Only two races that fulfill my race criteria tonight and unfortunately they look the two most complicated.
8.00 Kempton (14 runners) 32Red On The App Store Handicap (Div 1)
7f (1540 yards) Class 6, 3yo+
Avg OR : 52, Median OR : 52
With the likes of Mr Howling, Butler and co this looks like a race to definitely let the exchanges do the talking. Since 2016 and possibly well before the draw over 7 furlongs looks as important a factor as anything. From 48 races of 14 runners since January 2016 11 have been won by stall 1 giving us an Impact Value of just over 3. I have also found that runners who have a tendency to either lead or track the speed also do well which really points everything in the favour of Sea Shack who has the plum draw and is generally ridden from or just off the front. At first look you could be forgiven by being put off by his CD record of 4,6 and 2 but if you consider those runs were off marks of 76,80,77 and he runs off 51 tonight. He is My CD second Top Rated but taking a price of around 4/1 about a runner that has never won on any artificial surface from 21 attempts would not be for me but with the majority of the early pace pressure looking to be poorly drawn in stalls 10,12 and 14 this does look his best chance of changing that. There is a very well handicapped runner in here but I am not certain today is the day. Picket Line last won on the AW way back in April 2016 off a 16lbs higher mark but that was over 6 furlongs albeit at this track. He does have a single piece of CD form that would be of interest and that is his close third off a mark of 71 back in March 2017. He drops down to this 0-55 level for the first time ever and has placed on 4 of his 8 starts as top weight but a combination of Jockey, Trip and Headgear is a concern. If I was to play in this race a small investment in the 4 place market on Picket Line at around 5.8 would be my suggestion.
8.30 Kempton (13 runners) 32Red On The App Store Handicap (Div 2)
7f (1540 yards) Class 6, Standard To Slow, 3yo+
Avg OR : 51, Median OR : 52
Another race likely to be better predicted by the exchanges but another one with an interesting draw/pace angle. For some reason the bias is rather more spread out between stalls 1 to 6 in races with 13 runners. Tavener catches my eye with the defection of Tarseekh from stall 1 giving Tavener the inside berth. Master Poet in stall 8 now looks the main early pace pressure but if Tavener breaks on terms and is allowed to run his optimum race I believe Master Poet will have to do to on my pace ratings much to lead. The main worry I have with Tavener is this is only his third run for this stable and they may not be ready to let him loose plus the fact he has never run at this venue connections have the perfect excuse with the long run in either way so a market watch is definitely advised. Indian Affair is My CD Top Rated for his run back in October 2018. Prince Of Time is the runner that interests me as he is well handicapped, as run well over CD (My second Top Rated) and does generally run well carrying lesser weights against better runners. That said with a John Butler runner heading the market and runners from other connected stables it would not be a race to be getting overly involved in.
A brilliant albeit massively competitive little card at Chelmsford City today so I thought I would share a few of my thoughts with you.
2.10 Chelmsford City (8 runners) Havens Hospice 6f 3yo Handicap, Class 3.
Avg OR : 89, Median OR : 88.
A case could be made for the majority of the field but a runner I thought may run well was Quiet Endeavour who is having his first run for a yard that have generally done well with runners they recruit from other yards. They generally operate around the 19% strike rate but if narrowed down to just the AW that strike rate jumps to 32%. Quiet Endeavour has led or raced close to the speed on all 8 of his AW starts, Heath Charnock may be pushed forward, Blonde Warrior has led and gets the first time blinkers but both may be out of their comfort zones taking on Quiet Endeavour who from stall 3 may get an easy time up front, he is a two times CD winner as a juvenile when with his previous yard but it is that previous yard that worry me. There is no argument in the fact Archie Watson has an incredible record recently but in my opinion like a few other Trainers, his horses can be over raced and exhausted by the time they go to a new yard which may well be the case with this one. Quiet Endeavour run 8 times as a two-year old winning 4 races on the bounce before taking the leap from Class 4 to Group 3 when he finished last beaten 7 lengths, in fact since his last career win although being gelded, he has been beaten a total of 52 lengths in 7 runs. So as one can see it takes a leap of faith to think he can get back to winning ways but the change of scenery, return from his longest career break of 91 days, well drawn and 2 from 2 over CD at 25/1 he does look a decent price at which to take a risk.
