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Blazing Bailey

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  1. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 4   
    Albert Bartlett
    Thyme Hill               152
    Latest Exhibition      150
    Monkfish                 150
    Ramses De Teille    150
    The Cashel Man      150
    Janidil                     150
    Cobbles Way           147
    This is a tough and competitive race and again wouldn't be one that I would be completely confident about. Ramses De Teille has to be hugely respected. He stays, he has plenty of experience, he is tough but he is a Pipe horse and I would like to see more evidence that they are flying. He must be a very solid EW contender. The two I will chance for the win are two very similar horses in Thyme Hill and Latest Exhibition. Thyme Hill looks the obvious horse. Champion Bumper placed, and this year he has beaten a range of impressive enough horses being strongest at the finish. My biggest concern with this horse is how badly the Hobbs stable is performing here. He has had winners outside of the festival but his biggest hopes here have flopped. I think the current price takes an element of that into account though. Latest Exhibition looks the strongest of the Irish. He ran 2nd to Abacadabras over 16f, which is some performance when considering the trip they are running over this week, he beat a Grade 2 winner, going away over a stiff 20f and he ran similarly over 22f in a race where the 5th was running a big race in the Supreme. The rest have lofty ratings but have either been beaten by one of these two or havent been tested in a tough enough environment for my liking.
  2. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to Darran in Hunter Chase - Cheltenham Foxhunter Friday 4.10 and 5.10 Fakenham   
    Hopefully people have enjoyed my Road To The Cheltenham Foxhunter thread and it has helped keep everyone up to date with a race that always gets overlooked by the mainstream (and less mainstream) press despite the fact quite a lot of people actually are interested especially when you have well known horses like Minella Rocco and Don Poli involved. If you haven't seen and want to see my thoughts over the last 3 or so months then that thread is here https://forum.punterslounge.com/topic/171460-road-to-the-cheltenham-foxhunters/   This year's preview clocks in at just under 4000 words and apparently will take just under 15 minutes to read. I can't guarantee I will find the winner, but hopefully it will help guide you to what you want to back in the race. I have yet to see a more in depth preview of the race so without further or do here are my thoughts on the 31 horses remaining in this year's Cheltenham Foxhunter.   Alcala - Rather unusually looks set to be Paul Nicholls' only runner in this race this year. Classy horse as his peak mark of 152 suggests and he won the Summer Plate at Market Rasen in 2017 off 142. He looked set to win on his first start since July 2018 when falling 2 out at Ludlow. He then made amends when winning the Walrus at Haydock getting the better of Wishing And Hoping despite making a bad error 2 out. After that he had to go to Fontwell to qualify for this and I don't think Angus Cheleda was overly hard on him at all given he knew he only had to finish 2nd to qualify. His trainer spoke of him having two hard races, but I find it hard to believe he had much of a race last time out. My concern about his chance is his stamina. At Ludlow they went no pace so it turned into a sprint, Haydock was over 2m6f and again they went a steady enough gallop as they did over 3m2f at Fontwell. The race he won over 3m2f in 2017 was a match. If he stays he is a player, but it is enough to put me off.   Arctic Skipper - Won his first two points this season, but was a well beaten 8th at Down Royal behind Dylrow on Boxing Day. He won a 3 runner point last month, but a week later pulled up and it is hard to see him being good enough.   Billaway - Willie Mullins has been talking his chances up in recent weeks and I can see why given he seems to be progressive and visually he ran out an impressive winner at Naas in January. That was his 2nd run of the season having run a nice race on his return to be 2nd at Down Royal on Boxing Day just going down a length to Dylrow. That Naas race was run at an absolute crawl though and it turned into a sprint which clearly suited him perfectly. To me that makes the form a bit suspect and I can see the 2nd reversing form with him for reasons I will state later. I certainly think he is one of the possible winners though given his profile offers more than most here, but I certainly don't think his price offers any value.   Bishops Road - Thrashed a very good horse in Risk A Fine at the hunter chase meeting here in May, but the 2nd didn't handle the track or the ground that day so I wouldn't take it at face value. Bizarrely he then ran in a point 3 days later when he fell. I now wonder if they were trying to qualify him for this and get it out of the way. Instead they had to do that this season and he did so when finishing 2nd in the first hunter chase of the season at Taunton. That was behind Wishing And Hoping and he was 2nd on his seasonal return in a point back in November. For me he has a bit too find although the trip shouldn't be a concern given he used to run over further.   Caid du Berlais - The first of a trio of runners for Rose Loxton and a horse I have already put up as a bet last month. As long as the ground continues to dry out I think he has a massive chance. He ran really well on soft ground when beaten less than 4L when 5th to Pacha Du Polder in 2018. He then went onto land the Punchestown Champion Hunters Chase by 21L. Last year he had a rushed prep as he picked up a minor injury and he only made his reappearance 12 days before the race. He then ran no sort of race and he was never travelling before pulling up. He then went back to Punchestown and won by an even bigger margin, 28L, than last year. This year he has had a much smoother prep as he made his seasonal return at Buckfastleigh in January and he beat Marcle Ridge by 5L which is really solid form. His trainer has mentioned she is not sure if he gets up the hill and that was the case in 2018, but if we have quicker ground on Friday I think he will. He is also 2 years older now which should help. His two Punchestown wins are two of the best pieces of form in the race and he has to go on any shortlist.   Chosen Dream - Landed the Stratford Foxhunter in 2018, but was flattered by that as the ground was over watered which meant the fancied horses disappointed. He pulled up in this last year and although I am told he is really well on form it is hard to make much of a case for him   Don Bersy - Won a couple of points last season, but shown better form this term for me as he beat Bishops Road in November, was 2nd to The Dellercheckout and then won by 20 at Thorpe Lodge. He then refused to race last month which is something he did in his last two starts under Rules. That has to be a big concern if you are wanting to back him, but his form doesn't look good enough anyway. His previous Rules form was all over 2m as well.   Don Poli - Rare that a point to point makes the front page of the Racing Post, but he did when winning at Alnwick back in December. I think it was a good idea to send the horse to Nick Pearce to get him qualified nice and early in a couple of points. He is already a duel Festival winner having won the Martin Pipe in 2014 and then the RSA Chase the following year. In 2016 he was 3rd in the Gold Cup and he was the Lexus winner that season as well. So he clearly has plenty of back class, but the problem is he had shown any form under Rules since February 2017. He appreciated the drop in class when winning those points, but he had to be niggled in both races to keep him interested and he was made to work quite hard to win the 2nd of them. Winning a couple of small field, weak points is one thing, winning a Foxhunter is a totally different ball game though. No doubt Nick had left a bit to work on, but I wasn't impressed with what I saw at Alnwick and I think in a big field in a race that is likely to be strongly run that he will just drop himself out and not fancy it. What I will say though is if you do want to back him because he hasn't been seen since January he has been forgotten about and you are probably getting a bigger price than if he had run recently or in a hunter chase.   Dunhallow Tornado - Ollie Pimlott has had a cracking start to his training career and this is a horse I really like. He looked impressive in two hunter chase wins at Catterick and Kelso 2 years ago and then found the ground too quick at Cheltenham's hunter chase night. Unfortunately he had to miss last season through injury and he returned last month  at Brocklesby when getting up close home to score. That was a pleasing come back run and if it did happen to be soft/heavy on Friday I would want to be backing him. The problem is the forecast is suggesting it isn't going to be that testing and as much as he will handle it my thinking is it brings more horses into play the quicker it gets. Connections will probably be wishing this race had been on Tuesday when it was very testing and although I think he can out run his price, the drying ground is enough to stop me backing him.   Dylrow - Looks an improved horse this season having beaten Mighty Stowaway on his first point start in November. He then beat Billaway at Down Royal on Boxing Day. He was then only 5th at Naas behind him the following month. That race turned into a sprint as mentioned so I do think the form is suspect, but given he was winning over 2m a year ago you would have thought that would have suited him. There is a case to say that he shouldn't really be 50/1 based on the Down Royal effort, but he wouldn't be for me.   Hazel Hill - Last year's impressive winner and currently favourite to retain his crown as Salsify, On The Fringe and Pacha Du Polder have done in recent years. There is no doubt he was the best hunter chaser around last season although there has to be a question mark about what sort of form he is currently in. After the Foxhunter win he came back for hunter chase night and just got the better of a great battle with Caryto Des Brosses. He was set to follow the same path to Cheltenham as he did last season, but Chaddesley Corbett was called off and that meant Warwick came too soon after his win at Sheriff Hutton. That told us little new, but it is the defeat to Minella Rocco at Wetherby which is the issue. He jumped badly to his right there something which he didn't do in this race year, but he did do here in May. My feeling is a small field might be to blame for that and with more horses around him he will jump straighter. I don't think he wants to make the running and that didn't help matters at Wetherby. The trainer said afterwards he was a bit sore so that was one excuse and I also think Derek O'Connor out rode Alex Edwards as well. I will talk more about that later, but I do think at the very least he will reverse form. The problem is he is hard to want to back at the current price because of his run last time and although I do think we will see a different horse here I would want a drift before backing him. The trainer is confident of a big showing and he could be a horse to get onside on the day because I think he will drift and then the doubt about what sort of form he is in will be factored into the price. If he is in the same form as last year then he clearly has a massive chance.   It Came To Pass - Beat Billaway in a hunter chase at Cork last April and then probably would have finished a distant 2nd to Caid Du Berlais at Punchestown, but he unseated at 2 out. 10 days later he did then beat On The Fringe at Killarney. He won a hunter chase at Cork in Novemeber which was basically his seasonal debut as he unseated at the first the week before. Was a 24L 7th to Dylrow and Down Royal and was pulled up last time out. On balance his form suggests he has a fair bit to find.   Law Of Gold - Was progressive last season and it ended in winning the John Corbet at Stratford in May. I didn't think it was the strongest renewal of the race especially as some fancied horses disappointed. Having said that Pink Eyed Pedro was 3rd and he has done well in handicaps since. He has had just the one start so far this season at Horseheath when running out an easy winner. That wasn't a strong race, but he could do no more win than as he did. The problem is I think he needs good ground and any soft in it is not going to help him. This is by far the best race he has ever been in as well and at 7 it could just be it comes at least a year too soon for him.   