Sunday, 30 March 2014

It's no secret ?



Unfortunately yesterday I overlooked Dinkum Diamond because he had only won over 5f previously, however he had very good 6f form but just hadn't won. For instance he had finished 3rd in last seasons Wokingham - winning the race on his side so it was form for all to see. Granted Jack Dexter seemed to run a bit flat yesterday but the form of last years race with Captain Ramius pretty much worked out with the latter coming out on top this time.

Today there is another big field handicap over 6f and one at the head of the weights who has finished 3rd in the last 2 Portland Handicaps is Secret Witness. He was off a handicap mark of 104 in 2012 and 98 in 2013 and runs here off 95 and this is a track where he has run many good races in big fields so at 25/1 he is worth having a small ew punt on. His run will probably be better the more the going dries out as he has form on Good to Soft and Liam Jones is a good jockey booking.

Good Luck.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Jack the Lad !



I think it has to be Jack Dexter to follow up his win the Cammidge Trophy last year on his favoured soft going. He has 5lb more to carry but over these sprint trips weight doesn't have as great a bearing as everyone thinks and there shouldn't be a problem as regards that. Tropics must be the other one for the exacta as he is an improving sort and the connections will be hoping for big things this season. Captain Ramius proved himself in the race last season so he must be shortlisted for a place.

There is also a Class 2 Handicap at Kempton over 6f on the All Weather and Hoof It and Lancelot Du Lac set the standard there on their course record breaking form when 3rd and 5th behind Tarooq in December over 6f at Lingfield. There wont be much between them again, although Lancelot Du Lac seemed to have the better turn of foot in that race, and it's whether one of the others down the bottom of the handicap can step up to their standard.

Hasopop was a blog favourite last season and hopefully he can win later on at Kempton.

Good Luck ! 

Friday, 28 March 2014

The Flat is Back !



Jack Dexter bids for his fourth course success and back-to-back victories in the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster. Trainers comments re the main challengers below :
Jim Goldie re Jack Dexter "He seems in similar form to last year. He has more weight to carry than last year, but he carried the penalty when he won the Wentworth Stakes on his last run in November. He likes the course, he likes the distance and the ground, so hopefully he'll run well."
Michael Dods re Mass Rally "He's in good form, but he seems to come to himself later on in the season. He looks well and will improve for the run. The only thing in these Listed and Group races is there's not a lot of runners and he seems to be a better horse in a big-field handicap when they go flat out.
Dean Ivory re Tropics "He's very well. Ideally, like a lot of trainers, I could have done with another week or two. We lost a bit over the winter with all that rain, so we're chasing a little bit of time. He's not 100 per cent, but he's not far off it and hopefully he'll go for the Abernant at Newmarket on the 17th (of April) and if nothing else it will be a prep race for that. It's a good place to start. They've changed the ground to soft and I'm not overly worried. He does appreciate a bit of cut in the ground. It should be OK and I expect a big run."
Richard Hannon re Maureen "Maureen reverts to sprinting for the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster, and, though it will be tough for a filly taking on the colts so early in the year, she is in very good form. She won the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot as a two-year-old, so we know that she has the class, and, having captured the Fred Darling at Newbury when we tried her over seven (furlongs) for her first run last year, we had to give her a chance of classic glory. She ran well in both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and also the Coronation at Royal Ascot, but she has so much speed that we think it is worth going back to sprinting to start with, and this is a big drop in grade for her."

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Big Weekend Ahead !



With the going looking likely to change to something with Soft involved it's difficult to know where to start with The Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster however should it turn soft, as predicted, we have last years first and second in Jack Dexter and Captain Ramius. The latter is 5lb better off this time however Jack Dexter won with something in hand on the Soft last March and there's every chance he will do so again as he probably improved as the season went on.
One who could give them a run for the money is Tropics who is only lightly raced having only run 13 times and his last two wins have come on Good to Soft. His latest win was in the Group 3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot where he won some authority by three and a half lengths and he's not going to be crowded out here as he was at Ayr with only 9 other opponents.
Dinkum Diamond has only won at 5f previously and was pretty disappointing last season so not expecting him to be giving too much trouble.
Es Que Love has done most of his running over further and not sure this is the right race for him.
Heaven's Guest was at his best at the beginning of last season and he has form on Soft. Like Tropics he is lightly raced so is open to improvement. The Duke of York is the early season target so this may be a warm up for that.
Inxile hasn't won since 2012 and Jimmy Styles, although he still runs some good races, he is now 10.
Mass Rally was only beaten a head by Jack Dexter on levels in July on Good to Soft last season so he could be there or thereabouts and maybe the ew value.
Finally Maureen is another lightly raced sort with only 10 runs to her name but the last time she ran over 6f was when she was two.
At this stage, although it will all depend to some extent on  the weather, I think it will be between Jack Dexter, Tropics, Heavens Guest and Captain Ramius.

