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]
 

Farewell So You Think

The Aidan O’Brien trained six-year-old So You Think retired to stud this week, after a bout of lameness ruled him out of the Coral Eclipse – a race where he was aiming to land back to back renewals of the Group 1 prize, on what was to be his swansong before embarking on a return to his native Australia to assume stud duties.

The son of High Chaparral began his career in Australia under the tutelage of ‘Cup King’ Bart Cummings, where he quickly became a superstar landing a total of 5 Group 1’s including two Cox Plates, a Mackinnon Stakes, an Underwood Stakes and Yalumba Stakes before finishing a massive third in the biggest prize of all, the Melbourne Cup despite failing to settle throughout the contest. That was to be his final run in Australia, as in late 2010 the powerful Coolmore outfit purchased a controlling interest in the powerful entire and was subsequently moved to trainer Aidan O’Brien’s Tipperary base.

It didn’t take the giant long to transfer his southern hemisphere ability over to our shores, after hacking up hard on the bridle on his debut in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes, he quickly added a Group 1 in similar style with a facile success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and after a minor blip at Ascot being beaten by Rewilding, he added another Group 1 when taking out the Coral Eclipse at Sandown, before adding the Irish Champion Stakes to his resume. Things didn’t go to plan in the Arc de Triomphe where he flashed home late into fourth, but he returned to form with another huge run at Ascot but found one too good in the shape of the high-class globetrotter Cirrus Des Aigles.

A trip to America was next for So You Think, where he would contest the Breeders Cup Classic despite having never race on dirt before. He wore blinkers for the first time and held every chance turning in at the top of the straight, but gradually weakened out of things in a typical gritty battling display, going out on his sword – eventually finishing sixth.

His campaign this season started off in Dubai, where he would tackle Group 1 opposition from across the world again this time in the Dubai World Cup. Ridden close to the pace, he had every chance two furlongs from home but he was worn down by those with more tactical speed in the closing stages, plugging on gamely for fourth. This was then followed by a change in routine by the master of Ballydoyle, after acknowledging live on TV that he had been “training the speed out of So You Think”. So You Think then returned at the Curragh in a bid to retain the Tattersalls Gold Cup, which he’d won a year previous and did so in effortless style again.

His final career start would be to come at Royal Ascot, where he avenged the defeat a year previous by Rewilding with a dominant and truly brilliant display in the Prince Of Wales Stakes 2012. Ridden handy in the early stages, he travelled noticeably well throughout his race, and quickened up smartly with that long powerful ground-devouring stride taking him to the head of affairs two furlongs out. He was then challenged by Carlton House (third in the Epsom Derby 2011), and in true battling fashion the giant So You Think showed his heart in battle yet again, breaking his rival before extending his advantage in the closing stages.

So You Think has been one of the most consistent horses I’ve ever came across since I started compiling my speed figures, especially in the very top grade and goes down as an all-time great in my opinion at least and I believe he will make a fantastic stallion prospect. His figures for me read (recent-furthest) 130-126-130-125-134-137-132-121-121-125-123.

[quote]It’s a big disappointment that he’ll miss the Eclipse, but he’s had a wonderful racing career and now it’s time for him to shine at stud. His book reads like a who’s who of all the best mares and breeders so he’ll get the best possible start. – Tom Magnier [/quote]  [frame_right src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/SYTD.png” href=””][/frame_right]

So You Think retires to stud down under with an impressive record of 23-14-4-1, unplaced only four times in a long career at the top level is a remarkable achievement and a testament to his consistency and ability. In his fourteen victories, he won 10 at the highest level (Group 1), one Group 2, and two Group 3’s – a total of 13 victories in graded stakes. So You Think amassed a total prize money haul of £5,058,956 throughout his illustrious career.

[quote]”So You Think is an extraordinary horse and it was a real privilege to have had him here at Ballydoyle on loan from Australia,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said. [/quote]

So You Think will now enter quarantine before being shipped home to Australia to stand at Coolmore Australia, where he will command a fee of $A66,000.

Coral Eclipse 2012 Preview

The Eclipse, named after one of the great 18th-century racehorses, is the first opportunity for the Classic generation to take on their elders at the top level. The race’s roll of honour is littered with the of greats of the turf- Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerrard in the 70s, Sadler’s Wells, Dancing Brave and Nashwan the decade after, and more recently names like Daylami, Giant’s Causeway and Sea The Stars flow through it’s history as a reminder of what it takes to compete in such a prestigious event.

Since Giant’s Causeway’s typically pulsating win in 2000 only three three-year-olds have managed to serve it up to their elders, which immediately highlights the challenge ahead of the younger horses, namely Andrew Balding’s Dante winner Bonfire. When comparing Bonfire to Hawk Wing (brilliant on his day), Oratorio and the champion Sea The Stars the immediate reaction is to discount him on grounds of not being in the same class, but this may go down as one of the weaker Eclipse fields in recent years and it’s not easy to ignore any of the line-up.

