Right horses, wrong order last week, something that’s been happening far too often of late. As we have a sprint and an AW race today, I’m not sure how much improvement we can expect today, but fingers crossed we’ll get lucky.
Doncaster 13.50 Cl 2 Hcap 374 (105) 5.5f gd/sf – 22 Run
3yo = 2lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 374 (107) gd/sf – 22 ran
Spring Loaded 12/1 5-8-9 (92) Dr 22 by 3.5l from Vibrant Chords 7/1 F 4-9-0 (97) Dr 8
A Momentofmadness 14/1 4-8-12 (95) Dr 20 was 5.37l 6th
Duke Of Firenze 33/1 8-9-4 (106) Dr 17 was 5.92l 9th
Lancelot Du Lac 12/1 7-9-10 (107) Dr 2 was 7.47l 12th
Udontdodou 5-8-11 (92) Dr 14
20 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (470 u) 6f gd/fm Wind 10/1 0.25l 1/15 off 88
chased leaders on rail, not clear run approaching final 2f until gap opened over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, led near finish
Slightly better record on AW, but won a valuable hcap at Windsor lto in a career best on turf with Open Wide and Dougan further back; that was on fast ground, however, and was unplaced on only attempt in today’s conditions, although did win his mdn on sf; runs off a 4lbs higher mark today, although looks well enough draw in stall 14.
Plus: class (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (26 days); career best turf lto; positive draw;
Minus: going; up 4lbs;
Verdict: (47) question about the ground, but not without chances and a contender.
Holmeswood 4-8-10 (91) Dr 9
22 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (44o u) 5.5f gd/fm York 8/1 Co F 11.5l 3/19 off 91
towards rear stands side, switched left and headway over 1f out, soon ridden, stayed on to take narrow 3rd well inside final furlong, not quite reach front pair
Won over 6f as a 2yo and recorded a hat-trick of 5f successes last summer, the best at York at the end of August off 92; has edged down the weights this term, but hinted at a return to form over this trip at York lto when 3rd to El Astronaute; runs off the same mark today, and won on gd/sf at Ripon last year so no problem with the ground either; only slight worry is being drawn in stall 9, but may overcome that.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); form run lto (24 days);
Minus: single digit draw (?);
Verdict: (46) looks to be regaining his form and a strong contender if overcoming the draw.
Dakota Gold 4-8-10 (91) Dr 15
31 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (100 d) 6f gd Thir 3/1 F 1l 3/14 off 91
held up in rear, headway halfway, soon chasing leaders, every chance over 1f out, driven and kept on well final furlong
Won in similar conditions over this distance at York last year off 87 and has looked to be returning to form the last twice when runner-up in the Great St Wilfrid and then 3rd to Muscika (-9) at Thirsk; runs of the same mark and meets M on 6lbs better terms today, plus would look to have by far the better of the draw.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (15 days); positive draw;
Minus: course (?);
Verdict: (38) conditions would look to be in his favour and a contender.
Golden Apollo 4-9-4 (99) Dr 6
Race conditions should suit as the Pivotal gelding won over 6f on gd/sf at Ascot off 95 as a 3yo; however, largely disappointing this term, save for penultimate start when runner-up to Flying Pursuit on sf at York at the end of July; disappointed again since, however, in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon where he was fitted with first-time cheek-pieces; head gear remains today, but now has something to prove methinks.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); recent outing (28);
Minus: low draw; poor last run to overcome;
Verdict: (37) conditions suit, but neither draw nor form suggest he’ll take advantage today and not the strongest of contenders
Open Wide 4-8-12 (93) Dr 13
08 Sep Cl 3 Hcap (100 d) 5f gd/fm Ascot 5/1 F 0.5l 2/14 off 90
bumped start, held up in last pair, headway on bit when not clear run and switched right over 1f out, ran on inside final furlong, not reach winner
Back in the winner’s enclosure over 6f at Salisbury in June and has threatened to improve on that the last twice, when 3rd to Udontdodou (-1) at Windsor and recording a career best when runner-up to Mountain Peak (-8) at Ascot last weekend; however, has been raised 3lbs for his latest effort and that puts him 7lbs above his highest winning mark; moreover, his best form has been on gd or faster and disappointed on both efforts in today’s conditions; however, eye-shield added to normal blinkers today to help him concentrate.
