Tag: Natural scenery

Thursday 14th September Doncaster St.Leger Festival Day 2

Posted 5.45pm Wednesday

Nice start and then downhill! Ground seems to ride OK to me. Lahore looks better than a handicapper. Quiet start to the Festival but it will hopefully build to Saturday!

Doncaster Going

Soft, good to soft in places (GoingStick 6.9 at 6.30am on Wednesday).

Clerk of the course Roderick Duncan said at Wednesday 7.25am: “We had just 2mm of rain last night but we’ve had phenomenal winds all through the night. You could nearly walk round without getting your feet wet this morning – it’s drying. They’re not going to break any records today because this wind is blowing straight down the straight but it will be drying it.” Spoke today (Wednesday) to Simon Rowlands of Timeform about Going based on times of first two races and he replied, “No softer than “good to soft” Simon Rowlands‏ @RowleyfileRRR  Replying to @mooresthepity

 

I’m spitting feathers! What has happened to the field sizes at Doncaster, especially in the handicaps? Forced to take to Twitter “Simon Moore‏ @mooresthepity  @itvracing @SimonMapletoft What’s happened to the field sizes at Doncaster especially the handicaps? Thurs, Fri C2’s have 6-5-6-7-9!! #poor

 Simon Moore‏ @mooresthepity  @AtTheRaces @DoncasterRaces So why are the fields so disappointing? Frustrating as a punter but could trainers explain why the Class 2 handicaps aren’t maximum fields?

Not a dicky-bird in reply!!!

 

Thursday Lucky 15

Doncaster 1.20           HOOFALONG              @ 11/2 general

Doncaster 3.00           NATURAL SCENERY    @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR @ 9/2 general

Doncaster 4.05           EUGENIO                     @ 10/3 WH 3/1 general

 

Thursday Star* Selections

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

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

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

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

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

Doncaster 3.35           GREAT PROSPECTOR Four star**** win      @ 9/2 general

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

 

and here are my thoughts race by race

 

1:20 DFS Silk Series Lady Riders’ Handicap (For Pro-Am Lady Riders) Cl3 (3yo+ 0-90) 6f2y ATR

This type of race wouldn’t normally be of any interest to me under normal circumstances but there are fifteen runners in a handicap at Doncaster and I can’t let Hoofalong go un-backed.

HOOFALONG Basically he is a Class 2 horse in a Class 3 handicap. He may be a 7yo but his last run has lots to like about it. In the 5½F Symphony on Good to Soft at York behind Desert Law, the apprentice riding was slow to get the hood off (“the friction on the gelding’s blinkers had made it difficult to remove on the first attempt.”), slow away, one behind at halfway and he ran on strongly to the line finishing a closing seventh. He runs here as he is down to OR90, he won off OR94, should get away with the ground, drawn 10 and he should get a tow down the stands rail and he is ridden by the very able Joanna Mason, who is of course grand-daughter of trainer Mick Easterby.

There is a 5lb claim if any lady hasn’t ridden five winners, so jockeys such as Hayley Turner and Josephine Gordon ride on a level playing field and their mounts could be upgraded.

1:50 EBF British Stallion Studs “Carrie Red” Fillies’ Nursery Handicap Cl2 (2yo) 6f111y ITV4

When you write in your notes “Every chance, couldn’t get to winner. Fillies nursery?” and the horse turns up in a fillies nursery over 111 yards further she cannot be ignored.

CLUBBABLE The comment was made after finishing second in the £20K Foodservice Final at Hamilton on a filthy night and this Cheveley Park daughter of Musley Bank favourite, Mayson, will love the ground and trip and the last run was in this grade. She is progressive and OR75 looks lenient.

The danger looks to be The Mums for Gosden and Dettori who is going the right way but has to give the selection ten pounds.

2:25 William Hill May Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies) Cl1 (2yo) 1m ITV4

This looks a fine renewal of this Group 2 over a mile and could produce a serious 2018 Oaks contender. A case could be made for most of these but I like two in particular. I was very impressed with Dark Rose Angel over C&D and she could be special and I will have a smaller bet on the improving, form in the book, Tajaanus.

TAJAANUS Clearly the best filly in the G3 7F Sweet Solera but this was an odd race as in The Dip the whole field was across the track and two lengths front to back. That would make me doubt the strength of the form but it has been franked, not at Group level, but Tajaanus looked physically ahead of her rivals and she had the run of the race up the Stands rail. As in Ireland there is no standout 2yo filly, Billesdon Brook, Nyaleti and Tajaanus are much of a muchness.