This year’s renewal has lost some of it’s appeal with the late withdrawal and subsequent retirement of Ballydoyle’s So You Think, a horse who may not have lived up to his giant reputation gained down under but who’s performances in the Northern Hemisphere probably haven’t received the credit they deserve. The loss of the slight odds-on favourite has left Godolphin’s Farhh as the market leader, and he has really split opinion in the racing community after his luckless passage in the Prince Of Wales’ Stakes. Rivalling him as the jolly was John Gosden’s Nathaniel until Gosden himself looked to lower expectations by suggesting the colt was not fully would up and would be seen to better effect in the King George. Twice Over dances at almost every dance when Group One’s over 10 furlongs are concerned, while Cityscape put up a serious visual performance in the Dubai Duty Free at Meydan and Monterosso’s last run/win was in the nothing less of a race than the Dubai World Cup. We’ll have a look at the field in a bit more detail…

CITYSCAPE – For a horse who started out over a mile at two and was second to the strong-staying Jukebox Jury in the Royal Lodge, it’s maybe a surprise that it’s taken so long for Cityscape to run over 10 furlongs. As a half brother to Bated Breath out of a mare who won two seven furlong Listed races the pedigree suggests otherwise, however on the Selkirk colt’s only run over further than a mile he won the Dubai Duty Free by four-and-a-half-lengths. However from experience form in Dubai is almost impossible to take literally, and it’s likely that Cityscape still has a couple of lengths to find from somewhere to be involved at the business end judged on his form over a mile.

CITY STYLE – This gelding improved by about a stone in Dubai over the winter, and finished third behind Cityscape in the Duty Free after getting a far worse trip throughout the race. His five-length beating in the Prince Of Wales’ can probably be cut in half after he found trouble, and that performance showed he was capable away from Godolphin’s back yard. In a far from vintage renewal it’s quite surprising to see him as big as 40/1

CRACKERJACK KING – The unknown quantity of the race, the Shamardal colt won the Italian Derby but a month later trailed in second last at Chantilly when travelling to France for the Jockey Club. He otherwise has a perfect record of seven from seven in Italy, a country responsible in recent years for Ramoni, Electrocutionist and Rakti all of whom had the ability to have a major chance in this renewal. Unwise to write off, although a concern that the only time he left Italian shores/encountered soft ground he was beaten a long way. Now trained by Marco Botti who on balance will have needed to find a few lengths improvement if he’s to win.

[frame_right src=”http://www.ohracing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/9433.jpg” href=””][/frame_right]FARHH – Not sure i’ve got anything left to say about Farhh after pouring my heart out on Twitter, but I believe he would have won the race at Ascot had anything gone right for him. That’s just a personal belief, can’t make any defining statements on why he would’ve won and not saying for sure he would have, but this colt in my opinion is the real deal and has done absolutely nothing wrong in his four races to date. It’s worth remembering that going into Ascot he’d run three races in his life, and has got so much potential it’s frightening. No matter how many lengths he may or may not have lost through interference at the Royal meeting the fact that such an inexperienced horse put his head down and flew right to the line cannot be ignored. Visually and on the clock he could go all the way to the top, and I will be gutted if he doesn’t win what is a below-par Eclipse.

MONTEROSSO – Monterosso did what we’ve seen several Godolphin horses do in recent years and raised his game considerably on World Cup night. The fact he won the World Cup itself suggests it was either a substandard renewal (likely) on the basis of his previous form or that he’s just a better horse over in the desert- in my opinion probably both. The fact he’s 12/1 for this race despite having won the world’s richest event suggests that the layers agree with at least one of those scenarios, and although it can’t really go down as a huge shock if he’s good enough to play a part in the finish, from experience it’s rare for Meydan form to stand the test of time.

NATHANIEL – Nathaniel is a horse who I strongly believe wants a mile and a half (preferably around Ascot), as I think he lacks the tactical pace for a 10 furlong Group One. Again because of the nature of this line up he may well get away with it, but I think that after John Gosden’s comments suggesting he wasn’t fully tuned up I would be surprised/disappointed if he was good enough to win even a weaker G1 over ten this weekend. I believe that the King George that he won should be ignored totally as a race due to A) Rewilding breaking down B) Workforce only wanting to run sideways and C) St Nicholas Abbey receiving a poor ride and not running to form anyway. That left Nathaniel to basically run around to win, and until he’s shown that he’s better than a 121/122 horse I cannot consider him at the prices to win a race like this. Strong opinion that may well look very silly tomorrow afternoon…

SRI PUTRA – An absolute enigma in that he seems to run his best races at the top level and cannot take advantage of easier opportunities in lesser races. Drop to a mile saw him but that right to some extent at Kempton in May, but followed that up with a tame effort in Italy behind Crackerjack King before a typically better performance at Royal Ascot. Yet to win at the top level but was second in this two years ago, and while he may again run a big race compared to his price he is an unlikely winner.

TWICE OVER – Most five-time Group One winners have a higher profile than Twice Over, but the races he’s won in the highest grade tend to have been short on depth. This is another such contest to be fair, and his last run can be ignored considering the ground was atrocious at best so he wouldn’t be without a chance of running better than his 16/1 price suggests. Depends how you view his form in beating Midday in the Juddmonte last year – personally don’t think its particularly good but still may give him a squeak in this if he can reproduce the goods in a race he won two years ago.

BONFIRE – Represents the Classic generation, but comes into the race having been stuffed by Camelot in the Derby. Won the Dante but had a pretty hard race in the process, while connections and some respected judges commented that Epsom on Derby day did not play to the colt’s strengths. While that’s possibly true I get the impression that despite the weight-for-age scale being very much in favour of the three-year-olds he is likely to come up short in his first race against his elders. The three-year-old crop looks weak at the top end (bar Camelot) and I don’t get the impression that this son of Manduro is about to change that idea. Again this is not a strong collection of four-year-olds but he is another that I would be very disappointed if Farhh couldnt beat.

COGITO – Ran a cracker to win what looked a warm listed race here at the end of May on fast ground, and wasn’t beaten that far behind Most Improved in a messy running of the St James’ Palace. Not really the profile of a Group One winner waiting to happen, especially against his elders, and the three-year-old miling crop looks even weaker than the mid-distance performers. A real surprise if he goes close for me, and not sure why he’s a shorter price than City Style.

