Tag: Chester

Dublin Festival Of Racing Overview

“It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…”

Originally said by Churchill in 1939 to describe the actions of Russia, more recently re-cycled by Tom Segal when talking about betting at York but wholly appropriate to the inaugural Dublin Festival of Racing next Saturday and Sunday!

Two days of fantastic National Hunt racing of the highest calibre with more sub-plots than a Stoppard play. In just about every race you will be asking the same questions as you to try to find the winner on the day.

Is THIS race the plan or is this a Festival (Cheltenham, Aintree, Fairyhouse or Punchestown) prep race?

Who is in the saddle? First, second or third string?

Mullins v Elliott? Mullins needs to close the gap on his rival and the difference is measured in Euros won.

Who ISN’T here? Who represents their form?

Where it is being held?

Leopardstown. Described by the Racing Post as a “Left-handed, flat, galloping track with 3f run-in. Circuit 1m6f.” The second last on both the hurdle and the chase course is halfway round the final bend and there is a sharp turn into the home straight and just one obstacle in the home straight. This course is where Mengli Khan choose to jump through a wing, they have “island” obstacles which makes jumping straight a major plus. Are you listening Yorkhill?

The going is currently Soft on the hurdle track and Soft, Yielding in places (that’s quicker) on the Chase course and it doesn’t look like getting any slower.

OMG, “there are two elephants in the room”.

The first is the Cheltenham Festival. Many this side of the Irish Sea will look at these fourteen races as trials for THE Festival in March, however the Irish, especially those in authority are very keen to promote the Dublin Festival Of Racing as a stand-alone event.

The second is Ruby Walsh. Ireland’s senior member of the weighing room is still on the side-lines with his broken leg. Willy Mullins will definitely miss him, especially on his big guns who may have one or two quirks. Paul Townend is an able deputy, David Mullins rides the second strings with Ms Katie Walsh getting the third choice, Danny Mullins still absent with a wrist injury. Where mob handed in the handicaps some lesser known riders get their big chance. However Ruby Walsh will most noticeably be missed when the tapes go up, as at these bigger meetings Irish jockeys are used to dancing to his tune! Davy Russell would be the obvious conductor but he prefers a more stalking role so look out for two of the young guns to take a small field championship race by the scruff of the neck. Jack Kennedy, because he may well have the horse to do it and David Mullins because he can! On Day One alone David Mullins gets to ride Carter McKay, Min, Demi Sang and Melon! That’s a possible Lucky 15 to kick off with.

Pigeon-holing could be dangerous!

If there is one thing I have learned about Irish racing in the last few seasons is don’t pigeon hole! Many Irish horses are from the PtP circuit where they race over 3m and most decent horses stay that far, just find their “best” trip. Just because they won their last two races on Heavy ground doesn’t mean they won’t perform on better ground. Don’t “assume” from jockey bookings that it is first and second string (with maybe the exception of Ruby Walsh).

Mullins v Elliott

Gordon Elliott will try to win everything. Willie Mullins will be more tactical and don’t tell me there won’t be team orders. Pacemakers, spoilers, ridden to maximise place prize money, I expect to see all of them from Team Mullins! Hardly riding “on merit”!

Day 1 Saturday February 3rd

1.10 2m 6f Novice Hurdle

Bombshell here. No Samcro here, he runs in the 2m Deloitte novice hurdle tomorrow instead, although connections say the Ballymore (2m5f) is still the Cheltenham target. Samcro beat Jetz by 12L on hurdling debut.

Instead Elliott gives Russell the leg up on Dortmund Park who could be Alfred Bartlett bound as in winning his last two races over hurdles this €230K French bred gelding has suggested stamina is his forte. Similar could be said of Fabulous Saga on whom Willie Mullins puts Paul Townend, a career record of four from six and his last two wins over 3m at G3/G2 level. Very solid form. David Mullins rides Carter McKay who was favourite for the Cheltenham Bumper last season, once Getabird was an absentee, until usurped on the day,. Team Closutton always suggested that he was a stayer and he did well to be third to Getabird in the G1 2m Moscow Flyer at Punchestown. I can see David Mullins riding him aggressively and definite improvement going up five furlongs in trip.

The other four will all need to improve but each of their trainers thinks they will and has spoken to the press!

Henry de Bromhead on Dicey O’Reilly “We were quite disappointed with his seasonal reappearance at Cork, so we were delighted to see him bounce back and win at Leopardstown’s Christmas meeting and he seems in great form since then. The plan is to run him in the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday. This is a step up in trip for him and he obviously needs to improve, but we’ll see what happens.”

Jessica Harrington on Jetz@paul0boyle10 How highly do you rate JETZ? If he can win a Graded Hurdle this year I would be absolutely delighted but he will make a great chaser and all his family improve with age so I’m very excited about the future, especially when he gets some better ground.”

Noel Meade on Moyross “I was very disappointed with him at Naas (well-beaten seventh in the Grade 1 won by Next Destination) and nothing showed up afterwards – it may have been the very heavy ground that caught him out. He is a chaser for next season but I thought he’d run better than he did at Naas. We’ll find something for him in the next few weeks but, as I said, he is a good bit better than the form that he showed at Naas. He is in the two-mile-six-furlong novice hurdle at Leopardstown and I’d say he’ll go there.”

Joseph O’Brien on Tower Bridge “He ran well at Leopardstown and he’ll go for a maiden or a novice hurdle next month. With that new rule now, we might keep as a novice up until Hatton’s Grace day this year so he won’t go to the Dublin Racing Festival and there is a good novice hurdle for him at Punchestown next month. He wouldn’t want the ground too soft and the ground at Leopardstown the last day was as soft as he’d want it. I think he could develop into a nice novice hurdler.” So why the change of mind? Oh he’s owned by JP McManus, nuff said!

Conclusion I’m with Carter McKay who will come on for the extra distance and Danny Mullins riding a hold up race from the front! Eight runners would have made Moyross an ew play but not with seven.

1.40 Dublin Chase G2 2m 1f

This race could be worth the entrance money alone. Special Tiara picked up the pieces when Douvan blew out in the QEQMCC last March at Cheltenham. Min beat Special Ned in the G1 at Leopardstown, but lost it in the stewards room, they re-oppose here. Ordinary World was third to Special Tiara at Cheltenham, Ballcasey has won four graded chase but never at G1 and usually over further and Alisier D’Irlande, a stunning specimen, who could lead this field a merry dance but has yet to convince in Grade 1. The wild card is of course the horse that Lydia Hislop has dubbed “The Ubiquity In Equine Form”, Yorkhill.

Immediately after winning the Neptune hurdle Ruby Walsh famously told the world that “this horse could win the Arkle Chase with his mouth open” and indeed at the start of this season Yorkhill was quoted in at least four Cheltenham ante-post markets. Immensely talented but to put it mildly “a sandwich short of a full picnic”! He jumps left, sometimes drastically, ran into a straw bale in a PtP and unseated, he is headstrong but he is a four time Grade 1 winner. This particular correspondent has always wanted to take him on but Kevin Blake (At the Races and Final Furlong Podcast) makes a very sound case for a G1 2m Championship chase being his correct race. At 2m the increased gallop will help him settle and at speed he will jump straighter. I’m on at 9/1 for the QEQMCC. I am quite prepared to see this latest venture fail but if successful the Cheltenham clash with Altior could be the race we all expected to see in the champion Hurdle!

