Duke’s Tips – 9th August 2012

Sandown Races

A better return for investment when the blog last made an appearance, bagging two winners and two second places which could so easily have been four winners but for lady luck, and one useless inept pilot.

I make the profit on stakes (+16.25) from the bets advised which is a healthy profit on the day and should provide a little stake money on the next few selections, of which hopefully a few will win.

Thursday presents to us some good racing, and a return of one of my favourite horses of the moment in the shape of Satanic Beat, if you haven’t seen this horse race before load up his replay at Ripon last time out – one of the gamest horses in training and doesn’t know when to give up. I think he has a tough ask on his plate today up against the likes of Touch Gold and Van Der Art but his attitude will stand him in good stead, and I hope he wins again.

Just the one bet for me today, having previously toyed with the proposition of adding Santefisio to that but just felt his price was a touch short at 3-1 given he isn’t likely to be improving much at his age, but that run at Goodwood last time suggests he is ready to win. I’m going to chance a win bet on Courage in the (7:15) at Sandown. Sir Michael Stoute’s gelding posted an improved effort when a close second at Windsor last time (three well clear of fourth) and with the winner looking a useful prospect and the third winning since, the form looks solid.

The prospect of fairly quick ground at Sandown will also play into the strength of Courage, who gets the assistance of Ryan Moore and this strong travelling sort will be more streetwise for this than the likely favourite Royal Empire who comes here off the back of one run, and usually I like to take these sorts on as things can happen a little too quickly for them – especially if they didn’t have much of a test on debut. And there we go fellas, sign up for a Roblox Free Membership by following the link.

[notification_box]1pt win Courage @ 6-1 with Bet365, BetVictor, WilliamHill[/notification_box]


Duke’s Tips – 6th August 2012

Wolverhampton Races

The luckless run continues with the blog, with my last selection deciding to get beat when I tipped him but then bolt up a few days later off the same mark. It has been a bizarre season so far for me so will keep plugging away in the hope that we’ll connect eventually.

Some good all-weather action tomorrow and this could provide a saving grace for some decent reliable ground given the amount of rain we’ve seen around the country on Sunday which forced Chester to abandon its card early, and the evening before Hamilton to call off their meeting due to thunder and lightning.

Four selections for me today on an all-weather packed bonanza, my first of which comes in the (5:00) at Kempton in the shape of the Ralph Beckett trained Fleur De La Vie. A winner last time out, the three-year-old filly of Primary showed a really likeable attitude to fend off first Astroscarlet and then Bridgehampton in a really good time. Astroscarlet has since run above her rating again, and Bridgehampton won a competitive handicap at Sandown on his next start so the form of that last race looks strong. Running off just a 6lb higher mark than for that success I feel there could be another 10lb or so in the locker with this one, and I’m hopeful she can get my day off to winning ways.

My second interest at Kempton runs in what I’m hoping will be the ‘lucky’ (5:30) last in the shape of Oblitereight, and I’ll be hoping that Jim Crowley can double up in quick succession given that he rides the selection first mentioned in this blog. The gelded son of Bertolini ran to around this mark when winning over C&D and has run on three starts since a poor showing over a mile at Kempton. This isn’t the best race in the world and I fully expect him to be competitive off this mark, at a track he goes well at.

My first of two bets on the card at Wolverhampton runs in the (6:50) and is called Mother Jones. The filly ran well over course and distance last time held up in a race where it paid to sit handy and is better than the form suggests despite that race being a seller. I have running a few lbs above her handicap mark on that occasion and with Matthew Cosham getting back on board the daughter of Sleeping Indian, I fancy it to go close in what looks a moderate race for the grade.

Finally at Wolverhampton again and against my better judgement I’m going to give another chance to ‘brain-dead’ Ted Durcan aboard Main Line in the (8:50). The beneficiary of some absolutely shocking rides in his career so far, Main Line was reported to be unsuited by the faster ground on offer at Newmarket when last seen, and given he is a big strapping sort it isn’t hard to see why he didn’t handle conditions. Back to the all-weather tomorrow off a very workable mark of 76 against exposed older horses and horses I don’t think are as good, I think he is a cracking price at 11-2.

