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Monthly Archives: June 2014

2014 St Leger – Ante Post

Royal Ascot had some high class performances this week and many runners will have gone into notebooks for future targets
There was one in particular that really got the juices flowing for Ante Post betting purposes and that brought back memories from an old 80s favourite.
The King George V Handicap has often thrown up future Group Race performers. In 1995, two future Group 1 stars, Pilsusdki and Celeric got involved in a barging match at the back of the field or else one of them could easily have been on the winners list. More recently Brown Panther was probably the best winner of the race before moving onto better things .
1986 saw one of the best winners of the race when 4/1 fav Moon Madness, trained by John Dunlop, made a mockery of the handicap. He went on to prove himself at Classic level by winning that season’s St Leger (for fellow nostalgics that can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCc5Gn9Wr3g )
I do believe we saw a winner of the race this year that is up that level with another 4/1 shot, Elite Army. Could history be repeating itself in 2015? (Like the aforementioned winner he came into the race on the back of an impressive handicap win and was firmly on an upward curve at the time – I se many parallles between the two) .He pulled much too hard early, found his run blocked twice in the straight, but still when the gap came he was far too good and had the race settled in a few strides. A 3/4 length victory of Windshear in no way accounts for the superiority he had – the rest were well beaten off,
The second had proven form coming into this competing well against horses like Cannock Chase, Volume and Dreamscape in handicaps – all of which are now performing at a higher level now.
The St Leger looked an obvious target given his stout breeding and it was pleasing to hear connections having the same view straight after the race.
Next target appears to be the Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket in July – a Leger trial race for sure over a slightly further distance than last week.
The strong pulling tendency has to be a concern in small fields but this horse is still on a learning curve and he has the perfect partner in Kieran Fallon to complete his education before Doncaster in September. I’m sure Godolphin will be itching to get a Classic winner after a fairly ordinary season for them so far.
Ground seems not be a concern – I didn’t think that fast would suit before Ascot but he made a fool of that assessment there) – he’s won on soft as well as would be expected from a son of Authorized.
elite army
It was a surprise that only 3 firms were bothering to quote him for the Leger the night after the race – more have joined in now – but he still appears not be quoted on Betfair – that must surely change soon
I think some of the current double figure offers are well wide of the mark however with many others being quoted looking unlikely runners in the season’s final classic.
If John Gosden had nominated Eagle Top for the race after his win on Friday I would be seriously worried. But he seemed to be veering right away from that plan and the stable’s main representative would appear to be Derby 3rd Romsdal. He could well be the main rival on the day but current quotes of 5/1 are far from appealing. Australia, Kingston Hill and Taghrooda are all quoted with single figure odds but looking less than likely runners at this time.
Aiden O’Brien will doubtless find something out of his stable to compete here but the only other horse I have seen with a definite aim for the race is Mark Johnston’s Queens Vase winner Hartnell at this stage.
Markets may start to move a bit more after a few more trials in coming weeks so it’s time to jump in now I feel and take a large slice of what I consider to be huge value for the race on Sept 13

Recommendation
3pts win Elite Army 14/1 (365, Boyles, Ladbrokes, Corals, Hills)

Summer is traditionally a quite time for me for horse racing so the blog may be going into hibernation for a time – the York Ebor meeting maybe next to come under scrutiny. I will keep postings to Twitter in the meantime (@Senor_Moodoir)
Thanks for reading – comments as usual are welcome

Best of luck in coming weeks

Paul

*UPDATE* Elite Army not appearing in entries for Bahrain Trophy – it appears St Leger is still the plan though and we will see him at Goodwood next http://www.attheraces.com/article.aspx?ref=RSS+Feed&nav=news&hlid=546031&lid=PA+Racing+Feed&title=Goodwood+goal+for+Elite&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Royal Ascot – Day 5

For the last day of Royal Ascot, there are two races that catch the eye with one recommended bet and another race of interest

