Diary: August 1 2006

I am writing my notes rather earlier than usual so I don’t know the evening results at this stage.


Of the horses featured on last nights preview old Further Outlook made it 4 in a row at Southwell.  He came in at 7/1 too.  I see that he was claimed by all weather specialist trainer Gay Kelleway – who is to say that Ms Kelleway won’t get even more wins out of the horse.  If there is something to learn from this race it is be careful about tipping horses on a 23 run losing sequence!  Still I wasn’t the only one interested in Danehill Stroller as he went of at 4/1 favourite.  This was a claiming race and Further Outlook and Danehill Stroller were 2 of the 3 claimed, for £8,000 and £4,000 respectively.


Mick Channon is going well at present, his 3 year old Airbuss just got up to beat our list horse Safqa at Nottingham on Saturday.  He saddled Silca Soprano to win the nursery at Southwell today, a 13/2 Russellform tip!


We have a few runners from the list to follow in action at Goodwood tomorrow.  There are a couple in the 2.05, Pagan Sword and Coup D’Etat.  In the last 9 years the winner with the lowest BHB rating ran off 93 and if that trend continues you can forget more than half the field, including our pair.  Pagan Sword is 6lbs higher than his highest winning mark.  Kerrin McEvoy rides and he has a good record on the horse, 3 wins form 4 rides.  Coup D’Etat was a bit unlucky at Sandown last time and seems to be going the right way. 


We also have 2 runners in the 2.40.  Both are likely to start as outsiders but that shouldn’t necessarily deter us as 3 of the last 12 winners of this race have started at 12/1.  Classic Punch would be a popular winner as he is a half brother to the late great Persian Punch.  He seems unlikely to get the rain that he probably needs to show his best though.  Jadalee might not fund this a sufficient test of stamina.


Connections of Iffraaj will be hoping the rain stays away for the 3.15.  He seemed a winner waiting to happen when beaten a short head by in form Les Arcs 18 days ago and he is my best bet of the day.


There are a number of 2 year olds that have been featured in these pages in the 3.50 including two from Jeremy Noseda’s yard, Winning Spirit and Bahama Mama.  Winning Spirit made all to win easily at Redcar on has last start.  I was more impressed with Bahama Mama’s win at Sandown.  She was caught in a pocket but still managed to come through with an impressive turn of foot.


Aiden O’Brien’s newcomer Brave Tin Soldier looks an interesting runner in the 5.00.  He is particularly well bred.


Ordnance Row represents the list to follow in the 20 runner handicap at 5.35.  He showed promise last season and made a belated seasonal reappearance at Ascot on Friday.  He should strip fitter for that but his winning form is on soft ground.


We also have one runner at Beverley.  Halla San was on my list last season and won a couple of races.  He was with Lynda Ramsden them but is now trained by Richard Fahey.  This is his second run of the season and I fancy he will go well.


Look out for a two year old called Miss Haversham could be said to have great expectations in the 2.55.  Seriously though I feel this one does have possibilities longer term but the trainer has a poor record first time out.

  I will be catching up with responses to e-mails over the next day or two.

Continue reading “Diary: August 1 2006”

Diary: July 31 2006 UPDATED

A day at the races


While the international superstars of the turf were doing battle at Ascot I was at Nottingham where the midlands track staged some rather more moderate competition.  Still, there were 6 trappy looking contests on the card and top jockeys such as Seb Sanders and Alan Monro in attendance.  Channel 4 presenter Graham Goode was calling them home and looking the picture of sartorial whatever in a maroon blazer.


I had gone to Nottingham with the firm intention of backing River Tarrant in the first.  She had been 5th in a Newmarket maiden last month and seemed to have more improvement in her than some of the others.  When I saw them in the paddock though she looked less impressive than some of her rivals and I decided to take a watching brief.  As it turned out River Tarrant made no show and the race went to a 25/1 shot having her first run. Oh well a loser avoided is as good as a winner!