Conclusion: A disappointing field for a race with such a fine history, but the presence of Farhh and Bonfire in particular still make this a very interesting race to take in. As i’ve said I’d be very disappointed if Farhh got beaten, but the price doesn’t appeal to me and with Nathaniel drifting I don’t particularly fancy laying him either. At bigger prices I wouldn’t mind having City Style running for me the way he performed at Ascot and with him priced at 40/1- I think that him being 10 times Nathaniel’s price despite City Style’s form being maybe only a couple of pounds off him is wrong. Twice Over has shown he is capable of winning sub-standard looking Group Ones and could be thereabouts, but he is getting on in years and isn’t sure to produce his best form, so I personally will be watching Farhh with everything crossed while having a small each-way bet on City Style at the 40s, although further rain will temper any enthusiasm in that wager.

Ambant Gala Stakes Preview

Friday’s Listed race attracts a reasonable field of 9, with Jet Away being the most notable runner, who was last seen trailing in third of four runners behind Brown Panther in Listed company at Pontefract in very bad ground, but a return to a sounder surface should see him run to a better vein of form. Though he hasn’t really lived up to what was originally thought of him, he is a solid horse in at around this grade, and one can see him running another bold race under these conditions.

Winter Derby joint-favourite Junoob hasn’t been the same force as he was on the Polytrack over the winter months and on paper this looks a much tougher race than what he has contested the last twice on turf and his price reflects his chance.

Globetrotting Afsare ran the race of his life last time out in Italy when finishing a respectable second on his first start in Group 1 company. Though all three of his wins which came as a three year old came on Good to Firm, he shows there’s still fire in his belly and with a drastic drop in class, he looks more than capable of taking this.

Another globetrotter and Godolphin second string, Biondetti hasn’t been the same since taking a Group 1 win in Italy at 2010. Disappointing on both of his starts this year at Meydan (both over 10f), the return to England might go to his benefit, but the trip obviously doesn’t suit him so he looks likely to struggle here.

Cai Shen has always been consistent aside from a blemish over course and distance last August. Fortunately, he bounced straight back at Doncaster on his last run for the year before finishing a respectable second at Lingfield in the Winter Derby, before going on at the finish to come 6th of 30 runners at Ascot last month. Back up in trip again to 10f, he should run a cracking race and will be thereabouts.

Songcraft started his racing career for Andre Fabre in France, where he racked up a double before being switched to Saeed Bin Suroor by the Godolphin operation. He managed to make it four from four until disappointing on his third start at Meydan in what was a slowly run Dubai City Of Gold (Group 2). His next start came in the Dubai Sheema Classic which was a similarly stop-start event, only this time he sported first time headgear in the shape of visors (which seemed to have a negative effect). Running on British soil for the first time tomorrow, and with the visors dispensed with – if there is a true pace in this race I couldn’t run him out, but is one to play in-running.

Tazahum hasn’t quite lived up to what was expected from him as a three-year-old after he won a Listed race on his second run as a three-year-old, and has somewhat struggled to land any sort of blow in races of similar level. The extra two furlongs looks to be against him here, as in my eyes he is a miler but he does have a perfect record of 2 wins from 2 at Sandown.

The veteran of the race, Cill Rialaig started off a promising National Hunt career when winning two bumpers before being switched to the flat, she’s had a successful flat career, racking up six wins of her 22 starts. She is a distance winner and more then capable of holding her own, but this looks much tougher against more improving sorts and she’ll need to improve on her recent Ascot running to figure here.

Finally, lightly raced Farhaan for John Dunlop makes his second start this season after a reasonably lucrative juvenile campaign. A winner of a maiden and novice contest he was sent off favourite for the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, but couldn’t run down Daddy Long Legs who set the pace, and his exertions told in the closing stages weakening into fifth. His comeback run when fourth to Thought Worthy and Noble Mission at Newmarket reads well, and he is likely to have come on for that run, and is very much a ‘dark horse’ in a hot race.

All in all I think this race is Afsare‘s for the taking, but couldn’t rule out a big run from both Farhaan and Songcraft at bigger prices.

Flat 2012 – Ten Horses To Follow

CATFISH – 4yo filly
(One Cool Cat – Castellane (Danehill))Brian Meehan
This is a filly I’ve got plenty of time for, and although she is rated 91 I feel there is room for improvement and a couple of races are to be won with her before the season is out. After signing off last season at Goodwood in July with a win in a fast time, she returned at York at the May meeting and after travelling nicely she came home with a strong challenge after being briefly checked for room. The time once again was good, and signalled she had trained on and a win wouldn’t be far away. Her next run came at Epsom when third to Stone Of Folca in the fastest five furlongs ever run on record. She was well drawn but didn’t enjoy the clearest of passages throughout her race before finishing off her race strongly. Forget her latest run at Newmarket where she trailed in last of six, Brian Meehan reported after the race that she was in season. Hopefully she’ll turn up in a decent handicap over five or six furlongs next time, and she’ll be a good price and will almost certainly go close off this sort of rating.

CHEVIOT QUEST – 3yo gelding
(Sir Percy – Cushat Law (Montjeu))William Jarvis
A likeable chestnut and one which has been showing improvement with each run for trainer William Jarvis. The form of his comeback run at Nottingham is working out really well, and caught a tartar at Beverley when second to the seriously well handicapped Bridgehampton. He then turned up at Salisbury and was doing all his best work late in the day in what was a stop-start race and was better than the finishing position suggests. He was then run down late at Yarmouth in a good time, before finishing second to Mubaraza at Newmarket in another good time. He travelled the best throughout the race, but hung left just inside the two furlong marker, which took Harry Bentley a while to straighten him out but he galloped all the way to the line, only to be beaten by a better handicapped individual. I expect him to be playing a big hand in races over this distance for three-year-olds this season, and can easily see him winning two or three off this lowly mark of 62.

