Month: August 2017

SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 3

Posted Thursday August 31st 5.30pm

So what horses can we take from the York Ebor Festival that could find the winners enclosure before the season ends and maybe a 2018 target. Unlike Goodwood York doesn’t throw up a zillion hard luck stories but I thought a few didn’t get the rub of the green and/or took a major step forward. I am writing this section deliberately without reading the “eye catchers” from other on-line journalists. I expect they may be similar but the following are MY observations.

Finally I have a whole list of “twilight” horses and I would love your opinions on them.

So open up your Trackers and let’s go.

Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

I’ll do them in alphabetical order.

Brorocco                           (Andrew Balding) I am a little nervous putting this one as a horse to follow because he is a battle hardened handicapper who has run in plenty of C2’s and has a habit of finding trouble BUT he is really unlucky at York being “done” more than once. Slowly away probably intentionally, got rail and travelled, rear turning in, nowhere to go 2F out when absolutely tanking, recovered to finish fourth! Remains on OR89.

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 3:25             Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap (1m2f)

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 3:35             Newmarket Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (1m1f)

Both targets are possible especially the Newbury race. The Silver Cambridgeshire would be very feasible but he could sneak into the main event.

The Stewards have a fairly large file marked, “Brorocco”.

BHA Stewards Report @ York “Jimmy Quinn, the rider of BROROCCO, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run between the final 2 furlong and 1 furlong markers.”

BHA Stewards Report @ YorkTHE bet365 OLD NEWTON CUP HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) .. SHRAAOH (IRE), placed third, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, had interfered with BROROCCO, unplaced, ridden by David Probert …. David Probert, the rider of BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding slipped on the bend turning into the home straight.”

Plus getting to the start with him isn’t easy, “Jimmy Quinn, rider of BROROCCO, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was upset going to the start.” “David Probert, the rider of BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding ran too free.” “David Probert, the rider of the beaten favourite, BROROCCO, unplaced, reported that the gelding stopped quickly having been fractious in the preliminaries.”

Caridade                            (Kevin Ryan) OR83 80 I can’t believe the handicapper has dropped her three pounds. Her yard missed a major part of this season in quarantine and Caridade seems to have benefited. Kevin Ryan paid just £20K for this Godolphin cast off with an American pedigree who was unraced as a 2yo. Just had the three runs, won on Good to soft and 7F looks her trip. Gutsy run at York behind Lincoln Rocks. Moved to the inside, they were always going just a stride too quick for her but she has kept on well. Indeed they went flat out the whole trip here. Looks a winner waiting to happen to me.

El Hayem                           (Sir Michael Stoute) Remains on OR96 and surely has another big 8F C2 handicap in him although I suspect he will need to have Firm somewhere in the going, indeed earlier in the season his trainer told the Newbury Stewards “that the gelding was unsuited by the soft, good to soft in places, ground and would prefer it faster.”

At York a rotten draw in stall 13 and Dettori has chosen to take a pull and drop him in at the rear, last turning in, rapid progress down the middle of the track at the 3F pole but little left in the final furlong and lost fourth on the line. El Hayem is no easy ride but he has a few gears, hence the need for ground he can accelerate on.

Declared for Saturday September 2nd on Chelmsford’s mega bucks evening card in a C2 0-105 7F handicap but Dettori will need to perform miracles to win from the widest draw, stall 16!

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 7:50 Chelmsford (AW) Chelmsford City Cup Handicap (7f)

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 3:25 Newbury Dubai Duty Free Handicap (1m2f)

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 3:35 Newmarket Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (1m1f)

Euchen Glen                    (Jim Goldie) Remains on OR91. This horse is in cracking form and 2m+ on Good to Soft ground is ideal. Since being stepped up to 16F he has got up late to win the Shergar Cup Stayers and ran a cracker to finish third to Magic Circle at York. On the Knavesmire Paul Mulrennan had trouble getting him to settle, still full of beans after a mile, tanking 2F out when faced with a wall of horses, kept on well to nab third.

BHA Stewards report “Paul Mulrennan, the rider of EUCHEN GLEN, placed third, reported that the gelding ran too free.”

Out of a winning 5F sprinter but sired by Derby winner Authorised he is a long, rangy type. Still has improvement in him over these extended trips and I give him a squeak in the Cesarewitch. I’ve had one star* each way @ 25/1 WH 1234 ¼.

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 3:40 Newmarket Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (2m2f)

John Kirkup                (Michael Dods) Remains on OR92. Ran in the C2 6F Nursery at York that closed the Wednesday card on the rain softened Good to Soft ground. Odd race in a way because the winner has blitzed out of stall 5 to make every yard, with those drawn low unable to lay up with him, as Demon Rocks drifts towards the stands side in the final furlong it is the high numbers who have something to run at. John Kirkup is well thought of by the Dods yard and he is murdered here 2F out having been held up off the pace from stall 16 with the door closing on him twice at least as he tried to make his run between horses.

BHA Stewards report “Paul Mulrennan, the rider of JOHN KIRKUP, placed fourth, reported that the gelding was denied a clear run approximately 2 furlongs out.”

Some give in the ground, 6F or a stiff 5F, C2 or possibly Listed. Cost just £16K and I think he would make a lot more than that in the sale ring even as a gelding!

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40 Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) (6f)

Kalagia                                                (Mark Johnston) I watched this young lady quite closely in the C2 6F Nursery at York as she carried my money as I thought “Mark Johnston’s runner is bred to be quick being by Kodiac out of a Whipper mare! Joe Fanning should be able to get her prominent from stall 2 and just like her win at Hamilton make every yard. She hasn’t been stopping over 5F and carrying just 8st 1lb, close to the jockeys minimum, hopefully she’ll see the extra furlong out!” Wrong! She was totally outpaced early on, improved at halfway amongst horses, kept on to finish 9th. She is a full sister to the rapid Prince of Lir and she wasn’t cheap at €105K, which makes her poorly treated in the Sales race at Doncaster.

The handicapper has kindly dropped her three pounds OR77 74. Any nursery over 6F, preferably fillies only, 0-75 and she has to be worth a second look.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes (6½f)

Natural Scenery         (Saeed bin Suroor) The one “unlucky” horse in that messy part of the Ebor handicap around the 2F pole and Ed Greatrex ended up having to go round the houses to get a run and she flew to grab third. The handicapper has put her up three pounds OR104 107 and it will be interesting to see where Godolphin go with her. The obvious long term target would be back to the AW Stayers Championship at Lingfield next Easter, she was sent off 4/1F last April but had a troubled run there last year. Typical of Godolphin her current entries are “ambitious”.

She has many options, UK All Weather, Dubai, Australia (?) or the breeding paddocks?

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 3:40                  Newmarket Betfred Cesarewitch Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (2m2f)

Saturday, 21 October 2017 – 1:25                  Ascot Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup (Group 2) (2m)

Saturday, 21 October 2017 – 2:35                  Ascot Qipco British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes (Group 1) (1m4f)

Tuesday, 07 November 2017 – 4:00               Flemington Emirates Melbourne Cup (Group 1) (3yo+) (Turf) (2m)

Ouja                                     (John Gosden) This is the trouble with lightly raced fillies who look to be well handicapped! Handicap snip on OR77, she runs a cracker to finish fourth in the 12F Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes at the York Ebor Festival and is put up 18lbs, yes eighteen, to OR95. However she has run well enough to suggest she can make an impression at Listed or possibly Group level. Beautifully bred by Sea the Stars out of a Danehill mare, that’s £200K beautiful, 12F is her trip and as York was only her fifth start and with a patient trainer, there could be loads more to come. Where next Mr Gosden? She could be a cracking middle distance 4yo.

Qassem                               (Hugo Palmer) Owned by Al Shaqab Qassem was originally with Andre Fabre in France, unraced as a 2yo, ran five times (22123) at three from 6F to 8F then transferred to Hugo Palmer stepped up to 12F and was a 14/1 eighth of fifteen in the November Handicap, OR95!

Over the winter he was gelded, pretty big shout for a €300K yearling, and this season has been fifth in a York 10½F C2 handicap OR94, won at Chelmsford in C2, OR93, dropped again back to a mile and second to Flaming Spear in the C2 8F Clipper Logistics at the York Ebor Festival off OR98. The last run was terrific as he was in the van throughout, the handicapper has put him up just one pound OR99.

Hugo Palmer on Betfair prior to the York run, “Qassem is a bit of a conundrum in that he arrived from France as a prospective lead horse for Galileo Gold, but does nothing quickly at home and wasn’t suited to that role, and I ended up aiming him at the November Handicap as he needs ease in the ground and shaped like a stayer in his homework.

In the end, we had the unusual scenario of a slow-run race on fast ground for that contest which was completely unsuitable. He ran perfectly well here over the extended ten furlongs here in May, but the drop back to a mile was no inconvenience to him at Chelmsford last time when he won well despite being messed around on the home turn, showing his versatility in the process. There are very few opportunities for horses with his rating on the All Weather, so he’s back on turf and is another of mine for whom the rain is a plus. He’s well drawn to take a handy position, although I’d not be keen to make the running on the round course at York, so hopefully he can get a good lead into the contest.”

Why is this horse screaming Balmoral to me? That is the £150K 8F handicap on Champions Day, Ascot October 21st!

Shymkent                   (David O’Meara) I don’t know if a non-runner counts but I had Shymkent down as a major player in the 14F C2 Melrose 3yo Handicap until the trainer withdrew him, “Self Cert (Bad Scope)”. Had one disappointing run for Roger Varian as a 2yo, sent off just 9/2, was then gelded and moved to David O’Meara. Won on debut for the yard in a Good ground C5 10F maiden at Wetherby getting up late at the amazing odds of 50/1! Then outclassed in the Listed Cocked Hat at Goodwood, won an 11F C4 handicap on Soft ground at Carlisle off OR86, a staying on tenth beaten just over seven lengths to Atty Persse in the King George V C2 12F handicap on Good to Firm (too quick) and then a hampered running on fourth to Walton Street over 11F in a competitive C3 handicap at Goodwood off OR90. This horse was crying out for 14F on soft ground in a C2 with a decent gallop, last week was not the time to scope badly! By Pivotal out of a Sadlers Well mare whatever he does this year he is going to be a cracking staying 4yo. OR90.

Spring Offensive           (Richard Fahey) This is not an easy horse to win with but he ran really well at York in the 10F C2 handicap behind Eddystone Rock on his first attempt at the trip. He had the worst of the draw out in stall 20, dropped in behind, all that was behind him and Paul Hanagan straightening for home was the ambulance. Never competitive he has run on strongly to the line under nothing but hands and heels. The handicapper has dropped him a further two pounds OR88 86 and he is now below his last winning mark.

Three thoughts occur to me. Firstly he could be a candidate for the Silver Cambridgeshire but that race attracts improving 3yo’s! Secondly is there a C3 8-10F contest at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting? Thirdly, let him go. He doesn’t win often enough. He has appeared in James Pyman’s Friday RP eye-catchers before now.

Conclusion I want to back him at a double figure price in a competitive handicap whilst he is on OR86.

 

That lot were hard work and time consuming. Let’s hope they pay off!

 

“Twilight” Horses, Stuck in the middle?

Now time for you all to contribute. A constant theme to me, especially during the summer Flat Festivals, is the number of “Twilight” horses who really have little chance of winning, stuck between top weights in a handicap and not good enough for level weights. So could you tell me under what circumstances YOU would consider backing the following?

