Saturday, 28 June 2008

2 pts win MISSOULA 22/1 ( Betfair) John Smith's Northumberland Plate
1 pt win HALLA SAN 29/1 (Betfair) John Smith's Northumberland Plate

A fascinating event as always, and with so many options it may be worth looking away from the two plot horses, and the other two or three jazzy, progressive animals; as all are priced up accordingly.

With the rain maintaining the ease in the ground and favouring the true stayers , Missoula is very appealing at her current odds. Still lightly raced for a five year old, she has an overall progressive profile herself and is proven in the big field competitive scenario. The stat concerning winners of the Ascot Stakes in this event has zilch influence on her chance today and, from a suitable draw, this hardy sort has a realistic chance of confirming that form with the much shorter priced Bukit Tinggi.

Halla San is worth smaller stakes. Although running a stinker in this last year there are reasons for believing he'll perform much better here. Last year's event was run in extreme conditions that only a couple of runners handled, and though this two mile is arguably more testing than the same distance over hurdles at Musselburgh, it should be within his compass. When this animal was with the Ramsdens and notched up back to back wins here and at Haydock in the Autumn of 2005, he appealed as one to follow handicaps, and though the expected improvement has been forthcoming, it's been far from smooth. He arrives here on the back of a good run against an animal who would have been fancied if he'd taken up his entry here and could be surprise material.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 21 June 2008

3 pts win SPANISH MOON 3.1/1 (Betfair) Hardwicke Stakes

If a genuine challenger for the King George is going to emerge from this race it can only really be Spanish Moon. There is still no knowing how far he can go, but even in the unlikely event that his victory here last month saw him reach his ceiling; a repeat would be good enough to see him run very close here. On the other hand, if he’s a G1 horse, which is possible, his present odds of around 3/1 are going to look a steal in hindsight. He has to be supported here.

Lost -3 pts

1pt win WAR ARTIST 12.5/1 (Betfair) Golden Jubilee

1pt win BALTHAZAAR’S GIFT 24/1 (Betfair)Golden Jubilee

1pt win ASSERTIVE 49/1(Betfair) Golden Jubilee

This is a frustrating puzzle of a race, not helped by the fact that so many hopes rest on the weather. However, it seems we are going to be talking about varying degrees of good or fast ground, and certainly not proper ease. From the front end of the market the ultra reliable Takeover Target is the percentage call but there are so many genuinely dangerous rivals that I’d rather take three longer priced runners against the field.

All the talk after the Duke of York was about US Ranger, and how unfortunate he was. However, he is starting to prove costly to follow and the chances of those that finished ahead of him should not be overlooked. Assertive has been around for a while and has always been very useful but he may have just stepped up onto a new level and as is the case with some of these similarly aged sprinters, there could be more improvement to come. He chance should not be readily dismissed and he’s worth a point at his present exchange odds. He was chased home in the York race by the South African War Artist, who now re opposes on better terms. He was evidently top class in his native country and there is no doubt more to come. He’s deservedly priced up shorter than Assertive and is too worth a point – though whether there should be such a vast difference in their present odds is debatable.

Balthazaar’s Gift is another worth supporting. He’s come close to wining this before, has conditions that will not hinder, retains all of his ability, and will not be far away if getting the run of the race and the breaks, which admittedly he needs more than most.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win ABRAHAM LINCOLN 10/1( Ladbrokes) Wokingham

Abraham Lincoln ran respectably in the Kings Stand earlier in the week and is without doubt the most fascinating contender in this event. Not surprisingly the yard have a good record when they have a rare runner in the big handicaps over here and it’s hard to imagine that he’s just been dumped in for the sake of it. He’s lighly raced and of course the fact that they’ve kept hold of him means that there should be a fair level of improvement to come from him. Considering that these jazzy types usual start at unrealistic odds when running in these big handicaps, he’s currently a few points longer than you would expect him to be and is worth chancing with a maximum as such is the nature of this race you are throwing darts to pick savers.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5pts win LUBERON 12.5/1(Betfair)Duke of Edinburgh