3.05 Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap
Arab Spring heads the market here and has the look of a Stoute horse on the verge of Group class. He’s gone up 8lb since his latest win to a mark of 104 – which is the mark of a Listed class operator.
He may still have a few pounds in hand but isn’t the only one in the field we can apply this to – it’s a very high class handicap race.
Hamelin, is a lightly raced son of an Oaks winner who could also be somewhat better than his mark of 96. A Channel 4 interview with comedian Jack Whitehall earlier this week told us that he didn’t know that much about the sport but did give away that this was the stable’s big fancy this week!
He is the biggest danger in my mind to an even bigger priced runner who could be very well in.
Elidor won at this meeting last year of a mark of 88 – he comes back on 99 but looked an improved horse on his seasonal debut. That was backed up in his latest performance where his run was held up and he should have finished closer to Gatewood and Pethers Moon – those two are rated well into the 100s and there’s every reason to believe that Elidor should be higher as well. With William Twiston Davies now able to claim his 3lb allowance as well, I think he could be as much as 10lb well in here and at the prices he is the bet
Recommendation
1pt ew Elidor 12/1 general (1/4 1234)
(for anyone that can get on – I can’t except for just over £1! – I would say an even better bet exists with 365 who offer Elidor at 15/2 ¼ 1234 without Arab Spring and Hamelin – that wreaks of huge value)

 

The other race of interest is the main event
4.25 Diamond Jubilee Stakes
A top flight 6 furlong contest there is just one firm of interest here – Corals – who offer a standout ¼ 1234 on their book
That’s so much better than ¼ 123 here in this 15 runner event.
As it’s only one firm offering I don’t feel its appropriate to make a recommended bet but there are two that appeal with these terms.
Astaire 10/1 – a top 2yo who didn’t stay first time up when taking on Kingman and Night of Thunder. He confirmed he had trained on when looking the best horse at York last time where ground may just have been more suited to the winner.
Music Master 20/1 – looked a sprinter to follow this season but ran far too quickly too early at Windsor. If they can let him sit in behind the pace – rather than go hell for leather through the first 4 furlongs – I do feel he is up to this level this year

Hope everyone has had a good week even though it has been a bit hit and miss for myself!

Thanks for reading

Paul

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Royal Ascot Day 3

Course records on Wednesday gave strong suggestion to how fast the ground was. 4mm of water is expected to go on the course tonight but with another fine day forecast tomorrow there could well still be some sting in the ground.
Faster ground may well hamper some tomorrow and there are plenty running whose recent form is on softer surfaces – we could get some surprises!
A few ideas:

3.05 Tercentenary Stakes
Cannock Chase definitely has the look of a Stoute horse going places but he’s priced as if he already has Group race form which he doesn’t. There was a warning after his last win that he may not want conditions too quick.
I will give another chance to my one time Derby fancy Postponed who hasn’t really acted on Newmarket’s dip on his two runs this year (yet is still priced higher than Cloudscape who he beat last time). He has to turn the form around with Barley Mow and Mutakayyef but am hopeful he will on this course. The latter is the main danger for me

1pt ew Postponed 10/1 general

 

3.45 Ribblesdale Stakes
Having put her up at a big price in the Oaks, he less I say about Inchila’s ride in that the better! I am put off that she is brought out again so soon here and so won’t be betting but she is clearly the best horse in the race for me if still on song

4.25 Gold Cup
I’m not too sure that any of the main principals would want fast ground but Leading Light should cope with it better than most.
Brown Panther has run on on fast ground but ideally good or good to soft may have suited better.
Tac de Boistron definitely wants it softer but he was outstayed over this trip by Altano last year and it is the German raider I would have fancied most in a proper stamina test on decent going.
It’s a no bet race though with nothing obvious to set a good gallop – Brown Panther may want to control the pace from the front and as he isn’t a guaranteed stayer that could mean this isn’t a true test
Leading Light the likeliest winner in that scenario but too short for me given he too is unproven over this far

 

5.00 Britannia Stakes
High draws were favoured today and I look for those drawn high who will appreciate a return to faster conditions
Top of the list is Bilimbi who disappointed when fav last time on Haydock soft.
Third Dimension is most feared, having the look of one that could be a Group performer in disguise
At very big odds I’ll also throw in Lyn Valley to the shortlist – back over a shorter trip and with faster ground looking likely to suit (shouldn’t be as far apart from Hors de Combat and Born in Bombay in the betting on Newmarket form)
Suggestions;
1pt ew Bilimbi 14/1 (general but look for firms paying ¼ 12345)
1pt ew Third Dimension 16/1 with same place proviso
0.5 pts ew Lyn Valley 33/1 Paddy Power with their ¼ 123456

