Saturday, 31 October 2015

Tricky Trainer Could Score At Huntingdon

Sandy Thomson struck with Blue Kascade on Friday and is the first of the four tricky trainers to follow (see here) to get a win on the board. Tomorrow sees a big drop in the quality of fare on offer after the glitz and glamour of The Breeders Cup last night (what a run by Found!), but Ben Case has a couple of interesting runners at Huntingdon and one of them could run well at a very big price.

Petrou makes his hurdling debut in the class 4 2m 3f novice contest at 2.55. This 5yo son of Mountain High has only had two runs, coming in bumpers at the tail end of last season. He showed clear signs of promise on both occasions, particularly first time out when he finished 8L ahead of Towering, a subsequent novice hurdle winner who recently won a handicap off 120.

He is bred to appreciate this longer trip, his half brothers Shanpallas and Clash Duff both needed a trip to be seen to best effect. Daryl Jacob is booked (7/50 for Ben Case last season) and Case has an excellent strike rate with his hurdlers at Huntingdon (7/29). Now obviously plenty has to be taken on trust with this horse, but if Case has him fit and ready to rock for his hurdling debut he could well run a nice race at 25/1.


Friday, 30 October 2015

Hunter Could Strike Gold At Newmarket

A veritable feast of action in store this Saturday with a host of potential Cheltenham horses making their return to action. The Charlie Hall at Wetherby and The Champion Chase at Down Royal are the highlights in the afternoon, while the stars of the flat will be in action later on in America for the Breeders Cup. Racing fans are spoilt for choice, and there are lots of potential winners to be found.

I have written a detailed preview for the Charlie Hall and you can check my analysis and selection here at Bettingtools. I am also a tipster for Bettingtools, and while usually I post my fancies here and on Bettingtools, sometimes I haven't got time to write them up here on my blog. If you don't want to miss any of my selections you can check here.

I have also written a detailed preview for the Champion Chase at Down Royal for the brilliant blog Sportismadeforbetting and you can read it here.

One horse that I believe could run well at a nice price tomorrow goes on the flat at Newmarket in the concluding handicap at 4.30. Gold Hunter, trained by Steve Flook, is an ex Godolphin horse that used to mix it in much better company than this. He is now rated 77, and looks very well treated considering he went close off 93 back in 2013.

Since leaving Godolphin his form has nosedived, but he showed that some ability definitely remained with a close call at Ascot on his penultimate run. That effort came off a mark of 75 on soft over 7f, and he is effectively 1lb lower today if his talented and in form jockey's 3lb claim is considered. He was beaten less than half a length and it was a cracking effort. He was beaten just over 2L off 89 back in April at Wolverhampton, and a repeat of that run would be more than enough here. At odds of 16/1 he looks well worthy of a little e/w support.


Thursday, 29 October 2015

Oscar Could Spring A Surprise At Stratord

A frustrating run from yesterday's selection Wild Flower. She got boxed in rounding the home turn and ran on well once finding a clear path. The winner had flown though, and she just failed to reel him in. It was a place at least though and at the advised price of 20/1 it resulted in a bit of profit.

Today there is more all weather action in England, but the horse I am interested in goes over timber in the 3.10 at Stratford, a 2m6f maiden hurdle. The one I like is the Jeremy Scott '2nd string' I'm Oscar, who will be ridden by talented conditional jockey Matt Griffiths, who is excellent value for his 3lb claim. Scott also runs Master Benjamin, who will be ridden  by stable jockey Nick Schofield, but the jockey bookings haven't put me off.

I'm Oscar has had two runs so far, and by far the best one came on his debut in a 16.5f bumper on soft ground at Taunton. he ran a lovely race to finish 4th, outpaced but keeping on nicely. The fact  he was sent off at just 6/1 suggests he is well thought of. His next effort at Ffos Las wasn't nearly as promising, but there is hope that he can put in a better performance today.