Alpha Delphini              (B Smart)              6yo         OR108

Returns to Beverley on Sat. in the “Bullet”, the last race he won twelve months ago!

Certificate                        (Varian)                 6yo         OR104

Now down to just a pound higher than when he won a Goodwood 7F C2 handicap over a year ago.

Desert Encounter      (Simcock)              5yo         OR114

Won a Listed 12F at Ascot in May but struggling in G1 since.

Final Venture                 (Midgely)              5yo         OR110

Won a Soft ground 5F Listed sprint at Haydock in May. Just biding his time until he can get back to Meydan?

Gabrial                                (Fahey)                  8yo         OR107

Has career earnings of £750K+, two thirds of which is place money! Hasn’t won since June 2016 in a 8F Listed race on the Soft at Windsor.

Glass Office                      (Simcock)              7yo         OR100

Missed 2016 and his OR is down eight pounds in three runs this year. Last race he won was 6F G2 Duke of York June 2016.

High Jinx                            (Tim Easterby)     9yo         OR109

Not won since the G1 Prix du Cadran back in 2014.

Jallota                                 (C. Hills)                6yo         OR110

Last won a G3 7F at Chantilly a year ago.

Jungle Cat                         (C.Appleby)          5yo         OR112

Won a C3 7F Conditions at Haydock in July. Another waiting to get back to Meydan?

Mondaliste                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR113

Not won since the G1 Arlington Million a year ago. Probably the answer!

My Dream Boat            (Cox)                      5yo         OR113

Not won since the Soft ground 10F G1 Prince of Wales 2016. When will he lose that G1 penalty?

Polybius                             (Simcock)              6yo         OR106

Not won since a Listed 6F race at HQ back in August 2015! Another Meydan candidate?

So Beloved                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR111

Not won since a Haydock 7F Listed event in May 2016, losing sequence of fifteen since!

Sheikzayedroad            (Simcock)              8yo         OR114

Won the Group 2 Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup Ascot Oct 2016. Third in the G1 16F Dubai Gold Cup in March. Earned close on £300K for those two alone but unsighted in three runs this summer.

Suedois                       (O’Meara)            6yo         OR112

Not won since joining current yard, that is seventeen months and twelve runs. Been second/third eight times out of twelve!

Toscanini                           (Fahey)                  5yo         OR110

August 2016 he won a G3 6F on the Curragh. Relieved of his pacemaking duties for Ribchester, went very close in the recent G3 7F City of York under a hold up ride!

Tupi                                      (Hannon)               5yo         OR109

Won the Listed 6F Cammidge Trophy on the opening day of the 2017 season but that is his only win in the last two seasons and seventeen runs.

Viscount Barfield         (Balding)               4yo         OR105

Won a C2 handicap off OR90 and a Chester Listed both over 7f and went up fifteen pounds in four weeks but where now?

 

Phew! I’m done!!

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SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 2

Posted Wednesday August 29th 6.00pm

The fun part of these Festivals is always the handicaps and those at York are no exception. There is always more form in the book here than at Royal Ascot and York is a much fairer course than Goodwood. I want to concentrate on two handicaps in particular. The 8F 3yo handicap that closes the Friday because many of those taking part have a high enough handicap mark to make them big players in the major handicaps from 7-10F next season when they are those very attractive 4yo’s. I will profile thirteen that took part with a long term view.

The other handicap is of course the Ebor itself. Get the winner in this is a major target of the four days every year and there were lessons to be learnt from the 2017 edition.

I would then like to make some observations about the draw on the Knavesmire.

Next it will be Looking Forward its Tracker Time! A series of prospective winners from the other races except the 3yo handicap covered earlier. I am writing this section deliberately without reading the “eye catchers” from other on-line journalists. I expect they may similar but the following are MY observations.

Finally I have a whole list of “twilight” horses and I would love your opinions on them.

So let’s get cracking.

Friday 4.50 Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap 1m, Class 2,

Obviously I love watching this race over and over again as I put up Mojito as my four star**** nap of the meeting who did everything I had written in my review and William Haggas has an improving 3yo on his hands who will surely have a go at Group company before the end of the season. In the race itself Kings Gift has set the solid fractions and kept on strongly with only Mojito and his stable mate Battered, who had come from nearly last, getting past him. The winner had travelled powerfully throughout, if a little keen early on, just behind the pace and quickened going to the furlong pole and put the race to bed. Plenty of others just behind ran perfectly well but it was really only the front three involved in the final furlong.

Before I profile this Bakers Dozen of prospective C2 4yo handicap winners I need to put in some small print! You will need to keep an eye on the upcoming Horses in Training sales as3yo’s rated close to OR100 are very attractive propositions to race in Dubai and the Far East not to mention possible targets for the NH fraternity. So these profiles will be fairly brief and those that get through to April 2018 I will expand upon.

Mojito                         (William Haggas) Now won three on the bounce and his handicap mark has gone from OR83 to OR104. He has won at 7 & 8F on all types of ground. What next? Well I found a 2016 interview in the Irish Field with the owner. She had Toronado (sold to Al Shaqab), Havana Gold (sold to Qatar Racing) and Ivawood who now stands at Coolmore Stud. Mojito was not cheap at €320K and although the owners are not short of a bob or two, Jersey residents and they have a “small plane”, it wouldn’t surprise me if we see Mojito in new colours once he steps up to Group company.  Fiona and Ian Carmichael-Jennings strike me as lucky owners. They also have Wall of Fire and Alba Power (in the 2yo section of Review Part 1) with Hugo Palmer, a gelded colt with Gay Kelleway, Uber Kool, who has won his last two and Signe who has recently moved from Haggas to Jesse Harrington supposedly en route to a visit to Ivawood. The interview mentioned previously revealed “We have got into the breeding side of things now…”.

Battered                     (William Haggas) Gelded early and owned by the trainers dad. Unless they get offered silly money I think this one will be about next season and having won his maiden at Yarmouth and 7F handicaps at York and Goodwood and as he stayed on well here you could see him being a player off OR98 in the 8F Hambleton handicap back at York, not to mention the likes of the Bunbury Cup and the Gigaset International on a stiff 7F.

Kings Gift                          (Michael Dods) Stays on OR100 and I would love to see him at Haydock or Chester over 8F, a course that suits a front runner. Remember he was fourth in the G3 Greenham at the start of the season just six lengths behind Barney Roy off levels! Has an entry in the Cambridgeshire but that would be up a furlong and a tough place, HQ, to make all. Could see this one going East.

Medahim                          (Richard Hannon) Stays on OR100 and two observations on Al Shaqab’s Kodiac colt, firstly it looks like he’s best on quick ground and the AW and secondly the handicapper probably has him on his current mark. Could see him wintering in Qatar and Dubai.

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 7:50 Chelmsford (AW) Chelmsford City Cup Handicap

City of Joy                  (Sir Michael Stoute) To put it mildly, he is a bit of a monkey! He’s finished fifth to Mojito at York having walked out of the stalls and giving five lengths or more away. If he got out on terms he’s a player off OR94, he’s already been gelded so that’s not an option! Headgear? I can see this one at the Sales and rocking up next year with David O’Meara or Michael Appleby.

Zymyran                            (David Simcock) OR85 Interesting horse. Nurlan Bizakov owned and bred (under his Hesmonds Stud banner) but he couldn’t sell him so put him into training with Mr Simcock. Won three out of seven as a 2yo, gelded prior to his 3yo campaign which didn’t seem to be going anywhere so put him in the July Horses in Training sale and he went for £20K to the Khat Partnership who put him in training with, you’ve guessed it, Mr Simcock! On goes the hood and bang he wins a C3 at Newmarket. Then at York behind Mojito he’s been held up right out the back but kept on really well in the straight. Probably best with some give in the ground, in C3 and possibly 10F?

Syphax                                    (Kevin Ryan) Won the G3 Acomb at this meeting last season, promptly bought by Godolphin, but hasn’t really run to that level since, although trainer Kevin Ryan’s yard hasn’t had the healthiest season, closed for six weeks. Syphax was a solid second to Forest Ranger on seasonal debut, unsighted in the G3 10F Dante, last of eight to Beat the Bank in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil stakes at HQ and this looks a more realistic level. At York he was ridden to be prominent from stall 10, led early, headed on home turn, every chance two out, faded. Won the Acomb with a hold up ride which probably suits him best. If he was mine I would geld him, give him a couple of goes on the AW or in Meydan, then have a go at all those Ascot straight 7/8F handicaps under hold up tactics!

Areen Heart                    (Richard Fahey) OR88 87 At York on his latest start he gave up the outside to nobody and ran the whole turn for home three wide, perhaps not a lot of choice as he was drawn widest in stall 15! Never runs badly and he’s kept some decent company but only won one in eight. I expect to see him in the sale ring as the owner is a glory seeker! If he was mine I would geld him, put him away from the winter, drop into C3 and then try to get into the best 7F handicaps I could especially at Haydock and Chester.

Wahash                              (Richard Hannon) OR90 98 94  Let’s be honest they haven’t got a clue with this horse. Took seven goes to break his maiden as a 2yo and that was at Lingfield over 8f on the AW and the handicapper put him up eleven pounds to OR90!! Started his 3yo season with a cracking fourth to Middle Kingdom in that C3 10F handicap at the Craven meeting. Since then he’s been all over the place racing on ground from Good to firm to Heavy, from 6F to 10F and finds himself up four pounds courtesy to a second at Epsom in a 7F C2 handicap. Basically the handicapper has him, still.

He was a £150K yearling and as he’s by Dark Angel shouldn’t get a yard over 7F. Would be an ideal Dr. Koukash horse! Geld him, Chester/Epsom 7F, try to get a soft lead off a low draw, then kick two out!

La Rav                                 (Luca Cumani) OR94 Trust me, this is a winner waiting to happen. He’s run a cracker at York behind Mojito as Jamie Spencer told the Stewards, “the colt ran too free and stumbled approaching the line.” Trainer Cumani said on his excellent website, “La Rav gave himself no chance in his race on Friday considering how hard he pulled in the early stages.” Absolutely no surprise to see he has entries over further.

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 3:35 Newmarket Betfred Cambridgeshire Handicap (Heritage Handicap)

Starlight Romance     (Richard Fahey) OR89 She’s had a cracking 3yo campaign and has gone up a stone and is finding life difficult in C2 but once she gets back into C3, 7-8F, any ground she’ll be back in the winners enclosure and one more win could see her have a go at some decent C2 fillies handicaps as a 4yo.

Appointed                        (Tim Easterby) OR92 91 This daughter of Delegator is probably best in C3 over 10F with a bit of cut in the ground and the handicapper may have her at the moment. In Mojito’s race she travelled then made a promising move 3F out and looked dangerous 2f out but needed to come later.

Horoob                       (Roger Varian) OR93 90 In his last run at York behind Mojito was always among horses and although keen got a rough trip, travelling two out but didn’t get the gap when he wanted then got into more trouble than Denis the Menace, Jack Mitchell eased him off. Maybe he’s best on the AW or in fields of twelve or less but I would persist with him in these big field C2 8F handicaps, he has the ability.

