Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Best of the Rest

The King George wasn't a vintage year for me and Silvianaco Conti simply ground it out better than the others on the day with the going coming in his favour. The Gold Cup will probably be more up his street than this race however so there is little chance of Cue Card turning it around there and in any event it doesn't look, on this evidence, that he will be able stay that test and he will be better off in the Ryanair.

The Welsh National was much more of a contest and a spectacle for me with Tidal Bay trying to achieve the best weight carrying performance(OR163) in the race since Carvills Hill and boy did he nearly pull it off and all within a week of turning 13 years of age. In coming third he just failed to give 26lb to each of the first two home on the heavy going.
Of course there is no hard and fast rule as to when a horse should stop racing and retire, the general retirement age of 12 is something that has just come about over time and which all trainers seem to follow year in year out regardless of whether the horse is still capable or not it would seem. Nigel Twiston Davies is probably someone who doesn't stick fast to the 13 and you retire rule and he has had some success with the veterans in his yard.
Certainly for the Grand National, which will now be his next race, Tidal Bay will be cut some slack by the handicapper Phil Smith and as we could see yesterday he clearly wasn't stopping and would have been on top in another half furlong or so. Add to that the fact that he has never fallen, he unseated his rider at the 10th in the 2011 National off 159, and he must have a decent chance of finishing in the money at Aintree. We must also remember that he was only beaten 3 1/4 lengths by Bobs Worth in the 2012 Hennessy when giving him 6lb (ran from a mark of 166) and he must be on anyone's National shortlist.
The first and second in the Welsh National Mountainous and Hawkes Point should both get into the Grand National off their respective ratings, certainly that is where Nicholls other runner will be heading, however the winner is probably reliant on heavy ground (11131) and the chances of that are slim at Aintree. Their conqueror at Chepstow on 7th December De La Bech runs at Cheltenham on New Years Day from a 4lb higher mark and the Hobbs runner looks capable of going well there having only had 4 chase starts to date and 10 under rules in total so he is open to improvement. He needs to win there if the stable have any pretensions of running him in the bigger handicaps.

The Ryanair Hurdle on Sunday started off a bit cat and mouse but the pacemaker Captain Cee Bee soon took it up and set a good pace. Things started to hot up as the main three approached the turn into the home straight and once in the straight there was some jostling for position in which Jezki and Tony McCoy got squashed out between Our Connor on his left and Hurricane Fly on his right and consequently Hurricane Fly achieved a slight advantage on the run to the line in getting a clear run. It's difficult to say if that made any difference to the result but Jezki would have certainly been a lot closer granted a clearer run.

Value At Risk did it well in the last bumper of the meeting although I don't think he needed to be at his best to do so. I know I've mentioned a few of these already but these races are where all the good horses start from so you need to get a grip on them as soon as possible. Value At Risk had beaten Windsor Park at levels by 1 1/2 lengths last time out at Fairyhouse and he was unable to give 7lb to Noble Endeavour here on Thursday when beaten 3 lengths.
Any comments or thoughts of anyone else would be appreciated on any racing that occurred over the Christmas period not just in relation to the above or previous posts but to anything racing related- lets share the knowledge with each other and move forward together !

Good luck !

Pause for Thought

Some great racing over the last week at Kempton, Chepstow and Leopardstown.
At the latter I was not only impressed by The Tullow Tank but also by Seefood who finished 2nd in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle Qualifier and Home Farm who finished 5th in the Paddy Power Chase as well as others listed below.

The Tullow Tank came into the Grade 1 Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle having won his last three races and in the last of those he beat Mullins Arctic Fire into third in the Royal Bond. That rival lined up again here and Mullins had also drafted in the unbeaten Moyle Park presumably based on home work and you would have to think that these were the best they had to offer. Mullins had said pre race that the more testing the going the better for Moyle Park, whilst The Tullow Tank's trainer Philip Fenton had said that he had previously had in the back of his mind that his charge preferred going right handed and although he had worked on that he was still raising it as an issue. In the race however he had nothing to fear as The Tullow Tank dismantled Moyle Park and the rest of this decent field with little fuss and he joins Istabraq, Hurricane Fly and Jezki as dual winners of this and the Royal Bond and on that evidence he looks a horse capable of winning at one of the big festivals. It was also another feather in the cap for his sire Oscar.

