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]