1.5pts win PROPONENT 8.6/1(Betfair) Duke of Edinburgh

Mark Johnston has still yet to have a winner at the meeting and although with hindsight the form of the yard has been better coming into this week in the past, La Raayb ran well enough yesterday to give encouragement for the hopes of Luberon who is now back on track and in top form after getting over whatever it was that caused him to run a handful of consecutively bad races last year. He has fair prospects of confirming the York form with those that finished behind him and he’ll again take some passing – though confidence would be increased if he shortened on the exchanges during the morning,

One time Derby hope Proponent looked as though he was the type who was going to prove costly to follow until getting back on the winning trail last time. That form has been boosted by the fourth and fifth and with his yard in good form he has strong claims off a 7lb higher mark and warrants support.

Luberon NR, Proponent Lost - 1.5pts

2pts win DISTINCTION 7.2/1(Betfair)Queen Alexandra Stakes

1 pt win METAPHORIC 16/1(Betfair) Queen Alexander Stakes

This is a cracking renewal of this weird event, but that does not necessarily reduce the chance of a surprise result and it could be best to take one near the front end of the market, and one of the longer priced animals. The likeable Distinction may not be the horse he once was but he still retains plenty of ability and the fact that his connections had considered the Gold Cup for him again increases confidence that he’ll go close here. At his present odds he makes far more appeal than Honolulu who was disappointing last time. Of the longer priced runners Metaphoric is interesting. He was once considered to be a Derby prospect, and while falling far short of that level, he still showed some useful form and developed into a half decent hurdler in through the Winter. He could pay to follow in that sphere in the future but in the meantime he’s worth a point on his return to the level.

Lost - 3pts

Friday, 20 June 2008

2pts win BRONZE CANNON 4.3/1 (Betfair) King Edward Stakes

1pt win ALL THE ACES 6/1(Betfair) King Edward Stakes

It’s difficult to be led away from the first four in the market; of which it’s perhaps easiest to find reasons to strike out Conduit. His Epsom performance visually looked too good to be true and it seems that he beat a bunch who, by varying degrees ran below their best. Of the remaining three I’ll link up the Doctor Freemantle form and take Bronze Cannon and All The Aces. Both of these would have been interesting Derby contenders, and although the form of the recent race that Bronze Cannon won has since been a blow out, he was in a different parish to his rivals that day. Out of the three year old’s in training who could yet throw a cog in the middle distance pecking order, he’s near the top of the list and is without doubt the most interesting runner in this field. All The Aces stepped up onto a new level in the Chester Vase last time and is the sort who’ll be poached by Godolphin if he keeps progressing. He’s sure to run well and no valid reasons can be found for not, at the very least, using him for saver reasons.

Lost - 3pts

3 pts win LUSH LASHES 7/1(Generally available) Coronation Stakes

Has a wide open look and you can madly go around in circles looking at all the various Guineas form and come up with a different selection on each lap. Whatever, Lush Lashes has to be the most interesting runner here and if there is a real star in this field who is that bit superior to the rest it is probably her. Hindsight informs that she’s clearly not a middle distance filly, and perhaps everyone should have been viewing the Musidora not with view to how she’d perform when stepped up in trip at Epsom, but to how she’d have fared if in the same heart at Newmarket. If the York race had been over 1 mile she’d have been just as impressive and with a view to todays race, it may pay to take the angle that a combination of other factors, rather than the trip, beat her at Newmarket. Provided there is a true pace on this filly is sure to give a fine account of herself here and cannot be resisted at her present odds.

Won + 21 pts

2pts win MONTE ALTO 5.2/1 (Betfair) Wolferton

1 pt win SOAPY DANGER 33/1(Betfair) Wolferton

Monte Alto made a highly pleasing reappearance at Redcar and looks set to run close here. Relatively lightly raced and surely still a good few pound off reaching his ceiling, the combination of pace,ground and trip will suit and odds around the 5/1 mark seem fairish because as soon as you go through these runners from shortest price onwards, the negatives seems to spill out more than what you’d normally expect for this type of event.