 

 

5.35 King George Stakes
Lots of runners here who may prefer good or even softer ; Elite Army, Windshear, Black Schnapps, Art of War all immediately fit that bill
I would beware all of the Mark Johnston runners here who might all be showing improvement back on a fast surface. Marginal preference of these is for Stars Over The Sea. He has fluffed his lines on the last two occasions – missing the start at Epsom and running too free at Chester. Quotes of 25/1+ are just a bit too big

Suggestion

0.5pts ew Stars Over The Sea 28/1 (365)

 

 

Best of luck once more and thanks for reading

Paul

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Royal Ascot – day 2

Quick thoughts for day 2 with only three races having any betting interest for me:

2.30 Jersey Stakes
Aeolus would be a decent bet for me here if I could be sure the ground was no faster than good. His only let down this season came when it was too fast and he would probably have beaten Shifting Power ( strong forms lines on that one since ) with better luck in running on his debut. (If the ground does get too quick I could see him being withdrawn and no loss would be involved)
That Is The Spirit remains unbeaten so far and is climbing up the ladder. This represents another rise in grade but there is a strong suspicion that his opponents haven’t been going fast enough for him so far and I can see improvement to come if he can get a strong lead.
Muwaary (pulled very hard last time) and Mustajeeb, have to be respected on their respective Guineas form but are both to short for me in quite an open race.

0.5 pts ew each
That Is the Spirit 14/1 general
Aeolus 20/1 Paddy Power

 

 

3.05 Queen Mary Stakes
Despite the strong claims of Anthem Alexander and Tiggy Wiggy (may need softer ground), its noiw very hard to ignore the claims of Spanish Pipedream from the Wesley Ward stable. I got the impression that she was the most fancied of his raiding party a few weeks ago and after the impressive success of the stable’s Hootenanny in Tuesday’s final that puts her firmly in the box seat
At really big odds though I cant ignore a small bet on Coto, who didn’t get home in soft ground last time but looks a real speedball. I can see few matching her for the first four furlongs and then just hope she has enough left in the tank to hold on for the frame
0.25 pts ew Coto 66/1 (Stan james)

 

 

5.00 Royal Hunt Cup
As competitive a race as ever but Burano has caught the eye in both runs this year where he appeared unlucky to be closer in both. A mile may be at the bottom of his trip range (9 furlongs probably ideal) but a strong gallop should bring his stamina into play and given luck in running I think he represents fair value here. Few would begrudge his jockey, Jimmy Fortune, a big success here for sure.
0.75 pts ew Burano 28/1 (Stan James – ¼ 12345)

 

 

 

Hoping for better luck tomorrow – Hot Streak a tad disappointing that he couldn’t pick up Stepper Point today –the ground may have just gone against him and certainly for Sole Power. As for the 5.00 – that proved to be a disaster when both picks lost all chance with scrimmaging on the home turn

 

Thanks for reading once more and best of luck

Paul

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Royal Ascot – Op’ning Day

Time may prevent me doing detailed previews later this week but here’s my thoughts for day one – in the words of the song ‘what a smashing, positively dashing spectacle – Ascot op’ning day!
ascot gavotte
The ground is once again causing some controversy with early watering in advance of weekend showers looking likely the make for sofeter conditions but at time of writing good ground looks most likely on the straight course – with maybe a hint of give on the round track.
Ascot can provide some notable draw bias when weather does get involved but let’s hope the ground does stay fairly even throughout and there aren’t too many hard luck stories for being on the wrong side of the track

 

Tuesday
2.30 Queen Anne Stakes
Toronado stands out as the obvious Group 1 performer here but too short a price for me on his seasonal reappearance.
It’s hard to know just how good ex States performer Verrazano is – and while he may well improve a bundle on his Newbury UK debut he too seems pretty short on that form alone. Tullius finished ahead of him there on ground that might have been a bit too fast for him and although he is probably only Group 3 level – the comment applies to most of the rest of the field. I’d put him forward as the value ew alternative if the ground remains good but this isn’t really a race to get heavily involved in for me

