Managed to find one winner last week, although not enough to save the meeting. This week is dire with the annual carnival antics going on at Ascot and not many decent fields elsewhere – I do dread the summer when some meetings don’t even have enough runners to make up a couple of decent races!
In all honesty there’s not much I’d be betting on today, but here’s some stray thoughts while I concentrate on watching the football!
Redcar 14.55 Cl 3 Hcap 78 (85.7) 7f gd – 11 Run (10 at best)
3yo = 6lbs wfa allowance
Ulshaw Bridge 4-9-11 (89) Dr 7 (134.2)
11 Jul Cl 3 Hcap (129/87.0) 8f gd/fm Nwmk 10/1 9-13 3.25 3/10 off 89 – 134.2
held up towards rear, headway over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on towards finish
22 Jun Cl 3 Hcap (78/90.0) 7f gd Red 6/1 8-11 0.75l 2/12 off 88 – 128.7
held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, every chance over 1f out, kept on inside final furlong
Just the 2 wins to date, but has gone close on numerous occasions as at Newmarket lto and when runner-up to Raydiance (+5) over C&D here back in June; actually meets him on 3lbs worse terms today, but followed up with strong effort at Newmarket; first-time blinkers applied today.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (F); course (F); form run lto (30 days); down 2lbs (wt);
Verdict: strong form efforts this season and a contender.
Raydiance 4-10-0 (92) Dr 6 (132.3)
09 Aug Cl 3 Stks (97/) 7f sf Thir 9/2 9-4 3l 3/5 off 92
tracked winner until ridden over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong
22 Jun Cl 3 Hcap (78/90.0) 7f gd Red 9/1 9-2 0.75l 1/12 off 90 – 132.3
tracked leaders, ridden to lead over 1f out, ran on well inside final furlong
Questionable runner after finishing 3/5 at Thirsk yesterday, but warrants consideration on June win here when Ulshaw Bridge (-5) was runner-up and Presidential (-4) was down the field; set to carry 10lbs more than yesterday, but C&D suit.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (W); recent run (1 day);
Minus: up 10lbs;
Verdict: giving weight to the field but should be thereabouts, especially if the ground softens
Mutaraffa 3-9-7 (91) Dr 4
Just the 5 starts, of which he’s won 3, including a career best in a Cl 3 stks over 8f at Lingfield lto; it’s also worth noting he was L/7 on his only hcap start, a Cl 2 at Haydock on his penultimate start.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); form run lto (17 days);
Minus: course (?); up 1lb (OR); up 7lbs (wt);
Verdict: the Haydock result worries me, and I don’t think he’s the strongest contender today.
Presidential 5-9-7 (85) Dr 10 (132.1)
29 Jul Cl 4 Hcap (52/75.8) 7f sf Ayr 4/1 10-0 0.75l 2/9 off 84 – 128.5
slowly into stride, held up and behind, headway on outside over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, went 2nd close home, not reach winner
22 Jun Cl 3 Hcap (78/90.0) 7f gd Red 7/1 8-12 2.85l 7/12 off 89 – 122.2
behind, ridden and headway on outside 2f out, every chance over 1f out, weakened well inside final furlong
Won 5 of his 17 starts as a 3yo, but has had a lighter campaign this time round, his runner-up effort at Ayr last month being only his sixth start and he looks to be running into form again; however, has yet to win at this level, all his success coming in Cl 4/5; however, did win a Cl 4 over C&D here at this meeting last year off only a 4lbs lower mark, plus was 2/.75l 3/10 in a Cl 3 Hcap at Newmarket on his return in April.
Plus: class (F+); going (F); distance (W); course (W); form run lto (12 days); down 7lbs (wt);
Minus: up 1lb (OR); up in class;
Verdict: looks to be returning to form and Ayr effort suggests he’s a likely contender.