He is related to a heap of winners, including the likes of Benefit Cut, I'moncloudnine, Imalegend and Ballyben. Almost all of that lot need a proper stamina test to be seen at their best, and the step up in trip looks sure to suit I'm Oscar. The fact that Griffiths rides could be seen as another positive, as he was on board for both his bumper runs so he knows the gelding well.

Now obviously an awful lot has to be taken on trust with this selection, and it is not one to be having the monthly mortgage payment on. He could be unfit and need the run badly, he might not have improved for the break etc. However, at odds of 40/1 I think it is worth chancing that Scott has him ready to go and is upping him in trip on his hurdle debut for a reason.


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Four Tricky Trainers To Follow For The New Jumps Season

It is that time of year again when the rains arrive and the top national hunt horses start to reappear. All roads lead to Cheltenham for the likes of Nicholls, Henderson and O'Neill but there is usually very little value to be found in backing their horses throughout the season. There are plenty of smaller operations that are more than capable of readying one, and below are my four tricky trainers to follow for 2015/16.


Sue Gardner will not be a name familiar to the vast majority of casual racing fans, but she is a trainer that does very well with a small string, and indeed one of her horses went close for this blog at 20/1 on Saturday at Cheltenham (Here's Herbie). She has a habit of popping up with massive priced winners, and is one to watch out for at her local track Exeter, where she loves to have a winner (16/107 +24.33).

Her daughter Lucy rides most of her horses, and is well capable of getting the job done. When Micheal Nolan is booked it pays to take note as he has ridden plenty of winners for Gardner and the same applies to Matt Griffiths. She has a couple of nice horses to work with this year (Here's Herbie, Only Gorgeous, Tea Time Fred among others) and if you like backing double figure priced winners Sue Gardner is a trainer well worth keeping an eye on.


Edgcot handler Ben case is another trainer that overachieves given his limited resources. He hasn't had the best of times over the last couple of months, but when his horses do hit form watch out! The winners usually come thick and fast when Case gets going, and he is not afraid to take on the big boys when he has the ammunition.

He usually saves his best horses for the big Saturday meetings throughout the Winter, and he has had a couple of notable winners on big days, including Croco Bay last November who won by nearly 20L at Ascot and Deep Trouble who won a listed handicap at Sandown. His horses are usually overpriced and he is a dangerous man in handicaps as he knows how to get one well treated. He is another trainer worth watching this season.


Readers of the blog will be familiar by now with this Kells based handler who trains The Nutcracker, a mare I have tipped up a couple of times before. He has done extremely well with limited resources and won the Irish Grand National with Lion Na Bearnai just a few years ago. His stable star was sent off 33/1 that day, and he also won at an even bigger price on his previous start beating three Gigginstown horses at Navan. Orpheus Valley also won a big handicap at the Punchestown Festival at 28/1 so the proof is there that Gibney can get one ready for the big day.

Both his stable stars are getting on a bit now, but he has some new recruits to work with and one of his most promising horses, Balnagon Boy, made a very encouraging return to action today at Punchestown on his first run since 2013. The Nutcracker has scope to improve, while Stoughan Cross is well capable of winning a handicap of his current mark.To Choose will also be competitive in handicaps, both on the level and over timber, Balnagon Boy is the one to watch though, and his pedigree suggests he will be of interest when stepping up in trip. He could be the star for Gibney this season.


This Scottish trainer is as shrewd as they come and does exceptionally well with very limited resources. He first came to my attention back in 2013 at Kelso. Regal Encore was a horse I had followed from debut, and he had finished 3rd in the Champion Bumper. He was 1/4 to follow up his maiden hurdle win with a novice victory, but ran into a horse trained by Thomson who beat the Honeyball horse easily. Seeyouatmidnight was sent off at 66/1 and proved it was no fluke when following up at 22/1 in a novice next time (I backed him that day!) hacking up by 10L.

