Saturday, 31 May 2008

2 pts win THE OIL MAGNATE 5.6/1 (Betfair) Organs for Life Stakes

1pt win SWIFT GIFT 11.5/1 ( Betfair) Organs for Life Stakes

It’s so easy to get sucked into impressive maiden winners on their first start in handicap company but its hard to overlook The Oil Magnate here. Admittedly, it now appears that he beat garbage when winning at Doncaster but the impression he left was that he was very useful. It’s also interesting that connections feel he’ll be suited by better ground. In a race where there are over the other two at the front of the market ( Naval Review unlikely to be anything special, while being a Storm Cat is enough alone to raise concerns over Tawaash), the other one that sparks interest is Swift Gift, who is from an in form yard and boasts some stonewall solid handicap form. He’s certain not to be far away.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win SOAPY DANGER 13.5/1Stowe Family Law Cup

1 pt win HERON BAY Betfair SP Stowe Family Law Cup

This has attracted a terrific turn out for a listed event and if you take the view that there are plenty of interesting contenders beyond Regal Flush and Tranquil Sea, then there is some tempting prices on offer.

The likeable Soapy Danger looks to have retained all of his ability since returning from an injury and can prove that once and for all by being involved here. Although a Queens Vase winner, this sort of trip suits him better and the stage is set here for him to run to his optimum.

Heron Bay looked a certain Group winner when winning at Ascot last June. He’s ran some appalling races since and is clearly one with problems who is difficult to train. However, he ran OK last time and all the ability still looks to be there. The few runners from the Wragg yard in the last couple of weeks have ran respectably and he is worth chancing at his odds.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win FANTASY EXPLORER 17/1 ( Betfair) National Express Scottish Sprint Cup

1 pt win NORTHER FLING 14.5/1( Betfair) National Express Scottish Sprint Cup

1 pt win RIVER FALCON 9/1 ( Generally available) National Express Scottish Sprint Cup

There’s no knowing how this will work out draw wise but it’s hard to resist not getting involved and there’s room to take 3 against the field

Fantasy Explorer was a non-runner when not without a chance here on Dante day. He’s since run well enough and on a track that will suit him where he’ll be forcing the pace on the stands side; he has the opportunity to return to his very best. Northern Spring has chances of defying top weight. As sprint handicappers go he’s a consistent sort and gives the impression that there is further improvement forthcoming this season. River Falcon has become more adaptable ground wise as he’s got older. He loves it here and his clear and obvious credentials should not be ignored, as he is the one you would rely most on to run his race.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 29 May 2008

2 pts win PASSAGE OF TIME 6/1 (Betfair) Betfair Brigadier Gerard Stakes
1 pt win SMOKEY OAKEY 39/1 (Betfair) Betfair Brigadier Gerard Stakes

This is a fascinating puzzle to try and solve. We are in the dark over Happy Boy and can certainly risk letting him run unbacked, while of the two Gosden horses, almost none of these Leger winners have the pace that the trainers like to believe they have and it's unlikely that Lucarno is a Commanche Run; while Pipedreamer is plenty short enough for one who has yet to prove himself in these conditions.

The most appealing option is Passage Of Time. She had an interrupted schedule last season but returned in the autumn to show that she retained all of her ability. With conditions ideal, and possessing the raw ability to win this, she looks set to go very close here on the back of her seasonal debut in which she shaped well enough.

Of the longer priced runners the Lincoln winner Smokey Oakey is not without hope here. Admittedly, he's pretty exposed and would need to improve to win this if everything else ran to form; however, this race has a funny shape to it and a few are going to disappoint. He is the type to run his race here and should outrun his price, and could be the one to cause an upset.

Smokey Oakey won + 35.5pts

Monday, 26 May 2008

3 pts win FRAGRANCY 6.2/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Zetland Gold Cup

It's impossible to resist getting stuck into this progressive filly today. She won in pleasing style here in October, beating an animal who had just run Zaahid close a week before, and looking a filly who would pay to follow if kept in training. She's recently made a very satisfactory seasonal debut, and being by Singspiel out of a mare who stayed a mile, it's hard to believe that she won't be able to produce upped in trip - especially as it's unlikely to be the messy run affair that this race was last year. Docof thebay and Monte Alto are of obvious interest, and the former is sure to take one of the ultra valuable handicaps later in the season, but in the type of event where Robinson is a plus, Fragrancy is much preferred today and is presently a cracking price on the exchanges.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 24 May 2008