[notification_box]My Bets:
2pts win Fleur De La Vie @ 5-2 with Bet365 and PaddyPower
2pts win Oblitereight @ 7-2 with Bet365, PaddyPower, BetVictor
1.5pt each-way Mother Jones @ 8-1 with Bet365
2pt win Main Line @ 11-2 with BetVictor, PaddyPower, WilliamHill
1pt win Yankee with Bet365 all prices above (5-1 Main Line).[/notification_box]


Longshot Betting – 27th July 2012

Two selections for Friday’s racing, coming from Ascot and York. Tuesday was the last day of posting and even though all the stats suggested that Dropzone would run a bold race, that was not to be. He wasn’t helped by being held-up off a steady pace but I don’t think he quite handled the fast ground too. But clearly, he isn’t good enough in current form and is one to avoid. Busy day of Racing today and I’m visiting Thirsk this afternoon. Unfortunately, the card looks an absolute minefield and I haven’t a clue. So if anyone has any pointers for Thirsk, then feel free to tweet me “@joshfletch”and I’ll take a look. Selections below.

WOODEN KING (17:15) isn’t my usual sort of selection, mainly due to the fact that he isn’t actually that well-handicapped off his current mark and he doesn’t look capable of too much progression. That being said, the race today could fall into his lap, with an easy lead possible due to the withdrawal of Bertoliver. With not much pace in this line-up, Wooden King could get things his own way and will be difficult to peg back if so. An experienced campaigner, he’s never won off a mark this high but ran with real credit off this sort of rating around this time of the summer last year, with placed efforts at Bath and a 3rd over this C&D, in a race that wasn’t run to suit. This season’s efforts have been largely consistent, winning on his penultimate start at Salisbury. That was off a 4lb lower mark but he won with a little bit up his sleeve I thought and importantly, he didn’t get things his own way in front and emphasised that he doesn’t need to make all in order to win. He ran poorly last time out, but he wasn’t himself that day, most likely due to the ground and it wasn’t his handicap rating that beat him. I think he’ll be even better today when getting the lead and given there’s no other confirmed front-runner; there’s a fair chance he’ll be able to take them along. If so, a mark of 76 isn’t insurmountable. Minimum stakes only as it’s a bet full of risk really, but prices around the 16/1 mark are worth taking and a bold effort looks likely.

COCKTAIL CHARLIE (18:30) William Hill looks almost too obvious a bet and looks a huge price in this contest today, with decent course form to his name, a big step in the right direction last time and coming from a yard in form. It’s only that this race is super competitive and that the yard seem to have a more fancied runner in this contest that is stopping me from getting more involved. Trained by Tim Easterby, the selection showed very useful form as a juvenile and his early handicap career as a three year old, being rated as high as 95 and was second off 92 over C&D in a competitive handicap last year. He’s fallen down the ratings subsequently, his form tailing off during the late summer/autumn. In those races he often ran respectably, but never really looked like being the winner.  Cocktail Charlie’s form in his first four starts of 2012 was even worse, not looking himself and therefore dropping 7lbs in the weights. It was not until last time out at Haydock that we saw respectable form. That was over 5f and that trip looked on the sharp side but it showed that he was on the way back and he now looks an extremely well-handicapped animal in decent enough form. Now dropped a further 1lb in the handicap, he looks a decent betting prospect running off this rating. He comes from a yard in form, Tim Easterby’s runners having a 20% strike-rate in the past two weeks, has solid course form at York, handles fast ground and isn’t badly drawn in stall 10, especially with Whozthecat likely to give him a good tow into the race. The step back up to 6f looks in order and although the yard’s first string could well be Medici Time, Cocktail Charlie is still worth a bet in a race that should be within reach.


17:15 Ascot – Wooden King; 1pt @ 16/1 William Hill (bog)

18:30 York – Cocktail Charlie; 2pts @ 14/1 Bet365(bog) [/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 24th July 2012

Selections coming from Yarmouth, found below. Monday’s selection in Major Muscari was supported at big prices close to the off and showed decent speed from the gate, showing up prominently up until about 2f out. He weakened quite quickly and must just have been a precocious juvenile and nothing more. Disappointing nonetheless. Some fair racing tomorrow from Musselburgh but with the weather indecisive, I’ve decided to go to Yarmouth for my bets today, especially as the ground (fingers crossed) looks like it’ll be on the quick side. Selections below.

