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The Brigadier

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  1. A terrific days racing is in store at Ascot for Champions Day with the ground likely to ride on the soft side on the straight track and softer on the round course. Here’s my thoughts on the 6 races. Ascot 1.25 The British Champions Long Distance Cup is run over two miles and has attracted a quality field of twelve. Last years very easy winner Trueshan is back to defend his title and following a impressive win over Stradivarius in the Prix Du Cadran over 2 miles 4 furlongs will surely be hard to beat. The ground should be slow enough for Alan King’s stayer and he can confirm Paris form with the Gosden’s super stayer Stradivarius. Princess Zoe was behind that pair in Paris so is easily dismissed here. Hamish defied a long layoff when beating Hukum (winner since) on the all weather at Kempton but has to prove his stamina stepping up in trip. If he stays he could be a contender but without being boring this can go to Trueshan who’s easy win in this last year will live long in the memory. TRUESHAN 2 points win @ 7/4 William Hill Ascot 2.00 A maximum field of 20 go to post for the 6F Group one sprint and has an open look about it. Godolphin’s Creative Force has kept his form well throughout the season and should be thereabouts. Similar comments can be applied to Archie Watson’s Dragon Symbol. Minzaal is lightly raced and a possible also following a nice comeback Foy the Shadwell team of Owen Burrows. The one I like here is David Evan’s Rohaan who ran an astonishing race at The Curragh last time over 5F in the Flying Five. Watching the race back again you’ll see he was left at least ten lengths at the start but gradually made up the deficit to get within 3/4L of Dragon Symbol at the death. He’s two from two at the Berkshire track and Ryan Moore has been booked. He’ll do for me each way with enhanced place terms. ROHAAN 1 1/2 points each way @ 5/1 1/5th 12345 William Hill Ascot 2.35 The third race on the card is the Group 1 Fillies And Mares Stakes and is the weakest Group race of the day. Aidan O’Brien’s super three year old filly Snowfall has been re-routed here following the defection of stablemate Love and has a banker look about her. On official ratings she is 10lb and upwards better than these and has beaten many of them comprehensively earlier in the season. As long as she’s got over her race in the Arc a fortnight ago surely she wins well here. She wasn’t disgraced that day when finishing 6th and with Ryan Moore on top I really can’t oppose her here. She’s the day’s best bet. Andrew Balding runs a couple and his Invite made a winning stable debut for him at Chester and is maybe the one to chase Snowfall home all be it at a comfortable distance. SNOWFALL 4 points win 4/5 Bet365 Ascot 3.10 The Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes is worth a guaranteed £1.1 million and this one mile contest run on the straight track has ten quality animals entered this year. Palace Pier’s only defeat in his 10 race career came in this race last year but he had excuses as the ground was very soft and he lost a shoe. He’s bounced back from that blip to win all four of his contests this season and is without doubt the one they all have to beat for Messr’s Gosden’s and Dettori. It’s an intriguing contest because we have the unbeaten William Haggas trained Baaeed who brings into the race a perfect 5 from 5 starts. There’s only 4lb between the big two here and it’s without doubt a race to savour. There are some big prices about some smart horses with the chunk of the market taken up by the front pair including last years winner The Revenant who would of preferred it even softer and Alcohol Free who may not have stayed 10F last time and can be competitive. Charlie Appleby runs his smart three year old Master Of The Seas but the Breeders Cup Turf is his primary end of season target (I most certainly wouldn’t put anyone off taking the 12/1 about him before this contest for the Del Mar race) and won’t disgrace himself. It’s a tough call but Palace Pier has been there and done it and I expect him to confirm his position as champion miler of the world today. PALACE PIER 2 points win @ 7/4 William Hill Ascot 3.50 £1.2 million is there to be won in this 10F Group 1 Champion Stakes run over 10F and has attracted a quality field of 10. John and Thady Gosden’s Mishriff comes here following one of the most impressive wins of the season when scooting clear of his rivals in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York in August although it could be argued that beating Alenquer and Love who have both been beaten since with likely non stayer Alcohol Free further down the field wasn’t as impressive as first thought. He has met his main rival here previously over 2F further than today when chasing home Charlie Appleby’s Derby winner Adayar in the King George at Ascot. Mishriff will be 7lb better off today for 1 3/4L and should appreciate the shorter trip. Adayar missed work prior to his follow up run from the King George in the Arc De Triomphe a fortnight ago when racing a bit too keenly but not been disgraced in finishing 4th beaten some 3 3/4L. He’s dropping back in trip here and with his exuberant way of racing the trip may actually suit him and it would not be a surprise to see William Buick make plenty of use of him rather than restraining him as in previous starts. Last years winner Addeybb is back to defend his title and will not be disgraced though ideally could of done with softer conditions whilst Arc 5th Sealiway was only just behind Adayar that day so can’t be totally ruled out. The best outsider may be Haggas’s Al Aasy who may well be suited by a strong pace and is probably better than he’s shown in his last couple of runs. A cracking contest with slight preference for Mishriff to add to his career earnings of over £11 million here with regular rider David Egan in the saddle. MISHRIFF 2 points win @ 7/4William Hill Ascot 4.30 The card finishes with a cracking 1 mile handicap, The Balmoral Handicap with a maximum field of 20 going to post with John & Thady Gosden appearing to hold the key to the race with the front two in the market of Sunray Major to be ridden by Frankie Dettori and King Leonidas (James Doyle). The former impressed when winning at the track over a furlong shorter a fortnight ago and despite a 6lb penalty (which he needed to get a run here) is one pound well in. He must go close but at current prices of under 3/1 looks scant value now. Stable companion King Leonidas has by all accounts been working very well since his eye catching third at Newbury last month and each way is maybe the value call here. Thought good enough to contest the Jersey Stakes at last year’s Royal Ascot (where he went off 9/4 fav.) he ran well following an absence of 457 days to finish third in a decent class 2 Newbury handicap and the reports are that he’s come forward for that run. Nugget comes here in good form but has avoided easy ground throughout his career and may just find the good to soft ground against him whilst Aldaary impressed last time and should be on the premises. A tough handicap with preference for the Gosden ‘2nd string’ in a race where he could too a good day but having the 1-2 here. KING LEONIDAS 2 points each way @ 11/2 1/5th 1234567 Betfred