Saturday 3.55 Betfred Ebor Handicap  1m6f,

Fabulous race but watching live it looked carnage between the 2F and 1F poles and at the time I could see suspensions all over the place and a lengthy Stewards Enquiry! However on replay when Nakeeta comes through he squeezes a few to his left, Flytothestars (who has run a cracker for a 3yo!) makes his own gap but a lot of the trouble is Lord Yeats running out of petrol and falling back into the lap of those behind! Clever Cookie seems to be hanging left all the way up the street and Wild Hacked didn’t get the clearest run and the only horse I can see with a genuine hard luck story is the third, Natural Scenery, who I will cover below in Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

Two points of note on the Ebor. Firstly you needed to be on OR101 to get a run in this year’s event and secondly as pointed out by a senior rails bookmaker to Matt Chapman on ITV,  the value of an apprentices claim can be the difference between winning and not!

Finally a horse who missed the cut by two was Blakeney Point, currently on OR97, and one more win should book his ticket for 2018 and as long as Firm isn’t in the going I think he is a major candidate for next years Ebor!

The Draw

Wiser men than me have said that if the horse is good enough you can win from anywhere. Well for me at York over 5F, 6F & 7F I want to be drawn in a single figure stall, from 8F to 10.5F I want 4-12 and any further I don’t think it makes a blind bit of difference. It’s all about getting the position you want, however it’s worth noting in the 2m handicap, the 14F Melrose and the 14F Ebor the winners all came from way off the pace!

 

I’m running short of time so I’m going to post this blog now (6pm Wednesday) and put Looking Forward its Tracker Time! and “Twilight” Horses, Stuck in the middle? In a Part III I’ll post tomorrow, Thursday August 30th.

SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 1

Posted Tuesday August 28th 4.30pm

In yesterday’s Racing Post they asked the Monday jury “What would they change at the York Ebor Festival” and unanimously they wouldn’t! I couldn’t agree more, four days of wonderful racing, well balanced between the Group races and the excellent handicaps. What is more it’s fair. A long straight, they race down the middle, it is all about pace and a jockeys judgement of it! Plenty of Yorkshire trained winners to boot.

Class acts

Three stand out performances. Ulysses in the 10F Juddmonte International got the ball rolling. Got there on the bridle but the 3yo’s rather set it up for him by racing from 3F out. Surely Barney Roy had to either sit behind or Cliffs of Moher or go past and stack them up. Didn’t understand the James Doyle ride nor the money for Cliffs of Moher in the days up to the race then his run! Good to see Churchill back to form, supposedly the Irish Champion Stakes next whilst the winner, Ulysses, has the Breeders Cup Turf on his agenda.

Cracksman romped away with the Great Voltiguer and despite the media baying for him to run again this season personally I think he’ll be on the Arc subs bench in case anything happens to Enable and then next season the Coronation Cup, King George, Arc de Triomphe will be the plan.

Of course the third star was Enable herself who waltzed away with the all age Yorkshire Oaks. In Australia they have a super mare, Winx, who hasn’t been beaten for ages but some aren’t over impressed because she beats the same horse(s) every time, namely Hartnell. In winning the Cheshire, Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks the same charge could be levelled at Enable with Alluringly, Coronet and anything Coolmore saddles following her home BUT you can’t get away from a four and a half-length victory in the King George at Ascot with the likes of Ulysses, Idaho, Highland Reel et al trailing behind.

2yo’s

Five races to consider the 7F G3 Acomb for colts, the 6F G2 Gimcrack for colts, the 6F G2 Lowther for fillies, the 7F C2 Convivial maiden and the valuable C2 Sales race.

In the Acomb the favourite Dee Ex Bee disappointed but I like the first four home. James Garfield was chinned on the line by Tim Easterby’s Wells Farhh Go with Lansky and Zaaki not far away and both of those will be better over the mile. The winner remains in the “could be anything” envelope. The run of James Garfield enhances the reputation of Barraquero and in turn Expert Eye.

An upset in the Gimcrack with Richard Fahey’s rapidly improving Sands of Mali winning in a convincing manner from Invincible Army and the dead heating Headway and Cardsharp. Solid form but still suggests the Goodwood 2yo form is the best of the Festivals this year. That theme was reinforced when Threading, a Goodwood maiden winner, was impressive in beating Madeline in the Lowther.

The 7F Convivial is the most valuable maiden of the season and no surprise that trainers like to run “a good’un” in it. The form rarely disappoints with the winner normally close to Group level. They had real issues this year in loading the inexperienced field with some runners being in the stalls for over five minutes and the fancied Doswell withdrawn. I’m putting the first five and the ninth in my 2yo tracker. (See below in Looking Forward)

Right, now the valuable 6F Sales race. Tangled beat Great Prospector and Hey Jonesy a neck and half a length. The fourth Alba Power a length and a half away and a further three lengths to the fifth, the filly Darkanna. All five go in the Tracker. (See below in Looking Forward).

I am convinced Paul Hanagan has been blind-sided here! He straightens Great Prospector up a furlong out and to him it’s just the rapid and unfortunately high drawn Hey Jonesy he has to pick up and he feels quite happy about that so delays his attack and drifts towards the stands side. Meanwhile Tangled has burst between horses and nicked a length and Great Prospector now has to chase him down on the far side and fails by just a neck with the pair of them beating Hey Jonesy. The Official handicapper has given the first three marks of OR102 (up a stone since winning his nursery), OR105 and OR103 and that would have put all three right in the thick of the action in the G3 Acomb and with the time quicker than Threading’s victory in the Lowther half an hour later if the first five in the Sales race met the first four in the Acomb I would be all over Great Prospector.

Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

Alba Power                      (Hugo Palmer) Won his maiden at Yarmouth over 6F, then 6th in the G2 July stakes just five lengths behind Cardsharp, 3rd in the Listed 7F Winkfield and fourth in York’s Sales race. Quicker ground and he is a real player at Doncaster.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40                  Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) 6F

Darkanna                    (Richard Fahey) Already a Black Type filly and she could turn up anywhere in Europe but I want to be on when she steps up to 7F! She was a £205K purchase as a daughter of Dark Angel and bloodstock agent Matt Coleman has served the Cool Silks Partnership well (Prince of Lir and of course recent Gimcrack winner Sands of Mali). She couldn’t lay up with speedster Hey Jonesy on the stands side but stayed on strongly without looking like winning.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 2:20             Newmarket Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) 6F

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40                 Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) 6F

Commander Han          (Kevin Ryan) Slow away, moderate late progress whilst running green in the Convivial. From the Craven Breeze Ups Sales this £440K son of Siyouni was sent off at just 9/1 (from 16/1) on debut, so clearly well regarded and loads more to come especially up in trip.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) 7F

Corrosive                          (Hugo Palmer) Another from the Craven Breeze Ups Sales he is a son of Uncle Mo with a US pedigree and cost Mr Araci £150K. James Doyle looked after him in the Convivial and this educative introduction should pay dividends. Moderately away he moved up well to be a never competitive fifth.

Dream Today                 (Mark Johnston) Hindsight is a wonderful talent but it was only afterwards I found out he was a full brother to Al Wukair! Then Braveheart goes on TV and says they had three in mind for the Convivial, put them against each other in a gallop at home and this one came out on top! Prominent, led 3F out and despite wandering a bit was professional enough on debut to see the race out.

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 2:25             Sandown Solario Stakes (Group 3) 7F

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40                  Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) 6F

Dubai Empire                 (John Quinn) Put up by ATR’s top tipster Hugh Taylor he wasn’t far away. On this his second start in the Convivial he was held up, made progress in the straight but was still a couple of lengths off a podium finish and basically ran to the pound with Laugh a Minute when they were fifth and second to the Acomb winner, Wells Farhh Go. A €40K son of Motivator should make up into a 10/12F 3yo.

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings)

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                  Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

Gabr                                     (John Gosden) Hard to know what to make of him? There isn’t a lot from front to back but clearly has an engine. Ran on late on debut at Newmarket and again in the Convivial came to challenge at the furlong pole but couldn’t get past. To me the least convincing of the front five.

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 1:50             Newmarket Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings)

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                 Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

Saturday, 02 June 2018 – 4:30                         Epsom Investec Derby (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies)

Great Prospector         (Richard Fahey) He is in my opinion is a Group horse over 7/8F this season or next. Impressive on debut winning over 6f, an excellent third to Gustav Klimt in the G3 Superlative over 7F and in the York Sales race I think he was the best horse but Hanagan got blind-sided. Where he runs at Doncaster may indicate the yards opinion of the horse, especially relative to Sands of Mali. OR105

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday, 16 September 2017 – 3:00             Doncaster Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne Stakes (Group 2) 7F

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40                  Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) 6F

Saturday, 14 October 2017 – 2:25                  Newmarket Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) 7F

Hey Jonesy                 (Kevin Ryan) Many will say that having to run a solo from a high draw cost him the race but personally I think if he had been drawn low he would just have set it up for the other two. They paid just £30K for this son of Excelebration and he looks a sprinter. OR103. He would look an attractive proposition for the Far East market at six figures plus.

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday, 23 September 2017 – 2:50             Newbury Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes (Group 2) 6F

Saturday, 30 September 2017 – 2:55             Newmarket Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) (Colts) 6F

Saturday, 07 October 2017 – 5:40                  Redcar totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy (Listed Race) 6F

Laugh a Minute         (Roger Varian) Frustrating for connections but wonderful for the handicapper and us form students Laugh a Minute has finished third to Tigre de Terre on debut, second to Wells Farhh Go and third here in the Convivial to Dream Today! The Racing Post see him as a solid 80 whilst the handicapper has given him OR82. If he was mine I could happily put him away, let him strengthen up and start next season in 7/8F 3yo handicaps because this is an OR90+ horse!

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Tangled                              (Richard Hannon) How good is he? Won a Newmarket nursery off OR88, then beat Great Prospector in York’s valuable Sales race and now has a handicap mark of OR102. He travels, he quickens, he has beaten some decent types. £67K son of top sprinter Society Rock out of an American filly probably won’t get beyond a mile but has to have a go at Group company or is it another bucket of cash at Doncaster?

Saturday, 02 September 2017 – 2:25             Sandown Solario Stakes (Group 3 7F)

Thursday, 14 September 2017 – 3:35            Doncaster Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes 6½F

Saturday August 26th Lucky 15 Mark II

Posted Saturday 10.00am So much racing today just had to tell you about these four!

Lucky 15 MKII (6 stars)

Goodwood 2.45         ULTIMATE AVENUE                11/2 general                   One star* win

Newmarket 3.50        THEYDON GREY                      4/1 general                     One star* win

Newmarket 4.25        GIFTED MASTER                     4/1 general                     Two star** win

Chester 4.45               GALACTIC PRINCE                  10/3 general                 Two star** win 

 

and here’s why

Goodwood 2.45 ULTIMATE AVENUE The notebook says “Ultimate Avenue, stealthily ridden by Jamie Spencer, seems to have a future in these valuable sprint pots for the next few seasons. Raised three pounds for this effort from OR97 to OR100 will guarantee an invite to all the best parties but may need the assistance of Spencer to be seen at his best.” Well Spencer is at Goodwood then Windsor and not York and looking through his rides I reckon this is his best chance of a winner. Steps back up to 7F and this lightly raced 3yo has already dipped his toes into Group company and this £60K+ pot looks well within his compass.

