Song of Praise could be value to catch Cheery Cat in the opener at Kempton today. Cheery Cat won well last time for the in form John Balding yard but he has twice dissapointed at Kempton and Song of Praise who is dropping down in grade could be able to take advantage.
The 5.40 Class 3 Handicap at Wolverhampton over 5f 216 yards looks like being between Sutton Veny, Piscean, Edinburgh Knight and Secret Asset.
Sutton Veny and Piscean met at Kempton in October over 5f when Piscean came out on top in a race run in course record time however Sutton Veny is 4lb better off this time and of the two is the more likely to prefer this distance. Both have won since that race and Piscean was unlucky on his latest visit to Wolverhapton when after a slow start he was chopped off on the home bend before picking up very well late on.
Edinburgh Knight ran Take Ten to half a length at Lingfield over 6f and Take Ten had previously beaten Noverre to Go easily at Dundalk so that Lingfield run could turn out to be decent form by AW standards.
Secret Asset has run several big races during the summer and was only beaten 4 lengths behind Evens and Odds in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood and has winning form here too off a mark of 90 in a Class 2 over 6f.
We must also look at the low drawn horses in this race as the sprints here are often dominated by them ;
Stall 1 - Esuvia
Stall 2 - Waveband
Stall 3 - One Way of Another
Stall 4 - Tourist
Stall 5 - Onceaponatime
Esuvia could be the one to take advantage of the number 1 draw and come out best of those drawn low. She won at Redcar in July off 81 over 6f having been up front throughout. Only having had 10 races to date she is open to improvement and she was 2nd on her only previous run here in a maiden.
Looking at the race as a whole though I feel that Sutton Veny (pictured below) could benefit from being drawn in stall 10 as he can be dropped in and produced late to win over a distance he is comfortable with.
That great trainer of sprinters John Balding has had a couple of winners in the last few days with the latest being today at 25/1 with Sleepy Blue Ocean following up Cheery Cat's win at 7/2 on Friday.
He is certianly a trainer to follow when in form and he has the following entered over the next week :
Sir Michael Stoute doesnt have too many runners on the AW but he sends Enact down to leafy Lingfield on Saturday and has booked his old chum Mr Fallon to do the steering. The duo have had some success when they have teamed up this flat season and they will have to be in top order tomorrow to win from stall 12 of 12. This is a decent sprint for the track and it will need an above average sort to win it and in picking Enact Fallon has deserted Meehan's Arabian Mirage who as luck would have it is drawn in stall 1, however she probably hasnt shown as much as Enact on the track so far but she won well at Wolverhampton off a 7lb lower mark in a 6f Class 3 Handicap when beating Baby Strange by 2 1/2 lengths. She was held up there and came home full of running off the fast pace which is what she is likely to get here and 12/1 represents good ew value.
Tweedy has gone well at Dundalk when allowed to dominate and he should be able to get to the front from stall 5, but whether he will be able to hold the challenges of some of this field come the end must be open to doubt.
Hitchens will be much better suited by the 6f trip here than the 5f at Dundalk and he must be capable of going close and is a worthy favourite.
Noverre to Go was beaten fair and square by Take Ten last time out and I think it will need an improved effort from him to win this.
Angel's Pursuit hasnt run for a while and Little Garcon will need to have improved further from his Ascot win and although they are both good animals to have on your sid,e today may not be their day.
Arganil who was so consistent on the AW last season has been dissapointing of late but he would be a major threat if back on song and Rowe Park and Run for the Hills would appear to be just making up the numbers.
It's a tight little race but I like the look of Arabian Mirage at 12/1 for Brian Meehan she looks sure to get a decent pace and could be able to extend her polytrack record to 3-3 but there will be several coming with late runs here and luck could play a big part.
You may, or may not, have wondered who the horse is that is pictured winning at the top of this page, well it is Turn on the Style who is shown winning at the Dubai festival. I'm glad to say that I have a share in the old boy who is now trying to recover from an injury which resulted from that very race. He has been an excellent horse to be involved with over the years and he has surpassed all my expectations as a shareholder with his 10 victories. I have been involved with several other not so glorious horses in the past, however I'm glad to say it didnt dampen my enthusiasm and there is no better sight in racing than watching your own horse win and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is potentially interested.
