SATURDAY 2:20 NEWCASTLE 2m½f CLASS 2 CONDITIONS EVENT
It looks between Australis stall 4 and Mildenberger from stall 9 for the early speed unless Jim Goldie or Alan King sacrifice one of their runners to ensure a decent gallop. Australis and Mildenberger are closely matched on early speed figures and either look likely to set a steady gallop as I doubt they will take each other on. The steadier the gallop the more this will suit Stargazer who does have some very quick closing sectionals.
Mildenberger and Rainbow Dreamer are 6lbs well in on official ratings. Mildenberger finished 4¼L in front of Rainbow Dreamer on the same terms in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes in June. Australis finished just over a length in front of Rainbow Dreamer (rated 21lbs superior) and 4¼L in front of Carnwennan (rated 10lbs superior) over CD in the Northumberland Plate Handicap in June. Due to the weights Australis is now 17lbs wrong at the weights with Rainbow Dreamer but only 1lb with Carnwennan. Raymond Tusk beat Mildenberger 1¾L in this race last year but Raymond Tusk was officially rated 5lbs superior then compared to 7lbs inferior here. Carnwennan does have the best last time out AW Speed Figure but would be well short of Mildenberger, Raymond Tusk and Stargazer on their day. I have taken a chance though on Stargazer won this race in 2018 when 8lbs wrong at the weights in a time of 212.1 secs. He is 2 from 8 on the AW and although he did race a bit closer to the speed over 12½f here in November he has been held up in 6 other runs at the track. He has a great record over CD of 1,2,1,2 and the latest win came off this mark in a Class 2 Handicap in April 2019. He has been consistently very quick with his closing sectionals over CD only ranging from 11.56 to 11.67 sec/fur which is almost a full second quicker than the PAR. Generally starts his move just between 3 to 2 furlongs out
SATURDAY 4:30 NEWCASTLE 7 FURLONGS CLASS 2 HANDICAP (0 TO 105)
I doubt this will be run at a frantic gallop with doubts about the possible early speed runners.
It wouldn’t be a race I will be getting too involved in but I am going to take a risk at decent odds in Ventura Lightning who is still relatively lightly raced with only the 8 career runs to date. Both of his career wins have been over 6f on turf and he did run ok here over 6f in a Group 3 when he finished just over 2¾L fifth of 13 off a mark of 100. That form has worked out well with sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh all winning since including at Group 2 and Group 3 level with all bar one of those subsequent winners now rated 100+. The main worry is the record of No Nay Never progeny here and this straight 7f trip as he was beaten almost 20l on his only try over the trip albeit in a Royal Ascot Group 3 so my thought process is in him simply outclassing them.
No long write ups today as it is Southwell and generally like a Rugby tour “What Happens At Southwell, Stays At Southwell”.
I will simply post a few selections and a small reason why.
4:15 – I have gone for 2 here, both at decent prices, firstly Muqarred is My CD Top Rated and is on a decent mark with a Jockey upgrade. Secondly Maykir is 2 from 2 over CD and is 3lbs better off with Luscifer even though he finished over 12L in front of that rival in October.
5:15 – I think Birkenhead may well be ahead of the handicapper and he beat the 3 Dixon runs soundly over CD on his penultimate start. Lewis Edmunds has built up a great relationship with Trainer Les Eyre and they generally operate at an almost 19% strike rate together with an A/E of 2.02 and +12.64 WAX. If we narrow it down to the AW runners only then the strike rate jumps to 27.59% with a whopping A/E of 2.58 although the WAX figure does drop slightly to +9.8. It is when we narrow it down to this track only that we see a massive change with a 43.75% strike rate and an A/E of 2.95. They are 7 from 10 here over 5 and 6 furlong. The only worry is that there is a “Southwell Maffia” comprising of a few of these trainers and it looks to me like there may be spoiling tactics afoot.
6:15 – London has to be worth a small interest returned to the CD of his last career win which was back in 2018 off a 25lbs higher mark. He has had his 3 quick fitness runs after returning from almost 2 years off the track and Luke Morris takes over in the saddle.
