Lucky 15 Thursday June 7th

Wednesday 5.45pm Looking forward to Ripon and Kempton tonight. As Wednesdays Lucky 15 hasn’t started I’ve left it on this blog as well. Sandown tomorrow night could have some influence on Royal Ascot but will throw up a bucket full of winners. Notebooks at the ready. Be Lucky.

Thursdays Lucky 15

Ripon 3.30                  STAMP HILL                                     14/1 Ladbrokes + Coral

Sandown 6.30                        SPLASH AROUND                   5/2 Betfred 9/4 general

Sandown 7.00                        DANCING BREEZE                  9/2 Ladbrokes + Coral

Sandown 7.35                        FRONTISPIECE                                   2/1 Ladbrokes + Coral

and here’s why

Ripon 3.30                  STAMP HILL No way is one of my favourite Musley Bank inmates going unbacked, especially in a C3 event. (Small delay whilst I rush to PP to get some 12/1!) Right I have this horse down to win a C2 race with some juice in the ground. What he needs is plenty of cover and something to aim at in the last hundred yards and this race has a nice profile with the hat trick seeking favourite, Gurkha Friend, being a front runner. If Tony Hamilton can find some cover, get him settled and give him a similar ride to that on Another Touch a week ago he’ll have every chance. Two and a half doubts, firstly this is his first go at a mile but I think it will suit, secondly how will he deal with the Ripon “ridges” and the half is are there enough runners to get his cover? Each way is probably the play but he’s going in the Lucky 15!

Sandown 6.30                        SPLASH AROUND The question here is, is Splash Around crying out for this 14F trip or is he just slow? Having selected him I’m obviously in the former camp. Sired by Nathanial, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Ryan Moore are all positives and I expect the Good to Soft ground is as well. As a danger Jukebox Jive for the not so sexy connections of Anthony Honeyball and, worth his three pound claim, David Egan looks stamina laden to me and his last time third was in a solid race.

Sandown 7.00                        DANCING BREEZE A filly who has to give up to ten pounds to her ten rivals. Unraced as a 2yo she was impressive on debut beating Natavia (OR102) at Newmarket but unfortunately she was last of six to Tomyris at York in an 8F Listed race having been sent off 9/4F. So this is the plan B. I think Mr Gosden feels that a win here off OR87, which could be a gift, get 7lb and she would be a player in the 3yo fillies 8F Sandringham handicap. Back to that York race and the winner was put up 20lb no less to OR100 but here’s the rub. Gosden said that the reason for her failure at York was “the filly was unsuited by the Soft, Good to Soft in Places going, and would prefer a quicker surface.” Well it’s drying at Sandown and the going on the round course is now good. So if the rain keeps away I would be hopeful Frankie Dettori can get this talented filly home in front.

Sandown 7.35                        FRONTISPIECE I’ve been waiting for this young fellow. Won a C4 maiden at Ascot on debut last September as a 2yo with Ryan Moore doing very little on him and we haven’t seen Frontispiece since. A son of Shamardal out of Free Verse who was a 95 rated handicapper for HM the Queen, I see no problem with the trip nor the ground. Typical Sir Michael Stoute 3yo colt.

I think this is all part of a cunning plan! Owned by HM the Queen, who likes her trainers to provide runners at Ascot, Frontispiece wins over 10f here off OR81, gets 7lb from the handicapper, steps up two furlongs and would look a very attractive proposition in the King George V handicap that closes Ascot on Gold Cup Thursday!

Wednesdays Lucky 15

Gone for the handicaps to see if we can find a price!

Ripon 7.35                  DANDY HIGHWAYMAN                            9/2 PP as low as 10/3 Coral

Ripon 8.05                  SCRUTINEER                                       14/1 Coral 12/1 general

Kempton 7.25             PLY                                                      9/2 general

Kempton 7.55            CAPTAIN PEACOCK                           5/1 PP + BetFred

and here’s why

Ripon 7.35                  DANDY HIGHWAYMAN Ripon is a course with its infamous ridges that not everybody gets on with and winning course form counts double. Dandy Highwayman made all over C&D under the stands rail in a grade lower two runs back and can repeat the dose here having got the plum draw. Wouldn’t want any more rain.

Some interesting rivals. Impart for O’Meara and Dr K on his second run since leaving Dermot Weld. Down to OR80 and a stiff six could be interesting, gone into my tracker. The easier ground could help grade dropper Groupie. #FantasticMrFahey saddles Night Law for the first time having paid £21K to get her out of Andrew Balding’s stable and he runs in the silks of “Merchants and Missionaries” who have some nice horses in the yard and I wish I knew who they were? Also gone into my tracker.