Spencer in his 32Red blog “He has been pulled out a couple of times recently because the ground has gone against him, so hopefully the rain stays away and he can take his chance on a decent surface.  If he does, then I would like to think he will go close, even though the handicapper put him up 3lb for his third over 6f at Newmarket.  I was quite taken with him there and he was probably a little unfortunate not to win, all things considered, as he travelled really well throughout the race and I had to switch him to get a clear run late on, and he was only beaten a head and ½ length in third. The form looks very strong too, as the fourth, fifth and sixth have all won since. That was over 6f but the step up to 7f won’t be any issue at all – you only have to look at his earlier runs over this trip to see that – and I think he will be pretty competitive here if I can get a good early pitch from stall five.”

Newmarket 3.50        THEYDON GREY No surprise here as I really fancied him for York but the rain put paid to that plan. Just hope it isn’t going to be quick at Newmarket! Good, Good to Firm in places (GoingStick: 7.7 on Friday at 06:30) WEATHER Dry since Tuesday. Friday looks set to remain settled with sunny spells. A little more cloud early Saturday, with a small chance of a passing shower. Otherwise bright spells and temperatures of around 23C.”

Here’s what I said for WednesdayLast four runs at York, won last three, 12F 14F & 16F. Goes well for Georgia Cox.” Would have preferred York but I know he’s fit, ground, trip and grade are fine and Ms Cox is still in the saddle. I saw a tweet yesterday that suggested all was not well in the Haggas yard but a 1-2 in the last at York and a winner at HQ yesterday seem to knock that on the head.

Newmarket 4.25        GIFTED MASTER Plenty of emotion involved with this horse. As a 2yo he developed Guineas aspirations but he was a headcase, disappointed as a 3yo, then they almost lost him through a bout of colic but now is reinvented as a sprinter. Attractive here because Gifted Master is best at Newmarket, Pat smullen has been booked and for a prominent racer has the rail in stall 1. Nothing trainer Hugo Palmer says on his Betfair blog puts me off.

“I could have run Gifted Master in the City of York Stakes over further, but I really want him to have more opportunity to prove himself as a sprinter, and although it was only a four-runner race he won at Doncaster last time, I thought he looked back to something close to his best, and William Buick was very complimentary about him.

It’s great to have him back as he was very sick earlier in the year, and while he would have to right up to his peak rating to win what looks a really competitive race, there’s no reason to think he’s not at his best, and he’s well drawn to go forward from the inside stall.”

Chester 4.45               GALACTIC PRINCE An excellent third at Ascot to Bin Battuta and I put in my Notebook “Back in third behind Bin Battuta was a staying on Galactic Prince. For a 3yo gelding by Dubawi out of Opera Gal (OR105) a Galileo mare, surely Andrew Balding can place him to win another staying handicap 12/14F off OR80.” Andrew Balding does well at Chester and stable jockey David Probert rides. Trip, grade and the Good ground are spot on.

 

One that got away!!!!

Chester 4.15               PENWORTHAM Many of you may not be aware that it is not only Pricewise (Tom Segal) who can move the market but Hugh Taylor, ATR’s top tipster has the equivalent effect. I had Penwortham in the MkII Lucky 15 but Hugh Taylor putting him up has seen the price shrink from 12/1 to a top priced 6/1 with Ladbrokes. I can’t put Penwortham in the Lucky 15 at that price when I’m on at double figures. My logic is exactly the same as Hugh Taylors!

“PENWORTHAM has two ways of running on the face of it, but he has run an excellent race on all three outings at Chester and after shaping as if back in form last time, he looks to have plenty in his favour in the extended 7f handicap (4.15).

His form figures here not only read 212, but they stand up to close scrutiny. On his first run here last season over the bare 7f he pulled clear with Arcanada, who was running off a mark of 93 but was last seen finishing second at York off a mark of 105. He won on his second course outing, also over 7f, again pulling clear with a progressive rival, this time Viscount Barfield, who has won three of his five Chester starts, including a Listed race her in July (now rated 105). On his third and most recent start here, which came over today’s distance, he had to make his challenge a little wide round the final bend, but still found enough to pull clear again with winner and odds-on favourite Fastnet Tempest, who hugged the inside throughout. The winner didn’t have much luck in the Hunt Cup next time and is another who is likely to be rated well above 100 in time. After three runs elsewhere, Penwortham returns to Chester on a 2lb lower mark, and he shaped as if in form at Galway last time, much better than the result in fact, having endured a wide passage. He is well positioned in stall 2, and granted luck in running, a reproduction of his previous course form would make him very hard to beat here.”

Indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses!

 

Plenty of others I’m watching carefully.

Goodwood (Good)

2.10 Verandah Strong 7F 2yo fillies G3 and she is a well-developed young lady who was special on debut on the AW sweeping from last to first. Notebook “This Cheveley Park homebred daughter of Medician and a full-sister to one of his chief money-spinners in Dimension, showed an impressive turn of foot, second last to first from the cut away, to comfortably win this 7F C4 fillies maiden on the AW at Kempton. She’s a good size and should have no trouble stepping up in trip.” Jamie Spencer thinks a lot of Noseda’s Quivery.

2.45 Johnny Barnes My idea of the Ayr Gold Cup winner running over 7F here. Raucous has looked like his name was down for one of these all season. However its Ultimate Avenue in the Lucky 15.

3.20 I’m all over Hathal but this looks a Soft G2 and Lightning Spear is a genuine G1 performer and no Ribchester!

3.55 This could be a serious St. Leger trial with Call to Mind and Count Octave possible contenders. UAE King could have run at York in the Lonsdale Cup or todays Melrose and is a Cup horse for next year whilst Godolphin are about to blow an excellent handicap mark on the gi-normous Warner Street.

Newmarket (Good to Firm)

2.05 Betty F. Expensive Frankel 2yo filly.

Chester (Good)

3.05 Powerallied Can he get going quickly enough. Will win at Chester.

Windsor (GF, G in places)

6.30 11F Listed with Across the Stars back on course and Spencer is keen on Second Step (see below).

6.40. G3 10F Competitive event where Best of Days needs to show his true colours. Hugo Palmer on Betfair “Best of Days has been slow to come to hand this year, but the signs were much more encouraging at Newbury last time despite the really soft ground not helping. Oisin Murphy rode him there and said it was only his guts and class which allowed him to go as close as he did. The ground won’t be anything like as bad at Windsor, and I expect him to put up an improved performance as a result. He’s a horse who has given us cause to dream about the big days, and is working well again; it would be wonderful to get him back in the winners’ enclosure, but this is a deep race and there will be no hiding place.”

Not sure what they are doing with Ayrad. Sneaking suspicion might be top weight in a handicap?

 

On line quotes

A confident Spencer in his 32Red blog! 6.10pm Windsor Second Step This is arguably his easiest task of the season, for all that he carries a 3lb penalty for his Goodwood win and meets a higher-rated horse in Across The Stars. But whereas that horse has questions to answer now in that he has been gelded and is tried in a first-time hood, my horse looks very solid and bumped into a very smart and progressive horse in Poet’s Word at Goodwood last time. Hopefully, they all have me to beat.

A not so confident Josephine Gordon in her 32Red blog! 3.35pm York Dubka “I am thrilled to have picked up such a good ride for Sir Michael.  She looks to have run as well as she has ever done when just beaten on the line in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood last time and returns to handicap company on a fair mark of 102. We know that she stays well, and has form on all ground – though she would definitely prefer it if it doesn’t dry up too much, as she does look best with give –  so I think she deserves to be among the favourites. Her draw in 19 will hopefully be okay, and fingers crossed for the ground, too. Any more rain would suit her.”

Jim Crowley Coral blog at York

1.55 – Strensall Stakes I’m looking forward to Mustashry in the first. He was returning from a long time off when he ran at Goodwood, and we then went to Chelmsford where I thought he was a bit special to be honest.  It’s very hard to come from behind there and he passed the whole field in two furlongs.  He should come on again for that run, so I’m very hopeful of a big run.

3.00 – Gimcrack Stakes Nebo has run very well in Group races last two times, he went very close in the Superlative Stakes and then finished second again behind Barraquero at Goodwood.  We meet Cardsharp again, who we beat at Goodwood, and although it’s a competitive race as you’d expect, I think we have a good chance, he’ll certainly be on the scene, and he deserves to get his head in front in one of these nice races.

4.40 – Jack Berry House Handicap I end Ebor week on top-weight Khairaat in the ten furlong handicap.  Things have not quite gone his way last couple of times, at Royal Ascot he was a little bit keen and didn’t quite finish his race, and at Goodwood we didn’t have the best draw but still ran well for third.  He started the season with a very good win at Chester, and although this is a very different track, I think it will suit him and he’s a nice horse who I think will run a big race.

Saturday August 26th Day 4 York Ebor Festival

Posted Friday 6.00pm

Had to send this out as an email at 5pm Friday! “I loathe the phrase but BOOOOM, back in the game!!!

As I was staring at the K in conkers no better time for ones four star nap of the meeting to do the business and get the third as well put up e/w at 25/1!!! Once my heart rate returns to a bearable level I’ll get back to tomorrows blog(s).”

Horse racing all over the country on Saturday with obviously York centre stage but good back up from Goodwood and Newmarket, Windsor’s big evening card with a Listed and a G3 race, as well as decent betting opportunities at redcar and especially Chester. Thank heavens for Trackers!

So the Lucky 15 will be at York and if I have time I will try to put up a second Lucky 15 away from York as well as a host of Notebook and radar horses you may want to keep an eye on with the future in mind.

 

So on to the Knavesmire once more! What is the going?

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk  Friday 5.40pm Going Good ahead of @Betfred #ClassicEbor @yorkracecourse. Rail all in innermost position, no alteration to race distances.

 

Saturday Lucky 15 (probably e/w)

York 2.25        THE GRAND VIZR                   @ 12/1 Coral 11/1 general 10/1 BF but 5 places

York 3.00        NEBO                                      @ 5/1 general           

York 3.35        DUBKA                                                            @ 12/1 Coral & Lads 11/1 general

York 4.50        EDDYSTONE ROCK                 @ 18/1 Coral 16/1 general

 

Saturday Star* Selections (11 Stars)

York 1.55        FOREST RANGER        One Star* win @ 12/1 Coral 10/1 general

Been keeping some haughty company and running well. Can see this G3 9F on drying ground being right up his street. Be assured #FantasticMrFahey will have him trained to the minute!

York 2.25        THE GRAND VIZR       One Star* each way @ 12/1 Coral 11/1 general 10/1 BF but 5 places

York 3.00        NEBO                          Two Star** win @ 5/1 general        

York 3.35        DUBKA                                            Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 Coral & Lads 11/1 general BF 11/1 5 places

York 4.50        EDDYSTONE ROCK     One Star* each way win @ 18/1 Coral 16/1 general

 

and here’s why

 

York 2.25                    THE GRAND VIZR       Long striding son of Frankel who I thought we would see on this day, whether in the St. Leger or this the Melrose Handicap, ever since he won on debut at Yarmouth staying on strongly over 11½F. Unraced as a 2yo, won at Yarmouth then found the Listed Cocked Hat too much, fourth in a solid Newbury C2 handicap and last time out beat Petitioner over 12F at Newmarket. I think he will love the extra two furlongs, the galloping track and I can’t see Good ground being an issue. Plenty of pace in the race with the likes of Sofia’s Choice and The Grand Vizr has loads in his favour. Dangers abound with a keen eye on Master Singer, Dark Pearl and Northwest Frontier.