2.45 Chelmsford City (13 runners) Luxdeco.com Elsenham 7f, 3yo+ Handicap
Avg OR : 91, Median OR : 93
Another fiercely competitive handicap with a few well handicapped runners. War Glory is My CD Top Rated for his win LTO in what looked a stronger race than this. He had Firmament and Habub in behind that day . Firmament was 5lbs well in that day but meets him on the correct terms today. Habub is interesting on 3lbs better terms especially if you consider he was given a suspect ride last time when having every opportunity to lead the jockey was constantly looking around as if there was a previous arrangement. Better drawn in stall 3 today one would like to think the lightly raced colt may be able to dictate the pace but he does look to face some early pace pressure from the likes of, Piece Of History in stall 2 has led over further so may sent forward to make this a true test, Lake Volta has made all for all 5 of his career wins but from stall 11 he will need to be out sharply although it was with these connections that Habub surrendered the lead to last time. Lake Volta does not look the same animal on the AW as he does turf but this does look one of his easier AW tasks. Sonja Henie stall 4 is another that has made all for both of her AW wins and pressed the leader for her only turf win but all of those wins have come in much lesser company. So with the likelihood of there being a decent early pace it may pay to sit just off the speed. The one I have opted for is Breathless Times who is another making his debut for a new yard, this time for the in form Stuart Williams who again appears to do better on the AW where he generally operates at around 28% with experienced runners making their debut for him after a 75 days plus break. Breathless Times was previously with Roger Charlton when last seen over CD back in May in a race that has worked out quite well with the first and second now rated 104 and 106 respectively, the second that day was Raucous who is now a stablemate. Breathless Times will need luck from stall 13 but I don’t find the draw as important over 7 furlongs as I do over 6 and 8 furlongs.
A brilliant days racing and a taste of what is to come later in the season.
1.40 Newbury (9 runners)
Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise
Stakes (Group 3) (Registered As The John Porter Stakes) 1m4f (2640 yards)
RACE SUMMARY : Impossible to see past Defoe here, 3 from 3 at the track, twice returning from a decent break, twice on soft ground and won this race last year. He went on last season to win in Group 2 Company with his only defeats since 2016 coming in Group 1 Company. Young Rascal who carries a 3lbs (2 lengths) penalty improved no end last year with his only defeat coming in the Epsom Derby, winning here 3 times all at this level and also goes well fresh. The forecast looks pretty obvious and I would be surprised if any other runner can get involved. The one I have played for third in a mixed tri-cast is Aspertar who looks best early in the season for a trainer whose top level runners have generally operated at a 28% strike rate and he may well outrun his odds.
SELECTION : Defoe
DANGER : Young Rascal
2.10 Newbury (15 runners)
Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Fillies
Group 3) (Registered As The Fred Darling Stakes) 7f (1540 yards)
I have gone for So Perfect here, generally A O’Brien runners are best avoided early season especially with his UK runners but she was only beaten a combined total of just over a length in 2 Group 1 contests last season and she won on debut this time last year.
2.40 Newbury (8 runners)
Watership Down Stud Greenham Stakes (Group 3), 7f (1540 yards)
This was a race Richard Hannon senior used to target with his early season three-year olds and it looks a similar story for Richard Hannon junior who fields 3 of the now 8 runners. I don’t think we will see any future stars coming out of today’s race and this looks best left to the stats. Silvestre De Sousa has a great record for R Hannon generally in lesser races but the thing that stands out to me is his 28.57% strike rate when riding for the trainer when he has multiple runners in a race.
A cracking card at Chelmsford this evening but the winners won’t come easy.
RACE SUMMARY 19:00
PACE VERDICT : Secret Art may get an uncontested lead and be able to dictate the speed from the front.