Seefood trained by Dessie Hughes was prominent throughout in the Pertemps Qualifier under his weight of 11-3(OR134) and he was the only 1 in the first 7 to carry more than 10-6 with twenty one and a half lengths covering those seven. The time seemed good based on the other races on the card. He looks almost certain to run at Cheltenham on this evidence and he must have a good chance in whatever race he runs in over hurdles if he doesn't go up too much in the ratings in the meantime, he may even switch back to chasing. He is probably best on good ground. His trainer won the Pertemps final in 2005 with Oulart (OR121) having won the Paddy Power Handicap Hurdle at the Christmas meeting here.

Home Farm hails from the same family as Jodami. He had finished 3rd in last seasons Irish National after being hampered three fences from home on just his fourth chase start (10 career starts to date). That  run had followed his win in a Beginners Chase when beating White Star Line at levels who had previously been placed at the 2012 Cheltenham Festival (2nd behind Hunt Ball) and then 3rd behind Golden Chieftan JLT Speciality Hcap Chase at the 2013 Festival. The White Star Line has gone on to win the Kerry National beating Carlingford Lough off 130 in receipt of 17lb and Carlingford Lough beat Morning Assembly in the Grade 1 Novice Chase on Sunday at Leopardstown.
Home Farm started this season over an inadequate 2m and he was being aimed at the Stewart Family Gold Cup at Cheltenham earlier in the month, for which he was backed into 6/1 from 12s before being taken out because of a dirty scope.
At Leopardstown in the Paddy Power over 3m he ran on well from mid division to finish a closing 5th beaten 6 1/4 lengths under his top weight of 11-7 (OR 142) burden, jumping well throughout. The chances are he will probably have another go in the Irish National but I wouldn't rule out an entry at Aintree in the big one and we may now see him in a hurdle race next to protect his handicap mark. Taking last years Paddy Power Chase as a guide the winner Colbert Station (OR132) won in a time 11 seconds slower than this years event and he was sent off at 12/1 at Aintree. This year the time of the race compared favourably with the Grade 1 Lexus Chase won by Bobs Worth the following day being exactly five seconds slower having run half a furlong further so it is handicap form to follow.
Home Farms trainer Arthur Moore had Organisedconfusion in the 2012 National running off a mark of 145 which equated to 10-8, he had previously been Moore's second winner of the Irish National in 2011, Feathered Gale had won in 96.
As we know Arthur Moore is a trainer who can ready a horse for a big race and only having had 10 runs to date Home Farm has plenty of potential to improve even further on his current rating during the remainder of the season ahead and we must keep on the right side of him in which ever Handicap we see him in next when the going is no worse than soft.

In the concluding Bumper on Friday Gordon Elliott's No More Heroes pulverised the opposition and 3m chasing is his ultimate aim in which he should excel on this performance.

On the Saturday the concluding bumper was won by Dermot Weld's Silver Concorde in a decent time for the going of 4min 0.50secs with a welter burden of 12-0 and he looks to have a bright future. He had been off the track for 516 days and Weld said that he did what was expected of him, stating that he had been just a big weak horse and he had matured a lot. He further stated that he would prefer better ground as he is a nice actioned horse and that he would now go for a winners bumper. He had previously finished 3rd behind Jezki and Ned Buntline on his debut at the beginning of 2012 and then he ran a bit erratically when going right handed at Galway in July 2012 where he finished 2nd.

Another to note over the first 3 days was Gordon Elliott's Double Irish who showed improved form to win a Maiden Hurdle on the Friday, the turn of foot he showed between the last two flights being really impressive.

Roll on Sunday and the Ryanair Hurdle.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Where to start ?

It's a packed Boxing Day on the racing front with 11 meetings in Britain and Ireland to choose from. Over here the best we have to offer is at Kempton with the King George, the Feltham and the Christmas Hurdle.Whilst in Ireland at Leopardstown we have a Grade 1 Novice Chase, Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle and a hot Maiden Hurdle, at Down Royal they stage an interesting Hunters Chase.

Festivities are in full swing here and I will be trying to pick out the best favs to try and collect some easy money to keep the wallet topped up for the indulgent days ahead.

You need to be up early tomorrow and have your wits about you as even before we hit 1.00pm there are several short priced fancies going to post with the likes of Milo Man, Vandros, Hail Tiberius, Bobble Boru, Horrendous Hulabaloo, Clondaw Flicka and Dubai Prince all in with leading chances in their respective contests.