Marcle Ridge - Won a very weak race here on hunter chase night and then was 2nd at Warwick. At the time it didn't look a great effort, but given Killaro Boy nearly won a huge prize at Uttoxeter in the summer then he did well finish within 9L of him. As mentioned above he was 2nd to Caid Du Berlais on his only run of the season so far. That was a solid effort, but also his form suggests he has to find a bit to hit the frame here.   Minella Rocco - I suspect plenty of non hunter chase experts will be all over him on Friday and we will see plenty of at at his best he is the best horse in the race. I have already seen two TV presenters put him up as one of their best bets of the meeting which is crazy given they know little about hunter chases and you can be certain that neither will know anything about a horse like Law Of Gold for example. Maybe he will win, but all I keep hearing about his chances is that he was 2nd in a Gold Cup and he has won at the Festival before. The problem is that was 3 and 4 years ago now and since then he has basically been pretty poor and he was even struggling to complete. His two hunter chase wins this season were only his 2nd and 3rd wins over fences and I think he was fortunate to win those. At Warwick he benefited from Maxwell getting cramp on Bob And Co and then looked like getting beat by a horse could Kashmir Peak who has been beaten in a weak hunter chase and a weak point since. Derek O'Connor came over for the ride at Wetherby and he gave him a very clever ride to win the race and the chances are Hazel Hill ran below form. Derek kept him wide on the better ground and left it late to pounce. Reading between the lines of what Derek has written in his column in the Racing Post I don't think he fancies his chances at all and it was no surprise to me that he has said he will be riding Staker Wallace on the preview circuit. If the ground dried out a lot then I can see he will change to Minella Rocco as Staker Wallace needs cut in the ground. In my view he will get back into a bigger field at a strong pace and decide he doesn't fancy it again. I'd be tempted to place lay him on the day if he's a short enough price. Horses of his sort of profile rarely win the race nowadays and it will be a case of non hunter chase experts 1 hunter chase experts 0 if he does go and win (as was the case when Pacha Du Polder first won the race).   Update: Since writing the above Derek O'Connor has surprised everyone by going with Minella Rocco over Staker Wallace. For me this could mean 3 things. 1 he things the ground is going to dry out too much for Staker Wallace and/or Minella Rocco has been working the house down at Jonjo's and he has had to go with him and/or he things the Irish horses aren't as good as the British. Now Derek has chosen him I am not as negative on his chances as I was before, although I still personally can't back him.   Mr Mercurial - Been such a consistent hunter chaser over the years and his Scottish Foxhunter win was his 9th hunter chase success. I don't think he stays this far round a track like Cheltenham and he was 12th in this back in 2016 and was the same position at Aintree last year. Will run his race, but will be surprised if he is good enough to get close.   Rewritetherules - Sprung onto the hunter chase scene in May last year when winning at Down Royal and Tipperary in the space of 3 days. His next run was in a handicap where he was only 6th off 116. This season he beat a useful enough field first up and then struggled to win a weak race last month. On the face of it that was a very poor effort, but the trainer said he had a stone bruise the week before and the owners were keen to run as it was their local meeting. His jockey said he got there too soon and he idled as well. So we should be expecting more here and he is progressive, but he is only 6 and you have to be very good to win this race as young as that. I am happy to pass him over.   Sausalito Sunrise - Beat Ravished at Hexham last April in a hunter chase when with his former connections, but then was very disappointing at Worcester. Won the Lord Ashton Of Hyde's Cup at Cocklebarrow over 3m6f on his only start for his new connections. That was a decent enough effort, but nowhere near the level for this.   Shantou Flyer - Ran a huge race to be 2nd in the race last year especially as he had to run twice in 10 days to qualify for the race after being 5th at Warwick behind Hazel Hill on his first hunter chase start. He narrowed that gap to 4L in this contest. He is now at former Paul Nicholls worker Rose Loxton's yard and he made a winning return at Larkhill in a race which has actually worked out very well. Given he was below par on his seasonal return last season I fully expect him to carry on improving and he was totally dominate at Fakenham where he had Tully Touch 25L back in 3rd and giving him 11lbs whereas Law Of Gold only beat him 12L off level weights. It was good to see Maxwell choosing to run him over Bob And Co as I think that is the right decision. The owner/rider has even said he feels a better horse this time around. He is only 10 as well and I think he has a massive chance.   Southfield Theatre - Gave Lily Bradstock a lovely spin round in the race last year when 9th although that was 48L behind Hazel Hill. Did well to win the 4m race on hunter chase night here and has won two of his three points this season. On the other he was beaten by Virak which was still a decent effort. Hard to see how he can really improve on last year's 9th though.   Staker Wallace - Has been a hard horse to keep sound as since making his debut in November 2015 he has only run 6 times. In 2017 on just his 4th start and after wining a maiden point he ran a really credible 3rd to Foxrock at Leopardstown. He then had 3 years off before running a huge race to finish an 8L 2nd at Naas. Given the lay off you can upgrade the performance and he followed that up with beating a solid yardstick in a point to make sure he qualified for this. Derek has been talking him up on the preview circuit and it is clear he holds him in high regard. At this stage to me he is the main Irish hope in the race. He does need soft ground so he wouldn't want to dry out and if it did I can see Derek not riding or him even not running in the race. If Derek's name is next to his on Wednesday morning then I think he will end up going off favourite for the race. I have already put him up for this ante-post.   Update: As mentioned above Minella Rocco is Derek's ride although Jamie Codd has been booked so there is still a top jockey booked, but I am surprised Derek has changed his mind.   Stella Notion - Was a useful handicapper for Henry De Bromhead in Ireland and managed to win at Kelso off 137 in May 2018 for Tom George. He then went to Tom Frost's where he won two points at Larkhil before being beaten 38L by Monsieur Gibraltar at Southwell. According to the Racing Post he is now on his 3rd trainer since then having run once for Emma Clark when he was pulled up behind Hazel Hill at Sheriff Hutton in January. Now Philip Kirby trains him and I have been told that James King takes the ride which is a good jockey booking. Wouldn't be an obvious one to back, but the trainer might bring about some improvement.   Top Wood - I can see Top Wood being popular e/w given his superb record in the race. He was just denied by Pacha Du Polder and Harriett Tucker two years ago and then he was 3rd to Hazel Hill last year. After that he then went and won at Aintree when he wanted it more than Burning Ambition in 2nd. He ran really well on his seasonal return when 2nd in a handicap at Ascot off 139 and he was over 15L in front of Minella Rocco. Wasn't quite as good at Haydock next time, but the ground was very testing that day. I couldn't really put anyone off wanting to back him e/w, but he is now 13 and surely he has had his best chance of actually winning the race.   Kalabaloo - The only mare in the race and she was an impressive winner of the mares race on hunter chase night. Was then sent off a short price favourite for the John Corbet Cup at Stratford and was a well beaten 4th behind Law Of Gold. Has won a couple of Ladies Opens at Alnwick this season but the fact she was 1/2 and 2/5 tells you all about the quality of the opposition. My feeling is she is unlikely to be good enough, but I do think she is better than she showed at Stratford and can run a nice race.   Summary - With no more rain forecast it looks like the ground is only going to get drier come race time and I would say we will be looking at good to soft all round. Ideally Staker Wallace would want it softer, but it should be OK still and even though Derek has decided not to ride, Jamie Codd has an incredible strike rate at the Festival so he is a great jockey to have still. I have to say though he is the right sort of price so I am not sure there is much value left in the price. I have no idea who will be favourite now. I would imagine Minella Rocco will be popular among the non hunter chase/pointing followers and I see Paul Kealy has tipped him up in The Weekender. Even though Derek is on him I would still be a bit surprised if he did go and win, but as I mention above I am not so strongly against him as I was. Billaway has been spoken highly by his trainer so he could be popular in the market although given how much speed he showed last time I just wonder if he wants a stamina test and I think Staker Wallace can reverse the form. Hazel Hill is touching 6/1 now and I wonder if he might drift a bit more. I might add a small cover bet on Friday if he does drift a bit more because his trainer remains confident and given he has swerved the race with Wishing And Hoping he clearly thinks he still has a massive chance despite the loss last time. That is clearly a concern, but as mentioned above there is reason to believe that he could easily bounce back here.   Caid Du Berlais is the other horse I put up and he is back out to 14/1 in a couple of places now. I am topping up to make it a full point on him now especially with the extra place available. The ground should have dried up for him and I fully expect him to run more like his 2018 showing than his 2019 one. With his class I find it pretty hard to see him out of the first 5 at the very least and hopefully he can finish strongly up the hill.    The main bet I am going to have though is Shantou Flyer to give David Maxwell his first win in the race. I think he has chosen the right horse over Bob And Co and he ran a really good race to finish 2nd in the race last year. He won a point which has worked out very well on his seasonal reappearance and then bolted up at Fakenham after which Maxwell said he was better than last season. If he is right then that clearly makes him a leading candidate and I think he is a big price at 9/1.   Top Wood will have his fans, but I think at 13 his best chance of actually winning has gone. I know a few shrewd pointing followers are keen on Law Of Gold at a big price and I can see why up to a point as he's a progressive horse in a field where not many seem to have much of a chance. At 7 though I wonder if it is a year to early and I think he has at least 20lbs to find on form for all that he is progressive. Something usually at least places at a price, but to be honest I can't really pick one which might do so I am going to focus on the top end of the market and the proven class of Caid Du Berlais and Shantou Flyer plus the possible new star Staker Wallace.     Caid Du Berlais 1pt e/w (or 0.25pts e/w if already on) @ 12/1 with Bet365 @12/1 (14s available to 3 places with Betfair) Shantou Flyer 1.5pts e/w @ 9/1 with Bet365   Already advised Caid Du Berlais 0.75pts e/w @ 14/1 Staker Wallace 0.75pts e/w @ 14/1    
  3. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 3   
    Stayers Hurdle
    Paisely Park wins and then its case of whether or not to have an EW play.
    You could pick from a handful and make a case but I will rule out of a couple of the main ones. Bacardys is best at a shorter trip, Emitom isnt the greatest of jumper, Apples Jade is a bit of an unknown at the moment and connections dont appear confident and I am not convinced that Summerville Boy is true stayer at this trip in a properly run race (although there is a doubt as to whether this will be well run) and City Island will surely need a hurdle prep after returning from chasing. As a result my pin landed on Ronald Pump. He is a quite progressive hurdler and his last run (handicap) was as good as many others have shown this season and only 5lb behind the level Paisely Park has shown this season. It look like others are starting to find him in the market but if he improves again, which is a definite possibility, then he could cause more trouble to the favourite than people may think.
  4. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 3   
    Ryanair Chase
    Frodon                   173
    Aso                        171
    Min                         171
    A Plus Tard             170
    Ridersonthestorm     167
     
