Monthly Archives: May 2014

Chester Cup day

As a special request for one particular racegoer tomorrow – an extra offering for day one of the Chester meeting – though after a fairly dismal display at the Guineas weekend (10pt loss on recommendations) anyone can be advised for steering well clear of selections below!
It’s hardly an earth shattering revelation on Chester’s tight turning course that a low draw is a big advantage – even in the longer races. If heavy rain does get involved this can be negated but at the moment the going is good


1.45 Lily Agnes Stakes
Two pacey David Evans trained 2yos should make hay from stall 1 and 2 here and I suspect that Cheerio Sweetie has the best form of them. She was beaten 1.5 lengths by Mukhmal last time in a decent looking affair. He is drawn way out wide now and is 9lb worse off so is going to have to prove himself a very smart 2yo to maintain his superiority. The low draw is built into Cheerio Sweetie’s price at around 3/1 but as long as she breaks as well as she has done in recent starts she looks the natural one to beat.

2.15 Cheshire Oaks
Aidan O’Brien has done well in this race in recent years and fields the fav here in Terrific. She doesnt stand out as a star of the stable yet and ran as if needing this trip last time – a word of caution though – her full sister Together showed all of her best form at a mile.
John Gosden won this race with Gertrude Bell after winning a division of the same Newbury maiden that Bright Approach won – it would be no susprise to see her build on that win where she looked quite green and follow up at this higher level.
But from a value angle I am drawn to Brown Diamond. Charles Hills’s father Barry used to farm this race in the past and his son looks to have a promising type here. There is a question mark on her stamina from her sire’s side but the dam comes from the Aga Khan’s stamina laden stock. She’s put up promising efforts on both starts behind others who have franked the form since and appeals at double figure odds here


2.45 Chester Cup
Two big things I look for here are proven stamina at 2 miles or more and previous form at the track – a decent draw is then an added bonus.
Normally form from previous running sof this race is important but it’s very odd to find none of that this year.
Communicator has the best course record for me but is a quirky type who hasn’t proved himself at this trip yet.
Angel Gabrial has shown form here and proved his stamina for 2 miles last time. He is probably the best fit for the criteria but is a hold up horse which could cause anxiety issues here (particulary with Jamie Spencer on board – who can overdo these tactics frequently). He is going to need some gaps to open for him at the right time I expect.
It’s not very exciting but I make the favourite Mubaraza a slightly safer proposition as he has a decent draw and can adapt to a more prominent position through the race. Having no course form is the one concern here but he seems a reliable sort at this level.
Mubaraza is therefore the marginal choice over Angel Gabrial (the two are closely matches on their last duel at Ripon) but I have backed both each way for the race

A draw of 7 isnt perfect but Ballista has strong form at this course and loads of early pace (has led Group 1 sprinters off the blocks before). There are several drawn low who haven’t quite mastered a speedy break in some of their races and he could take advantage of that early here.
10/1 is probably a price based on his draw but I find it attractive in the hope it isn’t as bad as others think ( he has won a handicap easily here before from stall 14 which is no mean feat!)


No fancies in the later races or me but Prince of Stars could be heard all over Newmarket before an encouraging debut last month. He can only improve after such babyishness but wouldn’t expect much of a price to emerge for him

2.15 Brown Diamond 0.5 pts win @11/1 (Hills, Betfair Sportsbook)
2.45 2pts ew Mubaraza 5/1 (general); 1pt ew Angel Gabrial 9/1 (Stan james)
3.15 1pt ew Ballista 10/1 (BetVictor, Skybet)


Thanks for reading


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Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized



Guineas weekend picks

Time for the first Classics this weekend with Newmarket’s Guineas meeting.

Some quick thoughts on the main races below plus a few selections at other races on the main weekend cards.

2.40 Newmkt
Not a betting race for me but very interested to see the reappearance of Hot Streak who recorded a fabulous time when winning a Group 3 at Ascot last year. Entirely likely he may need this (and may find ground a tad too quick) and by jockey booking’s appears to be owner’s second string behind the fragile but very talented Pearl Secret.. One to watch with a view to the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot
Trading Leather and Penglai Pavilion some way ahead on ratings but struggling to think of any ex-Fabre inmate who has kept a similar level after moving stables for Godolphin (Sky Hunter already disappointing this season) which turns me agains the latter. Trading Leather is the form horse but always looks the sort who may need a run to put him right. He may be too good for these despite this but looks too short to take that chance on.