In the 12.50 at Leopardstown Dermot Weld runs the useful flat performer Stuccodor in the Maiden Hurdle and he is up against Willie Mullins Daneking formerly trained by John Gosden and this could be an event to keep an eye on with Cheltenham in mind.

In the 1.30 at Down Royal an old fancy takes to the Hunters Chase stage in Joncol and if Paul Nolan has him up to his old form  he must run a big race, although he is up against last years winner Tammys Hill and also Salsify.

The 2.10 at Market Rasen is over 3m 5f and this marathon trip could be ideal for Merlin's Wish and if the going is testing then all the better. He has Charlie Longsdon's Orange Nassau to beat.

Champagne West gets a stone and 10lbs off top weight and fav Southfield Theatre in the 2.15 at Wincanton, although Harry Derham claims 5lb and the form of his latest win could be good enough to see him triumph.

In the 2.20 at Leopardstown Margaret Mullins (4-16) runs Cairdin in his first Handicap Chase and he should give a good account.

I had the The New One picked out as a festival winner from his first win last season and I'm sure he can go on again this time round. Obviously the 2.35 at Kempton is a difficult task fro him but My Tent or Yours wasn't overly convincing last time so I'm hopeful he can do the business.

Seconditis has troubled Rydalis so far this year and hopefully he can put a 1 on the board in the 2.50 at Wincanton in what could be a good day for the Williams yard. I.m hoping that his good jumping holds up and that that will make him difficult to beat.

Dan Skelton has his stable in top form and he has been a revelation, hopefully he hasn't stopped winning and in the 2.55 at Wetherby he runs Mister Grez  who must be placed at least.

Towcester takes some getting and you tend to see the races being won by the bigger stables who have no probs re fitness, however Course and Distance winners are also worth looking out for and in Bill The Lad in the 3.05 we have just that and he is able to run before he is reassessed by the Handicapper.

I have already covered the King George in my previous post and I've no reason to change my view on that.

Last Shot for Venetia Williams in the 3.25 is another fav that should win, but what price he will start at is anyone's guess.

Brian Ellison has a few runners tomorrow but one that could be capable of better over hurdles is Beaumont's Party who went up 17lb on the flat this season and the first time hood should hopefully light him up in a good way in the 3.30 at Wetherby.

In the 3.45 at Kempton there are several in with chances however I'm going to take an ew chance on Master Of The Game Hendersons entry who he was quite sweet on at the start of the season so hopefully he can put his best hoof forward in the first time hood.

On the flat at Wolverhampton the day starts with a tricky little sprint in which it may be best to side with Forest Edge to regain his winning sequence. He missed the break last time but couldn't get back into it, but that was not surprising as they took over half a second off the course record and some decent horses have run here in the past so it was decent time by any standard, even Tom Segal's. William Haggas looks to be after some Christmas funds and sends out Resolute and Epic Battle and both must have leading chances in their respective contests.

Well there you have virtually all of my thoughts for the Boxing Day bonanza. Not even I will be backing them all and I wouldn't expect anyone else to unless they were mad, but I've highlighted a Yankee from the above which can be done to small stakes.

Good luck !

Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas is a time for........

Yes you've guessed it, catching up on all things racing and watching the King George and Welsh National !

I see there are some new followers to the blog - be warned I don't do many posts over the winter as this is a predominantly sprint based blog.. but I'm usually fast out of the blocks come March.

Looking at the King George field it is not an inspiring bunch and probably one of the worst line ups we've had for a while. I would imagine whatever wins will not be remembered in the racing history books.
Long Run, like a lot of the French bred, seems to be heading downhill now he's turned 9 on the showing of his two runs this season and although this is a track were he tends to run well he will need to step up considerably on what he has shown so far to figure.
Cue Card is a favourite of many but he doesn't rock my boat I'm afraid and top 3m chaser he isn't in my view...but I'm quite prepared to eat my hat if he runs well but the best I can see him doing is third.
Silviniaco Conti needs further so will struggle on this tight track and they wont he hanging around. In a normal year he would have prospects of being PU but not sure this field will result in that.
Dynaste was beaten fair and square by Cue Card at Haydock but he will race sharper this time so could turn the tables and looks set for place prospects.
Menorah will probably struggle on his first run back and Champion Court looks slightly out of his depth.
Riverside Theatre runs well here but he is another you would have to think is shooting a bit high in this.
Mount Benbullen may need the going to be a little softer than he gets here to show his best and were not really sure what his best is in any event.
That leaves the reliably consistent Al Ferof who looks capable of improving again on what he has  shown so far and he can win at the expense of Dynaste and Cue Card. 