Hannon/SJames blogThis filly (Tajaanus) will love any give in the ground and stays very well too. I loved her attitude at Sandown last time when she won her Listed race and it’s hard to knock what she’s done so far.”

DARK ROSE ANGEL Simon Crisford trains this £60K yearling daughter of Dark Angel. Visually impressive winning over 8F C5 good to firm at Doncaster. “Out well, settled, led. Quickened, lengthened, to win by four lengths and two lengths.” Topspeed 66, form yet to be franked. On debut had been an educational fifth to Dathanna at Newmarket 7F C4 on Soft in a novice event.

RP Keith Melrose, Doncaster “It is probably unusual for a trainer in their third season to have had more than a third of their winners come from juveniles, but Simon Crisford is no ordinary trainer. Godolphin’s former racing manager has enjoyed excellent patronage but has more than repaid his investors so far. All he needs now is a Group horse for his yard to really break through, and it could just be that Doncaster winner Dark Rose Angel is the filly to do it. There were a couple of well-touted fillies from big yards against her on Town Moor and, while there is reason to think neither put their best foot forward, it would also be reasonable to say Dark Rose Angel could have been more emphatic had Paul Mulrennan asked her. A step up in grade beckons, maybe even back here for the May Hill at the St Leger meeting.”

3:00 DFS Park Hill Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m6f115y ITV4

Had Coronet pencilled in for this for a while but looks like she’ll take on the boys in the St. Leger itself. Ten go to post and can the 3yo’s make use of the ten pounds they receive from the older mares? I don’t think so and with the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood a reliable signpost for this race I’ll go with two who ran there before they both took part in the Ebor handicap, Dubka and Natural Scenery, just favouring the latter.

DUBKA She was my Ebor selection but I’m not sure she got the trip. This race won’t be as helter-skelter, she’ll relish this softer ground and was only beaten a neck in the 14F G3 Lillie Langtry. She has twice been second at G3 level and has won on Town Moor on Soft ground over 12F and has the valuable assistance of Ryan Moore.

NATURAL SCENERY Is she could enough to win a Group 2? Second in the Northumberland Plate, fourth in the Lillie Langtry and a desperately unlucky third in the Ebor when I put in my Ebor festival review, “The one “unlucky” horse in that messy part of the Ebor handicap around the 2F pole and Ed Greatrex ended up having to go round the houses to get a run and she flew to grab third. The handicapper has put her up three pounds OR104 to 107 and it will be interesting to see where Godolphin go with her. The obvious long term target would be back to the AW Stayers Championship at Lingfield next Easter, she was sent off 4/1F last April but had a troubled run there last year. Typical of Godolphin her current entries are “ambitious”.”

As for a bet and it’s 9/2 the field, it’s Natural Scenery to get a clear run and outstay them all with Jim Crowley doing the business for Godolphin.

3:35 Weatherbys Racing Bank £300,000 2-Y-O Stakes Cl2 (2yo) 6f111y ITV4

GREAT PROSPECTOR He was my next best bet for the whole York Ebor Festival when in my opinion he was a desperately unlucky second in the Sales race there. As I whinged in my Ebor review, “Right, now the valuable 6F Sales race. Tangled beat Great Prospector and Hey Jonesy a neck and half a length. The fourth Alba Power a length and a half away and a further three lengths to the fifth, the filly Darkanna. I am convinced Paul Hanagan has been blind-sided here! He straightens Great Prospector up a furlong out and to him it’s just the rapid and unfortunately high drawn Hey Jonesy he has to pick up and he feels quite happy about that so delays his attack and drifts towards the stands side. Meanwhile Tangled has burst between horses and nicked a length and Great Prospector now has to chase him down on the far side and fails by just a neck with the pair of them beating Hey Jonesy. The Official handicapper has given the first three marks of OR102 (up a stone since winning his nursery), OR105 and OR103 and that would have put all three right in the thick of the action in the G3 Acomb and with the time quicker than Threading’s victory in the Lowther half an hour later if the first five in the Sales race met the first four in the Acomb I would be all over Great Prospector.”