Ripon 8.05                  SCRUTINEER Pleasant puzzle for a C3 handicap and I’m willing to be suckered again with the selection. Last time out he was last of eleven in a C2 handicap on soft ground at Newbury and yes I put him up! Here’s what I wrote then “Perfectly capable 6F sprinter who has spent much of his time in Listed company or better, indeed this is only his fourth handicap and much the easiest. All his best form for this hold up horse has come on Soft ground, hopefully Newbury has had sufficient rain to bring the fliers back to him. Scrutineer has a bit to find with Captain Colby on Cammidge form from six weeks ago but he didn’t get the clearest run that day. John Egan rides for the first time and will probably need to bring Mick Channons charge stand side to make his challenge. Off OR98 with his favoured ground he should be competitive.” So he now drops a grade further, Silvestre de Sousa takes over in the saddle and he has a reasonable draw in ten out of fourteen. His official rating has dropped to OR95, this is a 0-95 contest and I think Mick Channon has spotted a good opportunity to swipe a decent £8K first prize. Biggest dangers would include the back to form Zanetto and the Varian/Atzeni representative Atletico who hasn’t been seen out for 676 days.

Kempton 7.25            PLY Many of these are in the very early stages of their 3yo handicapping careers and improvement will be expected from many. It is very difficult to oppose a son of Nathanial with connections of Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore that won last time and is still on a mark of OR73. However having watched that last race Nathan Mayer didn’t do anything quickly and outstayed his opponents on rain softened ground. So in passing a horse owned by Sir Evelyn De Rothschild I am going for one owned by his mother, racing in the Nathanial colours!

Ply went into many notebooks when finishing fast on debut to chase home Bowerman here at Kempton over 8F. He has since finished down the field in two strong maidens, behind Wasatch Range at Windsor and the Dubai Thunder romp on rain softened ground at Newbury. In neither did he look too busy and has been rewarded with an opening mark of OR75. He steps up to 11F here which shouldn’t be a problem for this son of Dubawi and with an American dam’s side perhaps the all weather will be his best surface. Trainer Roger Charlton specialises in improving his 3yo’s and it is always handy when your stable jockey, Keiron Shoemark, can claim three pounds.

Kempton 7.55            CAPTAIN PEACOCK C3 12F 4yo+ handicap with three very interesting runners returning off long breaks. Murgan, Qatar Racing’s Galileo gelding having his first run for Stuart Kittow, absent for 382 days. Clowance One back after 567 days, but did win his maiden over C&D for the very patient Roger Charlton. Zambeasy after 247 days, a winning handicapper for Philip Hide. However on current form it looks a choice between top and bottom, Captain Peacock and Methag. The filly with the lowest weight was disappointing over hurdles but was a solid staying on second at Newbury behind Multigifted. I’ve gone for topweight Captain Peacock as he is a C&D winner, trainer William Knight is among the winners and Jim Crowley rode the selection when he last won.

Tuesdays Lucky 15

That’s a bit more like it two winners and one chinned and the big price selection, halved in price and a close fourth! Just over £20 for our £15 but Snookered would have been a hundred quid plus ticket!

Chepstow 3.00                       TIS WONDERFUL                                           4th 13/2           (14/1 PP 12/1 general)

Little frustrating. Got the price for each way then the non-runners meant just three places.

Chepstow 5.30                       KNIGHT DESTROYER                          1st 5/4 F           (2/1 general)

Hacked up. The other 3yo was withdrawn, remember they had a 15lb allowance!!

Wetherby 3.10                       SNOOKERED                                       2nd 5/2F           (3/1 general)

Chinned in the last ten yards. Did all the hard work.

Wetherby 4.40                       DAN TROOP                                      1st 9/2             (9/2 Ladbrokes + Coral)

Hanagan got up on the line to deny stable companions Right Action and Tony Hamilton. Almost got into trouble but this is an improving 3yo over 7 maybe 8 furlongs. Nice turn of foot and isn’t ground dependent.

Racing News

Many of you may have noticed that a new Middle Eastern owner, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Malek Al Sabah, has more than a few horses with #FantasticMrFahey and David O’Meara and wondered who he is. The 2yo’s were purchased with the aim to “run at Royal Ascot”! Areen Faisal, third at Newmarket, runs this weekend and looks the only one possibly good enough!

Here is some background on the owner from Thoroughbred News a year ago.

 Kuwaiti Owner Has Big Ambitions Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Sheikh Abdullah Al-Malek Al-Sabah looks like becoming a growing presence in British racing following his acquisition of three 2-year-olds at the recent Craven Breeze Up Sale at Tattersalls. The member of Kuwait’s ruling family has already enjoyed success in Britain with the likes of the David O’Meara trained Salateen (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) and Kevin Ryan’s Areen (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}), runner up to Washington DC (Ire) (Zoffany {Ire}) in last year’s Listed Windsor Castle S. at Royal Ascot. The trio of purchases made in conjunction with Sheikh Abdullah’s bloodstock advisor Richard Knight is headed by Tumbulgum (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), bought for 175,000gns. His racing manager Abdullah Al-Otaibi outlined the team has big ambitions for the future and commented, “The aim in the next few years, will be to target the British Classics.” Richard Knight is naturally keen to foster Sheikh Abdullah’s interest in the sport and added, “Sheikh Abdullah thoroughly enjoys British racing and spending time in his London home over the summer months watching his horses run, especially at tracks like Ascot, Newmarket, York and Goodwood. Hopefully between Abdullah Al-Otaibi, myself and our selected trainers we can deliver both the fun and success that Sheikh Abdullah is striving for over the coming years.”

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