IBTAHAJ – 3yo colt
(Invincible Spirit – Maroussies Wings (In The Wings))Saeed Bin Suroor
This is a horse I like a lot, but seems to need to lead in his races. He was ridden with too much force on his return in desperate ground at Newbury, before an impressive second to Mukhaddram (very well regarded) at Newmarket where he ran all the way to the line (5L back to third place). He readily made amends with a facile success at Brighton in a fairly average maiden, and although he only won by 3.5 lengths, he could of won by triple that if he’d wanted. His most recent and most arguably impressive success throughout his career came at Kempton where he set a fast pace under a forceful Mickael Barzalona, before readily sprinting clear of his field to win by three lengths unchallenged. The speed figure for that race was big, and I expect him to continue to improve through the ranks before a crack at Listed company. He looks to have the scope to step up to ten furlongs before long, and given the way he wasn’t stopping on either of his last three starts it would be well worth a go. He is currently rated 85, but after his win the other day I can see him going up around 10lbs for that. He is entered at Kempton on Wednesday off a 6lb penalty, where he looks a shoe-in.

JOHNNO – 3yo colt
(Excellent Art – Vert Val (Septieme Ciel))John Hills
Made a very pleasing return when going hopelessly wide on seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton back in April. He had to make his effort a little earlier than the principles, and from much further back before being forced extremely wide around the final bend, and despite that he almost got up. His next run at Kempton was another noteworthy performance in a race which has worked out fairly well, he was stuck behind the weakening Tidal’s Baby early in the straight before getting a clear run when the principles had early flown, he stuck on well though, suggesting a win wasn’t far away. His next effort at Sandown where he was ridden much closer to the pace was disappointing, but it could of been the ground was just too quick for him (although his relatives all liked quicker ground, he seems a gross sort who hits the ground fairly hard) so I’m willing to forgive him that effort. A return to form at Newmarket last time on the July course suggested once again a win is just around the corner, and encountering soft ground for the first time ran all the way to the line after leading throughout. I think what this horse needs is either Ascot or Doncaster to be seen at his best, or back on the all-weather. I would seriously consider his chances of winning a race from this rating of 79 at either of those two tracks, and I note he has a provisional entry at Doncaster in four days time.

JWALA – 3yo filly
(Oasis Dream – Kangra Valley (Indian Ridge))Robert Cowell
Trained by an emerging sprint king in Robert Cowell, Jwala showed solid form as a juvenile rounding off with a close third to Galician (now rated 88), before beating Pale Orchid (now rated 91) off levels easily. Her comeback run came at Bath in a fairly trappy three-year-old handicap, where Shane Kelly sat a scorching pace throughout and the daughter of Oasis Dream responded with an all-the-way success in cosy style. Given the nature of the race I can’t see her going up much from her current rating of 81, and she would be of interest either back on the all-weather, or at track which favours all-weather form. Certainly a filly to keep on side and could progress into something quite useful.

KUANYAO – 6yo gelding
(American Post – Nullarbor (Green Desert))Peter Makin
A horse which won six races on the spin as a four-year-old, he has taken a while to come back to hand but showed signs of a revival with a gutsy display under Seb Sanders at Yarmouth last time out, in a race which is working out and which a really good time was clocked by the winner. Given the position in which he raced that day it suggests he is ready to return to winning ways, and providing the sun comes out and we get some decent ground it should happen – wouldn’t be the sort to follow off the end of a cliff though.

MUBARAZA – 3yo colt
(Dalakhani – Mokaraba (Unfuwain))John Dunlop
A half brother to the mare below (Qaraaba) who has taken time to come to hand, but showed resolute stamina when running down the well-handicapped Cheviot Quest at Newmarket last time. Off the bridle quite some way out he gradually wound up under Paul Hanagan to get on top inside the final half furlong, to win in the style of a horse capable of improving over this sort of distance. At a time where John Dunlop’s horses aren’t running great this piece of form looks fair, and considering he took this off a mark of 79, you’d expect him to remain competitive up to around the low 90’s and is worth following on his next start.

NAABEGHA – 5yo gelding
(Muhtahir – Hawafiz (Nashwan))Ed de Giles
An import from France made an eye-catching return to action over seven furlongs at Lingfield on all-weather debut. Missing the break early he finished with a rattle to fill second behind My Freedom, showing he has plenty of ability. His next run came over seven furlongs on rain softened ground and he disappointed after travelling well. It looked to me that day he failed to see out the trip, and it was no surprise when Ed De Giles dropped the gelding back to six furlongs on his next start. Ridden prominently he was just run out of things in the closing stages, finishing sixth in a good time to Palace Moon in what rated a solid effort on the clock. He followed that effort up with a narrow second at Catterick after setting a strong pace under a forceful ride by Chris Catlin, and followed that effort up with an explosive performance dropped back to the minimum trip at Salisbury. He clocked a good time that day (as good as the Newbury run) and the manner of victory suggested there is plenty more up his sleeve down at this distance and given his vein of form he is currently in I think he is a sprinter worth following.