  2. A decent day with a final points profit of just over 20 points.
  3. We’re getting towards the end of the flat season now and Saturday’s racing very much has an end of season feel. The ground is drying but good at Newmarket and similarly drying but softer at York. Here’s my thoughts on the 7 ITV races :- Newmarket 1.45 The 10F Zetland Stakes is a Group 3 contest for two year olds and has attracted a field of nine this year. Aidan O’Brien runs Bluegrass - a winner of A Curragh maiden in August and although stepping up in grade here shouldn’t be totally dismissed. His son Donnacha saddles Unconquerable who defied his 33/1 odds when finishing 3rd in the Royal Lodge over a mile a fortnight ago and should appreciate the step up in trip. He too has a chance but both may struggle to beat the Godolphin first string Hafit who cost a mere 2.1 million as a yearling. A winner on his debut on the July course he stepped up on that run when chasing home a well thought of Kevin Ryan trained colt at Haydock a month ago. He’ll appreciate the step up to 10F today and the reports are that he went clear of his stable mate and rival today Goldspur in a gallop earlier this week. William Buick has chosen him here and he has a big chance. HAFIT 3 points win @ 2/1 Bet365 York 2.02 The 6F Rockingham Stakes is a listed race for two year olds run over 6F and has quite an open looks about it this year. Officially the best in are George Boughey’s Hellomydarlin and William Haggas’s Canonized. Both have had plenty of racing this season and it may pay to look beyond the pair and find something that may be more progressive. That one maybe Richard Hannon’s Witch Hunter who was unlucky not take the scalp of the 101 rated Ribhi at Salisbury last time when he was denied a clear run inside the final furlong. A reproduction of that run would put him in back in contention with the two aforementioned 100 rated horses and he maybe the value bet small each way. WITCH HUNTER 1 point each way @ 5/1 1/5th 1234 William Hill Newmarket 2.20 Charlie Appleby could be in for a big day with his juveniles at Newmarket today and his Coroebus will be hard to beat in this Group 3 Emirates Autumn Stakes run over a mile. He was matched for plenty at 1.01 when scooting clear with a couple to run in the Royal Lodge a fortnight ago over course and distance but was reeled in late on by Royal Patronage who got up in the final stride. He’ll no doubt be ridden with a bit more restraint by William Buick today but remains an exciting prospect and is the most likings winner here. Aidan O’Brien can never be dismissed in these races and he saddles three here with the pick being United Nations, a Naas maiden winner who is the pick of Ryan Moore. A lively outsider who is held in high esteem and worked well apparently in the week is the Frankie Dettori ridden Dirtyoldtown who I’m told won’t disgrace himself but this should be going to Coroebus. COROEBUS 3 points win @ 4/5 William Hills York 2.37 11 go to post for this 10F class 2 handicap with the likely favourite Bay Bridge trained by Sir Michael Stoute coming here on the back of a 147 day break and a 15lb rise in the weights. He looks worth taking on despite his connections. Second in is the John and Thady Gosden trained Faisal who’s latest form behind Cambridgeshire runner up Anmaat looks decent form now. The problem with him is he’s only raced on fast or artificial surfaces and there’s little soft ground form in his bloodline as well. I’m interested in the Roger Fell trained Cockalorum who’s disappointing effort at Ayr last time can be put down to the fast ground and the fact that this habitual front runner wasn’t able to lead. He had previously been a model of consistency hitting the frame in decent handicaps at Goodwood and twice here in the John Smiths Cup and Skybet Handicap off of the same mark as today’s. I’ll be backing him each way. COCKALORUM 1 point each way @ 14/1 1/5th 1234 William Hill Newmarket 2.55 This years Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes has attracted a field of 8 with another Charlie Appleby/William Buick favourite in Native Trail who will be hard to beat and could easily be the last leg of a winning Godolphin treble in the three Group two year old races today. He looked special when shooting 3 1/2L clear of his field headed by the previously unbeaten Point Lonsdale in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh last month and with conditions to suit should confirm himself as the best two year old colt around by winning this. Ger Lyons sends over his Kodiac colt Straight Answer who is unbeaten in two starts and has to be respected although this is a big step up from listed company to Group 1 whilst Roger Varian saddles Bayside Bay who impressed when beating Reach For The Moon in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes last time at Doncaster and appeals as the biggest danger. I can’t resist a small each way play though on the Hugo Palmer trained Dubawi Legend who was so impressive on his debut at Doncaster and although disappointing subsequently in the Acomb was found to be wrong after that run and at a big price I will back him small each way though the favourite as stated earlier will be tough to beat. DUBAWI LEGEND 1/2 point each way @ 16/1 1/5 123 Paddy Power York 3.15 A maximum field of 22 go to post for this 6F sprint handicap which as one could imagine at this time of year is wide open. Gulliver has won the last two renewals and if stall 21 doesn’t hinder his chances should be thereabouts whilst York special Copper Knight has obvious claims along with Mondammej who’s form ties in together. I like Jedd O’Keefe’s Air Raid at a big price here. It can’t be soft enough for him so a shower or two wouldn’t go amiss to be honest but he’s fallen back onto his last winning mark and has had wind surgery since we last saw him. I think he’s worth chancing at a big price. AIR RAID 1 point each way @ 33/1 1/5th 123456 Paddy Power Newmarket 3.35 A maximum turnout of 34 go to post for this famous handicap The Cesarewitch which is famous for starting in one county and finishing in another. Willie Mullins has won the last three renewals and saddles five including last year’s winner Great White Shark who has to race here off of a 10lb higher mark and doesn’t come into the race in the same form as last year. Likely favourite is M C Muldoon who was an unlucky loser of the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting and although 4lb higher stays well and has the assistance of Ryan Moore. He should be on anyone’s short list, as should the Nicky Henderson trained Buzz. He’s a very interesting runner who hasn’t been seen on the flat since September 2019 when trained by Hughie Morrison. He’s had a highly successful national Hunt career since with Henderson and has steadily risen through the ranks to warrant being called a serious Champion Hurdle contender with an official mark of 155. He has been away to Newbury for a racecourse gallop and Henderson has done well in this race before. He looks a very well handicapped horse and if he stays (he actually only ran up to 1m 4F on the flat when with Morrison) he should run a big race under Oisin Murphy from stall 3. The draw is interesting as the last three winners have all exited from a high number but I have always favoured a low number as there is a dog leg turn after a couple of furlongs which if forced wide can add yardage onto your journey. Buzz will be my main play although I can’t resist a small each way bet on the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Live Your Dream who did us a favour when winning in the Summer on the July course. He bumped into a plot horse of Charlie Byrne’s in Turnpike Trip in the Cesarewitch trial last time over course and distance finishing an honourable 2L runner up with daylight back to the remainder. He can race off of the same handicap mark here despite being put up 4lb by the assessor making him the best handicapped horse in the field. The icing on the cake is the booking of young apprentice Adam Farragher who is attached to the William Haggas stable and scored a remarkable four timer at Chester last Saturday on his first visit there. He has to come out of stall 35 so I’m happy to have one drawn high and one drawn low. BUZZ 2 points each way @ 17/2 1/5th 1234567 William Hill LIVE YOUR DREAM 1 point each way @ 12/1 1/5th 1234567 Paddy Power
  4. Profit of just under 6 points on the day. Saturday's thoughts are now on line
