Saturday, 25 April 2015

McCoy's Last Day !

Well Tony McCoy hangs up his riding boots on a fantastic career today but I'm sure this is not the end as he will no doubt excel in what ever he does next as he is a winner through and through. It's hard to put into mere words what your eyes have seen with the exceptional Tony McCoy.

I haven't been on top form the last few days searching for a few outsiders to come home but unfortunately for one reason or another it hasn't gone to plan.

Today there is a decent Class 2 sprint at Ripon at 3.25 which will probably get overlooked to a certain extent and the race revolves around the Great St Wilfrid form from last year. We know that stands up as Out Do came out this season and won off a 4lb higher mark and Pipers Note won at Beverley so I think that is the form to concentrate on. The joint 3rd's Confessional and Tatlisu, 5th Pipers Note, 6th Another Wise Kid, 7th Kimberella, 8th Clear Spring, 10th Fast Shot all run again and so does Flyman who finished last.

The latter is interesting as he won first time out last season but then his form, in top handicaps, tailed off. He has now joined the David O'Meara stable who have been in fine form over the last few weeks. Daniel Tudhope has chosen him over Algar Lad who ran a good race from a poor draw at Beverley behind Pipers Note and I presume he thinks that he has the beating of that rival on Flyman who wears a visor for the first time.

On the weights from the Great St Wilfrid I think Tatlisu gets in well with the others above. He didn't have the best of draws in his following runs at the Curragh and Ayr last season but he still ran ok. He has improved since then as he won first time out this season when his coat was still a bit woolly and I would imagine you will see improvement on that run today. The idea is to run him in the next level of big handicaps that he couldn't quite get into last season but to do that you need a higher rating and to ensure he gets into the likes of The Wokingham he needs to be placed at least.

The 2.30 Leicester sees Clubland return to the track following his easy win under Fallon last time out. He retains the ride and they have to overcome an 8lb rise which doesn't look harsh considering the ease in which he won and I would imagine Fallon will ride a similar race today. Of course its always worrying when you have a Godolphin runner against you and Tijan hasn't been kept in training to run round the gaff tracks and off 77 he would have to be given plenty of respect.

Away from the sprints I have noted the following on my alert list :
Lesha - 2.20 Haydock - 8th(poorly drawn in 16)
Mothers Finest - 2.55 Haydock - 1st 5/2
Spryt - 2nd 9/2 and Volunteer Point - 1st 11/4 4.05 Haydock - Exacta paid £15.10
Memory Cloth and Final Countdown - 1st 9/4 5.15 Haydock 
Van Huysen - 4.45 Leicester - 7th

On the sprints the two for me are Tatlisu - 3rd and Clubland - 0

Good Luck

Friday, 24 April 2015

That Friday Feeling !

You haven't missed the boat on the best prices for Signore Piccolo in Doncaster's 4.00 as he's now back out to 5/2 if you want to follow the O'Meara run of stable form.
However there are a few others to consider and there's one horse at the other end of the betting that is in the best form of his life at present and he's already won 17 times during his career and that is James Given's Royal Bajan.
He is better known for his AW exploits but he has won 5 times on turf. His latest win, on the AW last time out, was off his highest ever official rating of 89 and in doing so he recorded his best ever Racing Post Rating of 99 and a top speed figure of 80. In that race he beat the useful Mappin Time and his comments in running read "Broke very fast, made all, ridden and 3 lengths clear over 1f out, kept on, ridden out".
James Given is keen to exploit his lower turf handicap mark of 76 and said the following recently:
He has won 17 races yet has been second just four times, which speaks volumes for him when he is coming down the stretch with a chance there aren't many who can beat him. He has gone up to 95 on the all-weather, but he is 18lb lower on turf even though he has run well on it in the past, winning five times. We will definitely be looking to take advantage of that over the summer.
Four of his five wins on turf have contained the word "firm" in the going description and at Doncaster today the going is Good to Firm with the going stick reading being 9.3 at 6.15am. As for the weather no rain is forecast with sun all day so it should be even faster conditions by 4.00pm.
His last turf win came off an 11lb lower rating but the time before that he won off just 2lb lower at OR74.
I'm not saying he is going to win but he must be value against what could be a short priced favourite in Signore Piccolo.

Royal Bajan ew - 18/1 Bet365 and Bet Victor

14.23 Royal Bajan is taking a walk in the market and is out to 22/1.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Luck of the Draw !