I am convinced this horse is Group 2 material, he has an extra half furlong here and he is drawn next door to Tangled this time. Not surprisingly Great Prospector heads the market and with Tangled and Alba Power next in I have Great Prospector as a good thing!! I think he will be even better over 7/8F and it wouldn’t surprise me if he wins this race he appears in G1 PRIX JEAN-LUC LAGARDERE (GRAND CRITERIUM) at Chantilly on Arc weekend!

4:05 crownhotel-bawtry.com Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2f43y ATR

EUGINIO Thought this looked an ideal race for Euginio who has really strong form in the book and was looking forward to getting stuck into him at 6/1 and upwards. I can’t believe there is a field of just FIVE for a C2 handicap!

Euginio was second to the classy but currently AWOL Middle Kingdom at HQ on seasonal debut, won well at Sandown in this grade over today’s trip, a solid third to Frankuus in the G3 Rose of Lancaster when Frankuus nicked it off the front and most recently a hampered fifth to Thundering home back at Sandown. Hopefully the ground will keep drying as Euginio was withdrawn at the Goodwood Festival for “unsuitable ground”. Town Moor specialist Andrea Atzeni rides and I’m sweet on their chances but the iffy ground and a five runner field mean a reduced stake.

4:35 Breeders’ Series EBF Fillies’ Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 1m3f197y ATR

No play. Now down to just six runners I just can’t have any enthusiasm for the contest with no Notebook/Radar entries.

 

Wednesday

Doncaster 2.20           SHABAABY                  1st 13/8           Two star** win          @15/8 Lad+Coral

Travelled easily on the ground (Favourite Demons Rock didn’t), led two out and hacked up. John Kirkup ran on to be a distant, seven length, second and we open the Festival with a 1-2, £8.53 sfc.

Doncaster 2.50           GUZMAN                    4th 8/1                         One star*each way    @ 9/1 general

Probably just needs to grow up mentally. Still too keen early, even in the hood, one pace final furlong, should have grabbed third. Maybe the ground wasn’t ideal, stays firmly on the radar! BHA Stewards “ Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported that GUZMAN, placed fourth, and TOOMER, unplaced, had both lost right fore shoes”

Doncaster 4.20           HYDE PARK                 5th 11/2           One star* win            @13/2 BF +PP

Every chance 2F out but one pace. Winner, Lahore, clearly useful.

Doncaster 4.20           SIX STRINGS               7th 6/1             One star* win            @ 8/1 general

Lost race in first two furlongs when just didn’t settle and although every chance 2F out fuel gauge was on red! Better ground, bigger field? Winner, Lahore, clearly useful.

Doncaster 4.50           MIRAGE DANCER       4th 11/10F       Two star** win          @15/8 BF+Coral 15p in £ R4

Small field nightmare! Oisin Murphy may not be “strong enough” but here he’s done Ryan Moore up like a kipper!

(8 stars out – 5.75 stars back)

 

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SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 3

Posted Thursday August 31st 5.30pm

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

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

So open up your Trackers and let’s go.

Looking Forward its Tracker Time!

I’ll do them in alphabetical order.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

“Twilight” Horses, Stuck in the middle?

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

Alpha Delphini              (B Smart)              6yo         OR108

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

Certificate                        (Varian)                 6yo         OR104

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

Desert Encounter      (Simcock)              5yo         OR114

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

Final Venture                 (Midgely)              5yo         OR110

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

Gabrial                                (Fahey)                  8yo         OR107

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

Glass Office                      (Simcock)              7yo         OR100

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

High Jinx                            (Tim Easterby)     9yo         OR109

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

Jallota                                 (C. Hills)                6yo         OR110

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

Jungle Cat                         (C.Appleby)          5yo         OR112

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

Mondaliste                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR113

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

My Dream Boat            (Cox)                      5yo         OR113

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

Polybius                             (Simcock)              6yo         OR106

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

So Beloved                 (O’Meara)            7yo         OR111

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

Sheikzayedroad            (Simcock)              8yo         OR114

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

Suedois                       (O’Meara)            6yo         OR112

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

Toscanini                           (Fahey)                  5yo         OR110

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

Tupi                                      (Hannon)               5yo         OR109

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

Viscount Barfield         (Balding)               4yo         OR105

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

 

Phew! I’m done!!

SimpleSimonSays Review York Ebor Festival 2017 Part 2

Posted Wednesday August 29th 6.00pm

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

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

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

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

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

So let’s get cracking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 3.55 Betfred Ebor Handicap  1m6f,

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

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

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

The Draw

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

 

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