Of course you may say well where do I start, how do I go about it or who do I have a horse with. Well there are several well known racing clubs about and one that strikes me as decent value is the Middleham Park Racing Club which seems to have a steady flow of good horses at affordable prices with top trainers and a look at their website is advised. It maybe however that you are already local to a racing yard and it is well worth getting in contact with them and seeing if they have any shares for sale or horses for lease. Turn on the Style is in a syndicate run by Paul Clarkson who is a racecourse announcer in the North of England and he often has shares available in syndicates that he runs and he can be contacted via his website http://www.lancashireracingstables.co.uk/
If you do live in the North West area like me then a trainer who is doing well with a small amount of horses is Paul Green in Lydiate and you can fnd him at http://www.paulgreenracehorsetrainer.com/
So there you have a few names to conjure with and to see what they have got on offer, who knows next summer or winter you may be leading your own horse into the winners enclosure if you are lucky enough to find a good one !
Well there is not much to write about sprinting wise at this time of the year but weve had a very good time of it on the AW recently so we can't complain.
This Saturday sees Lingfield stage the Listed Golden Rose Stakes over 6f and it should have a competitive field going to post. Sir Michael Stoute has entered the useful filly Enact and there are also entries for Hitchens, Little Garcon, Noverre to Go, Piscean and the Irish challenger Tweedy. The latter has won a couple of races at Dundalk recently and seems to prefer to dominate so they will be wanting a rail draw in this. Enact has only run twice this season and her run at Newmarket was her best when 2nd to Hawkeyethenoo and that race contained several horses in behind who performed well throughout the season. Being by Kyllachy I cant see the polytrack being a problem and it all depends on whether she is fit enough to do herself justice. Noverre to Go was beaten fair and square at Dundalk by Take Ten and its a suprise that he is not in this race as he would surely have gone close. Hitchens looked to be stretched behind Invincible Ash over 5f at Dundalk when 2nd and this distance should suit him a lot better and he should be in the shake up. Run for the Hills has his 2nd run for Roger Charlton so could be open to some improvement but even so I'd be suprised if he was good enough for this. Piscean has been a revelation back on the AWand he was unlucky at Wolverhampton the other day and granted a clear passage he might get back into winning ways once again. The best off at the weights where he to take his chance would be Richard Hannon's 3yo Angel's Pursuit, but on his only run on the AW, when he was 2, he finished last of 7
The race was won last year by Jaconet so it will take a decent one to take the spoils this time around and it will be interesting to see who the final twelve are and their draw positions when the declarations are made on Thursday.
Meanwhile the 4.40 at Wolverhampton on Thursday over 5f looks as though it could be a match between the two well drawn market leaders ANGELO POLIZIANO and GRAND STITCH who both have recent winning form over this course and distance. The latter has gone up a fair bit for his 2 wins and although he had his last race sewn up by half way he may set it up for ANGELO POLIZIANO this time who has the cheek pieces on once again. However it's not a race to get too worked up about and I wouldnt be putting my last £1 on it !
On a different note Pires looks an interesting runner at Wolverhampton on Friday night for Tony Martin with Fallon booked. He was a running on 3rd in the Cambridgeshire over 9f at Newmarket last time out off a mark of 89 and he runs off 93 here. The trip of 1m 4f should hold no terror's as a he ia a useful dual purpose performer and afer his run at Newmarket the trainer suggested he might take his chance in the Greatwood Hurdle last Sunday but he wasnt entered. He will probably be a skinny price and he has the admirable Nanton to beat.
Piscean has a great chance this afternoon to extend his AW winning sequence to 3 when he contests the Class 3 5f Handicap at Wolverhampton. He isnt well drawn but there should be a good pace on from Cayman Fox and he should be able to be produced late by his jockey to take the spoils. The race itself doesnt look as competitive as the last one he won and he seems to go well on this surface.