PACE SELECTION : Main Street
RACE SUMMARY : Secret Art looks the only confirmed front runner over this trip in the field so may well be able to dictate the speed from the front. He may need this run though plus a little help from the handicapper. He did win a similar level CD event in May last year but off a 6lbs lower mark plus having had the benefit of a couple of recent runs. Main Street is the one I like here having won over CD when with John Gosden. He later went close in a Listed Event but struggled after that when given a mark of 99. He has since left John Gosden and this is his fourth run for David Elsworth but more importantly steps back up to 10 furlongs and return to this CD after what can only be considered a recent warm up run over 7 furlongs. The benefit of 3 runs and the fact Oisin Murphy has kept the ride suggest his turn may not be far away. Swiss Storm clearly
has the talent but looks very unreliable. Nonios has won 3 times over CD latest off a 3lbs lower mark but that is negated by the Jockeys 5lbs Claim. D Hogan has recently won on this runner over today’s trip at Lingfield off a mark of 91 but he could only claim 3lbs that day, he races off 92 today but the jockey gets his full 5lbs so theoretically is 1lb well in albeit in a stronger race.
SELECTION : Main Street
DANGER : Nonios
RACE SUMMARY 20:00
PACE VERDICT : Another Angel, Bosham and Drakefell look the obvious Early Speed runners and may contest the early lead so a decent gallop looks likely which may suit a runner coming from off the speed
RACE SUMMARY : Bosham looks the best drawn of those likely to go forward but the likes of Another Angel and Drakefell do have better early speed ratings so this could be a fierce battle for the early lead. Poyle Vinnie is very well handicapped having last won off a 15lbs higher mark but that was at Southwell just over two years ago. He has gone close several times over CD off higher marks than today with his latest being a CD second off 87 in a race with an average rating of 12lbs higher than today’s race. He is back down to his lowest mark since 2014, will be suited by the likely strong gallop but will need a lot of luck in running from stall 1. From 35 runs over CD Dynamo Walt is My Top Rated winning 7 and placed 7 times with 5 of those wins coming off higher marks than today and Paddy Mathers is 5 from 17 on this horse over CD. He too should be suited by a strong gallop but it is over 3 years since he has won returning from a longer break than 27 days. Although officially still above his last winning mark Zac Brown is actually 3lbs below his last AW winning mark which came here this time last year over 6f and he won over CD a year earlier off a 13lbs higher mark (9lbs taking in to account the jockeys claim). I have a sneaky suspicion though that this drop to 5 furlongs may be part of his cycle so will watch the market closely.
SELECTION : Dynamo Walt
DANGER : Zac Brown
OTHER CHELMSFORD SELECTIONS:
- 18:30 – Able Jack
- 19:30 – Sharp Operator
- 20:30 – Masters Apprentice/Heron
As we move to the end of another AW season it is time once again for me to focus my attention on the Juveniles and Group Races on turf.
As far as today goes a very tricky day and not one in which I intend to be getting too involved in. Southwell can be left to those with the inside edge as usual but Kempton offers up a very interesting if not difficult card.
4.40 Kempton (9 runners)
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EBF Fillies Novice Stakes (Plus 10)
A interesting Juvenile race to start off the card. The Archie Watson trained Lady Kermit has attracted plenty of support which is not surprising considering he sent out he generally operates at around a 25% strike rate on the AW with his two-year olds on debut and unleashed another yesterday. Lady Kermit also looks the type on paper A January foal by Starspangledbanner who himself won over 5 furlongs on debut going on to be a Group 1 winner from 6-8 furlongs but all on turf. His Juvenile progeny have a very moderate 2 from 25 strike rate on the AW which is a slight concern as is stall 10. Over 5 furlongs at Kempton there is a very short run to the first turn and although I am certain the trainer will have her well rehearsed Lady Kermit can not afford to lose much ground from the stalls. She does have a few later entries but at such a short price I am happy to take her on. The one I will take her on with is Perfect Rose, a February foal looks the best on pedigree in my opinion by Group 1 winning sprinter Oasis Dream and although she is most probably a longer term project as the Sire’s progeny generally improve for the run they have still shown a decent 14.67% strike rate on debut during April/May. The trainer can get them ready as we know and shows a 4 from 10 record with his Juvenile debutantes over CD.