Talking of the voluptuous Ms Hislop here is her take on Yorkhill in her latest “Road to Cheltenham”, “By the way, did I mention Yorkhill chipped a bone in his foreleg when finishing last in the Christmas Chase? Of course I didn’t – because neither did Willie Mullins until last Saturday. I thought I might have been overdoing the Trappist gags but hailMaryfullofgrace I repent! I repent! “He was out for ten days which he’d be getting [in any case] after the race,” Mullins said, minimising the news. “I think last year we had to take a splint bone out of him. He seems to rap himself but he recovers very quickly and won at Cheltenham after it.” Clearly if Yorkhill does pitch up on Saturday, the setback has indeed not been significant but nonetheless it is clearly far from ideal for this important Champion Chase audition. It will be fascinating to see who rides which Mullins charge in the race that will probably determine which horse is banished to the Ryanair.”

Conclusion I’ll pass on the punting front but this is a must watch race! Yorkhill and odds on just don’t go in the same sentence and what could you take him on with?


2.20 Frank Ward Arkle Novices Chase G1 2m 1f

Just five runners and in all reality it is probably a heavyweight match between Footpad and Petit Mouchoir, or is it?

Any Second Now was a leading, if not the leading, novice hurdler this time last year. He swerved Cheltenham and then unseated in the G2 at Fairyhouse. Since novice chasing he has been runner up on all three starts to Monalee, Invitation Only and he has 5L to make up on Footpad. Just hasn’t cut it in Grade 1.

Tycoon Prince had been supported for tomorrows handicap chase so a tad surprised to see him here. Promised much, well talked up but never delivered often over further. Saw off Bunk Off Early over C&D at Christmas, can he build on that?

Demi Sang is only five but has already won two chases at Auteiul and on Irish debut saw off the handy Avenir d’une Vie at Naas. He travelled, jumped adequately if little big at a couple and Geraghty had to get after to him from the last to get him home. Useful, probably wants further but not Champion Hurdle class! That is where Footpad and Petit Mouchoir were over the smaller obstacles. Footpad hasn’t put an hoof wrong over fences and currently looks the best in this division but Petit Mouchoir was the first horse in my Cheltenham notebook this season but has been side-lined with an entry. So it’s a trade-off between the fact that Footpad never beat Petit Mouchoir over hurdles against the fact that Petit Mouchoir has an interrupted preparation. Petit Mouchoirs trainer told Attheraces “He’s entered in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Saturday and the plan is to run him. He had a setback since his chasing debut, but he seems good now and he’s ready to run. He seems well, but he obviously hasn’t had an ideal preparation for a race of this class, so while he will be there to do his best on the day, it might well prove to be a stepping stone to his next start.” Hardly bullish.

Conclusion Logic says Footpad but I’ll pass and enjoy the contest.


I’m going to post this now (5.50pm Thursday) and continue with the bumper and the two handicaps tomorrow!


Monday 2nd October (Saturday Lucky 15 plus Star* Selections)

Posted Monday 2nd October 12noon

 Oh I do hope some of you kept the faith!?

Massively satisfying to have put up the winner of the Cambridgeshire, Dolphin Vista @ 50/1, in my ante post piece over three weeks before the race and then recommending topping up again on the day, add to that a comfortable win for Makzeem @ a generous 5/1 and SammyJo Bell getting the improving Boundsy up on the line @ 10/1 and it was a great day. If you had played the Lucky 15 for a £1 unit stake and the Star* selections @ £5 a star you would have got back £437.50 for your £85, that is £352.50 profit (!!!) and playing the optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15 would have earned you another £16! Could have been even better with Clubbable and Original Choice beaten just a nose and a short head and either of those would have put another sixty quid in the pot!

Not all good news, as on Saturday morning my two best bets of the day would have been Sands of Mali in the Middle Park and Zap at Chester and both were most disappointing.

Still plenty of room for improvement then.

Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE        2nd 7/2F

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         12th 9/2

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       13th 9/1                      

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  1st 5/1

Saturday Star* Selections (14 stars* Out)

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE      2nd 7/2F           One Star win @ 8/1 Lad+Coral

We got the price, then we got done on the bob! Every chance.

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 1st 10/1           One Star win @ 9/1 BF 8/1 general

Such a genuine horse. Handled the Heavy ground and SammyJo Bell got him up on the line.

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         12th 9/2           Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Really disappointing. Looked to me that he lost his action, unsuited by the course or the ground or both? However the BHA Stewards Report says “The performance of SANDS OF MALI (FR), which was ridden by Paul Hanagan and trained by Richard Fahey, and finished unplaced, was considered. It was noted that the trainer could offer no explanation for the colt’s performance.”

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       13th 9/1           One Star win @ 11/1 WH+PP

Prominent early but just not competitive in the final two furlongs

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES       6th 5/1             One Star win @ 8/1 BF+Coral

Missed the break by 3 or 4 lengths. Ran on but the race was over.

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA          1st 50/1           One Star* each way @ 50/1 WH ?? places

Amazing run as basically it was a solo from the 2F pole once he headed the smaller stand side group!

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH             4th 20/1           One Star win @ 16/1 BF+Coral

First time this season he’s got competitive and only missed out on the podium by a nose. Wins before the seasons out!

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        3rd 10/1           One Star* win @ 18/1 Lad’s

Kept on but one paced. Wins before the seasons out?

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             5th 9/4F           One Star win @ 9/2PP 7/2 general

Every chance 2F out, just didn’t pick up on the heavy ground, disappointing.

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 2nd 10/3F         One Star win @ 9/2 BF 4/1 general

Worryingly Dave Orton in the RP analysis says “should have won this”. Much as I am huge Paul Hanagan fan, of many years standing, I would have to agree. Held up, weaved their way through.

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  1st 5/1             Two Star** win @ 9/2 Lad+Coral

Given a fine ride by Ryan Moore, coming from way back but running on very strongly up the Stands rail a la Dolphin Vista! Could be a group horse over this 7F trip.

Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 1st 10/1

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        3rd 10/1

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 2nd 10/3F

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             5th 9/4F

Saturday 30th September Lucky 15 plus Star* Selections

Posted Friday 29th September 6.30pm

Not happy with this rain.

From what I’ve seen of Newmarket you would rather race prominently than come from the back. After the first at Newmarket, winning jockey Pat Cosgrave said, “It’s good to soft”.

Haydock on the straight course doesn’t look as bad as I feared. The only thing you can do quickly is stop! I would want evidence of form on Soft ground or worse. After the second race at Haydock Joe Fanning said, “It is heavy, particularly down the back, but it’s loose.” The time was 14.35 seconds slow.

Both Ripon and Chester produce course specialists as the former is a roller coaster and the latter is like racing round your back garden! Remember NO CUTAWAY at Chester, looking for low drawn front runners with Soft ground form.


Newmarket 3.35 Cambridgeshire Handicap (Already advised)

DOLPHIN VISTA ex-Fahey now Martyn Meade, quiet season, ran well in Lincoln, trip and ground are ideal, the excellent George Wood takes off three pounds and just might be a plot. One star* win @50/1.

GM HOPKINS It’s the Cambridgeshire you have to back him! Two things needed, leave stalls at same time as everyone else and running room in the final furlong! One star* win @ 25/1

WEEKEND OFFENDER Went in my notebook twelve months ago as a likely sort for this big field handicap. Goes with cut in the ground, 9F is spot on and has a bit of class. Kevin Ryan’s mid-season break may be a blessing in disguise in this case. One star* win @ 33/1

None of the three have moved a jot (5.15pm Fri.) so just topping up each way with as many places as you can get. On line William Hill and SkyBet were going EIGHT places!


Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE         

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM


Saturday Star* Selections (14 stars* Out)

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE      One Star win @ 8/1 Lad+Coral

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                 One Star win @ 9/1 BF 8/1 general

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI         Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS                       One Star win @ 11/1 WH+PP

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES       One Star win @ 8/1 BF+Coral

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA          One Star* each way @ 50/1 WH ?? places

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH             One Star win @ 16/1 BF+Coral

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN        One Star win @ 18/1 Ladbrokes (Rest all over place)

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                             One Star win @ 9/2PP 7/2 general

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                 One Star win @ 9/2 BF 4/1 general

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM                  Two Star** win @ 9/2 Lad+Coral


Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE

Chester 4.15                           ZAP


and here is why


Saturdays Lucky 15

Haydock 2.05                         ORIGINAL CHOICE        Not easy to find an improver in any of today’s handicaps but William Haggas’ 3yo looks the most likely. Right trip. Acts on the ground and more to come.

Newmarket 2.55                    SANDS OF MALI On the day I wasn’t that impressed by the Gimcrack but the form has been really well franked since, the time was good and this lengthy, speedy colt will surely improve. Yet to be convinced on the French 2yo form and I think Cardsharp is over-rated.

Haydock 3.15                         AEOLUS Ayr Gold Cup II has an awful lot of 7F horses at the top of the market and Haydock is considerably sharper than Ayr and even in the holding ground I am not sure the closers will get there. On his second in a Soft ground Stewards Cup I give Ed Walkers charge every chance.

Newmarket 5.20                    MAKZEEM I think he has the best form in the race. 7F is his trip, acts on Good to Soft and his second to Parfait here at HQ is good enough to win this.


Saturday Star* Selections

Haydock 3.15                         JOHNNY BARNES      

He was my selection for the abandoned race last week and on similar ground hopefully the closers will get there?

Newmarket 3.35                    DOLPHIN VISTA         

See opening section above and blog on 30th September.

Ripon 3.45                              RIGHT TOUCH            

Hardly lifted a hoof this season but the handicapper gives him a chance, he will act on the ground and ripon is a course he has run well at before.


Very much optional #FantasticMrFahey Saturday Lucky 15

Haydock 2.40                         BOUNDSEY                

Doesn’t know how to run a bad race, could still be improving, acts on soft ground and gets weight here.

Haydock 3.50                         GEORGE BOWEN       

OK I know he is a rogue but he is down to C3, down to OR90 and if SammyJo Bell claiming three pounds can get a tune out of him he could dot up!

Newmarket 4.45                    CLUBBABLE                

Her form suggests bridesmaid but everything that has finished in front of her has gone on to better things. Could be well handicapped and has been crying out for this seventh furlong.

Chester 4.15                           ZAP                            

If #FantasticMrFahey thinks “the trip and the track to really suit Zap, who has run well in valuable races at York and Doncaster the last twice. He might just have needed the York race after being gelded and I was encouraged by his fifth to Laugh A Minute last time. He’s still open to a bit of improvement and shouldn’t mind the ground, being by our July Cup winner Mayson.” That is good enough to me. Zap’s second in the Woodcote at tricky Epsom looks a standout bit of form in the context of this race.


Fridays Lucky 15

Just the one 4/1 winner and its £13 back for our £15.

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK    8th 4/1

“Keen early, no cover, lost place 2F out, plugged on. Lack of experience told. Not sure she handled either the ground or the course. Bye Bye Baby in the fillies maiden at HQ on Saturday will be noteworthy.       

Haydock 3.20                         MAYBRIDE                        2nd 8/13F

Embarrassing! Dreadful price for Lucky 15 and then she was beaten.

“Prominent throughout, led 2F out, headed inside final furlong by Tom Dascombe’s debutante This Girl.” Maybride will be a better 3yo when filling her frame and strengthening up.

Newmarket 4.20                    SPRING OFFENSIVE    7th 11/2

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB                    1st 7/2F

Ryan Moore just gets the job done in a three way thriller. Bless!


Friday Star* Selections (9 stars* Out 16 stars* in) That’ll do.

Newmarket 2.25                    ISABELLA DE URBINA 8th 9/1             One Star* each way @ 12/1 general

Sadly hasn’t progressed at all this season. “Chased leader until over 2f out, lost place under pressure over 1f out, well held final furlong”

Newmarket 3.00                    LIGHTENING QUICK    8th 4/1                         Two Star** win @ 9/2 WH + Coral

Newmarket 5.20                    ADDEYBB                    1st 7/2F            Two Star** win @ 4/1 general

Haydock 5.05                         SPRING OFFENSIVE    7th 11/2           One Star* each way @ 10/1 PP 9/1 general

Newmarket 4.10                    THRAVE                      1st 9/4             One Star win @ 5/1 WH + PP

“Ridden like best horse in race. Prominent, took trail, quickened nicely 2F out and saw it out well.” Promising.




Notebook horse

Newmarket 3.00        GAVOTA Pre race, “Roger Charlton has Gavota in the Rockfel. He said: “Gavota has been very impressive in both her races and now has to step up in to a higher grade. The program book for two-year-olds is a bit odd, in that a lot of the races come in a very short time period, and we think that this is the right race for her. She has handled soft ground on two previous runs, but she is such a good mover she would be better on faster. It’s a strong race as you would expect and we will see where we are after the race.


Paddock Newmarket 3.00: Rockfel

Butterscotch was a big strong type which you need in this ground and she was the pick.

Lightening Quick was also a looker.

Gavota was fit as she was on her debut at the July course.

Club Tropicana was on her toes.

Thursday 28th September Lucky 15 Morning Update

Posted Thursday 27th September 11.30am

It’s enough to make me spit! Rain playing havoc with weekend punting plans! Haydock has already gone Heavy!! 5.5mm of rain and some drizzle(?) has changed HQ from Good (Good to Firm in places) to Good to Soft. The Going Stick suggests everybody will want to race on the Stands Side (6.4) not Far Side (6.1), High numbers favoured on straight course, and congestion awaits! First race Thursday will be massively informative and of course no ITV coverage today! Thank God for sportinglife.com.

Pontefract today had to pass an inspection and is Heavy. It will take some getting up that hill!

And where all the non-runners at 11.30am this Thursday? Of course on the AW at Chelmsford!!!!!!!!

Chester Saturday is already Soft (Heavy in places) and remember, no cutaway.

 So what is the latest information @ 11.30am Wednesday?


(Thurs. Fri. Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 28 Sep 9:54am

Going Good to Soft (Going Stick: 6.3 (Stand Side 6.4; Centre 6.4; Far Side 6.1) on Thursday at 09:30)

Stalls: Far Side Course. 12f and 16f Centre, Remainder Stand Side

Weather 5.5mm of overnight rain. Overcast & drizzling currently. Thursday; Overnight/morning rain clearing to leave a largely dry afternoon. Friday; Morning rain clearing to leave a drier & brighter afternoon. Saturday; Largely dry.


(Fri. Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 28 Sep 7:55am

Going Heavy (Going Stick: 6.2 on Thursday at 07:30)

Stalls: Centre: 5f, 6f, 1m4f. Inside: 1m, 1m2f, 1m6f

Weather 17mm on Wednesday. Forecast dry on Thursday, rain on Friday morning and then largely dry in the afternoon.


(Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 28 Sep 8:13am

Going Soft (Going Stick: 6.4 on Thursday at 08:00)

Stalls: Straight Course – Stand side Round Course – Inside Rail 1 mile 4 furlongs – Centre

Weather 12mm of rain overnight Wednesday into Thursday Thursday – Rain has cleared through, drier for the afternoon with sunny periods, 18c Friday – Partly cloudy, sunny periods, rain late morning 2-3mm, 15c Saturday – Partly cloudy, some sunny periods, 15c


(Sat.) Going/Weather/Other last updated @Thu 28 Sep 7:19am

Going – Soft, Heavy in Places (Going Stick: 5.9 on Wednesday at 07:00)

Rails: The rail has been returned to the inside meaning all race distances will be as advertised. (NO CUTAWAY!)

Stalls: 1m 2f – Outside, All other races – Inside

Weather 8mm of rain overnight. Forecast: Thu – Dry day with sunny spells. Fri – Dry morning turning to an afternoon of showers (4mm). Sat – Dry day with sunny spells.


(Sat. Sun.) On Racing Post entries it says “Good to Soft” ??

Henry Candy said when ruling Limato out of the Foret, “It was just because of the ground. We have been very lucky to have two dry Arc days the last two years. Three in a row would have been asking too much. The ground is soft now, not far off heavy, and there are two more days of rain forecast so in my opinion it wasn’t worth staying in.”

Saturday September 16th Lucky 15

Posted Friday 6.30pm

Really struggling with Doncaster. Lack of runners in the handicaps, sticky, drying ground and a knack for avoiding the obvious! Not much better tomorrow. One horse I fancy and I’ll still have to have a saver against it and then the best I can manage is a half star* each way Lucky 15.

Going to try to profile the Doncaster 3.00 G2 2yo Champagne Stakes but that will probably be tomorrow morning and up at noon. Nice types involved.

Whilst finishing this blog off Dark Devil has gone in at Chester and dug us out of a hole! Took 10’s last night, 10p in £ R4, but way better than the returned SP of 9/2! Confidence restored.


Saturdays Lucky 15

Doncaster 1.50           LEXINGTON ABBEY                            12/1 Coral+Lads                                            

Doncaster 3.35           REKINDLING                                       12/1 PP+BF                                                    

Chester 3.15               SHORANOUR                                      16/1 Coral+Lads                                            

Musselburgh 4.40      WHAT WONDERS WEAVE                 11/1 Coral 10/1 general


Saturdays Star* Selections

Doncaster 4.45           SINFONIETTA                                      5/1 Coral+BF  Two star**win

Doncaster 4.45           BATTERED                                           3/1 general     One star* win

 and here is why

Doncaster 1.50           LEXINGTON ABBEY                                                   

Trip and grade are fine, ground should be OK, competitive mark, Ryan Moore rides for Kevin Ryan and on the stands side Amomentofmadness should give him a tow into the race. Perhaps it is just his turn?

Doncaster 3.35           REKINDLING                                                                          

Take away his Epsom Derby run and his form bears the closest scrutiny. Won the 10F Ballysax G2, fourth in the Dante, beat Wicklow Brave over 14F in the G2 Curragh Cup and second to Order of St. George in the Irish St.Leger trial. The fifth Classic was mentioned very soon after his Epsom failure and his guaranteed stamina should get him into a place at worst.

Chester 3.15               SHORANOUR                                                                         

You will have to bear with me here. I really wanted to back Dan Troop after his victory here last time out in an apprentice race but he has gone up thirteen pounds! Even with Connor Murtagh claiming seven here instead of three last time that is a huge nine pound rise in a deeper race. Then I thought Heir to the Throne was the value option but he was withdrawn from a race today because of the ground and it is now Heavy so I can’t see him lining up! So Shoranour is the pick. Goes on the ground, is drawn 2, has course form and Josh Doyle claiming three has won on him before.

Musselburgh 4.40      WHAT WONDERS WEAVE

I like this combination of Irish trainer John PatricK Shanahan and five pound claimer Rowan Scott, especially in Scotland! This is the right trip, grade and ground for this progressive 3yo filly and stall 5 will do nicely. Double figure price is a bonus.


Doncaster 4.45           SINFONIETTA                                                  Two star** win

From the inform yard of David Menuisier a straight mile on Good to soft should be exactly what the doctor ordered. Indeed he opened the season with those conditions and was second to no less than Ballet Concerto in the Consolation Lincoln and he runs off just a pound higher. However Richard Hughes’s top apprentice, Finlay Marsh, has been booked and he can claim five pounds! Since that run Sinfonietta was a disappointing favourite behind Withernsea at Newbury, “going up and down on the spot”. The yard had got a low grade bug and hardly had a runner for six weeks. Sinfonietta returned with a solid fourth at Ascot over 10F then God knows what happened at Goodwood as no one could see the race ran in atrocious conditions and last time out was an excellent third in the Irish Cambridgeshire. Today is the day!

Doncaster 4.45           BATTERED                                                       One star* win

Any horse that bustled up Mojito and has won twice on the Soft can’t be ignored!

Notebook says “(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.”

Last Saturdays Lucky 15 & Star* selections

Ascot 2.45                   MJJACK                       2nd 11/2           8/1 WH 7/1 general   Two star**win

Ascot 3.20                   HAVRE DE PAIX             2nd 3/1F           9/1 Coral 7/1 general            One star* win

Ascot 3.55                   MAM’SELLE                3rd 14/1           10/1 general               Two star** win

Leopardstown 4.35    MACHINE LEARNER   2nd 8/1             20/1 with BF + PP      One star* each way

Don’t think I’ll ever be so close and end up with nothing off a win Lucky 15!

Seven stars out six stars back. So bloody close!!


Friday Star* Selections

Doncaster 1.20           ZAAKI                          5th        11/2 Two star** win @7/2 general

Drifting 3/1 to 11/2, as big as 6/1. Slow away, deliberately? Every chance 2F out, hung left? One pace.

BHA Stewards reports –The Veterinary Officer reported that the representative of Mohamed Moubarak, the trainer of ZAAKI, was in possession of Ice-o-gel, a post-race muscle cooling gel. The representative, the Equine Welfare and Integrity Officer and the Veterinary Officer were interviewed. The representative’s explanation that the substance was unopened and had not been used was noted. Being satisfied that the colt had received only normal food and water by mouth on the day of racing, the Stewards allowed ZAAKI to run and the colt was routine tested. They further confiscated the substance and referred the matter to the Head Office of the British Horseracing Authority.

Approaching the final furlong, ZAAKI, placed fifth, hung quickly left despite the rider’s best efforts, causing interference to DE BRUYNE HORSE, unplaced, which in turn caused interference to MAJOR PEIRSON (IRE), placed sixth, but after viewing a recording of the incident, it was found that no riding offence was involved and that it had not improved the placing of ZAAKI. Following the race, Stevie Donohoe reported that ZAAKI hung left in the final 1 ½ furlongs.

Doncaster 2.25           ROLAND ROCKS         5th 20/1           One star* each way   @ 28/1 WH

In rear, headway well over 1f out, soon ridden, kept on final furlong

Doncaster 3.00           ELIDOR                        5th 20/1           One star* win            @ 14/1 WH

Held up last, threatened 3F out but never competitive.

Doncaster 3.35           FUN MAC        Last of 9 22/1             One star* each way   @ 16/1 WH

Prominent until 3F out when he promptly engaged reverse!

Chester 3.55               PENWORTHAM          3rd 3/1F           One star* win            @5/1 Coral 9/2 general

Every chance, waited for cutaway, quickened up but not as well as first two.