Monday, 9 December 2013

Aintree thoughts

Went to my local track at Aintree on Saturday to get some clues for the National. It was a pleasant day weather wise, although no winners for me, and managed to meet up with a few friends along the way too.
Bit disappointed with the facilities in that the some of the tote screens were so grubby with dirt it was difficult to see the odds and also the metal stairways coming down from the roof were mossy and slippy and these issues were not isolated. I can only say bad show Aintree and it reminded me of the bad old days of the seventies. Lets hope they put things right for the Grand National as we all know it isn't cheap going to these big meets and we should be getting the best they can offer and not the most economical.
The main event the Becher Chase was dominated by front runners, as so often has been the case here, and it would appear even more so now with the fences being made easier. This allows the front runners to really attack the fences without any fear of falling if they clout one and Hello Bud was able to negotiate a mistake early on at the second that normally would have taken him out of the race.
The first four home had shown a tendency to run prominent previously and comments in the Timeform racecard read as follows :
1st - Chance Du Roy - "races prominently"
2nd - Baby Run - "free going front runner"
3rd - Mr Moonshine - "front runner/races prominently"
4th - Ballybough Gorta - "front runner/races prominently"
As it was Baby Run lead them most of the way with Mr Moonshine in or about 3rd, Chance Du Roy was a bit tapped for toe early but worked his way into about 5th heading out from the stands, there were several out the back who were being rousted along to remain in contention. Ballybough Gorta was about 10th for most of the race and gradually got to 4th coming up the straight, needing to be pushed along constantly to do so.
The winner was well handicapped on his best form and really only had to recapture that to be in with a solid chance which he was able to do. He had previously run in the Grand Sefton in 2012 from 15lb higher and connections were eyeing that up again back in October so it was surprising to see him turn up in this and there is now every chance that he will run in the big one come the spring.
Mr Moonshine for National winning trainer Sue Smith jumped really well and I was quite impressed by him and I think he is an ideal type for the Topham. He ran in the National last year but staying isn't his forte and he was tailed off and pulled up. This year he started by running an encouraging race in the Old Roan Chase off a mark of 140(5lb out of handicap), 133 today, and finished 4th to Conquisto. A repeat of that form in the Topham coupled with his good jumping and prominent running would see him go very close.
Peter Bowen's Ballybough Gorta is only 6 and although he has improved considerably over the last year his trainer believes there is more to come and there's every chance we shall see more of him at this track at which his trainer has had a healthy amount of winners in the past.
It will be interesting to see how the handicapper reacts to the race and to those who didn't run well for one reason or another and what effect it will have on the betting for the big one.


Friday, 15 November 2013

Big Weekend

Well its the Paddy Power weekend and the Tote Ten to Follow has now started so I can let you into my cunning plan to win.
I'm not trying to win the whole thing I'm just trying to win the November prize of £10,000.00 and my 4 lists include horses that will be running over the next 15 days and you can find them under the "Sprinterstogo" banner.
It was a good start to the competition with wins for Balthazar King and Taquin Du Seuil and it puts me in 19th place on the leaderboard.
With several more selections due to run over the next few days I'm hoping I can get a bit higher.

Keep in touch with the blog as I hope to post up some more thoughts over the weekend.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

End of the Flat - Long Live the Jumps !!

Well the flat season is over and sprint wise it finished with a predictable win for Jack Dexter on his favoured going over the improver Highland Colori. Next year there will be a new batch of sprinters at the top as several stars have retired to the paddocks to take up breeding duties etc.I haven't totally finished with the sprint races as I will be keeping a close eye on the AW starting this Saturday at Lingfield.

There was a funny news piece in the Racing Post yesterday about Long Run and the reason why he never ran well at Wetherby in that they had discovered a photograph showing him making a bad mistake in the back straight. Surely though his jockey Sam Waley Cohen would have known Long Run had made the mistake and he would have reported the same to connections following the race. Therefore it's strange that Henderson was quoted as saying he didn't know what had happened because he didn't see the mistake on the tv pictures ??

Well it's that time again when we submit our entries for the Tote Ten To Follow, with the knowledge that there's a strong possibility we wont win anything. I did lead the field one year for about a day and that was the best I have done - this year though I'm taking a different approach altogether and I will let you know my plan after the entries have closed.