I was going to put up Kuanyao in the 16:20 at Yarmouth, but because of the non-runner I don’t quite think the current 3/1 is worth it. He should win if getting a lead (entirely possible in a race full of hold-up types) and is worth a small investment if he drifts in the betting market before the off.

DROPZONE (17:50) showed nothing last time when beaten 66+ lengths but excuses are in abundance for that effort and given that he’s likely to appreciate the going, the track and the removal of the headgear, along with his yard being in excellent form and having an excellent record in three year old handicaps at this venue, he’s far from out of this contest. His dam is a half-sister to listed winners and with that sort of pedigree, he was sent off a warm favourite on debut on the all-weather earlier this year. He was inexperienced that day but connections obviously thought quite highly of him and although he’s no world-beater, subsequent efforts in maidens provided evidence that all he needed was time, handicaps and a step up in trip to find his level. This was proved to an extent on his handicap debut, where he ran like the 1m2f trip that day was a bit on the sharp side. Upped to 1m6f on his last start and blinkered, he didn’t shape well at all. That being said, it came on soft ground and from his action, he looks quite a slick mover and testing conditions probably won’t suit on that basis. He also might have resented the blinkers, so to see them removed today is an obvious plus, as is the quicker ground conditions.

There is also a number of statistics that give Dropzone every chance today. Firstly, his sire is 3/4 at Yarmouth (from three horses, the other one came second) and although it is not a huge sample, it’s encouraging. What’s also encouraging is that Marco Botti is 5/18 at Yarmouth in three year old handicaps. That, combined with the excellent form of his stable currently, having had two winners at Ascot on the weekend and from his last 9 entries, four have won and three have finished runner-up. It’s probably a decent time to catch Dropzone now back to this extended 1m3f (which should suit) and although Martin Harley is only 1/16 when riding for Marco Botti, he’s a very capable pilot. A competitive race at this 0-65 level but Dropzone has plenty of factors in its favour, and is definitely worth a fair investment given he’s looked capable of obvious improvement just two starts ago.


[notification_box]17:50 Yarmouth – Dropzone; 2pts @ 12/1 Paddy Power (bog)[/notification_box]

Duke’s Tips – 24th July 2012

A seriously unlucky run by Mijhaar when I last did a blog, the Roger Varian trained colt was still travelling with promise when almost brought down when long time leader Fair Trade weakened into his path. Neil Callan did exceptionally well to keep the partnership intact, and rightfully eased the horse right down after that – there will be other days in this smart sort.

It has been a while since my last selection, and this has mainly been down to a lack of real time to put into this area of the website. I’ve been around on Twitter via my handle (@OHRacing) on an almost daily basis and do try and post some daily thoughts up when possible, providing I fancy anything.

Onto today then and there is one selection up at Musselburgh (3:00), who I think is vastly overpriced in what looks a weak race. The Dandy Nicholls trained Majestic Manannan is a lightly raced sort capable of improving on what we’ve seen so far, and has put together back to back decent performances to suggest an entrance into the winners enclosure could be possible.

A good third on comeback after a lacklustre juvenile campaign, the fourth Legal Bond has since ran a respectable third behind both Henry Bee (handicap winner off 72 next time) and Economic Crisis (has since won off 57 and 63). The way Majestic Manannan ran on comeback was a touch too keen, and that run will have taken the fizz off him ahead of his next run on the fibresand at Southwell.

That effort came in what will most likely turn out to be a rather hot handicap, with the first and second both newcomers who clocked good times on debut, and I overheard Robert Cowell being interviewed on ATR suggesting his filly (who finished second) will end up being a decent rated filly by the end of the season. Although beaten 3L into third, the gelded son of Majestic Missile pulled 8 lengths clear of the fourth Marmalade Moon to suggest he run well above his official rating of 60, and what he runs off later this afternoon.

On form Elegant Girl is held by Majestic Manannan on both its running with Legal Bond, and Marmalade Moon and with that currently a 5-1 chance, I think the Dandy Nicholls trained run is vastly overpriced (I have it around a 4-1 chance), and when you take that into account, and the fact fibresand form can transfer well to Musselburgh it is worth investing in.

