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