Friday, 28 October 2016

Tullinahoo Could Relish Extra Furlong At Chelmsford

Burning Brightly did us proud at Dundalk earlier, and what a ride it was from Colin Keane from stall 11. There was no mishap at the start this time, and after breaking well Keane reined him back and settled him nicely on the outer in mid division. He made the decisive move as they entered the final furlong, and Burning Brightly quickly put the race to bed. I love it when a plan comes together, and when it comes together at odds of 33/1 I love it even more!!

I fancy nothing strongly in the televised races tomorrow, though I will likely have a sentimental fiver each way on Croco Bay at Ascot. He produced the best run of his career there, and he was in the process of running a massive race last time before he unseated his rider. However, he has the burden of top weight, and that could be enough to anchor him for win purposes. At 16s though he may well sneak a place.

The one I will definitely be backing tomorrow is Tullinahoo, a 2yo son of Elzaam who is in the care of shrewd handler Denis Coakley. This colt has had just the 5 starts, and the first 4 of those came on turf. He was well beaten on all 4 occasions on quick ground at trips ranging from 5.5f to 6f, but it was much more like it at Wolverhampton over 5f on his handicap debut last time off a mark of 63.

He seemed to relish the switch to an artificial surface and, after breaking slowly and getting outpaced early on, he finished like a train for 4th. He was only 1.5L behind the winner, and he just failed by a short head to get up for 3rd. He steps back up to 6f tomorrow, and he gets to race off the same mark as last time. Oisin Murphy, who was on board for his first two starts, takes the ride and he is 7/50 when riding for Coakley. Tullinahoo has a decent draw in stall 5, the surface should suit and at odds of 14/1 he is well worth an interest each way. .


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Burn The Bookies With Brightly At Dundalk

Topalova ran a good race for us earlier this week, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough to reward each way support. I wasn't the only one who fancied her to improve for the step up in trip, and her price halved on the morning of the race.

I am not one for believing in market movers, but on this occasion I think it was a genuine gamble. She ran as though she was trying her best, but the trip on easy ground proved too far for her. I still think she will get the trip, but only on better ground.

Friday's fancy comes from the punter's graveyard, and it has been a while since I have put one up from Dundalk. However, the combination of John Joe Murphy and Colin Keane proved too hard to resist and, at odds of 33/1, I think a real case can be made for Burning Brightly off a mark of 67 in the 6.00, a 7f nursery handicap.

This 2yo son of Sir Prancelot has had four runs so far, and in three of those he finished well beaten. However, those three poor showings came on easy ground, including his handicap debut last time off 69 at Leopardstown (8f yld). A lot more encouragement can be gleaned from his sole start at Dundalk in his final maiden run, a race that has worked out very well.

Burning Brightly fell out of the stalls in that 5f contest, and Colin Keane did well to stay on board. He was in rear from early on, and he got outpaced as the race hotted up. However, he showed definite ability in the closing stages, and he stayed on for 6th under a pretty tender ride. He was just over 5L behind the winner Swish, and that horse is now rated in the 90s.

The 2nd home won his handicap debut next time out off 80 (4.5L ahead of selection), the 4th home has since won a maiden and a handicap off 80 (4L ahead) and the 7th home (a head behind) went on to finish 4th in a 108k sales race at the Curragh. Burning Brightly is related to an all weather winner, and he has another half brother that went close at Wolverhampton on the dirt.

Given all the above, I think Burning Brightly is capable of making an impact off 67 back at the only track he has shown an affinity for. His draw in stall 11 is a slight concern, and he will need to start better than he did on his last visit. However, Colin Keane is a master around here, and if any jockey is capable of overcoming a poor draw it is him. He has ridden 3 winners for Murphy this season (6 in total) and at odds of 33/1 I think Burning Brightly is worthy of a small interest each way.


Monday, 24 October 2016

Step Up In Trip Could Work The Oracle For Topalova

The less said about Sunday's selection the better, as he trailed in paddy last beaten a distance. Unfortunately the patient tactics that I had hoped for weren't used, and after racing prominently under Leigh Roche he went out like a light and dropped back through the field as the pace lifted. It is still early days for Blackhall though, and he could be of interest upped further in trip if hold up tactics are deployed.