  A sprint handicap followed.  Now, I had given this race a fair bit of study.  Namu had won an apprentice handicap only 2 days before and of course did not pick up a penalty as a result.  I figured she would be a popular choice but she is a small nippy sort and her last two wins had come on tracks that played to her strengths.  The straight 6 at Nottingham would not suit her as well and I felt that River Kirov, who had run well against older horses on his previous outing, was the one to be on.  When I ventured down into the betting jungle I found that I wasn’t the only one to fancy the Peter Chapple-Hyam runner who was being offered at 5/4.  In a competitive race I wasn’t convinced that 5/4 represented value so once again I kept my money in my pocket.  As it turned out River Kirov won by a short head at 11/8.  The third race on the card was a poor seller won by a horse called Ming Vase who prevailed despite veering wildly across the track in the last 100 yards. In the ensuing auction she failed to attract any bids at 3,000 gns.  I had to tell my wife not to blow her nose during the auction or we would be travelling home with a racehorse!  I had been waiting for the 4th race as this featured Safqa (pictured below) from my list to follow in a mile handicap.  The pundits had not been over impressed with Safqa’s win at York last time but I fancied him for this.  He was likely to make the running and it was going to be a case of whether or not he could repel the inevitable challengers.




I felt that the others for the short list were Airbuss, North Walk and Storm on the Run, but my money went on Safqa.  I was standing about 150 yards form the winning post as they came past Safqa was in the lead but Robert Havlin began to get a real tune out of Airbuss (pictured below) and Mick Channon’s horse got up close home.  North Walk filled third place.






















The fifth race on the card was a 10 furlong maiden that looked a two horse race between Early Evening and Majestic Halo who had by far the best form.  Shahmina was the only other possibility, a well bred newcomer from John Gosden’s yard.  Shahmina looked well in the paddock and won the best turned out but I decided to go for Early Evening, partly because his trainer Henry Candy was present.  Early Evening made all and I never really had an anxious moment.  Majestic Halo was second and Shahmina 4th.


The picture below shows Early Evening (yellow and brown) getting the better of Majestic Halo (white cap).


























  (above, Early Evening) 











(above, Majectic Halo) 





















(above, Shahmina)


And so to the last race on the card, a 15 runner handicap where I didn’t really have any strong views.  Royal Indulgence had caught my eye earlier in the season when beating one of my “list” horses, Confide.  Others I considered were Panic Stations which Hayley Turner had flown in from York to ride and Balearic Star who had travelled up from Devon and was blinkered first time.  In the end I decided not to bet which was just as well as the favourite Blue Empire won quite easily.  Hayley Turner plugged on for second on Panic Stations and Royal Indulgence was third.











(above, Panic Stations) 

The picture below shows Blue Empire winning the last with Hayley Turner in the orange silks on Panic Stations. PICT0111










A small profit and an enjoyable afternoon.

The list to follow


Recent weeks have been frustrating with a lot of placed horses and the main successes coming from short priced Sir Mark Prescott 3 year olds.


On Friday though Fullandby ended a poor run winning at Newmarket at 6/1 under Nicky Mackay, while Saturday was more like it with 4 winners.  Hurricane Run took the big one at Ascot but I got just as much satisfaction from Grigorovitch (3/1) and Whispering Death (7/1).  Grigorovitch needs things to drop right fir him but managed to get up right on the line at Newcastle while Whispering Death lived up to his name by stealthily creeping into the race at York.  He tends to idle in front and I thought Liam Jones kept him going well after he had probably hit the front a bit early.


Imperial Gain gave us a fourth winner for the day in the evening at Lingfield.


I had hopes for Ice Planet in the sprint at York but he was “gunned down” by a lister from last season Wyatt Earp.


Another list horses from last season, Hartshead won the Beeswing handicap at Newcastle, a race he had been second in last season.  In 2005 he was mugged on the line by the fast finishing Uhoomagoo.  “Uhoo” continues to go well and put in a typical late flourish yesterday to finish 2nd in the 7 furlong heritage handicap at Ascot.

  It was back to the frustrating near things on Sunday with Kerriemuir Lass and Mutawaffer finishing 2nd and Kamanda Laugh 3rd.  



There are no runners from our list to follow although there should be plenty later in the week.