7.15 Kempton (11 runners)
1m3f (2419 yards)
Class 4, Standard To Slow, 4yo+, Win: £6469
I have taken a rather speculative punt on Baydar here dropping from a 0-95 last time out back in to a more suitable 0-80 Handicap. He had decent form last year running against the likes of Watersmeet. The drop back in trip will also suit as all of his winning form apart from an AW Maiden win over 8 furlongs is on Turf over 10 furlongs. I am slightly worried that this is a cycle race to get him ready for a turf campaign but he his back to his lowest ever mark and fits a few trainer profiles in that he has a 22.86% strike rate in AW handicaps with his top weights having 2 or 3 seasonal runs a 50% (6 from 12) placed strike rate when also dropped in class so at 20/1 I thought was worth a small interest especially at around 3/1 for 4 places.
There does look to be some strong favourites on the card but a few I fancy that may outrun their odds are:
5.10 Kempton (Race 2) Red Skye Delight
5.45 Kempton (Race 3) Secret Magic
6.15 Kempton (Race 4) Balata Bay
6.15 Kempton (Race 4) Gold At Midnight
7.15 Kempton (Race 6) Baydar
8.15 Kempton (Race 8) Optima Petamus
The first day of the Turf Flat season but I will be concentrating on a decent AW card at Kempton.
RACE SUMMARY 14:05 Matchbook Magnolia Stakes (Listed)
PACE VERDICT : Matterhorn, Mootasadir and Big Country look the obvious Early Speed runners and may contest the early lead. A decent gallop looks likely which may suit a runner coming from off the speed
PACE SELECTION : Fabricate. Master Of The World or Extra Elusive
RACE SUMMARY : A fascinating renewal that is made even more interesting by the presence of last years winner Fabricate taking on multiple winner and clear CD Top Rated Matterhorn. From stall 1 Matterhorn is likely to try and make the running which looks likely considering his early speed rating over this CD last time out is clear of the field. I generally ignore Lingfield and Chelmsford form when studying for this track except over this trip and 5 furlongs as they are run on the similarly sharp inner track. This is a big step up in Class considering the average rating last time out was 10lbs lower than today’s race, in saying that he could not have been any more impressive. Mootasdir has the Form/Class to win this and is my Last Time Out Top Rated for his win in a decent handicap at Wolverhampton off 105 to make it 5 from 5 on the AW when returning from a break of 157 days. He looks versatile regarding run style and does have the early speed to stay in touch. The form of his Dundalk Group 3 win looks strong with the second going on to win a Listed Race next time. Master Of The World and Big Country had no chance in the Winter Derby finishing behind Wissahickon but the proximity to Pactolus suggests it is the percentage call to discount them here. Fabricate won this last year when returning from a similar break and can not truly be discounted but I just think he has a little to find with Matterhorn on My Ratings. Victory Bond looked like he was having a prep run last time out at Wolverhampton when intentionally run wide. The booking of Richard Kingscote stands out to me that connections are expecting more today as he has only ridden 10 times on the AW for this yard, winning 5 of them. He returns to 10 furlongs a trip at which his AW record reads 1,2,2,1 but unfortunately those seconds were at Listed Level. Extra Elusive is interesting one for me. He is 1 from 1 on the AW winning very impressively here over 12 furlongs and he looks certain to be suited by a decent gallop as I expect him to tuck in just behind the early speed. The trainer employs the hood for the first time which appears to be a strategy the trainer utilizes well especially with his runners returning from a break who return a 46.67% strike rate. The market does look to have this spot on especially with Matterhorn drawn in stall 1 and Mootasdir now drawn just on his outer so I expect him and Victory Bond to to be pushed forward to sit just behind the leader with Big Country the pace enigma as he may well be pushed along from stall 8 to take on the leader as he is the only runner with early speed ratings to match Matterhorn and it is this that I am gambling on as this in my opinion will suit Extra Elusive which is where my money is going.