I don't usually put up a horse this early in the week, but I am making an exception for Topalova at Catterick tomorrow. This daughter of Champs Elysees is from a family that Mark Tompkins knows well, and she is a half sister to no less than 6 different winners, including G3 victor Topatoo. Her sire has had 25% of his progeny win at 14f+, so the step up to 16f looks sure to suit.

This filly has had just the 8 starts, and she was heavily backed when unseating on her handicap debut at Chelmsford off a mark of 57. Her first four runs came on artificial surfaces, but she has shown her best form on the two occasions she has encountered turf. She ran over 10f (gd/fm) at Beverley off a mark of 57, and she did well to finish 5th, beaten just over 5L, if you consider she didn't enjoy the clearest of runs.

She returned to the all weather at Chelmsford on her penultimate start, and she ran a shocker to finish last off 54. However, it was much more like it at Yarmouth next time out, and she seemed to enjoy stepping up to 11.5f and the easy ground. Despite coming widest of all she stayed on pretty well, and she finished 5th, just 1.5L off 3rd spot. That effort came off a mark of 52, and she has been dropped another pound to 51, with Noel Garbutt also taking off another 3lb. Ground and trip should suit, she has a good draw in stall 2 and, at odds of 16/1, she looks worth a small each way interest in a trappy looking handicap.


Saturday, 22 October 2016

Blackhall Looks Overpriced At Leopardstown

Well it was a mixed day for the blog on Saturday, and unfortunately the race wasn't run to suit Contrapposto. I was hoping for a strong pace as I believe stamina is his strong suit, but Rivet was allowed to take them along at a leisurely gallop, and the race turned into a sprint in the final couple of furlongs. Contrapposto did get squeezed for room, but that was no excuse as he was going backwards and was beaten at the time.

It was a much better run from Letmestopyouthere, and it looked as though Cliff Lee had timed his challenge to perfection. However, the young jockey couldn't convince the Evans horse to go by the leader, and we had to be happy with 2nd. He was sent off at just 7/1 in the end, and it was a pity he couldn't get his head in front for those of us who were on at 20s.

I like the look of a 16/1 shot in the nursery at 3.40 at Leopardstown tomorrow, and Blackhall is a colt that first caught my eye when running a decent race on his debut in what has turned out to be a very hot maiden at Gowran Park (7f yld). He was slowly away that day, but he stayed on quite nicely in the closing stages to finish 7th, only 4.75L behind Firey Speech, a horse that won a maiden next time out, then a handicap off 88 afterwards before placing in a G3.

Blackhall failed to build on the promise of that debut effort on his next three maiden runs, but I think the more aggressive tactics deployed in those races didn't play to his strengths. He even dropped back to 6f at the Curragh on his penultimate start, and he faded after making the early running. He was stepped up to a mile for his handicap debut at Limerick last time out (soft) and he ran a cracking race off a mark of just 65.

Just like on his debut more patient tactics were adopted on Blackhall, and he was waited with in rear. About 2f out Declan McDonagh got to work, and Blackhall started to improve through the field. Crucially, just inside the 2f mark, McDonagh had to stop riding for a moment and angle Blackhall into a gap, and only for that I believe he would have finished even closer. In any case he still stayed on strongly in the final furlong, and he was only denied 3rd place by a neck.

The winner of that race, Duck Egg Blue, was just over 3L ahead of the Fahy horse, and that filly has been hit with a 7lb rise for that performance. Blackhall, on the other hand, was dropped a pound, so he gets 13lb off her today, instead of the 6lb he got last time. That should enable him to get a lot closer to that rival, and Leigh Roche has been booked for the ride as McDonagh can't do the weight. Roche's last ride for Fahy resulted in a win, and hopefully he can hit the frame again on Blackhall tomorrow at odds of 16/1.


Evans' Charge Could Run Well At Newbury

Powersbomb was desperately disappointing for us yesterday, never landing a significant blow. He seemed to be travelling well as they turned into the back straight, but once they hit the rising ground he faded. He is a better horse than that, he just didn't produce what he is capable of on the day.

