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

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Up a bit, down a bit - 7th August

Just concentrating on the three sprints from Goodwood last week starting with the Stewards Cup won by Rex Imperator. He didn't figure in most pundits thoughts for the race, including mine, but he had been fancied for the Wokingham when he was the selection of both Gerald Delamere and "by the numbers" in the Racing and Football Outlook as both thought he was well handicapped. He was a running on five length 6th in the Wokingham having been switched a couple of times. William Haggas has an excellent record in recent times on the sprint course at Good wood a fact that was not missed by James Pyman in Saturday's Racing Post who commented that he had enjoyed 4 wins and 4 places from 13 runners in the last 10 years. Rex Imperator had also posted his best RPR of 114 in his last race when beaten by Tropics and he was meeting that rival on 9lb better terms. In addition it turned out that high numbers were favoured as the first 3 home were drawn 26, 25 and 28. He won by a going away 2 1/4 lengths from Ajjaadd with a further half a length back to Burwaaz and he has been raised 6lb to a mark of 110, whilst the 2nd is up 1lb to 99 and the third remains on 97.
In behind Racy showed he was still in good form for Brian Ellison and Ninjago showed that he was still improving with a running on 5th, he stays on 103. Tropics is also probably capable of better, he was just drawn in the wrong place this time.
The winner may now be aimed at the Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock as the trainer seems to like a runner or two there, whilst Racy may take up an entry this weekend at Ascot.

In the earlier Stewards Sprint Stakes, which was run half a second slower, the winner was Clive Cox's Seeking Magic by a nose from Take Cover(goes well fresh) with 3/4 of a length back to Chooseday in third and they have been raised 5lb to 98, 4lb to 93 and 2lb to 87. The handicapper didnt seem to take too much note of what happened behind as he only changed the ratings of all runners between 5th and last (24th) by no more than 1lb. In behind Picture Dealer, who was on an upward form curve coming into the race, got a poor start and he did well to get himself into any contention.

Earlier in the week 3yo Moviesta won the competitive King George Stakes over 5f and in doing so he beat Swiss Spirit by 1 and a half lengths with Justineo and another improving 3yo Glass Office in 3rd and 4th. The winner now has form figures of 321811221 and he is entered for the Group 1 Nunthorpe for which he is a best priced 7/1 and he remains capable of further improvement.His sire Hard Spun, who doesn't have too many runners this side of the atlantic, is really making big strides in the breeding ranks and his is a name we may hear a lot more about in the UK and hopefully from a 2yo that I have a share in that is yet to race for the all powerful Hannon stable. 

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Force to conquer Deauville !

Lethal Force will face 13 rivals as he bids for a Group One hat-trick in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville today.
Clive Cox is in confident mood "I'm very happy with him, he's been in excellent form since the July Cup. Obviously this is six and a half furlongs this time but we are pleased to move in that direction with him as he has won over seven in the Hungerford. I hope the ground continues to dry at Deauville. If the forecast is correct, the ground should suit him and I hope it will as that's why we're going there."
The main opposition is the Freddie Head-trained Moonlight Cloud who has won the race for the last two seasons and he comments "I'm very happy with her, she's very well. I would say she's as well as she's ever been. She has won this race twice before so I'm hoping she will win again this time too. Obviously Lethal Force looks a very good horse and I think he would be our main rival."
The field also includes the Tom Hogan-trained Gordon Lord Byron and Aidan O'Brien's Jersey Stakes victor Gale Force Ten.
Lethal Force is a tempting 5/2 second fav with a number of firms.

Over at Chester Ballista has a course record of 2-4 and he could be capable of adding to the tally today from stall 2 although not sure he is a 7/4 chance. He beat Masamah here over 5f at the May meeting from stall 3, making all to win by a length and he also managed to win from stall 14 last September over 6f so he clearly acts on the track.
Brian Meehan's Intibaah has been entered up all over the shop since his second behind Ninjago 95 days ago, Hasopop and Zanetto third and fourth. He could be capable of putting up a bold show but only having had 5 runs to date he may be short on experience for this turning track.
Hitchens was an unlucky third in this last season (drawn 7) as he stumbled on the bend when just about to take the lead and in the end was only beaten a neck and a head. He's drawn 5 this time but Graham Gibbons is riding and he hasn't won on him since 2010.
Khubala was 4th in the Wokingham and third beaten 1 3/4 lengths behind Tropics in the Sky Bet Dash at York last time out so he's definitely knocking on the door.
Soul is best off at the weights on ratings and Fallon is an interesting booking for Godolphin but it could all happen too quickly as he is drawn stall 12 and against this class of opposition it is hard to see him overcoming that.
Difficult race to fathom out and having just had a quick look at the rainfall radar there is some heavy rain moving up the country which could potentially hit Chester about race time and don't think it would take much to get the going back to soft. If that were the case then Soul could come right back into contention as that would be his favoured surface, together with Khubala, whilst Hitchens may be withdrawn.
All in all I would leave until later today before deciding were your money goes if backing at all.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The Stewards Cup

Sorry, bit of a late post today for such big sprint races, probably all the best value has gone in the favs for each namely Picture Dealer and Enrol in the 2.05 who appear to be the only two with any money for them and the only two that Ladbrokes have shortened in price from those provided in Racing Post. Both have leading chances and can't be ignored with Picture Dealer coming into the race on an upward curve.
Goldream hasn't really gone on from his run at York when he got a bit of a nightmare passage and maybe with Jim Crowley back in the saddle he can perform better. Yeeoow is another who needs to step back up to the plate following his win, he's only 3lb higher but not sure if this track will suit. El Viento did well at York over 6f from stall 1 when beaten behind Mass Rally and he may be capable of getting into the place money at 16/1. Equally Goodwood stalwart Piscean who has 4 wins at the track and likes a fast pace to attack is also nicely priced at 33/1.
However I've no real gut feeling for anything to win and it's maybe a race to watch with a view to ironing out draw data for the main event.

The 3.50 itself is another hot renewal and the improving Tropics is at the front of most judges thoughts as the likely winner. He showed a massive top speed improvement at York and he is well drawn today and if he wins he will continue his progression to what surely will be Group class. You can still get 9/1 for him today with some firms so he's well worth a bet at that price.
Pricewise has selected a couple in Humidor and Ninjago and the latter would be my preference of the two as he is another potential improver having only had 9 races to date and his win at Ascot was good form when he showed a decent turn of foot.
York Glory is another who has improved back on turf this season and his win at Ascot in the Wokingham was done in eye catching fashion and he must be in the shake up.
Heaven's Guest beating of Moviesta at Newmarket was franked by that very horse yesterday in a Group 2 so he will not have to improve much to have a hand in this and the ease in the going will have helped his cause although we are not sure if stall 22 will be a help or hindrance.
Barnet Fair and Racy have both struck form at the right time and it will be a great piece of Claimer buying if the latter was to win this.
Shropshire and Prodigality have been plying their trade all season in top quality handicaps and with credit so it's not hard to envisage either being at the head of affairs again.
Pabusar has attracted a little money as one of the outsiders so he may be about to put his best foot forward but another outsider that could be capable of a big run is Mac's Power with William Buick booked who is 2 from 4 on him and the tongue tie is back on and a change of stable may rekindle his enthusiasm and at 50/1 he's worth an ew with several firms offering 5 places.
As is usual in these competitive sprint handicaps it's easy to make a case for almost any horse in the field and although these races are as Richard Fahey put it this morning a "Lottery" you can often find value and a big priced winner.