York 3.00                    NEBO              Has the best form in the book with seconds to Gustav Klimt in the G2 Superlative and Barraquero in the G2 Richmond. Ground is fine, I think 6F is his best trip although gets 7F, Cardsharp has to give him three pounds and to me Nebo is overpriced. Messrs Fahey and Ryan have two potential Yorkshire improvers in Sands of Mali and Stormbringer but it is only potential.

York 3.35                    DUBKA            The fact that Sir Michael Stoute was running a filly in as rugged a race as the Ebor handicap caught my eye. On deeper research I find her dam, Rosika, was second in this race for the same connections. That was the icing on the cake as Dubka has some serious form. Second in the G3 Pinnacle, second in the G3 Lily Langtry over this trip, a typical Stoute improving 4yo filly. She won’t mind a bit of juice in the ground and her trainer says “She’s tough, stays well. I would think that run at Goodwood was the best that she has produced so far. The dam nearly won the Ebor so let’s hope she can win it.” Drawn 18, but 5F before a bend and plenty of time for Josephine Gordon to tuck her in.

I make Battersea the solid danger but I’ve missed the price. Wild Hacked for Botti and Hanagan catch the eye.

York 4.40                    EDDYSTONE ROCK Right one more chance for this chap! Would have gone close time but was broadsided a furlong out at Newmarket and the Notebook said before that race “Denied a clear run in the Wolferton, denied a clear run here, not a lot of room in last fifty yards when sixth in John Smiths. Get Fox off, put a proper jockey on, off OR99 and a decent C2 10F could be his!” Pat dobbs rides here, the draw in stall 6 is excellent and here’s hoping he isn’t a serial “unlucky” horse. Plenty I fear especially the top weight Khairaat and Weekend Offender who I think is a Cambridgeshire player if he gets in!

Friday Lucky 15 (probably e/w)

Should have been two winners but £10 back for our £15 on the win bet. Hope you piled into the nap!

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                10th 14/1                     (10/1 WH 8/1 general)

When you back a tony Martin horse and it drifts from 10’s to 14’s with not a bean for it you sort of know your fate. Travelling well three out, found nothing, never dangerous.     

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              2nd 11/4 F                    (9/2 WH 4/1 PP)

I don’t bloody believe it!! Watching live convinced I had backed a winner. ITV Racing‏ @itvracing   “A desperately unlucky Dartmouth and Ryan Moore led before the line and (as you can see here) after the line but not ON the line!!”

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      11th 12/1                            (14/1 WH + PP Both also 4 places!)         

God knows what David Allens instructions were but sure as hell not “ Blast away for 5F, fall in a hole!”

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       1st  3/1F                       (3/1 general)

Ran exactly as I wanted. Prominent led going to the furlong pole and put it to bed. Considering he took time to settle he was eventually last off the bridle and found a decent turn of foot. Make a note of this race as plenty in behind will be ultra competitive in a lot of big handicaps next season.

 

Friday Star* Selections (14 Stars out 22 Stars In)

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                10th 14/1         One Star* each way @10/1 WH 8/1 general

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              2nd 11/4 F        Two Star** win @9/2 WH 4/1 PP

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      11th 12/1            Two Stars** each way @ 14/1 WH + PP Both 4 places

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       1st  3/1F           Four stars**** win @3/1 general

York 4.50                    KINGS GIFT                 3rd 12/1           One star* each way @ 25/1 Betfred + 4 places!

Halved in price! Made most and only two got past and thankfully one of them was Mojito!

           

Brief Friday review

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk   “Delighted to hear from the vet team @yorkracecourse that Daban who pulled up in the City of York Stakes is comfortable in racecourse stables”

 

York 3.35 Nunthorpe Stakes G1 5F 3yo+

Great race. ITV sets it up as a duel and the party is gate-crashed. Thank God they have the level headed Jason Weaver.

York 4.15 C2 7F Convivial Maiden Stakes 2yo.

Not seen it live yet but what I heard on Timeform Radio there were all sorts of shenanigans loading these inexperienced 2yo’s. I’ll cover the race in more depth in next weeks review.

 

Northern Angle: Ebor Festival Tuesday 22 August 2017

Group 1 globetrotter MONDIALISTE gave a strong hint that he is about to capture his best form when narrowly beaten in the Group 2 York Stakes last time and returns to the Knavesmire cherry ripe for the Group 3 Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes (1.55). He struck top form this time last year when enjoying his finest moment in the Arlington Million and has pleased his trainer David O’Meara in his homework leading up to the nine-furlong Strensall Stakes which he won in 2015.

“He has done his final piece of work and I couldn’t be happier with him. He seems to come to himself at this time of the year, as he proved in America last year, and goes to York as one of my main hopes.”

Kevin Ryan boasts an excellent record in the Group 2 Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes (3.00), having won it with Amadeus Wolf, Blaine and Astaire, and believes he has another strong contender in the lightly-raced STORMBRINGER.

Owned by Charles Wentworth, who was also successful in the Group 2 with Casper Netscher, Stormbringer gained valuable experience in a modest 6f event at Redcar after making a pleasing debut in an Ayr race that worked out favourably. A May foal who cost 190,000gns as a two-year-old, the son of Dutch Art unquestionably needs to find considerable improvement to win but is the first choice representative from a stable with enviable strength in depth in the juvenile division. “I’ve had a lot of luck in this race over the years and am convinced this fellow fits the bill,” says Ryan. “His win last time out was nothing more than a piece of work. He’s a very nice colt with a lot of quality and although he’s got some work to do with some of the more proven runners, he could just be improving at the right time.”

 

Jedd O’Keeffe has every right to expect a bold show from the improving four-year-old LORD YEATS, who looks ready to step up in distance after winning a valuable York handicap and a Listed race at Newmarket over 1m4f. Lord Yeats prefers some ease in the ground so any rain across the Knavesmire this week will be welcome in his bid for the Betfred Ebor Handicap (3.55). O’Keeffe will also be hoping for a low draw for a gelding who likes to be at the sharp end.

“He’ll be very much at home at York and we’ve been looking forward to stepping him up in trip as he’s bred to stay further. I’ll be praying for rain and hope he will do himself justice. He’s improved 20lb already this season but I believe he is a genuine Group horse in the making, so the dream’s definitely alive.”

Friday August 25th Day 3 York Ebor Festival

Posted Thursday 6.30pm

Tough day in the office. Financially damaging. The good news is they are racing at York again tomorrow but my it is a trappy card with a capital T!! It’s drying out on the Knavesmire. “Good, Good to Soft in Places” and the clerk of the course has just tweeted “A lovely sunny evening to end Day 2”.

Memo to ITV racing – 2.55pm That Oaks countdown is totally unnecessary and irrelevant. ITV sticking Enable on a pedestal. Nasty feeling of “tall poppy syndrome”!

 

York 3.35 Nunthorpe Stakes G1 5F 3yo+

This won’t take long. Blink and you could miss them. Great to watch just loath them as a betting medium! I’ll be cheering on Lady Aurelia as I enjoy Wesley Wards efforts in supporting the British summer Festivals!

 

York 4.15 C2 7F Convivial Maiden Stakes 2yo.

Probably my favourite race of the meeting as it will be packed with future winners and I will probably watch it twenty times. Gabr was a big Notebook horse on debut a HQ but will be in the place pot only. That noise you can here is me sharpening half a dozen pencils!

 

Friday Lucky 15 (probably e/w)

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                @10/1 WH 8/1 general                    

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              @9/2 WH 4/1 PP      

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      @ 14/1 WH + PP Both also 4 places!          

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       @3/1 general

 

Friday Star* Selections (14 Stars)

York 1.55                    LANDSMAN                One Star* each way @10/1 WH 8/1 general

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH              Two Star** win @9/2 WH 4/1 PP

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM                      Two Stars** each way @ 14/1 WH + PP Both also 4 places           

York 4.50                    MOJITO                       Four stars**** win @3/1 general

York 4.50                    KINGS GIFT                 One star* each way @ 25/1 Betfred + 4 places!

 and here’s why

 York 1.55                    LANDSMAN    History says the winner will be carrying 9st 4lbs or less, had three runs this season, winning form and be in Stall 8 or wider. Landsman is trained in Ireland by tony Martin who knows all about winning on the Knavesmire and I like his jumpers when they’ve had a reconnoitre, at Cheltenham for example, and Landsman ran here last October when not seeing out the 14F trip. He is good form, drawn 9, ground and trip look fine and Paul Hanagan has been booked. Solid each way material!

York 2.25                    DARTMOUTH  Has to give weight to the rest of the field, with reason because he is the best horse in the field or more to the point he has won a Group Two. Won over 14F here at York earlier in the season, will appreciate the ground and Ryan Moore does the steering.

Of the others the ground is too tacky for Dal Harraild, Sheikzayedroad and High Jinx probably have their best days behind them, Higher Power and Montaly are good handicappers which means the dangers are that man Mullins with Ascot Stakes winner Thomas Hobson and the possible improver, 4yo St. Michel, for Sir Mark Prescott. I’ll stick with the Royal runner.

York 3.00                    MUBTASIM The form of the G3 7F Jersey at Royal Ascot has been well franked since and I’ve been waiting to back the third horse there, Mubtasim, for a while. Love the draw in four, David Allen riding is a curious booking but he is in form, love the price and just hope the ground keeps drying. Started the year as a sprinter but to me 7F looks his trip.

At 7/1 the field you could make a case for most but I’m not sure Daban has trained on and was two and a half lengths behind the selection in the Jersey, Suedois and Tupi are drawn in the car park and like So Beloved are nearly horses. I’m with Mubtasim, it’s about time William Haggas came to the party!

York 4.50                    MOJITO Right here we go, NAP of the meeting. Been following this horse for a while and I think he is a Group horse waiting to happen. I have no worries with the grade, the trip or the ground. Indeed I think York will be ideal as he is a prominent racer, drawn 4, and he doesn’t quicken he just grinds it out from the furlong pole as he has done at Newmarket and Sandown most recently. Jim Crowley is riding on the crest of the wave and Haggas is due! I have to admit the price is currently skinny and I fear the other Haggas runner Battered, Luca Cumani’s La Rav and of course I personally will be having a saver on my cliff horse of the season, City of Joy, but with absolutely no confidence! As outlined below I also don’t think Kings Gift is a 25/1 shot either.

York 4.50                    KINGS GIFT Connections I like of Michael Dods and Paul Mulrennan and this horse was fourth in the G3 Greenham at the beginning of the season just six lengths off Barney Roy! Ninth in the G1 French Guineas and then occupied the same position to Benbatl in the G3 10F Tercentenary at Royal Ascot. He then had his sights lowered and ran a cracker when third to Chiefofchiefs over course and distance before having no chance at Goodwood drawn widest in their C2 10F handicap and being eased. This race is a much more feasible option and he starts from an ideal stall 2.

 

Thursday Lucky 15

Ticket is in the bin!

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             2nd 9/2          (7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general)

Well away this time, on the job, every chance, beaten a diminishing neck, probably better at 7F. More on this race in next week’s Review as I think Paul Hanagan was blind-sided!

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 5th 6/1           (13/2 general)

Bounced around among horses early on, not as big as some of these but kept on well. More to come especially if she grows. Not sold on the form of this race but the winner, Threading, is clearly useful.

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      17th and last (One star* each way @ 10/1 general)

Too keen early on. Needs Firm somewhere in the going description and probably best on a straight mile.

