Pleased to have got a winner yesterday, even though it was second choice. Just the Wokingham cavalry charge today, plus a quick squint at a race at Ayr. Any returns today, therefore, would be a bonus.
Ascot 17.00 Cl 2 Hcap 1089 (109) 6f gd/fm – 28 Run
Last year – 1089 (110) gd/fm – 27 ran
Out Do 25/1 8-8-13 (99) Dr 1 by 0.5l from Steady Pace 16/14-9-4 (104) Dr 6
Danzeno 16/1 6-9-1 (104) Dr 16 was 1.5l 5th
Lancelot Du Lac 33/1 7-9-6 (106) Dr 10 was 4.15l 10th
Dreamfield 4-9-4 (103) Dr 8
11 May Cl 3 Hcap (78 d) 6f gd/fm Ascot (96) 10/11 F 1.25l 1/15 off 95
Looked well, made all, raced against near side rail soon after halfway, still going strongly over 1f out, shaken up inside final furlong, stayed on well, unchallenged
Landed the odds on both his starts as a 2yo and then made light of a 570-day absence to again land the odds over C&D here last month, beating Silent Echo (-4) by a comfortable 1.25l; has been raised 8lbs for that, but is actually 2lbs better off with SE who has collected a pair of handicap wins in the meantime; the 4yo colt, meanwhile, has been given plenty of time to recover from his exertions and looks destined to land Group level sprints after collecting a useful prize here.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (43 days); career best lto; drawn lowest 8 stalls;
Minus: up 8lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (49) looks to be a blot on the handicap and a strong contender.
Mr Lupton 5-9-7 (106) Dr 22
26 May Cl 2 Hcap (311 s) 5f gd York (107) 11/1 0.1l 1/19 off 103
Dwelt and behind, headway towards stands' side 2f out, switched right to stands' rail and ridden over 1f out, stayed on strongly inside final furlong to lead near finish
Useful sprinter on his day and did surprisingly well to win over 5f at York lto; has only been raised 3lbs for that and won off 107 at Newmarket last year, plus will relish the strong pace he’s likely to get today.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (28 days); drawn in the 8 highest stalls;
Minus: course; up 3lbs;
Verdict: (46) could be a contender if the high numbers continue to be fancied.
Victory Angel 4-9-0 (99) Dr 9
06 May Cl 2 Hcap (311 u) 6f gd/fm Nwmkt (109) 9/1 1l 4/15 off 99
Held up in touch towards rear, effort and switched left over 1f out, racing near stands' rail and headway 1f out, stayed on well inside final furlong, not quite reach leaders
Not always the most consistent, but won 2 of his 6 starts last season; put in a promising display on his return at Newmarket last month, finishing a nk and a hd ahead of Tis Marvellous (+1) and Mr Lupton (+5), respectively; although he’s 1lb worse off with TM, meets ML on 2lbs better terms today; despite being drawn 9, will start from on the bottom 8 stalls and likely to have Dreamfield for company drawn just inside of him.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (48 days); drawn lowest 8 stalls;
Verdict: (43) usually goes well under De Sousa and a contender if low numbers favoured today.
Gilgamesh 4-9-1 (100) Dr 14
26 May Cl 2 Hcap (156 d) 7f gd York (108) 5/1 F 0.05l 1/11 off 96
Held up towards rear, headway on outer 3f out, ridden to chase leaders well over 1f out, led entering final furlong, held on well towards finish
Recorded a hat-trick of wins in the early months of last year but then not seen from May to November when running well at Chelmsford; looked to need the race in the Newbury Spring Cup, but showed a lot of promise to finish a close 7th in the Victoria Cup; confirmed that promise with a battling win over 7f at York last month, for which he’s been raised; the bigger question though is whether he has the speed to drop back to 6f, for while he won mdn over the distance at Nottingham as a 2yo, that was the only time he’s tried it; moreover, he’s not that well drawn today back in the middle of the pack.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); form run lto (28 days); career best lto;
Minus: course; up 4lbs; drop down in trip; middle draw;
Verdict: (39) too many questions for him to be a strong contender for me.