He subsequently was sent off at 6/1 for a Grade 2 at Haydock and again won. The bookies had no respect for Thomson, but unfortunately they are a bit more wary of him now, especially up North. His maiden/novice runners are always worth keeping an eye on though, especially any that have point to point experience. If you fancy one of his don't let the price put you off. As the exploits of Seeyouatmidnight showed Thomson is not averse to having a big priced winner. One to look out for in the coming weeks is Spirit Of Kayf, who ran a lovely race in a bumper at the weekend. He is well bred and should be well up to winning races in the future.

Flower Could Flourish Dropped In Trip At Chelmsford

Tomorrow's selection goes at Chelmsford in the concluding 6f handicap. Irish trainer JJ Murphy sends a couple over across the Irish Sea, and the one that is of interest is Wild Flower in the 4.30. Murphy is 2/5 with his runners on the all weather in England (1/25 on turf).

This 3yo filly comes here after quite an encouraging effort when beaten just 2L at Dundalk last time out. That run came over a mile, and she showed plenty of speed before running out of puff in the final furlong. The way she travelled and finished that day suggested she is well worth another go over a sprint trip, and she gets her chance for the first time since her handicap debut back in September of last year.

She has been campaigned exclusively over 7-8f this season without much success, but that last run, as well as her pedigree suggests that 6f should be ideal. She is a daughter of Approve, and he has a 39% strike rate with his progeny over 5/6f compared to just 23% at 7/8f. Kieran O'Neill has been booked, and when trying he is an excellent jockey. She has a decent draw in stall 6, and showed she handles an artificial surface at Dundalk. At 20/1 she looks a big price, and is surely worthy of a little each way support.


Monday, 26 October 2015

Price Could Be Right At Leicester

The less said about Raajih the better. I thought he looked overpriced at 14/1, but his drift out to 40/1 suggested the run was badly needed. Such is life, and hopefully today's selection puts up a better show. The filly that catches my eye is Kingstreet Lady, trained by Richard Price, and she goes in the opening nursery at 12.50.

This filly is having her 3rd handicap run, and showed clear promise on her handicap debut off 63 over 6f on soft ground at Chepstow. She was denied a clear run just as the race was hotting up, but when she found daylight she showed quite a good attitude, staying on nicely in the closing stages and shaping as if a step up in trip would definitely suit.

She was sent off at 40/1 on her next run at Wolverhampton over 7f, but she showed the trip was no problem, staying on strongly in the home straight having been shuffled back coming around the bend. She was only beaten 2L in the end, and it was a very eye catching run. She didn't seem to handle the turns too well, and the straight 7F at Leicester should be ideal.

Soft ground is fine too, and off a mark of 60 with Muscutt taking off another 3lbs she is effectively 6lb lower than she was for her handicap debut. She looks too big a price at 12/1 and granted better luck in running she should go very close in what looks a pretty open race.


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Raajih Can Rattle Home At Wincanton

A desperately close call for Here's Herbie at Cheltenham yesterday. He travelled well and Lucy Gardner looked to have timed her challenge perfectly as Herbie closed in on the leader after the final flight. He just couldn't get his head in front though, and claimed 3rd in an blanket finish, sent off at odds of just 15/2 (adv e/w 20/1). Hopefully the handicapper doesn't go too hard on him after such a good effort. It won't be long until he is back in the winner's enclosure and is one to watch out for later on in the season.

Today there is decent action at Aintree and Galway, and a good flat card at Leopardstown. However, the horse I like goes at Wincanton, and he looks sure to benefit from a return to 3m+. His last effort over this sort of trip came at Aintree back in April in the listed Betfred Handicap Chase, and he ran an absolute cracker in 4th, just 2L behind the winner. That effort came off a mark of 140, and he has been dropped to 137 after a couple of poor efforts over inadequate trips. 

