Lucky 15 Saturday May 27th

Friday 6.00pm Winners or not I hope this blog is worth the read. Struggling!?! If any acquaintance of yours has just taken delivery of a new Bentley you either know my bookmaker or a bloke who has been laying all my selections this week! In my current form I’d give Richard Birch and/or @racingblogger a run for their money. Spending too much time reading Stewards reports and not race reports!

BUT last Saturday got me out of a deep hole and let’s hope it can do it again.

What is more I’m giving you two Lucky 15’s!!


Anthea L Morshead‏ @AntheaLMorshead  Clerk of the Course 4.00pm “Sunny @yorkracecourse Going for first Saturday of the season now Good to Firm, Good in places. Will water tonight to replace moisture lost”

Haydock – Good to Firm. Thundery showers forecast for the morning on Saturday, but clearing from midday.

Goodwood –Good  (Good to Firm in Places on the round course).

Chester – Good to Firm (Good in Places) (watered). Sat – Dry morning turning an afternoon of sunshine and showers.


Saturdays Lucky 15

York 2.40                                DAL HARRAILD           6/1 PP 11/2 general

Haydock 2.55                         MUSTARRID                8/1 PP 7/1 general

Goodwood 3.10                     AARDWOLF                8/1 general

Chester 5.20                           OKOOL                                    7/4 general

and here’s why

York 2.40                                DAL HARRAILD Two people I like to stay on the right side of on the Knavesmire are Paul Hanagan and William Haggas and they combine here in what looks to me to be a serious Ebor trial, making it all the more annoying that Wall of Fire is a non-runner with a temperature. Dal Harraild has to concede three pounds or more to all of his rivals but with an extra two furlongs surely in his favour, his prominent style of racing and the fact he’s had a run already are all positives. Is it far enough or soft enough for Clever Cookie? Is it too far for Frontiersman (if not he’s a definite Ebor player)?

Haydock 2.55                         MUSTARRID My early selection was Stoute’s City of Joy who was entered here and in the valuable 7F 3yo contest at Goodwood but runs in neither. So I want to be with the horse he just chinned at Doncaster in a similar event but a class lower. No issues with the draw, the ground, the grade or the trip and as I made Graphite Storm the danger I would simply rather have Jim Crowley in the saddle than Sam Hitchcott. Trainer Richard Hannon is in form as he said on his blog with stanjames, “The horses are absolutely flying and I couldn’t be happier with the way things are going at present.” He seems keen on this one, “This horse has a great chance. He’s in great form and this is a very good race for him. I’m very happy with his draw in 6 and I think there is more to come. He’s classy.”

I have also backed #FantasticMrFahey’s Society Red each way as I think this horse is much better than OR80 and off just 8st could well run into a place or even win! Two others I’m watching closely are Naval Warfare for an in-form Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy and Maths Prize from Roger Charlton’s yard ridden by three pound claimer Keiran Shoemark. I thought the latter wanted to step up in trip and I’m mildly surprised to see him back at a mile.

Race will need watching a few times as should throw up plenty of bets, maybe even at Royal Ascot.

Goodwood 3.10                     AARDWOLF The top weight in this £100K 3yo 7F handicap was beaten just under four lengths when 7th in the 2000 Guineas behind Churchill. That’s real form but he has to give lumps of weight away even with top claimer, George Wood’s five pounds allowance. Aardwolf is improving with every run and although his form is solid I’m persuaded by his running style and the topography of Goodwood tomorrow! The excellent cutaway that has been present for Thursday and Friday has gone and I’m hoping the tactically aware Joe Fanning can bounce Aardwolf out of stall 11 get the lead, stack them up turning for home, then wind it up in the straight with the normal chaos behind!  Will be a little upset if it’s The Wagon Wheel who picks him up for the #FantasticMrFahey!

Chester 5.20                           OKOOL            Second selection for Hamdan al Maktoum and I like this improving 3yo son of Cape Cross from the Charlie Hills stable. Okool ran in some serious maidens as a 2yo often with little luck, he was murdered at Newmarket in the race won by Eminent. An improving 3yo second to Crystal Ocean over 10F at Nottingham before returning three weeks later to get off the mark. The further step up in trip should help further and hopefully Voski will give something for Dane O’Neill to aim at.


This is not my normal modus operandi to put up four horses for either the same trainer or owner but at first glance of the Saturday runners I noticed that maybe the handicapper had given a few of Dr Marwan Koukash old boys a winning opportunity. On deeper research I am even more convinced and I shall play the Lucky 15 each way and definitely do Gabrials Kaka as the biggest single. Last time I did anything like this was when the “Touch’s” went in at Ayr and Innocent Touch would have put us in for £7K off thirty quid, three winners was OK though.