SELECTION : Extra Elusive
DANGER : No early speed competition
Other Kempton Selections:
- 14:40 – Soldiers Minute/Pipers Note could out run his odds
- 15:15 – Count Calabash/Cosmeapolitan
- 16:25 – Uncle Jerry
- 17:00 – Archimento
- 16:10 – Bendy Spirit
A fairly quiet week punting wise as we build up to the forthcoming Turf Flat season. Today’s card at Lingfield looks a cracker if not very tricky.
RACE SUMMARY 14:00
PACE VERDICT : In The Red May get an uncontested lead and be able to dictate the speed from the front
RACE SUMMARY : In The Red just failed over CD earlier this month in what looked a slightly tougher race than this. He showed enough early speed to get over from stall 7 that day and with very little obvious early speed competition should have no difficulty
doing the same here. He is only 1lb higher today but remains relatively well handicapped still on some past form. A danger may be the CD Top Rated Dark Alliance who won a shade easily over CD in January 2018 admittedly in a weaker race but off only 3lbs lower and has won recently off a 1lb higher mark albeit on Tapeta in a Claiming Race. The Warrior is lurking back on a decent mark but would be better suited with a slightly stronger gallop than he may get today. Bin Daahir is a very interesting runner based on pedigree and losing form. His last race has produced 9 winners and 25 placed efforts with 4 of the runners now rated 80+ with the second placed that day now rated 94, his penultimate race also looks very strong again producing 9 future winners with the winner that day now rated 106 finishing third in Group 1 Company. My main worry is the sire’s progeny have a poor record over this CD and he may be being prepared for the turf. Golden Guest is another runner that is becoming well handicapped having gone close over CD off 72(69 including jockey’s claim), he races off 67 (60 including jockey’s claim) today with the very capable C Fallon taking the ride. I just have a sneaky suspicion connections may want a few more pounds off his back but a market watch is recommended.
SELECTION : In The Red
DANGER : Bin Daahir
RACE SUMMARY 15:05
PACE VERDICT : Warriors Valley, Captain Lars and Drakefell look the obvious Early Speed runners and may contest the early lead so a decent gallop looks likely which may suit a runner coming from off the speed.
RACE SUMMARY : Captain Lars and George Dryden are dangerously well handicapped with the latter possibly the most interesting if not for today. He is now 7lbs below his last win which was over CD back in February 2018. This is his second run after a wind operation so may just need this. The booking of Oisin Murphy for CD Top Rated Captain Lars catches the eye, he generally operates at a 25% strike rate for this yard and has 3 wins and another placed effort from 5 rides on this runner.
SELECTION : Captain Lars
DANGER : George Dryden
Lingfield other interests:
16:40 – Follow A Dream is a full sister to three Group Race winners including one at Group 1 and four at Group 2 Level. She cost $625,000 as a Yearling and will need to win this and win it well to justify that fee.
Over at Newcastle there are a few I am interested in and have backed mainly in a few multiples.
17:55 – I have backed Up Ten Down Two who although not one for the mortgage at 8/1 I did think he was worth an interest. The ten-year old is 3 from 5 on Tapeta, 2 from 4 here including 1 over CD. He generally goes well after a decent break with a record of 3 from 4 on the back of a 90+ days break.
19:00 – Astonished looks a big price at 5/2 especially if you consider her sire’s 36 runners operate at a 44.44/63.89% Win/Place strike rate at the track and 10 from 6 over CD, 2 from 2 with his fillies.
19:30 – The form of Thaayer CD win last time out stands out here. He beat some decent rivals a shade cosily including the previous winner Matterhorn who has since won a further five races on the bounce and now rated 112. A further 5¼ lengths back in second was the John Gosden runner Holy Heart who has since won twice and finished second to become now rated 86. I am actually shocked and worried that Thaayer is available at odds against.