I have already put up Contrapposto and he is my nap of the weekend. I think he looked a machine when winning his maiden, and he would have finished a lot closer to Rivet on his second start at York in a 7f maiden if it was run over today's trip of a mile. This looks a pretty average renewal of the Racing Post Trophy, and hopefully Contrapposto can hit the frame. He is widely available to back at odds of 16/1 this morning.

Regular readers of the blog may remember me putting up Letmestopyouthere when he ran at York in a big handicap race during the summer, and he very nearly snatched a place at huge odds. He again ran well in a big sales race at the Curragh on his next outing, beaten just over 3L in a 30 runner field. He returned to handicap company at Haydock on his penultimate start (5f gd) off a mark of 83. He ran a cracker to be 4th behind Merry Banter, finishing like a train and looking as though he was ready to step back up to 6f.

He got that step back up in trip last time out at York, but he had a high draw there and all the leading horses were drawn low. I think he can be forgiven that run, and on his effort at Haydock off 83 he looks to have a big chance here off 3lb lower. Promising young apprentice Clifford Lee has ridden plenty of winners for Karl Burke, and with his 5lb claim Letmestopyouthere is effectively 8lb lower than for that excellent Haydock effort. He has a decent draw, the good to soft ground is ideal and at huge odds I think this son of Sir Prancealot is worth chancing each way at Newbury.




Thursday, 20 October 2016

Bomb Could Power Up Cheltenham Hill

Well the jumps season is back in earnest this weekend, with racing at Prestbury Park on Friday and Saturday, and then Aintree on Sunday. Even this early in the day it pays to keep an eye out for festival clues, as there will be quite a few horses on show whose ultimate aim will be returning to Cheltenham in the Spring.

The one I am going to back on Friday is Powersbomb, a 6yo son of Trans Island who is in the care of Sligo based trainer Brian McMahon. This gelding has plenty of ability, but his temperament has let him down at times. However, he has produced three good runs on his last three starts, and I think the stiff finish over 2m5f at Cheltenham will be right up his street.

He has a clear preference for good ground, and he looks sure to get his favoured conditions on Friday. His only win over hurdles came in July of last year, when he took a 20.5f handicap at Galway in taking fashion off a mark of 105. He relished the uphill finish at Galway, and it is encouraging that he has run well every time he has showed up at Ballybrit.

He ran a cracking race there two runs back off 115 (21f) on ground much softer than ideal, staying on well for 3rd, beaten 2.75L. He ran Wrath Of Titans close next time over an inadequate 18f at Downpatrick, and he was tapped for toe over 20f back in handicap company at Cork last time before staying on strongly in the closing stages.

That effort at Cork came off his revised mark of 118, and the British handicapper has handed him a mark of 122. He has been freshened up with a 54 day break since that last run, and you would imagine this has been the plan for quite a while. It is rare for a trainer like McMahon to have an animal with a live chance at Cheltenham, and Powersbomb definitely has each way claims.

McMahon has booked top class pilot Mikey Fogarty for the ride, and he was on board for his only previous hurdle victory. Fogarty knows what is required to win around Cheltenham, and he is an excellent booking. I think Powersbomb will be well suited by the stiff uphill finish over this 2m 5f trip, the ground is ideal and the right man is on board. Everything points towards a big run, and hopefully Powersbomb storms up the hill and rewards each way support at odds of 18/1.

My main bet this weekend is Contrapposto in the Racing Post Trophy. I was really taken with his run behind Rivet over 7f on his 2nd start, and he relished the step up to a mile when hosing up in a decent looking Nottingham maiden last time out. Connections have been bullish about his chances, and I think he can reverse the form with Rivet over an extra furlong. He is more than twice the price of that horse, and at 14/1 he looks well overpriced and he has to have a serious each way chance in a weak looking renewal.




Friday, 14 October 2016

Champions' Day At Ascot Tips

Both selections ran decent races on Friday, but unfortunately Fox Trotter just missed out on a place. High Commander stayed on pretty well for 3rd, but the big eye catcher was the Frankel colt. He was given a very gentle introduction and, to be honest, I though he was going to breeze past us and take 3rd. However, High Commander held off his late challenge, so at least we got something back from the day’s investment.

Tomorrow is Champions’ Day at Ascot, and the fare is of the very highest quality. There are Group races galore, and the ground should be beautiful for this time of year. The good to soft ground has dried out to good and, with sporadic showers forecast, it should stay that way, or maybe just on the easy side tomorrow. You can find out my thoughts on the day’s action below.


