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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.

acapulco


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
Recommendation
0.75pts ew Arabian Comet 20/1 (generally available)

arabian comet

Thanks for reading
Paul

 
 

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Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 2

Royal Ascot 2015 – Day 2

Quickening ground on Day 1 saw a few withdrawals – I suppose we could expect some watering tonight to try to take some sting out but wouldn’t anticipate too much change in conditions for Wednesday’s card:

A run down of the races now and two races with recommended bets:

2.30 Jersey Stakes – Group 3 (3yos only ) 7 fur
Both trainer Richard Hannon and jockey Richard Hughes have gone on record to say that Ivawood is their best chance of a winner this week. He does have the highest rating in the field but not once his 5lb penalty is applied. That honour then goes to Bossy Guest who was only half a length behind in the 2,000 Guineas.
The 7 furlong trip may well be in Ivawood’s favour but it doesn’t account for such a big price disparity. The Hannon horse may well win but having to give weight all round he makes no appeal at all at odds around 13/8.
I’m far more liking Bossy Guest at their respective prices – and also the filly Fadhayyil who looked a non-stayer in the final furlong of the 1,000 Guineas, and is the sort I can see progressing through the season.
I’ll probably be searching around for small ew bets on both of them at 10/1 or more.

3.05 Queen Mary Stakes – Group 2 (2yo fillies) 5 fur
Kurland looked quite a nice filly earlier this season at Newmarket but I have to wonder if she has had a setback as she hasn’t been seen since.
Besharah is unbeaten and disputing favouritism but I didn’t find her last win that impressive when she was a very short odd-on favourite.
Much the most impressive filly I have seen this season is Easton Angel and I’m already involved with this one Ante Post. She missed the break last time in a good race at Beverley but still won comfortably in a good time from Opal Tiara (who came out best of the stands side runners in todays Windsor Castle). A low draw of 1 in such a big field may not be a negative as that was needed in today’s Windsor Castle – and she has the very speedy Silk Bow drawn next door to give her a tow into the race. If she were from a fashionable Southern stable I would expect her to be much shorter – but Northern trainer Michael Dods already has a top flight sprinter in Meccas Angel on his cv.
The potential fly in the ointment is US raider Acapulco. Trainer Wesley Ward’s comments over the weekend make her sound a bit like Pegasus and it’s that hype (plus the booking of Ryan Moore) that has seen her price drop massively in the last few days. If she is good as is claimed they may all be playing for second place – but her form on the track is meaningless for actual analysis. (Ward’s runner in the Windsor Castle today blitzed the field for speed early before fading close home)
The other Wesley Ward runner, Bruised Orange has had a big drift on her price on exchanges today and is not being talked up in the same way by her trainer
Recommendation
2pts ew Easton Angel 6/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook….both firms offering ¼ odds 1234)

easton angel

( I wouldn’t put anyone off having a win only saver on Acapulco in case the hype is accurate)

3.40 Duke of Cambridge Stakes – Group 2 (4yo+ fillies and mares) 1 mile
Integral is a short priced favourite to replicate her win in this race last year but she is another who has a 5lb penalty to overcome (something she didn’t have last year). That makes her price of around 11/10 too short for me.
Rizeena is held by the fav on Newmarket form last year but she has never operated well on that course and could get closer this time.
It’s Euro Charline I would give the nod to though. She was a progressive filly last season and ran well in Dubai on her reappearance. Proven at Group 1 level, I struggle to see her out of the frame at this Group 2 level and so has each way appeal at around 5/1 with those bookies offering the one quarter odds a place concession. Like the favourite she has competed well against the colts in her time and she comes out best of these when official ratings are adjusted against penalties
Recommendation
1.5pts ew Euro Charline 6/1 (Paddy Power)

eurocharline

*Weds morning update*

A Non Runner in this race (Evita Peron) leaves 7 runners and so the favourable each way terms paying 1st 3 no longer apply. This has taken the shine of this bet a little and a small win only may be the better option now

4.20 Prince of Wales’s Stakes – Group 1 (4yo +) 1ml 2 fur
A real international flavour to this race with runners from Australia (Criterion) and Japan (Spielberg) mixing it with the European contingent. Sadly US hope California Chrome had to be withdrawn from the race.
It’s hard to judge the form of the two long distance raiders and that only adds to the trickiness of this as a betting heat.
Free Eagle and Ectot both have the potential to do more than they have so far delivered on the track. Free Eagle remains very lightly raced for a 4yo while Ectot’s propensity to pull too hard is a negative. Western Hymn is the form horse so far this season but the better ground gives Cannock Chase every chance to reverse form earlier this year at Sandown.
The Grey Gatsby is the one with solid Group 1 form at this trip and normally would be the one to find any weaknesses in the others. However he seems a better horse with Ryan Moore on board and is deserted by him for this that’s a concern for me
A big puzzle to solve and one I am happy to sit out and watch.
(if I were pushed to pick one it would be Cannock Chase with the ground back in his favour)

5.00 Royal Hunt Cup (handicap) 1 mile
A seemingly impossible 30 runner handicap to solve.
I could make a shortlist of a dozen and probably still miss the winner. At the front of the betting, Ayaar, Spark Plug and GM Hopkins are all closely matched on form this season but all have risen slightly in the weights since. Chil the Kite would have a definite squeak if he could recapture the form of his second in the race last year. He would be the selection for ‘an interest’ only with each way betting at around 20/1 (look for firms offering 5 places or even 6…it’s going to be needed in a race like this!)

5.35 Sandringham Hcap (3yo fillies only) 1 mile
The card ends with another tricky handicap for fillies only. It’s not much easier than the previous race.
At the top of the handicap, Osaila and Jellicle Ball are down in grade after being fancied failures in the 1,000 Guineas.
Always Smile has gone up 11lb in the ratings after maintaining her unbeaten record at Doncaster last time out. I’m not sure she did enough there to merit a very short price of around 3/1 for a race like this.
I slightly prefer Godolphin’s other runner Risen Sun and Karl Burke’s Mothers Finest at double figure odds – but again it’s not a race to get heavily involved with.

*Wednesday morning update*

Harry Herbert seemend very keen on Osaila on C4 this morning and although she is top weight she does have the class to be a factor. She didn’t look too happy before the race in the 1,000 Guineas so if we can ignore that poor run she will have every chance. Her Newmarket defeat of New Providence in April has been boosted by the runner up since – and she has winning form on this course.

Thanks for reading – comments are always welcomed

best of luck

Paul

(prices correct at 1755 BST 16/06)

*RESULTS*

A decent day today though it would have been an excellent one without a certain American beast!

Easton Angel was up against a 2yo that looked more like a 4yo in Acapulco but was comfortably ahead of the opposition. She proved she is Group 1 standard anyway and will get her recompense later in the season I am sure.

Euro Charline was withdrawn at the start so no money was lost there.

Recommended bets therefore were stakes of 7pts and a return of 8pts (1pt profit)

Elsewhere highlighted horse Osaila won the last. Bossy Guest, Fadhayyil and Chil the Kite all reached the frame

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Queen Mary, Royal Ascot

 

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