2 pts win FLAWED GENIUS 6/1 ( Generally available) Betfred Bowl
1 pt win COMMANDER CAVE 18/1 ( Betfair) Betfred Bowl

The style in which Duntulum won that Newmarket handicap overshadowed just how much of a pleasing seasonal debut the now gelded Flawed Genius made. It's futile trying to get into the intricacies surrounding just how meritable the performance of the winner was, but generally, they are never quite as good as the eye is telling us and Duntulum will not get away with similar antics in the boxes today. Granted a bit of luck in running, there is no reason why Flawed Genius will not go close today despite his higher mark.

Commander Cave is very interesting at his current odds. He's been progressing along nicely, is almost certainly some way of reaching his ceiling, has a pedigree that promises he will act on this fast ground, and will be able to race in his customary prominent style from his draw here; all in all he makes more appeal than many of those priced up shorter.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win PROHIBIT 3.7/1 ( Betfair) Coral Sprint H'cap
1 pt win OPUS MAXIMUS 14.5/1 ( Betfair) Coral Sprint H'cap

Unsuited by the easy ground last time, Prohibit had previously looked a quality sort when winning at Newmarket, and can confirm form on worse terms with those that finished behind him. These Oasis Dreams should not regress in their second season and Captain Gerard's reappearance was a promising indicator for him - and though almost every 3 y-r-o from a big yard that wins a maiden or handicap in eyecatching style early in the season is tagged as a potential group class horse, Prohibit does genuinely have long term pretensions to reach that grade.

Opus Maximus won an Ok'ish race at Hamilton from in the main in form horses. Quality wise, this is a couple of steps higher, but he acts on the ground and is from a yard in full flow that successfully uses events at the smaller northern tracks as a springboard for the valuable handicaps. He's worth a point at his current odds.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 17 May 2008

2 pts win BALKAN KNIGHT 6/1 ( Generally available) Tote Ten to Follow Aston Park Stakes
1 pt win SPANISH HIDALGO 7/1 ( Generally available)Tote Ten to Follow Aston Park Stakes

While there are signs that the Godolphin runners are close to blooming, the fact remains that most are running as though they've not quite come to hand and though Regal Flush has the strongest credential here, he's too short considering the way his stable companions are running and is definitely worth taking on.

David Elsworth's horses are running really well at the moment and his Balkan Knight has plenty going for him here. He is fully effective in small fields, was better than ever last year, and has some eyecatching form in the context of this race, notably his run at York against Septimus, and at Newmarket against Royal And Regal. He gets his head in front when opportunity presents and should go very well here.

Spanish Hidalgo was progressing nicely last Autumn and will have come on from his seasonal debut in which he looked the likely winner at one stage. The small field will not hinder him and it's likely that he'll race prominently here. He has bits and pieces of form that indicate he'll not be far away and though admittedly the form of his yard is a concern, he's worth a point at his present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win PHOENIX TOWER 6/1 ( 3 firms and exchanges)Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes
1 pt win ARABIAN GLEAM 59/1 ( Betfair) Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes

Phoenix Tower lines up for his first crack at the top level having sort of sneaked here under the radar. Whatever, he is an immensely promising sort who has been taking the steps up the ladder in his stride and does give the impression that he belongs in the top flight. Admittedly, any ease in the ground would be a concern but there is not a hell of alot to be scared of in this field. Cesare has just come up short in his two attempts at this level, while there is no telling whether the Australian horse will be able to produce his best on his first outing in this hemisphere. Creachadoir is interesting but carries the question mark hanging over in his yard and for one with all of his ability he has a pretty poor win record. In fact, of the alternatives it may be worth chancing a point on Arabian Gleam. Lightly raced and open to more improvement, he is worth a chancing over this trip and could run outrun his odds here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win COLONY 2.2/1 ( Betfair) Totescoop London Gold Cup
1 pt win WILLIAM BLAKE 9/1( Betfair) Totescoop London Gold Cup