Those that have been following the blog long-term probably know who I am going to tip up in this race. But don’t be fooled, because it is not just a sentimental selection. Litigant is a horse that romped home for the blog in the Ebor (14f gd) at a massive price, and he showed that was no fluke by winning the November handicap off 106 on his last start at Doncaster (12f hvy).

He hasn’t been since that near 5L romp, and he has always been a hard horse to keep right. However, Tuite is reportedly very happy with his condition heading into this race, and he has secured the services of James Doyle for the ride. His absence of 343 days isn’t off putting, as he has run some of his best races after similar breaks. He goes on any ground, he stays all day and he could put it up to the favourite Order Of St George. His price of 16/1 looks way too big, and he is the each way selection.



Although the majority of trainers will be pleased that the rain has missed Ascot, there are some that would have preferred to see the heavens open. Quiet Reflection fits that description, but once there is no jar she should be absolutely fine. It was genuine good ground when she won her Group 2 at Haydock, and that was visually one of her best performances. The only two horses to finish in front of her (Limato and Suedois) this season don’t run, and she has beaten plenty of this field before.  

The two I would be most worried about are Shalaa and Mecca’s Angel, and the former looked to have a bit more up his sleeve than the winning margin suggests last time out. He has won 7 in a row since his debut defeat, but that was only a G3 last time and this is a big step up in class.

Mecca’s Angel is a serious mare on her day, as she showed at York when beating Limato. She ran another cracker in Chantilly last time out, so she comes here in fine fettle. However, they have it all to do to beat Quiet Reflection, and if there is a drop of rain it will further enhance her chance. It could be another big race success for the Ontoawinner Syndicate, and at odds of 3/1 she is the selection.



The Champion Fillies’ and Mares stakes looks a mouth-watering renewal, and a case can be made for plenty in this 12f G1 contest. The Aidan O’Brien trained 3yo filly Seventh Heaven is the market leader at 15/8, and she has been mightily impressive over this distance the last twice. She wouldn’t want any rain though, as she was well beaten at Epsom when there was an ease and her best form has come on good or better.

However, at an absolutely huge price I think that Promising Run is worth a second glance. She won her second race at pattern level when taking a G3 in Turkey on her penultimate run, and she won the G2 Rockfel as a 2yo at Newmarket. She has been highly tried during her 11 race career, and she has a couple of pieces of form that would give her a squeak at this level.

Her 5th here over 8F in the G1 Coronation Stakes was a fine effort, and she shaped as though further would definitely suit. She was less than 2L behind Alice Springs that day and she has gone on to win two Group 1s since. Promising Run was last seen in an 8f Listed contest at Newmarket, and she could only manage 4th, beaten over 5L. However, once again she was doing all her best work at the finish, and this step up to 12f looks certain to suit.

Bin Suroor is flying, and the form figures for his last 4 runners reads 1212. The champion jockey has been booked, the extra distance is another positive and possibly the best run of her career came at the track. Now admittedly she has it all to do at the figures, as she is rated 13lb lower than the fav and they race off level weights. However, 66//1 looks an absolutely massive price for this filly and at those sort of odds she is surely worth a very small interest each way.



Aidan O’Brien has a strong hand here, and on jockey bookings and form it looks as though Minding is the first string. However, she has had a long season, and she has had a couple of tough races. Another of O’Brien’s runners will come into the race a lot fresher, and last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hit It A Bomb could be worth chancing each way at a massive price.

He has had just a couple of outings this season, and he was entitled to need his seasonal reappearance run at Leopardstown. He still ran pretty well that day, and he shaped as though he would come on heaps for it. He again ran well on ground softer than ideal over 8f at Leopardstown last month, just 2L behind Awtaad and closing all the way to the line. Those two runs should have put him cherry ripe for this race, and the drying ground will suit. He will likely be heading Stateside again after this race, but he is a horse with huge ability and a big run at odds of 25/1 would come as no surprise.



On all known form this looks like being a match between Found and Almanzor, though Fascinating Rock won’t relinquish his crown without a fight. It was hard not to be impressed with the manner of Almanzor’s victory at Leopardstown, and the turn of foot he showed was simply scorching. He has won Group 1s on soft, yielding and good ground, so a drop of rain would be no worry to this son of Wootton Bassett.