That Aintree run came on similar ground to today, and Woollacott has booked a decent 7lb claimer to ease the burden of top weight. Matthew Hampton has ridden 7 winners before and is well worth his claim, so effectively Raajih runs off a mark of 130. His last chase win, at Perth for former trainer Gordon Elliott, came last September and he hacked up by 8L off a mark of 135. He is on a mark he should be well capable of exploiting, especially considering his effort off 140 at Cheltenham, and he is definitely worth an each way interest at 14/1 returned to his optimum trip.


Herbie Could Make Hay For Gardner At Cheltenham

A couple of national hunt trainers look to have hit the ground running and the likes of Nigel Twiston Davies and especially Dan Skelton are two that have been amongst the winners. Skelton has three at Cheltenham today, and it is difficult to see him finishing without a winner. For me Fou Et Sage looks a very interesting runner at odds of 7/1. He is already a listed winner/grade 3 placed and is a fascinating contender for his in form yard.

However, my selection for the meeting goes in the 2m5f handicap at 5.05 and I reckon Here's Herbie could be set for a big run off a feather weight. Sue Gardner does exceptionally well with her small string, especially at her home track Exeter. Sea Saffron was a standing dish around there before his well earned retirement, winning numerous races for talented conditional jockey Matt Griffiths and running a number of crackers in defeat too.

Here's Herbie represents the same connections, and will be ridden by Lucy Gardner, who steered him to victory twice at Exeter (both 18f) back in Spring 2014. He found things difficult off his revised mark after the handicapper took action, raising him to 122. However, he ran a very encouraging race off his new mark at Cheltenham after his 2nd win. That effort came over 3m and he was beaten just over 8L, holding every chance at the last and fading only in the closing stages.

He made his reappearance last year over course and distance, again off 122, and ran another big race, finishing 5th. He again travelled well and looked to just run out of steam in the closing stages. This year he has had a prep run over an inadequate 2m at Warwick, and after a couple of disappointing efforts at the tail end of last season he has been dropped to what looks a very reasonable mark of 115, just 1lb higher than he was for the 2nd of his Exeter wins. He will be fit, his yard had one go close during the week, and at odds of 20/1 he looks well worthy of a little each way support.


Friday, 23 October 2015

Twiston Davies Could Strike At Cheltenham And A Couple From Newbury

Nigel Twiston Davies has been in excellent form in the last week or so and he has been firing in the winners. He has a couple at Cheltenham tomorrow, and the one that catches my eye is Five Star Wilsham in the Amateur riders 3m 1f chase at 5.05. This gelding isn't getting any younger at 11 years of age, but I think there could be life in the old dog yet, and there are a number of reasons to be hopeful about his chances tomorrow.

He was a close 2nd at silly odds in this race back in 2013, an effort that came off a mark of 117. He went for a repeat bid on his first run back last season, but that came off 123, and he was probably badly in need of the run and was eventually pulled up.

He is back for another crack this year, and Twiston Davies has decided to give him a prep run on this occasion. He didn't pull up any trees on that run a month ago in Perth, but it will have blown away the cobwebs, and he will surely come on heaps for that outing. His mark looks a lot better this year too, and the handicapper generously dropped him a couple for his comeback effort to a more than manageable 118, 1lb higher than the mark he was 2nd off.

A very decent claimer has been booked in JJ Slevin, and his claim means that Five Star Wilsham will be effectively running off a mark of 111. His last win, only back in January, came off 116 and he hosed up by 10 lengths. He looks well treated, has form at the track and his stable are in cracking form. All things considered he looks well overpriced at 14/1 and should give each way players a good run for their money.

Another couple have caught my eye on the flat at Newbury. Balding's filly Make Music in the 1.50 at 16/1, and Ngorongoro, a 2yo colt trained by Joe Tuite that goes in the 4.45 at 14/1. Both nicely bred and both should come on massively from their debuts. They are worth a couple of pennies each way at decent odds. Apologies for the lack of an in-depth explanation on why I fancy these two, but unfortunately time is at a premium. I have done the research though and think they are both overpriced, especially the Tuite colt.

