simonsig, he said that Geraghty had stated that he wasnt beaten by the trip at Sandown but by the ground as it wa stacky. DC went for an ew selection in Cotton Mill and JM went for Monksland ew.
RSA Chase
DC went for Grand Cru's and suggested 50/1 outsider Mr Moonshine ew, JM First Lieutenant and JP  went for Alan King's Invictus ew.
Queen Mother
Sizing Europe seemed to be the only horse on anyones lips for this.
Coral Cup
JP mentioned Alan Kings Batonnier and said that Spirit River was only 4lb higher than when winning previously.
Fred Winter
JP mentioned the fav Vendor, Alan Kings Kumbeshwar and Fire Fighter who he says wasnt knocked about last time. DC said that Pipe's Kazlian was worth a saver. JM said to keep a lookout for all Ellisons runners at the festival and put in a word for Royal Opera, he also mentioned James Ewart's Un Guet Apens who can run a big race.
Champion Bumper
JP said that Royal Gaurdsman looked a good thing and Tizzard had said that he was better than Cue Card. New Years Eve was mentioned as was Peter Bowens Aintree winner Sir Johnson. Population will be going to Aintree.

Pertemps Hurdle
DC seemed to suggest that Our Father had been laid out for this and JM put forward Barwell Bridge as an outsider.
Ryanair Chase
JM and JP both agreed that Albertas Run will go well again and DC was keen on Great Endeavour back over a shorter trip after a break on a course he likes.
World Hurdle
Big Bucks was reaffirmed as the winner and that Dynaste might be produced late.
Festival Plate
Pipe's Salut Flo was put forward for this as one that would take a lot of stopping.

Triumph Hurdle
JP went for Pearl Swan and pushed home that Nicholls had said improvement was likely. A couple of big price alternatives in Hollow Tree and Asaid were put forward and Darroun also got a mention.
County Hurdle
Citizenship was mentioned for this on the back of the run LTO, however it's going to take a leap of faith in seeing if he makes the cut. Prospect Wells who has had a breathing op since last run was next best.
Albert Bartlett Nov Hdle
Boston Bob was given as the one to beat here as will improve for the better going, JP was keen on Mount Benbulben and Sea of Thunder and Lovcen were also mentioned.
Gold Cup
All thought that this years race could be set up for an outsider with a fast pace looking assured and JP was keen on Burton Port. JM went for Weird Al and said he looked brilliant at Bangor last Wednesday and McCain thinks he has him back to his best.
Some decent chasers in here as always such as Cloudy Lane and Chapoturgeon but as with the amateurs race the jockeys play a big part and you are best siding with one of those and Richard Burton does very well here.
Martin Pipe
Citizenship may go in this if not in the County. Balgarry was mentioned by DC as the likely winner for Pipe.
Johnny Henderson
Dual Swinton Hurdle winner Eradicate was talked about as a likely sort for this as was Kumbeshwar, Alan King having won with Oh Crick. Of course it goes without saying that henderson will be out to win it as well and Tanks for That could be the one for him.

David Carr's blogpost of the night is below:

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Deacon Blues blow for Fanshawe

Deacon Blues has been ruled out for the season due to injury.

Scans taken on Saturday showed the exciting sprinter to have sustained a tear to a tendon in a leg.

Fanshawe said: "We discovered some unusual warmth in his left-fore leg on Friday evening. We had him scanned on Saturday and we found a small tear in a tendon, which I'm afraid rules him out for the season. It's a big blow for the yard and his owners, but with injuries like this you cannot rush them. The main thing is to give him every possible chance of a full recovery."

Friday, 2 March 2012

A look ahead

The weeks are beginning to fly by this year and we are now only 4 weeks from the start of the flat season on 31st March 2012. British summer time itself begins on the 25th March when the clocks go forward 1 hour giving us that welcome extra hour of light in the evening.

The 2012 Horses in Training was published this week and it shows that Richard Hannon will have a total of 271 horses in his yard this season compared with 149 in 2005. It makes you wonder sometimes just how some of the horses arent forgotten in the pile. Sir Henry Cecil is really back on the way up with his figures and he has a total of 157 to go to war with in 2012 compared to just 55 in 2006. William Haggas too is creeping up the ladder with 130 for this season compared with 70 in 2003.

I will be taking a keen interst in the Racing Post Yearling Bonus scheme this season with shares in two 2 year olds with Middleham Park Racing, and with early indications showing that both look to be above average it could be a good summer - there are a few shares still available.

Dont foget, to get reading through, the Horses to Follow lists that I have compiled which can be reached via the adjacent links and you can see which horse goes better when she is drawn up against the rail on her left and which 2yo from last season was only 0.2 secs slower over the Longchamp 5f than the time set by the winner in the Abbaye.

Moving onto Cheltenham and you would be foolish not to pay a visit to Wayward Lad's blog (see adjacent link) who is in excellent tipping form as the festival week approaches having had 2 big winners in the last few days at odds of 10/1 and 16/1.
He has a Cheltenham Bulletin that you can purchase for a small donation and its well worth a read.

Oh last but not least I will be once again attending my local Cheltenham Preview Evening in Maghull this year which is on Monday night and hopefully it will run smoother than last year at the same venue, do you remember what happened, here's a reminder.

Well the Town Hall certainly lived up to a venue befitting that name as when the PA System was turned on to commence proceedings we had to endure "Push and push, step forward and back" the PA system had somehow got mixed up with the downstairs aerobics class ! .....and we had the delights of the panel doing their Mr Motivator routines to the repetitive thumping beat. That was funny for the first 5 minutes but 30 minutes later the joke had well and truly worn a bit thin and someone was despatched to try and pull the plug...... literally !. Unfortunately the bloke that went wasnt quite man enough as we heard him being kicked out of the room, over the PA, by the burly keep fit woman Instructor !!

I will of course publish the results of what happens on Tuesday evening.