 

3.05 Coventry Stakes
Traditionally the top 2yo race of the season so far and the first time that future Guineas performers might put themselves into the spotlight..
Recent O’Brien winners of this race, Power and War Command (stable 3rd string), both came here unbeaten so it seems slightly odd to see War Envoy so short after a 3rd place finish last time behind reopposing Kool Kompany.
Adaay has looked smart in his two wins, while The Wow Signal beat two subsequent winners convincingly on his debut by a wide margin. The latter has since been sold to Al Shaqab racing but while the form looks strong it should be noted the time was only average on quite bad ground.
In terms of price/strength of form I think another Irish raider, the unbeaten Cappella Sansevero comes here with the best credentials. He has done little wrong in 3 starts despite ground being softer than ideal and for me should be vying for favouritism here.

cappellaIt could be that the better price is because his trainer is less fashionable, a remark that also applies to Cock of the North, a well backed 2nd in the National Stakes at Sandown, where he blew his chances with a slow start but still looked a decent type with his finishing effort. The extra furlong here should suit and quotes of 33/1 look a bit too big to ignore

Recommendations
1pt ew Cappella Sansevero 10/1 fairly general
0.5 pts ew Cock of the North 33/1 Skybet
In both cases look for firms offering ¼ odds rather than 1/5

 

 

3.45 Kings Stand Stakes
It’s a while since I’ve seen a 3yo sprinter who has impressed as much as Hot Streak and think he could be a notch above these – his winning time over this course last year was exceptional and his last run suggested he had come on plenty for his debut run this year. Kevin Ryan is adamant this is the best horse he has ever trained – and he’s had some pretty decent ones over the years. The ground isn’t likely to be so firm for that to be an issue for him after the weekend rain.hot streak
It would have been nicer to see him drawn closer to the obvious pacesetter, Stepper Point, to give him an early tow, but still hope to see him putting the race to bed before the late efforts of Shea Shea and Sole Power come into play.
I think the latter’s win in this last year was all about the jockey and as good as Richard Hughes is, it’s not ideal for him to be riding this one for the first time in this event.
At very big odds, I could see Caledonia Lady coming late to be a contender for placings. She may be 100/1 but has run well at this meeting before and was placed here as a 2yo at the same odds.

Recommendations
2pts win Hot Streak 4/1 (general)
0.25 pts ew Caledonia Lady 100/1 (general but again avoid anyone offering 1/5 odds)

 

 

4.25 St James Palace Stakes
A rematch between 2000 Guineas 1-2 Night of Thunder and Kingman sees the vanquished there the fav to exact revenge. It’s not hard to see why as things may not have gone quite to plan at HQ but it looked an above average classic and I’d be loathe to write off Night Of Thunder too much.
The pace of the race could be the decider with no obvious front runner in the field.
I’ll just be watching it without any financial interest

 

 

5.00 Ascot Stakes
A typically competitive long distance handicap.where my eye is drawn to the two at the bottom of the handicap
Brockwell, is fairly consistent in these type of races and, not for the first time, ran as if this extra half mile was what he needed when fancied at Haydock last time.
Ray Ward, with an eyecatching booking of Kieran Fallon, is well worth a try back over a longer trip. His best piece of form was arguably at this meeting last year over 2 miles and he looks well treated on that – the extra distance is an unknown but he shapes as if it may be a bonus

Recommendations
0.5 pts ew each
Brockwell 14/1
Ray Ward 16/1
(both fairly general with standard ¼ 1234)

 

 

5.35 Windsor Castle Stakes
Mind of Madness looked very decent first time up before getting touched off by Coventry hopeful Adaay last time. Back over 5 furlongs he is a deserved fav and appeals most of those at the forefront of the betting
But at five times the price I have to have an interest in Roudee at 25/1. He beat Midterm Break on his first run before a fine effort from a poor draw at Chester( winner Mukhmal will be a strong contender for the higher grade Norfolk Stakes later this week). He then ran 3rd at Sandown where the softer ground didn’t look ideal.
Back over a less demanding course and with better ground he is the value choice for me with some firms paying out on first 4 places

Recommendation:
0.75 pts ew Roudee 25/1 (365 ¼ odds 1234)

 

 

Best of luck to all this week
Any comments welcome as usual

Paul

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Epsom Classics weekend

A few brief thoughts to cover the Oaks and the Derby at Epsom – other commitments prevent me doing a full preview for the meeting.