                                              4.45 NEW NGORONGORO (14/1) E/W
                                              1.50 NEW MAKE MUSIC (16/1) E/W

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Captain Can Go Well At A Price At Chelmsford

A poor run from The Nutcracker yesterday. She looked flat, and looks to need a good rest after a long campaign. There will be other days for her in the future. Today's selection goes at Chelmsford and has caught my eye for a number of reasons.

Captain Gerald lines up in the 5.55 and comes here after a no more than respectable effort in a claimer last time. However, there is reason to believe a better effort could be in the offing today. He has run well at the track before, a close 2nd over a mile, so his ability to handle the surface is not in doubt.

He has had one run over 10f, and was sent off at 11/2 so he was obviously expected to run well by connections. He did just that, and had every chance in the final furlong before getting squeezed for room close home, causing his jockey to snatch up. While he wouldn't have won he definitely would have got closer than the 3L he was beaten by in the end, and he showed that 10f should pose no problems. The dam side of his pedigree suggests the same thing.

He is well drawn in stall 1, and the cheekpieces have been removed. Martin Harley comes in for the ride, which is a big positive. He has been riding out of his skin this season, and when he is booked by John Ryan it is worth taking note. He has 2 wins and 2 places from just 6 rides for Mr.Ryan.

He runs off a mark of 55, 3lb lower than he was for that Bath run, and all things considered I think a big run could be on the cards this evening. He looks a massive price at 16/1 and is surely worthy of a few quid each way.


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Gibney's Mare Can Run A Cracker At Navan

Irish flat racing comes from Navan tomorrow, and it isn't bad fare considering the time of year. The horse that catches my eye tomorrow is a mare that followers of this blog will be familiar with (tipped up here when she won) The Nutcracker, trained by North Meath man Tom Gibney goes in the lucky last at 5.30 and she looks to have a decent chance.

Tom Gibney has been having a decent little run in recent weeks and he is a trainer that does terrifically well with a relatively small string. He  had 2 placed and 1 win from 5 runners in August, and followed that up with 1 win and a place from 4 runners in September. His stable star Lion Na Bearnai has given him his biggest win yet with the Irish Grand National back in 2012, and Orpheus Valley took a valuable handicap at the Punchestown. Those grand old servants aren't getting any younger now though, and he will be hoping the likes of The Nutcracker and To Choose can follow in their stablemates' hoofprints.

The Nutcracker has looked a pretty talented mare over hurdles after failing to pull up any trees on her first few flat runs. She is now rated 117 over timber, and her shrewd trainer exploited a much lower flat handicap mark of 47 over course and distance on her penultimate run. She won easy that day and the handicapper took a dim view, raising her to 62, a full 15lbs higher.

She ran off her new mark back at Navan last time out but she never managed to get involved, finishing well down the field. However, this quirky mare takes a bit of getting used to, and it was Wayne Lordan's first time in the saddle last time. Hopefully he will have learnt plenty from that outing, and it is worth remembering that it took Andrew Lynch a couple of goes before he managed to win on her over timber.

She has been dropped a pound since her last run too, which will be a little bit of a help, and the fact she is a couple of pounds out of the handicap isn't that big of a worry. It looks a competitive enough heat for the time of year, but The Nutcracker is getting stacks of weight from those in the top half of the field and if the ground eases from good to firm that could be an even bigger help. Tom Gibney will be eager to get his hands on some of the decent prize money on offer here, and at odds of 9/1 The Nutcracker is definitely worth a few quid each way.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Champions Day Selections

A brilliant afternoon's racing is in store for punters at Ascot this Sunday with a quartet of Group 1s set to take place. Some of the world's best horses will be strutting their stuff and you can check my analysis and selections for every race on the card below.


The stayers kick things off on Champions day, and with the lowest priced horses chalked up at 6/1 it is plain to see it is a wide open contest. The one I like here is Litigant, who I tipped up here in the Ebor. He was due to run at Longchamp but was a late non runner due to quick ground. Trainer Joe Tuite has always regarded this horse as having the quality to compete at Group level, and this looks the perfect race for him.