The stable tours series in the Racing Post is in to it's fifth and final week and there are some interesting facts and figures in the stable analysis sections that could put you on the winning trail and I will looking at those at bit more in depth on this blog.

Had a couple of bets last week on Rydalis who just ran out of steam at the end of the race having jumped very well throughout and Uriah Heep who also suffered a similar fate - well both run on Thursday and I've had a go !.

Finally Wayward Lad tipped a fantastic winner today at Bangor in Midnight Appeal which won at 25/1 - if your not a visitor to his blog already you should get involved straight away as he provides some top selections and it's always a good read - link opposite.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Bet Through The Racing Post Mobile App Handicap.

This Class 2 event throws up the usual mix of horses for a Saturday afternoon, there was a 6f race here yesterday but having viewed it I don't think it made any difference as to were you were drawn it just happened to be that Spinatrix led this side of the group, the whole field coming down the middle of the track.
The going  appears to be very soft and as we know you need everything in your favour to win one of these sprints so previous winning form on soft is probably a must and in that case we need to look to the likes of the Irish challenger An Saighdur, Ballesteros, Free Zone, Jamaican Bolt, Judge 'N Jury, Kyleakin Lass, Pearl Blue, Steps and Take Cover.
The booking of JohnnyMurtagh for the latter is a positive as the horse is lightly raced and open to further improvement and Murtagh could be the man to extract that. The horse won well last time at York over the distance and beat several of his rivals, he is locally trained and his trainer is expecting a big run and although he is fav he seems to have a lot in his favour.
Jamaican Bolt hasn't had much racing this year but he now has his ground and having been second in this last year he is an ew alternative to Take Cover.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Sprint News

Not done much blogging lately on this subject and there have been a few things happening.
Society Rock is to take up stud duties at Tally Ho Stud in County Westmeath for 2014 whilst Lethal Force will head for Cheveley Park Stud so the sprint division will be down two stars next season. Hopefully though we will see their offspring before too long on the racecourse.

A couple of weeks ago we had the Ayr Gold Cup and last weekend was of course the Prix De L'Abbaye won by soft ground lover Maarek. The son of Pivotal has been a consistent performer for a few seasons now and deserved this Group 1 win.

Tropics well and truly put himself back on the sprint map after his poor run at Ayr when winning the Group 3 John Guest Bengough Stakes at Ascot by 3 1/2 lengths and he will now be roughed off for the year and will look to step up to Group 1 company next season.

"He'll be rested now, he actually left this morning to go to Graham Thorner's yard for three months just to give him a break from our place. It will do him good to be in a different environment. Part of me would have liked to have run him as he's just won a Group race convincingly but I don't think he likes big fields. Whether that is because we only take him out in a small string here I'm not sure. He put up a Group One performance in my eyes, but it took a lot out of him. I feel he'll be a better horse next year and he'll start off in a Listed race at Doncaster on the first day of the season (Cammidge Trophy). His main aim will be the Diamond Jubilee (at Royal Ascot) and he'll have one or maybe two runs before that, then it will be on to the July Cup and we'll see where we are at. There's so much to look forward to with him."

I'm having a holiday in Norfolk next week and will be heading to the sales at Newmarket. I won't be buying anything mind just having a look round and taking in the atmosphere, maybe one day though !

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Ladbrokes Portland Handicap

At the ripe old age of 71 Ted Powell  saddles Ajjaadd, a 2,600 gns Godolphin reject, from his 1 horse yard for one of the biggest challenges of his career in the Portland Handicap at  Doncaster today after missing the cut by one last year he has a real chance of winning this time running off the same mark as when 2nd in the Stewards Cup behind Rex Imperator. He has the assistance of Kevin Stott who claims 7lb and that extra 4lb claim could make all the difference today and he's decent ew value at 14/1.
In fact the Stewards Cup form could be the key to the race as with plenty of pace and give in the ground its going to be a test for any 5f horse and I expect it will go to one who has run well over 6f before.
With that in mind the likes of Doc Hay, Burwaaz, El Viento, Our Jonathan, Racy and Prodigality all come to mind and any of those and the selection above could make up the first 3 home.

High draw crucial ?Runners drawn high usually hold sway in today's race with the winners in the last six years coming from numbers 21, 15, 7, 16, 18 and 21. That could be an advantage for last year's winner Doc Hay (16) this afternoon.

Trainer Comments :
Roger Charlton, trainer of Definightly
"He was disappointing on his comeback run and this will tell us whether we carry on or retire him. He should like the ground but has top weight."