    Frodon is massively overlooked in this race in my opinion. A Plus Tard is a worthy favourite, is improving and could well be one of the NAPs of the day but Frodon must be the EW play of the day, if not week. People keep saying how poorly Frodon has ran this season but its bollocks. His Aintree run was rated 1lb better than the previous seasons, he ran really well for a long way in the Betfair Chase against a horse that would be the best horse in training if all races were run over that course and distance and one of the solidest novices from last season and then despite not being the ideal track, he ran and won at Kempton, only 3lb below the form he showed in his prep run in the Cotswold Chase the year before. This horse is at his best around Cheltenham and you can add at least 5lb to what he did last time out, maybe even closer to 10lb. Its not entirely implausible that the horse has actually improved again slightly this season so he really shouldn't be dismissed for all that he is up against a potential star.
    As for the others, Aso would also rate a solid EW bet but I cant see Min staying on up the hill as he has faded each time before and that was over shorter and Ridersonthestorm is surely backing up a bit soon after a grueling race last time out.
  5. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 3   
    Another good day yesterday topping up the coffers again but generally speaking today is always the make or break day for me. Its the most competitive day and filled with races that I like the most and get this right and it should allow me enough money to smuggle in 100 rolls of triple quilted toilet paper just in time for the apocalypse.
    Marsh Novice
    Faugheen           166
    Samcro              161
    Itchy Feet           160
    Mister Fisher       157
     
    This posed me a real problem. I ruled out Samcro pretty quickly because I dont see him finishing his race off. Even when he was throwing down a challenge to Fakir Doudaries in my opinion he was just as likely to fall into a hole just as he did against Faugheen. They have done his wind again but he is way too short and would be one of my lays of the day in all honesty. Faugheen and Itchy Feet are my next two bets. I didnt like the way they were talking about Faugheen after his win at the DRF. It was almost as if that was the day and anything after is a bonus. He didn't jump that well and Easy Game hasn't franked the form and nor has the 4th. Can a horse at his age also come and put in a career best here? I wouldn't want to lay him, but I'm happy to watch him win unbacked. Speaking of iffy jumpers, Itchy Feet must also fall into this category. He was impressive at the business end in that Sandown race and Midnight Shadow is a solid 150 horse and he breezed past him. He ran well here and at Aintree over hurdles last spring and he will cope well with this ground. The problem with him is that he will make mistakes and I am not sure I can see a horse doing a Champ two days in a row. If he minimises the errors then he would have a huge chance. Mister Fisher would also have a chance having beaten another solid enough 150 horse over a shorter than ideal trip but he would be best on better ground. My tentative nod would therefore go to Itchy Feet.
     
    Pertemps Handicap
    My first bet will be Sire Du Berlais (EW). He won the race last year after a troubled passage from 7lb lower and whilst I dont expect him to be able to win this race with a similar passage this year, he must surely go close to winning if it goes well. He loves it here, his runs have been the typical style run for a race like this, getting into a place without showing your full hand and with Gerraghty riding out of his skin so far this week he should be bang there.
    I have backed The Storyteller (W). I'm not proud of it but sometimes you just have to look at the obvious signs in front of your eyes. As I mentioned above he is a clear plot job and whilst he is well found in the market, he has the form over hurdles, the form at the track and one of the best trainers and jockeys for this type of challenge.
    Skandiburg (EW) is another I will have a bet on. This horse has abundant stamina and a real test on soft ground looks to be right up his street. I thought he had no chance in the Cheltenham race he won last time out but he found loads under pressure to power away. Why wouldnt you want a horse like that on your side in this race?
    I am also tossing up a 4th bet which is currently between Stoney Mountain and Third Wind. Most of Third Wind's best form has come over shorter and on right handed tracks which raises an alarm bell to me and I think he is short enough given that this will be a big test. His wins at Sandown and Wincanton show that this is a horse to keep on the right side of but I am not sure this is the day. Stoney Mountain won the same race at Haydock Paisely Park did last season and he won it in a similar fashion by powering clear after the final flight when looking well beaten. Despite that connections then sent him chasing where he UR before sending him to the same race SDB placed in to qualify for this race and he received a somewhat similar ride, essentially never threatening the leaders as they were a bit too pacey for him. Like Skandiburg this looks like the right test.
  6. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to richard-westwood in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Nice doing business 
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    Blazing Bailey reacted to BillyHills in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Day 1 Ratings