  5. ITV are showing 9 races Friday afternoon and with the ground drying at Newmarket I’m expecting perfect ground there with just a slight ease whilst at York the ground is likely to be soft. Here’s my thoughts on the nine:- Newmarket 1.50 The Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes is run over 5F and has this year attracted a healthy turn out of 13 runners. Likely favourite is the Hugo Palmer trained Hierarchy who was just touched off in the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury last time and drops to the minimum trip here. He is a major player and should go very close if handling the slightly easier ground. Irish raider Twilight Jet will handle the ground and comes here on the back of his best run when 5th of 10 beaten only a length and a half in the Group 1 Middle Park and like Hierarchy is also dropping in distance. Although the stalls are placed in the centre it wouldn’t be a shock to see the field navigate over to this stands side as in previous meetings meaning that high numbers may have an advantage. With Hierarchy drawn in 13 as opposed to Twilight Jet in stall 2 he is the small stakes selection. HIERARCHY 2 points win @ 5/2 William Hill Chepstow 2.10 Just short of 3 miles this is a veterans handicap chase with a wide open look to it. David Pipe has his Nicholshayne team in fine form currently and won this race two years ago with the likeable Vieux Lion Rouge off of a 6lb lower mark and can go close to repeating that feat on his first run since falling in the Grand National in April. His owner Professor Caroline Tisdall actually sponsors this race so you would think that her own horse will be primed to try and win back her money. It’s a tough contest mind as plenty are having their first run of the season and without market clues just a small wager is suggested. VIEUX LION ROUGE 1 point each way @ 10/1 1/5th 123 Bet365 Newmarket 2.25 An open looking Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes which is for two year old fillies. Good American was impressive when winning on her debut but that was only a Salisbury maiden and although the runner up that day has won since this represents a big step up in grade on easier ground. Gifted Gold is a similar type in that she won her maiden at Newcastle (2nd won since) but faces stiffer opposition here. Pearl Glory followed up wins at Lingfield and Salisbury by a one length second spot in the Group 3 Dick Poole at Salisbury and is another witch claims. Alllayaali and Perfect News come here on the back of nursery wins and are others to respect. It’s a hard race to crack with slight preference for Allayaali who impressed when winning a Doncaster nursery and may have more to offer here. ALLAYAALI 1 point each way @ 11/1 1/5th 123 Bet365 Chepstow 2.45 The Persian War Novices Hurdle signals the start of the National Hunt season for some and this years renewal run over 2m 3F 100yds has 8 nice novices going to post. Bar the two outsiders the remaining six can all be given a chance with the Nicky Henderson trained First Street who’s chasing a hat trick in with a good chance. Also in with a big chance is the Paul Nicholls trained Paso Doble who made all the running when winning easily at Kempton in May. Nicholls took this meeting by storm last season with 4 winners a piece on both the Friday and Saturday and would have had many decent novices to pick from to run here. To small stakes he’s the pick here. PASO DOBLE 1 point win @ 3/1 Bet365 Newmarket 3.00 The Group 2 Godolphin Stud & Stable Staff Awards Challenge Stakes is run over 7F and has attracted 9 runners this year. The Godolphin pair Al Suhail and D’bai met last time out with the latter finishing 3/4L ahead of his stable companion and can confirm that form today. Chindit drops a furlong and is the best in here at the weights and should be thereabouts. With Thanks bounced back to form last weekend in soft ground at Ascot but may find the drying ground against him whilst Double Or Bubble would have preferred rattling fast summer ground and is dismissed for those reasons. John Quinn’s Safe Voyage has been a fine servant over the years and this eight year old maybe the best value in the race. Ideally he would want it even softer but I believe there will be sufficient cut in the ground for him to perform to his best. 7F with cut in the ground are his optimum conditions and I’ll be playing small each way. SAFE VOYAGE 1 point each way @ 11/1 1/5 123 Bet365 York 3.15 A competitive 20 runner 1 mile handicap with bookmakers currently betting 8/1 the field. The ground is officially soft here and my two against the field are both proven mudlarks. Top weight Raising Sand may now be into the veteran stage but with the ground in his favour and a favourable low draw I can see him running well despite top weight. He’s 6lb lower than his last winning mark so is no doubt well handicapped. Nicola Currie has won on him in the past and gets the leg up today. My main selection though is last years winner Ouzo who has fallen to the identical handicap mark that he was successful from that day with the only negative being that he is drawn so wide in stall 19 which may not be ideal. Sean Levey is in the saddle today. OUZO 1 point each way @ 9/11/5th 123456 Paddy Power RAISING SAND 1/2 point each way @ 12/1 1/5th 12345 BetVictor Newmarket 3.35 Inspiral heads the market for the Group 1 Fillies Mile and will be very hard to beat as long as she handles ground with some ease in it. Currently favourite for both the 2022 1000 Guineas and Oaks she’s done nothing wrong in her three career starts to date winning a Newmarket maiden, Sandown listed contest and the Group 2 Doncaster May Hill all in the style of a very smart filly. Frankie Dettori has been on board for all three starts and keeps the association going today. Wild Beauty is comfortably held on Sandown form whilst Mise En Scene, a winner of the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood will need to raise her game further to worry John and Thady Gosden’s favourite. The Aidan O’Brien candidate Concert Hall has to be taken seriously but this for me is all about Inspiral and she’s a confident selection. INSPIRAL 5 points win @ 4/5 William Hill York 3.50 13 go to post for this 14F three year old handicap with top weight Mahrajaan a progressive handicapper trained by William Haggas and owned by Shadwell who will be a tough nut to crack. A ready winner at Hamilton over 12F in August he steps up 2F in trip which hopefully will suit and he can take this before warranting a step up in grade. Ravenscraig Castle was third in the Melrose over course and distance at the Ebor meeting and looks a danger along with Surrey Gold who looks a horse with a bit more to offer. MAHRAJAAN 2 points win @ 3/1 Bet365 Newmarket 4.10 A competitive 15 runner 12F handicap for three year olds with many progressive sorts. Top weight Siskany has done little wrong this season and has been gelded since last seen at Goodwood in July when runner up in a valuable three year olds 12F handicap. He goes on any ground and with the Charlie Appleby team in such fine form this Autumn looks sure to be thereabouts. Also towards the top of the handicap is Charlie Fellowes’s Injazati who’s chasing a four timer though is up 7lb for his latest success at Newbury. Roger Varian’s Moshaawer is dropping in trip from his excellent second in the Melrose at York and is another possible if coping with the 2F shorter distance whilst Boltaway is worth a mention as he’s also been in top form of late for trainer Roger Charlton. Many with chances but I’ll take Siskany to see them all off. SISKANY 3 points win @ 7/2 Bet365
  6. disappointing day with just the one place!
  7. 8 races on ITV Saturday afternoon and the ground looks likely to ease with plenty of rain around the country so with that in mind I’ve looked at them on softish ground. Newmarket 1.45 A well contested 10F three year old fillies handicap looks open with many fillies holding claims. Swoon trained by local trainer Sir Michael Stoute is the most interesting runner in the 14 strong field, coming here having won novice stakes contests at Wolverhampton and Carlisle and shouldn’t mind if the ground was to soften up being by Frankel out of a mare who adored soft ground. Her initial mark of 86 looks workable and she should be thereabouts. Roger Varian saddles two in Ms Ghandi and Ensemble and it’s the latter who maybe best of that pair although she has yet to encounter easy ground. Achelois is towards the head of the market and rightly so having won three of her last five starts including on soft ground at Goodwood in July. It’s a tough competitive handicap where stakes should be kept small but preference may just be for the William Buick ridden Achelois for her trainer Andrew Balding. ACHELOIS 1 point each way @ 11/2 1/5th 1234 BetVictor Ascot 2.05 A 5F listed race with several sprinters contesting this who have been on the go all season. The best in at the weights is Minzaal but he hasn’t been seen since finishing third in the Middle Park over a year ago. Hurricane Ivor arrives in top form but does have to shoulder a 5lb penalty for his Group 3 victory at Newbury last time out. Tis Marvellous was just behind Hurricane Ivor last time and has claims although if the ground went very soft that wouldn’t suit either of that pair. Dakota Gold has won the last two runnings of this race and won’t mind slow ground so he has to be a player but the horse I’m interested in is Karl Burke’s three year old sprinter Significantly who’s already shown decent form at the Berkshire track with his best effort coming on heavy ground at the Royal meeting when winning the 5F three year olds handicap. Just behind Hurricane Ivor and Tis Marvellous at Newbury last time after starting slowly he may be able to turn the tables now with a cleaner start back on slower ground. SIGNIFICANTLY 1 1/2 points each way @ 13/2 1/5th 123 Bet365 Newmarket 2.20 A maximum field of 30 go to post for this 6F Tattersalls October Auction Stakes with prize money all the way down to tenth position. There’s a vast majority of these that have no realistic chance and despite the numbers the main contenders can be singled out. Fearby won’t mind easy ground and Ed Bethell has booked Ryan Moore to ride his colt. He’s the best treated in the race and has to be part of any staking plan. Others with claims include the Marco Botti trained Tatsumaki who’s on a hat trick of victories following wins on the July course here and on the all weather at Newcastle whilst Ed Walker’s Piffle, owned by his mother is another on a hat trick although both that pair have yet to encounter easy ground. Richard Hannon does well in this type of race and it would be no shock if his Foden stepped up from his easy 5 1/2L Lingfield soft ground maiden from 105 days ago and was competitive. Also in with