Growl 6-9-3 (102) Dr 29
Won over C&D on his debut back in 2014 and has run well here since, as when runner-up to The Tin Man in the 2016 Champion Stks; drew a blank last year, although was beaten less than 1l by Lancelot Du Lac (+2) when 4/28 in last year’s Stewards’ Cup; runs off a 7lbs lower mark and meets LDL on 3lbs better terms today; returned in a Cl 3 Stks at Chester last month but after an awkward start could never get close to the speed-burner Kachy over 5f; will be better returned to 6f and is another with a high draw.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); recent outing (43 days); return to 6f; drawn in the 8 highest stalls;
Minus: no win since Nov 2016 (12 starts);
Verdict: (33) has threatened to win one of these big sprints and can’t be entirely discounted today, a contender perhaps.
Looking at past trends, while older horses do win such as Out Do last year for example, 10 of the last 13 renewals have been won by 4yo or 5yo horses. Plus it’s also worthwhile noting that 10 of the last 13 winners has finished in the top 4 on their last run, generally within the last 50 days. The other stat worth noting is that 11 of the past 13 winners were drawn in the lower or upper 8 stalls – you have to be special to win from a middle draw, the 6yo Dandy Boy from stall 15 in 2012 and 4yo Deacon Blues from stall 11 the previous year, being the two exceptions.
Using that, plus other, information to try and wade through the field I passed on the likes of Brian The Snail, Major Jumbo, Silent Echo and Ryan Moore’s mount, Tupi. Giving my shortlist a more rigorous inspection, Gilgamesh was the first to go, being middle drawn and almost exclusively campaigned over 7f. I have my doubts about Victory Angel too, as it’s been the higher drawn horses that have been doing best all week and he’s not the most consistent of horses and is now 9lbs above his last winning mark. That leaves me with a pair of Fahey sprinters and the raging favourite. I would normally be against Mr Lupton on weight grounds, not many win with over 9-6, but he has won off a higher mark and should be competitive back over 6f. Whether he can beat stable companion Growl is another matter, as he has always promised to win one of the big sprints and has never quite made it as yet – maybe today’s his day, but he is now a 6yo! For the winner though I can’t ignore the claims of Dreamfield and while the price will not provide any value, I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t win. Whether he can drag Victory Angel along into the frame I don’t know, as I still think the high side of the draw is the place to be. Still, hoping against hope that Growl doesn’t make me pay for deserting him, I’m going for Dreamfield, with Mr Lupton on the high side holding off Victory Angel on the low side and Growl finishing 4th.
Ayr 16.50 Cl 2 Hcap 258 (103) 13f gd – 13 Run
Last year – 91 (90) gd – 5 ran
Euchen Glen 8/1 4-9-5 (88) Dr 3 by 0.75l from Braes Of Lochalsh 18/1 6-8-2 (71) Dr 4
Euchen Glen 5-9-1 (94) Dr 12
Runs off a 6lbs higher mark than last year, but in good form recording a career best when beaten 0.55l at Haydock lto; has been raised 2lbs for that and has excellent form here.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (28 days); career best lto;
Minus: up 2lbs
Verdict: (55) looks to be a strong contender back at Ayr.
Star Of The East 4-9-0 (93) Dr 2
Has already had a busy season like most Johnston-trained horses, but has won 2 of his 7 starts since April and recorded a career best when a close 3rd in the Queens Mother’s Cup at York last weekend; making first visit to Ayr, but stable in fine form.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (7 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?)
Verdict: (51) looks as if he thrives on his racing on gd or faster and a contender.
Kelly’s Dino 5-8-11 (90) Dr 11
Lightly-raced gelding (11th start) who has not raced beyond 11f, but has suggested he should get this trip; career best when winning over 11f at Carlisle 16 days ago, for which he’s been raised 6lbs; we’ll know more after today, but looks a player.
Plus: class (F); going (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (16 days); career best lto;
Minus: distance (?); course; up 6lbs; up in trip; up 2 classes;
Verdict: (40) questions to answer but no surprise were he to go close and a contender.
Northwest Frontier 4-8-6 (85) Dr 6
Didn’t show a lot after winning his mdn early last season, but has come into his own the last twice after being raised to 16f at Nottingham and Ripon; drops back in trip today, plus he’s up 3 classes off a 6lbs higher mark; however, likely to make his mark going forward as a 4yo.
Plus: going (W); distance (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (24 days); career best lto;
Minus: class; course; up 6lbs; up 3 classes;
Verdict: (34) looks to have potential as a stayer, and today we find out if he can hack it in this class; a possible contender.
Very quick look at this suggests these are the main contenders, from which I’d go with Euchen Glen to complete the double with Northwest Frontier and Star Of The East giving him the most to do.
Any comments on today's racing. Please don't just put in selections ... please add some reason why you think a runner will win
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