Friday, 22 July 2016

Saturday's Selection

Royal Mighty couldn't get the job done for us on Thursday, but she didn't run as badly as her finishing position suggests. She pulled furiously during the early stages, and it took Brock at least a couple of furlongs to get her to settle. She still had every chance a furlong from home, but her early exertions took their toll and she ended up well beaten. She is still learning the game and she is not one to write off completely just yet.

Tomorrow there is a feast of high class action and the horse I like goes at Ascot in the 5.00, a 7f lady amateur race. Sakhee's Return runs in the yellow and white silks made famous by Quiet Reflection, and this 4yo son of Sakhee's Secret looks way overpriced at odds of 18/1 in this wide open looking handicap.

He has been a fun horse for connections, and he has already visited the winner's enclosure on 3 occasions during his 14 race career. He won a 2yo maiden on his second start (6f gd/fm) and just had another couple of runs as a 2yo. He really improved from 2 to 3, and he had a superb year last year. His form figures for his first five runs were 33121, with both wins coming on quick ground over 7f off marks of 75 and 86 respectively. Rachel Richardson claimed off him for his last win, and the on fire Emily Easterby takes off a handy 5lb tomorrow.

He is back down to his last winning mark of 86 and he has had just the one run this season. He ought to strip an awful lot fitter for his decent comeback run at Doncaster (7f) when he was beaten just 5L on ground that was way too soft for him. He will love the return to quick ground at Ascot tomorrow and he races over his optimum trip of 7f. I think he looks far too big a price at 18/1 and a huge run would come as no surprise. He is worthy of an each way bet in a race that looks there for the taking.


Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Mighty Could Appreciate Return To Quick Ground At Yarmouth

Eretara was unfortunately a non-runner on Monday, the drying ground the most likely reason for her withdrawal. She remains one to keep an eye on over 12f+ on easy ground. Tomorrow I have my sight set on a 3yo filly at Yarmouth, and I think she could take a big step forward on what she has shown in her short six race career so far.

Royal Mighty is a 3yo filly by Mighty, out of a Royal Applause mare who gained her only win over 8f as a 3yo. This filly is trained by the Chapple-Hyam's, and she had 5 starts as a 2yo. She was poor on her three runs in maidens, two at 6f and one at 7f, but she showed definite signs of ability on her handicap debut off a mark of 50 at Lingfield on the all weather last August. She broke well, was reined back into midfield and turning for home she made her move.

She had every chance entering the final furlong, and it looked as though she might throw down a serious challenge for the win. She ended up in 5th, beaten 3L for the win, but it was a blanket finish for the places. She didn't seem to fade in the final furlong, she just seemed to lack the turn of foot showed by some of her rivals. On the evidence of that run I thought stepping up in trip was the obvious move and, lo and behold, she reappeared over 11.5f on soft at Lingfield at the start of last month.

She was claimer ridden that day, and she ended up well beaten in last. However, it was fairly plain to see that she wasn't in love with the soft conditions, and her pedigree suggests she will be more at home on a better surface. Her sire hasn't had many chances, but of his three progeny to have run he has had a winner (10f). Her dam was a winner over 8f on good ground, and she is related to horses that have won over trips ranging from 7f to 16f on all sorts of ground.

All of her dam's relations took time to mature, and this filly looked like she had wintered well on her reappearance at Lingfield. She looked as though she had filled out somewhat, and she definitely seems a better physical specimen than she did as a 2yo. She was well beaten last time, but she may well have needed it, and hopefully she appreciates the firmer surface tomorrow.

Danny Brock is no stranger to riding big priced winners, and he has won on 9 and been placed on 15 of his 78 rides for Chapple Hyam. He was on board for Royal Mighty's standout effort at Lingfield, so he knows her well. Hopefully he can conjure an improved effort from her at Yarmouth on Thursday and, at odds of 33/1 and off a mark of just 48, I think she is worth a pound or two each way in a trappy looking handicap.


Monday, 18 July 2016

Eretara Capable Of Outrunning Odds At Ballinrobe

Miracle Of Medinah ran a respectable race for us on Saturday, but unfortunately he just wasn't good enough. He was given a lovely ride by Dane O'Neill, and he looked to be travelling really well as they entered the last couple of furlongs. When push came to shove the response wasn't there though, and unfortunately he couldn't hang on for a place. It looks as though he is a horse that is hard to place, as 8f seems just a shade too far, while 7f has proved to be an insufficient test. He is a horse that will need everything to drop right to get his head back in front, and he could probably do with a bit more help from the handicapper too.