Elsewhere today see’s the return of Kuanyao who runs down at Yarmouth again after a solid run over C&D when last seen. He features in my 10 Horses To Follow list, and looks sure to go close providing there isn’t any rain throughout tomorrow morning (it isn’t forecasted).

[notification_box]3pts win Majestic Manannan @ 9-1 with Bet365[/notification_box]


Longshot Betting – 23rd July 2012

Just the one selection for Monday, coming from Beverley. Sunday saw the first bet of July and fortunately, it was a winning one with Taajub just hanging on. He was a bit naughty in the preliminaries and jumped out to his left when coming out of the stalls and although off the bridle a fair way out, the pace around him suited and he stuck to his task very well. The runner-up, Mass Rally is a bridle merchant and was given a near-perfect ride, as he was in front yards after the post but you can’t fault Taajub and although he might find things tough off a revised rating, he’s one to bear in mind when likely to get a decent tow into the race. Selection below.

MAJOR MUSCARI (21:00) doesn’t look at all an obvious bet given that on his last four starts, he’s been beaten by 9.25 lengths or more and he comes into this contest off a 277 day absence. That being said, his best effort of 2011 came on seasonal reappearance and that was his peak effort by some way. He could well be one to catch fresh and should relish this stiff 5f if all is well, alongside coming from a trainer who does well at Beverley with older horses in handicaps, he’s value at his current odds. A fairly useful juvenile with some fair form in maidens, he was rated as high as 84 at one point and ran his best race as a three year old on seasonal reappearance off a mark of 80. That was over 5f at Doncaster and he shaped as if he was screaming out for a stiffer test at the minimum trip, given that he travelled well into the race but just took a bit of time to pick up. He was making plenty of ground up at the finish and that would suggest that a track like Beverley, with its uphill finish, would be ideal. Although not showing anything at all on his next four starts, I always think that 3yo sprinters don’t have the greatest of programmes and that it’s often worth giving them another chance when they’re a year older. This is a ‘chancy’ bet given that Major Muscari might have lost the plot completely but Geoffery Oldroyd’s record at Beverley is a good one, as he’s 3/9 since 2009 in these sorts of handicaps. Given that Major Muscari’s best form came on seasonal reappearance last year, he comes into this race off a much reduced mark, on drying ground which suits and a stiff track, that should also suit, it gives me encouragement that we might see a much improved effort today. The markets will tell us the full story but a small bet at these fancy odds won’t do much harm, especially as I’d have him at around the 12/1 mark for this seasonal reappearance. The minimum stakes will suffice, especially for a bet like this.


21:00 Beverley – Major Muscari; 1pt @ 25/1 BetVictor, William Hill (bog)[/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 22nd July 2012

Just the one selection for today, coming from Ascot. It’s been a long while since the last blog post and that’s come for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was on holiday in Crete and managed to catch a pretty bad cold for my return back to the UK, so that put me back a few days on the blogging front. With the ground as changeable as it has been over the past few weeks, I’m glad I’ve taken a watching brief. Hopefully with the weather improving, they’ll be plenty more ‘good ground’ meetings to look forward to and that makes it simpler for everyone. Selection below.