Plus: class (F) distance (W); trainer (14d); form run lto (7 days); career best lto; positive draw;
Minus: up in class; going; course (?); up 3lbs;
Verdict: (36) worries about the ground make his a contender with questions.
Another of these big sprints, which has been dominated by 4yo and 5yo horses who have won 10 of the last 12 renewals. Another telling stat is that 13 of the past 15 renewals have been won by horses coming out of stalls 9 or higher. Another thing to note is that all past 12 winners had recorded an RPR of 92+ on their previous start. Food for thought.
Looking at my shortlist, Golden Apollo is the first to go – drawn 6 and RPR of 87 lto. Open Wide has a few question marks too, as despite recording a career best lto I’m not entirely convinced that today’s condition really suit, so perhaps I can pass here too. There’s a slight question about the ground for Udontdodou too, plus I’m not really sure he’s competitive enough at this level to overcome his 4lbs rise. So that leaves me with Holmeswood and Dakota Gold, and with the latter having the better of the draw perhaps, I’m going for Dakota Gold from Holmeswood with Udontdodou maybe holding off Open Wilde again for the minor placings.
Chelmsford 15.25 Cl 2 Hcap 311 (101) 7f AW – 13 Run (12 at best)
3yo = 4lbs wfa allowance
Clubbable 3-8-13 (92) Dr 2
23 Aug Cl 2 Hcap (440 d) 7f gd/fm York 20/1 3.5l 4/15 off 92
in rear, pushed along 2f out, ridden and headway inside final furlong, nearest finish
A winner over C&D here in June off 85 and although never a factor plugged on well to finish midfield in the Gigaset Intl at Ascot; followed up with a solid effort at York lto when left with a mite too much to do; has a useful claimer in the saddle to take a further 5lbs off.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); form run lto (23 days);
Verdict: (48) C&D winner and no surprise were he to go close, a contender.
Fennaan 3-9-0 (93) Dr 1
21 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (90 d) 7f AW Kemp 3/1 F 0.75l 1/7 off 90
chased leaders, ridden to lead inside final furlong, edged left, ran on
Won Newbury mdn last September and has won 2 of his 5 starts this year, the latest a Cl 3 at Kempton last month; raised 3lbs for that, but is up in class today; one wonders if it is the trainer rather than the horse that accounts for his short price.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (25 days); career best lto;
Minus: course (?); up 3lbs; up in class;
Verdict: (45) improving sort and a likely contender.
Victory Wave 4-9-9 (98) Dr 8
I think we can ignore the effort at York last month as obviously something must have been wrong with her; had looked progressive in winning her two previous races, however, and must be considered if back to that form.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); trainer (14d); trainer (C); recent outing (23 days); down 1lb;
Verdict: (44) must bounce back from York, but a possible contender.
George 3-8-12 (91) Dr 4
31 Aug Cl 3 3yo-Hcap (90 u) 8f gd/sf Sand 8/1 2.5l 2/9 off 89
held up in last trio, headway chasing leaders over 2f out, keeping on same pace when not much room over 1f out, stayed on into 2nd towards finish, no chance with winner
In good form of late, winning over 8f here in July and following up at Salisbury before finishing a credible runner-up when raised to Cl 3 at Sandown lto; up in class again today, plus drops back 1f and is back to taking on older horses again.
Plus: going (W); distance (F); course (W); trainer (14d); trainer (C); form run lto (15 days); career best lto;
Minus: class; up 2lbs; up in class;
Verdict: improving sort, but unproven at this level and not a strong contender.
Of Mark Johnston’s pair I’d prefer Rufus King who encountered troubles in running here lto, but along with George does not make my final trio. Of these, I’m going with Clubbable to get the better of Fennaan and Victory Wave.
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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