Monday is not usually a day I put up a selection, but I have decided to make an exception this week. It is often said in Ireland that "if your horse can't win a race in Ballinrobe it won't win one anywhere", and Eretara is a 7yo mare that must nearly be in last chance saloon, as she remains a  maiden after 33 starts. She has been with four different yards since making her debut as a 3yo back in 2012, and not one of those trainers has managed to conjure a win out of her. I have had my eye on her since a run at Dundalk back in November 2014. I had an each way bet on her at 50/1 that day, and I was convinced she would have gone very close if she didn't clip heels and fall.

She was with the Donohue yard back then, but she is now in the hands of one of the shrewdest trainers around in David Harry Kelly. He seems to have got Eretara interested in the game again, and on the evidence of her second run for Kelly at Tipperary (12.5f yld) on her penultimate start she is capable of winning a handicap off her current mark. She was dropped out the back that day and 2f out she was still travelling well, even if she was much nearer to last than first. When Hoban got into the drive position she started to eat up the ground and she flew home for 3rd, just missing out on 2nd.

The way she finished off her race that day suggested she was crying out for a step up in trip, so I was rather surprised to see her dropped back to 11f at Killarney last time out. I was tempted to put her up on the blog that day, but I just could't see the logic of dropping her in trip after watching her last run a few times. I was even more surprised by the tactics employed by her jockey Michael Hussey, as she was right up with the pace from the outset. Unsurprisingly she folded tamely, but she gets the step up in trip that it seemed she was crying out for at Ballinrobe on Monday.

The Kelly yard is tipping along nicely at the moment and, though he hasn't been amongst the winners, most of his entries have been running well. Shane B Kelly is a jockey who is usually effective with hold up types, and his patient style could be perfect for this tricky mare. The ground is currently described as yielding and that is perfect for her on the evidence of that Tipperary run. She steps up to 1m5f, which should also be in her favour, and Kelly should be able to drop her in nicely from her draw in stall 5. She is obviously not the most reliable of mares (no win in 33 starts) so stakes should be kept small, but she looks to have a lot in her favour and, at 28/1, she is worth chancing each way in what looks an extremely weak race.


Friday, 15 July 2016

Saturday's Selection

Go On Mayson didn't reward our each way support at Newbury on Friday, but I would imagine his trainer David Evans will be over the moon with his run. He was clearly green early doors and he dropped to the rear after a furlong. However, as the race entered the final 2f the penny seemed to drop, and he stayed on really nicely late on for 7th. It was a great effort on his first day at school and he looks as though he should be good enough to win a maiden.

Tomorrow the Super Sprint is the highlight of the day, but that race is notoriously tricky from a punting perspective. The one I like goes in the 3.15 at Newmarket, a class 2 8f handicap, and Miracle Of Medinah looks sure to relish the step up to a mile and the quick ground he is likely to encounter on Saturday.

This 5yo son of Milk It Mick has been a flagbearer for his trainer Mark Usher and he had a superb start to his career as a 2yo. He won 4 races, including a Group 3 here over 7f, and he also took a listed heat at Newbury. That Group 3 win back in September of 2013 remains his most recent victory, but he has been showing definite positive signs on his last few runs. Hopefully tomorrow is the day he can get his head back in front.

He ran a cracking race in a handicap at Ascot (7f gd/fm) on his seasonal return, beaten just over 4L and staying on eye-catchingly well in the closing stages off a mark of 97. He was stepped up to 7.5f next time out at Chester, and again he ran better than his finishing position of 7th suggests. He was just over 3L behind the winner off 95 and he again shaped as though he was crying out for a little bit more distance.

He steps up to a mile at Newmarket on Saturday and the handicapper has dropped him to a mark of 93. That is the lowest he has been rated in his career, and he was beaten less than a length at Chester last August (7.5f gd) off 94. I think he is more than capable of being involved at the finish off his revised mark of 93, and he is a previous good ground course winner so we know he will like the track and ground. Dane O'Neill comes in for the injured Liam Keniry and he is a more than able deputy. 14/1 looks too big a price for Miracle Of Medinah, and he is a confident each way selection in what looks a wide open race.