Of the other contenders, Soapy Danger is worth small stakes at his price. Since returning from injury he’s indicated that most of the old ability is still there. And although it appears that in his new existence he’s become a shade tripless and that connections are trying to unlock all of what is there; this experiment to bring him down to this distance for the first time since the start of his career warrants interest and he could surprise.

Soapy Danger NR, Monte Alto Lost - 2pts

2 pts win CAPTAIN WEBB 7/1 (Generally available) Queen’s Vase

1pt win UNLEASHED 20/1(Betfair) Queen’s Vase

If there’s a hidden Leger horse here it’s clearly going to be Patkai. However, there are enough niggling doubts about this trip allied to there being plenty of other interesting contenders to make him worth taking on at under 2/1.

Captain Webb has done little wrong in his career so far. Even the performance when out the frame in his only defeat at Sandown is beginning to look OK considering how well the form of that race has since worked out. In light of his trainers record in this event we can be fairly confident that he will be fully effective over this distance with further improvement highly probable.

Henry Cecil used to farm this race and, Unleashed would not be in this line up if he wasen’t considered to have a realistic chance of winning this. He’s been given an AW preparation and some thinking would have gone into nominating this as a target. He should outrun his present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

1pt win DOCOFTHEBAY 11.5/1(Betfair) Buckingham Palace Stakes

1pt win LAA RAYB 35/1(Betfair) Buckingham Palace Stakes

1pt win SMART ENOUGH 79/1(Betfair) Buckingham Palace Stakes

Plenty of room to take three again the field here. Docofthebay narrowly failed to pull off the mid-season plan in the Hunt Cup and his chance has to be respected if he’s turned out again quickly here, which all being well he should do as it’s not very often that he’s going to be in peak condition and have a suitable opportunity with the ground, field size and race conditions to suit.

Laa Rayb has for some time appealed as the sort who will pop up and take one of these events and although he’s running off a career high mark and is not the most straightforward of individuals, there could be a bit more to come and he’s worth small stakes here.

Smart Enough looked like developing into a Group horse two years ago but he’s been disappointing lately. They’ve been switching trips and have even experimented with the blinds to try and get him back. He tries the combination of 7f on a fast turf surface for the first time and it’s worth noting that the prospect of that combination would not really have been considered a hindrance to him two years ago. He’s worth speculative interest at his present massive exchange odds.

Smart Enough NR, others Lost - 2pts

Thursday, 19 June 2008

2pts win KITTY MATCHEM 9/1 ( Exchanges and Ladbrokes) Ribblesdale Stakes

1pt win ARTHUR’S GIRL 10.5/1( Betfair) Ribblesdale Stakes

Kitty Matchem showed enough in the 1,000Gns to indicate that she has trained on and retained all of her ability. She has disappointed twice since but the fact that she’s her yard’s only chosen representative for this suggests that she could return to her best here (even though it is a slight concern that Ladbrokes are going longest on her at the moment). If that is the case then some of the more unexposed types will have to find varying levels of improvement to beat her.

Arthur’s Girl has nothing to recommend her on bare form but we know that her connections generally do not pit them into this grade unless they are convinced are capable of running respectably. She is worth a point.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win COMMANDER CAVE 14.5/1 ( Betfair) Brittania Stakes

1pt win VIRTUAL 17.5/1 (Betfair) Brittania Stakes

1pt win THEBES 35/1 ( Betfair) Brittania Stakes

As fascinating as usual , and plenty of room to take three aboard. God knows how the draw will pan out so it could be worth spreading the selections across the track.

Commander Cave will be racing prominently on the nearside rail. He’s reliable, progressive, versatile regarding ground, uncomplicated, and has prospects of making up for that narrow defeat in that red hot Haydock handicap. He can confirm the form with those that reoppose.

