A few races of interest today:
- 1:35 Chelmsford – Caso Do Lago for some reason I find this an intriguing runner. He was off the track for just over 4 year before joing this yard on a mark of 57, 4 runs on down to 45 after a series of fitness runs, first time blinkers here. Krazy Paving was a CD winner lto on first run after wind surgery under today’s jockey in what looked a tougher race than this so should go close and from an ideal draw looks the one to beat. Watheer with the likelihood of a strong gallop he should run a big race. Won a Maiden here back in 2017 beating runners now rated from 67-90. This only his second run over 6f and easiest run to date should go close and looks the one for the forecast. Poppy May is My CD Top Rated and looks tough to keep out of the places.. Twice a CD winner including in a similar race over CD last March carrying 9-8 but does need a strong gallop.
- 3:45 Chelmsford – Tone The Barone looks the obvious one but I am not sure I would have him so short as Green Door was worth more than short head he won by lto and he still appears to be well handicapped on old form.
- 5:20 Newcastle – Elusive Heights and Lady Alavesa look the obvious ones but are priced accordingly so I have played the RFC. I have also taken a small chance on Happy Face, by Kingman who’s progeny have appeared to do well here with 4 different winners from 14 runners at the track.
- 5:50 – 4 time CD winner Epeius who may be still a little high in the weights for win purposes may well run in to a place with a record of 12/20 either winning or placed over CD. He was placed over CD back in November off 74 finishing in front of Reckless Endeavour off 78, Epeius is 6lbs better off today so at 25/1 looks over-priced to me. Athollblair Boy looks far too high in the weights.Class dropper Glenamoy Lad is 2/3 over CD off 6lbs higher and 2lbs lower but let the market tell you the trainers intentions. Lady Of Aran has the speed figures if taking to the track. CD Top Rated Lucky Lodge is 13/20 win or placed over CD but never off a mark this high.
- 7:50 – 3 time CD winner and CD Top Rated, Choosen World looks another strong place market bet. 10 runs over CD have only seen him unplaced twice, today’s jockey is 2/3 but was placed on the other run. Etikaal looks dangerous but may now have reached his limit. One I like at massive odds is Dutch Pursuit who is having only his fourth run for connections but most interestingly returns to CD for the first time since winning a Novice Stakes beating a now 84 rated runner. Today may not be the day but at 50/1 it won’t cost me much to find out.
Nothing really catches my eye tonight but below are my thoughts:
- 4:35 – Looks a match up between the Godolphin pair with My preference for Distant Goddess but unless you are privy to yard information it’s a watch only race for me
- 5:05 – Mountain Brave reads well on my ratings and the trainer generally does well here with his first time handicapper so looks the value in the race to me
- 5:40 – With Double Kodiac now a non-runner Baby Steps and Glen Cocco look the obvious ones. Baby Steps has tried 7f on 4 occasions and failed to place so looks far too short for me although Jockey/Trainer have a great record together, CD winner Glen Cocco looks about the right price as he is now 1lb below his last AW winning mark and again the Jockey/Trainer have a great record on the AW and are 3/6 already this year but the one I have taken a chance with at the prices is My CD Top Rated, Robero who has something to prove at this level although he did win over CD off an officially 1lb higher mark back in December 2018 if we include the jockeys’s claim he is 1lb worse off here but he finished in front of Glen Coco over CD in November 2019 receiving 7lbs and he receives 11lbs today (including jockeys claim), plus prior to Robero’s CD win in 2018 he had previously won over 7f at Southwell on the back of a similarly quick turn around.
- 6:40 – Something I rarely say but I would if having a bet take a chance on the John Butler but bare in mind you are more punting on whether it is allowed to run to form not if it will, but IF he is allowed to run to his last CD form three runs back he wins simple as that for me but I would want to see market support first.
- 7:10 – Another no bet race for me but well handicapped Thawry looks the one to be on here.
- 7:40 – This looks between the two at the top of the market Felix and Kaser but if running to form Felix should be too good.
- 8:10 – I have taken another chance on a John Butler runner being allowed to run on merit. Superseded’s last win came over CD off an 11lbs higher mark have already won 3 starts before over CD off 59 on the back of similar lay offs.
A few selections for Friday, not all of them will be bets for me.
- 2:00 Southwell – Purely a stats based bet and a risky one at that. BUNGLE BILLY has been off the track for 471 days so will more than likely need the run but there are a few little snippets that make him worthy of an interest at 40/1. Firstly the fact that Cheek-pieces are applied for which the yard operate at around 29% on the AW and are 4/10 when applied to their runners here. The Jockey/Trainer are generally operating at 33.33% (7/21) +4.29WAX on the AW but narrowed down to Southwell they have teamed up on 6 occasions resulting in 4 wins and a place beating 84% of their rivals and +4.44WAX. Of all the AW tracks the yard do best here with a general 16.67% strike rate, they appear to be concentrating more here recently because from 2014 to the end of 2017 they failed to even have a runner placed from 14 runners at the track but from 2018 onwards they have had a similar amount of runners (16) resulting in 5 winners and another 4 placed, the main problem here is that all of those 5 winners were well found in the market returning no bigger than 8 BFSP. Sambucca Spirit does look strong but we won’t get rich backing such priced runners here.