William Hill Betting
Jack Dexter 9/4
Tropics 5/2
Maureen 11/2
Captain Ramius 10/1
Heavens Guest 10/1
Mass Rally 12/1

YEARWINNERAGEWGTSPTRAINERJOCKEYRPR
 
2013 Jack Dexter49-515/8FJim GoldieGraham Lee110
2012 The Cheka69-212/1Eve Johnson HoughtonNeil Callan113
2011 Jimmy Styles79-222/1Clive CoxAdam Kirby111
2010 Inxile59-517/2David NichollsPaul Hanagan111
2009 Prime Defender59-23/1FB W HillsMichael Hills112
2008 Aahayson49-214/1K R BurkeFergus Sweeney110
2007 Rising Shadow69-513/2David BarronJimmy Quinn113
2006 Les Arcs69-215/2Tim PittNeil Callan116
2005 La Cucaracha48-1116/1B W HillsMichael Hills103
2004 Goldeva58-1140/1Reg HollinsheadTony Culhane101

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Boom bang a bang !



The Spring Double used to be a bigger bet than it is nowadays in the past and many big gambles were landed over the years. I don't know about you but I often spend hours pouring over the form to find a winner only for my partner to then pick up the paper and make a selection based on the colours or something about the name and she always seems to finish on top. Well for the spring double this year how about these two names of horses for starters - in next Saturdays Lincoln Boomshackerlacker and in the Grand National Shakalakaboomboom - now that would take coincidence bets to the limit, but in saying that they will both get into each race and both have a live chance of making the frame. The latter was leading coming to the second last in 2012 Grand National and the race has distance has since been reduced.
I will leave you to ponder over that double but stranger things have happened ??

Yesterday Addictive Dream didn't break well enough to get the lead and consequently had to be rushed up to get a position which as we all know making a move of speed early always negates the speed in the final furlong. He was then taken on for the lead and was crowded up the straight which doesn't suit him at all. He should be kept in mind as there will be more opportunities along the way.

Next week of course sees the start of the flat season and I for one cant wait to get stuck into the sprint races starting with the Cammidge Trophy at Doncaster.

Good Luck

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Life is but a dream



Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?       

The words of Lewis Carrolls poem bring me to my selection for honours in tomorrows Listed Hever Sprint Stakes over 5f at Lingfield. Addictive Dream is drawn 3 and is a horse who likes to dominate the field. He won last time out over course and distance, making all to beat Ubetterbegood by two and three quarter lengths. He set the pace when the 6f course record was broken here back in December and its a course he has taken well to and this jockey has formed a good bond with him.
Last years winner Ladies Are Forever is best in at the weights and will obviously be thereabouts and may even win again but its Addictive Dream for me and hopefully its a springboard for Nicholls to get back amongst the big sprint winners this season.

YEARWINNERAGEWGTSPTRAINERJOCKEYRPR
 
2013 Ladies Are Forever58-1210/1Geoffrey OldroydWilliam Twiston-Davies111
2012 Fratellino59-011/1Alan McCabeMartin Harley105
2011 Anne Of Kiev68-97/1Jeremy GaskSteve Drowne101
2010 Arganil59-34/1Kevin RyanNeil Callan113
2009 Arganil49-07/2Kevin RyanNeil Callan110
2008 Conquest49-04/1William HaggasJimmy Fortune112
2007 King Orchisios49-36/1Kevin RyanNeil Callan114
2006 Les Arcs68-125/2Tim PittJ F Egan105
2005 Dancing Mystery118-1215/2Eric WheelerSteve Carson96
2004 No Time49-512/1M J PolglaseFrankie Dettori106

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Oh when the Saints !



This Saturdays Hever Stakes will see March, a four-year-old daughter of Dutch Art, make her debut for Robert Cowell, having previously been with Marco Botti.
Her most recent victory came on her comeback in a Windsor handicap last term, but she ran some good races in defeat afterwards, including when an unlucky second to Morawij in a Listed event at Sandown and when third to Ladies Are Forever in the Group Three Summer Stakes at York.                
            