He was almost a length too good for Found the last day, but you have to remember that Almanzor took an extremely wide route, and he must have travelled a good bit further than the rest of the field. The fly in the ointment could be Jack Hobbs, but a lot has to be taken on trust with him after he was pulled up and dismounted last time out. At his best he is a serious horse, and if any trainer can get him back to his best it is Gosden.

Last year’s fourth Racing History is back for another crack, but he is another one returning from a lengthy absence. He did hack up on his seasonal reappearance last season, but it will be hard to repeat the trick in this contest. He is 33/1 though, and he could sneak a place if a couple of the others have an off day. However, the performance of Almanzor last time out was one of the best I have seen for some time and he is the selection for this year’s Champion Stakes.



A nice easy race to finish proceedings, with the 20 runner Balmoral Handicap over the straight mile. The one I like here is Master The World, and if you can forgive his last two runs he has to have a great chance. He ran no sort of race in the Cambridgeshire off today’s mark of 108, but that run was too bad to be true. He bounced back from a poor run to be an excellent 3rd in this race last year off 104, and he is just 4lb higher today.

He was beaten a head off that same mark of 104 at Goodwood earlier this Summer, and he followed that up with a super effort in a G3 at Salisbury, chasing home Zonderland (beaten 1.75L). He has loads of experience in these big field handicaps, and he is versatile regarding ground. Pat Dobbs, who was on board for the near miss at Goodwood comes back in for the ride, and his only other ride for Elsworth this year won. He has a decent draw in stall 5, and he is well capable of outrunning his odds of 28/1.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Fox Could Be A Cute Bet At Haydock

Best Solution was one of the most confident selections I have put up in a while, and I was delighted to see William Carson boot him home. He got him into a good position early, and he made sure that misfortune didn't have an impact on the result. Best Solution showed a good turn of foot to put the daylight between himself and the rest as they entered the final furlong, and the result was never in doubt. I couldn't believe he opened at 14s, never mind being 16s the day before, and even his sp of 12/1 was a mad price given his previous run.

The rest of my selections on Cesarewitch day didn't hit the frame, but the nap delivered at 16s and that is the main thing! Tomorrow I like the look of a couple at Haydock, and two small e/w singles and an e/w double could be just what the doctor ordered. The first one I am interested in is Fox Trotter in the 3.10, and this 4yo son of Bushranger looks well worth another crack over a mile on the evidence of two of his last three runs.

This fella has been very hard to win with, as his record of 1/15 neatly illustrates. However, he has been campaigned at a high level, and his form as a 2yo includes a G3 staying on 2nd (7f soft). He found life tough starting off in handicaps off a mark of 101 last season, though he did run well off the rating at Goodwood (7f gd/fm), when he was a never nearer 4th, beaten just 2L. He didn't make an impact out in Dubai when tried over a mile for the first time, but perhaps he didn't travel well.

He has had just four runs back in the UK this year, and two of those have been full of promise. He can be excused his reappearance of 97 at Goodwood, and he is better judged on his unlucky 4th at Doncaster when he stayed on really well to be beaten 1.75L off 94 on his first try in class 3 hcap company. He was poor next time over the same trip at Newmarket (gd/sft) and he was dropped to 6.5f last time out. He again did all his best work in the closing stages after blowing the start, and he shaped as if he is well worth another crack at a mile.

He drops back into class 3 company today, he has a decent draw in stall 2 and he gets to run off a career low mark of 92. James Doyle has been booked, and he has been riding like a man possessed since news of his Godolphin demotion emerged. Meehan has his string in decent shape, and he had a couple of nice winners last week. He has an excellent record at Kempton in the last 5 seasons (10/69) and Doyle is 1/3 for the yard. Fox Trotter still has to prove he stays a mile, but the visual evidence suggests he will, and at 12/1 he is worth backing each way.

The other one I fancy goes in the 8f 2yo maiden at 3.45, and no it isn't the supremely well bred son of Frankel who makes his debut for John Gosden. That colt is priced up at just 11/8, and I would never be afraid of taking a debutant on with one that has already had a run. Now I am not saying that Gosden can't ready one, and he could come out and slaughter the field, but at the current odds I would much rather be with Andrew Balding's son of Teofilo, High Commander.