Thursday, 14 July 2016

Evans' Charge Could Spring A Surprise At Newbury

Quiet Reflection ran an absolute stormer in the July Cup last week but Limato was just too quick for her on that firm ground. Bossy Guest lived up to his frustrating reputation, detached after 2f and finishing like a train when the race was all over. He really is a bit of a monkey but the ability is definitely there. He has more races in him but it will need a genius of a jockey to help him get his head back in front.

Tomorrow's cards look tough and nothing appeals to me as being well treated and overpriced in any of the handicaps. I have decided to take a chance on an unraced 2yo and, with selections like this, stakes should be kept to a minimum as there is no way of knowing how the horses have been working at home. However, Go On Mayson is bred to be a decent 2yo and this son of Mayson goes in the 2.00 7f maiden for David Evans.

Evans is no stranger to success with his juveniles and he is well able to ready one first time out. This fella is out of a dam that has already produced 5 winners, including Group 1 Cheveley Park 4th Adorn. Plenty of her offspring have run well first time up and Mayson is a sire that is making a big impression with his first crop. 8 of his 24 runners have won, an impressive strike rate of 33%.

On the face of it, Go On Mayson faces a tough task on his debut at Newbury. Some of his rivals have shown a decent level of form already and he will have to be pretty useful to make his presence felt. However, Evans has his string in excellent form and the form figures for his last 8 runners read 11234253. Shane Kelly has been booked for ride and he has ridden a 2yo winner for Evans before (20/1). His pedigree is more than decent, his yard is in super form and at odds of 40/1 I think Go On Mayson is worthy of a small each way interest in a pretty open looking maiden.


Friday, 8 July 2016

Guest Can Boss Them At Newmarket

Chiringuita ran a corker at odds of 14/1 (25/1 adv) to finish third and reward each way support at Newmarket. She pulled hard during the opening furlong and only for that I think she could have finished a lot closer to the winner. She is definitely starting to come to hand and she is one to keep onside for her next few runs. She is more than capable of winning off her current mark on that evidence.

Magical Fire also ran a huge race at 33/1 and just found Roly Tricks too good in the Duchess Of Cambridge. Her trainer Mick O'Callaghan is on fire and it is worth keeping a close eye on his entries over the next few weeks.

Tomorrow the big race of the day is the July Cup at Newmarket and Quiet Reflection bids to maintain her 100% record in 2016. This daughter of Showcasing has taken the OntoAWinner syndicate on a journey they could never have even dreamed of, and I think she is a huge price at 8/1. To be honest, she was not as spectacular as I expected her to be last time in the Britannia, but I am of the opinion that the soft ground blunted her turn of foot.

If you look back through her form, the two times she has encountered good ground she has absolutely hosed up. She hacked up in a listed heat at Ayr on her first run on good ground, and then she produced the best run of her career in the Sandy Lane on good ground. Visually those were the two most impressive performances of her career, in my opinion, and I think the ground tomorrow will be a help rather than a hindrance.

She has some useful sprinters to beat, with fast ground specialist Limato at the top of the list. However, she gets weight from them all and I have my fingers crossed that she can deliver the goods and prove that the small man or woman can compete at the top in a sport dominated by billionaires.

As Quiet Reflection is only 8/1 she is too short to be put up as my selection, but I fancy another one at Newmarket at a bigger price. Bossy Guest must be one of the most frustrating horses in training, as he has failed to deliver on the massive promise he showed when finishing 4th in the 2000 Guineas behind Gleneagles back in 2015.

It is hard to believe that this 4yo son of Meidcean has failed to win since his seasonal return over 6f here last year, but in fairness he has faced some tough tasks. However, he showed last time on unsuitable ground at Royal Ascot that he was on his way back to form with an excellent effort off 104 in the Royal Hunt Cup (8f sft). Not only was he very slowly away under De Sousa, he encountered massive traffic problems in the final two furlongs and he stayed on really strongly once finding daylight to finish 6th of 28, beaten by an ever diminishing 3L.