Chester 5.40              DARK DEVIL                1st 9/2             One star* each way   @ 10/1 general

“Tracked leaders, not much room briefly 7f out, challenged from 3f out, led over 2f out, held on well”


Friday 15th September Doncaster St.Leger Festival Day 3

Posted 6.30pm Thursday

Friday looks a trappy card with one decent bet and a bunch of darts on the grounds that one “might pop up at a price”! However there is good support at Chester with two shorties fancied plus a horse back in form (?) and a curiosity at Salisbury. The 6.35 is a 14F C2 Conditions races where the handicapper won’t raise any of the runners marks except the winner and there a few in here who wouldn’t mind a four pound penalty to enhance their chance of getting into the Cesarewitch. The Sandown card looks dire.

Doncaster Going

Straight Good to soft, Soft in places Round Soft, Good to Soft in Places (Going Stick: 7.2 on Thursday at 06:30)

Stalls: Straight course centre Round course inside

Weather Wednesday no measurable rainfall periods of bright sun strong winds. Thursday some light showers during and after racing no measurable rainfall. Forecasts A 50% chance of light rain Friday 07-00

Friday Star* Selections

Doncaster 1.20           ZAAKI                          Two star** win          @7/2 general

Doncaster 2.25           ROLAND ROCKS         One star* each way   @ 28/1 WH

Doncaster 3.00           ELIDOR                        One star* win            @ 14/1 WH

Doncaster 2.25           FUN MAC                    One star* each way   @ 16/1 WH

Chester 3.55               PENWORTHAM          One star* win             @ 5/1 Coral 9/2 general

Chester 5.40              DARK DEVIL                One star* each way   @ 10/1 general


and here are my Doncaster thoughts race by race

1:20 Weatherbys Bank Foreign Exchange Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (2yo) 7f6y ATR

This is a competitive opener, two in the Notebook and a strong fancy in Zaaki. He was a solid second on debut at Yarmouth and connections bravely chose a G2 for his second start where he was a commendable fifth to Gustav Klimt and then fourth in G3 Acomb keeping on behind Wells Farhh Go. The horse is still improving and this is a drop in class, should stay further which should help on this testing ground. Tigre du Terre won at Ascot in debut and has since been placed in two Listed races. This is probably his level and he should make up into a classy 3yo.

ZAAKI (Mohamed Moubarak) 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 year’s 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.

TIGRE DU TERRE (Richard Hannon) Notebook saysIn Division II of the 7F 2yo race Richard Hannon introduced a smart type in Tigre du Terre who won comfortably. Speaking at the Qatar Goodwood Festival launch he said “I know he was quite a big price, but I can promise you that we already knew he was quite decent. It was a funny day as we were struggling to get a jockey and we called up Martin Harley, who is a good lad, but he doesn’t usually ride for us and I think people might have thought we didn’t fancy him because of that, but I wasn’t surprised, although there’s no doubt that most of our two-year-olds have really come on for their first starts this season and I wasn’t expecting him to win like that. He’s come out of that well and we’re looking at the Vintage which we won for the same owners (Middleham Park Racing) with Toormore in 2013. It’s going to be much tougher but I think he’s all right – he might just be a Guineas horse next year, but there’s a way to go yet.” However Tim Palin representing his owners Middleham Park Racing had said post-race “He’s a Group horse, it’s just a case of which number Group! We’ll think about either the Washington Singer at Newbury (Listed) or the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York as targets for him.”

August 08 2017, 10:56 sportinglife.com Impressive first-time-out winner Tigre Du Terre, who is also trained by Hannon, could bid to bounce back from his defeat in a Listed contest at Ascot in the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at York later this month. Palin said: “We think an awful lot of him and the Hannon yard are convinced he is a Group horse. I think it was a case of going back to the well too soon with him and they have still got every faith in him. I think that first race took more out of him than we thought. We could not believe he got beat at Ascot and Ryan Moore was almost apologetic and said to put a line through it. The Acomb is a possibility, although we could stretch him out to a mile for the Prix des Chenes at Chantilly, where he’d get his French premiums if he won and it’s over the same course and distance as the Lagardere.”


1:50 Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f6y ITV4

Two races to concentrate on here, the City of York over the 7F trip at York where the 1000 Guineas third Talaayeb beat her elders, colts included, and the Oak Tree at Goodwood over 7F for fillies only where there was hardly anything between Eternally and Tomyris.

I am surprised to see Owen Burrows has declared Talaayeb as he originally said the ground would be against her. Eternally must surely come on for her seasonal debut at Goodwood and Tomyris seems to be improving sufficiently to have at least a Group 3 within her scope. Too many question marks, I’ll pass.

2:25 Wainwrights Flying Childers Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (2yo) 5f3y ITV4

This race doesn’t really appeal, 2yo’s over 5F. However two from the notebook. John Ryan doesn’t run many at this level and he likes using Gerard Mosse, who has ridden Roland Rocks before. 28/1 is too big.

HEARTACHE She is quick. Impressive in winning the 5F Queen Mary at Royal Ascot and unfortunate behind Unfortunately at Deauville. She gets three pounds off the colts, Ryan Moore rides and her price will reflect that. If she gets home on the testing ground she will be hard to beat.
(John Ryan) Ryan paid just £26K for this son of Red Jazz (sire of Scat Daddy) and might well have a bargain. Won on debut C5 5F at Musselburgh at 20/1, then a solid third to Etefaaq in a C4 6F maiden at HQ before seventh in the G2 6F July Stakes back at Newmarket and the G2 7F Vintage Stakes at Goodwood. Caught my attention in the last run as he was bumped out of the stalls, shuffled back, travelled, quickened but when a place was beyond reach, eased. Listed 7F up north or perhaps a decent 7F nursery off OR94.

3:00 William Hill Mallard Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-110) 1m6f115y ITV4

Gutted that only seven go to post. No particular fancy but this is ELIDOR’s trip and winning level and although the ground might not be quick enough, he could easily pop up. SDS rides this top weight and outsider of the party and why not?

3:35 Doncaster Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 2m1f197y ITV4

No Big Orange or Order of St.George but an intriguing contest no less. Pallasator is a monkey, albeit an enormous one. Clever Cookie, High Jinx and Sheihzayedroad surely have their best days behind them, although a good friend insists that the latter is an Autumn horse! Montaly is six pounds worse off for a length with Fun Mac through the Chester Cup and Fun Mac is three pounds better off with Thomas Hobson (Willie Mullins/Ryan Moore) who finished six lengths in front of him in the Queen Alexandra. Thomas Hobson had hacked up in the Ascot Stakes five days earlier. She is no Lady looks just below G2 level and will she stay 18F?

3yo Desert Skyline is all about stamina and his form behind Stradivarius could look very good come 4pm Saturday but even getting a twelve pound weight for age allowance he looks a hard horse to back to win and he is no each way price.

FUN MAC is the fun pick because he stays longer than the mother-in-law. Tacky, testing ground should help but we all know this horse races only just in front of the ambulance and stays on? He won last time out in France and I was amazed to see that Olivier Peslier made all!! Here is the first time in blinkers with a tongue tie and will Adam Kirby ride him prominently here or dare I say it, attempt to make all? At 16/1 I’ll have a small each way interest.

4:05 Gary Reid Memorial British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl3 (2yo) 1m ITV4

Some beautifully bred 2yo’s likely to make up into middle distance 3yo’s. Notebook race, coffee and cake time.

4:35 Lakeside Village Outlet Shopper Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 6f111y ATR

Nine runners, C2, 6½F and I don’t fancy any of them! No play.

5:10 Coopers Marquees Classified Stakes Cl3 (3yo+ 0-85) 1m2f43y ATR

Only one in the Notebook is Pivoine and he was on the way out until he won last time in a first time visor to make it 2 from 2 on the AW. I would probably want to take him on back on Turf. No play.