- 4:35 Chelmsford – Rightly or wrongly I generally try to see if I can get a favourite beat and this is one occasion in which I believe I can. I have gone for two in this race at equally split stakes. Both are very well handicapped but whether they are simply on the downgrade remains to be seen. LACAN was last seen winning off a 31lbs higher mark over CD back in March 2018. He is MY CD Top Rated but obviously has issues judged on the breaks between racing, lto he looked to have been stopped quite blatantly and the interesting fact for me today is the first time eyeshields which the trainer tends to use sparingly yet very efficiently using them on one horse only so far on the AW with a 75% (3/4) strike rate. The second runner I feel may out run his odds is ARLECCHINO’S LEAP who again is very well handicapped, so if retaining a modicum of that ability will go close here and his last 3 speed figures suggest he still does. At odds of 12/1 and 25/1 I have split my stakes 50% win Lacan , 20% win 30% place ARLECCHINO’S LEAP
- 4:40 Southwell – No real punting interest but I did think Fieldsman looked strong here
- 5:10 Chelmsford – Not a betting race for me. Elusif is in fine form now allowed to run on merit and The British Lion will be allowed to win one of these types of races soon but I did think Tavener was interesting if allowed an easy lead.
- 6:15 Chelmsford – Again not a betting race but I did think Excellent George looked a little over-priced
- 7:15 Chelmsford – FANTASTIC FLYER looks the one to be on at the prices. Her last win came over CD back in September off just a 2lbs higher mark and today’s Jockey takes off 5lbs so is theoretically 3lbs well in and since the beginning of the year she has ridden 7 times for this yard winning on 2 and placed on a further 3.
- 7:45 Chelmsford – Chances can be given to the majority of the field here. Tarseekh should be able to get across from the wide draw. Spenny’s Lass, Compton Abbey and Krazy Paving are all well handicapped. Black Isle Boy has dropped from a mark of 72 since joining this yard and has gone close over CD off a mark of 80, IF the first time blinkers have a positive affect he will go close.
- 8:15 Chelmsford – I have no data here to support my selection purely visual examples of a runner getting readied for something GHOST BUY.
*unless stated my data is AW Only and from the start of 2018 onward
** Those in CAPITALS are the runners I have backed. Nothing today is worthy of a NAP or NB
I may be left with egg on my face but I really like one today.
3.15 Lingfield, Betway Handicap
Bustaan stands out to me and I am really surprised she was available at 4/1. Firstly if we look at the trainers record with his Handicap runners. Mr Burrows generally operates at around the 21% mark in all Handicaps, increasing to almost 26% with his runners in a Handicap for the first time, that number then increases again to an impressive 30/65% win/place with his runners on the AW making their Handicap debut, the most impressive of all is when we look at those Handicap debutantes after having had just the 3 qualifying runs as they make up all of his winners, with an outstanding record of 6 wins and 9 win/place from his 10 qualifying runners. Last year he had 5 qualifiers of which 4 won and the other placed. Now lets look at Bustaan herself, on the face of it there is nothing eye catching about her 3 runs to date, however if we look a little deeper in to her last run she finished third to a runner that has since run to a mark of 81, ok nothing still out of the ordinary apart from the fact she was giving the winner and the rest of the field 20lbs (10 lengths) and finished just 3 lengths behind the winner, so even if we discount the massive weight difference, a beating of 3 lengths (6lbs) by a horse rated 81 would see her rated 75 when actually she is rated 73 and in to an all age Handicap which sees her well in on that mark with some of her rivals. If we go back to the Lingfield run 13 days ago it looked like an ordinary Novice Stakes until we compare it with other races over the same CD on the same day. The race prior was a Fillies Handicap for 4yo+ which was won by a 69 rated runner in over 2 seconds slower with a winning time of 98.84 seconds, the race prior to that again was a a Class 2, 0-105 Handicap won by a 99 rated runner but was run just over 1 second slower with the winner running it in 97.82 seconds. The race in which Bustaan finished third in was won in a time of 96.8 seconds with Bustaan running it in 97.3 seconds still over 0.5 seconds faster than the 99 rated winner but carrying 6lbs more. I could be massively out here but I have Bustaan rated a very conservative 88 and therefore 4/1 looks massive value
Elsewhere on the cards
- 12.30 Lingfield: At 16/1 I did quite like the look of Mr Bell’s runner here. He looks to have a nice profile and Mr Bell has a decent record with this type of profiled runner.
12.35 Lingfield: Not a betting heat at the moment but I am interested to see how Compensate trades early as he was given a rather questionable ride last time out and looked intentionally run at Southwell to ensure a low debut handicap mark.