Talking of old favourites before, Further Outlook, now a 12 year old  goes for a 4 timer in the 3.15 at Southwell, a race won by Harrison’s Flyer last season. Further Outlook was maybe a little lucky when landing his 13th career win at Folkestone last time but can’t be ruled out at Southwell.  Main danger could come from Danehill Stroller who seeks to end a 23 run losing sequence.  This just could be his day, he is ridiculously well handicapped on his best form, acts on fast ground, has Seb Sanders in the plate and his stable are flying.


In the nursery at 4.15 Silca Soprano has an each way chance.  She ran better than her finishing position suggests last time when she slipped slightly going round a bend.


Old Romil Star has won 8 times at Southwell, is in good form and is my each way suggestion in the 4.45.


Barry Hills has his horses in fair form at the moment.  He sends The Illies to Windsor for the maiden at 6.00.  I have an interest in this race with Tredegar from the Elite Racing Club making his racecourse debut.  He is a half brother to the very useful Eisteddfod and also to the useful Brecon Beacon.


Silver Hotspur has the best form in the 7.00, a race won last year by Balthazar’s Gift.


Continue reading “Diary: July 31 2006 UPDATED”

Diary: July 29 & 30 2006


Nottingham special


2.30 This maiden has gone to the favourite on 6 of the last 10 runnings. Proud ran well enough when 3rd here in a similar race last time out.  Will probably be prominent again but I think I will look elsewhere for the winner.  So Duku has run in better company and looks a strong well made sort.  River Tarrant showed some promise on her debut when she was 5th, and 3 of those in front of her had previous experience.


3.00 It is tempting to go for Namu who does not get a penalty for a win two days ago.  This is a nippy sort and might not be quite as well suited by the track at Nottingham.  River Kirov has run well on both his last two starts and I quite fancy him.  The other one for the short list is Valentino Swing.

  3.35 This looks a race to avoid.  If pushed I would put up King of Meze and Hillhall.  

The 4.10 looks a tight contest.  The consistent Storm on the Run should be up there.  Safqa is one of my horses to follow and is another with a consistent record.  They have pretty well all got chances here but Safqa will do for me.


4.45 Early Evening looks the obvious one here but has looked just a little onepaced when runner up on last 2 starts.  I just wonder if this oen could be vulnerable to an unexposed type.  Majestic Halo has impressed me on her two starts this season. Lady Songbird is a half sister to Anak Pekan a Chester Cup winner.  The unraced Shahmina would be interesting if there is market support.


The 5.15 looks pretty much impossible but Royal Indulgence ran well last time out and although this track might not entirely suit he gets my each way choice.


Two year olds to watch for



Winged Flight Ascot 2.00


Captain Marvellous 2.35


The Illies Salisbury 6.40


Parks Girl York 4.25



 Averticus 6.00 Lingfield  


Runners from the list to follow Ascot 3.45 Hinterland (selection*), Indian Trail. Ascot 4.20 Hurricane Run (selection*) Lingfield 7.00 Imperial Gain Lingfielkd 8.30 El Alamein Newcastle 3.30 Grigorovitch Nottingham 4.10 Safqa York 2.40 Whispering Death York 3.15 Ice Planet (selection) York 3.50 Yasoodd Sunday Ascot 2.10 Kamanda Laugh Banjo Patterson Ascot 3.15 Newmarket 2.50 Campanile, Kerriemuir Lass Newmarket 4.35 Mutawaffer Newmarket 5.05 Warsaw Pact Pontefract 3.35 Rio Riva, Regal Royale Pontefract 4.10 Sir Nod 

Guest tipster “Yorky”


Electrocutionist 4.20 Ascot


Josie Marcus Salisbury 8.40



  Souffleur SUNDAY 5.05 Newmarket

Continue reading “Diary: July 29 & 30 2006”

Diary: July 28 2006

I will start with Ascot on Friday where Easy Air could give the list to follow a winner in the 2.10.  He has only had 6 career runs, winning twice.  Although beaten in his last 2 starts they were both in very competitive races and he acquitted himself well each time.  He finished strongly in second behind the talented Sir Gerard in the Britannia handicap and was best of those on the “wrong” side in the Bunbury Cup.


We have 2 runners in the 3.15 and again I am hopeful of a winner.  Consular gained a deserved success in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock.  Although raised 6 lbs for that win he is not out of it here.  On this occasion I narrowly prefer Glistening who was considered by many to be an unlucky loser here last month.