Tuite has confirmed his stable star to be 'in great form' and he is unbeaten over this trip from two attempts. His stamina is assured, the ground will be perfect and he has been given plenty of time to get over his brilliant effort in the Ebor. He looks overpriced at 10/1 and can prove he has what it takes to be competitive at the top table.



Another wide open contest with a case to be made for most of them. Regular readers of the blog will be familiar with Jack Dexter, who I have tipped up on the blog before. He is priced up at 33/1 for this heat and that looks way too big given his excellent record at this track.

Presumably it is because of his recent form figures of 7080, but all but one of those runs came on good to firm, and on the only occasion it was genuinely good (last time in the Ayr Gold Cup) he was beaten by less than 5 lengths off top weight, hinting at a return to form. 

He was sent off 11/2 for this race last year when it was a Group 2 and was a good 3rd behind Gordon Lord Byron on heavy ground. His Group 3 win came on good to soft so conditions will be ideal for him and 3 of his 8 wins have come in October/November. He rarely runs a poor race at Ascot, is a previous course and distance winner and has a nice draw in stall 13. He looks worthy of a little each way support in a wide open race. 



David Elsworth shunned the racing media after his star filly lowered the colours of the mighty Golden Horn at York and he has well and truly franked the form since with a brilliant win in the Arc. She followed that run with a poor effort behind Treve at Longchamp, but the ground was heavy that day and didn't suit the Elsworth filly who was stepping up to 12f for the first time.

She is again a silly looking price, though not near as big as the 50/1 she was when winning at York. Elsworth said he was insulted by that price, and he won't be impressed to see her as big as 16s for this contest. The better ground will suit and at that sort of price it is worth giving her another chance to prove her York win wasn't a fluke. 



You can check my in depth analysis and selection for this fascinating contest HERE at Bettingtools. 


Yet another cracking contest and the likely favourite Jack Hobbs will be difficult to beat. He is the clear form pick, and if he runs to form he should win. He is a short price though, and one at a bigger odds that could run well is Saeed Bin Suroor's Racing History. 

This son of Pivotal is unbeaten this season, and took the step up to Group 3 level in his stride last time at Windsor over this trip, beating Fascinating Rock with ease. That came on soft ground, but his previous two wins were on a decent surface so conditions should be fine once it doesn't dry out too much. 

He is bred to be a Group 1 horse, and his brother Farrh won this race back in 2013. Bin Suroor has compared him favourably to Farrh, and at odds of 14/1 he is a viable each way alternative if you are like me and backing odds on shots isn't your cup of tea. 



A fiercely competitive handicap will be the final contest on Champions Day, and it is a real minefield for punters. Stakes should be kept to a minimum. The one I like at a price is Halation, who won on his last visit here under Jamie Spencer, who takes the ride again today. 

That win came off just a pound lower than he carries here, and his last two efforts can be excused on account of the trips (9.5f and 10f). All his wins have come over a mile and it is definitely his ideal trip. He will be held up for a late challenge, and will need luck in running given his racing style. However Spencer is a master of exaggerated waiting tactics and if anyone can plot a route through a packed field it is him. He looks worth an each way flutter at 22/1. 


Sunday, 11 October 2015

Kirk's Charge Could Cause A Shock At The Curragh

A poor day for the blog yesterday. Bayan ran a strange race, and to be honest the very last thing I expected was for him to try and make all. I wasn't surprised he didn't get home given the way he was ridden. Sanus Per Aquam got 3rd, but with only 7 runners we were quids out. Dutch Mist was very disappointing, but that's the way it goes sometimes, and hopefully Sunday's selection will see us back in the money.