John Gosden hasn’t had too many winners in the past couple of weeks but his horses have been running well here over the past two days. He usually has one or two set aside for this race and his only representative Virtual, commands plenty of respect. The form of his Newmarket maiden win, where he was visually pleasing, has worked out OK, and provided that ground is not in any of the extremes ( which is looking unlikely), he should run OK.

Thebes is the most difficult to assess of the three Mark Johnston runners, but is preferred to Endless Luck (who’s likely to be taken off his feet again unless the rain really gets in), and Love Galore (seems tripless at the moment), and looks the one that has been laid out for this. If that is so then connections must believe that he’ll get this trip, and if those drawn on the far side get in this he could go close.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win KENSINGTON OVAL 6/1 ( Generally available) Hampton Court Stakes

1 pt win UNNEFER 12/1 ( Ladbrokes) Hampton Court Stakes

It’s very easy to get carried away with once raced maiden winners when their pitted into this sort of class, but the temptation to side with them is sometimes overpowering and there are two reasons why you feel that Kensington Oval could be the real deal. Firstly, he’s from the yard that you’d most rely on to read this sort of lightly raced animal correctly. Secondly, his stable companion has stonewall solid credentials for this event and while the choice may have been difficult and almost a straw pick, we can assume that Moore has had the choice and in most of these instances they do pick the right one. He cannot go unsupported.

Unnefer is a likeable, reliable sort, who is versatile regarding ground conditions. A repeat of all of his three most recent runs would see him run well here and he is taken to confirm recent form with Pampas Cat, and could be the one to benefit if the unexposed runners turn out to be nothing special.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5 pts win ALLIED POWERS 7/1(Betfair) King George V Stakes

1.5 pts win STRATEGIC MISSION 10.5/1 ( Betfair) King George V Stakes

It’s hard to get away from those with the obvious credentials here and despite the wide open nature of these type of events, it sometimes doesn’t pay to get too clever.

Allied Power’s been climbing fast up the ratings this spring and his winning run may not have stopped. Admittedly, his latest rise in the ratings may seem a tad harsh in light of the fact that the form could have worked out a shade better. However, he had plenty in hand that day, and the stable have developed the knack of running up sequences with their animals – handicappers included. Provided his draw does not cause too many problems, there should be sufficient juice in the ground to enable him to run his race and his chances cannot be ignored.

Strategic Mission faces Colony , Ramona Chase and Trenchtown again over this longer trip . The form of that Newbury race has taken a slight knock by the run of the second since, but a couple of the others further back have ran OK’ish since and Strategic Mission did look a real professional that day, and one that would progress further. Connections appear to be confident that he’ll again be fully effective over this trip and he can confirm that form and be involved in the finish here.

Allied Power NR, Strategic Mission Lost, - 1.5pts

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

2 pts win PACO BOY 11.5/1 (Betfair) Jersey Stakes

1pt win WAR OFFICER 17.5/1 (Betfair) Jersey Stakes

Paco Boy is irresistible here. A likeable sort, he’s never put a foot wrong in his career so far and ran respectable in the French 2,000 Gns last time. The return to a fast surface will not inconvenience, and being the sort who we will be able to hold his position and quicken off a fast pace at this trip; he looks ready made for this event.

Most of War Officer’s form has come with give, but given his pedigree a fast surface should not inconvenience. He’s been progressing along nicely and the Nicholl’s horse that was third behimd him at Chantilly has since run well behind Corryborough. The fact that he’s not run since April 29 is testament that this meeting has been on the agenda for him for a while. He must be supported at his present odds.