QARAABA – 5yo mare
(Shamardal – Mokaraba (Unfuwain))Seamus Durack
A mare which has improved out of all recognition this year for trainer Seamus Durack who is rapidly making a name for himself as a trainer. Two early wins at the start of the season followed up with a solid second to the well regarded Danadana at Newmarket in a good handicap. She then went to Doncaster and dispatched Dragonera (second in listed race next time) in a good time. Her run at Ascot came in another big time and she came with a huge run down the outside under George Baker but the line came too soon. She is a real improving sort, who looks capable of playing a strong hand in pattern races against her own sex. I’d like to see her aimed at the race Mirror Lake won at Doncaster last November, and I think she is pretty much unbeatable in that sort of grade, against her own sex, on a track like Doncaster or Ascot.

RUBY NIGHT – 3yo gelding
(Red Clubs – Stop Out (Rudimentary))Michael Bell
A horse which showed fairly decent form as a juvenile, made an eye-catching return at Leicester on his seasonal debut. Gelded over the winter, he travelled through the race with consummate ease and looked the winner for quite a way. Race fitness gradually took its toll though where he was overhauled by a more ‘race-fit’ rival in Lady Loch but put a distance of five lengths between himself and the remainder of the field. Given that he’ll come on plenty for the run, this was a pleasing return and although he has since risen 6lb in the weights for that comeback effort I think he’ll still remain competitive and looks likely to win a race or two this campaign.

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.

[notification_box]Bets

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.

[notification_box]Bets

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.

[notification_box]Bets

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

Longshot Betting – 23rd June 2012

Just the one blog selection for Saturday’s racing, coming from Royal Ascot. Friday was a disappointing day with the first selection in Yazdi dropping out tamely after going pretty well at the front of affairs. He just wasn’t good enough. Decent Fella however has to go down as a near-miss, even though he only could manage 5th. He again travelled superbly well and looked to be making a challenge to win the race around a furlong for home. It did just seem like he didn’t quite get home and although that wasn’t down to race-fitness, it was more likely due to the soft ground and the stiff finish playing its part. He can go well again on a sharper track when coming back from a break of around 45+days. Just the one selection and although there’s plenty of racing, the changeable ground conditions make it a risky play at many courses, so I’ve decided to take it easy. Bet found below.

GRAMERCY (16:25) has long been talked up as a likely winner of this sort of contest by previous connections and he ran with credit in last year’s renewal, that coming on seasonal reappearance. Now with a different yard and a run under his belt, one that should have got him cherry ripe for this race, he ought to go well as he has plenty to suit. A multiple winner over 6f, he’s perfectly at home around Ascot and brings to the table a victory (off a 7lb lower mark) over this C&D and a cracking effort over 7f here last year, when travelling supremely well but just losing out to a very creditable winner in Smarty Socks (who carries on improving). On that evidence a strongly run 6f here at Ascot will be ideal, as it’ll give him plenty of chance to travel sweetly into the race off a brisk pace. His seasonal reappearance effort should be ignored completely, especially as it came over 5f, an inadequate trip for him and he struggled to ever land a blow, especially as he was held-up quite far off the pace and wasn’t given a hard-time. He’s been dropped 2lbs for that and a mark of 99 looks perfectly workable, especially as on occasions he’s shaped as if Group wins weren’t too optimistic. The booking of Johnny Murtagh is a big positive, especially in this race as he’s won the last two renewals and could have presumably ridden a couple of the Irish contingent this year, so his presence is encouraging. With handicaps of this type, draw/pace bias is difficult to know until they actually run the race but the price of Gramercy is what makes it appealing, namely that it’s a good few points over what I was expecting, as I feel he’s worthy of support up until the 10/1 mark. Granted a strong pace to track, he ought to go well.

Bets

16:25 Ascot – Gramercy; 2pts @ 20/1 Bet365, William Hill (bog)

Longshot Betting – 22nd June 2012

Two selections for Friday’s action from Royal Ascot. Thursday was a profitable day for the blog and it came due to Energizer winning really well. As stated in the reasoning, the price really was based on the fact the horse was trained in Germany and although Starboard being declared a non-runner definitely helped his cause somewhat, I’m hopeful he’d have won anyway. Still, a 14/1 winner (15p R4) is not to be sniffed at, and the horse itself has a future in Group races throughout Europe. Kailani was an odd one to judge, as he was well-beaten but he never looked happy at all and was given a hopeless ride by his jockey anyway (sent ridiculously wide round the bend, got into trouble again). I’m willing to give her another chance on genuine softer ground and perhaps she needs a slightly easier race or a much stronger pace. Anomaly ran his heart out from the front, looking like he was going to finish well back but managed to stick on for 4th. He’s certainly game and there are races to be won with him, albeit in slightly less competitive heats than that one. Selections below.

Although the form of his maiden is hardly spellbinding and he’s a little bit to find on the figures with some of these, YAZDI (17:00) looks set for a big run in a race where they’ll be an emphasis on stamina, given 1m4f looked inadequate for him when winning last time out. The booking of Frankie Dettori for Brian Meehan is interesting in itself and with the ground unlikely to be an issue, I think he should be even shorter than his current single-figure price. Twice raced, not seen as a juvenile and making his debut over 10f at Newmarket. Yazdi finished a 4 length third, looking woefully outpaced through most of the contest before staying on really nicely under considerate enough handling. That race has worked out well with the winner narrowly touched off in the Chester Vase, the runner-up is an 8/1 chance for the earlier King Edward VII whilst the 5th is likely to be a solid handicapper rated in the 90’s before too long. It was a decent contest and the market knew this for Yazdi’s last outing, sent off a 2/5 chance. That was on softer ground and he yet again shaped as if further would suit, taking a little while to get into top gear but eventually pulling seven lengths clear. That race wasn’t a great one but it was the manner in victory which was more taking, especially for a 2 mile contest for three year-olds. He looks obviously suited to such a stamina test having taken his time to fully accelerate over 1m4f and a stamina test looks the best port of call (has some winners over fences in his bloodline) right now and it is probably a decent time to catch him in these sorts of races, especially facing rivals who might not handle the distance quite yet. Frankie Dettori is quite a rare booking for the yard in recent times and he has a fair 9/46 record since the beginning of 2009, he’s is certainly more positive than the usual Meehan affair of Shane Kelly or Martin Dwyer. The ground isn’t an issue, this looks a weak contest and Yazdi looks ideally suited for the step up in trip. He should be closer to the 7/2 mark than his current price and I have him as a clear favourite in this race.

