Well at least my second choice at Chester won last week for a change. See if we can keep things running this week, though I have my doubts at Haydock!
Ascot 14.45 Cl 2 Hcap 498 (110) 7f gd – 20 Run
Weights raised 2lbs
3yo = 4lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 498 (109) gd/sf – 17 ran
Remarkable 10/1 4-9-8 (107) Dr 15 by 0.5l from Mjjack 6/1 Jt F 3-8-9 (98) Dr 6
Raising Sand 12/1 5-8-13 (98) Dr 14 was 1.77l 4th
Squats 6/1 Jt F 5-8-9 (99) Dr 16 was 6.64l 11th
Cape Byron 4-9-3 (101) Dr 2
25 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (620 d) 7f gd Good 7/1 1.75l 2/17 off 100
held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, chased leaders inside final furlong, kept on well
Has had an interrupted career to date, but won on his return here as a 3yo; had a wind operation in January, but after showing promise in the Hambleton at York on his return in May, rather disappointed in the Royal Hunt Cup the following month and was gelded thereafter, ran well to finish 4/17 in the Golden Mile at Goodwood on his return to action and then put in another career best when runner-up to Flaming Spear over 7f there a fortnight ago; has been raised 1lb for that, but looks ready to return to the winner’s enclosure again.
Plus: class (F); going (F); distance (F); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (14d); career best lto);
Minus: up 1lb;
Verdict: (46) may actually be better over 8f, but still a strong contender here.
Mubtasim 4-9-2 (100) Dr 10
01 Sept Cl 2 Hcap (650 u) 7f AW Chelm 10/1 2.25l 5/15 off 101
behind, pushed along over 2f out, headway 1f out, kept on same pace
Showed much promise in winning 3 of 5 starts as a 2yo, but failed to win as a 3yo in higher class, finishing 3/20 in the Jersey Stks being his best effort; gelded last September and showed promise in first 2 starts in the spring; however. has disappointed in big hcaps since coming back for the Bunbury in July, although fared a little better when dropped in level of competition at Chelsmford last weekend; dropped 1lb though and may improve again.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (7d); down 1lb;
Minus: not won for 2 years;
Verdict: (46) better effort last weekend, but has to proved he still has the appetite to compete at this level and a contender with questions.
Spanish City 5-8-9 (93) Dr 12
28 Jul Cl 2 Hcap (930 u) 7f gd/fm Ascot 9/1 1.75l 6/27 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
After a disrupted 3yo season has got back on track in winning 2 of his first 3 starts this term and then solid efforts in 3 more competitive hcaps since, the last over C&D here at the end of July; has had a 6-week break and returns off a 2lbs higher mark, but noted both his turf wins have come on fast ground.
Plus: class F); going (F); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto;
Minus: up 2lbs; 42-day break;
Verdict: (41) yet to win at this level, but a possible contender.
Ripp Orf 4-8-9 (93) Dr 14
Was in good early season form winning the Victoria Cup here off 83 in early May when just getting up close home to deny Zhui Feng (+23) and Sea Fox (0); generally consistent and was 3/27 to Burnt Sugar in the Gigaset Intl here off 92 at the end of July, but proved unable to compete with Sea Fox (-7) on gd/sf at Newmarket last month; question of whether his busy season is at last getting to him, plus seems to do best on fast ground.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (14d); recent outing (28 days);
Minus: going (?);
Verdict: (40) question of whether the ground will be fast enough for him today and not the strongest contender perhaps.
Gilgamesh 4-9-0 (98) Dr 20
01 Sep Cl 2 Hcap (650 d) 7f AW Chelm 16/1 3.25l 7/15 off 99
behind, headway over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong, no impression
Finished behind Ripp Orf in the Victoria here in May before going on to take a decent hcap at York a fortnight later off 96; not disgraced in the Wokingham here, but seemed a little out of his depth when made favourite for the Bunbury but only finishing in midfield; better effort at Chelmsford last weekend, but still finished behind Vale Of Kent, Mubtasim and Cliffs Of Capri, dropped 1lb but can’t really see him threatening here with the stable not in the best of form.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); recent form run (7 days); down 1lb;
Verdict: (40) Not the strongest contender for me.
Others I pass on include Raising Sand who finished 4th off this mark last year but has shown little this. It appears that he needs softer ground and I believe that if anything it’s firming up today. Squats runs off 2lbs higher than last year when finishing 11th, thanks to a 10lbs rise for a 7f Newbury success 3 weeks ago. Despite his rider’s 3lbs claim, that looks like too big a task.
Cutting my shortlist down, the first to go is Gilgamesh despite his support in the market. My worry with Spanish City is that he’s yet to win at this level, so I’ll pass again adn concentrate my efforts of the other trio. I’m just starting to wonder if Ripp Orf is starting to pay for his exertions in such a busty season and thus go for Cape Byron from Mubtasim who may be on the way back, with Ripp Orf filling out the frame from Spanish City.