Paco Boy NR, War Officer Lost - 1 pt

3 pts win SABANA PERDIA 4.1/1 (Betfair) Windsor Forest Stakes

This is not as strong a renewal as last year when this filly finished third behind Nannina and Satwa Queen, and infront of Echeleon and Flashy Wings. She’s returned to the track after a setback to show herself to be as good as ever, has clearly been targeted at this, and must take all the beating. On the whole of this card this is the one animal you’d rely on most to run her race.

won + 12pts

1.5pts win PRESSING 11.5/1 (Betfair) Prince Of Wales Stakes

1.5pts win PIPEDREAMER 15/1(Betfair) Prince Of Wales Stakes

Duke Of Marmalade is a thoroughly likeable high class colt but has not done enough to justify being so short in a race containing four or five credible dangers. Pressing is very much one of these dangers and while matching up formlines can often mislead, the German horse Saddex, that matches the pair up closely, is a model of consistency and there is cause to believe that Pressing is a lot closer to the Ballydoyle horse than the market is indicating. The ratings may indicate that Duke Of Marmalade improved in his most recent race, but the fact is he beat a non-stayer and the liklehood is that he ran to the same level of his previous race against Saddex. To cut a long ramble short there is every reason to believe that Pressing will be involved in a big way here and he cannot go unsupported.

Back on a fast surface with the promise of a decent pace on, Pipedreamer has the opportunity to show that he can be effective at this level. Twice last year he gave the visual impression of being a possible top class colt, and while on figures he’s in the region of a stone off that level, today will settle the argument once and for all. He’s definitely worth chancing at his present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

1 pt win LANG SHINING 7.4/1(Betfair) Royal Hunt Cup

1pt win DOCOFTHEBAY 12/1 (Generally available)Royal Hunt Cup

1pt win EXTRATERRESTRIAL 17.5/1 (Betfair) Royal Hunt Cup

Everything has to be perfect to justify diving into Bankable at around the 2/1 mark in this field and there has to be a genuine concern about whether he can transfer his recent improvement on an easy surface back to fast ground. Thats’ reason enough to take him on and there is room to take three against the field.

Lang Shining proved conclusively that he handles this sort of surface at York last time. He was beaten by a very talented sort who is better than what he showed last time, and though he’s on a lifetime high, there are still reasons to believe( admittedly just as much to do with the record of his connections with these types as what he’s achieved) that he’ll be plying his trade in Group races within the next couple of months.

Docof the bay has looked for a while that he’ll take one of these events. Big fields, fast pace and fast ground are made for him and while you can argue that he’s exposed enough, the application of the blinds suggest that connections believe he has more to give and he cannot be left out.

The Fahey horses are running well at the moment and Extraterrestrial has looked a useful acquisition from the Prendergast yard. No doubt connections will have the valuable mile handicap at the York Ebor meeting on the agenda, but he lines up here with more than half a chance and looks the type who will be involved here.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win DANEHILL DESTINY 7/2 ( Generally available) Queen Mary Stakes

1 pt win BAILEYS CACAO 7/1 ( Ladbrokes and exchanges)Queen Mary Stakes

Danehill Destiny has stonewall solid credentials in the context of this event and allied to her claims, she is not restrictively priced. She is much preferred to the Storm Cat filly Heart Shaped – Sugar Free is the most interesting of the Irish runners but the form of the maiden that she finished third in may not be as hot as it first appeared. For back up support Baileys Cacao is much preferred. Hannon has lines to most of the two year old form and while it’s a little iffy using Amosite to link her to Danehill Destiny, she looked quality on her debut and is worth a point.

Lost - 3 pts

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

2 pts win FINSCEAL BEO 7/1 ( Generally available) Queen Anne Stakes

1 pt win SPIRITO DEL VENTO 35/1 ( Betfair) Queen Anne Stakes

Finscael Beo and Darjini re-oppose again and the French filly’s two previous runs here have to be a cause for concern. In contrast, everything seems set for Finscael Beo to run her race here and she looks sure to be involved in the finish. Her disappointing run in the Coronation last year was on the back of a couple of hard races, and came on unsuitably soft ground. She’s already shown that she’s trained on from three to four, running a highly pleasing race behind Duke Of Marmalade, after previously running really well in the Dubai Duty Free. She’s hard to get away from here.