There’s such an obvious bet for this wide-open (on paper) handicap in my view that it beggars belief that it isn’t much shorter. DECENT FELLA (17:35) has plenty in his favour today, not least that the 265 day absence should be a help rather than a hindrance and this race looks to have been the plan all along, so he’s more than capable of playing a big part in a race in which he went very close in last year. The selection runs all his best races fresh, seen when landing a very competitive Newmarket handicap on his reappearance effort last year. That race has thrown up many horses who’ve proved that they are top handicappers and it just shows that the selection is perfectly capable of running a huge race on seasonal debut. He wasn’t quite seen to best effect in subsequent starts last year, although his run in last year’s renewal gives us plenty of hope that he’ll go even better this time around. He travelled supremely well on the soft ground but could only manage 4th, 1.5 lengths behind the winner. That was off a 6lbs lower mark but there’s plenty to suggest that Decent Fella is continuing to improving, his win at Goodwood (again, coming off a short absence) from a rating of 93 (some fair sorts in behind) providing evidence of this. Although showing little on his next start, the winter break should have done him good and as emphasised throughout, there should be little to fear regarding the absence. Andrew Balding is a dab hand at getting them fit regardless and all looks set for a big run today. There should be no issues regarding ground, the track and the fact that he’s had a breathing operation can only help (does sometime finish his races off a little tamely). He should be closer to the 9/1 mark in my book and with the draw in 28 looking ideal, it’s only the fact that it’s traditionally such a competitive race that is stopping me from getting seriously involved. The usual stakes will suffice.

[notification_box]Bets

17:00 Ascot – Yazdi; 2pts @ 6/1 Stan James

17:35 Ascot – Decent Fella; 2pts @ 20/1 Bet365, BetVictor (bog) [/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 21st June 2012

Three selections from Ascot today. There was no selections on Wednesday and Tuesday was a frustrating day for a number of reasons. Firstly, Spice Fair was given an absolutely inept ride by Jimmy Fortune as he was given an hilarious amount to do, held-up so far back and he stood no chance however good the horse was. He did well to finish 6th in the end and should have at least finished in the first four. It matters little for win-only purposes, but it’s disappointing when they’d have never stood a chance anyway. Dylanbaru was frustrating too, as he ran a brilliant race to finish 3rd. He was stopped in his run about 2f out which won’t have helped but I’m not entirely convinced it would have made a difference. It was a gallant run nonetheless but he doesn’t strike me as one to follow, as I can’t quite see him training on. There is perhaps a race in Ireland that he’s capable of winning this season. Selections below.

KAILANI (15:05) didn’t really live up to expectations in the Oaks when behind a few of these but she was unsuited by the quick ground alongside the unique nature of Epsom itself. With rain expected, a more conventional track in front of her and likely more positive tactics employed, she looks a good bet to overturn the last time out form of the likes of The Fugue and Shirocco Star. She’s a thrice raced filly who won well in an average Yarmouth maiden last season on her only start in 2011, before reappearing in fine style at Newmarket in the listed Pretty Polly Stakes. She won by 7 lengths on the soft ground and although she may have been flattered a little bit with the margin of victory, she definitely looked a filly to continue to improve, especially when upped further in distance. Unsurprisingly she was supplemented for the Oaks on the back of that performance but she didn’t make much of an impression, finishing 7th, beaten six lengths. They went no pace that day, so she was obviously going to struggle due to being held-up and was hampered quite badly early on too. It was a run easy to excuse for a whole number of reasons and she returns here looking underestimated in the market. The rain forecast will definitely suit, but even if it doesn’t then I don’t necessarily think that would be the end of her chances, she’ll unlikely encounter such traffic problems and I can’t imagine such hold-up tactics being employed again anyway. She’s a bit unproven at this 1m4f trip but shapes as if she’ll stay, and at these sorts of prices, is well worth a bet. I have her at around a 5/1 chance and it is fair to say that if she came here without having run in the Oaks, then she could well have been that sort of price today. The Fugue has a solid form chance but won’t be ideally suited by rain and I’m not entirely convinced she’ll see out a testing 1m4f quite as well as people think. With all this in mind, Kailani is a nice enough bet, especially so if the rain does fall.

ENERGIZER (17:00) is hilariously overpriced, most likely due to it being trained in Germany and there being a couple in this race who have big reputations to live up to. I’m not particularly afraid of anything in this contest and with the step up in trip likely to suit the foreign challenger, he has every chance in this Group 3 contest. He’s fairly lightly-raced, having won a listed event on debut before disappointing in his next two juvenile starts. He’s certainly improved for the winter though (as many out of Monsun do),  narrowly defeated in a Group 3 on seasonal reappearance (stayed on strongly, got going too late) before a similar scenario occurred in the German 2000 Guineas, again getting going too late on. Although there’s plenty of speed on his dam’s side, he looks likely to appreciate the step up to 1m2f and with his sire’s progeny usually benefitting from middle-distances, further improvement looks possible. He’s the highest rated in the field and it’s surprising that he’s been priced up at these double figure odds. True, there are the likes of Starboard and Tales of Grimm, who are being touted as Group animals and will likely show this sort of form in time, but Energizer is almost double the price it should be. His German 2000 Guineas form is hardly disrespectful, he shapes as if the step up in trip will suit and won’t mind the rain that’s forecast. He isn’t the most likely winner but is a fair value bet at double figure odds.