Chester 3.05   GABRIALS KAKA A terrific servant to the yard and I think the 7yo has a great chance in this race and could get Marwan Koukash on the scoreboard for 2017 at his favourite track going one better than his second in this race last year. My notebook says “So when to back him? C2, 8F, OR95 or less, no Soft in going, 8/1 or bigger, each way and as many places as you can get!” Well its 7½F on Good to Firm, he races off OR91, he’s well drawn in stall 3 and Connor Murtagh, on his only ride of the day, takes 7lbs off. He opened his 2017 campaign in the Lincoln Consolation on ground too soft and Adam McNamara took him all over the course and never got the cover he needs. Last time out was more worrying as from the same draw over C&D he “missed” the break although Paul Hanagan wasn’t too busy! Always on the back hoof he started to close at the top of the straight but at the furlong pole had a wall of horses in front of him and wasn’t pursued with. His trainer Richard Fahey says in his blog “To be at his best Gabrial’s Kaka needs rain ahead of the MBNA Handicap. It is forecast to come at some stage on Saturday but Marwan Koukash likes Chester and he’ll run whether it arrives before the race or not.” I’d be happy with the forecast shower but not a thunderstorm! Murtagh just needs to be busy at the start and get on the tail of probable leader Hillbilly Boy, wait for the cutaway and every chance. He is in effect 9lbs lower than that last run a fortnight ago! 6.30pm 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Chester 4.50   GABRIALS KING Another fantastic horse for Dr K and in a C3 over his favourite trip off OR89 with Adam McNamara taking three pounds off must be competitive. He has been fourth in the Chester Cup but in C3 his form is 8231, his form over this C&D is 4221 and all his wins have been on Good ground or faster. He has been second in this race twice before and with trip, grade, ground all in his favour he must go close. He hacked up at Thirsk on seasonal debut off OR86 which is in effect his mark here, was poor at Ripon not staying the two miles, then dropped almost six furlongs here at Chester last time keeping on but getting nowhere near the improving Khairaat. This is much more his cup of tea even from stall 8 of 10 as he’s a hold up horse. Richard Fahey says in his blog “Gabrial’s King is a funny horse who has two ways of running but he’s won here before and would have a big chance in the Mionetto Prosecco Handicap if it was a going day.  He’s in great form at home and looks really well.” 6.30pm 16/1 PP 14/1 general

Haydock 2.20 SUEGIOO Perhaps this selection is a little more adventurous as 8yo Suegioo has only won twice in thirty nine attempts but one of those was a much coveted Chester Cup win for the good doctor! He hasn’t run off OR100 since May 2015 when he was fourth over C&D, such is the horse’s consistency. Trainer Richard Fahey gives cause for optimism in his blog “I thought Suegioo ran well in the Chester Cup – he flew home up the straight that day from a terrible draw. Haydock should suit him and the handicapper has started to give him a chance, I hope he runs well.” Suegioo has been placed thirteen times from 38 turf starts, nine places from twenty nine runs on the forecast ground and eight places from 21 starts in this grade. What really attracted me to him is the fact that dropping to OR100 gets him in this 81-100 contest and probably the weakest opponents he’s faced in a couple of years. Can Tony Hamilton, on his first ride on the horse, nurse him round, get him close enough at the two furlong pole to let his stamina come into play and find space to use his finishing kick? Let’s hope so! 6.30pm 14/1 Ladbrokes + Coral

Talking of Tony Hamilton, it would seem he is the regular morning rider of Ribchester which perhaps sheds a bit more light on his value to the Musley Bank set up. This is the first season for a while, with or without Hanagan, I can remember Hamilton having almost as many outside rides, especially for Derek Shaw and Roger Fell, as he has had for Fahey.

Goodwood 4.20         ANGEL GABRIAL Let’s start with the cold truth Angel Gabrial hasn’t won since he won the Northumberland Plate off OR96 in June 2014, getting on for three years and twenty two runs ago. However he’s been running in the likes of the Goodwood Cup, Chester Cup and Cesarewitch which this race certainly isn’t! Like Suegioo he’s an 8yo with an awful win to run ratio but has landed a biggie. Looking at his recent runs there are two bits of form that suggest he isn’t a lost cause here. Last September off OR98 over this 14F trip in this grade on Good ground he was third having been given a scenic ride by Sophie Killoran and a ton of lead. On seasonal debut this season he was an excellent staying on fourth despite having travelled wide throughout at Musselburgh in C2 off OR96, again over this trip on ground maybe a tad quick for him, suggests he still retains enough ability. As his trainer Richard Fahey points out in his blog “The handicapper is starting to give Angel Gabriel a bit of a chance. While we dropped Suegioo in during the Chester Cup we had to go forward with this fellow and he ended up doing a lot of the donkey work through nobody’s fault. He’s getting dangerously well handicapped now so must have a small chance in the Gentleman’s Measure IMO Phil Wiggins Handicap.” There wasn’t a lot wrong with his run in the Chester Cup. Pat Dobbs is an interesting jockey booking, he certainly knows Goodwood, and if he could pop Angel Gabrial out of stall 4 and grab the box seat just behind the pace he could be a real player. 6.30pm 14/1 Ladbrokes + PP