Spirito Del Vento appeals most of those at longer odds. Her wasen’t far behind Darjina at Sha Tin in December and may have been underestimated here. He arrives here in good form and should at least outrun his odds.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win BENBAUN 11.5/1(Betfair) Kings Stand Stakes

1 pt win HOH MIKE 28/1 (Betfair) Kings Stand Stakes

Fleeting Spirit is priced up too short and provides for plenty of alternative options. True, she made an impression when winning at Haydock and could well be a Marwell or Habibti, but things have to go right in this sort of event and I’d rather take a chance that Benbaun can go one better than when narrowly beaten in this two years ago. He was disadvantaged by the way the race panned out last year, but went on to show that he was better than ever. He’ll be spot on after his run in France and while fast conditions will be fine, he’s versatile regarding the ground thus the prospect of rain or overwatering will not be a worry. He’s an admirably consistent sort, has built up a fine partnership with Smullen, and provided he gets the run of the race he will not be far away.

Of those at longer odds, Hoh Mike is worth one more chance to show that he’s up to winning this sort of event. Connections have always believed that he’d be G1 material this year but he’s beginning to disappoint. However, he’s run well on his previous visits here and you just have an inkling that he does have the raw ability for this sort of event but is one of those missing key cases.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win ORIZABA 7/2 (Ladbrokes and Paddy Power) Coventry Stakes

1 pt win ART CONNOISSEUR 8.4/1 ( Betfair) Coventry Stakes

Although this is a few steps up in terms of quality, subsequent events have shown that Orizaba did not beat entire rubbish at Newbury and whatever way you view this event you find yourself returning to him. Admittedly he may be a ‘now’ horse who will blow out sometime, and whenever you see a two year old win like that prior to this meeting you can name a few who have gone on to be beaten ( Generall Monash sticks firmly in the mind). Nevertheless, he lines up with the best credentials, is reasonably priced in the circumstances, and must surely go very close.

Art Connoisseur appealed as the sort for this meeting when winning convincingly at the Craven meeting. Those behind have ran OK’ish since and it’s interesting that he lines up for this when there would have been a couple of easier options later in the week.

Art Connoisseur won + 6 pts

2 pts win LIBERATE 5/1 (Generally available) Ascot Stakes

1 pt win MAMLOOK 8/1 (Generally available) Ascot Stakes

The race that Bukit Tinggi won at York was one of those that the same crowd turn up in at almost every meeting and he has a lot more on his plate here taking on some that appear to have been laid out for this.

The Hobbs yard does well in these type of events and with Spencer booked, there is no doubt that this has been a carefully selected target for Liberate for a couple of months now. He was better than ever over hurdles in the Spring and just a couple of lengths improvement on his old flat form would probably be enough for him to take this.

The Pipe yard have a successfully history in these events and Mamlook is another who has no doubt been targeted at this. If the ground is genuinely fast that is a possible concern along with the fact that he’s never been tried beyond 2m2f over hurdles, and 1m 3f on the level. However, his price allied to the positive factors ( another is that his price tag when bought from the Prendergast yard suggests that he was viewed as more than just an abandoned whale), make him definitely worth a bet.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 14 June 2008

2 pts win FREE OFFER 8/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Cadogan Silver Salver Stakes

1 pt win RE BAROLI 14.5/1(Betfair) Cadogan Silver Salver Stakes

This has a bit of a messy look to it. Tanwer is priced up solely due to being a Stoute horse and when you consider that the horse that was third to him when he won his Newmarket maiden has levelled out around the mid 80’s mark, he’s not too well handicapped himself. Free Offer is a far more interesting proposition. She progressed nicely in low grade handicaps last season, has further improvement left in her, is not adverse to a fast surface, and will have come on from her debut run. The signs are that her yard may just have hit top form and provided there is proper pace on she should run close. Re Baroli is hard to weigh up and will need to improve on his turf form in this country to figure here but may be worth taking aboard for smaller stakes as it’s even easier to find holes in most of the others in this field.