     
  8. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    National Hunt Chase

    Traditionally this is a race I have done quite well in so I am hoping that the drop in distance doesn’t change that! Having said that, I don’t really like this years edition. Furthermore whilst it is in some ways just as important to have a good jockey as well as a good horse in this race. The figures are as follows:



    Carefully Selected           156
    Lord Du Mensil                156

    Newtide                          149

    Springfield Fox                149

    Ravenhill                         148

    The Hollow Ginge            148


     
    The reason I don’t like this race is because I have doubts over the top two. Carefully Selected made some big mistakes when running left handed last time out, the type that would put him on the deck if he did them here. Lord Du Mensil has all his best form on heavy ground at Haydock and generally speaking, I don’t rate that form when transferred anywhere else. I cant back either of these two at the current prices with those doubts.
    That leads us into the next 5 horses are very closely rated. Newtide is probably my favourite of the lot. He was fortunate to win last time but he is a proper stayer and he jumps well. He has one of the better jockeys on board as well so he ticks all the boxes. At 10/1 he is also an EW price. They have also talked about him as a Welsh National horse so if it does get testing it shouldn’t be a problem for him.

    Springfield Fox will run handily which is never a bad thing in a race like this and he won well at Exeter last time out earning him this rating. He made a few mistakes in that race and I could see that being enough to stop him from winning this but again and his price is now probably about right from being much bigger in the past.

    One of the best riders in this race in Jamie Codd gets the leg up on Ravenhill.  He fell last time out and that will be enough to put me off in a race like this.

    The last one on the list is The Hollow Ginge who ran well either side of two below form performances at Haydock. He won a messy handicap last time out with only one other finisher and its hard to see that he will be good enough to win a race like this. I think he is already close to the ceiling of his ability whereas the others have more scope to improve. Saying that he has more experience that the other English runners and he is being earmarked for the National so he is clearly expected to stay. He is a big price too.


     

     
  9. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Champion Hurdle
    Another wide open championship race on day one. There are lots of horses rated very similarly but I think we will have to see a horse run to around 165+ to win this. With that in mind, my eye is on the following:
     
    Call Me Lord    158
    Cilaos Emery   160
    Darver Star       160
    Sharjah            163
    Supasundae     159
    Epatante          164
     
    I might as well start with the closest horse to that mark in Epatante. The first concern is Cheltenham based on last seasons run. I don't believe it will be an issue and if anything it will have more to do with the hood. First time hood wearers at the festival have a terrible record and I watched her run up the hill and despite Gerraghty stop riding her up the hill, she wasn't packing it in by any means. What I did see in that race was some frailties with her jumping. Down the back straight she got on the back foot at two or three, losing ground. She did a similar thing to one at Kempton on the far side too, without losing too much ground. The most curious run was at Newbury. Seemingly not fancied as much as her stablemate by Henderson, she actually looked as though she would lose out to another Henderson horse between the last and second last before powering away. Her jump at that last flight was terrible as well. She absolutely winged the final flights at Kempton and the question is whether she can repeat that Christmas Hurdle run at Cheltenham. I think she can, but she cant afford any errors, and even if she does repeat that performance, there will still be others a lot closer than they were at Kempton. I would really like to see her come and blow these boys away, and she does seem to have that potent turn of foot to do so. I see no reason why she shouldn't be bang there but I would like to see her drift a little before I back her.
    The stablemate CML is an interesting enough one. I think he will improve for the better ground but the trip might be a bit trappy at this level. He will need a good pace to go close IMO. I could see him running a race in the low 160's without being good enough.
    The Irish form is interesting. Supasundae is likely to run to around the 160 mark and not be good enough to win but he will give us a good guide to the form. If they beat him (and Ballyandy) well, then it will be a good edition, which on paper it doesn't look to be at the moment. Sharjah is a lottery. Very much capable of running between 165 and 170 but I have no idea whether he will run his race. Cilaos Emery was going to the Champion Chase until February when he fell. He ran well enough last time out back over hurdles, beating the re-opposing Durasso handily but he didnt look like a winner of this. He is another that falls into the likely to run well without winning category. This then leaves Darver Star, who has been tipped up quite a bit by Kevin Blake. I wrote him off until I watched the last two runs back, running OK behind the best Irish novices before going on to better to finish with a rattle behind Honeysuckle. I can really see him flying up the hill. He jumped really quickly over the last two that day and a horse finishing like that always catches my eye. Honeysuckle would be a short price here and DS would have beaten her in another 100-200 yards. He has improved bundles this season already and I wouldnt expect much more but this test looks ideal and I could see him finishing best.
    I can see myself back Epatante on the day when she drifts or with the bookmaker concessions and having a nibble on Darver Star EW.
  10. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from vikki37 in Racing Chat - Monday March 9th   
    I say fill up your sacks for Tuesday instead!
    I am with you on The Two Amigos (Tau 4.40). Finished behind a progressive type at Fontwell before running in two big handicaps at Chepstow and Haydock running admirably both times. In far easier waters now and surely has too much class for the rest of these. Strong stayer, loves the mud and I can see his front running run style putting the rest to the sword.
    5/2 Bet365 looks too big.
     
  11. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Monday March 9th   
    I say fill up your sacks for Tuesday instead!
    I am with you on The Two Amigos (Tau 4.40). Finished behind a progressive type at Fontwell before running in two big handicaps at Chepstow and Haydock running admirably both times. In far easier waters now and surely has too much class for the rest of these. Strong stayer, loves the mud and I can see his front running run style putting the rest to the sword.
    5/2 Bet365 looks too big.
     
  12. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to richard-westwood in Greatwood Gold Cup/ Grimthorpe Chase - Saturday Handicaps   
    Grimthorpe 
    Captain chaos  cls 260   290  total 550
    Chidswell   cls  250  270 total 520 
    Some chaos  cls  255  273 total 528    
    Captain chaos is the ew form horse and looks very good value around 10/1 but there's not a lot between top 3 so I'll try wins all 3 
    Captain chaos 5pts win 10/1 betv
    Chidswell 5pts win 11/1 bet365
    Some chaos  5pts win 25/1 bet365 
     
  13. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to Villa Chris in Racing Chat - Saturday Feb 29th   
    Dell Arca 16/1 e/w 1.30 Newbury 
    Gino Trail 12/1 e/w 2.35 Doncaster 
    Both on very low marks. Dell Arca ran encouragingly in its last race and placed at 33/1 after drifting out to 50s. He’s been dropped 1Ibs for that run. 
  14. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to Darran in Road to the Cheltenham Foxhunters   
    Time to make a 2nd bet. Derek O'Connor has said at a Cheltenham preview night that he expects to be riding Staker Wallace and not Minella Rocco. That is the right move for me and he surely can't give Staker Wallace as bad a ride as he gave Stand Up And Fight last year. I am a big fan of Derek and that was a rare poor ride from him. As for the horse he ran a very good race at Naas after a long time off. As stated at the time I am dubious of the form of that race anyway because of the fact it turned into a sprint and I think he can reverse form with the winner. He beat a good yardstick to qualify and although the Irish don't look a strong set of hunter chasers again this year, for me he is their number 1 contender. To be fair the British hopes don't look to have too much strength in depth to them anyway. With Derek set to ride he is surely going to go off single figures on the day and could be a shorter price than Minella Rocco.
    Staker Wallace 0.75pts e/w @ 14/1 with Betfred or 10/1 if you want it with a NRMB bookie.
    Also David Maxwell has stated in tomorrow's Racing Post that he hasn't actually decided who to ride in the race yet, but will only run one of his two as he doesn't want to be on the wrong one.
  15. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from Villa Chris in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    National Hunt Chase

    Traditionally this is a race I have done quite well in so I am hoping that the drop in distance doesn’t change that! Having said that, I don’t really like this years edition. Furthermore whilst it is in some ways just as important to have a good jockey as well as a good horse in this race. The figures are as follows:



    Carefully Selected           156
    Lord Du Mensil                156

    Newtide                          149

    Springfield Fox                149

    Ravenhill                         148

    The Hollow Ginge            148


     
    The reason I don’t like this race is because I have doubts over the top two. Carefully Selected made some big mistakes when running left handed last time out, the type that would put him on the deck if he did them here. Lord Du Mensil has all his best form on heavy ground at Haydock and generally speaking, I don’t rate that form when transferred anywhere else. I cant back either of these two at the current prices with those doubts.
    That leads us into the next 5 horses are very closely rated. Newtide is probably my favourite of the lot. He was fortunate to win last time but he is a proper stayer and he jumps well. He has one of the better jockeys on board as well so he ticks all the boxes. At 10/1 he is also an EW price. They have also talked about him as a Welsh National horse so if it does get testing it shouldn’t be a problem for him.