Cowell reported: "March will run in the Hever Stakes. She has been with us for three months now and has settled in well, but it is obviously her first start for us and we will have to see how the land lies. I think the track might be a bit sharp for her, but she is a nice filly and has been showing lots of potential on the gallops. I think it will blow away the cobwebs and there is a Listed race at Bath that we will look at afterwards. We are looking forward to the future with her."
Cowell will also be represented by the consistent pair of Ubetterbegood, who was second in a course and distance event last time, and five-year-old mare Silken Express.
The trainer added: "Silken Express found the track a bit sharp last time and will probably do so again. She is in great form though, but might not be quite good enough judged on the others in the race. She hasn't quite shown the same spark on grass as she has on the All-Weather, so we are trying to do what we can and sneak a bit of black type. She has more chance of doing that on the All-Weather than she does on the grass. Ubetterbegood ran a smart race to finish second at Lingfield the other day, but his rating says he has to improve a stone."

The 15 entries for the bookmakers.co.uk Hever Stakes also include dual Listed scorer Stepper Point, Even Stevens, who captured a valuable handicap at Wolverhampton last month, and course victor Forest Edge.


Monday, 17 March 2014

All Weather Championships



The All Weather Championships finals are now only 1 month away and in the sprint division Simon Mapletoft has written the following piece on the Attheraces website.

Two horses have already secured their place in the six-furlong showpiece: the enigmatic VALBCHEK and revitalized veteran TAROOQ. The former smashed the track record when clinching his spot at Lingfield back in November, and Jeremy Noseda plans to bring him back from Dubai to take his chance. David Barron’s eight-year-old Tarooq lowered Valbchek’s time back in December and almost repeated the feat with a well-timed finish in the Listed Cleves Stakes last month.
Other key contenders are four-year-olds Rivellino and Lancelot Du Lac. Karl Burke’s Rivellino has improved markedly this winter, showing his aptitude for Lingfield when landing a competitive handicap and then closing down Tarooq to gain his first ‘Black Type’. He is improving at the right time, while Dean Ivory’s  Lancelot Du Lac will be fresher for a mid-winter break after posting some smart efforts in his three mandatory qualifying runs.
Hoof It posted his best run on Polytrack when chasing home Tarooq and Rivellino in that Listed dash and will be assured a run off his mark of 105, though he hasn’t looked a natural around Lingfield’s tight turns. Mick Easterby’s stalwart could be joined by fellow northern raider Alben Star, who has finally begun to deliver what he promised earlier in the season, though will have to improve again to be considered a likely winner.
The final Fast Track qualifier for the sprinters is the five-furlong Listed Hever Stakes on Winter Derby day, 22nd March.

The 15 entries for this contest include last year’s winner Ladies Are Forever (Geoff Oldroyd) who shaped well on her first start of 2014 when sixth in a Listed contest over six furlongs at Lingfield Park on February 27. Dual Listed scorer Stepper Point (William Muir) could make his All-Weather debut, while Addictive Dream (David Nicholls) and Even Stevens (Scott Dixon) have both won competitive five-furlong handicaps on the All-Weather last time out. Kingsgate Choice (Ed de Giles) is smart turf performer at the minimum trip but has not run on the All-Weather for almost two years.

By Thursday we should know the final line up and the blog will be covering this race later in the week.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Midlands Grand National Day



I was quite pleased with the blogs performance at Cheltenham - considering it is sprint based and I don't specialise in any code over the jumps.

I' m really looking forward to the flat season which starts in a couple of weeks. I've not produced a list of horses to follow this year as I didn't get much feedback even though they highlighted numerous winners. I will just be making selections from week to week and keeping an eye on the handicapper in the sprint division and also having a page of horses to follow which will build as the season progresses.

Today is the Midland Grand National and I like the look of Sun Cloud for the Jefferson/Hughes partnership. Each way wise I'm doing West End Rocker.

Venetia Williams has continued to keep banging in the winners and I will be doing a win treble on Kingcora, Uhlan Bute and Last Shot.

At Kempton we have Tom Scudamore partnering Legacy Gold for owner Brookhouse, who also has the fav in the Midlands National in Goulanes so it could be a pointer that he rides here. Prideofthecastle also for Pipe in the same race gets the assistance of 7lb claimer Tom Bellamy and 20/1 opens up the ew options for him.

Later on David Elsworthh sends out useful flat performer Solar Sky in the Novices Hurdle and he's up against a similar rated rival on the flat First Mohican.

Good Luck 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Cheltenham Day 4



Ballynagour was a decent priced winner for the blog yesterday and he covered any losses incurred.