1.10 Lingfield: Far to close a call between Mohareb and Reeves. Sean Davis is 2 from 4 for Mr Cowell including a win on this runner. Ben Curtis is an interesting jockey booking for Power Link but I did think Baby Steps was a little overpriced.
2.20 Lingfield: Mr Haggas’s Far Rockaway by Frankel is the one I like here. The trainers recent record with his 3 year olds making their handicap debut on the AW after either 3 or 4 runs is very strong. Generally operating at over 41% since 2017. In 2017 it was 3/4, 2018 4/13 and 2019 6/12. The trainer should have a good line in to the race through his 67 Rated St Just who finished just under 1¾ lengths in front of Island Hideaway.
3.55 Lingfield: It will be interesting to see how the jockey gets Deeds Not Words beaten. The horse would be a confident bet if not for the trainers record with recent acquisitions from other yards. He is 3 from 6 over CD off at least 16lbs higher marks than today when winning 3 races on the bounce this time last year. He was clearly being handicapped by Tracy Waggot but whether he is fit enough to do himself justice is debatable and the market will tell us all we need to know.
A very limited day of interest but I thought I would share my thoughts for what they are worth.
4.15 Southwell: The obvious one looks to be Mr Balding’s Sea Sculpture who is making his fibresand debut. Mr Balding was always a trainer to note when sending a runner here, however his strike rate has tailed off somewhat in the last couple of years, going from a peak of just over 45% in 2014 to 18.75% in 2018 and 12% last year and all based on a similar amount of numbers but most notable of all was the fact that last year he sent 14 runners that had raced at least once here to make their fibresand debut producing no winners whereas in previous years he operated at an average of almost 26%. On breeding the surface should suit and is closely related to a two times Course winner including CD but at only a very moderate level. On proven figures My CD Top Rated, Azari is 3 times CD winner including off today’s mark and twice wearing blinkers. He was soundly beaten by Seven Clans last time out but did far too much early when pushed along to lead. If he can return to last January’s form now dropped to a level at which he is 2 from 2 over CD he looked a little overpriced at 25/1. Cold Harbour has never won outside of Class 6 Company, Crimson King still needs to break Kingman’s fibresand duck, Mousebird will surely come on for his run 19 days ago when returning from a long break, Jawshan makes no appeal whatsoever and Cold Harbour is another yet to win outside of Class 6 Company. So basically betting on Azari at 25/1 is basically more a bet that he can return to last years form.
4.45 Southwell: A very trappy little contest and one I really dislike as a betting medium especially with the Southwell Mafia and their Jockeys all involved. Moonraker and Robot Boy have the proven AW Class but Robot Boy still needs to prove himself on the surface at a ripe old age of 10 which I am not certain is going to happen today. Moonraker if following last years pattern in that he ran over CD on 21st Dec (20th this year) finished 3 lengths off the winner as he did this year, dropped in the weights, returned 11 days later (9 this year) won and put up to 86 (85 this year) returned to CD to run third then return again over CD off the same mark and win a shade cosily. If he can run to 85 he wins this. I am again leaving myself open for criticism but I just can’t have Cappananty Con. Samovar is My CD Top Rated but does not appear to go so well on such quick returns. Warriors Valley on the other hand looks to thrive having raced 5 times returning from a 1 to 5 day break winning twice and placed on another and is 2 from 2 when his penultimate start was between 1 to 10 days. He looks to have the prime draw to give him the solo center run and connections won this last year albeit with a slightly better horse. In my opinion this all depends on what Mr Appleby and Dixon have planned for the race.
SELECTION: WARRIORS VALLEY
5.15 Southwell: If this was for 2 or 3 year olds making their fibresand debut, it would be no contest between Mark Johnston and Richard Hughes, having gone head to head 7 times, it is 4 – 0 in favour of Richard Hughes. Last year Richard Hughes sent 14 runners to Southwell for the first time, 6 won and a further 3 were placed. Shane Kelly rode 8 of them winning on 5 and was only out of the places once. BUT only 1 of the 14 was over 3 years old and that was unplaced. In total of the 30 of his runners he has ever sent to make their fibresand debut, of those 30 only 10 were 4 year olds or over producing only 1 winner. So maybe it pays to concentrate on his younger horses. I’m probably wrong as usual but Glendavon now looks short enough. Mr Johnston has sent 61 such older runners to make their fibresand debut with 18 winning and a further 8 placed giving him a 42.62% win/place strike rate. Mosakhar is 1 from 1 over CD but does not set the bar too high. Gossiping is surely on the handicapping campaign needing an AW Career best, although being by Dubawi he may well relish this surface with his progeny showing a very healthy 35.29% strike rate over CD. Caballero may not offer quite as strong stats or breeding wise he does bring a decent level of form to the race. Smile A Mile will find this easier than his last assignment, his breeding also offers encouragement and as mentioned his trainer has a great record with his older runners making their fibresand debut so just edges it for me at the prices.
SELECTION: SMILE A MILE