What a waste of a day (two actually if you count time collecting data)! With the annual Ascot antics going on, which is ignored as normal, we still have lots of meetings but sadly too few horses to patronise even two meetings. I did look at two races at Newmarket, but the obligatory non-runners have ensured they’re not qualifying races for betting purposes. So a Saturday with no racing as far as I’m concerned, although I’ve appended my notes. Thank goodness for football and cricket!
Newmarket 15.10 Cl 2 Hcap 162 (99) 10f sf – 8 Run (7 at best)
3yo = 8lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 129 (98) gd/sf – 7 ran
Thundering Blue 11/2 4-8-12 (83) Dr 4 by 1l from Atkinson Grimshaw 7/2 3-8-4 (83) Dr 3
Danceteria 3-9-0 (93) Dr 5
21 Jul Cl 3 3yo-Hcap (100 u) 10f gd/fm Nwmkt Ev 5l 1/2 off 88
slow into stride tracked clear leader, closed 4f out, led entering final furlong, ran on
Much improved after coming back from a break earlier in the season, putting up consecutive career best performances in winning his last 3 starts, the latest a 2-horse affair over C&D here towards the end of last month; has been raised 5lbs for that, but likely has further improvement to come and has useful 3lbs claimer onboard today; untried on the ground, which hopefully should be drying, and has form on gd/sf; first attempt at taking on older horses, but trainer saddled last year’s winner.
Plus: distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); going (?); up 5lbs; up in class; taking on older horses for first time;
Verdict: (51) improving 3yo who should be thereabouts if handling the ground and a contender.
Kaanoon 3-9-5 (98) Dr 4
21 Jul Cl 3 Hcap (100 u) 10f gd/sf Nwmkt 2/1 F 0.75l 2/5 off 94
tracked leaders, ridden to press winner from over 2f out, not quicken towards finish
Rapidly-improving 3yo colt who was only just denied a four-timer, despite yet another career best, when raised to this trip for the first time here a fortnight ago; runs off 4lbs higher today, but as this only his 6th start there is likely much more to come; moreover, that was an all-aged hcap on gd/sf and hopefully the ground will dry to something like that this afternoon.
Plus: distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (14 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); going (?); up 4lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (41) rapidly-improving sort who last time indicated that he should have no problem with either going or distance; a contender.
Derek Duval 4-8-12 (83) Dr 7
05 Jul Cl 4 Hcap (60 d) 10f gd/fm Epsom 7/1 1.25l 1/5 off 80
tracked leaders, went 2nd over 3f out, poised to challenge over 2f out, carried right over 1f out, shaken up to lead inside final furlong, ridden out
Was recording third win of the year when scoring at Epsom early last month in a career best, although that was a Cl 4 and he’d failed to get his head in front when raised to Cl 3 let alone the Cl 2 he tries for the first time today; moreover all his success has been on gd/fm or AW, not appearing to like ground softer than gd on the 2 occasions he’s tried.
Plus: distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (37 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); going; up 3lbs; up 2 classes;
Verdict: (37) in good form, indications to date don’t support him winning at this level and not the strongest contender.
Caliburn 3-9-1 (94) Dr 2
12 Jul Gr 3 3yo-Stks (850 u) 13f gd/fm Nwmkt 16/1 15.5l 6/8 off 94
tracked leaders, pushed along 3f out, ridden 2f out, weakened final furlong
Just the 4 starts and was impressive in getting off the mark at the third attempt over 11.5f at Haydock in mid-June; aimed too high in the Bahrain Trophy here lto, although was not totally disgraced before weakening in the final furlong; not run on softer than gd, plus not sure the drop back to 10f ideal.
Plus: trainer (14d); trainer (C); recent outing (30 days); career best lto; down in class;
Minus: class (?); going (?); distance; course;
Verdict: (31) queries in regard to distance and going mean he’s a contender with questions.