The form of the Sandown race won by Colony has already been given a boost and this colt appeals as one who is going places and one who will climb to a significantly higher mark than 85 during this season. His style of racing is going to help him keep something in hand over the handicapper and it may be futile trying to drum up half hearted negatives over his chance today.
Nevertheless, there's still a bit of room left for a back up bet and with the Johnston yard exploding into form over the last couple of days, William Blake is of obvious interest. Although the level of his Beverley is not in the same parish of Colony's Sandown race, it's still worked out Ok'ish and as with many of the three year olds from this yard at this time of the season you just never know how far they'll go - he could level out around a mark in the 90's or end up winning something like the King Edward.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 15 May 2008

1.5pts win SPECIAL DAY 10/1 (Ladbrokes) Tote Ten to Follow H’cap

1.5pts win FANTASY EXPLORER 13/1 (Betfair) Tote Ten to Follow H’cap

Special Day produced a lifetime best over C&D last August, and arrives here on the back of a fair run in a competitive Newmarket handicap. She’ll not mind the fast conditions, is not handicapped out of this, and being relatively lightly raced could find further improvement this season. She should figure here.

It’s interesting that Ryan Moore teams up with Fantasy Explorer after partnering the gelding in his comeback race. He ran as if just short of a race that day, but showed enough to give optimism that he retains all of his ability. He has conditions in his favour here and is worth chancing in the hope that he can run to a similar level he reached in 2006.

Fantasy Explorer NR, Special Day Lost - 1.5pts

2 pts win McCARTNEY 15/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Dante Stakes

1 pt win FROZEN FIRE 16.5/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Dante Stakes

It’s worth taking a chance and pitting against Twice Over in the hope that 1 mile eventually turns out to his optimum trip. If that is the case then there is some great value on offer. Tartan Bearer took a bit of time to get going when winning his Leicester maiden and did not give the impression that he is anything special. The bare form of Centenial’s Sandown race is beginning to look plain. He’s no doubt better than that but will have to be to win this. It’s also a little worrying that the Gosden winner’s have dried up, even though plenty have performed well enough.

McCartney commands a lot of respect here. He reportedly does not sparkle at home and that shows in the riding arrangements. However, he’s done little wrong on the course, is ideally suited by fast ground and though he’s unlikely to be an out and out stayer, looks sure to appreciate this sort of trip. Encouragement can be gleaned by the yard having a winner yesterday and he appeals more than his stable companion, despite appearing to be the second string.

Frozen Fire disappointed in the Racing Post Trophy but was supported as though he was up to the task. Admittedly, Ballydoyle do not use this event for what they consider to be their number one Epsom hope, so we can assume that going into last weekend this colt was lower in the pecking order than Washington Irving. However, they’ve already shown that their present crop of 3 year olds are better than most were expecting at the start of the season and Frozen Fire is worth a point at his present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5 pts win MIA’S BOY 9/1 (Betfair) Bank of Scotland Hambleton H’cap

1.5 pts win ANNEMASSE 8/1 (Betfair) Bank of Scotland Hambleton

A woeful turn out for this, but for Lang Shining, a completely different ball game than Newbury, and, irrespective of whether he develops into a Group horse, there is a real chance of him being turned over here in this small field on fast ground.

The progressive Mia’s Boy catches the eye here. It look’s likely that, to ensure the participation of Twice Over in the Dante, they’ll have watered enough to take the sting out of the ground, and that should be suffice for this colt seeing that his trainer is on record as saying that he’ll be suited by top of the ground. He’ll be able to track the likes of New Seeker and Annemasse, and looks set to run well.

Annemasse is an interesting contender for his new yard. A bit in and out last term, three of his four victories have come in single figure fields. There are no worries over the ground for him and he make far more appeal than the other one who’ll be racing prominently, New Seeker, who though having a scenario likely to suit, has finished plum last on all of his last four outings.

Mia's Boy won + 11.5pts

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

2 pts win HOH MIKE 14.5/1 ( Betfair) Hearthstead Homes Duke Of York Stakes
1 pt win BALTHAZAAR'S GIFT 13.5/1 ( Betfair)Hearthstead Homes Duke Of York Stakes

A fascinating renewal and plenty of opportunity to find a couple to take on US Ranger, whom over there are some niggling doubts about what he finds when fully stretched. The admirable Soldier's Tale has a stiff task under his Group1 penalty, and this is surely more about getting him 100% for a repeat attempt at Royal Ascot.