I'm still doing quite well in the Tote Ten To Follow March Monthly Prize in that I am in 9th and 14th place and you can see the Sprinterstogo lists if you look online at the competition website or my position in the table in tomorrows Racing Post. Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to win, but if I can hold onto a top 10 placing that would be good- however I have Katenko in one of my lists so if he were to win the Gold Cup I could be in the mix.

Onto tomorrow's selections - I must admit I haven't really had anything in mind for the Friday - At one point I used to follow the Point to Point form quite strongly and looked forward to the Amateur Gold Cup after the big one, but not anymore.
The going appears to be riding quite fast and in the first I'm inclined to go for the horse with flat speed with the likes of Broughton 15/2 and Pearl Castle 11/1 coming to mind as this race is often run at a frantic pace.
In the County Hurdle Paul Nicholls, who hasn't had a very good meeting so far, runs Lac Fontana and he could change things for him. Nicholls handicap hurdlers have been doing well throughout the season and the selection may be able to keep that run going provided he can act on this faster going. WIN 11/1
In contrast David Pipe is having a bumper week and Kings Palace 7/2 has been on many a pundits lips for the last few weeks and hopefully he can perform better than Red Sherlock and win the Albert Bartlett. Urban Hymn could be a viable ew alternative 20/1 with Paddy Power and Bet Victor.
To me the Gold Cup field looks pretty weak and I can see why Henderson has Triolo D'Alene in there because he probably wouldn't be that far off the best of this bunch and Bobs Worth at 2/1 is going to be difficult to beat.
Ned Buntline is at the right end of the handicap in the Grand Annual. 2nd 6/1

Good Luck

 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cheltenham Day 3



A win for Balthazar King yesterday in what was one of a few very close finishes.

I'm not doing too badly in the March Tote Ten To Follow comp and I have a few more runners out on day 3 in Al Ferof, At Fishers Cross 3rd 9/1, Tarquin Du Seuil WON 7/1, Rajdhani Express 3rd 18/1, Ballynagour WON 12/1 - so hopeful of a few good runs to give me a chance.

Also see my previous blog post about a mention for 16/1 Champion Bumper winner Silver Concorde back in December from which he was placed on my "festival fancies" page - see link above.

My selections for day 3 are as follows :
1.30 : Felix Yonger - Likes track and will go well on the drying ground.
2.05 : Seefood - May have been laid out for this and blinkers replace the visor - Jockey to be bkd.
2.40 : Al Ferof - Could come good again back at this distance.
3.20 : Big Bucks - Always been a class above and he is the one they all have to beat despite his age.
4.00 : Ballynagour - Tongue tie applied, reportedly in good order and stable has good record in this. WON 12/1 ADVISED AT 16/1.
4.40 : Indian Castle - Well fancied and gets the assistance of top amateur.

I've had a win treble on Felix Yonger, Al Ferof and Big Bucks.

Good Luck !

 

Previous Cheltenham Pointers



29th December 2013 post : On the Saturday the concluding bumper was won by Dermot Weld's Silver Concorde in a decent time for the going of 4min 0.50secs with a welter burden of 12-0 and he looks to have a bright future. He had been off the track for 516 days and Weld said that he did what was expected of him, stating that he had been just a big weak horse and he had matured a lot. He further stated that he would prefer better ground as he is a nice actioned horse and that he would now go for a winners bumper. He had previously finished 3rd behind Jezki and Ned Buntline on his debut at the beginning of 2012 and then he ran a bit erratically when going right handed at Galway in July 2012 where he finished 2nd. Won Champion Bumper 16/1 and highlighted on festival fancies page as long term selection for Champion Bumper.

19th January 2014 post : Sire De Grugy cemented his position as the best opposition to Sprinter Sacre in the Champion Chase and I am of the same opinion as Paul Kealy in the Weekender in that there must be some value to be had in that race. There is every possibility in a championship race that Sprinter Sacre may succumb to the irregular heartbeat that troubled him at Kempton and if that were the case  then Barry Geraghty will be pulling him up, that's even if he makes the race which may be in some doubt. The outsiders need some looking at in detail as with non runner no bet already in operation with some bookmakers you have a chance to get some big odds without risk of losing your stake. Won the Champion Chase 11/4.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Cheltenham Day 2



Here we go for Day 2 - Didn't do too badly on Day 1 but just couldn't find that elusive winner.

1.30 : Red Sherlock
2.05 : Corrin Wood
3.20 : Hinterland
4.00 : Balthazar King 1st
5.15 : Killultagh Vic

Win Treble
Hinterland @ 11/1
Balthazar King @ 5/1
Killultagh Vic @ 9/1

I've also had an ew yankee that includes Corrin Wood, Hinterland, Rule The World and Seefood.

