Selections for Friday’s racing are below. Wednesday was a poor day for the blog with all three of the selections failing to make the frame. Labarinto was too bad to be true, having played up in the preliminaries and although it may be that he was racing on the slowest part of the track, it was a truly dismal effort. New Planet hit traffic problems but would have never been good enough on the day, and probably needs to find a weak listed event or conditions event again to get in front. King Kurt ran no sort of race but was one of the bigger drifters of the day and was held-up, which isn’t ideal. He remains one to keep an eye on when encountering a slightly easier contest. Selections below.
Although he hasn’t won on the flat since 2007, and that win coming in Germany, WALDVOGEL (14:00) comes into this race off an attractive looking mark, fitter than the bare form suggests after an outing in a charity race at the Aintree Festival and over what could well be ideal conditions, he’s more than capable of playing a big role in the finish. A listed winner in Germany in his younger days, he’s getting on a bit but seemed to be as good during the summer last year, going very close at this C&D in July off a 2lb higher mark. Ideally he wants a sound surface I think and although he ran well in competitive handicaps at Ascot (not beaten far) and back here at York, I just think the combination of the higher rating and the softer surface meant he didn’t stand much of a chance of winning. His penultimate effort of the 2011 season needs excusing as he was held-up off a very modest pace and while his last start was pretty abysmal, he’d had a long season by his standards and was possibly just feeling the pinch.
In the Racing Post, it claims he’s been away from the track for 219 days and if that was so, fitness would be an issue but it fails to point out that he ran well enough in a Charity Race at Aintree. That was over 1m5f and although the form shouldn’t be read literally, at least he had an outing on course about a month ago which would have blown any cobwebs away. Waldvogel enjoys the 1m4f of York and a sound surface and he gets both of these today and he’s attractively handicapped from this rating, as he’s more than capable of running close to a mark of 100 if he’s back to somewhere close to last year’s best. There are of course some more unexposed animals in the line-up but this sort of price is well worth taking, as he’s hilariously overpriced in my book (I’d take 12/1). It might be just that he’s a perennial loser on the flat, but he does know how to win races having done it over hurdles in the more recent past and Andrea Atzeni is one of the more capable jockeys who can do a low weight, so this horse is definitely interesting today in an open race.
Three year-old early season middle-distance handicaps are often tricky puzzles to solve and with a raft of big yards involved today, this is definitely one of them. KEY GOLD (16:45) won her maiden last time out over this trip with a minimum of fuss, even though she didn’t seem to appreciate the soft conditions that day. It’s likely that she’s well-in off a mark of 72 and definitely stays the trip, thus looking overpriced in this contest. She’s had four starts, shaping as though these trips would be her forte over a mile on her second outing and confirming that when staying on strongly over 10f at the beginning of this year. She was a warm order for her reappearance effort kept to maiden company, upped in trip again to 12f. That will prove not to be the strongest of heats in time but she did well to win, especially as he wasn’t overly extended and seemed to be uncomfortable on the soft surface, changing her legs on occasions and not looking completely happy. Both this and her pedigree suggest better ground will suit, which obviously bodes well for today. The handicapper hasn’t moved her for that success and I think she’s been underestimated in that respect, especially as there is definitely more to come over this trip and on a better surface. Plenty here come in with chances, either looking like they’ll appreciate the extra distance (Estedaama and Daneking) or are possibly well-handicapped (Priestley’s Reward) but Key Gold should be around the 5/1 mark, given I still think there’s more to come and given she’s a bigger price than that currently, worthy of a small investment.
14:00 York – Waldvogel; 2pts @ 25/1 Boylesports, William Hill (bog) 16:45 York – Key Gold; 1pt @ 8/1 Bet365, William Hill (bog)
14:00 York – Waldvogel; 2pts @ 25/1 Boylesports, William Hill (bog)
16:45 York – Key Gold; 1pt @ 8/1 Bet365, William Hill (bog)