When you start relying on luck more than form you know in your head you shouldn't be investing, but that is what you have to do at Epsom on the 5f course.
So often we have seen the form horse stuck behind a wall of horses with no time to get out or the out of form horse drawn on the rail turning out to have a huge advantage.
Like you I will be probably be tempted to back something so lets look at the runners involved.
A strong player is Smoothtalkinrascal has run twice at the track before when with David O'Meara, both runs were in the Dash on Derby Day. He has since switched stables and had 3 runs for his new trainer on the AW, but he has dropped 16lb in the ratings since last year's run in the Epsom dash in which he finished 11th beaten three and three quarter lengths. His two best speed figures were recorded in the dash and its a course he performs well on and therefore its likely to presume that he will be ready to do himself justice given that even if he goes up 7lb for winning he will still be 9lb better for his run in the dash in June. The negatives are that he may prefer to have a little cut in the going, he will be held up so he may need some element of luck in running and he has switched stables.
There are 3 course and distance winners to consider in the line up namely Long Awaited, Monumental Man and Fair Value.
Long Awaited is no mug but he hasn't won a race since his win over C&D in 2012 although he has often flattered to deceive since. He was rated 86 when he last won here and he is off 85 today and he ran a good race last time out when 2nd at Beverley albeit form a good draw. However when he did win here, the time he recorded in doing so, is the best of the course and distance runners we have today. There has been talk that he may have a breathing issue but he ran well enough at Beverley so that shouldn't put you off but he may be one of those horses that always finds something to get himself beat.
Monumental Man is 2lb higher than he has ever won off on a mark of 80 and is 5lb higher than when winning over C&D. He's had a prep run but I would put him behind Smoothtalkinrascal, Long Awaited and Fair Value.
Fair Value has the most experience at the track of the 4 we are looking at with 5 runs and her C&D win also came in 2012 off a mark of 84 and she is 5lb lower today off 79. She actually finished 2nd to Long Awaited when that horse won in 2012 when she was giving him 4lb, although Long Awaited won cleverly - today Fair Value receives 6lb so there is a 10lb turnaround in weights so she could be the each way value at 12/1 and she will like the going conditions which should get faster through the morning.
Of the others Secret Missile has the plum draw against the rail but hasn't run for 200 days and may help to set the race up for finishers whilst Piazon may have an eye on Chester's May meeting and his stables runners usually improve for the run and you have to be on your "A" game in this as it will be run so fast.
Looking at the above I'm going to go each way with Fair Value at 12/1(William Hill) as I think she represents fair value on her favoured going off a good rating and I hope she can break quickly, get a good position and hold the lead as long as possible.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap

Whilst we have not been setting the world alight over the last week or so we are getting a return on investment so it's onward and upward !

Tomorrow we have a Class 2 6f Handicap at Pontefract in which we are once again faced with the problem of do we back horses with a bit of class returning to the fray or race fit horses who have already shown promise in the last few weeks ? The latter has come out on top a couple of times recently and with that in mind I suppose the selection would have to be Lexington Abbey 3/1 who was a running on 4th behind Tatlisu at Doncaster.

He was settled out the back in that race in what is Jamie Spencer's customary tactic and he came with a late run, which faltered in the last half furlong or so, to finish 4th. His run probably faded out because of the effort of getting to where he did eventually get to and if he's ridden a bit closer to the pace tomorrow he would have a good chance of winning from a 1lb higher mark.

There are a few dangers though one of which is Supplicant (5/1)who is well drawn in stall 2 and who is now rated 15lb lower at 95 than when he started last season. He had a tough time of it at 3 and the stable seem to be making positive noises about him so he may well be fit enough first time to do himself justice and if not he is one to follow as the weeks go on.

Another one that is dropping down the weights is Mass Rally (14/1) but he may prefer a bit of cut to show his best form. Out Do (10/1) is only 4lbs higher than winning the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon last summer and we know that David O'Meara has his horses in fine form and they are ready to go first time up.

So there you have it another tricky little sprint handicap and I'm going for Lexington Abbey to win on this occasion and I may have a small ew saver on Out Do.


Friday, 17 April 2015

Dubai Duty Free Handicap

Firstly for anyone viewing this blog for the first time this season please note you can comment on any of my posts, selections or results by clicking on "comments" at the foot of each post.

Well we didn't do too badly yesterday with Run For Pride advised at 12/1 finishing a running on 2nd at Chelmsford last night only losing out to the Fallon ridden winner. Renato Sousa had the selection in last place turning in before she came up the rail with a rattle. He's one to keep in mind now that he has this race under his belt.

Today we have the Dubai Duty Free Handicap at Newbury over 5f. The going is reported as being Good to Firm, Good in places and with the sun beating down it should be Good to Firm all over by race time.