    Springfield Fox will run handily which is never a bad thing in a race like this and he won well at Exeter last time out earning him this rating. He made a few mistakes in that race and I could see that being enough to stop him from winning this but again and his price is now probably about right from being much bigger in the past.

    One of the best riders in this race in Jamie Codd gets the leg up on Ravenhill.  He fell last time out and that will be enough to put me off in a race like this.

    The last one on the list is The Hollow Ginge who ran well either side of two below form performances at Haydock. He won a messy handicap last time out with only one other finisher and its hard to see that he will be good enough to win a race like this. I think he is already close to the ceiling of his ability whereas the others have more scope to improve. Saying that he has more experience that the other English runners and he is being earmarked for the National so he is clearly expected to stay. He is a big price too.


     

     
  16. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to BillyHills in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Welcome back Bailey
  17. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from vikki37 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Supreme Hurdle I think this comes down to 5 horses and my ratings of them are as follows:
    Asterion Forlonge   156
    Envoi Allen             154
    Shishkin                 154
    Fiddlerontheroof       152
    Abaracadabras        151


    I am still expecting EA to head to the Neptune and which ever race he ends up in he will be a huge threat as he travels like a dream, he jumps well and he has a potent turn of foot too. AF looks to have a massive engine but I would definitely doubt his ability to jump well enough to win a race like this. He jumps to his right and really stickily at times and whilst he got away with that last time out and still managed to post a quick time, I don't see him being able to get away with it in this field. His chance increases with slower ground in my opinion.
    Shishkin is another that looks to have it all. There is no obvious reason to doubt his ability other than he hasn't been properly tested. Henderson's relatively poor record in this race is curious because he has had a lot of talented horses run in this and fail to win. The one doubt I have is whether is battle hardened enough and then when I think of Henderson's other recent high profile losers in this race they seem to have a similar profile. When I say battle hardened, I mean at  true top class pace. All the other horses in this list have been tested.
    The one I most like out of this list is Fiddlerontheroof. I loved the way he stayed on Sandown up the hill and how he attacked his hurdles. He drew effortless clear in the final stages and if he is in the race as they turn in, I doubt any of the others will jump as well as he does under pressure. He is a much bigger price than he should be in my opinion and had he been trained by Mullins or Henderson I bet he would be at least a couple of points shorter.
    The final horse is Abaracadbras who has been the only horse to put it up to EA. It wasn't too much of a contest in the end but for a National Hunt horse he looks a slick mover who will appreciate the anticipated better ground at Cheltenham. He is a real hardy horse too, with plenty of runs and I couldn't rule him out.
  18. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from Villa Chris in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    The Arkle
    There are plenty in with a realistic chance of winning this race. My outlook on what they have achieved as far from a ratings point of view is as follows:
    Notebook               164
    Espirit Du Large    159
    Brewinupastorm     159
    Cash Back             158
    Rouge Vif               158
    Maire Banrigh        158
    Mister Fisher          157
    Al Dancer               156
    Fakir Doudaries     156
    Global Citizen         156
     
    Firstly I shall start with Cash Back as I think he will be a key part of this race. I have watched both of his last starts and he will frame this race by going off hard in front. He is an extremely slick jumper and whilst I dont think he has the raw ability of some of these, his jumping will sort plenty of them out, especially those that aren't up to this class and those that don't jump well enough. I can certainly see this lad running a huge race but he might just get nabbed on the run in. I will probably back him.
    One horse that will know that his run style wont trouble is Notebook. He too will run up with the pace and aside from jumping slightly right he is just as slick but with slightly more ability. I think Notebook is as bomb-proof as they come as long as he deals with the occasion better than he did at the DRF where he bolted to post. It sounds as though it was unexpected and it someways it is better to do it there for the first time rather than at Cheltenham because now they can prepare to prevent it happening on the big day. It shows how talented he is that he was able to cope with bolting to post and then still have the energy to get up to deny Cash Back last time out. I will be backing this horse, albeit I might wait until I see him safely down at the start.
    The rest of the horses on the list are ones that I have tried to anticipate who will and who will not cope with the test posed by those two above. Espirit Du Large and Rouge Vif have a common foe in Nube Negra to rate their races through. I thought EDL got first run on that rival at Sandown as the Skelton horse had to switch off the bend and then try and make up ground on EDL which is hard to do at that track. I am not sure that form would stick if they ran the race again. RV has then beaten the same horse by several lengths at Warwick, producing an assured jumping display and bounding clear at the finish. RV is likely to run handier and therefore be more affected by the two Irish horses whereas EDL is more likely to hunt around and then come with a challenge. I couldn't rule either of them out from an EW perspective.
    The rest I have concerns about. Brewinupastorm's form is weak enough for me and he has a tendency to put in a slow one. I am also not a fan of a horse coming back from a niggle in such a big race. Mister Fisher might get caught out by the pace of the race, but if not he jumps well enough, he will stay further and he could be seen putting down a challenge up the hill. Al Dancer is surely not going to be good enough having been beaten by several rivals and Maire Banrigh again doesnt look to have raced against decent enough horses to truely assess how good she is but she can clearly jump and she has travelled well in her races so far. Doing so in this, may just prove too much for her. Global Citizen is a flat sharp track bully and isnt one that interests me.
    This leaves the well tipped Fakir Doudaries. I don't see him reversing the form with the favourite based on their previous running. He is worse off at the weights and every perceived benefit he might enjoy (the test, the ground, the pace) and I also see benefiting the favourite too.
     
  19. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from Villa Chris in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Supreme Hurdle I think this comes down to 5 horses and my ratings of them are as follows:
    Asterion Forlonge   156
    Envoi Allen             154
    Shishkin                 154
    Fiddlerontheroof       152
    Abaracadabras        151


    I am still expecting EA to head to the Neptune and which ever race he ends up in he will be a huge threat as he travels like a dream, he jumps well and he has a potent turn of foot too. AF looks to have a massive engine but I would definitely doubt his ability to jump well enough to win a race like this. He jumps to his right and really stickily at times and whilst he got away with that last time out and still managed to post a quick time, I don't see him being able to get away with it in this field. His chance increases with slower ground in my opinion.
    Shishkin is another that looks to have it all. There is no obvious reason to doubt his ability other than he hasn't been properly tested. Henderson's relatively poor record in this race is curious because he has had a lot of talented horses run in this and fail to win. The one doubt I have is whether is battle hardened enough and then when I think of Henderson's other recent high profile losers in this race they seem to have a similar profile. When I say battle hardened, I mean at  true top class pace. All the other horses in this list have been tested.
    The one I most like out of this list is Fiddlerontheroof. I loved the way he stayed on Sandown up the hill and how he attacked his hurdles. He drew effortless clear in the final stages and if he is in the race as they turn in, I doubt any of the others will jump as well as he does under pressure. He is a much bigger price than he should be in my opinion and had he been trained by Mullins or Henderson I bet he would be at least a couple of points shorter.
    The final horse is Abaracadbras who has been the only horse to put it up to EA. It wasn't too much of a contest in the end but for a National Hunt horse he looks a slick mover who will appreciate the anticipated better ground at Cheltenham. He is a real hardy horse too, with plenty of runs and I couldn't rule him out.
  20. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    The Arkle
    There are plenty in with a realistic chance of winning this race. My outlook on what they have achieved as far from a ratings point of view is as follows:
    Notebook               164
    Espirit Du Large    159
    Brewinupastorm     159
    Cash Back             158
    Rouge Vif               158
    Maire Banrigh        158
    Mister Fisher          157
    Al Dancer               156
    Fakir Doudaries     156
    Global Citizen         156
     