BHS Stewards Report – “The Stewards considered the running of EL VIP (IRE), ridden by Jamie Spencer and trained by Luca Cumani, which finished unplaced. They noted the trainer’s explanation that the colt was unsuited by the going which was described as Good to Soft, Good in Places, and EL VIP (IRE) would prefer a faster surface.”

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               5th 14/1         (One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general)

Gutsy run. Moved to the inside, they were always going just a stride too quick for her but she has kept on well. Indeed they went flat out the whole trip here.

 

Thursday Star* Selections (9 Stars out 0 Stars back)

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             2nd 9/2          (Three star*** win @ 7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general)

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 5th 6/1                         (Two star** win @ 13/2 general)

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      17th and last 10/1       (One star* each way @ 10/1 general)

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               5th 14/1         (One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general)

           

 

Brief Thursday review

Terry Norman‏ @tjnnorman   Interesting that Tangled clocked a faster time than Threading. Hannon’s horse capable of winning listed race #York

Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR 

 …which happened only twice in the previous 7 years…

 

York 3.35        Yorkshire Oaks G1 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares

Well no surprises. Gosden 1-2 and Enable goes to the Arc!

York 4.10        Galtres/Sir Henry Cecil Stakes 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares

Mori is a major disappointment for everyone except the bookmaking fraternity and Team Fanshawe!

The Stewards considered the running of MORI, ridden by Ryan Moore and trained by Sir Michael Stoute, which started favourite and finished unplaced. They noted the trainer could offer no explanation for the filly’s performance. The Veterinary Officer reported that a post-race examination of MORI, during routine testing, failed to reveal any abnormalities.

I refer you to my opening piece yesterday. Mori “Couldn’t back her at odds on (Ground, York, inexperience, she’s a mare) but wouldn’t wish to oppose her either.”

Thursday August 24th Day 2 York Ebor Festival

Posted Wednesday 6.30pm

Wednesday on the Knavesmire was a fabulous day’s horse racing. Like all Festivals I will do a big review of all four days at the beginning of next week. Thursday is all about the fairer sex with four of the six races restricted to Fillies and Mares.

So this blog is:-

Reviews of the G1 Yorkshire Oaks and Listed Galtres Stakes, tomorrows two 12F races.

Tomorrows selections and why!

How we did punting on Wednesday.

Brief review of Wednesdays Juddmonte International and Great Voltiguer.

A rant about the rain! Going-gate!!

Odds and sods to assist your pin sticking!

 

York 3.40 Yorkshire Oaks G1 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares.

This won’t take long. Enable. There you go. Kettle on, watch the race. No betting medium.

 

York 3.35 British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes Listed 12F 3yo+ Fillies & Mares.

Mori was second in the 12F G2 3yo Ribblesdale at Ascot, beaten just a neck by Coronet, who runs in the Group 1 race! Me, the handicapper and most of York think she has upward of 8lbs in hand of her opposition. Couldn’t back her at odds on (Ground, York, inexperience, she’s a mare) but wouldn’t wish to oppose her either.

The clue is in the title of the race, British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes1 Mori is owned and bred by Juddmonte, her mum is Midday and her dad is of course Frankel! How henry Cecil do you want??

Even the opposition fancy Mori. Cumani Latest News – Aljezeera another for Al Shaqab Racing, also missed Goodwood due to the ground and will take her chance at York in the Listed British EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes over a mile and a half also on Thursday. She should be suited by the extra two furlongs and is well within herself at home, although the race is likely to be a competitive one with the likes of Ribblesdale second Mori in opposition.

 

Thursday Lucky 15

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             @ 7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 @ 13/2 general

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      @ 10/1 general

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general

 

Thursday Star* Selections (9 Stars)

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR             Three star*** win @ 7/2 WH + Coral 3/1 general

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE                 Two star** win @ 13/2 general

York 3.00                    EL VIP                                      One star* each way @ 10/1 general (5 places WH/PP/BF)

York 4.50                    CARIDADE                               One star* each way @ 11/1 Coral 10/1 general

 

and here’s why

 

York 1.55                    GREAT PROSPECTOR  If he handles the ground he wins. I think the handicapper would have him about OR107, third in a G3 to Gustav Klimt and Nebo last time at HQ, massively impressive on debut. I have Great Prospector ten pounds well in here. I had him pencilled in for the G2 7F Acomb but as the excellent Richard Hoiles pointed out you couldn’t run in that race if you had won prior to July 15th. Wootton Bassett MkII?

sportinglife.com Richard Fahey blogGoffs Premier Yearling Conditions Stakes has been the target for Great Prospector since he won on debut at Nottingham. He went to Newmarket for the Superlative Stakes and ran a big race there and we’ve been very happy with him since. If he runs his race he’s got a favourite’s chance.”

SkyBet Ebor Preview Night Great Expectations Sadly Richard wasn’t at the preview evening on Wednesday as he was at Deauville, but Tony Hamilton stepped in as Musley Bank representative and if he did have a similar golden nugget I missed it. He did, however, say the yard’s best chance of the week, by far, was Great Prospector in the Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes, the opening race on Thursday. Third in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting last time, Great Prospector will have a great chance on ratings and he’ll be relatively short in the betting as well. And Hamilton reports the Fahey team are happy with him at home. “He’d have a really good chance,” said Hamilton. “I’d be a little bit worried about the drop back to six, but staying further can be a good asset if they go fast so it might not be a bad thing at all. Richard targets these races 100 per cent as they are valuable and he’d have a good chance.”

York 2.30                    SPECIAL PURPOSE An unbeaten William Haggas 2yo filly with form on the soft just has to be of interest and she ticks every box at the top of the trends list. 14/15 – Won by a Jan, Feb or March foal 14/15 – Had won over 5 or 6f before 14/15 – Had won at least once before 14/15 – Had 2 or more previous runs that season 13/15 – Had not run at York before 12/15  – Drawn in stall 4 or higher 12/15 – Returned 11/2 or shorter in the betting 12/15 – Finished 1st or 2nd last time out 11/15 – Won last time out. Roll the dice!

York 3.00                    EL VIP Off OR99 he has every chance of picking up one of these Heritage handicaps. When he’s good he is Group class! The ground will be the issue but I thought they went through it OK today and I’ll take a chance that Jamie Spencer can right the wrong that was the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot when they ALL came across to the stands rail! Would have need a helicopter after two furlongs. Surely they’ll race up the middle here at York. Just a hunch Spencer will hold him up and might track Ryan Moore through on Ronald R, then pounce!

Cumani Latest News –El Vip was taken out a Glorious Goodwood due to the wet conditions but should be able to take his chance this week in the Clipper Logistics Handicap over a mile on Thursday. He is in great form at home and is working well, so provided he gets luck in running and with the draw, he should give a good account of himself.

York 4.50                    CARIDADE Haggas and Moore combining on a class dropper will make the market but I fancy one further down the handicap. Kevin Ryan paid just £20K for this Godolphin cast off who was unraced as a 2yo. Just had the three runs, won on Good to soft, 7F looks her trip and Jimmy Quinn can weigh out at just 8st 2lbs and Caridade looks an improver to me with the yard now rocking!                       

 

Wednesday Lucky 15

Not a great start with just a quid back for our £15, little more if you played each way!

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     2nd 6/1F           (8/1 general)

Best of the closers but Desert Law had first run. First four home drawn 8-5-2-9. Last four 12-20-13-18! Time 62.4 seconds suggest no worse than Good to Soft.

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      4th 20/1          (One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general)

Held up, progress two out, couldn’t quite get to first two. Super run.

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Non runner!   (Two Star**win @ 7/1 general)

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 9th 16/1           (14/1 general)

Outpaced early, progress halfway but never competitive, looked after. The amount of morning rain did for us here.

 

Wednesday Star* Selections (11 Stars out 22.5 stars in +11.5 stars)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     2nd 6/1F           (One Star*win @ 8/1 general)

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      4th 20/1          (One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general)

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO                  1st 10/1           (One Star*win @ 16/1 general)

sportinglife.com “Tim Easterby looks proud as punch and rightly so, he’s got a good one on his hands here. He says: “He could go for the Royal Lodge next, or he could run in France. He’s a got a great temperament. He’s a proper horse. He had a hard race though, I won’t be pushing him. I bought him at the sales, at Tatts, and he’s just a big, nice horse. The type of horse I like to buy. I could’ve easily cut him and put him away but he showed me a lot of speed early on. Next year’s his year. He’s very exciting.”

BHA Stewards reports “The Stewards held an enquiry into the use of the whip by David Allan, the rider of the winner, WELLS FARHH GO (IRE), from 1 ½ furlongs out. Having heard his evidence and viewed recordings of the race, they found him in breach of Schedule (B)6 Part 2 in that he had used his whip above the permitted level. The Stewards suspended Allan for 7 days as follows: Wednesday 6 to Tuesday 12 September 2017. Under Rule (B)54 the Stewards also fined the rider £700.”

York 3.00                    MIRAGE DANCER                   3rd 5/1           (One Star*win @ 11/2 Ladbrokes 5/1 general)

Not ready for this level yet. Tried to follow the excellent Cracksman through but not good enough. Could have done without the morning’s rain. Did he actually stay 12F? Eclipse 2018? Juddmonte International 2018?

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Non Runner   (Two Star**win @ 7/1 general)

York 4.15                    MY REWARD                          2nd 11/1           (One Star*win @ 14/1 PP 12/1 WH)

Poo! No complaints though, horse and jockey did exactly what I expected, just one too good!

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 9th 16/1           (14/1 general)

York 4.50                    AREEN FAISAL                                    3rd 10/1         (One Star* each way @ 11/1 WH 10/1 general)

Excellent run from stall 18. Winner just wasn’t for catching!            

 

Brief Wednesday review

York 3.35        Juddmonte International G1 10F

Review – Well done Jim Crowley. I don’t understand the rides on Cliffs of Moher or Barney Roy. The 3yo’s beat each other up and Crowley ended up with TWO to aim at?

Preview – “Fantastic line up but a mine field of a race. Who leads? This race could be won by the jockey as much as the horse. I want to take the 3yo’s colts on. I am not convinced Churchill’s form adds up to a lot and I don’t think Barney Roy is as good as Richard Hannon does! Shutter Speed is quality but she isn’t Enable! Either Decorated Knight or My Dream Boat would constitute a surprise but not a shock. Recent money suggests Cliffs of Moher is a player not a pacemaker and Eclipse winner Ulysses needs something to aim at, which brings me back to “where is the pace”?”

Ulysses next target is the Breeders Cup Turf and they will work backwards from there.

York 3.00        Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 12F 3yo colts & geldings

Top performance from Cracksman. Gosden says: “Whether he runs again, I’ll discuss with the owner. His main programme is next year and that’s really what it’s about. He may well run in the autumn, we will see. He was only a shell of a horse when he ran in the Derby. He has two engagements and they’re only possibilities at this time, not probabilities.” Arc de Triomphe candidate?

 

GOING-GATE!!

It was Goodwood all over again! How can these Clerks of the Course get it SO wrong? Surely they pay for professional meterological advice? OK so it’s the British Weather bur 15mm is not under 5mm!

Here’s a time line for my rising anger!

sportinglife.com Ebor Festival blog 10.29am: At the York preview evening last night our editor Dave Ord unwittingly had a pop at clerks of the courses up and down the land, not knowing that York supremo William Derby was still in attendance. Dave said something like, and I am paraphrasing here: ‘They always play it down, there will be more than 5mm tomorrow.’