That run showed that Bossy Guest retains plenty of ability and also showed that he is capable of making an impact off his current mark. His form figures at Newmarket on quick ground read 13143, and the 4th came in that 2000 Guineas behind Gleneagles. I think he looks overpriced tomorrow at 16/1 and with a better start and a clearer passage I can see him running a massive race.


Thursday, 7 July 2016

Chiringuita Could Come Back To Form For Red Hot Bethell

Unfortunately our winning run came to an end when Fazza finished down the field on Monday. It was a much better run than his finishing position suggests though, as he never managed to get a clear run in the closing stages. Paddy Aspell went for the brave man's route up the inside but unfortunately there was no room at the inn. Fazza looked to be travelling well but once the gaps didn't come Aspell let him come home in his own time. He will be a big price again next time out and he showed me enough to think he is definitely capable of reaching the frame in the future, especially if he is dropped another couple of pounds in the handicap.

Tomorrow there is some cracking action at Newmarket as the July festival continues. The Duchess Of Cambridge and the Falmouth are the big races of the day, and in the former I think that Magical Fire is worth a second look returned to the ground she likes. I have no strong fancy for the Falmouth. My main bet tomorrow goes in the fillies' 7f handicap at 3.10 and I think Chiringuita could be set to take a big step forward on her two runs so far this season with Mickael Barzalona booked for the ride.

This filly had some very useful form last season as a 2yo, and she has already earned black type with a head 2nd in a Listed heat behind Whitman at Ripon last year (6f good). She has won just once in her 7 race career, a facile victory at 7/1 on debut at Pontefract. However, she has been highly tried on occasions, and she even had a crack at Group 3 level at Ayr. She was well beaten in that contest but she bounced back with an excellent 4th in a Listed heat at Newbury (7f soft).

She has only had one run in a handicap and she was well beaten on the all weather at Chelmsford off 91 on her seasonal return. She ran much better back in Listed company at Carlisle (7f gd/fm) last time, beaten just under 6L in 4th. She was very awkward at the start and if she had got away better she may well have finished a lot closer to the winner.

The handicapper has generously dropped her 4lb to 85 for that run, and on her form last year that is a mark that she could do damage off. Whitman beat her by a head at Ripon (she was getting 4lb) and he went on to be beaten a head himself off a mark of 92 in a handicap at Ascot. I think Chringuita looks well overpriced at 25/1 and her trainer has been in great form the last couple of weeks. This is her trip, she will like the ground and a top jockey is booked. Bethell has had 3 places and a winner from his last 6 runners and hopefully Chringuita continues his good run tomorrow.


Sunday, 3 July 2016

Fazza Looks Well Treated On Return To Ripon

By Rights ran an absolute cracker for us on Saturday and when she hit the front a couple of furlongs out I thought we were on to a winner. She unfortunately faded close home, but she held on for 2nd and rewarded each way support. The drift out to 33/1 was an added bonus and it made it three from three for us for the week. It has been a long time coming admittedly, but I think 33/1 and 25/1 places, along with a 16/1 winner, more than makes up for the recent lean spell.

I am sick that I didn't put Dark Crystal up at Ayr earlier today as she ran a cracker to finish 2nd at 18/1. With a clearer run she would have gone even closer. For those who love to find big priced winners Linda Perratt is a reliable source, and she will have a host of well handicapped horses to go to war with when her small string finally do turn the corner. Blue Sonic also ran a respectable race for Perratt on Sunday at Ayr and from here on in her horses are worth keeping a close eye on, regardless of price.

I am staying up North for Monday's selection and the one I like goes in the lucky last at Ripon. The 9.15 is a low grade 8f handicap and, though the ground is currently good, there is plenty of precipitation forecast. The ground is likely to soften so horses that handle an ease will be the order of the day. Fazza is a horse I have had a chequered relationship with over the years, but on his day he is a more than capable performer.

He used to race in the famous yellow and white of Ontoawinner and he has won more than his fair share of races down through the years. He is a 9yo now so he isn't getting any younger, but I doubt the Tuers would persevere unless they thought he was capable of getting his head in front again. He has won 7 of his 67 starts, but his last win came at Pontefract all the way back in 2013.

Of his 7 wins all but one have come at tonight's trip of a mile, and when he last won at Ponte he did so off a mark of 72. He has run some cracking races in defeat since that win, including a couple of more than decent efforts around here. He was a decent 5th here on his last visit (10f soft) beaten less than 4L off 72. His previous two runs over course and distance have seen him finish 4th off 74 (beaten 3L) and 3rd off 74 (beaten half a length).