Hoh Mike really does catch the eye at his present odds. Michael Bell was telling the whole world last season that he won't see the real deal until this year, and, with a Group 2 being important to his prospects as a stallion ( especially if he ultimately fails to land a Group 1), he'll surely be ready to do himself justice on his seasonal debut. Six furlongs on this track should be ideal - he just could not get to them in the Nunthorpe here last August, eventually finishing a respectable sixth. His stable is in reasonable form and he looks set to run a big race here.

Balthazaar's Gift is a frustrating sort; albeit a very talented one who retains all of his ability and will put up a considerably better showing than he did at Newmarket last time. Although all of his winning has come with ease on the ground, he's fully effective on a fast surface and ran a blinder over a faster six furlongs than this in the Stewards Cup. He commands plenty of respect here.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 10 May 2008

1.5pts win WE’LL COME 8/1 (Betfair) Totesport Victoria Cup

1.5 pts win LAA RAYB 15/1 (Betfair) Totesport Victoria Cup

With his yard firing at the moment, it’s hard to imagine We’ll Come not lining up in top shape here. He progressed throughout last season, running his best race on his final outing. He’s up 3lb for that, but he gave the impression that day that he’d have gone even closer over a slightly shorter trip, and the drop back to 7f allied to the big field look ideal. Furthermore, there are no worries about the prospect of genuinely fast ground, and while it would have increased confidence if he’d got his head in front more than once; it’s too early to question his resolution .He has far fewer negatives against him than most of today’s rivals and is hard to get away from.

Despite having his quirks, there is no doubting that Laa Rayb has the raw ability to pop up and take one of the se valuable handicaps. Now gelded, he’ll appreciate the drop back in trip from his seasonal debut, is another who will not be disadvantaged by genuinely fast ground, and is one of the most interesting runners in this field. Confidence is also increased by the fact that his price has been holding up well on the exchanges this morning.

Lost - 3pts

Thursday, 8 May 2008

3 pts win FEARED IN FLIGHT 7/2 ( Betfair) Bank of America Chester Vase

This is a proven, Group class performer who is open to further improvement over this longer trip and, due to being surrounded by unexposed types, is currently trading at fair odds. He can be relied upon to run his race and seems sure to give a very good account of himself. He is preferred to Doctor Fremantle, who is arguably the hype horse of the month, Vivaldi, who is the hardest to assess in the field, and Pampas Cat, who’s Newmarket form is looking better by the day but is not 100% certain to appreciate the extra two furlongs.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5 pts win ADVERSITY 6.2/1 (Betfair) Halifax H’cap

1.5 pts win HUZZAH 9/1 ( Betfair) Halifax H’cap

The rapidly drying ground is a concern for a few of these here, Royalist included. That animal is now trading a little too low and there are a few alternatives worth considering.

It’s not impossible to win from an outside draw over this trip and the stall position of Adversity is factored into his price. The drop back in trip from 1m1/2 f to 7 1/2f will be ideal for this colt and he looks set for a fruitful season in valuable handicaps around this trip. If Moore can work wonders from the outside stall and find some fortune in running, he’ll not be far away.

Huzzah is more exposed than most but still has a progressive profile. He won a typically hot Newbury handicap last time, has a likeable attitude, and overall looks overpriced on the assumption that the ground will not go on the firm side of good.

Huzzah won + 11.5 pts

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

3 pts win SENTRY DUTY Totesport Chester Cup 18.5/1 ( Betfair)

There's definitely a glamour handicap or two in this rather enigmatic individual, be it over hurdles or on the level, and I'm determined not to miss out when he has his day(s) . After winning a Newmarket handicap a year ago, he lined up in the Northumberland Plate looking to have a fair chance of an 8lb higher mark of 101; the same mark that he races off here. He ran no sort of race in terrible ground, was gelded afterwards, and didn't reappear again until Doncaster in February, when he destroyed the subsequent Triumph Hurdle winner in a novice hurdle, looking a potential top class prospect. After disappointing badly in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, where he appeared to be the stables second string , he lined up again in a fiercely competitive handicap at Punchestown. He ran much better than his finishing position of tenth implies - travelling supremely well in a prominent position and looking sure to play a big role in proceedings until folding up disappointingly, but leaving the impression that there's a big prize in him. He's clearly not straightforward, and not the easiest to train; the theories put forward that he needs a big gap between his races are probably off the mark, as if that was the case the trainer would not let him run in this and risk putting him back even further. I'm also clinging to the same sort of reasoning to combat thoughts about the limit of his staminia. In summary, although drawn a few stalls wider than ideal, it's hard not to envisage him racing close up behind the leaders, travelling smoothly for his talented claimer, and putting himself in a winning position. He's absolutely irresistible at his available odds on the exchanges and he's worth chancing with full points.