ANOMALY (17:35) could be seriously well-handicapped after winning his maiden comfortably at Newmarket, with the form of that race already receiving a significant boost. The Godolphin trained runner has faced some quite smart animals when running in maidens, bumping into Cubanita on his second start (who has proved herself to be above average) before winning his third start in decent fashion. He was 4.25 lengths clear of 2nd and a further 7 clear of the horse in 3rd, who looks a very interesting middle-distance prospect having won last week. It was certainly a very interesting performance by the selection, given he seems to have an action that may be suited to softer ground, but handled the quicker surface with aplomb. With previous soft ground form, there should be no problems however the ground ends up and I do think there’s plenty of progression still to come from this horse. He looks ideally suited to the step up to middle distances given his running style, was considered for the Derby at one stage and looks like an animal that could have a three figure rating not before long. This of course is a competitive heat, with plenty others who could well improve far past their current rating, but it’s difficult to ignore the chances of Anomaly here. My one main concern would be that his sire only has a 3.8% strike-rate at Ascot, but one of those winners was Immortal Verse in Group Company and plenty of his progeny have run well in big races here, so perhaps they win if good enough. With Silvestre De Sousa likely to be riding with plenty of confidence after a three-timer at Kempton last night,  Anomaly is worth backing up until the 6/1 mark.

[notification_box]Bets

15:05 Ascot – Kailani; 2pts @ 17/2 BetVictor (bog)

17:00 Ascot – Energizer; 2pts @ 14/1 Bet365, Betfred (bog)

17:35 Ascot – Anomaly; 2pts @ 9/1 Betfred, William Hill (bog) [/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 19th June 2012

Two bets for the first day at Royal Ascot, posted below. It’s been a little while since the last blog post and it’s been a case of lack of betting opportunities and the chance to recharge my batteries meant I decided to take a short hiatus. Although we’re in profit for June currently, things have hardly been going well over the last couple of months and it’s always good to take a little bit of time away. As some of you will appreciate, posting this takes time (especially for the reasoning) and that can dent motivation somewhat with other blogs just posting race-time and selection and getting 5x the number of views (even the not particular profitable ones). That being said, I’m looking forward to this week and it should be a quality week of racing, let’s hope that both Frankel and Black Caviar can live up to expectations.

SPICE FAIR (17:00) needs to bounce back after a dismal showing last time but that effort was too bad to be true and there was likely some kind of physical problem. With the Mark Usher yard back amongst the winners after a cold-spell, it could mean that the stable are in more healthy shape and if so, then a back to form Spice Fair should be capable of running a big race with the contest likely to pan out favourably. He improved throughout 2011, starting the season from a rating of 67 and closing the year rated 85. He always shaped that a staying race run at a strong pace would be ideal, with efforts over two miles at Ascot and Kempton suggesting this. He travels really well into his races and with his hold-up style, obviously needs the leaders to come back to him. With this being a 20 runner contest and having plenty of pace-angles, it’s a fair shout that they’ll go a decent clip, which is of course ideal with his way of running. His stamina for the extra four furlongs is untested but he stays two miles well and as previously stated, he’s consistently shaped that he’d be worth a try at this sort of distance (when showing a respectable level of form, of course). Although he’ll need to bounce back after his last start, the form he showed on seasonal reappearance when unlucky in-running would put him in the mix, even though he’s 4lbs higher and I’d be surprised if there wasn’t more to come from him. Spice Fair looks capable of further improvement now upped in trip and with a strongly run race ideal for his way of running, alongside Jimmy Fortune retaking the ride (1/1 on him), then I’ve every hope of outrunning his current price-tag significantly.

I must be missing something blatantly obvious here but DYLANBURU (17:35) would go extremely close if replicating the form of his listed second in Ireland back in May and with that race won by what could be a Group class performer, Dylanburu won’t be far away if running to that level once again. He’s had four starts to date, the first a promising run behind Dawn Approach (favourite for the Coventry) before getting off the mark in a Dundalk maiden. That was only a four runner race but the 2nd and 3rd have both won since, so it wasn’t an horrendous contest by any stretch of the imagination. Pitched into a heavy ground race next time up, he failed to handle the ground and finished last, an effort that is obviously excusable. That might cause a question mark for today if conditions are slow but they’ll be nothing like the conditions he faced that day and he’s definitely worth a chance on more respectable softer conditions. As previously mentioned, his second behind Mick Channon’s Cay Verde signalled a return to form, alongside the fact that he’s proved himself that more than capable of going very close at a decent grade. He stayed on really nicely and the 4th home in that contest has gone on to finish in the places in a listed race, so hardly disgraceful form. Dylanburu is competitive priced at double figure odds (I have him at around the 7/1 mark) and although the current Hannon favourite might be a notch better than this grade, so might Dylanburu and there’s value in his current odds.