Derby asked Ord to clarify his comments at half-time, and, to be fair Dave, he didn’t back down. A friendly £5 wager between the two followed, with Dave cheering on more than 5mm and Derby 5mm or less.

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk  10.47am 6mms rain to 10.45am @yorkracecourse Going now Good. Thunder showers continue to noon. Will update Going again when rain through

TurfTrax‏ @TurfTrax

1107am Going update @yorkracecourse is now Good following 10mm rain this morning to 10:45

Totepool Racing‏ @TotepoolRacing

11.35am #EborFestival 12mm of rain in last hour – going now Good – stopped raining – talk of Sunshine later !!!

Racing Post‏ @RacingPost 

11.45 am “It feels like the track has taken the rain very well but we will make an assessment and issue an update at 12.30” – York’s William Derby

York Races Clerks‏ @YorkClerk 

Going @yorkracecourse at 12.20pm Good to Soft, soft in places after 15mm of rain. Now stopped and cloud lifting.

Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR

Around 64.2s for opener at York          Soft side of Good?

Wouldn’t be surprised if they water Friday night!

 

Odds & Sods

This came through on my Twitter during Wednesday

FlatStats‏ @FlatStats   Mark Johnston at the York Ebor Meeting:

Wins: 4 Runs: 141 Win%: 2.8% A/E: 0.31 ROI: 66% loss That’s a Stokell sized strike rate there.

Didn’t do much on Wednesday to improve it either!

Wednesday August 23rd Day 1 York Ebor Festival

Posted Tuesday 6.00pm

Eyes down for a full house. The York Ebor four day Festival is very much my summer Cheltenham. The form is in the book, quality everywhere you look, fiendishly difficult handicaps and even the youngsters have had a couple of days at school. Love it! Like its Cotswold cousin the Knavesmire has its idiosyncrasies. Personally I like my selections ridden just behind the pace, I like a low draw on the straight course and I’m always keen to have a jockey on board that might have a Plan B, if not C and D! They don’t give you races at York!

I think the two feature races on Day 1 2017 are really difficult with just too many unknowns, so I’ll profile those two races first then move onto Wednesdays Lucky 15 and Wednesdays Star* bets. Finally I will add any profiles I’ve done but haven’t put up as a bet.

James Pyman rightly pointed out in the Racing Post last Friday, “Its York, anything can happen!”

Be lucky!

 

York 3.00        Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 12F 3yo colts & geldings

Big race for Frankel. He sired half the field and two of his four highest rated progeny, Cracksman and Mirage Dancer, take on each other here and they head the market. This will only be Cracksman’s fifth career start and the last two have seen him finish third in the Epsom Derby and second in the Irish Derby. Indeed in those races all three horses he was beaten by were trained by Aiden O’Brien and although Coolmore saddle another three here I can’t see any of them troubling the favourite. However his half-brother Mirage Dancer is a different kettle of fish. Typically Sir Michael Stoute has played the long game and this is only his fourth start. Stoute said: “We’re just leaving nice gaps between his races. He is progressive. We like the horse and he keeps improving. This would be as far as he would ever want to go.” I make Mirage Dancer the play at the prices and surely at worse it will be only money lent until next season!

Khalidi was sired by High Chapparrel otherwise it is three Galileo colts versus four of Frankels! Atty Persse has yet to prove himself in Group company and this is a big ask but Andrew Balding’s Count Octave is very much on my St.Leger short-list, for which this race used to be THE major trial. He got within a neck of Stradivarius in the G2 14F Queens Vase at Royal Ascot but I’m not sure he’ll have enough speed here and just want to see him staying on. Khalidi has won at Listed level and his Group race seconds to the ill-fated Permian and Crystal Ocean earn his right to run and he will be an informative yardstick.

York 3.35        Juddmonte International G1 10F

Fantastic line up but a mine field of a race. Who leads? This race could be won by the jockey as much as the horse. I want to take the 3yo’s colts on. I am not convinced Churchill’s form adds up to a lot and I don’t think Barney Roy is as good as Richard Hannon does! Shutter Speed is quality but she isn’t Enable! Either Decorated Knight or My Dream Boat would constitute a surprise but not a shock. Recent money suggests Cliffs of Moher is a player not a pacemaker and Eclipse winner Ulysses needs something to aim at, which brings me back to “where is the pace”? The informed opinion is that Seamie Heffernan will make it on Cliffs of Moher, I have a hunch that Ryan Moore might try to dictate affairs but if anyone gets a soft lead they will be hard to pass at York! Saw this on Twitter this morning, “Mind really does boggle as to why Godolphin never learn their lesson and have a pacemaker present for Barney Roy. StopwatchRacing‏ @StopwatchRacing ”. Food for thought? Toscanini is only just up the road!

 

Wednesday Lucky 15 (each way if you like?)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     8/1 general

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      18/1 PP 14/1 general

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      7/1 general

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 14/1 general

 

Wednesday Star* Selections (12 Stars)

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS                     One Star*win @ 8/1 general

York 2.25                    ZAAKI                                      One Star* each way @ 18/1 PP 14/1 general

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO                  One Star*win @ 16/1 general

York 3.00                    MIRAGE DANCER                   One Star*win @ 11/2 Ladbrokes 5/1 general

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY                      Two Star**win @ 7/1 general

York 4.15                    MY REWARD                          One Star*win @ 14/1 PP 12/1 WH

York 4.50                    KALAGIA                                 One Star* each way @ 14/1 general

York 4.50                    AREEN FAISAL                                    One Star* each way @ 11/1 WH 10/1 general                       

and here’s why

York 1.55                    EDWARD LEWIS Real poser to kick us off! Twenty runners, odd trip of 5½F and 9/1 the field! Planned putting this one up a few days ago and it looks like he could go off Favourite now! Fifth in the Epsom Dash, a close sixth in the Wokingham, drawn on the wrong side in the Stewards Cup, he’s been knocking on the door and with the low draw I was looking for and Daniel Tudhope booked, O’Meara saddles another three, still looks the most likely winner to me! There are some very fast horses lining up here such as El Astronaute, Thesme, Amomentofmadness and I just hope the closers can get to them!

York 2.25                    ZAAKI I have four of these in the Notebook and I’m backing the two biggest prices! The other two are profiled below. Heres what my notebook says The other eye catcher for me in the G3 7F Superlative Stakes at HQ was the fifth Zaaki, the only maiden in the field, as he was second to the G2 July stakes sixth Enjezaat on debut, who ran on well and being out of a Sadlers Well mare should get further. He was only two and a quarter lengths behind Gustav Klimt, who is currently officially rated OR109 and no bigger than 8/1 for next years 2000 Guineas. The second Nebo was an excellent second to Barraquero in the G2 Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. That’s solid form.

His dad is the Brazilian sire Leroidesanimaux. No I’ve never heard of him either but he sired Animal Kingdom no less! Zaaki is trained by Mohamed Moubarak who has returned to Newmarket after twenty five years in the US but he has one hell of a CV.”

York 2.25                    WELLS FARHH GO Here’s what my notebook says, “(Tim Easterby) No prizes for guessing the sire and out of a Galileo mare and he couldn’t have been more impressive on debut. On a foul evening on the Knavesmire in a C3 7F maiden he settled well albeit out the back but when asked from 2F out he powered home to comfortably pick up the 2/1F Laugh a Minute. The time was nothing special, Topspeed 43, and the form is yet to be franked but connections have picked up a bargain at just £16K and as he was sent off at 16/1 probably surprised connections although I see they have given him an entry in the G2 Royal Lodge Stakes. File under “Could Be Anything”! “

York 4.15                    THEYDON GREY My initial thoughts on looking at the entries were “Last four runs at York, won last three, 12F 14F & 16F. Goes well for Georgia Cox.”  Was on my list of Haggas Ebor Festival possibles and being drawn in stall 10 is fine, just 8st 6lbs on his back and 7/1 available I see no reason to change my mind.

Plenty in this race have been around a while and many of them have lines of excellent form but the handicapper has most of them in check.

York 4.15                    MY REWARD Ninth in this last year beaten six lengths by Oceane off a pound more. So how can he turn that around? Well the Tim Easterby yard is in excellent form, nine winners in the past fortnight. He’s drawn lower this year which should give him a better chance of grabbing the rail and the lead as that first sharp bend comes up pretty quickly. Since winning over this trip at Ripon he was just a length and a quarter off the winner when fifth in the Northumberland Plate and a solid fourth in the 14F C2 handicap at the Goodwood Festival to Ebor fancy Soldier in Action. If My Reward leads running to the 2F pole he could be a tough horse to pass.

York 4.50                    KALAGIA A low weight, a low draw, winning form, sprinting pedigree and from an in-form stable. That’s what I’m looking for and this young lady fits the bill. Fillies have won the last two runnings of this valuable Nursery and Mark Johnston’s runner is bred to be quick being by Kodiac out of a Whipper mare! Joe Fanning should be able to get her prominent from stall 2 and just like her win at Hamilton make every yard. She hasn’t been stopping over 5F and carrying just 8st 1lb, close to the jockeys minimum, hopefully she’ll see the extra furlong out!

York 4.50                    AREEN FAISAL #FantasticMrFahey has won the last two runnings of this race, both times with fillies and both times with getting on for 20lb in hand! No similar profile this year but of his two this one seems the selection. Sheikh Abdullah Almalek Alsabah paid €80K for this Bahamian Bounty colt with the plan being Royal Ascot as a 2yo, he was 15th in the Listed 5F Windsor Castle! He was an eye catcher on Newmarket debut when running on for third at the Craven meeting, made no progress second time, then the Ascot trip and broke his maiden at the fourth attempt when stepping up to 6F winning a C4 Pontefract nursery off OR76. He’s put up four pounds and two grades but could easily have that sort of improvement in him. Would probably have had him as my first choice but that draw in stall 18 and the quicker ground just tempers my enthusiasm.

#FantasticMrFahey’s blog on sportinglife.com “Areen Faisal is a horse who works really well at home and went to Royal Ascot as we felt he was one of our better two-year-olds. However, his performances on the track didn’t live up to what we see at home but he got his head in front the last day. He’s had a break since which will have done him no harm and heads here in good form. He has a chance – providing the draw hasn’t done for him.”

 

York 2.25        Acomb Stakes G2 7F 2yo colts & geldings

Here are the other two profiles:-

ULSHAW BRIDGE          (James Bethell) By High Chapparel out of an Oasis Dream he had already won a C3 6F maiden at York with a strong finish. 7/8F has to be within scope. Tudhope has ridden him in last two races.

A C2 6F Conditions Stakes on Good to Soft at Chester looked a tasty five runner event. Forget Haddaf who has disappointed before, the other four were all previous winners, were improvers and through Dragons Tail are going to get Official Ratings somewhere in the 90’s and that will make them possibles for those valuable 3yo handicap sprints next season. So Prestbury Park beat Regulator a short head with the strong finisher half a length back and the yardstick Dragons Tail OR93 three quarters of a length further back. Regulator got three pounds off the winner and five pounds off the other two. In the race itself Prestbury Park got the rail and set the fractions with Dragons Tail on his quarters and Regulator tucked in and Ulshaw Bridge outpaced. For once there was no cutaway which would have helped Regulator but Hanagan drove him up the inside failing by a short head. Ulshaw Bridge was adrift but flew home from two out whilst Dragons Tail kept on but not as well as the front three.