a shout is the Simon Pearce trained Stubble Field who pushed the favourite all the way on his debut in a Ascot novices stakes. I’ll play Fearby as my main bet but can’t resist an each way play on Foden also. FEARBY 2 points win @ 7/2 William Hill FODEN 1 point each way @ 12/1 1/5th 12345 Ascot 2.40 The Cumberland Lodge Stakes is a Group 3 contest run over 12F with the likely favourite being Hukum who has to carry a 3lb penalty here for his Group 3 Newbury victory in August. He was rather disappointing last time out when turned over at odds on on the all weather and although he will probably enjoy racing back on the turf looks scant value to me at around the 2/1 mark. I’ll take him on with the progressive Roger Varian runner Title who on official ratings at these weights today only has a pound to find with Hukum. He bolted up in a Doncaster handicap on easy ground over this trip at the Leger meeting and although this represents a step up in grade let’s not forget he was third in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot to Arc outsider Alenquer. Hughie Morrison’s Quickthorn comes here in decent form also and can also make his presence felt but I’ll stick with Title. TITLE 2 points win @ 7/2 Bet365 Newmarket 2.55 The Group 1 Sun Chariot is the feature race of the day run over 1 mile of the Rowley mile for three year old fillies and mares. The front two in the betting have solid chances in Aidan O’Brien’s Mother Earth who was very unlucky in Ireland last time and has been a model of consistency throughout her career (only ever been out of the frame once in 14 career starts). She looks sure to be thereabouts. Snow Lantern is another consistent filly trained by Richard Hannon who had Mother Earth 1/2L behind in second when winning the Falmouth Stakes on the July course here back in July. There shouldn’t be much between them today. If the ground was too easy further that would be against the likes of Primo Bacio and Lavenders Blue with Irish raider Epona Plays becoming interesting if the ground went bad. I’ll take Snow Lantern to win. SNOW LANTERN 1 point win @ 5/2 Bet365 Ascot 3.15 A Group 3 contest over 6F with the conditions looking spot on for the Archie Watson trained Glen Shiel who loves the mud. Officially the best in at these weights today he’s back at the scene of his Group 1 victory at Champions Day last Autumn under Hollie Doyle. He’s run well all season and today’s conditions look ideal for him having to carry no penalty for that Group 1 victory. With Hollie Doyle not around Paul Mulrennan gets the call up and he has actually won on the horse last year. Great Ambassador ran a blinder in the Ayr Gold Cup when comprehensively winning his race on his side but was chinned on the line by the enterprisingly ridden Bielsa on the other side of the track. He’s 8lb better off with Bielsa here and has obvious claims though he’s one who doesn’t want soft ground so if the ground is on the boggy side preference is for Glen Shiel. If the ground got very bad then I wouldn’t be shocked to see Joseph Tuite’s new acquisition Lullaby Moon run well. He won the Redcar Two Hear Old Trophy over 6F on soft ground on this day last year and has been campaigned over further in three starts this season for Ralph Beckett. If the ground gets very bad he’s worth a small each way interest. GLEN SHIEL 2 points win @ 7/2 Bet365 LULLABY MOON (only if ground is soft/heavy) 1/2 point each way @ 40/1 1/5th 1234 Paddy Power Redcar 3.35 A smaller field than normal for the William Hill Two Year Old Trophy with 15 going to post for this listed contest run over 6F. The ground is key here with market leaders Vintage Clarets and Chipotle both unproven on soft ground. With doubts over those I’m going to take a chance a throw a dart at a big priced runner in the Adrian Nicholls runner Poetikel Piece who has had the one run when 6th of 8 in a fast ground Haydock maiden. Hardly form good enough to trouble horses rated in the 90’s and even 100’s but he lost his chance at the start that day and his canny trainer who has in his care the smart three year old sprinter Mo Celita, who’s won 5 of her 7 starts this season, must feel she has more to offer as he gave her a Cheveley park entry earlier in the season. Being by Mayson she may well appreciate some cut in the ground and at a monster price is worth a small each way interest (especially with those firms offering enhanced place terms). POETIKEL PIECE 1/2 point each way @ 33/1 1/5th 1234 Bet365 Ascot 3.50 The final ITV race today and in my opinion the best bet of the day in the Clive Cox trained River Nymph. A 18 runner 7F heritage handicap although with plenty of the wet stuff around it would not be a shock if we were to see a few non runners prior to post time. Cox has two entered in this contest in the aforementioned River Nymph and the progressive Aratus. Adam Kirby has ridden both and it seems significant that he has chosen the former here with the most important factor surely the ground as River Nymph needs the mud whereas Aratus is seemingly better on a sounder surface. He could easily be taken out if the rain persists tomorrow. River Nymph did us a favour when coming late under Kirby to win the Victoria Cup over course and distance back in May and is only 4lb higher now. He’s kept pattern company since and his recent 4th to Silent Escape at Newbury can be marked up as he was struck into and lost a shoe during the race. He should confirm the form from that run with Symbolize , Tomfre , Fundamental and Mums Tipple who were all behind him. Aldaary likes the mud and has kept his form throughout the season. He can also run well today for the Shadwell team of Haggas and Crowley. Also in with a chance is bottom weight Fresh who loves soft ground but has never raced at 7F so has to prove his stamina. I’m very keen on River Nymph who has plenty going for him and can be backed at an each way price still with enhanced places. RIVER NYMPH 2 1/2 points each way @ 11/2 ¼ 1234 Bet365
  8. Loss of 3 points on the day. Our big ante post gamble Chichester was slowly away and never got into it - that's racing as they say!
  9. fingers crossed Alex - the main issue now is the draw. As always there appears to be a bias towards the near side (stands side) and Chichester is drawn on far side in 10. Lets hope he's got enough in hand to make the frame at least.
  10. Cambridgeshire day and with the ground lightning fast on Friday conditions are likely to ride the same again even with the clerk of the course watering after racing. Newmarket 1.50 The Royal Lodge is a group 2 contest for 2 year old colts and geldings run over a mile and has attracted a small but select field of 7 this year. The form horse has to be the Andrew Balding trained Masekela who’s last two runs have been boosted by Native Trail and Bayside Boy. He looks sure to run well with Oisin Murphy in the plate. The hard one to assess is the Charlie Appleby trained Coroebus who beat Saga on his debut at Newmarket and with that one winning well since is obviously smart. Royal Patronage is the other runner with a decent chance chasing a hat trick following wins at Epsom and in Group 3 company at York in the Acomb Stakes. The winner should come from this trio with slight preference for the potential of Coroebus who will be ridden by William Buick. COROEBUS 2 points win @ 5/2 Bet Victor Haydock 2.05 Charlie Appleby saddles his lightly raced three year old Noble Dynasty here having got the call in a three way photograph at Thirsk on his handicap debut and with only a 2lb rise in the weights should be competitive although at around the 6/4 mark is easily opposed on the point of value. Top weight Nugget appeals more having shown some smart handicap form in the spring but has a 147 day absence to overcome and I’m looking further down the betting for an edge. Tim Easterby’s Cruyff Turn has had an excellent season winning four times latterly in a decent class 2 York handicap at their Ebor meeting. He didn’t get the run of the race when 4th at Ayr last Saturday when looking as though he was very much still in form and although he’s risen 21lb this season may be the value call today. CRUYFF TURN 1 point win @ 7/1 Boylesports Newmarket 2.25 Thirteen have declared for the 6F Cheveley Park Stakes, a Group 1 contest for juvenile fillies. Ger Lyons sends over his unbeaten Juddmonte owned Sacred Bridge. She looked very good when winning in Group 3 company at The Curragh last month and could literally be anything. She’s the one they all have to beat though that is obviously reflected by her price at around 7/4. I was keen on Sandrine when she ran at York last time out in the Lowther but she fell out of the stalls and was always playing catch up in finishing a length runner up to Zain Claudette who re-opposes here. Sandrine was giving her rival 3lb that day and I confidently expect Andrew Balding’s filly to turn the tables on Ismail Mohammed’s runner today with better luck in running. Aidan O’Brien runs an interesting runner in Tenebrism who was last seen winning at Naas on soft ground over 5F in March. This is a big jump up in class but you can never discount a runner from the Ballydoyle trainer. At the prices I’ll take Sandrine each way to turn the tables on Zain Claudette and push Sacred Bridge all the way. It was interesting to hear Sandrine’s regular rider David Probert in a recent interview state that she would be the best horse he had ever ridden. SANDRINE 2 points each way @ 5/1 1/5th 1234 William Hill Haydock 2.40 A typical 5F Haydock sprint with 10 going to post. The race looks very tricky to my eyes and stakes should certainly be kept small. A case can feasibly be made