[notification_box]Bets

17:00 Ascot – Spice Fair; 2pts @ 33/1 BetVictor (bog)

17:35 Ascot – Dylanburu; 2pts @ 10/1 Betfred, Ladbrokes (bog) [/notification_box]

Longshot Betting – 8th June 2012

AZRAEL (15:55) had been in decent form this season prior to a seemingly lifeless effort at Haydock 13 days ago. However, the ground was riding so firm that day that it’s excusable (never really travelled) and the step back up in trip to 7f, alongside the likely ease in the ground all mean he’s capable of improving on his current handicap rating of 83. He was a promising juvenile, running with credit in a Group 3 contest to conclude his two year-old campaign and although his efforts last season weren’t that great, it did mean that he fell in the handicap somewhat and to be fair, his 3 year old season only lasted until July in the first place. He returned in much better form this season, going well for a long way on seasonal reappearance at Doncaster over this 7f, just tiring in the final furlong before another solid effort, this time over 6f at the same venue. He shaped that day that he really needed the extra furlong and also emphasised the fact that he does handle a bit of cut, which bodes well for today. On the basis of that run, he’s more than capable of playing a hand in this race especially given how he’s 1lb lower. With a line through his last start at Haydock, he’s overpriced here today on the basis of his two previous efforts in 2012. The easier conditions should suit, as he has bits and pieces of form to suggest that he’ll go on it, looks capable of improvement given that he’s only four and a rating in the 90’s is far from wishful thinking. He’s overpriced at these double figure odds.

SILVERY MOON (19:45) was a confident selection of mine two starts ago and I was right in the sense that he’d run a big race but unfortunately he just ran into a very well-treated rival (who went on to frank the form at a higher level). Conditions at Doncaster will definitely suit and he has no issues with the straight, galloping track and the soft conditions will be ideal, so I’m expecting another big effort. A big imposing type, he finally started to mature physically and won an Ayr handicap off a mark of 77 back in September when encountering softer conditions.  He won that day with plenty in hand (idled) and looked capable of becoming an above-average handicapper when encountering suitable conditions. He came on for his seasonal reappearance when running big races at Ripon on his last two starts. The first I’ve already mentioned, coming clear of third but just running into the improving Memory Cloth. The latter came on ground that wasn’t quite as soft, which at this competitive level he might not quite get away with and I’m convinced he’s the sort of horse who needs a big field and strong pace to show his best. I don’t quite think the more positive front-running tactics suited and although his 3rd place was respectable, I think he has every chance to reverse the form with Honeymead. Doncaster as a track should suit, having had previous form at the vaguely similar Redcar. A horse with such a pronounced, round-action needs soft ground and he’ll get that today with all the rain around. This is a competitive race but Silvery Moon has every chance of being rated 10lbs higher than his current mark when encountering more testing conditions and with that likely, ranks as a decent bet.

Bets

15:55 Newmarket – Azrael; 1pt @ 16/1 BetVictor, William Hill (bog)

19:45 Doncaster – Silvery Moon; 2pts @ 8/1 Bet365, William Hill (bog)

Longshot Betting – 5th June 2012

Just the one selection from Redcar, coming in the main race of the day. Monday was frustrating for a number of reasons, mainly due to Gold Rules being used as some sort of pacemaker. He’s never front-run and the fractions he set meant he stood no chance of seeing out the 1m3f trip. However, he stuck about a lot longer than I expected him to given the strong pace and he’ll be of interest over shorter next time, likely in a weaker grade. Over 1m2f, in a 0-70 contest on quick ground he should go very well, so I’ll be looking out for that in the near future. Royal Box was well-backed into 7/1 but didn’t really take much interest during the early part of the race, albeit staying on well towards the end of the race. He’s of little interest unless the ground comes up really soft, but he’s probably one to avoid. Selection below.

LADY ROYALE (15:45) hasn’t been at her best since winning at Ripon last August but she’s now 1lb lower in the weights than she was that day and has the blinkers reapplied, which usually means she runs about 10lbs better than without them. That, alongside conditions today being likely to suit alongside a likely strong pace means that she’s overpriced in this contest. Like many from this sire, she’s a speedy type who came to hand early, but showed plenty of promise last season when the blinkers were reapplied, winning off ratings of 75 and 81. She looked like a horse who might be able to hack it off a bit higher than that but lost her way somewhat towards the end of the season, although her last run of the season in a big-field York handicap wasn’t completely devoid of promise, meeting traffic problems and she’d have definitely finished closer had it not being for them. She’s ran twice in 2012, her seasonal reappearance coming without any sort of headgear over 6f (which is a little far for her) on unsuitably soft ground, it’s no surprise that she was well-beaten. Lady Royale was last seen at Wolverhampton when sporting cheekpieces and she was beaten 5 lengths. This obviously doesn’t make her of interest on a bare form perspective but she was dropped in from a wide draw and held-up, which I don’t think she enjoys at all and she was hardly given a tough time when she was obviously not going to win. That being so, she’s now of more interest with blinkers reapplied. All three of her victories have come with this headgear and last season, she improved around 9lbs or so for the switch from cheekpieces to blinkers (wasn’t the first time she’d worn them) so there’s every chance that could happen again today, especially if given a more positive ride. Decent ground and a strong pace are Lady Royale’s want, she’ll get that today and with both her rider and trainer in really good form at the moment, she’s ridiculously overpriced at these sorts of odds. It may be that she hasn’t trained on or that she hasn’t yet come to hand this season, but she’s more than capable of going very close if putting it altogether today, which I think is plausible given she’ll have the race run to suit, with blinkers back on and has fallen to a workable mark.

[notification_box]Bets

15:45 Redcar – Lady Royale; 2pts @ 28/1 BetVictor, Betfred (bog) [/notification_box]