    Firstly I shall start with Cash Back as I think he will be a key part of this race. I have watched both of his last starts and he will frame this race by going off hard in front. He is an extremely slick jumper and whilst I dont think he has the raw ability of some of these, his jumping will sort plenty of them out, especially those that aren't up to this class and those that don't jump well enough. I can certainly see this lad running a huge race but he might just get nabbed on the run in. I will probably back him.
    One horse that will know that his run style wont trouble is Notebook. He too will run up with the pace and aside from jumping slightly right he is just as slick but with slightly more ability. I think Notebook is as bomb-proof as they come as long as he deals with the occasion better than he did at the DRF where he bolted to post. It sounds as though it was unexpected and it someways it is better to do it there for the first time rather than at Cheltenham because now they can prepare to prevent it happening on the big day. It shows how talented he is that he was able to cope with bolting to post and then still have the energy to get up to deny Cash Back last time out. I will be backing this horse, albeit I might wait until I see him safely down at the start.
    The rest of the horses on the list are ones that I have tried to anticipate who will and who will not cope with the test posed by those two above. Espirit Du Large and Rouge Vif have a common foe in Nube Negra to rate their races through. I thought EDL got first run on that rival at Sandown as the Skelton horse had to switch off the bend and then try and make up ground on EDL which is hard to do at that track. I am not sure that form would stick if they ran the race again. RV has then beaten the same horse by several lengths at Warwick, producing an assured jumping display and bounding clear at the finish. RV is likely to run handier and therefore be more affected by the two Irish horses whereas EDL is more likely to hunt around and then come with a challenge. I couldn't rule either of them out from an EW perspective.
    The rest I have concerns about. Brewinupastorm's form is weak enough for me and he has a tendency to put in a slow one. I am also not a fan of a horse coming back from a niggle in such a big race. Mister Fisher might get caught out by the pace of the race, but if not he jumps well enough, he will stay further and he could be seen putting down a challenge up the hill. Al Dancer is surely not going to be good enough having been beaten by several rivals and Maire Banrigh again doesnt look to have raced against decent enough horses to truely assess how good she is but she can clearly jump and she has travelled well in her races so far. Doing so in this, may just prove too much for her. Global Citizen is a flat sharp track bully and isnt one that interests me.
    This leaves the well tipped Fakir Doudaries. I don't see him reversing the form with the favourite based on their previous running. He is worse off at the weights and every perceived benefit he might enjoy (the test, the ground, the pace) and I also see benefiting the favourite too.
     
  21. Like
    Blazing Bailey got a reaction from yossa6133 in Racing Chat - Cheltenham Festival Day 1   
    Supreme Hurdle I think this comes down to 5 horses and my ratings of them are as follows:
    Asterion Forlonge   156
    Envoi Allen             154
    Shishkin                 154
    Fiddlerontheroof       152
    Abaracadabras        151


    I am still expecting EA to head to the Neptune and which ever race he ends up in he will be a huge threat as he travels like a dream, he jumps well and he has a potent turn of foot too. AF looks to have a massive engine but I would definitely doubt his ability to jump well enough to win a race like this. He jumps to his right and really stickily at times and whilst he got away with that last time out and still managed to post a quick time, I don't see him being able to get away with it in this field. His chance increases with slower ground in my opinion.
    Shishkin is another that looks to have it all. There is no obvious reason to doubt his ability other than he hasn't been properly tested. Henderson's relatively poor record in this race is curious because he has had a lot of talented horses run in this and fail to win. The one doubt I have is whether is battle hardened enough and then when I think of Henderson's other recent high profile losers in this race they seem to have a similar profile. When I say battle hardened, I mean at  true top class pace. All the other horses in this list have been tested.
    The one I most like out of this list is Fiddlerontheroof. I loved the way he stayed on Sandown up the hill and how he attacked his hurdles. He drew effortless clear in the final stages and if he is in the race as they turn in, I doubt any of the others will jump as well as he does under pressure. He is a much bigger price than he should be in my opinion and had he been trained by Mullins or Henderson I bet he would be at least a couple of points shorter.
    The final horse is Abaracadbras who has been the only horse to put it up to EA. It wasn't too much of a contest in the end but for a National Hunt horse he looks a slick mover who will appreciate the anticipated better ground at Cheltenham. He is a real hardy horse too, with plenty of runs and I couldn't rule him out.
  22. Thanks
    Blazing Bailey reacted to Striker in Cheltenham 2020 Previews   
    Best bet for me next week is to back anything that the talented Irish Conditional Oakley Brown rides
    His 7lb claim has been protected by his guvnor Joseph O'Brien, and in my opinion the reason will become apparent at all the Spring Festivals! 
  23. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to BillyHills in Monthly Nap Competition - Leaderboard   
    Aug 31st
    Woodys Way wins the comp for August with a 12/1 winner on the last day
    Also In the frame Bymatrix, Silver Fox and Jimmy
    Prizes:
    £80: Woodys Way
    £40: Bymatrix
    £20: Silver Fox
    £10: Jimmy2shoes
    Cup £30: Drew005
    Can all winners send Skrill email details to Paul at; (also PL name and prize claimed)
    team@punterslounge.com
    Thanks
    Final Table

     
     
     
     
     
  24. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to beaker1 in Saturday Racing (Inc Scoop6, York Ebor etc..)   
    1.45 York – Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes (Handicap)

    In yet another competitive middle-distance handicap, the three-year-olds  look to have an advantage given they’re receiving an 8lb weight allowance, but when you look at the past nine runnings of the race, no three-year-old has taken advantage of that allowance yet. Scarlet Dragon, and the Mark Johnston-trained pair of Ode To Evening and Montsarrat all fall into this category – the former was just behind Stargazer at Goodwood and has been raised 2lbs as a result, Ode To Evening has been running very well recently, but looked held off a mark of 102 at Haydock last time out and could have done his winning for now and Montsarrat is a conundrum that looks like he’ll win a decent race like this soon if connections can figure out the right trip for him, but whose inexperience could cost him here. Unfortunately Stargazer was declared a non-runner on Friday morning as he was the one three-year-old that stood out to me and could have bucked that trend.
    From the older contingent, Awake My Soul appeals as the type to run well here after coming slowly down the weights in the past 12 months. He’s now running from a mark of 96, which he’s run well off the last twice – a close fourth and third at York and Newmarket – and he seems to be coming to form now. The switch of stable from David O’Meara to Tom Tate is an interesting move and he could well run a big race at a track he’s always gone well at. He’s 25/1 at the time of writing and, even though he hasn’t won for the best part of two years, could be a decent each-way bet as he’ll handle any ground and has plenty of experience of this kind of contest.
    Four-year-olds have won this race six times in the last nine years and it is from this age group that I think there’s some decent value and big contenders to be found. Frankie Dettori’s services have been enlisted by Ed Dunlop for his gelding Dark Red, who went on a streak of three straight wins to start this season before finishing fourth in a competitive contest at Epsom back in June. The Dark Angel gelding has had a break since to freshen him up, so he could be spot on for this. He’ll enjoy a bit of cut in the ground, so will have no issues if the heavens open but after going up 20lbs from the start of the season, it could be that with a mark of 95, the handicapper finally has him where he wants him.
    Another who’s had a very good season so far is the Tim Easterby-trained Snoano, who’s versatile in terms of ground and certainly stays this extended mile and a quarter very well. He won his only start here at York over a mile and a half, so clearly enjoys the track, and a strongly-run race over slightly shorter should be spot on for this son of Nayef. He was a good sixth at Goodwood, about three lengths in front of Erik The Red, and off the same terms, should be able to confirm the form unless the nine runs he’s already had this season begin to catch up with him, however he’s another that might well be in the grip of the handicapper.
    Luca Cumani’s stable has finally found some form this season and his well-bred Fallen For A Star looks to have a chance here if he can once again settle well under Jamie Spencer. He’s had problems with being too keen in his races and a hood seems to have helped, as well as a change of tactics to make sure he gets all the cover possible from a held-up position, so he’s finally beginning to realise some of the potential in his excellent pedigree. Being by Sea The Stars, this trip should be perfect for him, but the main worry is the ground – he’s never raced on anything softer than good to firm on turf and even though he’s run well on the all-weather, there’s no way of knowing whether a rain-softened surface will be ok for him. A mark of 91 is reasonable, though and he could enjoy this big field and likely fast pace, so don’t count him out, even if the rain comes.
    One who won’t mind either fast or slow ground is Ralph Beckett’s MASTER OF IRONY, who’s won over a mile and a quarter on good to firm and over a mile on soft. His win at Windsor off a mark of 84 was an extremely good performance, blowing away Croquembouche and Passover, who hasn’t finished anywhere worse than third in his next four runs after that. He’s up to a mark of 91 now and while the rise of 7lbs might seem harsh, I don’t think it contributed to his disappointing showing at Sandown Park last time out. He’s a horse that needs to be switched off and after that last race, Oisin Murphy reported that he’s been temperamental and sulked the whole way round, so I think a line can be put through that run. The son of Makfi has plenty of ability and will enjoy the nature of this big field and this track – a long bend before a long straight, keeping him interested early on before allowing him to creep into the race. He was sixth in a handicap over a mile at this meeting last year behind My Dream Boat, now a Group 1 winner, and looked as if this extra two furlongs should suit. He’s been off for around two months, so should be well prepared and tuned-up for a race that could well have been targeted by connections and I think he’ll run well at quite a big price.