Kevin Ryan, trainer of Bogart
"He won his maiden on good to soft and he won a sales race on good to soft, so I think he will handle the ground. I wouldn't want to see tacky ground. He's in great form, I was delighted with him last time and it's the same trip. I'm looking forward to running him."

Roger Varian, trainer of Steps
"Steps is racing off his highest mark to date but he's an improved performer this year and looks in great order. He would have a decent each-way chance in what is always a fiercely competitive event."

David O'Meara, trainer of Elusivity and Doc Hay
"This has always been the plan for Doc Hay after he won it last year and he will like the ground. Elusivity is in good order at home and the more rain the better for him."

Hugo Palmer, trainer of Zero Money
"He has come out of his win at Lingfield in really good form. But he may struggle with half a stone more to carry."

Ted Powell, trainer of Ajjaadd
"The plan was to win both the Stewards' Cup and the Portland with him, but we ran into one at Goodwood and it has just been a case of keeping him ticking over at home. He has won on good to soft so the ground should be fine. We just need some luck in running."

Ed Dunlop, trainer of Burwaaz
"He's in good order and it's the right race for him, although I don't know how his draw (2) will pan out."

Charlie Hills, trainer of Angels Will Fall
"She ran a good race and travelled well at York, but she found the ground too firm so I'm looking forward to running her on softer ground."

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Up a bit, down a bit - 12th Sept

A few weeks gone by since I last took to the blog to post an "Up a bit, down a bit" - the reason mainly being a lack of response to any posts.

There wasn't a great deal on offer last week but there was a Group 1 at Haydock won by Gordon Lord Byron. It was pretty predictable stuff as he was one of the few in the race that could stay 7f and he also had the form to make his mark as well as acting on soft. Plus throw in the jockey that can do no wrong in a Group race, Johnny Murtagh, and you have a recipe for success.
He won by a comfortable 3 lengths from Slade Power with 3/4 of a length to Hoof It and the same to my ew selection Hawkeyethenoo and he now looks likely to head for the Prix De La Foret at Longchamp.

On the same card Confessional finally came good in the Class 2 Be Friendly Handicap and in doing so recorded a top speed figure of 95 which is up with the best he has achieved in the past. He has been raised 6lbs tp 100 and now that he has got his head in front connections will be hoping that he can go in again in tis weeks Portland. Harrison George in second improved again and continued his good run and he is entered at the Curragh on the 14th in a Group 3.

At Ascot the same afternoon Dungannon was another to eventually get his head in front in the 5f Class 3 Handicap 2 years after his last win.His last win was off 95 and this was done off 86 so the 3lb rise in his handicap mark leaves him capable of going on from this, although he has no current entries.

On Friday 6th September at Haydock Imperial Legend got the better of Rusty Rocket over 5f and was a welcome winner for David Nicholls and in doing so he recorded his best top speed figure and Racing Post rating of the season so he will go into the Ayr Gold Cup meeting in top form. He is only likely to get into the Bronze or Silver Cups but Nicholls has also earmarked a 5f Handicap that he could run in at the same meeting. The second Rusty Rocket also recorded his best top speed and RPR to date and  he is also entered at Ayr, he tried his best to make all the running but was headed close to the finish and he can surely win again as this was a sterling effort from top weight.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Bad day at the office for Pricewise

Pricewise selector Tom Segal had a bad day at the office on Saturday picking 7, two in one race, and never got one place never mind a winner. His selections are below :
Field Of Dream - 5th
Pythagorean - 7th
Jedward - 9th
Storm King - 7th
Suraj - 8th
Garswood - 6th
Caponata - 10th
It shows that there is hope for us all after all and Pricewise is human - seriously though it shows that the Racing Post can get stayed in its ways and surely its time for a welcome change in the paper which gives us something new to read instead of the same tired old articles and columns every day of the week.