Take Ten turns out for the Class 2 6f Handicap at Lingfield on Saturday for which he looks to have a good chance of winning, he looked an improved performer on the AW when he won last time out at Dundalk and here is what I wrote about him after that :-
Dundalk next for the 6f Handicap on 29th October and this was dominated by the 2 English raiders Take Ten and Noverre to Go. The latter has shown good form on turf during the year and he finished 2nd on the far side in the Wokingham off 98 (7th overall) and he was 2nd on the far side again in the Stewards Cup also off 98 (5th overall), he was running off 97 here. He struggled though to keep tabs on Mark Johnston's Take Ten who adopted the usual front running role from stall 1 for this stable. He was always in command and was value for more than he won by here and as a result our GB handicapper has assessed the race and stuck him up 10lb to a mark of 93, which is about what he was at the begining of the season. If he is kept to this surface then you couldnt rule out further improvement, he has only run once on the AW before when he was 5th behind Mac's Power who went on to destroy the field in his next race. Mark Johnston who probably would be honest and say he has no aspirations to be a sprint trainer could have an improver in Take Ten on this surface.
He will probably have most to fear from Arganil who has a top AW record, 7 wins from 10 runs and his AW rating has dropped 6lb since his last run at Dundalks all weather track.
However if Take Ten sets out to make all it is difficult to see what will beat him.
Well the winning run can't go on forever, I'm well aware of that, but this is a decent race and there are a few going into it that ran well last time and are now at double figure odds.
At the head of the betting are Inler and Mac's Power and the latter has shown progressive form of late for his trainer James Fanshawe who is also in rare form himself. Mac's Power is best over 6f and he doesnt mind a bit of cut and last time out he won with something in hand but he's gone up 7lb for that. Inler has been running over 7f and he might be up against with these experienced handicappers although Fallon rides so you cant totally discount.
However you have to remember this is a Listed race and over half of the field are out of their depth.
Anglezarke finished 6th beaten 2 1/4 lengths by Hoof It last time out over 5f here, when she was doing all her best work at the finish and the 2nd Noble Lord won easily at Southwell today. As Ive said she was really flying at the finish there and she has a first time visor fitted to sharpen her up now and 20/1 represents a bit of value as she could run into a place, however stable jockey Paul Hanagan will certainly be looking for winners on the last day and he has picked Kaldoun Kingdom who won over course and distance first time out this season and being rated 103 he has the class and experience to go well and stall 1 could be the place to be, however wherever he finishes Hitchens mightnt be to far away on their Ayr Gold Cup meeting.
R Woody is another that is improving at the right time of the year and he too is a decent price at 25/1 but his inexperience might let him down in this.
However Tax Free is always one that is consistent in this type of race and I expect to see him run his to his best and he must be involved in the finish.
Doncaster Rover has been running in much better races than this and first time blinkers are sure to light him up and he wont mind the ground.
Cheveton was 4th in the Doncaster race that Hoof It won and he too remains at the top of his game when there is cut and that is what he will get here but his best form mightnt be good enough for this.
It's a tricky end of season race and very difficult to pick the winner, but I'm not going to duck it and I will go with Kaldoun Kingdom, and I can see Anglezarke, Mac's Power, Hitchens and Tax Free fighting out the places.
When Viv Nicholson won the football pools in the early sixties a reporter asked her what she was going to do with all the money she had won and she famously said "I'm going to Spend, Spend, Spend". Although she won £150,000.00 it's nothing like the 120 million you can win on Eurmillions these days and in any event anyone winning now would be more likely to say "I'm going to Save, Save Save" and after the good run of results for the blog in this last week maybe some of you will be able to say the latter.
Although Piscean, Sutton Veny and Anne of Kiev all came from the same race at Kempton a few weeks ago, what it shows us is that top form always prevails barring accidents and mistakes. The good thing about that Kempton race was it was run in a course record time and I have often said in the past what more a can a horse do than win in a course record time, how can it prove itself to be any better ? does it have to break the course record again. Certainly if a horse is carrying 9-10 when running on the flat and breaks a course record, then what else can it do ? It can't carry anymore weight whatever the class of race it's in and there is only 1 course record for each distance at each track, so surely it will always run well against all opposition given the same sort of conditions, if it is fit and well.
Can winning on the horses be as simple as that or do you need to pay a couple of hundred, or thousand even, for information that supposedly gives you a better chance of winning ?
Certainly the punter has never been in a better age for information than he is now with all and sundry being readily available to him whenever he needs it. I remember back at the end of the sixties when you had to turn on Grandstand on a Saturday afternoon at about 4.40pm to see the results of the races from that day and some days they didnt even put the results up, so you would be right miffed because other than going to the betting shop there was very little other way of finding out what the results actually where, Those were the days of no information, but you still managed to pick winners.