Alternative Fact 3-9-4 (97) Dr 6
06 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (310 d) 10f gd/fm Sand 14/1 2.25l 5/8 off 98
awkwardly away, held up last, headway on outside over 2f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong
Showed he could handle sf ground as a 2yo and while aimed too high in group class in first 2 starts this term, showed much more promise in recording a career best when dropped to hcap level over this trip at Sandown lto; suspicion he may well come on for that and runs off 1lb lower mark today, plus Frankie booked.
Plus: going (W); trainer (C); recent outing (36 days); career best lto; down 1lb;
Minus: class; distance; course (?);
Verdict: (29) could well have found his level and a contender on ground that should suit.
While three horses have carried 10-0 to victory in the past decade, I can’t fancy either Red Label or Restorer today as both are returning from breaks of more than two months. The same true of Awake My Soul, plus he’s 9yo, so that’s three removed from contention. While I can make case for the remaining five, distance and going worries for Caliburn, and doubts that Derek Duval is competitive at this level cut my shortlist to just a trio of 3yos. Trying to get Danceteria, Kaanoon and Alternative Fact in the right order is a mite tricky though, especially as the going has changed from a reported gd/fm on Thursday to soft today. Although facing new challenges, I’m going for Danceteria to just hold off Alternative Fact and Kaanoon.
Newmarket 16.20 Cl 2 Hcap 162 (100) 7f sf – 8 Run (6 at best)
3yo = 6lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 129 (99) gd/sf – 7 ran
Accession 10/1 8-9-9 (94) Dr 6 by 2.25l from War Glory 5/2 Jt F 4-9-4 (89) Dr 3
Ripp Orf 4-9-7 (94) Dr 3
28 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (930 u) 7f gd/fm Ascot 8/1 1l 3/27 off 92
raced centre held up in mid-division, headway near side of group over 1f out, ran on well towards finish, not quite get up
Has been in consistent form all year, only once failing to make the first 3 in one of his 9 starts since January, winning 3 (including the Victoria Cup) in the process; the ‘failure’ was on sf ground at Epsom in June where he experienced trouble in running; ran on well lto in the Gigaset Intl. at Ascot to finish 3rd to a rejuvenated Burnt Sugar and had both Spanish City and Gallipoli further behind him; has been raised 2lbs for that, but rider claims 3lbs; while he has form on sf, by far his best form has been shown on fast ground, which is a worry.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (14 days);
Minus: up 2lbs;
Verdict: (52) solid form has him as strong contender if handling the ground.
Lake Volta 3-9-7 (100) Dr 7
21 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (130 d) 7f gd/fm Newb 11/4 0.75l 3/5 off 101
led, ridden and headed inside final furlong, kept on same pace
Won the Surrey Stks at Epsom at the start of June using front-running tactics, but found tactics harder to repeat in Group class and returned to hcap level at Newbury lto where he wasn’t beaten far; dropped a further lb today and likely to go off in front once more, although has a new rider aboard.
Plus: class (W+); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days); down 1lb;
Verdict: (43) probably best in this company and a possible contender if getting an easy lead.
Fennaan 3-8-13 (92) Dr 2
Not been seen since running at Goodwood towards the end of May, having been gelded since to help keep his mind on the job; just a pair of 7f novice wins to date and no start on softer than gd, so not a lot to go on.
Plus: class (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); down 1lb;
Minus: going (?); course (?); 77-day break;
Verdict: (34) could be anything, but not the strongest contender on what he’s shown to date.
Spanish City 5-9-6 (93) Dr 4 (N/R)
28 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (930 u) 7f gd/fm Ascot 9/1 1.75l off 91
raced centre, held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, not clear run and switched right inside final furlong, ran on, not reach leaders
Twice a winner over 7f this season and only just held in the Bunbury here last month and might well have been closer with a clear run in the Gigaset Intl. at Ascot a fortnight ago; nevertheless, runs off a 2lbs higher mark today, which complicates matters, as does the fact he’s been campaigned almost exclusively on fast ground or the AW.
Plus: class (F); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (14d);
Minus: going (?); up 2lbs;
Verdict: (34) question about the ground, but a possible contender.
Two N/R means it no longer qualifies as a race for betting consideration, although I would go with Ripp Ord from Lake Volta, though it be no surprise if Fennaan took it.
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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