5:30 AW CHAMPIONSHIP FAST TRACK QUALIFIER 6f CLASS 2 CONDITIONS EVENT
Stalls 3, 4 and 6 are the ones that have gone forward in the past. Mighty Gurkha has the quickest early sectional average of those having gone forward and with the second-time blinkers I would expect him to lead early. Yazaman from stall 1 and Victory Heights from stall 2 have the quickest early sectional averages of 12.15 and 12.17 sec/fur but those were achieved over a straight 6f.
• Zamaani should be suited by the surface most with the sire’s progeny having a 31.58% strike rate and a BF A/E of 1.75 at the track.
• Archie Watson has a 31%, Simon Crisford 20% and William Haggas 25.71% strike rate at this track (On Tapeta) with their juveniles. Although Marco Botti doesn’t appear in the top strike rates, he is the most profitable trainer to follow blindly from this race with a level stakes profit of £19 to a £1 stake and a BF A/E of 1.13. Archie Watson has a 1.44 BF A/E and a level stakes profit of £5.24 to a £1 stake.
• When narrowed down to Two-year old, Non-Handicaps only here on tapeta the picture changes slightly. Archie Watson remains the top on strike rates with 35%, but William Haggas moves to second with 30.5 % and Simon Crisford to third with a 21.62% strike rate. But yet again Marco Botti remains the most profitable even though he only operates at just over 13% he still returns a level stakes profit of £13.24 and a BF A/E of 1.23, Archie Watson has a 1.46 BF A/E and a level stakes profit of £8.44, William Haggas has also a BF A/E of 1.23 and a level stakes profit of £2.67. The rest would all return a loss if backed blind.
The one big issue with Marco Botti’s profitability is that he hasn’t been profitable to follow under the above conditions since the 2014 season!!!
So, narrowed down to recent years the two trainers to concentrate on stats-wise are Archie Watson and W Haggas. They have gone head to head 4 times here in Two-year old Non-Handicaps, Archie Watson has come out on top, winning 3 compared to Mr Haggas’s 1.
This race in my opinion is full of gambles. On My Today Ratings I have Mighty Ghurka well clear but you have to be concerned by his reaction to the blinkers last time out and as the yard usually have a very positive strike rate when using the blinkers for the first time you are basically gambling on him being suited by them better second time. Archie Watson won this race last year and personally, I thought the market had the correct two runners at the top but neither offer much in the way of value. Yazaman is My Top Speed Rated and may well be the value in the race having raced prominently on his only AW start over the straight 6f at Newcastle. He finished a neck in front of Victory Heights on level terms and they meet on those terms again here but you are gambling that he is as effective going left-handed as all of his runs have been on a straight track. The progeny of Kodiac do generally improve on their moderate AW record when going left handed for the first time. The same can be said of Victory Heights who as also only ever run on straight tracks but his sire’s progeny do have a better overall record going left-handed on the AW but are only marginally better for the first time. Based on official rating Zamaani is at least 10lbs well in at the weights but again you are gambling at short odds on a runner that has only won on a straight track and has shown a tendency to find 1 or 2 just too good. Based purely on stats, speed and price I have had a small interest in Yazaman who does need to find 7lbs with Zamaani.
6:30 WOLVERHAMPTON 8½f CLASS 3 (0 to 90) HANDICAP
Red Bond would be the obvious pace angle if we could be sure connections are running him on merit but coming from a this yard it is hard to be confident about his likely run style. If he does lead it will likely be at a steady gallop. The last time he raced over CD he set an early sectional average of 13 sec/fur and run on at a quick closing sectional of 11.53 sec/fur.