Haydock Sprint Cup - Trainer Comments

"Lethal Force is in excellent form and I really hope conditions are suitable for him. I couldn't be happier with him. He's in great nick and obviously he has already proved this year he's at the top of his game. Hopefully he'll fly the flag for us. He came back very well indeed from his run in France. He's very full of himself. That was a very good race. She's (Moonlight Cloud) a very special filly. With her being on home territory it was a tough nut to crack and it was a course record. Adam (Kirby) knows our horse really well and his impression on the day was that he probably wasn't quite as sharp as he was for the July Cup run."
Gordon Lord Byron
"He's in very good form. He arrived over there on Thursday night and was out on the track on Friday morning. He's in very good order. The rain is fine, but a drop was needed as it would have been very quick if they didn't get a drop. Last year we thought we were drawn on the side with pace and it didn't work out like that. Hopefully this year we will be. We were catching Lethal Force in Deauville the last day we met, so hopefully there will be a good pace and we might get by him one of these days.
"He improved last backend so hopefully he will improve at the same time of year again."
"The more rain the better to slow the others down a bit because we're dropping him back in trip. Slowing down the race a bit would help us. He's in great form and we're delighted with him. He goes there in top shape. He's got to step up. We switched him off this year to try to get a mile and he has won over seven. The ground is not a huge issue, it's just to slow them down and the better chance we'll have."
Slade Power
"He's in good form, I just hope he behaves himself in the stalls and has a good run. He was a bit naughty in the gates the last day. He'll be fine with the track, but we seem to be drawn away from the pace and there's nothing we can do about that. Unfortunately it has been raining there. He has won on soft ground. In an ideal world I'd like the ground to be good."
"He won't mind a wee bit of rain, but not that much. We wouldn't have picked that draw, but hopefully something will go forward on our side of the track as Lethal Force is in one. He was unlucky at Goodwood but he's an obvious player if he runs to that sort of form again."
"The key for him is he needs softer ground. In the morning when he works on firm ground he does not work well, but he shows his best form when it is soft. Six furlongs is best for him, as he showed when he was fourth behind Black Caviar at Ascot. He is doing well and any rain will help."
"Kavanagh is very capable on his day. That last run brought him on nicely and he looks a happy horse. He's up against some good opposition but should run well"
Heeraat and Rex Imperator
"They are both well and I'm happy with them. I gather it's rained there so I think it will suit Heeraat well. The race at York was a bit of mess last time for Rex Imperator (second to Sirius Prospect over seven furlongs). A fast gallop over six is obviously what makes him tick. He goes on the ground but whether he is quite as good on the ground, I don't know. He'll run OK. I think they've got sporting each-way chances."

Friday, 6 September 2013

Haydock Going Update 07.00hrs.

HAYDOCK PARK - Flat (Updated:07/09/2013 at 07:07:37)   
GoingGood to Soft, Soft in Places in Back Straight.
(GoingStick: 7.6 on Saturday at 07:00)
StallsCentre: 5f and 6f
RailsAll races will run over the Stand Side Home Straight.
Actual race distances: 5f; 6f; 1m 50yds; 1m 6f 100yds.
Weather6mm of rain fell during Friday and a further 2mm overnight.
Forecast chance of scattered light showers.

"Watch Your Bets" as some bookmakers are only offering one fifth of the odds on the race such as William Hill.

The 25/1 is good ew value for Hawkeyethenoo coming from stall 16. His form figures mightn't look that good but he stays 7f, which you may need tomorrow, and he often finishes his races well.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Betfred Sprint Cup - Haydock

Saturday is the biggest flat racing day of the year at my local track Haydock and it sees 16 runners go to post for the Betfred Sprint Cup over 6f.

The going could have some ease in it with rain forecast for Friday so you will need to keep an eye on conditions as when there has been ease in the going in recent runnings high numbers have been favoured. It will also be interesting to see how the sprints work out at the track leading up to the race.

The threat of rain this weekend is a concern for Clive Cox. The Lambourn trainer told Racing UK: "My two are very high-class horses, but I'm very concerned about the weather forecast. Hopefully they don't get as much (rain) as they might do. Reckless is a bit more proven on a slower surface of the two so it would be a bigger concern for Lethal Force. He is in great form, so I hope it's all right."

At this stage the draw is as follows ;
15 - SOLE
13 - HOOF IT
  7 - HAMZA
Draw Record last 5 years :
2012 - 3, 12, 1, 8 (13) Firm
2011 - 9, 15, 13, 14 (16) Good to Firm
2010 - 14, 7, 4, 8 (13) Good to Firm
2009 - 13, 12, 8, 10 (14) Good to Soft
2008 - 12, 14, 15, 3 (15) Soft
Age of Winner - 5, 3, 7, 5, 3
2012 - 1st Society Rock, 2nd Gordon Lord Byron, 3rd Bated Breath, 4th Dandy Boy
2011 - 1st Dream Ahead, 2nd Bated Breath, 3rd Hoof It, 4th Genki
2910 - 1st Markab, 2nd Lady of the Desert, 3rd Genki, 4th Kingsgate Native
2012 Review - The field bunched towards the far side. The pace was not especially strong and with the favourite below par this form is a little unsatisfactory. Society Rock behaved better at the start than he sometimes does and got away on terms. Chasing the pace near the far rail, he took a gap when it came for a tenacious victory.
Time - 1min 1.20s

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes

It's the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes over 5f at York. The going is Good to Firm and twenty runners will go to post in this most competitive of sprints on the flat knavesmire.