Lost - 3 pts

Sunday, 4 May 2008

2 pts win MANY VOLUMES 16.5/1 ( Betfair) Stan James Suffolk Stakes

1 pt win KINGSDALE ORION 35/1 ( Betfair) Stan James Suffolk Stakes

There is nothing between Many Volumes and Gulf Express on last seasons Pontefract form, and the Cecil horse, with just a much chance as making a Group horse as the Stoute horse, and just as likely to be race fit as his rival, is the value call at over three times the odds (though it would not be a good sign if he remained at his present exchange odds). Furthermore, Many Volumes travelled well through the Pontefract race and the drop back in trip will not prove to be a hindrance.

It’s interesting that his stable companion Sound Of Nature has been well supported this morning However, he has temperament issues, and still has to prove himself after the injury lay off . No doubt he must work in the style of a useful performer at home, but there are holes in bits of his form. The Leicester handicap he won last May was some way removed in quality from today’s event.

Of the longer priced animals, Kingsdale Orion makes most appeal. He has some useful form to boast of when trained in Ireland last year and was far from disgraced in the Irish 2,000 Gns. He also made his reappearance in the Newbury Spring Cup, running a race full of promise on his first start for the Ellison yard. He makes far more appeal than the overall disappointing Proponent who finished ahead of him that day, and is worth a go with the blinds on for the first time.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win INFALLIBLE 4.2/1 ( Betfair) Stan James 1,000 Gns

1 pt win KITTY MATCHAM 12/1 ( Ladbrokes) Stan James 1,000 Gns

Instead of pulling apart the Nell Gwyn form it may pay to side with first impressions, and there was little doubt that Infallible looked a top class filly in the manner in which she sailed past her field that day. She has every chance of proving fully effective over the extra furlong and is preferred to those surrounding her at the front end of the market. Natagora is too short for one who also has staminia doubts still lurking, while Muthabara will not get away with taking so long to pick up, irrespective of the longer trip. Spacious is likeable, but the best alternative at the price is Kitty Matchem. Yesterday reminded everyone that Ballydoyle are not in the habit of overfacing their charges and the Rockfel winner is a gritty sort who is probably capable of finding the improvement necessary to go close here. She’s worth a point - despite Ladbrokes going longest on her.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 3 May 2008

2 pts win RAVEN’S PASS Stan James 2,000 GNS 5/1 ( Betfair)

1 pt win MOYNAHAN Stan James 2,000 GNS 74/1 ( Betfair)

New Approach looked a far from straightforward individual in the Dewhurst, and though he arrives here with the two best pieces of form, there are sufficient doubts to make him one to take on.

The form of the Craven looks stonewall solid. No one would have any doubts over the ability of Raven’s Pass to see out a mile if Twice Over had not lined up in that event. Quite simply he would have destroyed a decent field. The visual impression he created when winning at Sandown last year looked to good to be true at the time. However, it could just be that he really is out of the top drawer and with the ground having dried up, he must surely go close to taking this.

Moynahan looked likely to play a part in some of the big juvenile events when winning the Convivial at York. He never appeared again and quite literally could be anything. It’s encouraging to see his present exchange odds shorten a little over the past 30 mins, and it’s hard to resist having a point on.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win KING’S APOSTLE Stan James Heritage H’cap 11/1 ( Betfair)

1 pt win BONUS Stan James Heritage H’cap 26/1 ( Betfair)

King’s Apostle won on his seasonal debut last year and with the Haggas horses in good form he should be straight enough to run his race today. He has a good kick for a sprinter and could well progress through the ranks to make his mark in Group company. He created a fine impression on his final appearance at York and makes plenty of appeal here.

Bonus has been doing most of his racing on the AW but is still capable of running well on the turf. Admittedly, he does run to a higher level on the AW nowadays, but that is more than compensated for by his significantly lower turf rating and he is just the type who could throw in a big one here and is the one that catches the eye of those at longer prices.

Lost - 3 pts