The horse I like the look of here is the Sylvester Kirk trained See And Be Seen. He was last sighted at Goodwood back in July when well beaten in a class 2 21f handicap off a mark of 80, the same mark he races off today. That trip was too far though, and you can put a line through that run. Previously he absolutely bolted up over 18f at Pontefract off 75, winning a class 4 handicap by nearly 5 lengths.

That was his first win since a superb run of form in 2014 that saw him win 5 races, culminating in the class 2 Cesarewitch trial at Newmarket last September off 75. That was by far the best performance of his career, and the way he has been campaigned this year suggests that Kirk has had this race in mind.

He has had just 6 runs this season, compared to 15 last term, and he has been freshened up since that run at Goodwood. The win at Ponty ensured his mark would be high enough to get in here, and with Gary Halpin taking off a handy 5lb he is effectively on the same mark off which he won at Ponty.

Now admittedly, that was only a class 4, but his win at Newmarket last year showed he is well able to mix it with the big boys, and at odds of 40/1 he could well run a big race. Surely he is worth a few pennies each way. Time to dip into those Union Rose winnings I think....


Friday, 9 October 2015

Saturday's Selections

A bumper weekend of action this weekend as the English and Irish Cesarewitchs are run at Newmarket and the Curragh. There is also Group 1 on the menu with the Dewhurst. You can find my in-depth preview and selections for the Dewhurst at Bettingtools. Below are my selections for a truly Super Saturday of equine action.


The one I like at a price here is Dutch Mist for Kevin Ryan and Graham Lee. Ryan won this race all the way back in 2005 with Balthazar's Gift, and he plotted a similar route to Dutch Mist. He came up short in a couple of group 2s before dropping in class and winning this race.

This filly won her first three, including a handicap by a length off 85. His young claimer gave her a shocker off 95 next time in a deep handicap at Newmarket, giving her far too much to do. She stepped into group 3 company on her next two starts, and there was plenty of encouragement to be gleaned from the second effort when 6ls behind Shaden in 5th place.

The drop back to Listed company should help her, and she gets a handy weight allowance from the colts. She hasn't got a huge amount to find on the figures, and with eight runners going to post she looks worthy of a little e/w support.



All those punters that have smashed Emotionless during the week for the Dewhurst will be watching this race with great interest. Ibn Malik finished 3ls behind the Godolphin horse when they met at Doncaster and how he runs here will be very revealing about Emotionless' chances for the group 1 contest.

The interesting one here is the Jim Bolger trained Acclamation colt Clear Cut, who was narrowly denied on debut by a Mick Halford filly who is highly rated by connections. The Bolger colt was sent off favourite, and usually that would indicate that Mr. Bolger has a high opinion of the horse.

He is from a family his trainer has done very well with. His dam is a sister to two group 3 winners who also had placed form at the highest level. Mr. Bolger doesn't usually travel across the pond just for the craic, and at odds of 10/1 Clear Cut could well run a big race.



You can see my in depth preview and selections here.


Saturday's highlight, and a mammoth field of 36 means this is a devilishly difficult puzzle to solve. However, there is one horse that sticks out like a sore thumb, and that is Bayan who sneaks in right at the foot of the handicap.

This horse is highly rated by connections (which include Gary O'Brien) and he looks as though he has been laid out for this race. He was being mentioned as a potential Melbourne Cup animal in the not too distant past, and he has arrived for this race somewhat under the radar after a couple of defeats over hurdles.

His sole flat win came over 14f at Leopardstown in a handicap off a mark of 80, but he has a couple of efforts since that would suggest that this step up in trip will bring out the best in him. On more than one occasion he has been outpaced over 14f, but he usually stays on well in the closing stages.

He has been given a couple of months off since his last run, another positive as his best runs have come after similar breaks. He races off a feather weight of just 8-2, and Elliott has booked the services of Cam Hardie, a more than capable jockey. Elliott has a habit of landing big handicap pots in both Ireland and the UK, and Bayan loos like he could be primed to run a big race here. At 16/1 he looks worthy of each way support in a wide open handicap.