The draw played a big part here at the start of the season but there hasn't looked much to choose between either side during the course of the week.

It usually pays to stick with proven form in these events as the handicappers stepping up tend not to have what is required and I think we should be concentrating on the likes of Sole Power, Shea Shea and Kingsgate Native who if they get clean runs through should all be thereabouts.

It may come down to Jockeys to win the race and in that respect I'd rather have Dettori and Murtagh on my side than Shane Kelly as I wasn't too impressed with his effort at Sandown two runs ago.

Shea Shea did everything right at Royal Ascot but was collared by Sole Power who made his run on the other side of the track. This time they are both drawn on the same side and I can see them being the 1st and 2nd. I know it's pretty predictable but they are the best horses in the race.

Mike de Kock thinks dropping back down to five furlongs will definitely be in Shea Shea's favour after his fourth-place finish in the July Cup. "I think it's a better track for him - flatter, faster. He'll be much mores suited to that than six furlongs up the hill at Newmarket last time, we're happy to have Frankie (Dettori) aboard as an able replacement for (the suspended) Christophe (Soumillon). At the end of the day we've been pretty happy with results. Last time we may have been a little far back, but the horse that won (Lethal Force) broke the track record. How much closer could we have been to him? Being his third run back from a rest, Shea Shea should possibly be at his best. There's always the luck in running - what happens on the day, how they break, how they don't. There's never much between these really top sprinters.It would be nice to have someone out there that goes flat out, but everyone's there trying to win."

Personally I hope Moviesta runs well too as he progressed with each run and Paul Mulrennan deserves a big win for some sterling work in the saddle.

I may be wrong but I just can't see there being a big outsider winning and this is Frankie's chance to grab a Group 1 on Shea Shea from Sole Power.

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Looking Ahead

Well the draw has been kind to both Spinatrix (1) and Pearl Ice (3) who were first and second at Ripon over the course and distance on 5th August when only half a length separated them at the line. Pearl Ice is 5lb better off this time and is arguably better drawn than last time so he could be the value at 10/1. Adrian Nicholls has gone with Summerinthecity whilst Dick Bos has sneaked into the race at the bottom of the weights.

Over at Newmarket Ninjago should be able to show he's one of the best 3yo sprinters around even though he is without Richard Hughes in the saddle. Hasopop ran well at York but he is on worse terms with Ninjago on previous form.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Willam Hill Great St Wilfrid Stakes - Ripon

The draw in this is always a big factor and essentially you have to be on one side or the other with the far side holding sway ie low numbers and you also have to be able to race prominently.
Course winners and a recent run are other big factors.
I think it will be interesting to see which jockeys will be riding Richard Fahey's runners and a look at his piece on Friday on the Sporting Life website is a must.
Rainfall is expected on Thursday so you need to keep an eye on things there and of course the draw and field will be available.
Draw Record last 5 years :
2012 ; 10, 18, 7, 5 (20) Good
2011 ; 17, 20, 19, 6 (19) Good to Soft
2010 : 6, 1, 8, 3 (17) Good to Soft
2009 : 11, 19, 4, 13 (17) Good to Firm
2008 : 10, 5, 12, 9 (20) Good to Soft
Age of Winner : 5, 4, 7, 6, 5
2012 Result - 1st Pepper Lane, 2nd Tax Free, 3rd Louis the Pious, 4th Captain Ramius
2011 - 1st Pepper Lane, 2nd Our Jonathan, 3rd Mayson, 4th Parisian Pyramid
2010 - 1st Damika, 2nd Tajneed, 3rd Signor Peltro, 4th Rileyskeepingfaith
2012 Review - The winner was successful off 4lb lower 12 months ago, became a rare dual winner of this event. A year ago she made all up the stands´ side, but this time, drawn down the middle in stall 10, she joined the far-side group. Equipped with a hood for the first time, she broke betterthan she had been doing and was nicely on top from the furlong pole
Going - Good
Time - 1m 11.95s