Sunday, 19 April 2015

Riu Palace Meloneras Handicap

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

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

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

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

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

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


Friday, 17 April 2015

Dubai Duty Free Handicap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Take Pride !

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Bogart no Humphrey !

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ante Post
Duke Of York - Music Master 8/1

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Aintree - Day 3

Another great day yesterday with a 12/1 advised winner and 33/1 advised 2nd.

Today its all about the Grand National and as with yesterday I'm concentrating on horses that will be up with the pace and my shortlist for that is Across The Bay, Al Co, Balthazar King, Bob Ford, Corrin Wood, Ely Brown, Gas Line Boy, Mon Parrain, Owega Star, Portrait King, Rebel Rebellion, Rocky Creek, Royale Knight, Shutthefrontdoor, Soll, Spring Heeled, Super Duty, Unioniste and Wyck Hill.

That's 19 horses so we need to whittle that down somewhat - I think you have to catch horses on their first time in the race or did not complete the race so we can take out Balthazar King, Rocky Creek and Soll.

Then we need to look at who is likely to get the trip and I'm looking for horses that have showed potential in staying chases. This removes Bob Ford, Corrin Wood, Ely Brown, Mon Perrain, Owega Star, Rebel Rebellion, Spring Heeled, Super Duty and Unioniste.

That leaves Across The Bay(50/1), Al Co(28/1), Gas Line Boy(125/1), Portrait King(80/1), Royale Knight(33/1), Shutthefrontdoor(8/1) and Wyck Hill(80/1). That's a good little starting point for some ew bets and we need to also look at a few others such as the Mullins/Walsh partnership with Ballycassey, can we really allow him, a Grade 1 winner, to go off at 50/1 with the good record they have in the race ? The horse just needs the uniqueness of the course to get his mind on the job.
Cause Of Causes(20/1) and The Druid's Nephew(14/1) are also both well handicapped and can run big races and a combination of any of those should have you cheering come the end.

I backed Cause Of Causes just after he won at Cheltenham and I would advise you add to him Shutthefrontdoor together with Ballycasey and Royale Knight as outsiders.

There are plenty of other races to get involved in too but on my alert list for the last two races are :
5.10 - Cinders And Ashes, Astra De La Cour, One For The Guv'nr and Ruler Of All and Henderson is doing so well with his handicappers this week that you have to seriously consider One For The Guv'nr.
In the 5.40 we have Hollies Pearl, Legend Lady and Sunshine Corner. Peter Bowen loves a winner at the track and I think Legend Lady is overpriced at 25/1.

Have a great day and if you have a real hunch for a winner then don't desert your own thoughts as these are only mine.

Good Luck !