So horse racing doesnt have to be over complicated, there is no secret formula to work out, just viewing a race yourself can provide you with a lot of the required information that you can use to your own advantage, just like that Kempton race were the form has worked out and the winners have followed each other one by one.
So get looking on the various platforms for viewing races, narrow down your specialism, keep a record of what you see and hey presto your nearly there !
You would have to think that Noble Strom has excellent prospects of winning Southwells 3.30 over 5f as it is all about whether you can act on this surface and we know he can from his 2nd to Captain Dunne two runs ago when he was at the head of affairs throughout. Since then he has run his best race of the season at Doncaster when pipped by 1/4 of a length by Hoof It and he seems to be on the up at the moment. He is now 4lb higher as a result of that run and 9lb higher than his Southwell run but he is at the top of his game and the trainer and jockey know how to handle a good sprinter or two.
Of course it's not all plain sailing and Rowe Park is 2-2 at the track, his last win was here was in October 2009 off a mark of a 102 and he was only beaten 6 lengths last time out in a Group 2 at Goodwood, although that was 99 days ago and he hasnt got a history of running well after a break to date.
Love Delta won 3 times here earlier in the year and he's recently had a run after a 5 month break and he brings about the best course and distance time into the race. He had only just turned 3 by a month when he cloocked that and he could be open to further improvement on this surface given the stable's continuing good form, however he has 10lb to find on Noble Storm's handicap rating.
I posed a question to Mark Johnston his trainer a few years ago as to why he doesnt have more AW runners when most of his horses are American bred, of course he did answer that in no uncertain fashion by winning the following years AW trainer's championship !
Anyway Noble Storm should have the edge, although I can see Love Delta giving him a good run for his money.
In the 6f Class 4 Handicap at Lingfield at 1.55 Anne of Kiev gets her chance to uphold the form of that Kempton race which has seen both the 1st (Piscean) and the 2nd (Sutton Veny) both win off higher marks. The race was run in a course record time and Anne of Kiev was a very promising staying on 5th as she had not run for 5 months previously. In fact she was probably the most eyecatching in the race as she was stone last entering the straight and ran on to great effect and was even stopped in her run close home. Rather than going up in the weights like the other 2 she has come down a pound to 80. She has a reasonable draw in stall 4 here, although she will probably be dropped in. She had shown progressive form, prior to her break, on turf earlier in the year when she won cosily at Windsor off 75 and she may be ready to raise her game on the AW too. She probably requires a fast pace to show her best and hopefully she will get that at this track with its downhill run into the straight. Sutton Veny of course is her stablemate at Jeremy Gask's yard so her win on Tuesday shows the stable is in form.
The trainers comments on Anne of Kiev's last 2 runs are as follows :
1st June 2010
"Well you can't say ANNE OF KIEV doesn't create debate! She looked disappointing last night and I would be the first to say she was, however before we all over analyse the run I would make it clear I would have been far happier if she'd been drawn in the middle and not in 1. If you have a look at her races she is one that needs covering up and loves to come through horses. Last night she saw daylight the trip and for mine was in trouble after they had gone a furlong.Steve Drowne reported she struggled with the track but I would reserve judgement on that for the time being".
21st October 2010
I have to confess to having a real soft spot for SUTTON VENY. To go down running a course record herself by making the running, she deserved better. However she was beaten by a better one on the night but for mine it was as good as a win. She remains in great heart and will continue on during the winter while she is in such form.
ANNE OF KIEV ran a terrific race in the same event and looks to have come back well in a race that was always going to be a bit sharp for her.
You can see from those comments that she will benefit from the step up in trip to 6f and its just a case of whether she gets the cover and fast pace she needs, if she does I can see her flying down the home straight and she should take all the beating in what looks an average race.
In our regular look at the ups and downs of the sprint handicapper we start the week by looking at Class 4 Handicap run over 6f at Woverhampton on the 29th October. The winner Mister Laurel was running on the AW for the first time and he won with something in hand and as a result he has gone up 5lb to a mark of 82, which he should be able to win off. The second Pavershoooz holds up the form as he is a decent sort on his day on this surface and the 3rd Avertor was an eyecatcher, he stayed on very well down the outside having had to make his run around the field and would have been 2nd in another stride, he remains on 81 and looks capable of winning in due course if kept to this distance or 7f. Having only had 9 starts he is open to improvement ann is one for the "Horses to watch out for" list.