3.25 NATHAN I think Nathan is a real improver. Do I want to back him in a four horse C3 race over 10F around Chester at 11/10. I don’t think so. I want him in a C2, double figure price and ideally up to 12F.

(Alan King) Normandie Stud own this home bred son of Nathanial out of a Rainbow Quest mare. Unraced as a 2yo he started the season off with Simon Crisford showing little in two maidens. However since transferring to Alan King in June he has been highly progressive finishing second in his third maiden, getting a mark of OR78, and since then has won two handicaps off OR78 and OR84 and will probably be in the 90’s when reassessed. When winning last time at Newbury he travelled sublimely, he quickened fine but wandered all over the course. Surely the next step will be up 2F and a go at a decent pot? As he’s with King will he be gelded and have a look at a hurdle? Surely not until they know just how good he is on the flat as could easily be an even better 4yo.

3.55 PENWORTHAM A Chester specialist who nailed Viscount Barfield late in this race last year. Seven pounds higher here and the quicker they go the better his chance. After his comfortable victory here last time out in a grade higher he is bigger in the market than I thought he would be. Cannot go unbacked.

Notebook says “He is 8lbs+ better on the Roodeye than anywhere else, indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95, even 87 when running poorly. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses! The stronger the pace, the better for him.”

5.40 DARK DEVIL I’m a fan of the horse and for the first time this season he ran well last time out over C&D having not picked up a hoof previously this season. This is a C4 amateur riders race around Chester and Dark Devil will have do it from stall 11 of 12. However he’s down six pounds this season, his run last time was from stall 9, he is ridden by Jack Garritty’s younger brother Billy, the horse has winning form in the Autumn and he will relish the Soft ground. I’m quite hopeful at a double figure price.


Thursday Lucky 15 (£10 back for our £15 with just the one winner)

Doncaster 1.20           HOOFALONG              7th 9/2                         @ 11/2 general

Every chance, just didn’t pick up as he can. BHA Stewards “HOOFALONG reared over in the parade ring, and landed on the perimeter hedge, unseating the rider. The gelding was checked by the Veterinary Surgeon at the start and deemed fit to race.” Can’t have helped!

Doncaster 3.00           NATURAL SCENERY    8th 9/2CF                     @ 9/2 general

Disappointing. Every chance two out but probably too much about speed not stamina and these ladies were no handicappers! BHA Stewards “The performance of NATURAL SCENERY, which started favourite and finished unplaced, ridden by Jim Crowley and trained by Saeed bin Suroor, was considered. It was noted that the trainer’s representative could offer no explanation for the filly’s performance.”

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR 4th 7/2F                       @ 9/2 general

Every chance, just didn’t find enough in the final furlong. Needs better ground and 7F+.

Doncaster 4.05           EUGENIO                     1st 11/4                       @ 10/3 WH 3/1 general

Travelled, picked up nicely and once in front, battled well and stuck his neck out. More to come.


Thursday Star* Selections

Doncaster 1.20           HOOFALONG              7th 9/2             One star* win            @ 11/2 general

Doncaster 1.50           CLUBBABLE                 2nd 7/4             Two star** win          @ 5/2 general  

Keen early on, ran on well but never threatened winner.      

Doncaster 2.25           DARK ROSE ANGEL    2nd 14/1           One star* win            @ 11/1 PP+Coral

Fabulous run. Picked up well to lead deep inside the final furlong and chinned!

Doncaster 2.25           TAJAANUS                  7th 9/2             One star* win            @ 5/1 PP 9/2 general

Every chance two out, didn’t pick up.

Doncaster 3.00           NATURAL SCENERY    8th 9/2CF         One star* win            @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR 4th 7/2F           Four star**** win      @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 4.05           EUGENIO                     1st 11/4           Two star** win          @ 10/3 WH 3/1 general

 (12 stars out – 8 stars back)

Monday September 4th Quids In

Posted Monday 3.30pm

It’s fair to say we had a cracking Saturday afternoon with our £1 Lucky 15 having winners on the first three legs and Omran stood to win us £3,000 on SP alone, in the 7.50 at Chelmsford but sadly just couldn’t go the frenetic pace! This backed up an excellent York and an awkward Goodwood. Thought it about time to see how we are doing?

Basically we were down at Goodwood, up at York and in the black overall to the tune of £43 at £5 a star* and £1 Lucky 15’s. Need a few more like last Saturday when to the same staking we made £450.00+ at SP!!


Saturday Lucky 15

A lovely return of £374 to our £15 stake (£1 unit) at SP but hopefully we all got a better guaranteed price on Penwortham and certainly Thundering Blue!

Omran our losing fourth leg was backed from 10/1 to 6/1! Everything looked good until the stalls opened!

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM                      1st 8/1             (10/1 general)

Did exactly what we wanted. Travelled on the rail in fifth, with low weight quickened sharply in the straight! 8lb+ better horse at Chester. Nice ride Patrick Mathers.                        

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE                1st 11/2           (15/2 PP + L 7/1 general)

Stunning victory! Last to first in final two furlongs. Strong traveller, smart turn of foot but doesn’t like the whip! Cambridgeshire candidate. Personally I would love to see him stepped up to 12F. Any ground.

Remember top trainer Guy Harwood? Dancing Brave? Ela Mana Mou etc? His daughter, Amanda, married Mark Perrett. His other daughter married Jim Crowley and they live in West Sussex! Amanda Perrett trains in half of Dad’s old yard at Pulborough. David Menuisier trains in the other half, so Crowley sees Menuisier most mornings and as a combination should be noted as it’s odds on Crowley will have sat on the horse at home!

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY                             1st 3/1JF          (7/2 general)   

Best horse in the race, ridden accordingly, travelled well, opened up for him in the home straight, cosy victory.                 

Chelmsford 4.25         OMRAN                                  15th & last! 6/1           (12/1 C 10/1 general)

In the box seat for most of the race, just didn’t pick up in the final two furlongs. First race for ten weeks and probably needed it? OR78 and not giving up on him yet.                    

Saturday Stars*

(Total Stars 11 out 30.5 stars in. For a fiver a star that was a tidy profit of £97.50)  

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM                      1st 8/1 One star* each way   (10/1 general)

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE                1st 11/2 One star* win           (15/2 PP + L 7/1 general)

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY                             1st 3/1JF Two star** win       (7/2 general)   

Sandown 4.45                        NAJASHEE                               7th 2/1F Four star**** win    (2/1 general)

Chelmsford 7.50         OMRAN                                  15th & last! 6/1 One star* e/w (12/1 C 10/1 general)                


York Ebor Festival 2017

Over the four days of the Ebor Festival at York, four £1 lucky 15s and returns of £72 for our £60. A small p!! However we laid out 45 stars over the four days and got back 71.5, again at £5 a star that is £112.50 in front. Considering Thursday drew blank I have to be happy with that, indeed Great Prospectors narrow neck defeat cost us over £90, Oh yes I’m still bitter!


Saturday Lucky 15 (probably e/w)

This is why you love the Lucky 15 with guaranteed odds. £1 unit, £15 staked, one winner @ 20/1 with triple the odds returns £61!

York 2.25        THE GRAND VIZR                   5th 9/1             @ 12/1 Coral 11/1 general

York 3.00        NEBO                                      6th 9/2CF         @ 5/1 general           

York 3.35        DUBKA                                                            6th 9/2CF         @ 12/1 Coral & Lads 11/1 general

York 4.50        EDDYSTONE ROCK                 1st 20/1           @ 18/1 Coral 16/1 general

Saturday Star* Selections (11 Stars out 27 stars in)

York 1.55        FOREST RANGER                    2nd 13/2           One Star* win @ 12/1 Coral 10/1 general

We certainly got the price and at his first attempt against his elders Forest ranger has run a cracker with just Mustashry three quarters of a length too good.