In the 4.25 Mesbaah should improve for his debut run when he was 4th at Newmarket.


In the 5.00 Mick Channon introduces Silca Chiave who is a half sister to Green Manalishi and Silca’s Sister.


At Chepstow Gremlin looks the best of those that have already had a run in the 6.50.  Henry Candy newcomer OldJoesaid looks a two year old on breeding.


I have been plugging Harrison’s Flyer this season and I am sure he will pick up a spring handicap or two eventually.  He has been 3rd on his last two starts and is knocking at the door.  He runs in the 8.50

  Art Investor has changed stables, moving from Amanda Perrett to David Elsworth who is enjoying a fruitful season from his new base.  Art Investor showed enough promise in 3 starts to warrant a place on the list to follow.  This trip should suit but he does have to overcome quite a lengthy absence from the track in the 6.10 at Newmarket.  Our 3 runners in the spring handicap at 7.40 have so far failed to win a race between them this season. Kenmore is in some ways the most interesting as he is running off a very winnable mark and Dandy Nicholls has such a good record in this sort of race. The horse appears to need some give in the ground though.  Both the other two, Banjo Patterson and Fullandby have shown some signs of a return to form recently. Fullandby is another that might need a bit of rain so my tentative selection has to be Banjo Patterson.  

Up at Thirsk Golden Topaz runs for Howard Johnson in the 2.30.  This one showed a little promise on her debut when 6th (the 4th has since won).  She is a half sister to Play Misty for me.

  See you tomorrow for a look at Saturday’s racing.

Continue reading “Diary: July 28 2006”

Diary: July 27 2006

Mick Channon’s 2 year old Fly Time is yet to win in 7 starts but she has been second 3 times and deserves to get her head in front.  She goes in the 2.20 at Bath where she will be apprentice ridden.


Like some of his stable mates. Prince Picasso has done us proud this season.  He goes for win number 5 in the 8.20 at Folkestone.  With a 6 lbs penalty this is no formality but he should go close as long as we don’t get a downpour. He has run badly on softer going.


Cheap Street has put in some good runs recently, not least when 2nd at Windsor behind Jo’burg.  He runs in the 2.10 at Sandown.


I have already talked about Prince Picasso.  Another Sir Mark Prescott horse going for his 5th win of the campaign is Liberate.  He won today over an inadequate trip and is entered up again tomorrow in the 5.00 at Sandown.  If he comes out of today’s race OK he might well win again as he has a smaller penalty tomorrow and the longer trip will suit him better.


One to look out for in the 6.00 at York is Double Precedent.  He is well related and comes from a stable in form.


Grigorovitch represents our list to follow in the 7.00.  He has not won yet this season although he has shown bits of form.  Not out of this although his wins have come in bigger fields.


Futun has done well for us this season winning twice.  He holds a sound chance in the 8.00.  He showed a good turn of foot when winning at Haydock last time out.


We have had a couple of winners since I last updated these pages.  Apart from Liberate who I have already mentioned Confide won a small field handicap at Ayr yesterday under a well judged ride by Dean McKeown.  Confide was winning for the second time this season.


Looking at the racing over the next few days I see that Uhoomagoo is down to run at Ascot on Saturday.  This will be his 99th career start.  He has won 17 times.

  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: July 27 2006”

Diary: July 25 2006

The racing on Tuesday is fairly low key with just a couple of runners from our list to follow.


Confide has already won once and has since been unlucky not to score again when 2nd at Carlisle.  Jockey Robert Winston received a 28 day ban for his riding of the horse that day when easing up too soon.


I have been going on about the success of the Sir Mark Prescott 3 year olds for some time.  I picked 6 for my list to follow and 5 of them have really done me proud. The only one that has failed to win a race is Phone In who was claimed for £25,000 last week and has now changed stables. He runs in the 7.50 at Leicester.  Although he has the form to win the race he has been second a number of times and looks one paced.


Apart from those two I will be watching the unraced Play Straight in the 7.20 at Leicester. The stable are in form and the horse is bred to be a 2 year old.


I will not be able to update the site on Tuesday evening so here are the horses from our list to follow that are entered.