Dundalk next for the 6f Handicap on 29th October and this was dominated by the 2 English raiders Take Ten and Noverre to Go. The latter has shown good form on turf during the year and he finished 2nd on the far side in the Wokingham off 98 (7th overall) and he was 2nd on the far side again in the Stewards Cup also off 98 (5th overall), he was running off 97 here. He struggled though to keep tabs on Mark Johnston's Take Ten who adopted the usual front running role from stall 1 for his stable. He was always in command and was value for more than he won by here and as a result our handicapper has assessed the race and stuck him up 10lb to a mark of 93, which is about what he was at the begining of the season. If he is kept to this surface then you couldnt rule out further improvement, he had only run once on the AW before when he was 5th behind Mac's Power who went on to destroy the field in his next race and he is entered again at the weekend. Mark Johnston who probably would be honest and say he has no aspirations to be a sprint trainer could have an improver in Take Ten on this surface.
So that's it for this week, Piscean's race on the Sunday will feature next week as it hasnt been assessed by the handicapper yet.
Great win for blog selection Sutton Veny today at the generous odds of 8/1 ! She managed to get herself into a good position from the off just behind the leaders and they were all towed along by We Have a Dream and Below Zero. Sutton Veny made her move in the straight and the race was put to bed in a matter of strides as she flew home to win a shade cosily. Ray of Joy who I said would be thereabouts ran a cracker too and was only just denied 2nd place at 25/1 having come with a storming run down the outside and compensation surely awaits. All in all though a great day and I will have another AW selection on Thursday afternoon at Lingfield so do keep in touch.
Known as a “superhorse,” Secretariat captured the imagination of people around the world — not just horse-racing enthusiasts; his powers transcended anything that had been seen before, winning the holy grail of racing, the Triple Crown, in heart-pounding fashion. A triumvirate of races open only to 3-year-old horses, the Triple Crown begins with the famed Kentucky Derby, a 1 1/4-mile “Run for the Roses.” The “middle jewel” in the Crown is the 1 3/16-mile Preakness Stakes, the “final jewel,” the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes. Secretariat didn‟t make it easy on himself. He lost the Wood Memorial, the last big race before the Kentucky Derby, causing supporters and detractors to doubt his prospects. He took the lead at the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness only after running dead last for most of those contests. Finally, at Belmont, he literally hit his stride, winning by a record-pulverizing 31 lengths.
Disney pictues have produced a film about the great horse that will be screened in the UK in December and its a must see film for any racing enthusiast.
Sutton Veny is happy at 5f or 6f, she set the race up for Piscean last time here over 5f when she was 2nd. A course record was set in the process on the back of her front running display and the winner Piscean has since won another Class 3 at Lingfield off a 3lb higher mark and the selection has gone up 2lb for her 2nd place. The only problems would appear to be her getting a good position from her stall 3 draw and that this is 6f instead of the 5f she ran so well over last time.
Below Zero has the best draw in 13 and being an inmate of the Johnston yard he will take some pegging back if he is allowed to dominate. He too was 2nd last time out to the useful Pastoral Player when he tried to win from the front and he has been raised 2lb as a result.
Ray of Joy won a decent fillies handicap last time at Bath and she has in the past shown her best form on the AW so she could be set for a good winter season and should be thereabouts in this.
Baby Strange is able to run off his AW rating which is 5lb lower than his latest win at Doncaster on turf, he gets a 5lb turnaround on the weights with Swiss Cross when that one beat him fair and square last time here.
It looks like being a decent pace throughout and you will need one that sees the 6f trip out well to win. Below Zero should go well from the front under Joe Fanning and he may well hold out to the line but Sutton Veny could also be well handicapped if she can improve on her last run here over this 6f.
I have been a follower of racing from an early age with my first memory being trying to pick the winner of the Derby in 1965. This interest has moved on to having shares in horses which has resulted in wins at the Dubai Festival, with Turn on the Style, and more recently with Tatlisu in the Ayr Silver Cup.
This blog is primarily about sprinters which I have always had an interest in and it will cover most 5f and 6f races throughout the season.