This fella hasn't got a bad pedigree himself, and he showed plenty on his debut when 3rd at Windsor (8.5f gd/sft), beaten only a length despite being sent off at odds of 25/1, and blowing the start. That was an excellent run for a first time out runner from the Balding yard, as they usually improve massively for their first outing. Horseplay is a very recent example of that, hacking up by 13L on his second start after finishing 4th on his debut.

His dam is exceedingly well bred, and she is a full sister to none other than 2000 Guineas hero Footstepsinthesand. Pedro The Great, another G1 winner is her half brother, and there is no shortage of black type in his pedigree. Teofilo is an excellent sire, and a mile should be perfect at  this stage of High Commander's career. I think he is criminally overpriced, and at odds of 10/1 he should be there or thereabouts at the business end of the race.



Friday, 7 October 2016

Newmarket Cesarewitch Day Selections


First up on a superb day of racing are the fillies, for what looks an ultra competitive 6f Listed contest. Mise En Rose is the favourite for last year's winning connections, and she has been running well at a higher level. She will be trying this trip for the first time, and she shaped as though 6f would suit when fading late on over 7f in a G3 last time.

She looks well treated on the figures, and she would be conceding weight to the rest of these in a handicap. Gravity Flow has risen to a mark of 99 from an opening rating of just 77, and she comes here in search of a fabulous five timer. Kassia and Symposium will also be looking to continue winning sequences, and those four are rightly at the head of the market.

One that could run well at much fancier odds is Futoon for Kevin Ryan and Silvestre De Sousa. On her last run at Pontefract she was behind quite a few of these, and she is much worse off with those at the weights tomorrow. However, she ran a cracker to be beaten only a short head here over the July course in a handicap off 80 on her penultimate start (Aclaim a couple of lengths behind), and if she can get back to that level she could sneak a place.

Ryan has had some near misses at huge odds over the past couple of weeks, including places at 16/1, 40/1 and 50/1. The booking of De Sousa has to be seen as another positive, and he has ridden 10 winners and been placed on 20 of his 100 rides for the Northern handler. She has a lot to find at the figures, but if a couple of the market leaders have an off day she could sneak a place and, at odds of 25/1, she is the each way selection.



The girls take centre stage again in this 7f fillies' nursery, and the one I like here is the Mick Channon trained Harmonise. This daughter of Sakhee's Secret has been very consistent in her four race career, and she has yet to finish out of the first three. She made her handicap debut off a mark of 70 over course and distance in a class 2 contest last month, and she ran a huge race to be second, beaten just half a length.

She didn't enjoy the clearest of runs that day,and she got a little bit outpaced too after pulling quite hard early on. However, she finished her race off really well, and with a smoother passage tomorrow she should be well capable of reaching the frame. That form looks decent too, with the 7th home getting beaten just 2L in 5th in a Listed heat next time out.

Harmonise has been raised just 2lb for that run last time out, and I think that could underestimate her. There are a couple of trailblazers in the race tomorrow, and that should enable Morris to get this filly to settle a bit better. She is drawn in stall 11 and that should be no problem, as she was drawn 12 of 12 here last time. With trip, ground and draw all perfect I think things could fall just right for Harmonise tomorrow, and at odds of 12/1 she is worthy of each way support.



My nap of the day goes in this race and you can find out what it is by clicking here.


Churchill is the hardened fav for the G1 Dewhurst, and he hails from the all conquering Aidan O'Brien yard. This 2yo son of Galileo will be looking to complete a 5 timer and he is already a G1 winner. However, his very best performances have come on ground with a bit of give, and he only prevailed by a neck in a G3 at Leopardstown on his only encounter with good to firm ground.

O'Brien also runs Lancaster Bomber and, while he has been used as a pacemaker on easy ground for Churchill the last twice, he could last a bit longer out in front on this fast ground. He is by War Front and his progeny are usually a stone better on quick ground. He won his maiden on his only try on good, and the even quicker conditions will be perfect tomorrow. He is priced up at 100/1, but a big run wouldn't come as a massive surprise.