Re Barolo won + 9.5 pts

2 pts win HAMISH MCGONAGALL 9/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Betfair Sprint

1pt win PROHIBIT 20/1 ( Betfair) Betfair Sprint

It would be a little too imaginative to use Careleton to show the form of Hamish McGonagall’s race here in good light compared to Ancient Regime’s Newmarket race, but the form has already received a boost and he appeals as the most attractive proposition of the two at the odds available. He looks as though he’s far off levelling out and provided he’s just as effective on his return to this trip, there ‘s no reason why he shouldn’t figure in a big way. Prohibit catches the eye amongst those at longer odds. He’s got the blinds on for the second time after running OK’ish in them first time and is worth another chance on the basis that he could still possibly be a group horse if there’s a missing key somewhere.

Lost - 3 pts

3 pts win BLACK JACARI 4.8/1(Betfair) Daniel Prenn Royal Yorkshire Stakes

With little encouragement to be gained from the form of his Newmarket race, Swinging Sixties has to be taken on and Black Jacari is selected with a degree of confidence. His pedigree indicates that his upward curve should continue and unlike his sire, he does not appear to be averse to fast conditions. The form of his Goodwood race looks OK, and with the liklehood that there will be a pace on here there are no excuses not to get involved.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5pts win HARRISON GEORGE 8.5/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Charles Henry Memorial Stakes

1.5 pts win OPUS MAXIMUS 12/1 (Betfair) Charles Henry Memoral Stakes

Those towards the front end of the market have solid enough credentials for a race of this nature and it could be worth getting involved. Harrison George remains on the same mark as last time when acquitting himself well on his first venture into handicap company. With the ultra reliable Swift Gift giving that form credence, plus the fact that connections have far bigger ambitions for the winner, it’s probable that the event is better than it looked going into it and there is every reason to believe that Harrison George will be involved here with the drop back in trip holding no fears. Opus Maximus finished upside the Fahey horse in the same race, performing much better than when never managing to get into Ancient Regime’s Newmarket race. The form of his previous Hamilton victory has worked out reasonably well and anyone going into the Newmarket race believing he had half a chance cannot really ignore him in a race of this grade.

Harrison George won + 10.5 pts

Saturday, 7 June 2008

2 pts win TAJWEED 5.5/1 (Betfair) Totesport Casino Stakes

1 pt win FITZROY CROSSING 59/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Casino Stakes

Conduit is far too short with the combination of trip and track seeming far from ideal; particularly with the drying ground. Midships has solid form in the context of this race, while Rochfort is the hardest to assess and has to be respected. However, it could pay to side with the connections of last years winner by supporting Tajweed. After taking a moderate maiden event, he won on his first start in handicap company – admittedly it was only a four runner affair at Redcar for which he’s gone up by 6lb. but the form has already been franked by the second, and as is the case with the 3 y-r-o’s from this yard at this time of year you never know how far they are from levelling out. In a perfect world there will be plenty more to come from him and it will be surprising if he is not in the shake up. Stable companion Fitzroy Crossing is worth a point his current odds . OK, he’s a club horse and it could be that he’s here to give his owners a runner on the Derby card ( he’s massive on the exchanges at the moment and you'd like to see him shorten a bit in the next few hours). After beating a hyped up horse of Stoute’s on his final run last season, he disappointed when well beaten on his comeback run. However, that run is factored into his price and while it is concerning that his pedigree hints that he may be best dropping back in trip, hopefully that may well not be the case. He appeals as the one most likely to cause an upset.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win TARTAN BEARER 6/1 ( Betfair)Vodafone Derby