A usual very competitive big-field sprint handicap and a whole host of runners with chances, but TAAJUB (17:05) is still in really good form and ran a cracking race last time out, when just ran out of it in the closing furlong over 6f. That trip is a little bit too far for him when running off this sort of mark and now dropped back to the minimum trip, in a strongly run race and still being on a workable rating compared to his performances a juvenile, I feel there’s value in this double figure price. Taajub was a very useful juvenile, being rated 108 at his peak and his career best effort came over this C&D when chinned close home in a Group 3 contest.  He found things difficult subsequently, dropping 28lbs in the ratings. It was not until joining Peter Crate that his fortunes turned around, winning two handicaps at Lingfield over 5f off ratings of 80 and 85. The common theme with these two victories was that the races were run at a furious pace, Peter Crate being quoted as “the faster they go, the better”, which obviously bodes well for a race like this. He seemed to win both of those all-weather races with plenty in hand. Taajub is in good heart at present, having run really well on his last three starts at Epsom, running a big race in the ‘Dash’ and was far from looking held off this handicap rating on the basis of that effort. 6f didn’t quite suit last time when finishing 3rd, albeit running a gallant race after committing for home quite early and now back to his ideal trip, he’s definitely capable of running a big race. There’s plenty of early speed in close proximity, with Judge ‘N Jury, Magical Macey and Taurus Twins all likely to go quick from the gate and it should mean he gets a good tow into the race. Stall 12 at Ascot over 5f has an interesting record of 9/41, which would be a big positive for today if taken on face value but I’m not quite convinced of its usefulness, as it could just be a statistical anomaly, but it’s worth considering nonetheless.  Taajub still looks capable of improvement when getting a race run to suit over 5f and given that he has past form at the track, is guaranteed a good pace to aim at and goes on any ground, he looks a fair bet at 16/1. He should be closer to the 10/1 mark. Given how competitive this race is, I’d only recommend the minimum stakes.


[notification_box]17:05 Ascot – Taajub; 1pt @ 16/1 BetVictor, Boylesports (bog)[/notification_box]

Bassett’s Allsorts – 19th July 2012

Two runners for Bassett's Allsorts tomorrow...

Liberty Ship is a horse I put up last week and I am inclined to give him another chance tomorrow. He was a shade disappointing last time, though that was a much stronger contest. He has good course and distance form and incidentally, won the corresponding race last year. Though not the most straight forward of horses, he looks back down on a winning mark and if able to put it all together, should be capable of running a big race.

O Ma Lad has shaped like an improving horse this year and ran another respectable race last time out when stepped up in trip to 14f, which probably didn’t suit the horse. He had previously won a handicap at Catterick over 11f, before just losing out over 10f at Sandown on soft ground in a stronger race. Back at a more suitable trip the gelding looks worth a chance to continue his improvement.

[notification_box]Basso’s Bets:
Doncaster 6.20: Liberty Ship 1pt Win @ 14/1 with Bet365.
Epsom 6.10: O Ma Lad 1pt Win @ 6/1 with Bet365. [/notification_box]


Bassett’s Allsorts – 16th July 2012

windsor races

Last Shadow has shaped like a horse who needs a good test of stamina with his two victories to date being on soft ground at Nottingham, the later being off a mark of 77. He was then dropped back down to a mile and unsurprisingly found things happen much too fast. His next run saw him stepped back up to 12 furlongs in what looked a hot handicap won by Rule Book. Last Shadow was far from disgraced finishing a staying on third on ground that was probably quicker than he would have liked.

The going at Windsor is currently soft, with further light rain forecast throughout tomorrow, meaning conditions should be ideal for the gelding. He is taken to make the most of what looks a workable mark of 82.

Minoan Dancer won a maiden at Lingfield and is totally unexposed, but at the price looks well worth taking on. Swnymor is feared most having proven his liking for testing ground when winning his maiden at Pontefract last month.

[notification_box]Basso’s Bets:
8.40 Windsor: Last Shadow 2pt Win @ 5-1 with William Hill.[/notification_box]


Duke’s Tips – 14th July 2012

I had initially planned to do a few previous this morning on the bumper card of racing we have before us (seriously? Who’s idea was it to have so much on one day?), but sadly once again the weather has taken its toll completely ruining everything and giving us Soft/Heavy ground at Newmarket – however we have one saving grace is that York are only Good to Soft.

Unfortunately York is probably my worst punting track out there, so confidence at picking a winner on the Knavesmire isn’t overly high given that it throws up rather strange results on a regular basis.

One I do like the look of today runs in the John Smith’s Cup (3:00) in the shape of Mijhaar, and although he looks likely to go off favourite I thought there was plenty to like about his performance in the Wolfreton Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.

Sitting to the fore of a truly run race, Neil Callan kicked his mount on 2.5 furlongs from home, putting a gap of around 3L between himself on the field before trying to hold off the closers inside the final furlong. The fact that only Mijhaar and Retrieve (to a lesser extent) managed to stay towards the fore at the end of the race suggests both their performances can be upgraded, considering that the first Gatewood, the second Black Spirit and fourth Qaraaba all came from towards the rear.