for every runner if you’re prepared to go back far enough and the tentative selection is the Michael Dods runner Jawwaal who’s been in decent form this summer winning twice at Doncaster off of marks of 92 and 94 and has been beaten just over a length on his last two starts in class 2 handicaps off of a mark of 99. Off of the same mark he should be involved in the finish with Paul Mulrennan who’s riding exceptionally well currently on board. JAWWAAL 1 point win @ 10/3 BetVictor Newmarket 3.00 The third of three big two year races to be run this afternoon is the 6F Middle Park Stakes for colts only. Perfect Power comes here with the best form credentials having won Group 1 Prix Morny At Deauville last time with Asymmetric and Armor 1 3/4 and 2 1/4 lengths behind. Christophe Soumillon rode Richard Fahey’s Ardaad colt that day and is over from France to continue the association. The ground was on the slow side that day but he did win the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot on good to firm so the different ground shouldn’t be an issue. He’ll be hard to beat if in the same form although the Morny form was slightly let down by the runner up Trident getting beat on Thursday at Newmarket. Go Bears Go maybe the best each way value having run Perfect Power to a head in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot and won the Group 2 Railway Stakes since before a slightly below par 3rd in the Phoenix Stakes. PERFECT POWER 2 points win @ 2/1 Bet Victor Newmarket 3.40 One of my favourite handicap’s of the season the Cambridgeshire Handicap has attracted a maximum field of 35 and with the stalls spread right across the track there is likely to be a draw bias. Looking at the previous runnings and the races this week it seems that the stands side have an advantage so those that have been drawn high may have an edge. The last five winners have been drawn 28, 29, 21, 29 and 25. I flagged up the chances of handicap snip Chichester on Monday when he was a whopping 80/1 chance and everything has gone well with him this week with Hollie Doyle booked but I’ve cooled a bit on him now as he’s drawn stall 10 which may not be ideal. Maybe he’ll have enough in hand to win from the far side - let’s hope so. It wasn’t a shock to me that Frankie Dettori chose (and he has chosen I’m led to believe) Magical Morning over Uncle Bryn as he has the better form credentials and with a draw of 35 Magical Morning would have to be on anyone’s short list. Sir Michael Stoute’s Astro King has a big race like this in him but is drawn in ‘no mans land’ in 17 but I still expect him to be competitive under Ryan Moore. The two that I’m backing to add to my ante post play on Chichester with all the information to hand are the lightly raced Saeed Bin Suroor trained Long Tradition who’s berthed in stall 37 back on this near side rail with Marco Ghiani on board. This is his handicap debut and smacks a bit of Real World in the Royal Hunt Cup when bang against a rail Ghiani booted the Godolphin horse home before going to better things. The other horse I want in my portfolio is last years winner Majestic Dawn, a natural front runner who made all off of a 10lb lower mark last year under Paul Hanagan on this near side and has again been lucky with the draw in stall 34. I expect him to get across to the rail and make a very good fist of repeating last years victory with Hanagan replaced by William Buick and with his trainers Paul and Oliver Cole in good form. CHICESTER 1/2 point each way @ 80/1 (advised Monday) Bet365 ¼ 1234 MAJESTIC DAWN 1 point each way @ 20/1 William Hill 1/5th 1234567 LONG TRADITION 1 point each way @ 14/1 William Hill 1/5th 1234567
  11. started well with a nice winner but all downhill from there i'm afraid!! just a small loss today. Saturdays selections on site now.
  12. Day 2 of the Newmarket Cambridgeshire meeting and here’s my thoughts and fancies for the six ITV races including a couple of tough looking handicaps at York. The ground is likely to be good fast conditions for both meetings. Newmarket 1.50 The listed Rosemary Stakes is run over a mile of the Rowley mile and has attracted 13 fillies and mares this year. The race has an open look about it with the highest rated being the Godolphin three year old Soft Whisper who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori. She won a couple of nurseries last season before being shipped over to Meydan for the Dubai festival where she won twice more but this time on the dirt before she flopped badly in the UAE Derby. She’s not been seen since but the vibes are good for her recent work at Newmarket and at an each way price as officially the best in the race is worth a small bet. Roger Varian’s Fooraat ran well at York last time and with her stable in form may be the biggest threat. SOFT WHISPER 1 point each way @ 9/1 1/5th 1234 Bet365 York 2.25 An open end of season 6F handicap in which bets should be kept to a minimum in my opinion with plenty of these sprinters having had long seasons. The best recent form is brought to the table by John Quinn’s Mr Wagyu who ran an excellent third in the Ayr Gold Cup last Saturday. He should be competitive today. A horse who had Mr Wagyu behind him last time is the Ed de Giles trained Treacherous and he maybe the one to be backing small each way here today. He’s yet to win this season but did win five times last season and has run credibly on occasions this season including last time out when 4th in the Portland Handicap behind Hurricane Ivor (won since) with the aforementioned Mr Wagyu 1/2L behind. There’s others with chances but I’ll stick with Treacherous to finally come good but to small stakes. TREACHEROUS 1 point each way @ 13/2 1/5th 1234 William Hill Newmarket 2.25 Albaflora has the highest official rating here but is a much better horse when the mud is flying and with conditions tightening up all the time Ralph Beckett’s mare is worth opposing today. One horse I haven’t lost faith in is the Hugo Palmer trained four year old Golden Pass who loves to hear his hooves rattle and simply bumped into a Gosden improver in Free Wind last time out at Doncaster in the Group 3 Park Hill Stakes. That was over 14F and the drop to a mile and a half may well suit this daughter of Golden Horn as her best run this season was when out battling the aforementioned Free Wind at the July course at Newmarket over today’s distance of 12F. Ryan Moore takes over for the first time and with conditions likely to suit looks excellent each way value. His trainer was talking him up on the excellent Nick Luck Daily podcast earlier in the week. GOLDEN PASS 1 point each way @ 15/21/5th 1234 William Hill York 2.40 13 go to post for this 7F class 3 handicap and has an open look about it. La Trinidad is on my shortlist as he goes so well at this track but is creeping up the handicap whilst recent Doncaster winner Able Kane can be competitive with only a 3lb rise although he has to prove his stamina here having never run at 7F. John Quinn’s five year old Poets Magic has been in fine shape all season having only been out of the frame once in nine starts and can reward an each way bet. This confirmed front runner was chinned on the line at Doncaster last week and can race off of the same handicap mark today (he’s due to rise 1lb in future handicaps). Jason Hart knows him well and is in the saddle again today. He may have Challet as a contender out front but as long as he can bowl along out front will be a hard one to pass. POETS MAGIC 1 1/2 points each way @ 9/1 1/5th 1234 Paddy Power Newmarket 3.00 The 7F Rockfel Stakes is a Group two contest for fillies and looks most likely to go the way of the Andrew Balding trained Majestic Glory who’s the clear form horse having followed up her maiden victory on the July course here by winning the Group 3 Sweet Solera Stakes at the same venue last month. That success was given a major boost by the victory last weekend of the runner up Wild Beauty in a grade 1 contest in Canada. Her two most likeliest dangers are both stepping up in class with Ralph Beckett’s Girls On Film having won a maiden on the July course here last month and Roger Charlton’s Jumbly who’s won a maiden and a novice stakes contest. They’re both progressive but will need to step up dramatically to beat the 104 rated selection who stands out as the days best bet. MAJESTIC GLORY 3 points win @ 7/2 Bet365 Newmarket 3.35 An excellent renewal of the Group 2 Joel Stakes with it an odds on chance that the winner will be carrying the blue colours of Godolphin. Favourite Master Of The Seas hasn’t been seen since running Poetic Flare to a short head over course and distance in the 2000 Guineas in May and this lightly raced Dubawi colt can make up for lost time by winning this en route to some nice worldwide targets this Autumn. The vibes are strong that he’s working well and of course William Buick will be on top. His major danger may well be the Saeed Bin Suroor trained globetrotting Benbatl who’s won 10 of his 23 starts and should of added to that tally last time at Goodwood when he fell out of the stalls and didn’t have the clearest of passages though was only denied by the shortest of margins by Lavenders Blue at the finish with Pogo and Perotto behind and now held that day. The Shadwell runner Laneqash will appreciate the drying conditions and could hit the frame but for me Master Of The Seas can lead home a Godolphin 1-2. MASTER OF THE SEAS 2 points win @ 6/4 William Hill
  13. Looks like Hollie Doyle has been booked
  14. Thankfully hasn't declared for Pontefract. His new mark means hes 9lb well in on Saturday and is now as low as 10/1 ! Only got the 34 to beat mind.