Of others, I have to pass on Golden Apollo who has never won over 7f and not won anything for 2 years. Nor am I enamoured by the claims of Hajjam and while Mutaaraffa made my shortlist, the fact that he finished last in his only hcap start (albeit a class higher) does not fill me with confidence. Thus I am left with the trio who contested a similar hcap over C&D back in June. On that occasion, Raydiance ran out the winner from Ulshaw Bridge and the out-of-form Presidential down the field. Things have changed somewhat and Presidential has returned to form, Ulshaw Bridge has run another sound race, while Raydiance disappointed at Thirsk yesterday. It’s between teh three of them I feel, though the order is a problem. So I’ll go Ulshaw Bridge, Raydiance and Presidential.
Newmarket 16.20 Cl 2 Hcap 129 (93.4) 7f gd – 8 Run (7 at best)
3yo = 6lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 162 (94.0) gd/sf – 6 ran
Sea Fox 7/1 4-8-11 (89) Dr 1 by 0.75l from Shanghai Glory 8/1 5-9-8 (95) Dr 6
Qayser 4-9-7 (95) Dr 8 (130.7)
06 Aug Cl 3 Hcap (74/84.1) 8f gd Newb 6/1 10-0 4.5l 1/10 off 90 – 130.7
towards rear, headway when not clear run over 2f out, switched left inside final 2f, edged right and led approaching final furlong, ran on
Completed a hat-trick in winning his first 2 starts last season at Kempton and Newbury, but season went downhill thereafter ending with a disappointing effort in the Britannia at Royal Ascot; gelded last August and it’s been a slow road back this term, although has shown increasing promise of late, especially on penultimate start over 7f at Sandown towards the end of last month; confirmed that promise over 8f at Newbury on Wednesday; carries a 5lbs penalty for that, but might still have more to show.
Plus: class (W); going (W); distance (W); course (F); form run lto (4 days); down 7lbs (wt);
Minus: 5lbs penalty;
Verdict: has come back into form following gelding last August and could have some improvement in him yet, a contender.
Great Prospector 4-9-6 (94) Dr 6 (128.1) N/R
29 Jun Cl 2 Hcap (311/93.8) 6f gd/fm York 8/1 9-1 6l 10/18 off 94 – 112.4
mid-division, driven when not clear run over 1f out, ridden and kept on inside final furlong, never able to challenge
15 Jun Cl 2 HCap (249/94.8) 7f gd/sf York 8/1 9-5 2l 3/20 off 94 – 128.1
held up towards rear, headway over 2f out, stayed on to challenge over 1f out, ridden inside final furlong, kept on same pace
Only success came in debut over 6f at Nottingham as a 2yo, but has sown promise on occasions, his best effort this term coming over 7f at York in mid-June; excuses over 6f there lto as he was denied a clear run over 1f out; runs off the same mark today, although carries 5lbs more physical weight; however, probably better suited by this trip.
Plus: class (F); going (F); distance (F); course (F); recent outing (42 days); up in trip;
Minus: up 5lbs (wt);
Verdict: has shown promise on occasions and not entirely ignored over this trip, but not the strongest contender.
Nahaarr 3-8-13 (93) Dr 7 (118.6)
05 Jul Cl 5 3yo-Hcap (52/73.0) 7f AW Chelm 1/10F 9-13 6l 1/4 off 81 – 118.6
held up early, good headway on outside 5f out to lead before halfway, came easily clear final 2f, not extended
28 Jun Cl 4 3yo-Hcap (85/76.6) 7f gd/fm Nwmkt 4/6 F 9-2 5l 1/8 off 75 – 111.2
raced stand side, overall leader, shaken up over 1f out, drew clear, comfortable
Has won all 4 starts since first seeing a race course at Doncaster in May, the latest when dropped to a Cl 5 at Chelmsford where he hacked up to land the odds; has been raised 12lbs for that, but actually carries 17lbs less weight as he’s up 3 classes, plus taking on older horses for the first time; nevertheless, he looks exceedingly progressive and could well be to the fore here with his rider taking off a useful 3lbs again.