    MY  Advice

    MASTER OF IRONY – 1pt e/w @ 16/1 (SkyBet)

      
    2.15 York – Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes (Group 3)

    Godolphin have enjoyed a great deal of success in the Strensall Stakes in recent years having won five of the last nine renewals and that fine run looks set to continue here with SCOTTISH the one to beat. The son of Teofilo showed a high level of form last season when finishing runner-up in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot and the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood before ending his campaign with a deserved victory in the Listed Doonside Cup at Ayr. Since being purchased by Godolphin and switched to Charlie Appleby over the winter, the now four-year-old has carried on where he left off and looked a real force when cruising to victory in the Listed Steventon Stakes at Newbury last month. His last run in the Group 3 Rose of Lancaster Stakes was a tad disappointing but he was merely outstayed over an extended 1m2f by Royal Artillery (who is a beast about double his size) and drops back down to 1m1f here which looks like it should be perfect for him. He still holds entries in both the Irish Champion Stakes and Champion Stakes which suggests that connections feel that he is capable of a step up and this could be the ideal stepping stone on route.
    His closest rival could come in the shape of the sole three-year-old in the field, Diploma, who gets weight all round. Sir Michael Stoute’s filly has been highly progressive this campaign and was an impressive winner of the Listed Lyric Stakes over an extended 1m2f last time. That form has been franked with the runner-up Fireglow scoring at Listed level subsequently and she remains on a steep upward curve. Although she is clearly going the right way, a drop in trip wouldn’t look as though it would particularly suit her but she does get in here on favourable terms and is a leading contender.
    David O’Meara has landed the last two renewals of this contest and is represented here by 2014 winner Custom Cut. The seven-year-old has finished in the frame on four of his five starts this campaign and although he remains fairly consistent at this sort of level, he tends to come up short and may prefer a bit of cut in the ground nowadays. He was well fancied when fourth in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes last Thursday though and arrives here with a shout.
    Countermeasure rates an interesting participant having ran a stormer to finish fourth in the Eclipse despite acting as a pacemaker for Time Test. He again filled the same role in the Group 2 York Stakes and wasn’t beaten all that far so could prove to be a different proposition now being ridden with his best interests at heart. It would be difficult to follow him with much confidence though as a nine-race maiden who finished second off a mark of 79 in a Class 3 handicap at Kempton back in June.
    The highest rated horse in the field is Yorker representing William Haggas, who bagged the Strensall five years ago with Green Destiny. The seven-year-old gelding is a three-time Grade 1 winner in his native South Africa but makes his debut in Britain here having not been seen on a racecourse since June 2014. It remains to be seen how his form translates and indeed how much ability he retains and a watching brief can only be advised with all things taken into account.
    Both Tullius and Air Pilot have the unenviable task of conceding weight all round following their Group 3 victories earlier in the campaign and the quick ground on offer here will likely put paid to their chances.

    MY  Advice

    SCOTTISH – 1.5pts win @ 9/2 (Boylesports)
     
    2.50 York – Betfred Melrose Stakes (Handicap)

    Seen as the ‘3yos Ebor’ the Melrose proves just as competitive and in some cases more of a puzzle with many of the field stepping up to 1m6f for the very first time. Indeed, Injam is the only runner in the 13-strong field to have won over the distance before and that came in a three-runner soft-ground maiden at Haydock.
    The best way of approaching the unknown is to look for an improver who has shown their best work at the finish over 1m4f and SHRAAOH fits particularly nicely into that category. The son of Sea The Stars has been quietly progressive since making his debut at Newmarket’s Craven meeting in April and bar a below-par effort in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot (well fancied but found the soft ground to be against him), he has continued on an upward curve. He put in a very nice performance when only going down by a short head behind Dal Harraild in a hot 1m4f handicap at Glorious Goodwood, finishing with a strong late burst that really caught the eye. He has only gone up 2lb for that run which seems very fair and the extra two furlongs on offer here should prove ideal.
    His biggest challenge could come from the Ballydoyle duo in the line-up, headed by Seamie Heffernan’s mount Kellstorm. The Galileo colt is a brother to this year’s Ascot Gold Cup winner Order of St George so the step up to 1m6f promises to suit. He has already shown a decent level of form and refreshed from a break (not seen since early May), he could be revved up and ready to go. The ground is a bit of an unknown as the quickest he has raced on is good but his illustrious older brother has proven to be a versatile sort and he could well follow suit.
    His stablemate Unicorn has the burden of conceding weight all round and will have no easy task with this being his first run of the season. He was a runaway winner of a Leopardstown maiden a year ago before disappointing in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes and hasn’t been seen since. He is embarking on a massive step up in trip having only ran up to a mile but as a brother to connections’ St Leger runner-up Bondi Beach, he could well thrive over this sort of trip. He does look to be the stable second string on jockey bookings though.
    Regal Monarch has had a completely different path having only made his debut last November and has already graced the track seven times this campaign. He hasn’t finished out of the first three this year and now finds himself on a 28lb higher mark than when second in a Class 5 Doncaster handicap back in April. He has been purchased by Highclere to continue his racing in Australia so Mark Johnston is clearly trying to strike while the iron is still hot having landed a Pontefract handicap with the Notnowcato gelding on Sunday. He has a 6lb penalty to contend with but is clearly thriving at present and sluiced up over 1m5f at Newmarket three starts back so has to enter consideration.

    MY  Advice

    SHRAAOH – 1.5pts win @ 7/2 (SkyBet, BetVictor)
     
    3.25 York – Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) 
    This looks a vintage renewal of the Gimcrack with Blue Point likely to be the favourite, having come a close second to Mehmas in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood last time. He lost nothing in defeat that day but it felt like something of an anti-climax compared the eleven length demolition of his rivals at Doncaster the time before. He just wasn’t streetwise enough on that occasion to get the job done but Mehmas is not here and he looks justified in his position at the head of the market.
    However, there are a number of very smart performers in the field including William Haggas’ Mubtasim who has won his first two starts in good fashion and he looks to have a bright future ahead of him. He beat a pretty good marker in Town Charter at Haydock earlier this month and his trainer has taken this race twice in the last six years.
    Aidan O’Brien’s Intelligence Cross must also come into the mix having finished second to Mehmas in the July Stakes at Newmarket. He was a shade disappointing on the face of it at Goodwood last time but he may have played his cards a little early there and ridden with more restraint, I think he will be shown in a better light.
    However, I the one I like most is MOKARRIS who couldn’t have been more impressive when winning the Listed Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury last time. Simon Crisford’s colt was well-backed through the day and having travelled smoothly throughout under Paul Hanagan, he quickened up clear under hands and heels to win by two and three-quarter lengths. The form of that race has been franked with the fifth home Miss Infinity winning a Listed race next time and he looks a colt on the up. His only disappointing effort saw him well-beaten in the Coventry on slow ground and although there is rain forecast, I don’t think it will be enough to blunt his turn of foot. This is clearly another step up on what he has done so far but he looks entitled to take his chance and I’m expecting a big run.
    Of the rest, one who could be overpriced is Kevin Ryan’s Dream Of Dreams who has always been held in high-regard by the stable. He was well-backed in the Railway Stakes at the Curragh last time but he missed the break and having been ridden to get to the front, he just didn’t have anything left inside the final furlong. He is capable of better than that with the yard having already caused one upset this week, I think 12/1 is a very big price.