  15. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the horse doesn't declare today for a much less valuable race at Pontefract on Thursday. The perils of ante post betting !!
  16. He's declared and is number 35 so guaranteed a run. Top priced 33/1 now though still think that is value as personally wouldn't have him any bigger than 16/1.
  17. The five day declaration are out later for Saturdays big cavalry charge at Newmarket and I think there may well be one that has gone under the radar of the bookmakers (bar William Hill that is!). Keith Dagleish's CHICHESTER was a highly impressive winner of a valuable class 2 handicap at Ayr last Thursday with his improvement possibly coming from the addition of a visor. He was always going well and looked, on that run anyway, a horse way ahead of his mark. The form has actually already been boosted with the runner up that day Platinumcard running well in a listed contest two days later at the Scottish track. He will have to carry a 4lb penalty for that victory IF he is sent to the Cambridgeshire with that penalty pushing him up to currently number 46 in a handicap where 35 can run so with two declaration stages to come you'll be disappointed if he doesn't get into the race. https://www.racingtv.com/results/uk/354998-ayr/16-Sep-2021/1645 I think the bookmakers have massively under estimated his chance as he will likely be going up 10lb or more when his new rating is unveiled tomorrow putting him in here as a horse 6lb ahead of his mark. He is ground dependent with fast ground his optimum going and with (after a shower today) a predominately dry week the ground looks likely to be in his favour come the weekend. I'm not privy to information as to whether he'll go for the race or even be left in today but if I owned the horse I would be very keen to run and exploit his mark with conditions likely to suit. He's a whopping 80/1 with Bet365 and there's plenty of 66/1 around. All being well if he turns up on Saturday I think he will be a quarter of those odds and is worth a small each way play now before today's declarations are known with our fingers firmly crossed that he appears amongst them. Obviously at this early stage we don't have the benefit of enhanced odds but we can always play again when the 48 hour decs are known. CHICHESTER 1/2 point each way @ 80/1 Bet365 1/2 1234
  18. a disappointing day with just a couple of places for a loss of just over 15 points !
  19. A very interesting afternoon’s racing with the ground hopefully riding fast at Ayr for their final day of the Gold Cup meeting and just on the easy side at Newbury. Here’s my thoughts on the 9 ITV contests :- Ayr 1.55 Addeybb unfortunately misses the listed Doonside Cup, run over 10F due to the unseasonably fast ground and in his absence this looks a great opportunity for the Kevin Ryan trained Juan Elcano to get back to winning ways. He won the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot and has not been disgraced in group company since. Back in calmer waters and with conditions to suit he’ll be hard to beat with Kevin Stott taking over from his regular rider Andrea Atzeni who has a full quota of rides at Newbury. Maydanny ran flat last time and needs to bounce back whilst the biggest threat to the selection is Euchen Glen who has the same official mark as Juan Elcano but has to bounce back from a couple of disappointing efforts. JUAN ELCANO 3 points win @ 11/8 William Hill Newbury 2.15 The Dubai International Airport World Trophy Stakes is a Group 3 contest run over the minimum trip and has attracted a strong field of eight with only 9lb officially covering the whole field. Khaadem appeared to relish dropping back to this trip when winning at Doncaster 10 days ago and has to be on anyone’s short list. Charlie Hill’s five year old had become a tad disappointing but maybe the trip will give him a chance to fulfil his potential finally. Tis Marvellous produced his best ever effort when winning the Beverley Bullet last time and yet another that looks sure to be involved in the finish. Kings Lynn was a bit flat last time and is overlooked for that reason alone whilst Hurricane Ivor comes here on the back of a late finishing victory in the Portland Handicap last Saturday and cannot be ruled out either. A tough call but slight preference is for Khaadem who has speed to burn. KHAADEM 2 points win @ 10/3 Bet365 Ayr 2.30 A maximum field of 25 go to post for the Silver Cup and I have a strong fancy all be it at the front of the market. Blackrod goes unpenalised for his York apprentice handicap victory at their Ebor meeting so is effectively 5lb well in today (8lb if you take apprentice Billy Garrity’s claim into account as he couldn’t claim in the York race) He got away with the drop to 5F that day finishing strongly at the end and will appreciate the step back up to 6F here. This is only his 8th career run and looks a future pattern performer nestling towards the bottom of this handicap. The draw in 10 is a bit of an unknown but fingers crossed it won’t have an adverse affect on his chance and with plenty of fully exposed sprinters in the race Blackrod is a strong fancy who should be backed each way with enhanced place terms. BLACKROD 3 points each way @ 11/2 1/5th 123456 Boylesports Newbury 2.50 Only five go to post for the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup Stakes with a very warm favourite in the William Haggas trained Al Aasy who’s two from two at this track. He has 7lb and upwards in hand on official figures and despite disappointing last time at Newmarket in July that came on rattling fast ground which doesn’t suit him. He’s been given the cruelest cut of the lot since and if back to anywhere near his two victories over slightly further here in the Spring will be very hard to beat. Foxes Tales comes here in decent form but may ideally prefer softer ground whilst the penalised Solid Stone and Al Aasy’s stable companion Ilaraab will have to raise their games to turn over the favourite. He’ll be skinny but I find it hard to see past him. AL AASY 3 points win @ 5/6 Bet Victor Ayr 3.05 A decent sized field here as 15 go to post for the Group 3 Fifth Of Clyde Fillies Stakes. Likely favourite is Head Mistress who’s coming over from Ger Lyon’s County Meath base with his trainer in red hot form winning with 6 of his last 28 runners. She’s already won in listed company at The Curragh and is no doubt the one they all have to beat here. The one negative maybe her draw in stall 1, with the stalls in the centre means she’ll be on the flank with no cover. Scot’s Grace was a fancy of mine when getting no run last time out in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton but does have to prove her effectiveness on turf whilst fast ground looks against Choux. Hellmydarlin arguably brings the best form to the race with an official mark of 102 but this will be her eight race of the season and may not have as much scope as some of the others. The most interesting runner for me however is the Kevin Ryan trained Hala Hala Athmani. A half sister to the same owners smart sprinter Hello Youmzain ( who incidentally also won a maiden at Carlisle on his journey to the top) was super impressive when winning on her debut in a moderate 6F Carlisle maiden. All those that have run from that race from down the field have been beaten and there’s little doubt it was a modest contest but having fallen out the stalls and running green ended up winning easily by 6L. She falls into the ‘could be anything’ category and at an each way price I’ll be backing her with a small saver on Head Mistress who’s already got the form in the book. HALA HALA ATHMANI 2 points each way @ 5/1 1/5th 1234 Bet365 HEAD MISTRESS 1 point win @ 7/2 William Hill Newbury 3.25 A valuable £50k 10F handicap is up next with likely favourite being the William Haggas trained Aramaic who was very well supported when winning on his handicap debut at York earlier in the month. He’s up 7lb for that but is very much a player here. King Leonidas is an intriguing runner who has been working with Thursday evening’s Chelmsford winner Sunday Major. John & Thady Gosden’s Kingman colt has a long layoff to overcome and makes his handicap debut off of a very high mark of 102. Watch him in the market. The drop in trip may not be ideal for Sam a Cooke whilst Injazati has been shunted up 6lb for a win in a five runner class 4 all weather handicap at Newcastle. The horse I’m very interested in here is the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Mo’assess who makes his handicap debut today off of a mark of 93. He’s stepping up in trip and actually has a defeat of the favourite already on his CV when at level weights he defeated him by a neck at Kempton in early August. He’s receiving a pound today so there shouldn’t be too much between them. He’s gone in again at Kempton since when making all for a comfortable success under today’s jockey Ray Dawson. Being by Pivotal he won’t mind a bit of give in the ground and can reward an each way wager. MO’ASSESS 2 points each way @ 6/1 1/5th 1234 