It was certainly a good day for the first time hood wearers on Day 1 with wins for Western Warhorse 33/1 and Jezki 9/1. Ifandbutwhynot has the first time hood treatment tomorrow in the Coral Cup and also the assistance of Bryan Cooper - 28/1 with Paddy Power.
Western Warhorse was the lowest rated horse in the field on 145 - in comparison the top rated was Rock on Ruby on 177 ie a 32lb difference.
I think McCoy sometimes hinders the horses he rides by trying too hard and mistakes for Gilgamboa and Pendra at vital moments almost certainly cost them better finishing positions.
Attaglance was unlucky in the last and on a different day he may have been awarded the race for the interference he suffered at the hands of the winner.
Quevega was a marvel today and on that showing you couldn't rule out a seventh win.

Good Luck !

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cheltenham Day 1



Well it's the start of Cheltenham tomorrow and I may as well have my say - here's what I put me money on so far :

1.30 : Vaniteux (3rd) and Gilgamboa (bad mistake when with leaders) with Paddy Power offer
2.40 : Tour Des Champs ew 5th
3.20 : The New One 3rd
5.15 : Pendra ew 3rd

Win Treble on :
2.05 : Trifolium 3rd
3.20 : The New One 3rd
4.40 : Shotgun Paddy 2nd

I also like the form of Solix as a bit of an ew outsider (50/1) for Ian Williams in the 2.40 - He ran really well at Doncaster when he tired to finish 4th on the soft going with Night In Milan behind. He then didn't act going right handed at Sandown 4 days ago and he should appreciate the return to a left handed track and the better going. He was 5th in the Coral Cup in 2011 when with Henderson off 152 and now runs off 129 - the only thing that worries me is the closeness of his last run.(0)

Good Luck
 

Friday, 7 March 2014

Compare Bookmakers at Bookmakers.co.uk.handicap


Saturday sees this Class 2 Handicap at Wolverhampton run over 5f 216 yards.

The best horse in the race by far for me is Hitchens who is running off a mark 11lbs lower than this last time last year and in addition Luke Dempsey claims another 7lb. His trainer won this race in 2011 with Flipando.

Some may say that Hitchens is having a bit of a bad patch and is on the wane but he was only 6 3/4 lengths off Tarooq at Lingfield LTO(finished 10th of 12) and that was the second fastest 6f run at the track so a repeat of that would see him go close here and 5/1 represents good value.

Trojan Rocket is improving but has only won a couple of Class 4 handicaps recently and he will need to improve further to beat the selection and the rest are nothing out of the ordinary.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Racing Addiction ?



Last Saturday Addictive Dream won 5f Class 2 Handicap at Lingfield at the rewarding odds of 7/1. Unfortunately I was otherwise engaged that morning and it prevented me from putting in a good word for the winner on the blog. Eagle eyed f ollowers though should have known that he had previously set the pace for the 6f course record run by Tarooq back in December.

Here the winner had stall 1 which for a horse who likes to dominate was a god send and he won convincingly, having made all, by 2 3/4 lengths from Ubetterbegood with a short head back to Ballista in third. The winner has been raised 7lb to a mark of 105 and he completed the 5f in a time of 57.15s fast by 0.35.

One to take out of the race is Picansort who ran each of the last 4f quicker than the winner yet could only finish 5th and as a result he has been dropped 1lb to 84. He has won 4 times here in the past and on this showing he can add to that record in the near future if returning to Class 4.

I went to the Cheltenham preview evening in Aintree on Monday mainly to hear the views of William Hill's Andy Holding and I hope he doesn't let me down with his time figures next week. His fancies are as follows :
  • Supreme Novices Hurdle : Wicklow Brave
  • Arkle : Trifolium
  • Champion Hurdle : My Tent Or Yours/The New One
  • Rewards For Racing Novices Chase : Firth Of The Clyde/The Romford Pele
  • Neptune Investment Novices Hurdle : Red Sherlock
  • RSA Chase : Sam Winner/Le Bec/Morning Assembly
  • Queen Mother : Hinterland
  • Champion Bumper :Killultagh Vic
  • JLT Novices Chase : Felix Yonger/Sizing Gold ew
  • Ryanair : Benefficient/Dynaste
  • World Hurdle : Rule The World
  • Triumph Hurdle : Calipto/Activial
  • Albert Bartlett : Kings Palace
I will be putting up another post or two between now and the festival