Plus: going (W); distance (W); course (W); form run lto (36 days); down 17lbs (wt);
Minus: class (?); up 12lbs (OR); up 3 classes; debut against older horses;
Verdict: unbeaten 3yo who is obviously still progressing, has to be considered despite the rise in class and hcap mark.
Daarik 3-9-3 (97) Dr 2
19 Apr List 3yo-Stks (567/) 8f AW Nwcst 5/2 F 9-2 1.25l 2/11 off 90
held up in touch, switched left well over 2f out, soon pushed along, challenged and ridden over 1f out, not quicken well inside final furlong
Last of 10 on turf debut at Nottingham in May last year, but has shown progress since on the AW winning on his return at Newcastle last November, at Kempton in March and then runner-up to Fox Power in listed company at Newcastle in April; now returns to turf after a 4-month break; obviously can go well fresh and was improving when last seen, but makes hcap debut off 7lbs higher mark and no way of estimating his standing at present.
Plus: class (F+); distance (W); form run lto; down in class; down in trip;
Minus: going (?); course (?); up 1lb (wt); up 7lbs (OR); 113-day break; hcap debut;
Verdict: little to go on, but questions to answer and perhaps not the strongest contender.
Ibraz 4-9-3 (90) Dr 2 (118.1)
04 Jun Cl 3 Hcap (78/87.6) 8f AW Nwcst 5/2 Jt F 9-4 4.25l 4/11 off 91 – 116.2
chased leaders, went 2nd over 3f out, led over 1f out, headed inside final furlong, one pace
04 May Cl 2 Hcap (311/97.0) 9f gd/fm Nwmkt 7/1 8-7 2.75l 6/10 off 93 – 118.0
tracked leader, pushed along to lead over 2f out, ridden and headed over 1f out, no extra inside final furlong
Twice a winner last year over 8.5f and 9f at Nottingham and Sandown and finding himself more at home with the opposition in his last 2 starts this term after running midfield in the Newbury Spring Cup on his return; not sure the drop back to 7f is ideal as he looks to need further, plus yet to win at this level; however, mark is slowly falling.
Plus: distance (F); course (F); down 1lb (wt); down 1lb (OR);
Minus: class; going (?); 67-day break; up in class; down in trip;
Verdict: hardly looks the strongest contender coming back from a break over a trip short of his best.
Of others, Salateen ran well at York in his only turf hcap start this term back in May, plus has not run badly the last twice in non-hcap company, but while he did win a hcap off this mark at Doncaster in May last year, he’s not getting any younger and may struggle against younger horses back in hcap company here.
I think Ibraz and Great Prospector can be deleted from my shortlist here, plus I have to question the chances of the 3yo Daarik making his hcap debut on coming back from a break; I may be wrong, but I just can’t rank his form to date. That leaves the unbeaten 3yo Nahaarr and the in-form Qaysar who won at Newbury on Wednesday. There are pros and cons for both, but I guess you have to put then in that order, Nahaarr from Qaysar, although neither looks to offer much value.
Newmarket 16.55 Cl 2 Hcap 129 (91.1) 10f gd – 9 Run (8 at best)
3yo = 8lbs wfa allowance
Last year – 162 (93.7) gd/sf – 7 ran
Dancetaria 9/4F 3-8-11 (93) Dr 5 by 3.75l from Alternative Fact 4/1 3-9-4 (97) Dr 6
Desert Icon 3-9-1 (91) Dr 6 (119.5)
31 Jul Cl 2 3yo-Hcap (467/92.8) 12f gd Good 11/2 F 8-12 9.75l 8/13 off 92 – 113.5
held up last, some headway on outside over 1f out, never on terms
26 Jun Cl 3 3yo-Hcap (140/86.6) 12f gd/fm Salis 11/4 F 8-12 0.25l 1/8 off 85 – 119.5
held up towards rear, headway over 3f out, led over 1f out, kept on
Won a 10f mdn on second start at Pontefract in May, but then again found 8f here too short a trip; however, bounced back to win on hcap debut at Salisbury towards the end of June, but was very disappointing off his new mark when favourite at Goodwood, never getting into the race; has been dropped 1lb, though carries 3lbs more actual weight against lesser opposition; however, faces older horses for the first time.