I did my speed figures for the race and got the run as being massive on the clock, so I’m pleased to see Roger Varian reaching for an aid that is being utilized so well these days in the hood. Mijhaar can be quite keen in his races, and the Knavesmire or Royal Ascot wouldn’t be the most ideal places to keep a horse calm with any temperament issues, but the hood will certainly help that problem now (presuming there is one).

I think although he is only around the 7-2 mark, there is value in that price off his current mark of 102, as that performance at Royal Ascot marked him down as a horse able to hold his own in pattern company, and thus should be capable of winning a decent handicap off this mark providing he can settle early on.

Elsewhere today in the 4:20 at Newbury, Qaraaba returns to the track for the first time since her Ascot fourth behind Gatewood and Mijhaar. She has to have a solid chance of picking up some black-type here, but has a solid rival in Retrieve.  I pointed her out in my Flat 2012 Ten Horses To Follow piece at the start of the month, so will be watching her performance with interest.

[notification_box]2pts win Mijhaar @ 4-1 with StanJames[/notification_box]


Bassett’s Allsorts – 13th July 2012

Racing at Chester racecourse...

A disappointing set of performances from the previous selections. Red Cadeaux ran a solid enough race, though never really looked like winning and Dr Red Eye was well supported, being sent off 13/8 favourite, but was unable to capitalise under a penalty.

Tomorrow offers some good racing, which on the whole looks fairly competitive. My Girl Anna is a horse who has impressed me recently, shaping like a progressive filly. She steps into group 3 company at York tomorrow and should be capable of running a big race, with conditions to suit. I came close to putting her forward as a selection, but feel she may find one or two too good tomorrow, but she is a filly to keep on side while conditions are right.

The horse that makes most appeal from a betting perspective is Niceofyoutotellme at Chester. The colt was making his handicap debut in a hot race at Royal Ascot shaping with a good deal of promise, before fading late on. A drop down in trip looks ideal and with a good draw, a big run looks on the cards in this weaker race. Ralph Beckett has his string in good order and another visit to the winner’s enclosure tomorrow looks a distinct possibility.

[notification_box]Basso’s Bets:
8.10 Chester: Niceofyoutotellme 2pt Win @ 9/2 with Bet365, Ladbrokes[/notification_box]


Bassett’s Allsorts – 12th July 2012

Red Cadeaux

The July meeting at Newmarket kicks off with a fantastic card, featuring the Group 2 Princess of Wales Stakes. Red Cadeaux is a horse who has seemingly improved with age and has run some cracking races this season in defeat, most recently in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, when finishing third to Sea Moon. That race was no doubt a much stronger contest and this looks an ideal opportunity for him to add another win to his record. The juice in the ground should aid his cause and hopefully make the race a good test of stamina. Harris Tweed also looks sure to appreciate any ease in the ground and along with Fiorente, whose trainer has an impressive record in the race, should prove the biggest threat.

Dr Red Eye landed his first victory on turf last week and is quickly turned out under a penalty by trainer Scott Dixon. The gelding has long been a horse I thought had the potential to be better than he had shown and the addition of cheek pieces seems to have been the key to his improved performance last time. With those retained and testing conditions holding no fears, a follow up looks highly likely. The unexposed Red Trump makes his handicap debut for an inform yard and could be capable of giving the selection most to do.

Liberty Ship put a good sequence of runs together around this time last year, winning two races in the process. His efforts this season have on the face of it been disappointing, however, this can be put down to the lack of a tongue tie, which was key to the horses improvement last year. Although still 5lb above his last winning mark, he ran good races last season off higher marks and with the tongue tie back on, should be capable of running a big race in what otherwise looks an open sprint.

[notification_box]Basso’s Bets:
3.35 Newmarket: Red Cadeaux 2pt WIN @ 5-2 with William Hill, various
4.50 Doncaster : Liberty Ship 1pt WIN @ 14-1 with BetVictor
5.20 Doncaster: Dr Red Eye 2pt WIN @ 4-1 with Bet365 [/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 29th June 2012

Just one selection; coming from Newmarket. Wednesday was an absolute disaster for the blog with all three selections at Bath well-beaten. Choral Bee and Madame Feu were both very weak in the market and ran accordingly. They’ll be other days; especially for the former who is probably worth another chance when tackling this trip again (she never really travelled throughout the race). It may just be that she’s very limited but she could well be worth one more try. Red Senor was keen early on and didn’t really get home. He’s not really that good. Selection below.