Assimilation is the only AW winner beyond this level having won twice in Class 2 Company albeit both off 8st 8lbs and 8st 4lbs. He last raced over CD in March when winning a stronger Class 2 Handicap off a 2lbs lower mark when chasing the leaders. He only carried 8st 8lbs that day but carries 10st 1lb here. The last time he won carrying more than 9st was in a Class 5 Handicap in 2019. Red Bond is an intriguing runner having his second run after wind surgery. He returned last time out at Newcastle over 7f and was anchored in the rear, given a blatant non-trying ride by De Sousa having made all for all of his 3 AW victories all of which were over further including a CD win in a Novice Event from which the second has won twice and now rated 92 and the fourth has won 4 times and now rated 89. He is 8lbs above his last winning mark which was achieved over the straight mile at Newcastle in a Class 4 Handicap which he won by 8½l but has struggled since being stepped up in Class. The rest are unproven on the AW beyond Class 5. Red Bond has comfortably the best Speed Figures but Golden Force has the best recent over CD and would be a big danger if close enough to the speed in the home straight.
7.30 Wolverhampton 8½f CLASS 6 (0 to 55) HANDICAP
I have risked a very small stake on Deadly Accurate here from the Ian Williams yard. This trainer is very astute, his runner here has now started to look very well handicapped and I am sure there is a race of this type to by landed at some point if not today. He last won over a similar trip on turf in a Class 4 Handicap off a mark of 73, he is 0 from 11 on the AW but as is the weakness of this race he is Ranked second on My Speed Figures. The one thing I find interesting is the fact that this yard had adopted to run him in blinkers on all four of his starts for them and today they are swapped for the first time cheek-pieces. They are generally successful when using cheek-pieces for the first time with a 21.26% strike rate but this tactic of swapping another type of headgear for cheek-pieces has worked very well for the yard in the past with a 34.62% success rate and 11.89 WAX. This is a very speculative play but at 25/1 I thought it was worth an interest.
4:00 5 Furlongs Class 4 (0 to 80) Handicap
This looks a difficult race to gauge regarding run styles as there does look plenty of possible plots and scenarios. Stall 4 looks the best drawn of those possible early pace runners but Another Angel from stall 8 does have the quickest early speed figures, has often gone forward at Newcastle and may well be here to ensure a strong gallop for Mutabaahy but he has never led in 4 runs at the track. Charming Kid from stall 9 led last time out at Chelmsford but doesn’t appear to have the early speed figures to compete with stalls 4 and 8. The Charming Kid does have some quick closing sectional averages so could be dangerous if this becomes a tactical race.
Mutabaahy would be my selection but not a very confident one, he looks the most likely to have the race run to suit and does have the strongest chance on the figures but may need luck in running from stall 2. He is 1 of 2 runners for A Brittain, he is My CD top Rated and has won 3 times over CD either racing in mid-division or tracking the speed. His last win came at Newcastle when restrained at the rear off a mark of 70 in a race that looked slightly stronger than this. He is still 3lbs above that winning mark but importantly 5 of his 6 career wins have come when returning from 10 days or less off the track and this is the first time this AW season, he has done that and his last win was preceded by a poor run over 6f. He is generally consistent on speed figures but is up against some potentially well handicapped rivals. Kick On Kick On has dropped 17lbs since joining this yard, Tanasoq is now 19lbs below his last winning mark, is having only his third run after wind surgery, has dropped to a very low mark and in to 0 to 80 Company for the time in over 2 years. The Daley Express CD win came off a mark of 85 and he races off a mark of 79 but he has had plenty of chances off similar marks recently.
6:00 7 Furlongs Class 6 (0 to 61) Handicap
I really struggle to see what goes forward here with only Ten Chants proven from the front but his win at Leicester over a mile in June when making all is the only time he has been ridden forward. He has had one run for David Evans and looks likely to continue the handicapping process here. Leo Minor looks to have the quickest closing sectionals so may be suited best if the race is slowly run as expected
Leo Davinci and Bobby Joe Leg look the ones to concentrate on judged on recent figures but offer little in the way of value. The two I have had a very small interest in are the Leo Minor and Thaki. Leo Minor has run some decent pace figures recently admittedly over shorter. The step up to 7f may look odd at first glance but for a runner campaigned predominantly over 5 and 6f. This is his fourth run after wind surgery and does look slightly more competitive than some of his recent races but being by War Front this step up to CD should suit and the although the sire’s progeny are infrequent runners over CD with only 8 different runners having had 1 run each producing 3 different winners and a further 2 different runners placed. The other runner I have chanced is the unexposed son of Lope De Vega who is a full brother to the 90 rated Aplomb. He makes his Handicap debut in a very weak race after competing in 2 competitive Novice Events. He has run the best recent Performance Figure and I just feel he may well be better than a mark of 57.