South Seas brings an unbeaten record into the race having won all three of his starts so far. He handled the step up to 7f in Group company with no real problems last time in a G3 at Sandown, but the common denominator for all his runs has been soft ground. He has it to prove on a quicker surface, but if he takes to it he could give the favourite something to think about.

Thunder Snow looks an interesting contender for on fire Saeed Bin Suroor and Jim Crowley, and those two teamed up for a winner at Chelmsford in midweek. This fella was edged out by Rivet by a head last time in a thriller of a G2 at Doncaster (7f gd). He is twice the price of that rival here at odds of 20/1, and I think he has every chance of reversing the form on slightly quicker ground. This half brother to Group 1 placed performers Always Smile and Ihtimal could improve again, and further enhance the reputation of hugely promising first season sire Helmet.



The Cesarewitch is one of those races that you either love or you hate. If massive fields, gruelling trips and handicap plots are your thing, then this is the race for you. It has proved to be a minefield for punters down through the years, and three of the four last winners have been priced up at 50/1 (Grumeti last year), 66/1 and 66/1 again.

Only one fav has obliged since 2007, and jumps yards have traditionally done well in this 18f handicap. Only one winner since 2009 has carried more than 9 stone, and there are more than a few runners that fit that description this year.

One horse that could be potentially well handicapped and that looks sure to handle the trip is The Minch, who was sent off at just 16/1 for the Queen Alexandra at Royal Ascot. This son of Flemensfirth was seen as good enough to make his debut in the Champion Bumper at Aintree (17f soft). He showed he wasn't just there to make up the numbers by producing a superb effort in 3rd at 100/1, and immediately after that Royal Ascot was nominated as his target.

He ran with great credit in that race, and this 5yo stayed on well in the closing stages for 8th. Off level weights, he was only 5L behind Clondaw Warrior who finished 3rd, and that horse is rated 108 on the level. He was a neck behind First Mohican, also off levels, and that horse has since gone close at Doncaster off 98. His dual purpose trainer Jim Goldie would have been delighted with that effort, and a mark of 92 for his handicap debut looks very reasonable if the Ascot form is taken literally.

He was poor last time out in a listed race at York (14f gd) but that likely came too soon after his big effort at Ascot. He has been given plenty of time to get over those exertions, and the draw has been kind to him as he finds himself in stall 9. William Carson has gone close on a couple at big prices for Goldie already this season, and hopefully he can steer The Minch into the places tomorrow. He is a speculative each way selection for what looks a typically wide open renewal of the Cesarewitch.


Bin Suroor Is The Solution At Newmarket

Gilt Edged ran a cracker on Thursday night, but it just wasn't good enough for a place. She would have definitely got up for 3rd if there was another 50 yards in the race, but as a wise old man once told me 'you only get paid on the line'. She had far too much to do, and the slow pace early on meant that the front runners didn't come back to her. I would be amazed if this filly didn't have a race in her around Chelmsford, and she could find even more improvement upped in trip.

There is a cracking card at Newmarket tomorrow, and I will post my selections for the meeting later this evening. One horse that I will be having a good go at each way on Saturday is Best Solution in the Autumn Stakes (G3) at 2.55. Regular readers of the blog might remember that I put this colt up for the 7F Tattersall Stakes (G3) here a couple of weeks ago, and I reckon the extra furlong should be right up his street tomorrow.

This 3yo son of Kodiac could only manage 4th that day, but that doesn't tell the whole story. He was hampered just as he looked to be delivering a race winning challenge, and Buick had to snatch him up and switch at a crucial moment. When he found daylight he stayed on really well inside the final furlong, and he was closing on the leaders all the way to the line. His dam is out of a half sister to Leger winner Brian Boru so there is plenty of stamina in his pedigree, and the form of his trainer is another massive positive.