Fridays Lucky 15

Goodwood 3.10                     ALNAAS                      4th 2/1Fav       (3/1 Ladbrokes + Coral)

Too keen. Ran her race in the first two furlongs not the last two.

Goodwood 3.45                     RAHEEN HOUSE         3rd 6/4 Fav      (15/8 general)

Not good enough. Did he stay?

Haydock 3.30                         DAGONET                   12th 12/1         (6/1 BetFred + PP)

BHA Stewards report “Jim Crowley, the rider of DAGONET (IRE), unplaced, reported that the gelding stopped quickly approximately two furlongs out as though something was amiss. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of the gelding failed to reveal any abnormalities.”

TwitterCallum Connochie‏ @Connochie7  Very poor from Dagonet. Market did suggest he wasn’t fully wound up.”

Haydock 4.40                         IN FIRST PLACE           6th 8/1             (11/1 general)

One pace.


Racing News

Here’s an interesting little stat from geegeez

“Track Bias Diary – Friday 26 May ANDREW MOUNT 10:09am, Fri 26 May 2017

When the field doesn’t stretch across the whole width of the track, it helps to be drawn low-to-middle and race towards the centre of the track in sprint handicaps at Goodwood. Since the draw was reversed in 2011 we’ve had 55 sprint handicaps featuring 12-16 runners and those drawn 11 or higher have a 0-99 record.”

Chris Cook reveals in the Guardian “John Gosden putting Josephine Gordon on a runner at Goodwood tomorrow. First time he’s used a female jockey in Britain for at least 4 years”

Mori to Ribblesdale. Lord Grimthorpe “When she won at Ascot, she was doing her best work in the last furlong and really today it was pretty much the same thing. I think all being well we will head to Royal Ascot for the Ribblesdale and take it from there. On that, you’d be pretty confident she’d have no problems getting a mile and a half. She was green first time out at Newbury, and it was a learning curve at Ascot, but she was quite professional today. She was really well balanced and relaxed.”

Aidan O’Brien – Minding to miss Tattersalls Gold Cup this weekend and Royal Ascot after setback. Aidan O’Brien now planning an autumn campaign.


The Epsom Derby 2017

David Milnes 11:56AM, MAY 26 2017 Godolphin’s Best Of Days, a general 20-1 chance for next Saturday’s Investec Derby at Epsom, will miss the Classic. Speaking on Friday morning, trainer Hugo Palmer said the Royal Lodge Stakes winner needed more time to develop, with the focus switching to targets later in the season. “Best Of Days won’t be ready to run in the Derby in eight days as he just needs more time,” said Palmer after watching the colt work on Newmarket’s Limekilns gallop under Derby-winning rider Michael Hills. “He’s coming along fine but the race at Epsom would come a bit soon for him and we’ll look for something later on.”



Came across this on Twitter written by Kevin Blake (ATR+Final Furlong Podcast) September 2016.

“The betting world has unquestionably undergone significant change in the last 15 years or so, primarily due to the popularity of the internet and online betting. This has made it easier for bookmakers to monitor their customers, but it has also led to bettors becoming more informed and aware of the importance of value. In that time there has also been a notable change in bookmaker behaviour that has led the betting industry to the situation it now finds itself in.

In the past, bookmakers took pride in their bravery in taking on all comers, being willing to take losses from individuals in the hope that they would beat that customer in the long run. However, the modern reality for bookmakers is that the bean-counting accountants have taken over. The type of customer they primarily want to deal with is the small-staking recreational bettor that will bet all day long without any regard for value, strategy or discipline.

How they seek to achieve this is by either closing the accounts or more commonly severely restricting the permitted betting stakes of any of their customers that show competency in their betting.

The danger of this policy should be obvious to all. Horse racing is an incredibly complex sport in which the betting odds are fundamentally fixed in the favour of the bookmakers. Becoming skilled and disciplined enough to have a chance at making a long-term profit by betting on it takes thousands of hours of work and only a very small percentage of people that bet on horse racing make it pay. With the modern reality for successful bettors being that placing meaningful stakes at fair prices is often a bigger challenge than finding winners, one could understand why intelligent, hard-working sports enthusiasts would rather dedicate themselves to getting good at betting on a sport in which they can at least bet in big stakes if they wish to without undue hassle, such as football.”