Fears of soft ground now look to be receding, and ‘good’ looks likely to prevail at time of writing

Friday – Epsom Oaks
Marvellous’s Irish Guineas win appears best form on view but after some hefty quotes of around 8/1 after that win she is now rightly favourite at around 3/1. She ought to be suited by the longer trip
That price is probably about right and better value than Taghrooda, who vies for favourite spot but whose winning form last time has been given no boosts at all by those that she beat. She remains having plenty of potential but too short for me to touch at current odds.
Ihtimal and Volume are likeable types but I feel that 10 furlongs may be their optimum trip. The latter was described as ‘unlikely to be suited by Epsom’ after her latest win – similar comments made by trainer about Marsh Daisy after her Goodwood win – yet both are here. That kind of implies to me that owner pressure may be the reason for their inclusion.
I put up Inchila as an Ante Post bet for the race a while back and though she disappointed behind Volume she got a much worse ride than the winner – she was also subsequently found to be in season. Her maiden win form has been advertised since by those that she beat and lines through that make her similar to Honor Bound and Madame Chiang. Those two are shorter though which still makes Inchila a value outsider for me at 50/1
Of the more fancied runners though, it is Tarfasha who appeals most. The ground is seemingly coming round her way (wouldn’t have wanted soft) and her breeding strongly suggests she needs this trip – half brother Galileo Rock narrowly failed in the Derby and St Leger last year. Dermot Weld’s conviction to run here, despite the owner having Taghrooda, has to be respected. With 17 runners in the field I would add that it will be a minor miracle if we don’t get some hard luck stories about traffic problems in this race!
tarfasha

Verdict
1 Tarfasha
2 Marvellous
3 Inchila

*Already recommended 0.75 pts ew Inchila 50/1 (take that with 365 now if not already with their ¼ 1234)
Will add to that with 1pt ew Tarfasha @15/2 (Sky, Stan James – no extra place available with those as yet)

 

 

Saturday
Epsom Derby
My outside fancy for the race, Snow Sky was pulled out earlier today and I’m left with a race where nothing really jumps out as value
There are shades of another previous Ballydoyle winner, The Minstrel , in Australia for me. He too was a top 2yo who was just beaten for speed in the Guineas and needed a step up in distance to show his true worth – but he did come to Epsom a 5/1 shot. Australia’s rivals may be of lower quality but he still looks a skinny price (as low as 5/4) – although he does look the likeliest winner. I can see the layers trying to push him further and if more than 2/1 became available it might be the time to consider an interest.
Of his rivals, there is no stand out. Kingston Hill doesn’t scream as a stayer on his breeding. Australia’s stable companions may provide most opposition and if I were pushed then Orchestra would get my vote for the betting without the fav market. I wouldnt be too concerned that he was the perceived third string in jockey bookings – Seamie Heffernan won the Oaks with Was in similar circumstances and the stable’s Treasure Beach was just touched off by Pour Moi after appearing to be least fancied of the O’Brien runners
australia horse
It looks a no betting race for me but verdict for what it’s worth is:

1 Australia
2 Orchestra
3 Western Hymn

 

No other races appealing on Friday’s card but if anything stands out on Friday night for Saturday I will add onto the blog then

Good luck all over the weekend

Paul

Additional selections for Saturday:
3.15 Epsom – The Epsom Dash
Run over the quickest 5 furlong track in the world I would suggest that Even Stevens and Caspian Prince are going to the two to watch coming out of the gate. With his ideal draw in 20, Even Stevens is worth a small ew at 12/1 given the enormous early pace he showed at York last week. As both are drawn high I feel that this could tow Taajub into a decent position from stall 19. He has good form in the past here from worse draws (ignore last run where he broke a blood veseel). So at 20/1 he is also suggested.
Some firms offer 1/4 odds 12345 so use that if you can

suggested 0.5 pts ew each Evens Stevens @ 12/1 and 0.5 pts ew Taajub @20/1

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

 
 
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