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Rose Can Bloom For Harris At York

There is some quality racing at York on Friday as well as at Newmarket. The race that interests me most though is the class 3 handicap at 3.55 where Ron Harris' Union Rose looks well overpriced in a wide open heat.

This 3yo colt is by young sire Stimulation, whose first 2yo crop last year produced plenty of winners. He has failed to get his head in front since his maiden win last year, but he has run some very good races in defeat, including in pattern company. His best run was probably at Royal Ascot last year when he was an excellent 2nd to the classy Acapulco at 100/1 (5f good, listed).

He earned a mark of 96 with that run, and has failed to get his head in front since, including in Group 3 company. On his second run this season (5f good) at Newmarket he was an excellent 2nd to Son Of Africa in a class 2 handicap off a mark of 95. He failed to reproduce that on his next four runs, which saw his mark drop to 89.

However, he showed clear signs of returning to form on his last run at Ascot, and without interference at a crucial stage he would have got a lot closer than the 3 lengths he was beaten by in the finish. It was a hugely improved performance and I think he can build on that, especially back on easy ground for the first time since his maiden victory. He looks a massive price at 25/1 and represents definite each way value from a good draw in stall 4.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Spiller's Filly Looks Overpriced At Brighton

Apologies for the lack of a regular blog over the past few days. I have been having issues with my laptop which have thankfully been resolved. .

This is a tough time of the year for punters, as the flat season winds down and the jumpers start to emerge. It is a time to tread warily when it comes to having a bet, and it is crucial to consider the form of the trainer of the horse you want to back. Saeed Bin Suroor has been on fire in recent weeks, and this is no surprise as year after year he sends out heaps of winners in the months of September and October. Anything of his priced 5/2 or bigger looks worth having a go on. The shorter ones, especially in midweek, can be dodgy (like yesterday)

Another trainer who looks to have his small string in fine fettle at the moment is Newmarket handler Henry Spiller. Now he hasn't been firing in the winners like Bin Suroor, but his last five runners have all been there or thereabouts, including a couple of French 2yo raiders that finished 5th and 2nd. He has another 2yo at Brighton today, and there is reason to believe she could put up an improved showing.

Last Star Falling goes in the opening maiden at 1.50, and on all known form she looks to be up against it with the Portman gelding way ahead on what he has shown thus far. However, he ran a stinker at skinny odds last time, and is not one for maximum faith. The Spiller filly has been sent off at huge odds on both starts so far, but she definitely offered something to work on at Beverley last time over 7.5f (good).

This Acclamation filly is nicely bred, and has a 2yo winning half sibling (8f good to soft). Her dam is well related too, out of a good to soft listed winner from the family of Rail Link. There is plenty of black type in her pedigree, as well as lots of easy ground winners, so the current good to soft ground at Brighton will suit.

 The drop in trip should suit too, and she is well drawn in stall 2. I think Jack Mitchell will look to make plenty of use of her from her good draw and she kept on well enough at Beverley to suggest she has a bit of stamina. Hopefully she can make a bold at Brighton, and she could be worth taking a chance on each way at 16/1.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

Moon Can Shine At Ascot

Some cracking racing on today, with a host of pattern races across three different tracks. They are all devilishly difficult looking races for punters though, and the horse I am interested in goes in the big handicap at Ascot.

Majestic Moon won on his last visit to Acot, beating Suzis Connoisseur by half a length over 7f on good to soft ground. It was a smashing effort, especially when you consider he has a clear preference for faster ground. That win came off 97 and he was held off 102 in the Gold Cup at Ayr. That was over 6f though, and he hadn't won over that trip since 2012.

He remains off the same mark today and while he will need a career beat to win he could well produce it. His draw in stall 11will give his jockey Michael Murphy options, and he also is better off at the weights with Mr.Win, who he conceded a pound to and beat at Newmarket. He gets 4lb off that rival today, yet he is almost three times his price. I think he looks well worth a small e/w interest in a wide open race.