Category Archives: Wesley Ward

York Ebor Meeting 2015 – Day 3

A very short post for Day 3 of the York Ebor meeting I’m afraid with my time available.
It’s a tricky meeting to assess so far. Day 1 strongly favoured prominent racers but after only 2mm of rain on Wednesday night the ground had livened up a little (although still slightly on the soft side of good). Despite a tailwind this seemed enough to give the hold-up performers much more of a chance on Thursday’s card.
With little rain forecast it could well be genuinely good ground by tomorrow.
There are no recommendations for me on Friday’s card but an early one is given for Saturday. The races are generally too competitive and I’m struggling to see any value.

My thoughts for the main race of the day – the Nunthorpe Stakes at 3.40:

A large 20 runner field with some strong early pace likely on both sides. Justineo (stall 1), Cotai Glory (8), Take Cover (19) and Stepper Point (20) are the likely early trailblazers. I’d still be a little concerned that there may be some dead ground in the first couple of furlongs on the stands side which could favour the pace coming from the lower draws.
That should favour the favourite Acapulco in box 4. The American 2yo – who more closely resembles a 4yo – was a Royal Ascot sensation when she ran away with the Queen Mary. Wesley Ward’s filly was physically some way ahead of her rivals then and although up against her elders then she has a huge weight allowance on her side in this event to counteract that.
I’m sure she is on a similar level to previous 2yo winners of this race (Kingsgate Native was a similar type) and is definitely the one to beat in my mind.
The ground may have been a bit of a worry a few days ago but it seems to be coming back in her favour. Her American pedigree wouldn’t have screamed out that she would be suited by cut but it should be noted that No Nay Never (probably the best known progeny of Scat Daddy to race on these shores in recent years) did win on Good to Soft in France as a 2yo.
It’s probably more of a concern for me that she is ridden by a jockey with no experience of English tracks.
If the ground does still look to be on the soft side then I’m quite sure that Mecca’s Angel would be the main danger. The more it dries out the less she is favoured though.
It’s unlikely to get fast enough for Goldream or the veteran Sole Power. I had an ante post interest at a very big price on Line of Reason after his Goodwood effort (would have been much closer but for being drawn on wrong side of the track). Likewise he needs fast ground though and so I have almost written that bet off now.
Muthmir won that Goodwood race but he’s plenty short enough for me now on the overall level of his form this season. The sensational strike rate of his trainer William Haggas this week should keep his price low.
Acapulco is the selection but not a strong one given the low price of around 2/1 in such a big field where traffic problems could be an issue.


Elsewhere on the card I’m a little surprised to see Brian Meehan’s Perkunas chalked up at around 8/1 in the 4.20.
This is often a hot 2yo maiden and there look to be several decent types entered here. Meehan did make a point of saying he considered this one as his best chance of the week on Channel 4 last weekend and continues to be very positive about him on his website. His 2yos generally improve a lot on their debuts and Perkunas showed plenty of promise on his. I expected him to be shorter given the obvious heads up we have been given.

I’ll be back to focus on my favourite handicap race of the year, Saturday’s Ebor, tomorrow
Arabian Comet is my early recommendation which I will expand on more tomorrow.
She has been given some pretty mediocre rides this season by Pat Cosgrave and now that Graham Lee is taking over I think she is overpriced at a general 20/1 given the excellent form of the Haggas stable
0.75pts ew Arabian Comet 20/1 (generally available)

arabian comet

Thanks for reading


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Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 1

Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 1

A very good opening card kicks off Royal Ascot 2015 on Tuesday.
Apologies but having been away for a few days this is a very brief summation of my thoughts for Day 1. I will try to go more in-depth for the rest of the week.

2.30 This could be the race of the week with 4 of the 8 runners all having a serious chance. I’d be more inclined to be lay Able Friend of the 4. A combination of travelling over from Hong Kong and this being a completely different kind of track to what he’s used to are factors against him. French ace Solow doesn’t have those concerns but the ground is likely to be quicker than he has been used to. The home team of Night of Thunder and Toormore are closely matched on Newbury form. I came away thinking that Toormore could reverse form from that next time but as the ground is a bit faster it might be in Night of Thunder’s favour now.
It all adds up to no bet but if pushed I would suggest Night of Thunder each way (Paddy Power giving money back on win part if finishing 2nd or 3rd)

3.05 Another no bet race is the Coventry Stakes. Round Two has been compared favourable to previous winner/ Guineas winner Dawn Approach by his trainer. It’s impossible to assess the US challenger Finnegan but Wesley Ward 2yos are sometimes physically ahead of their counterparts here. Air Force Blue should improve for his debut and can’t be ignored. From a price perspective, marginal choice would be Buratino at 9/1 (especially if ¼ 1234 were available at that). He didn’t beat much last time at Epsom and the time wasn’t great but he looked much improved.

3.40 Mecca’s Angel would be hard to beat on soft ground but on this surface I could see here being taken out and Rule 4s hitting the rest. Sole Power should have his conditions to suit but at 8 isn’t getting any younger. I opposed him last year to no avail. I won’t be doing the same this time but won’t be betting him either. Shamal Wind represents Australia and is impossible to assess. It’s surprising to see G Force running here instead of the 6 furlong race on Saturday but I can see him hitting the frame and has some appeal with firms offering 4 places each way at odds in excess of 10/1

4.20 Least competitive race of the day and I struggle to see beyond double 2,000 Guineas winner Gleneagles – as long as he’s over his exertions from his last win. Not a bet at odds on though

5.00 Ray Ward got hopelessly hampered in this race last year and would have gone close to winning otherwise. He was given a warm up over a totally inadequate trip last time which should tee him up nicely for this. The odds have got skimpy though after some initial quotes of 12/1 to 14/1 at the 5 day decs. He is top of my shortlist along with Broxbourne who has a very similar profile to Nicky Henderson’s recent winner of this race, Veiled.

5.35 The one betting recommendation race of the day. Soapy Aitken missed the break and ran very green last time but was still far too good for the useful Silver Wings. I think he would have been very competitive in the better class Norfolk Stakes on Thursday so this race should theoretically be easier pickings. I would be stronger on him again but for the large number of runners and a possibly poor draw. On the other side of the track I’m backing my bet up with Opal Tiara who I think was beaten by a real good ‘un in Easton Angel at Beverley last time ( time better than Lathom on the same card). Take the winner out and she would have beaten a decent field by 4 lengths and I’m hopeful she can show that formline to be strong
Backing with firms who offer 4 places here the recommendation is :
1.5 pts ew Soapy Aitken @6/1 (Paddy Power, Skybet, Betfair Sportsbook)
0.75pts ew Opal Tiara @20/1 (Paddy Power, Ladbrokes)

Best of luck all with whatever you back



Although not a recommended bet Buratino’s chances were highlighted so hopefully a few followed that one in.

In the last, Soapy Aitken held every chance before finishing 4th to pick up place money. Opal Tiara won her own private race on the stands side of the track but the draw was all against her

Recommended stakes 4.5 pts, returns 3.75pts

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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Royal Ascot, Wesley Ward


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