Plus: distance (W); course (F); recent outing (10 days); down 1lb (OR);
Minus: class; going; up 3lbs (wt); debut against older horses;
Verdict: needs to bounce back over shorter trip after Goodwood, not the strongest contender perhaps.
Waldstern 3-9-6 (96) Dr 5
11 Jul Gr 3 Stks (992/) 13f gd/fm Nwmkt 11/1 9-1 12.75l 6/9 off 98
slowly into stride, in rear, headway 2f out, ridden over 1f out, faded inside final furlong
Won debut over 8f here last August and after finishing runner-up over 8f at Haydock, ended the season with a close 4/6 over 10f in October; has been tried over 12f on both his starts this year, being well beaten in a 3yo-hcap on sf at Chester in mid-June and then being a little outclassed in a Gr 3 Stks here last month; little to go on numerically, but suspect the drop back in trip will prove positive; first-time visor fitted.
Plus: distance (F); course (W); recent outing (30 days); down 2lbs (OR); down in class;
Minus: class; going (?); up 5lbs (wt);
Verdict: another possible 3yo contender who can’t be ignored given the stable
Victory Chime 4-9-6 (88) Dr 9 (125.2)
26 Jul Cl 4 Hcap (65/80.3) 10f gd Sand 12/1 9-10 0.5l 1/6 off 81 – 125.2
soon led, headed just inside 2f out, not much room but led again inside final furlong, stayed on
Won 3 of his 6 starts last season and while he won second start back at Leicester in late May, it needed the fitting of a first-time visor to reawaken the spirit in winning at Sandown last month; has been raised 7lbs for that, although carries 4lbs less actual weight as he’s up 2 classes; whether the visor will work a second time remains to be seen, especially as his sole Cl 3 win is the only one above Cl 4.
Plus: going (W); distance (W); form run lto (16 days); down 4lbs (wt);
Minus: class; course (?); up 7lbs (OR); up- 2 classes;
Verdict: something to prove at this level despite being in good form, and not the strongest contender.
Eynhallow 5-10-0 (96) Dr 4 (122.8)
Won twice for the Charlton yard in 2017, but just the 3 starts since moving to his current yard, a pair of decent efforts in Meydan in early 2018 and a reasonable 7/17 in the Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot last year; not seen since.
Plus: class (F); going (W); distance (W); course (F); down 1lb (OR);
Minus: 414-day break; up 12lbs (wt); down in trip;
Verdict: long break to overcome and while he has won first-up before, this is a much tougher task.
Howman 4-8-13 (81) Dr 3 (115.9)
29 Jun Cl 4 Hcap (55/80.6) 10f AW Nwcst 6/4 F 9-6 3.75l 2/9 off 81 – 115.9
raced keenly, tracked leader, led 2f out, ridden and headed inside final 2f, kept on same pace, no chance with winner
Won 2 of his 4 starts last year at Lingfield and Yarmouth and put in a decent effort on his return at Newcastle in June; should have come on for that and with only 5 starts to his name should have scope for plenty of improvement yet; runs off the same mark here, though carries 7lbs less physical weight as he’s up 2 classes.
Plus: distance (F); course (F); recent form run (42 days); down 7lbs (wt);
Minus: class (?); going; up 2 classes;
Verdict: seeing he’s a Godolphin horse he has to be considered and should come on for Newcastle run.
A horrible race to try and sort out as I can’t even rule out Ventura Knight who could bounce back from last week’s disappointing effort. Of the ones I’ve got listed, Victory Chime has no form at this level and only a single success in Cl 3, so I think we can pass there. Eynhallow is another with a load of questions, having his first run in over 13 months, and you have to go back over 2 years to his last win, in a Cl 4 hcap; not for me. That leaves us with the pair of 3yos, Desert Icon and Waldstern, plus the lightly-raced 4yo, Howman. It’s tough to try and split them, but of the trio I’d go Waldstern from Howman and Desert Icon.
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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