About the only thing I got right last week was the quadrant in which the Ebor winner was drawn – would have made a profit again if you’d just back the 7 highest drawn! Much smaller fields this week, but no less tricky, so let’s hope we can start off September with a winner.
Chester 14.05 Cl 2 Hcap 280 (108) 7.5f gd – 12 Run
3yo – 5lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 280 (107) gd – 12 ran
Penwortham 8/1 4-8-0 (83) Dr 6 by 0.5l from War Glory 5/1 4-8-6 (89) Dr 5
Oh This Is Us 5-9-10 (108) Dr 9
Won a listed stks over 7f here back in mid July, although found the pace too hot in the Gigaset Intl. over 7f off 111 at Ascot later in the month; since then he’s been runner-up in a Gr 3 at Salisbury and 6/8 in a Gr 2 at Goodwood; only 3lbs higher than when winning a Meydan hcap in February, although not best drawn in stall 9.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); recent outing (7 days); down in class;
Verdict: (51) hard to place, but might have a chance here despite the wide draw and a contender.
Poet’s Society 4-9-2 (100) Dr 8
23 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (530 u) 8f gd/fm York 20/1 0.25l 1/18 off 96
made most, set strong pace, pressed from over 2f out, ridden and joined over 1f out, asserted gamely close home
Stands his racing well and was winning for the 6th time in 26 starts this year producing a career best when coming in at long odds at York 9 days ago; raised 4lbs for that, but likely to go well again if overcoming his wide draw – did win on consecutive days back in early July; jockey booking would suggest he’s the stable’s second string, however.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (9 days); career best lto;
Minus: up 4lbs;
Verdict: (51) not best drawn but a contender nonetheless
Lake Volta 3-8-12 (101) Dr 2
25 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (620 u) 7f gd Good 16/1 1.75l 3/17 off 100
prominent, led over 2f out, strongly challenged over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, no extra
Stable companion of Poet’s Society and made all when taking a listed stks at Epsom in early June; almost back to that form when 3/17 at Goodwood last weekend; well drawn here and with Norton up looks the stable’s main hope.
Plus: class (W+); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (7 days);
Verdict: (48) well drawn for one that likes to be up with the pace and a contender.
Lualiwa 4-8-9 (93) Dr 4
28 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (160 d) 7f sf York 16/1 3.25l 3/7 off 95
tracked leader, ridden over 2f out, lost 2nd over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong
Has been rather disappointing since winning at Musselburgh at the end of March, but showed some improvement at York lto back on softer ground; although he has won on gd/fm, appears to be more at home on softer surfaces; well enough drawn today, but not entirely sure the ground will best suit.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (35 days);
Verdict: (37) well enough drawn, but not sure ground will be soft enough to bring out his best and thus not the strongest contender.
Daira Prince 4-8-11 (95) Dr 1
Started the season well with win at Nottingham and Ripon, but limitation exposed when upped in class at Sandown in early July; not seen since, but well drawn in stall 1.
Plus: going (W); distance (W); trainer (C);
Minus: class (?); course (?); 56-day break;
Verdict: (32) well drawn, but questions to answer coming back from a break and not the strongest contender.
Baraweez was twice a C&D winner here in May, but recent form not so hot, plus has the widest draw to contend with. Meanwhile, looking at my shortlist, I think we can drop Daira Prince and probably Lualiwa as well. It’s tight among the remaining trio, but jockey choice sees me go for Lake Volta with perhaps Oh This Is Us relegating the other Johnston runner, Poet’s Society to third.
Sandown 14.25 Cl 2 Hcap 311 (103) 10f gd/sf – 12 Run
3yo = 6lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 311 (103) gd – 13 ran
Thundering Blue 11/2 4-8-8 (87) Dr 8 by 1.5l from Monarchs Glen 9/1 3-9-1 (100) Dr 11
Rotherwick 20/1 5-8-9 (88) Dr 4 1.55l 3rd
Master Carpenter 16/1 6-9-7 (103) Dr 9 was 8.9l 12th
Communique 3-9-7 (103) Dr 10
25 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (440 u) 10.5f gd/fm York 9/2 Jt F 4.35l 4/15 off 103
mid-division on inside, headway on bit 3f out, went 2nd approaching 2f out, led over 1f out, stayed on strongly
Runner-up in both his starts as a 2yo, and has won 3 of his 9 starts this term including valuable handicaps at Newmarket and Goodwood where he recorded consecutive career bests; subsequently found Group class a little beyond him at Haydock, but bounced back with a credible effort when equalling his Goodwood running in finishing 4/15 at York last weekend; runs off the same mark today and once more has De Sousa aboard.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (7 days);
Verdict: (53) improving 3yo and a strong contender.