He has had a couple of outings to blow away the cobwebs this season and his last effort at Redcar wasn't totally devoid of promise. He returns to Ripon off a mark of 58, a full 16lb lower than he was for his last two close calls over course and distance. He was beaten a head off 62 last September at Beverley and he is 4lb lower today. He has won on ground ranging from soft to good so rain won't bother him and surely he retains enough ability to run well off 58. I think Fazza looks well overpriced at 25/1 from a good draw in stall 2, and a big run at tasty odds would come as no surprise.


Friday, 1 July 2016

Saturday's Selection

Zamperini got the job done for us on Friday, prevailing by the width of a cigarette paper in a thrilling finish. He didn't go unbacked during the day and was sent off at just 10/1. He needed every inch of the 10f trip to get his head in front and he clearly appreciates an ease in the ground. There could be more to come from him and he is one to keep in mind if he gets his ground next time out.

We will be looking to make it three from three this week with Saturday's selection in the 4.35 at Haydock, a 6f class 4 handicap. By Rights is a 5yo daughter of Byron who will be having her 2nd run back after a 6 month break. She has won 3 races from 25 starts, reaching the frame on 9 other occasions. She had an excellent campaign in handicaps on the all weather last winter, her form figures reading 3221. Her win came over 6f at Wolves in a class 5 heat off 65 and she returned to the turf at Haydock (5f gd/sft) a couple of weeks ago off 70.

She needed her first run back last season to blow away the cobwebs and it was a similar story this year. She was well beaten in 8th, over 9L behind the winner Guishan. However, 5f is probably a bit on the sharp side for her and she was obviously in dire need of the run. She has placed form to her name at Haydock, finishing 2nd here in a class 4 handicap off 70 over 5f (gd/fm) last June.

Of her three wins two have come on turf and both times there was an ease in the ground. Her last win on grass came at Chester back in August 2014 when she hacked up over 5.5f on good to soft ground off a mark of 65. She also ran a cracker at Nottingham on soft on her final turf run of last season, staying on really well for 2nd over 5f off 63.

Now she is still 5lb above her last winning mark at the moment off 70, but Paddy Piley takes off a very handy 5lb so she should be capable of making the frame. Her trainer Tony Carroll has his string in good form and he has been amongst the winners this week. I think she will get a strong pace to chase here and she will hopefully be staying on well at the finish. She looks well worth chancing e/w at 20/1 in a wide open looking handicap with trip, track and ground all sure to suit.


Easier Ground Should Show Zamperini In A Better Light At Sandown

Well it is a pleasure to be writing the blog without having to make excuses for tipping up a loser! Chips Are Down ran a cracker to be 2nd at Sligo and he just bumped into another plot horse. However, a place at 25s is not to be sniffed at and it sure beats the hell out of finishing last!

Today I like the look of one at Sandown in the 4.30, and Zamperini could take a big step forward in this 10f class 3 handicap. The ground at Sandown is currently described as good to soft and this 4yo son of Fast Company showed last season that he likes a bit of juice in the ground. He has won 2 of his 13 starts and he had a superb season last year with form figures of 2122421, his last win coming on soft ground over this trip at Newmarket off a mark of 80.

He was runner up twice over today's course and distance last season, and the ground was good on both occasions. He started out this season off a mark of 85 and he has not made an impact in two runs so far. He was well beaten over 11f at Kempton before blowing his chance at the start last time back at Sandown. He actually stayed on pretty well late in the day last time out and it looked as though he might be returning to form.

He ought to strip a lot fitter after those two outings and the handicapper has decided to drop him to a mark of 84. He is still 4lb above the rating he won off last season, but he won comfortably off 80 at Newmarket and he gave the impression that there was likely more to come. Fran Berry was on board for both his runs this season but Jim Crowley comes in today as Berry is injured. Crowley rode Zamperini when he was second here last year so he knows the horse and he won't lack for assistance from the saddle. Mike Murphy has his small string in good form and he has had a winner and a runner up from his last 6 runners. Hopefully Zamperini can continue his decent form at Sandown and he is the each way selection this Friday at odds of 16/1.