William Hill Ayr 3.40 As always a maximum field has assembled for the Ayr Gold Cup. More will no doubt be known about the draw once the Silver Cup has been digested a hour earlier but in the hope that low numbers may have the call I will be backing the favourite in Great Ambassador here and a big priced outsider who is also drawn very low. The last time we had a fast ground Ayr Gold Cup was back in 2014 when there was a fair split of low and high numbers at the finish so here’s hoping the best horses come to the fore. Great Ambassador is a progressive sprinter who’s in top form, trained by Ed Walker who’s running at a amazing 39% win ratio at present and loves fast ground. He looks sure to be thereabouts and will be my main bet. I have plenty of respect for Comanche Falls who comes here having won the Scottish and English Stewards Cups rising 10lb in the process and it would be no shock were he to run a big race. He’s drawn next to Great Ambassador in stall 2 and it’s the horse berthed one along in stall 3 that interests me at a price. Hey Jonesy, one of two Kevin Ryan runners in the race, has been running on soft ground this season (bar his re-appearance when 7F was too far and possibly fitness was an issue) and has dropped 4lb for those efforts to a mark of 98 which is 1lb lower than when he won last season’s Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot on good ground when blinkered for the first time. He’s undoubtably well handicapped for a trainer who’s won this race twice in the last ten years and has the assistance of Megan Nicholls, my favourite female jockey. At a big price with enhanced odds he’s worth playing each way as well. GREAT AMBASSADOR 2 points each way @ 5/1 1/5th 1234567 Paddy Power HEY JONESY 1/2 point each way @ 33/1 ¼ 12345 Bet365 Newbury 4.00 The 6F Mill Reef Stakes is a two year Group 2 contest which has attracted a decent sized field of ten. Well backed throughout the week has been the John and Thady Gosden trained Dhabab who has had a ten week break since his 1 1/2L third in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket behind Native Trail and Masekela. Both of those have franked the form since with the latter winning the listed Washington Singer from Bayside Boy (won since) and the former now ranked as the best two year old around following his comfortable win in the Group 1 National Stakes last weekend in Ireland. Dhabab looked likely to win that day only to seemingly run out of stamina close home and the drop back to 6F looks a good move. Although the figures may not suggest it (he comes out joint 4th here on official ratings) he will be hard to beat. Plenty of the others bring decent group form to the table noticeably Gis A Sub who was runner up in the Gimcrack (Fearby 1 1/4L behind that day) and Gubbas who was third in the Richmond at Goodwood (Gis A Sub 2 1/4L behind that day). The latter maybe the biggest threat to Dhabab here. A lively big priced outsider is the John Ryan trained Manaccan who impressed when winning at Newmarket last month from Wajd and Reversion who have both won since. He could hit the frame at a price but for me it’s all about Dhabab. DHABAB 2 points win @ 9/4 William Hill Ayr 4.15 A tricky looking class 2 1M handicap where many have got good chances. Dance Fever will love the fast conditions and falls into that bracket along with Cruyff Turn who’s won three of his last four starts but is creeping up the handicap and has to race off of a career high mark of 98 now. Shelir is a consistent sort but always seems to find a way of getting beat. Garden Oasis is the other Easterby runner (alongside Cruyff Turn) and he too has had a fruitful season winning four times and like his stable mate has to race off of a career high mark of 91 (that’s not to say mind that he can’t be very competitive today). I’m drawn to the Richard Fahey trained Hong Kong Harry and that’s the one I’ll be playing here. A lightly raced gelding this is only his 7th career start and is two from two at the track having won twice at Ayr in the Spring on fast ground. He’s stepping up to a mile for the first time today and the way he finished over 7 1/2F at Lingfield in a racing league handicap suggests that a mile won’t be a problem. HONG KONG HARRY 2 points each way @ 13/2 1/5th 1234 Boylesports
  20. Another frustrating day - with a couple of seconds and just the one winner for a loss of 5.8 points.
  21. Ground has changed to good to soft (soft in places) at Donny which obviously throws a totally different feel to the card. My two selection's in the Portland are now non runners (Count D'Orsay is now interesting as hes a real mud lark) whilst I couldn't now fancy Laneqash (It woudn't be a shock if he was pulled out). Best bet on the card on the ground is now probably Raadborg in the last. Happy punting whatever you're backing today.
  22. Disappointing today with just a small return on the wonderful Stradivarius for a loss of 8 points. Saturday's thoughts have been uploaded.
  23. The final day of the St Leger meeting at Doncaster plus a couple of races from Chester (with a decent betting opportunity) and the Irish Champion Stakes from Leopardstown are all covered by terrestrial TV this Saturday and here’s my thoughts on those seven contests :- Doncaster 1.45 The Portland handicap is one of the season’s great handicap sprints and is run over an intermediate trip of 5 1/2F. Last years winner Stone Of Destiny is back to defend his title but is 7lb higher now so that will be tough. Likely favourite is top weight Hurricane Ivor who’s in excellent form and should be in the mix but at around 6/1 I’ll pass on him and take a couple of bigger priced ones against him. Jawwaal is part of my staking plan as he has such a good record at the track (321011) although the zero is when bombing out in this contest last year which is a bit of a concern. He’s been running consistently well all season and James Doyle looks an interesting jockey booking. The other sprinter I want on my side is Justanotherbottle who also arrives in good shape following a Great St Wilfrid victory with a decent 2nd in the Beverley Bullet. This trip looks ideal for him with Kevin Stott riding for the in form Kevin Ryan. Plenty of others can be given chances but I’ll stick with that pair each way with enhanced place terms. JUSTANOTHERBOTTLE 1 point each way @ 12/1 1/5th 123456 William Hills JAWWAAL 1 point each way @ 10/1 1/4 12345 Bet365 Chester 2.00 A listed contest to be run over 1M 4F of this tight turning track. Last years winner Alignak hasn’t been seen since but is joint top rated and Sir Michael Stoute’s grey entire should be thereabouts. Also top rated with him is the Andrew Balding trained Alounak who’s latest effort was an excellent third place in the Skybet Ebor off of a big weight. He won’t mind dropping back in distance and if taking to this unique track can take all the beating. Wells Farhh Go was market mover on Thursday but he’s been a shade disappointing and not seen enough to be of any interest here. Throne Hall is the other runner with a chance but I’ll take Alounak to beat Alignak. ALOUNAK 2 points win @ 5/2 Bet365 Doncaster 2.20 The Group 2 Champagne Stakes has attracted a small but select field of just four with John & Thady Gosden’s Reach For The Moon looking to do what his female stablemate did on Town Moor on Thursday in the May Hill Stakes. The Queen’s Sea The Stars colt has won his last two starts at Newbury by 4L (from subsequent triple winner Harrow) and Sandown by 4L and looks a terrific long term prospect with next years Derby the target. Frankie Dettori is in excellent form this week at the track and he will be hard to beat although he has a live threat here in the smart Lusail who he himself has done little wrong this season winning 4 of his 5 starts including the Group 2 July Stakes and the Gimcrack Stakes. He has to shoulder a 3lb penalty for those victories and can push the Gosden colt to the line but preference is for the current Epsom Derby favourite who may can be doubled up with Leger favourite Highland Lane. Chester 2.35 This 1m 6F 87yds handicap features to my eyes the best bet of the day. Arrow Of Gold is lightly raced but was comprehensively put in his place by Tricorn at Thirsk on his handicap debut in June and that horse has been beaten three times since. Kevin Ryan’s Galileo gelding is still the one to beat but I’ll take him on with top weight Hochfeld who’s got an outstanding record at the track with form figures of 11223 with the two seconds coming in listed company and the 3rd in this year’s Chester Cup off of a 2lb higher mark. He wasn’t disgraced in last Saturday’s Old Borough Cup at Haydock and now reverting back to his favourite hunting ground off of a winning mark looks decent each way value. Mark Johnstone’s 7lb apprentice Jonny Peate rides here and has impressed me this season having scored a double at Newcastle earlier in the week. He’s scored on 13 of his 83 mounts at a decent 16% win rate and his 7lb may turn out to be a steal. The only negative aspect is he’s drawn 10 of 10 but this is a 14F race