    MY  Advice

    MOKARRIS – 1pt win @ 9/2 (SkyBet)
    Dream Of Dreams – 0.5pt e/w @ 12/1 (bet365, Paddy Power)

      
    4.00 York – Betfred Ebor (HANDICAP) 

    This race has proved a real graveyard for older contenders with only three horses older than five being able to land the Ebor since the legendary Sea Pigeon scored as a nine-year-old in 1979. All three have done so in the last eleven years but even so, this is a particularly strong negative statistic. There are several runners in today’s field aged six or above including the likes of Ivan Grozny, Quick Jack and Elidor.
    Usually in races such as this, being drawn on the rail is an advantage but that hasn’t proved the case in the Betfred Ebor. Runners drawn low have been at an overwhelming disadvantage in recent years with only three of the last ten winners scoring from stall 14 or lower. With victory in the Betfred Ebor being held in such high esteem, those jockeys drawn low have shown a tendency to break far too quickly from the stalls in order to take advantage of their draw, but only end up setting a furious early pace in order to maintain their position. These early exertions clearly take their toll and play right into the hands of those drawn wide.
    The weights in the Betfred Ebor are fairly well compressed these days, making this trend fairly a minor one, but it must be noted that only four of the last 25 winners successfully shouldered more than 9st 3lbs. In such a competitive handicap where stamina is at an absolute premium, every pound matters, and the chances of the seven in the field who are carrying the desired weight must be increased.
    The 2011 25/1 winner Moyenne Corniche went against a well-established trend, notably that he had finished outside of the first four on his most recent start. This is a stat that has accounted for seven of the last ten winners, so it does not look a race in which it is best to pin your hopes on a horse returning to form here.
    We can take this trend one step further when you consider that 8 of the last 10 winners had achieved a top two finish on either or both of their two latest starts.
    Whichever way you look at it, favourites do not fare well in the Betfred Ebor – there have only been two winning favourites since 1998, and there have been four winners in the last decade priced no shorter than 20/1. Therefore the best advice, other than to oppose the favourite, is to back your selection regardless of the starting price.

    Shortlist
    HEARTBREAK CITY – 5/7
    Top Tug – 5/7
    Antiquarium – 4/7
    Conclusion

    In an ultra-competitive renewal of the race, all of our runners miss at least two of the trends but the one who gets the narrow vote is HEARTBREAK CITY. Tony Martin’s six-year-old won on his penultimate start on the flat but following a flop in the Chester Cup, he has since won twice over hurdles with a bit to spare. The handicapper has taken no chances with his mark by putting him up a lot but Adam McNamara takes a useful 5lb off his back. His trainer is adept at getting horses primed for these big days and it would be no surprise to see him go close.
    Top Tug narrowly misses out on the top spot having finished a close third over 1m4f here in July. This will be his first go at a trip further than 1m4f but he seems to like it here so it is easy to see why connections were tempted. He is drawn on the inside in stall 2 so should be able to get a good position and may be able to outrun his sizeable odds.
    The final member of the shortlist is the Northumberland Plate winner Antiquarium who relished the step up in trip at Newcastle. He has plenty of weight on his back as he carries 9st 8lb but he hasn’t had too much racing so there may be more improvement to come. He ran well to finish fifth over course and distance in the Melrose last year and he should be in the shake-up.
    MY  Advice

    HEARTBREAK CITY – 0.5pt e/w @ 11/1 (bet365)

     
    4.35 York – Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed Race) 

    Some intriguing two-year-olds take their place in this Listed contest, none more so that Mark Johnston’s twice-raced Sutter County, who looks all speed and should be well-suited to the sharp five furlong trip here at York. However, a huge note of caution with this horse – if the rain materialises and the ground is good to soft or worse, I think he’ll be declared a non-runner. He wasn’t in love with the ground when he defeated the useful Dream Of Dreams at Newmarket last time out, just lasting home after bursting clear with a furlong to go, and I doubt connections will subject him to that again, especially in this stronger race. If the ground is quick, though, he’ll have a great chance of making it three from three in his career.
    Final Reckoning joins him in currently sitting at the top of the market after winning a good quality Nursery Handicap at Goodwood last time out. Rusumaat, the second that day, boosted the form when finishing second here earlier this week, so this is clearly a horse with lots of ability and speed. This drop back to the minimum five furlongs shouldn’t be a problem, especially given he’s fine with cut in the ground (won already on good to soft) and his previous run at the track over six furlongs suggested he might benefit from going back to five. He’s got a live chance in an open race.
    Carrying a 3lb penalty for winning a Listed race last time out, Hugo Palmer’s Afandem holds strong claims of making it two Listed contests on the bounce. He deals with ease in the ground fine and looks as if the drop to five furlongs is ideal for his keen-going style of racing. The Listed race he won in France may not have been the strongest affair but he did it well and added to his close third to Yalta in a Novice race at Goodwood while trying to give that smart rival 6lbs and an easy defeat of Rusumaat on his racecourse debut, he’s got some very good form in the book already. However, there hasn’t been a penalised winner of this in the past nine runnings and his tendency to fail to settle is a big worry.
    Frankie Dettori won the race on My Propeller back in 2011 and this year he rides the Tom Dascombe-trained BIG TIME BABY, who has shown plenty of speed and ability in his four starts to date, but is another that looks as if he needs to learn to settle a bit better to fulfil his potential. He’s been keen in both of his attempts at Group level in his short career so far, leading for much of the race before weakening into seventh and fifth respectively in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Molecomb Stakes at the Qatar Goodwood Festival, but if he can keep his enthusiasm under wraps here, he could have a great chance. Soft ground didn’t seem to be the excuse for his weakening at Ascot, he travelled really well through the majority of the race, so any rain shouldn’t be too much of a problem and at around 8/1, he could be much too big a price.

    MY  Advice

    BIG TIME BABY – 1pt win @ 10/1 (bet365)

     
    5.05 York – Betfred Apprentice Stakes (Handicap) 

    The curtain comes down on the Ebor meeting with this five furlongs sprint for the apprentice jockeys and most of the young stars in the weighing room are taking part.
    Adam McNamara has enjoyed a fine first season in England and he gets aboard Celebration who was a close fourth at Goodwood last time. He was only collared close home last time so the 3lb off his back should help and the cheekpieces which were left off last time are back on.
    David O’Meara’s Lathom is another who experiments with the headgear as he wears a visor for the first time on Saturday. The gelding won the Weatherbys Super Sprint last year and has shown signs of promise this season but just hasn’t been quite finishing his races off, so it isn’t a great surprise that the visor is reached for in a bid to find further improvement.
    Kevin Ryan saddles Laughton who has been in fine form of late, winning two of his last four starts, including a valuable race at Goodwood a few weeks ago. He has only been put up 4lb for that effort and he must be high on any shortlist. His jockey Kevin Stott spent most of last season in Newmarket but is now back with Kevin Ryan and he is one of the most experienced jockeys in this field. He is likely to be in the shake-up if continuing his fine run of form.
    However Tim Easterby looks to have a strong hand here with three runners in East Street Revue, Midnight Malibu and Excessable. The latter two make most appeal and Midnight Malibu comes here on the back of consecutive victories at Chester and Ascot. He actually finished ahead of Laughton at Chester in June and although Laughton gets a pull in the weights, there doesn’t look to be much between them.
    The one I like most of those is EXCESSABLE who has always been well thought of by connections but he has proved a bit disappointing since his 2yo days. It has taken him a while to come down the handicap but he managed to get his head in front off a mark of 78 last time and having gone up just 4lb I think he can do a bit of winning yet. Nathan Evans has been booked to ride and he has already shown himself to be a very good rider when winning on Hoof It at Goodwood and also an astute tactician. His 3lb claim negates most of the rise from the handicapper and having tasted success last time, I fancy he will go close to going in again here.

    MY  Advice

    EXCESSABLE – 0.5pt e/w @ 12/1 (Coral)
  25. Like
    Blazing Bailey reacted to richard-westwood in Saturday Racing (Inc Scoop6, York Ebor etc..)   
    Ebor 
    Top tug   99.01
    Shrewd   98.98 
    Antiquarian  98.93
    Huge amount of value here in top two ....both have posted decent efforts recently ....Top tug especially looks nicely weighted in this and could run a big race ....Shrewd has a claimer on board but 7lb claim wil help if jockeys good enough and Clifford Lee is looking a fair claimer ....at 20/1 outstanding value in a wide open race ....
    top tug   5pts ew 20/1 pp
    Shrewd  5 Pts ew 20/1 pp
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