Bin Suroor has been in scorching form in recent weeks, and the bug that interrupted his summer looks to be a thing of the past. He sent out three winners and a second from four entries at Chelmsford last night, and there are few yards in better nick at the moment. The booking of William Carson is a bit of a strange one, but Bin Suroor's three winners on Thursday were partnered by three different pilots. He is 2/10 when riding for Bin Suroor and, with the future of James Doyle in the balance, Carson will be desperate to make a good impression on Saturday. I think Best Solution looks way overpriced at 16/1, and he is my each way nap for the weekend at Newmarket.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Gilt Could Be Ready To Go For Gold At Chelmsford

Silverwave never landed a blow in an Arc that was dominated by Ballydoyle. Found led home a 1-2-3 for the mega rich connections, handing Aidan O'Brien his first Arc winner since Dylan Thomas back in 2007, and just the second of his career. It was undoubtedly a great training performance to produce all three runners in tip top shape on the day, but the fact that he has won it just twice shows that even with unlimited resources and the very best bloodlines, nothing is guaranteed in racing.

Tomorrow I reckon one looks way overpriced at Chelmsford, and Gilt Edged goes in the 10f class 6 handicap at 8.25. This lightly raced 3yo filly is a daughter of Big Bad Bob, and she didn't show much on her first five outings for Julie Camacho. However, she took a big step forward on her first visit here last month upped to 10f for the first time, and I believe she is capable of building on that back over the same course and distance tomorrow.

She was really quite badly hampered as they rounded the home turn last time, and Joe Doyle had to snatch her up and it cost them a fair bit of momentum. She was just starting to come into the race and she looked like playing a big part at the finish until that interference. She did keep on again once Doyle got back into the drive position, and she stayed on quite well to be 5th, beaten 3.75L off a mark of 52.

The handicapper has generously dropped her a couple of pounds for that effort, and as a 3yo she gets a weight for age allowance of 5lbs from the older horses. That means she gets to race off  a weight of just 8-11. At first glance it looks as though the draw hasn't been kind (15), but she had the plum draw in stall 1 last time and that didn't work out too well for her. Doyle will look to drop her in early doors, I would imagine, and she will be hopefully delivered with her challenge on the outside.

As is always the case in these big fields a fair chunk of luck will be required, and it is fair to say she is due a rub of the green after finding trouble last time. Joe Doyle is 5/53 for Camacho (placed 14 times), and he is a jockey I have a lot of time for. He rode out his claim this season, but given his ability he shouldn't have too much trouble getting rides. Hopefully he displays his talent tomorrow and hits the frame on Gilt Edged at odds of 16/1.


Saturday, 1 October 2016

Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe Selection

We were out of luck at Newmarket earlier with Vote, but as it turned out she was drawn on the wrong side. I was very surprised to see her racing so prominently in the early stages, as I thought she would be held up for a late run. Even though she was a couple of lengths clear of her group on the far side, when the camera panned out you could see that the near side group was at least 5 or 6 lengths to the good. The first three home were drawn 30, 19 and 25, so clearly a high draw was a big advantage.

The draw is also vitally important at Chantilly tomorrow where the crème de la crème of World Racing will gather for the 94th running of the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Japan will be looking for a first win in the race with the exciting 3yo Deep Impact colt Makahiki. Postponed is a warm order for the on fire Roger Varian, and he will be sent off favourite from his decent draw in stall 7.

Postponed is likely to be sent off at 2/1 or shorter, but at much fancier odds I think Silverwave can run a big race for local trainer Pascal Bary and superstar jockey Christophe Soumillon. This 4yo Silver Frost colt was moved to Bary’s yard after a more than creditable 10th place finish in this race last year, staying on nicely to be beaten less than 6L.

Heavy ground was no good to him on debut for Bary here over 10f, but he was placed in two Group 1s on his next two starts (10.5f gd St Cloud and 9f hvy Chantilly). He was then stepped back up to 12f next time out in a Group 1 at St Cloud (gd) and he landed his first win at the highest level by 1.25L from Erupt. He was put way after that July win and he reappeared three weeks ago in a Group 2 back at Chantilly over today’s trip on good ground.

He won that 4 runner contest as he was entitled to, and he comes into this race a better horse than he was last year. His usual partner Maxime Guyon is unable to ride due to other commitments, but Soumillon is a more than able deputy. He is a multiple group 1 winner, and he is one of the coolest customers around. 

Silverwave has a lovely draw in stall 4, and that should allow him to get a good position just off the pace. Bary has won many Group contests during his career, but so far an Arc has eluded him. Hopefully Silverwave can bring home the bacon for him tomorrow and, with trip, track and ground all sure to suit, he is the each way suggestion at 22/1 .