Alasoun – Lingfield 5.00


Ceredid – Leicester 8.50 & Lingfield 3.30


El Alamein – Lingfield 4.30


Liberate – Lingfield 4.30


Harrison’s Flyer – Sandown 8.40


Meikle Barfil – Sandown 8.40


Safqa Sandown – 8.10


Whispering Death Sandown – 7.35

  I will be back on Wednesday evening.

Continue reading “Diary: July 25 2006”




The days of our future stand in front of us
like a row of little lit candles —
golden, warm, and lively little candles.

The days past remain behind us,
a mournful line of extinguished candles;
the ones nearest are still smoking,
cold candles, melted, and bent.

I do not want to look at them; their form saddens me,
and it saddens me to recall their first light.
I look ahead at my lit candles.

I do not want to turn back, lest I see and shudder
at how fast the dark line lengthens,
at how fast the extinguished candles multiply.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1899)


Continue reading “Candles”

Diary: July 24 2006

At Windsor I fancy Terry Mill’s Didn’t We in the 7.20. Quite a few horses from this yard are named after song titles.


In the 7.50 Centreboard looks best of those that have already had a run.  Of the newcomers English Ballet is breed to make a 2 year old.


Mannikko is the only runner from out our list to follow.  He runs in the 4.05 at Yarmouth and is taking on older horses for the first time after some decent runs in 3 old handicaps, including a win at Bath.


I am launching ba new feature over the next few weeks under the banner of “Hall of fame.”  Have a browse if you get the chance.

  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: July 24 2006”


Marakabei [Hernando (Fr) – Kirsten (Kris)]


I followed this mare when she was a 5 year old during the 2003 flat season.  She had caught my eye the season before when she improved with every run winning twice.  He best performance that season was when she finished 2nd in the mud at Newbury only to be disqualified and placed last after barging her way through a narrow gap 2 furlongs out.


She is by an Arc winner out of a mile and a half winner so she looked one to follow in handicaps where her stamina would come into play. She had also shown a liking for some give in the ground.


Marakabei ran 6 times in 2003 winning twice and ending with form figures for the season of 103001. I remember her first win because I lost money on it! The race was a quite competitive 0-70 handicap at Nottingham over a trip of 1 mile 6.  George Duffield had the ride.  Marakabei had run well fresh before and with ground and trip likely to suit she seemed worth a small wager.  I was pretty sure that I would not be the only one to note the likely progressive profile of this mare and decided to take an early morning price of 10/1 about her.  She duly won at twelves! 


So why does this fairly modest stayer warrant a place is the exhalted Russellform “legends” list? Well, it was very much down to her 2nd win that season.  I was working in London for the day and put a small bet on her at the Ladbrokes shop near Euston station.  It was a listed race over the same trip as that Nottingham handicap and the ground was soft. When she won at Nottingham she was rated 65 and by the time of the Yarmouth race she had risen to 74.  On the book she had no chance as there were 3 horses in the race with ratings of 100 and she was giving weight to two of them.


I had put a few best on that day and walking up the stairs at that betting shop in London on my way home I had actually forgotten about Marakabei.  My other bets all went down that day and I was just about to run off and catch my train back up north when I saw that Maralabei had won at 66/1.  That was the one and only time I have backed a 66/1 winner.


A couple of front runners made it a test of stamina and in ground that played to her strengths Marakabei, given an excellent ride by Jamie Mackay, powered clear inside the final furlong to win by 2.5 lengths.

  Having won a listed contest her handicap mark would have shot up and I suppose it was no great surprise that she never ran again.  I presume that she would have been retired to the paddocks but although I have kept an eye out I have not noticed her offspring so far.

Continue reading “Marakabei”

Diary: July 23 2006

My first selection (and probably only selection) of the summer jumps season, Yes Sir, was an easy winner of the big race at Market Rasen.  It was just as well really as the flat selections didn’t do a lot.


There is only one runner from our list to follow on Sunday, and that is Dragon Dancer in the 3.20 at Maisons-Laffitte.  Seeing he was second in the Epsom Derby it is a bit of a mystery that he remains a maiden.  This seems a chance for him to break his duck in this Group 2 over 10 furlongs.

  See you tomorrow.

Continue reading “Diary: July 23 2006”