York 2.25        THE GRAND VIZR                   5th 9/1             One Star* each way @ 12/1 Coral 11/1 general

Solid run and he did best of those to race prominently. They probably went a stride or two too quick up front.

York 3.00        NEBO                                      6th 9/2CF         Two Star** win @ 5/1 general

Ran flatter than a flat thing! Maybe had enough for this season.        

York 3.35        DUBKA                                                            11th 12/1            Two Stars** each way @ 12/1 Cor & Lads 11/1 gen

Gave it a go with every chance two out but no further progress.

York 4.50        EDDYSTONE ROCK                 1st 20/1           One Star* each way @ 18/1 Coral 16/1 general

So he had been unlucky! Right place, right time and he’s stayed on strongly to win cosily under an intelligent Pat Dobbs ride. OR97 101 and surely next stop the Cambridgeshire.

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!


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)


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!


Qatar Goodwood Festival of Racing

The deluge on Wednesday morning spoilt the meeting and then the opening of a fresh strip of ground on the far rail Thursday morning confused trainers, jockeys and punters alike! I passed on the Thursday and had to put selections up at the away meetings due to a total lack of confidence at Goodwood. Right that’s enough of some thin excuses!

Nightmare on the Lucky 15 front, minus £47. Bit better on the Star* selection front but still £35 down.


Saturdays Lucky 15

Just like Day 1 we drew a blank.

Newmarket 2.05                    ISABEL DE URBINA                 4th 11/4F         (9/2 WH+BetFred)

Goodwood 2.25                     GET BACK IN PARIS                2nd 11/2F         (9/1 Coral+Ladbrokes)

Goodwood 3.35                     AL QAHWA                             23rd 9/1           (18/1 WH+Coral)                        

Thirsk 4.00                              CARNAGEO                             9/1 Ladbrokes                       

Saturday Star* Selections (5 Stars out 0 stars in )

Newmarket 2.05                    ISABEL DE URBINA                 4th 11/4F One star* win @ 9/2 WH+BetFred.

Winner ran a solo. Led main group but didn’t get home over 12F on rain softened ground.

Goodwood 2.25                     GET BACK IN PARIS                     2nd 11/2F One star* win (9/1 Coral+Ladbrokes)

Stayed on well, just failing by a neck and a head.

Goodwood 3.35                     AL QAHWA                             23rd 9/1 One star* each way 18/1 WH+Coral

Pricewise inspired gamble saw him half in price. Never competitive but not exactly a smooth passage according to the Racing Post “pushed along when hampered and lost place over 2f out, no chance after, snatched up again when hampered just inside final furlong”. Couldn’t see a lot of it myself! Down to OR97 and I think on a Soft ground 6F C2 he could go in again.

Thirsk 4.00                              CARNAGEO                             14th 9/1 One star* win 9/1 Ladbrokes.

In a big field missed break from stall 6 and it was race over.


Fridays Lucky 15

Just one well supported winner but three thirds for the Lucky 15! Getting closer. £10 back for our £15.

Goodwood 1.50                     POETS WORD             1st 7/4F            (3/1 PP 5/2 general)

Goodwood 3.25                     BIRCHWOOD              3rd 16/1           (20/1 PP 18/1 WH)

Goodwood 4.10                     GIFT IN TIME               3rd 3/1JF             (6/1 PP 11/2 general)

Goodwood 4.45                     TIMYRIS                      3rd 7/1 (11/1 Coral + Lads 10/1 general)

Friday Star* Selections (7 Stars out 14 Stars in)

Goodwood 1.50                     POETS WORD                                 1st 7/4F Two star** win @ 3/1 PP 5/2 general

Simply too good for these. Ground just left too many doubts for what should have been a monster bet. Group 1 next season, Stoute likes this race as a stepping stone.

Goodwood 3.25                     BIRCHWOOD                   3rd 16/1 One star* each way @ 20/1 PP 18/1

Thought we had this running to the furlong pole! Smart ride Jamie Spencer and goes on my shortlist for the Balmoral Handicap at Ascot on Champions day

Goodwood 4.10                     GIFT IN TIME                   3rd 3/1JF Two star** win @ 6/1 PP 11/2 general

Promising a furlong out but ran out of petrol.

Goodwood 4.45                     TIMYRIS                              3rd 7/1 One star* win @ 11/1 C + L 10/1 general

Stayed well, no chance with winner.

Thursday No selections because of the ground.


Wednesdays Lucky 15

Non runners are a nightmare in a lucky 15. £3 back for our £15.

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY         11th 10/1         16/1 WH + Ladbrokes               

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE           Non runner    6/1 general                  

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER                 Non runner    5/1 general                  

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE 10th 16/1            14/1 PP 12/1 general    

Wednesday Star* Selections (10 Stars out 8 Stars in )

Goodwood 2.25                     WOLF COUNTRY           11th 10/1         One star* each way @ 16/1 with WH + Lads

Got the price. Tried to make all, didn’t get home on the ground. Run in a monsoon!

Goodwood 4.45                     EBBESBOURNE           Non runner    Two star** win @ 6/1 general

Goodwood 5.50                     SUN LOVER                 Non runner    Two star** win @ 5/1 general

Galway 5.35                            SANDYMOUNT DUKE 5th 12/1              One star* e/way @ 14/1 PP 12/1 general

Goodwood 4.10                     TOOMER                            10th 16/1            One star* each way 16/1 general

Soon beaten, eased.


Tuesdays Lucky 15

Not a good start with a blank day.

Goodwood 1.50                     GARCIA                                   7th 9/2CF         (5/1 general)

Agree with the Racing Post analyst, “looked to be just getting outpaced when badly squeezed and hampered inside final furlong, eased after”.

Goodwood 2.25                     MILDENBERGER                     3rd 7/2             (11/2 PP + WH 5/1 general)

Looks to me likes he needs a mile already. Comprehensively put in his place by Expert Eye.

Goodwood 4.10                     REBEL STREAK                                    2nd 4/1             (4/1 general)

Beaten a short head by a 100/1 shot is painful! Not a great race.

Galway 7.40                            GOLD SPINNER                       15th 12/1         (9/1 general)

Never made use of his inside draw. “10th halfway, ridden into straight and soon not clear run on inner 1f out where eased” Another day methinks.     

Tuesday Star* Selections (6 Stars out 0 stars in)

Goodwood 1.50                     GARCIA                                   7th 9/2CF         Two star** win @ 5/1 general

Goodwood 2.25                     MILDENBERGER                     3rd 7/2             One star* win @ 11/2 PP + WH

Goodwood 4.10                     REBEL STREAK                                    2nd 4/1             One star* win @ 4/1 general

Galway 7.40                             GOLD SPINNER                       15th 12/1         One star* e/w @ 9/1 general ¼ 1234

Saturday September 2nd Lucky 15

Posted Friday 6.30pm Its not a Super Saturday but it’s not bad. Keen on a couple at Chester and Chelmsford’s evening card celebrating BetFred’s 50 years should be fun.

Best Bet of the Day but too short for the Lucky 15!