DEE EX BEE                 (Mark Johnston) Godolphin home bred by Farhh out of unraced daughter of Seeking the Gold. Won a C2 7F Goodwood maiden when well supported into 5/2JF. Long rangy colt who knew his job on debut making just about every yard and comfortably beat his market rival with four and a half lengths back to the third. The time was good, Topspeed 89, but what did he beat? Well three have run since with two winning which bodes well. After the race Mark Johnston said: “He’s a very good looking horse and had been working well – we don’t tend to bring them down here first time out unless they’ve been working well. He’s a big scopey horse and when you’ve something like that winning at a big meeting like Goodwood you start to dream.”

Big step up to G3 7F Acomb at York. If he wins on the Knavesmire the second and third from Goodwood would have to be looked at, Bethsheba Bay for Richard Hannon and entered at the weekend and Paul Cole’s Capital Flight. The latter was on debut at Goodwood and had a far from trouble free run, no cutaway on the Saturday, but ran on well without getting competitive and he holds an entry in the prestigious C2 7F Convivial maiden at York on Friday.

 

York 3.05        Great Voltigeur Stakes G2 12F 3yo colts & geldings

ATTY PERSSE Royal Ascot Review –Kicking myself, wrote in Fridays blog Wanted desperately to put up Atty Persse but concerned that 3lb claimer, Keiron Shoemark, rides for Godolphin? He’s drawn 22 and as one of the smallest Frankels I’ve seen he could get bashed about and he’s Favourite!” He may not be the biggest in stature but he’s a fighter. Overcoming Stall 22, over racing early on but still enough to repel all comers! Goes up from OR93 to OR102 and wouldn’t be surprised if Frankel’s first Royal Ascot winner was pointed towards the Great Voltiguer at York’s Ebor meeting and a tilt at the St. Leger. (Roger Charlton)”

Saturday August 19th Lucky 15 Update

Posted Saturday August 18th 11.30am     With Daban a non-runner, which is bad news on a Lucky 15, I’ve replaced her with Six Strings in the Doncaster 4.10.

Newmarket 2.45        SILENT ECHO                          11/1 PP 10/1WH                   

Doncaster 4.10           SIX STRINGS                           6/1 BetFred+WH                               

Ripon 5.00                  TWO FOR TWO                      8/1 Lads+Coral                      

Newmarket 5.05        OKOOL                                                7/1 PP 6/1 general

and here is why

Newmarket 2.45        SILENT ECHO  It’s all about “will he settle”? Connections have reached for the first time visor and dropped this son of Oasis Dream a furlong. With the stalls Stands side and drawn in stall 1 surely Keiron Shoemark can take a pull early and get some cover which would be ideal over this speedy 6F with a stiff finish. May I remind you how talented this horse is. When he won at Haydock he hardly broke sweat in beating Chessman and Mojito and they are now OR97 & OR95 and Silent Echo runs here off OR91. Prior to the K-nightmare on the Knavesmire last time I had blogged “This horse is top of two of my lists, “Back until it loses” and “Group horse in handicaps”. Professional, travels, quickens.” This is a deep race with plenty of potential dangers, indeed Tommy Taylor, and Danielsflyer have already carried my cash this season and Merlin is very much on the radar but I’ll keep the faith with Silent Echo one more time.

One star win* @ 11/1 PP

Doncaster 4.10           SIX STRINGS Trained by the #FantasticMrFahey Six Strings has the scope for further improvement and his current mark of OR87 looks lenient. No surprise that connections have let him take his chance at this decent pot. On the plus side are as a 3yo he gets five pounds, only carries 8st 7lbs, the drying ground, it is now good (Good to Firm in places, the presence of Masham Star suggests a strong pace and something to run at. His third at Hamilton reads well with the likes of Get Knotted, Naggers, Jack Dexter and Muntadab behind him. Andrew Mullen rides and he seems to be regular Saturday pilot for Team Fahey and a C2 handicap win would help bond the relationship!

One star* win @ 6/1 BetFred+WH      

Ripon 5.00                  TWO FOR TWO Just couldn’t leave this one out! Some of you may have seen an e-mail twenty four hours ago, if not it said, “Gentleman I have a horse for Saturday! My notebook says “In form and still on OR90. 8F C3 Ayr or Ripon, 0-90 would be nice” He runs at Ripon on Saturday at 5.00pm in a C3 0-90 8F hcp. He is drawn 2 which is ideal for this hold up horse, however the icing on the cake is that in form trainer Roger Fell (5 from last 28) has booked Jamie Spencer for the ride! Sweet!! The horse is Two for Two. I expect your stake will be decided by your opinion of Frank as a jockey and me as a pundit. Somewhere between total plonker and absolute genius?” Nuff said!

Four star win**** @ 8/1 Lads+Coral

Newmarket 5.05        OKOOL I have been waiting for Okool to get 12F on a galloping course and it was a run at Newmarket, a hampered sixth to Eminent no less, that first got him in my Notebook. He opened his season with a two length second to G3 Gordon Stakes winner, Mirage Dancer, over 10F at Nottingham. Won his maiden over the same C&D keeping on well. Totally unsuited by Chester then staying on over 10F at Sandown behind wide margin winner Eynhallow.

Trip, track, grade, ground are fine and now he’s gelded this galloping mile and a half is spot on. Surely better than a C4 handicapper off OR80.

Two star** win @ 7/1 PP

 

Last Saturday’s Lucky 15

Great start but just couldn’t top it up. Still £22 back for our £15!

Ascot 1.05                   STAKE ACCLAIM                     1st 4/1JF          (7/1 general)

Not only did we get the price but a masterclass from young Mr Spencer as well!

Haydock 3.00             JUST HISS                                5th 15/2           (9/1 PP + Ladbrokes)

Prominent, squeezed against rail inside the final 2F but wouldn’t have been much closer anyway. Useful C3 10F handicap on GS ground which could throw up a few winners. The winner El Cap is certainly going the right way. I’m a fan of Dark Devil and of course the third horse was Two for Two!

Newmarket 3.05        DOLPHIN VISTA                      6th 14/1           (10/1 Coral 9/1 general)

Market told the story. Keep him in your tracker. Still think he could be a Cambridgeshire player?

Newmarket 3.40        POETIC CHARM                             5th 11/4               (4/1 general)

Got the price not the performance! Note to Godolphin: Give your novices two runs before a Group race! Odd race the Sweet Solera G3 7F 2yo fillies, as about ten in line across the track at the furlong pole! In fairness best horse won in Tajaanus.

Saturday August 19th Lucky 15

Posted Friday August 18th 5.45pm

Let’s have another go this Saturday and see if we can supplement our betting bank for next week’s action at York when we make a killing on the Knavesmire! Gone for a few familiar faces and a rare four star fancy!

Newmarket 2.45        SILENT ECHO                          11/1 PP 10/1WH                   

Newbury 3.35            DABAN                                    9/1 PP+WH                            

Ripon 5.00                  TWO FOR TWO                      8/1 Lads+Coral                      

Newmarket 5.05        OKOOL                                                7/1 PP 6/1 general

and here is why

Newmarket 2.45        SILENT ECHO  It’s all about “will he settle”? Connections have reached for the first time visor and dropped this son of Oasis Dream a furlong. With the stalls Stands side and drawn in stall 1 surely Keiron Shoemark can take a pull early and get some cover which would be ideal over this speedy 6F with a stiff finish. May I remind you how talented this horse is. When he won at Haydock he hardly broke sweat in beating Chessman and Mojito and they are now OR97 & OR95 and Silent Echo runs here off OR91. Prior to the K-nightmare on the Knavesmire last time I had blogged “This horse is top of two of my lists, “Back until it loses” and “Group horse in handicaps”. Professional, travels, quickens.” This is a deep race with plenty of potential dangers, indeed Tommy Taylor, and Danielsflyer have already carried my cash this season and Merlin is very much on the radar but I’ll keep the faith with Silent Echo one more time.

One star win* @ 11/1 PP

Newbury 3.35            DABAN Another horse on a retrieval mission as she was my Next Best at Royal Ascot when only sixth to Le Brivido in the Jersey Stakes over todays trip of 7F. I was disappointed at the time with her sixth, looked good 2F out but one pace, beaten five lengths but that form line has been franked time after time since and as she gets all the allowances as a 3yo filly I’m happy to go in again. Daban was just over two lengths behind Winter when third in the G1 1000 Guineas, 7F is her trip and she is trained by the best “ladies man” in John Gosden. He also saddles the year older Nathra for the same connections. With Dettori suspended Josephine Gordon gets the ride.

Pace in this G2 7F will be key. I can’t see too many too keen to blaze along as two of the main contenders, Librisa Breeze and Breton Rock, like to rocket home off a collapsing pace.

One star* win @ 9/1 PP+WH  

Ripon 5.00                  TWO FOR TWO Just couldn’t leave this one out! Some of you may have seen an e-mail twenty four hours ago, if not it said, “Gentleman I have a horse for Saturday! My notebook says “In form and still on OR90. 8F C3 Ayr or Ripon, 0-90 would be nice” He runs at Ripon on Saturday at 5.00pm in a C3 0-90 8F hcp. He is drawn 2 which is ideal for this hold up horse, however the icing on the cake is that in form trainer Roger Fell (5 from last 28) has booked Jamie Spencer for the ride! Sweet!! The horse is Two for Two. I expect your stake will be decided by your opinion of Frank as a jockey and me as a pundit. Somewhere between total plonker and absolute genius?” Nuff said!

Four star win**** @ 8/1 Lads+Coral

Newmarket 5.05        OKOOL I have been waiting for Okool to get 12F on a galloping course and it was a run at Newmarket, a hampered sixth to Eminent no less, that first got him in my Notebook. He opened his season with a two length second to G3 Gordon Stakes winner, Mirage Dancer, over 10F at Nottingham. Won his maiden over the same C&D keeping on well. Totally unsuited by Chester then staying on over 10F at Sandown behind wide margin winner Eynhallow.

Trip, track, grade, ground are fine and now he’s gelded this galloping mile and a half is spot on. Surely better than a C4 handicapper off OR80.

Two star** win @ 7/1 PP

Last Saturday’s Lucky 15

Great start but just couldn’t top it up. Still £22 back for our £15!

Ascot 1.05                   STAKE ACCLAIM                     1st 4/1JF          (7/1 general)

Not only did we get the price but a masterclass from young Mr Spencer as well!

Haydock 3.00             JUST HISS                                5th 15/2           (9/1 PP + Ladbrokes)

Prominent, squeezed against rail inside the final 2F but wouldn’t have been much closer anyway. Useful C3 10F handicap on GS ground which could throw up a few winners. The winner El Cap is certainly going the right way. I’m a fan of Dark Devil and of course the third horse was Two for Two!

Newmarket 3.05        DOLPHIN VISTA                      6th 14/1           (10/1 Coral 9/1 general)

Market told the story. Keep him in your tracker. Still think he could be a Cambridgeshire player?

Newmarket 3.40        POETIC CHARM                             5th 11/4               (4/1 general)

Got the price not the performance! Note to Godolphin: Give your novices two runs before a Group race! Odd race the Sweet Solera G3 7F 2yo fillies, as about ten in line across the track at the furlong pole! In fairness best horse won in Tajaanus.