Contrast with today’s news via the Racing Post.  Bill Barber 1:48PM, MAY 25 2017

“The amount of money lost on betting shop gaming machines increased to a high of £1.8 billion in the year to September 2016, according to the latest statistics released by the Gambling Commission.

The share of betting shop gross gambling yield (GGY) – the amount kept by operators after winnings have been paid out – provided by gaming machines was 56 per cent compared to traditional over-the-counter betting.

Gaming machines, also known as fixed odds betting terminals or FOBTs, are the subject of a government review announced last autumn, the results of which have been delayed by the general election campaign. Both the Labour and Liberal Democrat manifestos have called for the stakes on machines to be cut to £2 from the current maximum of £100.

The findings of the government review, which many expect to recommend a cut in stakes, had not been expected to be published until the autumn.

The latest total gross gambling yield (GGY) of the British gambling sector was £13.8bn, up from £13.4bn in the year to March 2016. Remote gambling, mainly made up of the online industry, remains the largest sector in British gambling and constitutes 32 per cent of the overall market with GGY of £4.5bn, up from £4.2bn. Within the remote sector, casino games generated £2.4bn of GGY, while remote betting, including betting exchanges and pool betting, totalled £1.9bn of GGY dominated by football and horseracing.

Racing’s remote GGY increased to £352 million from £342m, while football GGY stood at £619m.

In betting shops, turnover on horseracing, which in March 2009 stood at £5.74bn, fell to £4.6bn in September 2016 from £4.79bn in March 2016. However, GGY increased slightly to £600.5m from £598.6m.

Total betting shop numbers fell again to 8,788, meaning numbers have fallen by one per cent for each of the last three periods covered by the commission’s statistics.

Gambling Commission Statistics Headline Figures

£13.8bn Total GGY of British gambling industry

£4.5bn Total GGY of remote sector

32% Market share of remote sector

106,678 Total number of people employed in the British gambling industry

8,788 Number of betting shops in Britain

1.8bn Total GGY of betting shop gaming machines

56% Share of gaming machine GGY in betting shops compared to over-the-counter”



Station Master sale caps big week for fledgling Fahey

Son of Scorpion provided the trainer with first Rules success James Thomas RP Bloodstock  2:28PM, MAY 25 2017

“By anyone’s standards, the last seven days have been particularly eventful for Peter Fahey, son of leading Flat trainer Richard. Not only did he witness his father’s Ribchester run out a mightily impressive winner of the Lockinge Stakes on Saturday, but less than 24 hours earlier he had saddled the first Rules winner of his own nascent training career – with his very first runner outside of the amateur game.

Station Master, who landed the Aintree point-to-point bumper by no fewer than 11 lengths, also provided jockey Billy Garritty with a first win under Rules. And, in a neat twist of fate, it came at the very same course – and almost ten years to the day – where Garritty’s father Russ had brought down the curtain on his own illustrious riding career, with a third-place finish on Lease Lend.

Nor was this the only time Station Master had provided Fahey with a first, as he provided the 23-year-old with his maiden success as a jockey when landing an Askham Bryan point-to-point back in February. While a first winner would seem assured of an eternal place in the heart of all trainers, there is far less of a guarantee about a place in their stable – especially when they are cut from particularly shrewd cloth. And so it was that Fahey offloaded the six-year-old son of Scorpion during Wednesday’s session of the Goffs UK Spring Sale. The horse was purchased by Aiden Murphy, acting on behalf of Kim Bailey, for £48,000.

“He was bought for me to ride, before my bottle went!” quipped Fahey on how he came to train Station Master. “The Aintree race had always been the plan – point form can be a little hard to weigh up but we knew it would take a fair one to beat him that day. We hadn’t really looked beyond that race, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to sell.”

Thanks to his association with his father’s formidable string, Fahey is no stranger to success. But he says that having his own name in the racecard makes it all the more enjoyable. “It was the best feeling,” he says. “Obviously Ribchester was pretty special too, but it’s nice when it’s in your own name. The plan is to have four or five more pointers next season. I’d like to be competitive in hunter chases before I think about taking out a full license. I’ve had three winners now and hopefully I can have a few more next season, it would be nice to bring a couple back here to sell next year as well.” The boost to the Fahey coffers from Friday’s success and Wednesday’s sale could hardly be more timely. For if the previous week had not provided enough excitement, Donna Mackay will soon be able to call herself a trainer’s wife: the couple’s wedding is scheduled to take place on Saturday.”


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