Sandown 4.45                        NAJASHEE Been waiting for this chap for a while. Notebook “700K euro half-brother to Ectot! Unraced as a 2yo, took three goes to break his maiden over a mile but did so at Haydock and supposedly goes handicapping off OR78. Tall, green, easy striding grey with a fast ground action and should get 10F.” Ground is the only issue but hopefully Sandown is drying out to be Good tomorrow. Four star**** win @2/1

Jim Crowley Coral Blog4.45 Najashee This is a good horse. We thought Najashee ran a big race first time out but he blew the start. Then he was third and it took a while for the penny to drop. But he won last time out and he is developing into a nice horse. He’s well drawn in one and I would be very hopeful of a big run from him. Owen’s horses are going really well.”


Lucky 15

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM                      10/1 general                           One star* each way

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE                15/2 PP + L 7/1 general         One star* win

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY                             7/2 general                             Two star** win

Chelmsford 4.25         OMRAN                                  12/1 C 10/1 general               One star* each way  

and here’s why

Chester 2.45               PENWORTHAM I know he let us down last week with a flat fifth but I’ve just got to go in again! He is 8lbs+ better on the Roodeye than anywhere else, indeed his RPR’s are 88, 94 & 95, even 87 when running poorly. He has struggled to beat 90 anywhere else. Definitely horses for courses! The stronger the pace, the better for him and this is a competitive C2 and although a pound out of the handicap, with just 8st he gets 24lb’s off stablemate Gabrial back in a handicap for the first time since he was fourth in this years Lincoln off a pound more.

Sandown 3.35                        THUNDERING BLUE No easy ride this chap but he is some galloper. Pat Dobbs got two days for excessive use of the whip early in his career and last time out poor Keiran Shoemark picked up three days at HQ for not keeping him straight as this was the combination that broad-sided Eddystone Rock, who did us a 20/1 favour last Saturday! The handicapper put him up a lenient four pounds for that victory and the trip and ground are fine and I think he will relish that Sandown hill. Jim Crowley gets down to within a pound of his minimum to take the ride on the bottom weight and trainer Monsieur Menuisier are currently “chaud”.

I’m a big fan of Euginio but I’m not sure the ground is quick enough for this useful 3yo.

Jim Crowley Coral Blog3.35 Thundering Blue I’m riding at 8 stone 8 pounds which is my lowest riding weight now. I won’t be having any breakfast in the morning. Thundering Blue is bottom weight and looks like he has a really good chance. He won at Newmarket last time and appears very progressive. I’ve ridden him before on his first ever start in the Wood Ditton and I liked him a lot that day. He lost his way for a while but he’s back to form now. I wouldn’t be doing my minimum weight on him if I didn’t think it was worth it. It’s a £50,000 race and we are hopeful of a good run.

Chester 4.30               BOUNDSEY It’s hard to disagree with the trainer, #FantasticMrFahey, I think Boundsy is one of our better chances on the day in the Stella Artois Handicap. He likes the track, is in great order and has a good draw.” He is in excellent form, doesn’t know how to run a bad race, has won in this grade, acts on the course and is drawn in stall 4 in this maximum field of 12. Even the Racing Post has spotted his obvious chance! RP comment “Improver who has form figures of 221 here and is strongly respected dropped back to 5f.”

Chelmsford 7.50         OMRAN Excellent night card on the Polytrack at Chelmsford and in their feature I’m really keen on this lightly raced 3yo son of top Australian sire Choisir. He won his maiden at Chelmsford and his other win in seven starts was on the artificial surface at Newcastle. His recent form figures don’t look too rosy but last time out he hated the ground at Newbury and before that he was drawn next to the stand rail in the Britannia at Royal Ascot when the race was on the far side. Before that he had run a cracker at HQ when sixth to Parfait, sent off at 4/1, when again done no favours by the draw. I like the Botti/Atzeni combination, the draw in 9 is fine with the front running Masham Star drawn immeadiately on his inside, and he gets weight from all his rivals. Double figure price is a bonus.

(Total Stars 11)

Plenty of others I’m watching carefully.


2.25 7f G3 Solario 2yo Colts Top heat but as I have Masar, Purser, Romanised and Vintager all in the Notebook it should be a great watch. At the prices possibly a good day for the Menusier Pulborough yard and Vintager as his 33/1 HQ victory has already been franked?

3.00 Big field for the Atlanta. G£ Fillies 8F Stoute (Intimation) doesn’t run many on a six day turnaround. Aljazzi is the class act. Lincoln Rocks at a price?

3.35 Abdon back in a handicap on the mark he won off when last seen in a handicap OR102! Monarchs Glen, son of Frankel, has been gelded!

4.10 Fahey employs SDS and Jamie Spencer in the Nursery. The Spencer/ Jedi Master looks a good fit.



2.10 My Reward or Cape Coast, either would have been interesting but can see them taking each other on up front!

3.21 Powerallied Groundhog Day! Can he get going quickly enough. Will win at Chester.

On line quotes

BetBright Solario Stakes – 2.25 Sandown

Charlie Appleby on Masar: “We purposely gave him a break after Ascot and physically he’s done very well. He got the seven furlongs well in the Chesham and it looks as though he’ll have conditions to suit. He’s a next year horse on pedigree, but he’s come on a lot physically since his last run and we’re going into Saturday full of confidence. I can’t find any negatives.”

Khalid Abdullah racing manager, Teddy Grimthorpe on Purser: “He’s been straightforward and I thought he was given a super ride by Ryan when he won at Newbury. One would hope he learnt a bit from that. This is a big step up, so we’ll see how he goes. I wouldn’t have thought he’d want the ground too soft.”

David Menuisier on Vintager: “How good is he? We really don’t know at the moment, but we will find out on Saturday. We always liked him, but to see him win the way he did at Newmarket was a bit of a surprise. Not many of our horses would win first time out, but he did the job and did the job well. He’s a good-moving horse, so if the ground dries out a bit, it would not be a concern. We feel we have nothing to lose.”

Ken Condon on Romanised: “Dropping him into Group Three level and stepping up to seven furlongs, hopefully we might see where he fits. He’s rated 107. For a two-year-old, that should give him a good chance at that level. We’ll see how that works out, but he’s still growing and maturing.”


A confident Spencer in his 32Red blog!

4.10pm Sandown Jedi Master

He looked to be well suited by stepping up to this 7f trip at Goodwood last time and, if anything, I think this stiffer track will suit him on the evidence of that fourth. He has a 1lb pull for the head and a neck he was beaten by the runner Cheeky Rascal, who re-opposes here, and I think he has a fair chance in a typically competitive nursery.


Jim Crowley Coral blog – He could be in for a good day!!


1.50 Shamshon Shamshon won at Newmarket but has been a bit disappointing since. He missed the kick at Ascot and then they went very fast at York and they took him off his feet a bit. He ran well in this race last year and has a chance. He’s reasonably well drawn in stall four but he will need things to fall his way. He doesn’t have bags of early speed, and being drawn on the rail at Sandown means he’s going to have to get a bit of luck.

2.25 Vintager I rode in the maiden that he won at Newmarket and it was a good maiden. He’s well thought of by connections and I think he will have a really good chance. I know his trainer is quite sweet on him.

3.00 Dancing Breeze She’s one of three that John Gosden has in the race. Dancing Breece was placed in two listed races recently and will have to step up on what she has done so far. But that’s quite possible.

4.10 Alkhalifa Alkhalifa won at Newbury and then went up to Ripon and came third. He won when there was a bit of juice in the ground and the ground should be to his liking at Sandown. He’s a horse I like and I think he can run well.

4.45 Najashee This is a good horse. We thought Najashee ran a big race first time out but he blew the start. Then he was third and it took a while for the penny to drop. But he won last time out and he is developing into a nice horse. He’s well drawn in one and I would be very hopeful of a big run from him. Owen’s horses are going really well.

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 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.