7:00 7 Furlongs Class 3 (0 to 95) Handicap
Harrison Point from stall 5 looks the most obvious to go forward, stalls 2 and 4 have gone forward but over shorter so may be restrained. Stalls 7 and 8 look likely to sit in behind the early speed. Ghaith should have the tactical speed to sit close to the leader and has shown some really quick closing sectionals as has Hart Stopper who would be suited if this was slowly run but he has struggled beyond 6f recently.
I would be quite happy to take on the Simcock runner at the prices as in My Opinion this looks between Ghaith and Harrisons Point. At the prices and with proven CD form I would just favour Ghaith but Harrisons does have some strong stats and may be able to control this from the front.
The draw isn’t really that important over this CD with them starting from the chute. There does not appear to be a great deal of obvious early speed here, and what there is drawn wide. Full Intention from stall 13 does have the quicker early sectionals of the 2 that have gone forward regularly in the past but he raced in mid-division to win over CD from a similar draw (14 of 15). All things considered this looks likely to be a tactically run race which may well suit Martineo or Suzi’s Connoisseur the most.
If Enzo wins the 12:05 at Southwell I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or even both of the John Butler runners declared as non-runners. Inaam finished ½l in front of Martineo 20 days ago over 6f here and is 6lbs better off at the weights (8lbs if you take in to account jockey claim). Full Intention is proven over CD off this mark and also looks very consistent on speed figures. Frozen Water with blinkers fitted for the first time and Dear Power who has now dropped to her lowest ever mark and possibly more importantly drops in to 0-75 Company for the first time are the intriguing runners in the field. Maysong has produced some of the best recent speed figures but I am not 100% certain that this track will play to her strengths.
5:00 Class 2 Handicap (0 to 105) 7f
This looks a tricky little contest but one in which I do think the favourite is to short.
Of those proven to go forward Lincoln Park in stall 3 has just the quickest early speed sectional average but from stall 4, Huraiz who could well be here to ensure a decent gallop for Ghalyoon isn’t that far away. Firmament from stall 1 has run quicker early sectional averages when racing off the speed and along with Huraiz have the quickest CD final speed sectionals so should be suited if this becomes tactical. Intuitive is very interesting, he has some very quick closing sectional averages and along with Firmament generally runs above par closing sectional averages.
This to me revolves around the readiness of Intuitive who has been consistently quick with his AW speed figures, as have Mohareb and Firmament. Lincoln Park and Firmament are the only 2 runners proven in this Class but neither on the AW. Intuitive struggled badly, twice on turf in Meydan but the return to the AW hopefully should see him in better light as his AW form figures read 1,1,2,3,1,1 with a first, second and third at this track over 6f. He won last time out in the UK when stepped up to this trip for the first time. This is his first run for over 290 days, first in a visor, first wearing a tongue tie and first after wind surgery. He has since joined Simon Crisford after leaving James Tate for £190,000. Simon Crisford is 3 from 8 with a win/place record of 6 from 8 with his horses returning after wind surgery, wearing the tongue tie and from 100+ days break . Mohareb has raced on the AW 11 times, winning 3 and placed 4 times. He generally tracks the speed but did make all here over 6f and there is a line of form with Ghalyoon that makes me feel he could be slightly over-priced at 20/1. Intuitive looks the pick especially with the yard in such strong form, from their 19 runners they have had 8 winners and a further 5 places In the last 30 days but I have split my stake 60:40 with Mohareb has he did look drastically overpriced.