Haydock 15.35 Cl 2 Hca388 (103) 14f sf – 12 Run (8 at best)
Last year – 388 (96) hv – 9 ran
Sepal 11/4 F 4-8-1 (84) Dr 10 by 3l from Graceland 6/1 5-9-1 (91) Dr 6
Hochfeld 4-9-10 (103) Dr 10
01 Sept List Stks (210 d) 14.5f gd Chest 7/2 0.25l 2/6 off 103
led, ridden over 1f out, kept on and headed towards finish
Useful performer last year winning 3 times, including over this trip at Newmarket; gelded between seasons, but hasn’t quite had the same success, although the ground may have been as fast as he likes and he was only just denied at Chester last weekend on his first run on anything but fast ground this year.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (7 days); down in class;
Minus: going; course;
Verdict: (41) distance suits and has won on gd/sf, so a contender despite top weight.
Bolder Bob 4-8-12 (91) Dr 5
08 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (120 d) 12f gd/fm Pont 16/1 0.02l 1/6 off 90
awkward start and slowly away, held up in rear, headway over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, challenged towards finish, led post
Down the field on only try at this trip last autumn, but won over 13f on gd/sf at Hamilton in early May, plus has also won on sf; didn’t help himself at Pontefract last month, but got the job done with a career best; runs off 1lbs higher today, but the step back up in trip should help; a major worry though is a stone-cold stable (0/21).
Plus: going (W); distance (W); form run lto (31 days); career best lto;
Minus: class; course (?); up in class; up 1lb; trainer (14d – 0/21);
Verdict: (38) would have a chance on his past run, but worried about stable form and thus not the strongest contender.
Mam’Selle 4-8-11 (90) Dr 2
Won 3 of her 5 starts last season, all on ground on the soft side of gd; made a promising return on gd/sf at Goodwood in May, but has since failed to fire on 3 further Cl 1 starts on faster ground; has his ground today, but has got to show he gets this trip.
Plus: class (F); going (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); recent outing (35 days); down in class; down 1lb;
Minus: distance; course;
Verdict: (32) conditions should suit so a contender if staying the trip.
Soft to heavy ground at Haydock generally means trouble, and this is a race to leave well alone with there already being 4 abstentions. For the punishment gluttons, I’d take a chance on Mam’Selle from Hochfield and perhaps Bolder Bob.
Ascot 16.30 Cl 2 Hcap 287 (97) 6f gd – 14 Run (13 at best)
Weights raised 7lbs
3yo = 2lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 187 (103) sf – 13 ran
Ice Lord 6/1 5-8-2 (86) Dr 12 by 1.25l from Gulliver 14/1 3-8-5 (88) Dr 2
Rebel Streak 3-9-5 (95) Dr 3
18 Aug Cl 2 3yo-Hcap (280 u) 6f gd Nwmkt 7/2 1.25l 1/7 off 88
tracked leader, ridden to lead over 1f out, ran on
Blinkers proved the key and he has won 3 of his 5 starts since they were fitted in early June, the latest at Newmarket 3 weeks where despite a 6lbs penalty he put in another career best under today’s rider; runs off a 7lbs higher mark today, plus contests an all-aged hcap for the first time but has to be considered.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (21 days); career best lto;
Minus: up 7lbs; taking on older horses;
Verdict: (55) looks to be an improving young sprinter and a contender.
Normandy Barriere 6-9-8 (96) Dr 8
18 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (120 u) 7f gd Donc 11/4 F 0.75l 2/7 off 95
always close up, ridden and every chance inside final furlong, ran on
Not won since May 2017, but is back to that mark now and gave a hint at Doncaster that he’s not far off winning; up 1lb today but conditions suit and he is a CD winner.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); trainer (C); form run lto (21 days);
Minus: up 1lb;
Verdict: (46) goes well for Buick and a live contender today
Kimifive 3-9-2 (92) Dr 9
20 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (470 u) 6f gd/fm Wind 7/1 0.75l 4/15 off 91
held up in mid-division on rail, headway when not clearest of runs over 1f out, ran on when in the clear inside final furlong, not reach leaders
Twice a winner in lower class at Windsor earlier in the season under today’s rider, and the duo did not look out of place there lto when recording a career best in this class, and might even have been closer with a clear run.
Plus: class (F); going (F); distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (19 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?); up 1lb;
Verdict: (38) improving sprinter and could be thereabouts, a contender.
A little rushed with this one, but I’m not considering last year’s winner Ice Lord off a 4lbs higher mark. A very quick reprise has me suggesting that a couple of 3yos may well be thereabouts, so I’m going with the fast-improving Rebel Streak to hold off Normandy Barriere and Kimifive.
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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