DARING INDIAN (20:40) has switched to the Tom Dascombe stable from Ian Williams and that move means there’s less guessing regarding how well he’s going to perform (horses from Williams yard spring to life at seemingly random intervals) and although this one has to come back from a 68 day break, he’s joined a yard in-form and with Fallon booked, it should signal a positive effort and a return to something akin to his best. He showed decent form in handicaps for Ian Williams during the latter part of 2011, winning a race that wasn’t run at a true pace at Wolverhampton off this mark of 71. I’ve always felt that he’s needed a true pace to be seen at his absolute best so it’s fair to say I chalked that effort up a few lbs to win in those circumstances. He hasn’t shown his best subsequently, but was entitled to need the outing on his first start in 2012 before meeting trouble at Pontefract, when weak in the market (stayed on steadily down the outside). He seemed to get stuck in the mud last time out and due to those three efforts; ones I think are perfectly excusable for one reason or another, he’s now become handicapped to strike again. I’ve always thought him capable of performances rated in the 80’s and now he’s joined a yard in-form (15% strike-rate through June, five of them winners coming in the past two weeks). The race is likely to be run at a true pace which should obviously suit, he’s the yard’s only runner at the track today and will be capable of better at some stage I’m sure, so at these odds of 20/1, I’m willing to chance my arm to the usual stakes.


20:40 Newmarket – Daring Indian; 2pts @ 20/1 William Hill (bog)[/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 27th June 2012

Three selections from the evening meeting at Bath, found below. Monday was the last day of posting and it was extremely disappointing, especially after Heyward Girl was so well-backed (SP of 9/2). Her trainer said he expected her to finish in the first three at least but it was not to be, as she was pulled-up and dismounted after never travelling. The false start probably affected her negatively too and hopefully she’s alright and will be able to continue racing. Fingers crossed. I’ve found a few I like for the evening meeting at Bath today as I only looked on the off-chance. I did fancy Pleasant Day in the Carlisle Bell but I just think that he’ll run well without winning, even with the blinkers reapplied (watch him sluice in now!). Selections below.

It may look a bit obvious but CHORAL BEE (18:10) should have an outstanding chance now upped to a trip that she’s certainly bred to appreciate and has always looked like a middle-distance handicapper in the making. Now tackling that trip in this grade, you’d have to be extremely disappointing if she didn’t improve a fair bit past this mark of 57. She’s related to plenty of very decent middle-distance horses, including one who was placed in the Melbourne Cup, so she’s certainly bred for this trip today. Her four starts to date have suggested she’d come into her own in handicaps. That’s exactly what occurred last time when dropped in trip (had shaped OK over 10f on her final start in a Maiden) to a mile. She stuck to her task well that day, not really showing the requisite speed to be a mile specialist but looking like an obvious candidate for a step up in distance. She goes a whole 4f up in trip today but looks to need it and I feel she should be much shorter than her current odds suggests. She showed plenty last time, will appreciate the step up in trip, along with the ground continuing to dry and she seemed to enjoy the Bath track last time, which is an obvious plus. Her sire has a record of 4/20 at Bath and Henry Candy has a 5/26 at this course, so there are plenty of stats to suggest that this is the place for her to be running and in a weak enough race, she should take plenty of beating. As always, there’s always potential for a big handicap improver but I think I’ve found that horse in Choral Bee and I’d have expected her to be around the 3/1 mark, so looks a big price at her current odds.