It's a small field and a few have race fitness to overcome - namely Steps, who always goes best second time out and prefers cut, according to his trainer and Noble Storm who is 9 now. Lucky Beggar also prefers some give in the going to show his best and he's not going to get that today. I'm not overly convinced by the Fav Robot Boy and therefore I'm looking for a bit of value in what is an open race.

Boom The Groom (12/1) has been running consistently well under William Carson on the All Weather all winter and in doing so has been coming up against Godolphin's Group 1 aspiring Pretend. Boom The Groom has done well in the circumstances, winning three and finishing second four times from 12 runs on AW showing plenty of speed and good form and wont have Pretend to worry about this time. He has won on good to firm albeit it was his first run as a 2yo and he could be open to improvement on turf, having improved 18lbs on the All Weather since Tony Carroll has had him and hopefully he will outrun his price with Richard Hughes taking over in the saddle.
Normal Equilibrium (8/1) could also run well for sprint maestro Robert Cowell. He won first time out at Chelmsford beating the good yardstick in Mappin Time and he was reportedly woolly in his coat so he should come on a lot for that run. He's got a fast action so you would think he wouldn't have a problem with the fast conditions. It was his best ever Racing Post Rating last time out and he may be open to further improvement on this his second season with Robert Cowell. The trainer has only had 1 more runner since Normal Equilibrium won at Chelmsford and that was Stunned who also won last night at Chelmsford.

Both of the above have been on the drift in the betting this am as there has been sustained support for Robot Boy hence the later post.

I have backed both at the ew prices and maybe a permed exacta with Robot Boy could also be an alternative.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Take Pride !

Not a great day yesterday with Bogart unable to take advantage of his number 1 stall position in the same way as the winner drawn in stall 2 and the second in stall 3.

Today I'm going with the 7.50 at Chelmsford the Class 4 Handicap over 6f.

Run With Pride looks overpriced at 12/1 given that he is open to improvement on this only his seventh start. He won first time out last season on his late debut as a 4yo before going on to run some good races in defeat against Class 3 opposition.

On his third start, in a Class 3 Handicap at Nottingham off an official rating of 80, he split Joey's Destiny and Tatlisu who are now rated 6lb(OR95) and 14lb(OR96) superior, whilst he has gone up to 84 even though he then went on to finish 3rd of 18, beaten half a length, off a mark of 82 in a very competitive Class 3 Handicap at Doncaster.

You have take his fitness and whether he will act at the track on trust but he must be worth a punt at 12/1.

Over at Newmarket the Abernant is a two horse race in my view between Music Master and Astaire. You have to decide if Music Master's class on his first start of the season can beat Astaire's race fitness.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bogart no Humphrey !

Well the flat gets into full swing today with Newmarket and there will be plenty of clues for the future so keep your eyes peeled.

Over at Beverley there is a decent 5f sprint at 3.05 were a number of horses return after their winter breaks. The draw as we all know plays a big part at Beverley and its low numbers that are favoured and with that in mind the selection has to be Kevin Ryan's Bogart drawn 1(7/2).
He was second to Muthmir off an official rating of 93 in last seasons Portland at Doncaster when the winner broke the course record and Muthmir looks likely to be contesting all the top sprints this year.
Bogart's last win came off 97 in August 2013 at York, a little while ago, but he has run some solid races such as his 3rd in the Ayr Silver Cup off 93 in September and the Portland run.
He runs off 94 today and Shane Gray takes off a further 3lb and Kevin Ryan doesnt think that he is badly handicapped in any event.
Astaire showed that the stables sprinters are in good form when 2nd in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster on the first day of the season and it all points to Bogart producing a good run.
Others to watch in the race are David O'Meara's Algar Lad and Eccleston, Long Awaited drawn in stall 3 and Desert Ace who has been gelded over the winter.

There are a couple of 3yo sprints at Newmarket. Aidan O'Brien runners are usually feared without any advantages and his representative in the Sales race at 2.55 The Warrior has already had a run and won this season which is more than 7 of his 8 rivals have done.

Looking at Cheltenham there are a few horses on my tracker alert, namely Might Bite(Evens) 2.05, Optimistic Bias(8/1) and Tanit River(14/1) 4.25 and San Benedeto(15/8) 5.30.

