Saturday, 25 October 2014

3pts win STEPS 15/1 (Betfair and Betdaq) Betdaq Betting Exchange H'cap

This gelding showed enough last time to indicate that he's not gone for the season and should put in a good show off the top of the handicap. He's been performing with credit in Group and Listed company on his last five starts but on his last start in a handicap, in the big June spring at Epsom, he ran a cracker off a 1 lb lower rating than today. That is more than offset by having a promising 7 lb claimer on top today, and with him fully proven on soft, he catches the eye here.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 18 October 2014

1.5pts win SIRIUS PROSPECT 29/1 (Betfair) Balmoral H'cap
1.5pts win HAWKEYETHENOO 39/1 (Betfair) Balmoral H'cap

On a tricky card on ground that even the proven  soft ground performers may not have encountered before, it's still probably best to concentrate on those that have shown an inclination for these conditions though some imagination is required.

Sirius Prospect's one run on heavy came in the 2011 July Cup when he was far from disgraced in finishing mid-div. Three of his last four victories have come in soft ground and he arrives here in fair heart after a good fourth in a similarly valuable event here last time out.

Hawkeyethenoo is getting on in years and hasn't won since August 2012. However, his run here early last month shows that the ability is still there. He was coincidentally one place ahead of Sirius Prospect in the aforementioned July Cup and the combination of ground and trip may just spark something off - in his early days he was campaigned as a miler.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 11 October 2014

2pts win COMMUNICATOR 20/1 (Generally available) Betfred Cesarewitch
1pt win VILLA ROYALE 54/1 (Betfair) Betfred Cesarewitch

Andrew Balding's yard is in cracking form at this late stage in the season and Communicator can finally have his big day. He hasn't won for over two years but is capable of taking one of these big pots - he's been runner up in a November Handicap and was third in this years Chester Cup. At todays weights he has every chance of turning that form around - he's ideally drawn to boot. Though he lacks a telling turn of pace he stays forever, arrives here on the back of a good Haydock run, and should run a very big race.

Not many improve horses that leave David O'Meara but Michael Appleby appears to have done just that with Villa Royale. Her performance when wining at York in May was a lifetime best. This was then followed  by a below par run at the Royal meeting and she has not been seen since. However, the yard has had a couple of winners in the last few days and Villa Royale is worth chancing at big odds.

Lost - 3pts

Sunday, 5 October 2014

2pts win DOLNIYA 20/1 (Generally available) Qatar Prix De L' Arc De Triomphe
1pt win PRINCE GIBRALTAR 35/1 (Betfair) Qatar Prix De L' Arc De Triomphe

Far more wide open than is the norm for this, with no one real stonewall solid candidate that stands out.

Dolniya catches the eye at the odds available. A typically progressive Royer- Dupre/ Aga Khan horse,she stepped up from Listed company to win a Group 2 at Saint Cloud at the end of June, looking an interesting candidate for the Autumn. She tried Group 1 company for the first time in the Vermeille, and was never nearer than at the line, finishing an eye catching third with Treve one place behind. She's nicely drawn here, looks to be better than her bare form with further improvement left, and looks set for a big run.

Prince Gibraltar has become a little frustrating. Given not the most astute  ride when favourite for the Prix Du Jockey Club, he then just failed to get up in the Grand Prix De Paris. He then disappointed when third at Deauville when the excuses had run out. However, his price is nowhere near indicative of his ability and with the blinkers on, he could cause an upset.

Lost - 3pts

Saturday, 4 October 2014

1.5pts win HEAVY METAL 25/1(at least 4 firms inc Lads and both exchanges)Totepool Challenge Cup
1.5pts win EASTERN IMPACT 25/1 ( at least 3 firms and both exchanges) Totepool Challenge Cup

Heavy Metal is only 4lb higher in the ratings than when winning a similarly valuable handicap back here in July. He followed that run up with another cracking performance when just caught on the line in the big mile handicap at Goodwood. He's been well below form in his three starts since but like any from his yard is always a candidate to suddenly bounce back to form and has claims in a wide open event.

Eastern Impact has been developing into a quality , progressive sprint handicapper but ran very poorly in the Ayr Gold Cup, where even the draw could not be blamed. It's interesting that he's back out again and stepped up to 7f for the first time. Many things unknown here - there's also a better fancied stable companion in the line up - but he remains an animal with an interesting future and is worth chancing here.

Lost - 3pts