RED SENOR (19:40) has had plenty of excuses since winning (a poor) maiden on seasonal reappearance and is attractively priced to invest in today, especially as if more goes his way than on previous occasions, he’ll go extremely close. He showed promise on all three juvenile starts (without winning), coming up against some fair types in maiden races, but was put away after July 2011 and wasn’t seen until this March. He was reported to have strengthened up over the winter and won a poor maiden over 5f comfortably, doing most of the work on the bit and winning well. That race hasn’t worked out with zero winners subsequently but Red Senor has proved that his current handicap mark is far from unfair. His handicap debut at Nottingham was full of promise, probably inconvenienced by the fact he had to race up the centre (most of the actual was stands side) before meeting trouble on his penultimate start at Windsor, where he’d have finished much closer had he not suffered interference. His last start is perfectly excusable too, racing very close to a hot pace on soft ground, with hold-up horses filling the first two places. It was understandable that he couldn’t finish off his race that day. He may just be a horse that is constantly unlucky but the smaller field today won’t harm his chances in that regard and he’s been dropped another 1lb in the handicap, which could only benefit his chances. The favourite could be a tough nut to crack as she looks to be going the right way but Red Senor has shown enough in the past to suggest a mark in the 80’s is far from a pipe dream and granted better luck in-running or none of suicidal tactics that ensued last time, then he’s more a 5/1 chance in my book and is worthy of a bet at these odds.

MADAME FEU (21:10) looks in dire need of 6f after a promising enough handicap debut over the minimum trip and granted the extra distance here today, she looks capable of a bit better at a low grade. Her two best efforts have been at this Bath track, including on her latest start. She was outpaced early on but finished the race well enough to be 4th, suggesting that a step up to further wouldn’t go amiss. This is corroborated by her pedigree, where she’s related to three winners at 6f+. That race was only modest but the form hasn’t worked out badly, with the winner getting in front again and the placed horses running to a similar level again since. Madame Feu obviously acts here at Bath which is a big plus and the fact that she has the pedigree for 6f, alongside the running style, suggests that this contest will be ideal. She is no world-beater but has claims to be rated around the mid-60’s and shouldn’t be far away at all. 7/1 is a fair price, as I’d say she should be around the 5/1 mark and is worth the usual stake. No further rain (none forecast) would enhance her chances.


18:10 Bath – Choral Bee; 3pts @ 13/2 BetVictor (bog)

19:40 Bath – Red Senor; 2pts @ 13/2 BetVictor, William Hill (bog)

21:10 Bath – Madame Feu; 2pts @ 15/2 Betfred (bog)[/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 25th June 2012

One selection for Monday’s racing, coming from Windsor. Saturday was a disappointment but it was to be expected in the end as the drying ground really didn’t play to the strengths of Gramecy, who couldn’t go the quick early gallop on that ground and was outpaced from some way out. He’s better than that but probably needs a handicap with fewer runners or 7f, but it’s fair to say I got that one completely wrong! Selection below.

HEYWARD GIRL (19:10) shaped well in a much better race than the one she contests tonight on her first start in 2012 and although not seen for 68 days subsequently, hopefully that will be more to do with the ground being soft (which wouldn’t suit considering Bertolini progeny have an appalling record on soft surfaces) rather than any physical problem with her. If she’s ready to roll then she has a decent chance from the plum draw. She possessed some strong juvenile form, finishing a half-length 2nd to Best Terms, who was runner-up at Royal Ascot, and also two victories over 6f last year. Both of those came from the front and she possesses really good early toe, which is often beneficial around Windsor as I’ve always got the impression that it suits front-runners when the ground is good or better over sprint distances. There isn’t a huge amount of pace in this race (Marygold has front-run before) so I’m expecting that Heyward Girl should get a fairly easy time of it at the head of affairs, important for a horse of her type. A plum draw in stall 1 really will help in this regard, and the 15.6% strike-rate from the inside stall over 6f here at Windsor is an obvious plus. The race that the selection made her debut 2012 start was a good one, it being a 0-100 handicap and Heyward Girl again showing good speed early on, but she was probably just a little bit outclassed in that sort of race. She was only beaten 4.5 lengths though and that was a fair effort. There has to be some slight concerns that she hasn’t been seen since but 68 days isn’t a huge absence and she did win her maiden coming off an absence, so it might not be a big factor anyway. Robert Eddery yard are amongst the winners and I had Heyward Girl priced around the 7/1 mark, so she’s worthy of a small play here today at these odds. She could well be difficult to peg back, with the likely drying ground considerably in her favour.


19:10 Windsor – Heyward Girl; 2pts @ 10/1 Bet365, Betfred (bog)[/notification_box]