Tomorrow is the Group 3 Abernant Stakes at Newmarket and we will look at that then, however it may be wise to look ahead to the Duke of York Stakes on 13th May for which a few bookmakers have prices.
Due Dilligence is the Fav with Paddy Power and Skybet, however he doesn't feature in Ladbrokes list and there may be some doubt as to him running as Ladbrokes have a good relationship with Coolmore.
Going through the other runners at the head of the betting G Force looks like he will start off his campaign in the Temple Stakes at Haydock and I doubt Muthmir will be up to Group 2 level on his first start back having failed to get the better of Tatlisu on his first start last season. Sole Power is better at 5f and is unlikely to run in this in any event. Naadirr was flattered by his win at Doncaster as he was protected from the head on wind. I can't see Danzeno having enough to win having finished 1 place in front of Louis The Pious last time out. Hot Streak and Astaire were well beaten in the Haydock Sprint Cup as was Cougar Mountain.
Of the others Gamesome is rated 100, Gammarth prefers soft and according to Met Office May is going to be hotter than normal. Lightning Moon could be anything but just doesn't have enough experience for this and that for me leaves Music Master who was 3rd in the Haydock Sprint Cup.
According to his trainer Henry Candy Music Master is being aimed at the Duke Of York and has a prep run for it in the Abernant. His trainer says that he has grown over the winter and is in good form.

3.05 Beverly -Bogart 7/2
4.25 Cheltenham - Optimistic Bias (8/1 ew) and Tanit River (14/1 ew)

Ante Post
Duke Of York - Music Master 8/1

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Friday Thoughts

There are a few sprints on tomorrow but nothing inspires me that much.

Pretend is a short price to win the 6f All Weather Sprint Championship at Lingfield. He is 4-4 over 5f at Wolverhampton and this course, but is 0-2 over 6f and 7f at Chelmsford and Wolverhampton.

He came with a storming run here last time over 5f when beating last years winner of this race Alben Star and Boom The Groom. However Alben Star will have the assistance of Ryan Moore this time and Alben Star needed the whole of the Lingfield 6f when he won this last year so will be doing all his best work at the finish as will Rivellino - so Pretend will have his work cut out if he is to prevail.

Chookie Royale drawn 4 should be able to set the pace for them all to fly at as Pretend and Alben Star are drawn 1 and 2 and they will probably sit out the back with Rivellino who is drawn in 11.

Last years race was run in a time of 1 min 9.73secs so Pretend has at least another 11 seconds running to do based on his latest 5f race here.

If I was having a bet I would probably take a chance with Alben Star.

There are a couple of sprints at Musselburgh - the Class 2 at 3.30 doesn't look the greatest race ever and you would hope that Robot Boy (6/4) would be forward enough to win this. Blaine takes a few runs to come to hand and 3 of the others are aged 9, 10 and 13 whilst Bapak Bangsawan is only rated 67.


In Search of the "Wow" Factor ?

With Mark Johnston winning all three two year old races last Saturday the temptation for everyone will be to back all his 2yo's over the coming weeks...but can they all win ?

It's unlikely that they will, but he is supported by some top owners so I would imagine he will have a reasonable strike rate but the prices are likely to be skinny and there may be value to had by opposing some Johnston runners and siding with other trainers who specialise with 2yo's when in opposition.

Looking at the 2yo's the yard currently has there would appear to be 127 although at present I can only find 123. Chief patron Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum looks to have about 55 2yo's at the stable and Cape Cross is responsible for 13 of those.

Of the 123, I can identify, there are 78 colts and 45 fillies. Previous stable light Shamardal is represented by 7 inmates as is Exceed and Excel.

First season sires represented are Poet's Voice (5), Pour Moi (2) and Roderic O'Connor (2). Lonhro is a shuttle sire from Australia who set an Australian record of 160 individual winners in a season in 2013/14 so he is one to keep an eye on and there are 4 by him one of which Rah Rah has already won. There are two other fillies by him and one colt and they will all run for Sheikh Hamdan.

The three 2yo winners at the weekend were Ravenhoe(Bahamian Bounty), Buratino(Exceed and Excel) and Rah Rah(Lonhro) of which the best Racing Post topspeed figure of the three (80) was attributed to Buratino who overcame a slow start to produce a decent turn of foot to win readily.

The Johnston stable isn't resting on its laurels numbers wise and yesterday they were at the Brightwells Ascot Sales were the trainer purchased a Pastoral Pursuits colt for £52,000 and a Showcasing filly for £26,000.
If you watch the breeze ups it's not difficult to work out the fastest breeze will probably generate the most interest and that too was the case yesterday with a colt by Siyuoni doing just that going for the top sale figure of £90,000 and maybe we will be seeing him come up the very same straight in June.
Is it that simple you may ask.... well maybe not as the Johnston stable have recently employed the services of James Willoughby and Jason Hathorn to find some value by adopting statistical research and time analysis in order to find future stars and I presume that yesterdays purchasers were the first of this method for the stable.
Time will tell whether they have found value or not but the Pastoral Pursuits was the second highest purchase price so you would hope they have.