1 pt win KANDAHAR RUN 19/1 ( Betfair) Vodafone Derby

Tartan Bearer looked no more impressive when winning his Leicester maiden than many others have in the past who have gone on to make their mark in no more than decent handicap company. He lined up for the Dante shouldering a reputation without substance but showed that he is probably a high class colt with a useful turn of pace, and possessing the potential to reach the very top. Admittedly, the fact that Murtagh has deserted the runner up that day is a little worrying – but as that is probably down to Frozen Fire failing to impress at home since, it does not necessarily undermine the merit of the horse that beat him that day. And while the other two Stoute horses have claims in their own right, Moore had the pick of Tartan Bearer or Dr Freemantle, and the instances where the stable jockeys pick the wrong one in these situations are far outweighed by the times when they get it right. With big doubts about the general attitude of New Approach, plus the genuine worries expressed by the connections of Casual Conquest, plus the fact that you feel there will be one or two too good for Curtain Call; Tartan Bearer is the one most likely to run his race and seems sure to be in the mix of this at the finish. Of the longer priced runners Kandahar Run has done little wrong so far. He’s a likeable sort who could find the necessary improvement to run a big race here, as he looks to be one of these Rock Of Gibraltar’s that will get this sort of trip.

Lost - 3 pts

1.5pts win PRINCE FOREVER 18/1 ( Betfair) Northern Dancer Stakes

1.5pts win PLAYERS PLEASE 18/1 ( Betfair) Northern Dancer Stakes

You can spend hours going around in circles on this one. Whatever, this is wide open and while the best ploy may be to leave well alone; a close second best is to take a couple at double figure odds. The brigade of runners that have been jumping all have claims; Wingman would particularly have been interesting if the jockey arrangements had been more encouraging – on the subject of which, the fact that Robinson is at Doncaster to partner Fragrancy is a shade off putting for the chance of Prince Forever. Nevertheless, Callan is used often and successfully by the yard and Prince Forever is worth chancing at his first try at this trip. Clearly a problematic sort (he’s only had four runs since finishing last when well fancied in the Champagne Stakes), he’s not the horse that connections once thought he may be but he does retain plenty of ability, and with a pull in the weights with MullOf Dubai on Chester form, and the hope of a bit of improvement, he could run a big race here. Players Please ran a lifetime best when stepped up to this trip at Ascot last autumn. Considering there were more quality types in that event than this, he has a big chance off a 3lb higher mark here. There is probably further improvement left in him and he is definitely worth supporting at tempting odds.

Lost - 3 pts

Thursday, 5 June 2008

2 pts win MIA'S BOY 6.6/1 ( Betfair) Juddmonte Diomed Stakes
1 pt win YOUNG PRETENDER 5.8 /1 ( Betfair) Juddmonte Diomed Stakes

Mia's Boy has been campaigned admirably over the past few months and looks ready for this step up into Group company. Versatile regarding underfoot conditions, he possesses a lethal turn of finishing speed and really did leave an impression last time when, after travelling well but unable to obtain a clear run, he flew when switched to cut down Lang Shining in impressive fashion. The runner up could well be Group class himself, while the third Blythe Knight, re opposes with a big pull in the weights in an attempt to win this for the second year running. Although confidence would be higher if he wasn't stepping down in trip, the rate of Mia's Boy's progression allied to his odds makes him irresistible here and he must be supported to confirm the York form with the third home.. Of the others, Young Pretender is worth a saver. The Dante run seemed an experiment by the fact that they have now immediately stepped him back down in trip. Already a winner in this grade, he looked a really talented sort last year who'd find his level much higher than this .

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win MR AVIATOR 8.6/1 ( Betfair) Totesport Rose Bowl
1 pt ESCAPE ROUTE 6.2/1 (Betfair) Totesport Rose Bowl

Mr Aviator is as interesting as anything here. He's been consistent in AW races this spring mixing it in with some useful opponents, and is worth support on his return to turf where he has some form to boast of which is eyecatching in the context of this event - especially his run when chasing home Pipedreamer at Goodwood. Escape Route is worth back up support. Though not altogether straightforward he is not devoid of a turn of pace and appeals as the type who will be suited by this track.

Lost - 3 pts