The 2,000 Guineas has not been kind to me for Ante Post betting with Berkshire and Be Ready both disappointing on their comebacks and not reaching the race.
Kingman looks unquestionably the horse to beat after his reappearance run ( Gosden horses seemed well forward that weekend he won so others could catch up a little) and is starting to get into value territory at 7/4

Toormore and War Command look the most viable each way picks. The former always just does enough in races – a decent trait to have and we probably don’t know his full potential yet. The latter was a stunning winner at Royal Ascot last year but didn’t quite match the same standard after.
I’m not a follower of O’Brien stable hype horses and Australia far too short for me despite the ‘stable vibes’. I’m afraid I don’t rate Joseph O’Brien as highly as others either – and often think there’s value in backing Ryan Moore or Seamie Heffernan on perceived stable 2nd or 3rd strings instead (Ruler of the World, Was, War Command –all recent examples).
Kingston Hill looks like he is using this race as a springboard for the Derby so wouldn’t be surprised to see him being a bit short of 100% tomorrow
Noozhoh Canarias is another worthy of mention who travels from Spain for this. I don’t doubt he has the class for this level on what we saw at Longchamp last year but his style of running doesn’t scream out that he is a miler and 6-7 furlongs may be his optimum. If he can settle early his chances increase of getting a place are increased
So while it’s no recommendation it’s Kingman likeliest winner for me but Toormore and War Command both making some each way appeal at around 8/1 or 9/1 with ¼ odds widely available


Stars Above Me could have been let in slightly lightly here with a mark of 88 but firms take no chances around 3/1 mark. Meritocracy was given far too much to do in his comeback run by Jamie Spencer and can be rated somewhat better – expecting him to come on for that run as well he rates a bet at 10/1
1pt ew Meritocracy @10/1 (BetVictor, Tote, Betfred)


Having put up Postponed as a value outsider for the Derby, he needs to win this to cement that and I would expect plenty of improvement over this 10 furlong trip. Cloudscape is most feared as he won what looked a very hot hcap on this course last time (expect to see a few winners come out of that – the second has already franked the form)
I think Postponed is definitely the one to beat though and overpriced at 7/2 with some firms

2pts Postponed 7/2 (Corals) – 3/1 also acceptable


3.45 Punchestown
I’m always more of a viewer than a backer at this meeting but with Glens Melody having run already this week there is a real ‘filthy’ ew here on Cockney Sparrow behind the fav.
Granted, Annie Power is clearly the one to beat but we’ve already had shocks here this week. The emphasis is clearly on the place side of the bet as value though and even if Glens Melody were to pull out the case would be even stronger with only a small rule 4 deduction

2pts ew Cockney Sparrow 7/1 or better (but be warned because of the nature of this race – some bookies may impose ew limits as it’s not really the sort of bet it would be in their best interests to take- so take what you can!)


5.30 Punchestown
Regal Encore has the look of a bit of plot here and 10/1 early show with Ladbrokes looks a bit big. Stable form has been a concern all season but he’s always looked better than a 130 horse and worth taking a bit of a chance on
0.75 pts ew Regal Encore 10/1 (Ladbrokes)


More exaggerated waiting tactics from Jamie Spencer could have cost Café Society two wins last season and he could be a horse to follow this season. He runs in the 2.05 Newmarket and will be of interest but as its first time up this season wouldn’t want to see him too short when prices go up

The 3.50 is the 1,000 Guineas and a much more open looking affair than the colts equivalent.
Clive Brittain’s typically bullish comments about his Rizeena have seen her price halve in recent weeks despite only having racecourse gallops. She is a lovely filly but I do have this big doubt in my mind concerning the trip. Her pedigree screams out 7 furlongs and although she did finish 2nd over a mile on her last start – the first half of that race was slowly run and it wasn’t a true test. A strongly run mile could leave her a tiny bit vulnerable close home (worth also noting that in 3 attempts so far at hq – one on July course – she hasn’t yet won) . I would also have much preferred to see a jockey on board who has her ridden before.
Winter fav Miss France has to overcome a below par reappearance run. Andre Fabre always has to be respected whatever he sends across the channel but her price looks skinny now.
Ihtimal is my principal hope. She wouldn’t have been suited by the slow early gallop when behind Rizeena last year and was catching on her close home. She is fit from runs in Dubai and maybe more forward than most at this time of year. A slight concern is a couple of points walk in the market on Betfair in last couple of days – I hope that isn’t due to anything she did in a gallop a couple of days ago.

I make another O’Brien ‘second string’ with Ryan Moore on board the principle danger. Again fit from a run, Bracelet got better the further she went over 7 furlongs at Leopardstown and this trip seems sure to suit much more on pedigree
Both Ihtimal and Bracelet are horse who should stay further than this mile and that is going to be important for me with a strong pace likely. (Apart from Rizeena, Lucky Kristale and Vorda are two others who may have distinct stamina limitations)

1pt ew each Ihtimal 10/1 or better; Bracelet 12/1 or better


Good luck over the weekend and thanks for reading

(blog back by special request of one follower on Tues night for Chester Cup day)

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Posted by on May 2, 2014 in Uncategorized


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