Almoreb 4-8-12 (88) Dr 6
07 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (70 d) 8f gd/fm Newb 2/1 F 2l 3/7 off 88
tracked leaders, pushed along over 3f out, stayed on same pace from over 1f out
Unraced at 2yo, but 3 times a winner last season including on gd/sf here; yet to strike this term. but save for his return has been running on ground faster than he prefers; suggestion he may be running into form with Newbury effort lto, and both the longer trip and softer ground likely to play to his strengths.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (F); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (25 days);
Minus: up in class;
Verdict: (36) likely to get his conditions today and a contender off this mark.
Red Force One 3-8-4 (86) Dr 11
18 Aug Cl 4 Hcap (60 s) 10f gd Newb 5/1 0.75l 1/10 off 79
tracked leader, closed up over 2f out, led over 1f out, ridden out
The addition of a visor has proved the key as he has won his last 3 starts in successive career bests since it was first fitted at Bath in late July; has been raised 7lbs for his latest success in a Cl 4 at Newbury last month, but could still be improving; that was on gd, but has shown form on softer ground.
Plus: going (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (14d); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); course (?); up 7lbs; up 2 classes;
Verdict: (36) far stiffer test than he’s faced to date, but a possible contender.
Not So Sleepy 6-9-7 (97) Dr 5
03 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (90 d) 10f gd Ayr 9/2 0.75l 2/11 off 95
tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, always held
Won off 1lb higher at Epsom in early June last year, which was his first success since his 3yo days; rather more out than in this term, but better effort at Ayr lto, although is up 2lbs and a class today; no 6yo winner in the past 10 renewals.
Plus: class (W); going (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (19 days)
Minus: course; up 2lbs; up in class; age (?);
Verdict: (35) not the most prolific winner and a questionable contender against younger horses.
History Writer 3-8-10 (92) Dr 12
07 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (100 u) 8f gd/sf Nwmkt 9/2 3.5l 6/13 off 92
towards rear, ridden and headway over 1f out, kept on, nearest finish
Unraced as 2yo, but won over 8f here on his hcap debut at the start of August; while he runs off 7lbs than that, his Newmarket effort off that a fortnight or so later suggested that today’s step up in trip could well suit; trainer swaddled last year’s winner.
Plus: going (F); course (W); trainer (C); form run lto (15 days);
Minus: class (?); distance (?); up in class; up in distance;
Verdict: (29) improving sort and a possible contender.
Besides History Writer, Mountain Angel and Dream Today are another pair that could well be thereabouts if handling the step up in trip, thus making it a highly competitive affair. One that I don’t expect to be involved, however, is Master Carpenter despite tumbling 15lbs from last year’s mark and 7lbs below that he last carried to victory at York in May last year. He seems to save his best for York and while he didn’t run badly over 8f here in early July, I feel he may lack the pace of the younger contenders today.
Age is a worry too for Not So Sleepy, and he’s the first to leave the shortlist. I also have a question about Red Force One stepping up so far in class and will question his credentials today. Of the remaining trio, Communique would seem to have the strongest claim and he is preferred to History Writer who may just hold off Almoreb.
Beverley 15.55 Cl 2 4yo-Hcap 311 (97) 10f gd/fm – 11 Run
Last year – 280 (88) gd/fm – 9 ran
Society Red 7/1 3-8-2 (79) Dr 3 by 0.25l from The Statesman 7/1 3-8-2 (79) Dr 5
Team Decision 3-9-3 (93) Dr 9
Plus: going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (29 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); course (?); up 6lbs: up in class;
Verdict: (50) not best drawn but in good form and improving, a contender.
Delph Crescent 3-8-9 (85) Dr 3
Plus: going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (C); form run lto (11 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); up 7lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (50) improving form over the summer and a contender
Porth Swtan 3-8-10 (86) Dr 11
Plus: class (W); going (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days);career best lto;
Minus: distance (?); course (?); up 3lbs;
Verdict: (41) 2/3 this year and the only one to have won at this level, but faces his longest trip yet and a contender with questions
Ayutthaya 3-9-4 (94) Dr 2
Plus: going (F); distance (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (11 days); career best lto;
Minus: class (?); course (?); up 6lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (39) only btn a nose by Delph Crescent lto and shouldn’t be far away again, a contender.
A very quick look at this 3yo-hcap that I’ve pared down to this quartet. One thing I do note is that 8 of the past 10 renewals have been won by horses coming from stalls 1 to 4. Thus while Team Decision may have a claim, I’m going for Delph Crescent from Ayutthaya.
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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