where he can hopefully drop in and come with a late surging run. HOCHFELD 2 points each way @ 5/1 1/5 123 Bet365 Leopardstown 2.45 What a race we have in store here despite only four going to post for the Irish Champion Stakes. I am a massive fan of Dermot Weld’s Tarnawa and see her as the most likely Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winner this year despite the strong three year old team around but Weld did say in the week that that is her main aim and with that in mind I’m going to over look her here dropping back in trip although I can see her running a massive race. Jim Bolger saddles his consistent three year old Poetic Flare and he too looks sure to run a big race but I have to select St Mark’s Basilica here as he has looked the real deal this season winning the French 2000, French Derby and Coral Eclipse at this trip. His defeat of Addeybb last time at Sandown with subsequent easy Juddmonte International Stakes winner Mishriff back in third was top class and Aidan O’Briens star three year old can take this in a race that I can’t wait for. ST MARKS BASILICA 2 points win @ 6/5 Boylesports Doncaster 3.00 The Group 2 Park Stakes is run over 7F and can go the way of the Newmarket based Roger Varian trained Laneqash who bounced back from a 294 day absence to run Sacred to a length in the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last month. He’s wisely been given a month to get over those exertions and looks a decent bet here unless the ground was to turn soft as he proved last backend in the Horris Hill at Newbury that that doesn’t suit this Cable Bay colt. Officially rated only a pound behind the selection is the Owen Burrows Shadwell colt Danyah who won a valuable Ascot handicap when last seen in July. Both Laneqash and Danyah are in the same ownership and the owner retained jockey Jim Crowley has picked Laneqash which looks like a tip in itself. Charlie Appleby saddles two runners in D’bai and Glorious Journey with preference for the latter but the Varian runner is a strong fancy on decent ground. LANEQASH 3 points win @ 7/4 BetVictor Doncaster 3.35 This year’s Cazoo St Leger has attracted 10 runners and features a strongly fancied odds on favourite in the Charlie Appleby trained Hurricane Lane who’s firm credentials are head and shoulders above the rest here having won the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris over 12F. The question is will he stay? He certainly sees his races out like he will and I believe he will. The interesting runner in the field is High Definition who has been supplemented for this at the cost of £40k and will be ridden by Frankie Dettori wearing cheek pieces for the first time (the horse not the jockey!). To be honest I’ve given up with the horse and a,though this trip will no doubt suit I can’t see him worrying the favourite. Aidan O’Brien saddles four including the aforementioned High Definition with Interpretation already proven at the trio and may end up the best of the quartet with Hollie Doyle taking a rare ride for the Ballydoyle maestro. The most likely winner here is Hurricane Lane and from a punting aspect I will double him up with Reach For The Moon from the earlier Champagne Stakes. HURRICANE LANE / REACH FOR THE MOON 3 points win double
  24. There maybe an odd shower or two but it seems we may well be racing on good fast ground again for day three of the Doncaster St Leger meeting. Here are my early thoughts :- Doncaster 140 The listed Flying Scotsman Stakes can produce a smart two year old and ten go to post for this years renewal. The form horse undoubtably is Roger Fell’s star two year old Eldrickjones but he’s still a maiden and although dropping in class may be vulnerable to something that’s on the upgrade. Charlie Appleby’s Noble Truth is held in high regard but was a bit disappointing last time out at York in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes and takes a drop in grade today. He should be on the premises for sure. York Convivial Maiden winner Hoi Ya Mal is going the other way and taking a step up in class but he looks classy and it would be no shock were he to take a hand in the finish. Throw in a couple of impressive maiden winners in Marcus Tregoning’s Ribhi and Richard Hannon’s Razzle Dazzle and we have a very interesting race of juveniles either stepping down in class or taking a step up the equine ladder. A tough call from a betting angle with slight preference for the Hannon runner Razzle Dazzle who couldn’t of been any more impressive when winning at Newmarket in August under his owners retained jockey Andrea Atzeni who rides again today. RAZZLE DAZZLE 1 point each way @ 11/2 1/5 123 BetVictor Doncaster 2.10 The Group 2 Flying Childers is run over the straight 5F and with eleven horses going to post will be some spectacle. The favourite Armor is the one they all have to beat being officially 6lb and more ahead of the field in ratings. His best effort at Goodwood was gained on soft ground so he won’t mind any more rain that may fall on Town Moor. I’m hoping the ground doesn’t ease too much though as I want to be with Eve Johnson Houghton’s Chipotle who was backed from 40/1 into 18/1 for the Nunthorpe las5 time against his elders and despite being squeezed out at the start made no impression in finishing 9th of the 14 participants. He had Armor behind when winning at Royal Ascot and I still feel there’s more sprint’s to be won with this Havana Gold colt when conditions suit. 5F on fast ground are what he needs and I’ll play each way as long as soft doesn’t creep into the going description in which case I would be all over Armor. CHIPOTLE (on good or faster ground) 1 point each way @ 10/1 1/5 123 Bet365 Doncaster 2.40 The 2m2F Doncaster Cup could easily be super star stayer Stradivarius’s final race on a racecourse as the ground could easily of gone by the time the Ascot Champions Meeting comes around in October and as long as the ground doesn’t go soft (in which his trainers John and Thady Gosden will no doubt pull him out anyway) he should be beating his six rivals today. There’s little doubt he’s not the horse he once was but he already holds Eagles By Day, Nayef Road (several times) and The Grand Visir so it’s hard to see any of that trio worrying Bjorn Nelson’s 7 year old. Trueshan is the one that can beat the favourite but only really if the ground went on the slow side, he too would be pulled out no doubt if his canny trainer Alan King felt there wasn’t enough juice in the ground. The improver in the race is the David Simcock runner Rodrigo Diaz who has officially 13lb to find mind. From a punting perspective I don’t think there’s an angle here without knowing the ground conditions as on fast ground Stradivarius wins with Trueshan a likely non runner and on soft ground Trueshan wins with Stradivarius a likely non runner! On genuine good ground I’ll stick with Stradivarius especially were he to drift to around the even money mark. STRADIVARIUS 2 points win @ 9/10 Paddy Power Doncaster 3.15 The Mallard Handicap is run over the St Leger distance of 1m6F 115yds and there are several contenders here who will be looking to the sky for some rain as they prefer to get their toe in. These include Prince Alex, Rhythmic Intent and Nuits St Georges. The most interesting runner in the field is bottom weight Sevenna Star who wears a hood for the first time and it’s trained by Irish trainer Emmet Mullins who’s horses must always be given a second look when he sends them over from Ireland. He has been well found in the market now and I’ll look elsewhere for the likely winner. One horse who will stay well is the Jane Chapple Hyam runner Uber Cool who impressed at Chester after a long break back in May and has run well in defeat twice since at 2m and latterly over 14F when 1 1/4L 4th to Yesyes in a listed contest at Chester. The handicapper has left him on the same mark and this Born To Sea gelding has an excellent strike rate of 7 wins from 16 career starts. Robert Tart has ridden him on two of his three most recent starts and is in the saddle today and with question marks over plenty of his rivals is decent each way value. UBER COOL 1 point each way @ 7/1 1/5 1234 Bet Victor Doncaster 3.45 A competitive 6F 111yds handicap concludes the ITV races at Doncaster on Day 3 with Assad currently heading the betting. He’s a lightly raced Shadwell horse who was touched off by one of his rivals today in Desert Doctor at Ffos Las last month. I’m not sure that form is worth that much and I’m prepared to take the pair of them on here. The horse I like is William Muir & Chris Grassick’s Mitrosonfire who’s been consistent all season winning four races. He beat Wednesday’s finale winner Wentworth Falls at Newmarket in August and races here off of only 3lb higher. He looks decent each way value with PJ McDonald taking over who’s two from two on the horse. MITROSONFIRE 1 1/2 points each way @ 13/2 1/5th 1234 BetVictor
  25. Three returns from five bets for a profit of 13.7 points. Friday's thoughts up shortly .
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