Diary: August 1 2007

Championship Point landed the spoils in the first race at Goodwood today coming from last to first over the final 3 furlongs.  He is a horse I have followed since his 2 year old days, partly because he is trained by Mick Channon who I used to watch at The Dell, and partly because he was highlighted in the 2005 edition of Steve Taplin’s superb tome. The write up in Taplin’s book refers to the horse’s “great attitude” and he certainly showed a real willingness today to notch his 5th career win.  By th way, if you don’t invest in Steve Taplin’s “Two Year old” annuals, you should: they are a mine of useful information.


Looking forward to tomorrow’s action there are a couple I like the look of in the 2.15.  Whispering Death needs to be held up and didn’t have the race run to suit him when 2nd to Junior last time at Kempton.  He is ridden by a capable claimer in Liam Jones and has sound claims.  Noble Minstrel looks the danger and decent each way value at around 10/1.  Of the rest Afrad catches the eye.  He is a course and distance winner and his trainer does well with his few runners on the flat.


Rio de la Plata looks the likely winner of the 2.50.  He was very impressive when winning at Newmarket and can put himself in the picture for next season’s classics by adding to his tally here.


Excellent Art showed an striking turn of foot at Royal Ascot and looks the one to beat in the Sussex Stakes at 3.30.


Mariotto and Aureate represent our list to follow in the 4.05. Mariotto carries top weight but has done little wrong so far and being a lightly raced sort is open to further improvement.  Aureate has changed stables since his last run, moving from Mark Johnston to Brian Ellison.  He has tended to race over keenly but would have an each way chance given a restrained ride.


In the 5.10 Swanky Lady, a newcomer from Richard Hannon’s yard looks interesting on pedigree.


On the 5.45 Diamond Diva has been in good form this season with 2 wins.  Others to consider are last year’s winner Minority Report and the consistent Turnkey who gets on well with your rider Adele Rothery.  The going is important for both these.  Minority Report is a fast ground specialist while Turkey is best with some ease in the ground.


By the way – well done to Mike S for some inspired winner finding today!


Continue reading “Diary: August 1 2007”

Diary: July 31 2007

The “glorioius” meeting at Goodwood takes centre stage over the next 5 days and kicks off tomorrow with a 10 furlong handicap at 2.15.


Plum Pudding is the only runner from our list to follow. His 3 career wins have all come at Newmarket all on good ground.  I thought he ran quite well at Sandown last time but didn’t get the best of runs at a crucial moment.  He has only tackled this trip once before and that was at Lingfield in March where he appeared to stay.  Of the rest the drying ground will not help Zero Tolerance but previous course winners Championship Pont, Nayyir and Fort Churchill are all worth considering at a track where previous course form is an important factor.


The Gordon Stakes at 2.50 sees the return of Derby 3rd Aqaleem.  He has previously won the Lingfield Derby Trial and carries a 3lbs penalty for that success. Aqaleem beat Hearthstead Maison by 4 lengths at Lingfield and strictly on form should just hold him again.  Against that though Hearthstead Maison showed himself to be in good nick by winning a Newmarket handicap off top weight.  His trainer won this race in 2002 with Bandari and Hearthstead Maison should put up a bold show here, especially if the ground continues to dry out.


Raincoat may have found the trip in the Prix du Jockey Club on the sharp side for him and is one for the short list.  The lightly raced Lion Sands looks a progressive type and is the other one that I considered.  If pushed for a tip it would have to be Aqaleem.


Dunelight has a good record at the Sussex track with form figures of 21. He was unlucky last time out at Ascot when hampered twice by the wayward Echo of Light.  He hasn’t run over 7 furlongs since his 2 yare old days and he has never won beyond listed class.  He is best suited by fast ground.  Royal Oath has been running well this season.  He was second in the Ascot race referred to above and had earlier won the Royal Hunt Cup.  He is another that has never won at this trip.  Thousand Words was 3rd in the Craven Stakes behind Adagio but generally has not shown much this season.


Asset and Tariq are likely to be popular choices in a tricky looking heat.


There are 2 runners from our list to follow in the 4.35.  All the Good won with a bit in hand over 14 furlongs at Musselburgh but was not quite up to the required standard in Group 3 company at The Curragh.  Strategic Mount won 3 times last season and needs fast ground which is why he hasn’t yet run this season.  One of his wins came at Goodwood and if the ground were to ride fast he could be an interesting contender.


There is also racing at Beverley where some real old warriors do battle in the sprint handicap at 3.10.  Smokin’ Beau (10), Legal Set (11) and Funfair Wain (8) have all featured in the pages over the years and are getting a bit long in the tooth.


My best offering at Beverley is probably Prince Evelith in the 3.45.  He is a course and distance winner and was 2nd in the Carlisle Bell two runs ago.


Continue reading “Diary: July 31 2007”

The Story of Uriah

The Story of Uriah
"Now there were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor."

Jack Barrett went to Quetta
  Because they told him to.
He left his wife at Simla
  On three-fourths his monthly screw.
Jack Barrett died at Quetta
  Ere the next month's pay he drew.

Jack Barrett went to Quetta.
  He didn't understand
The reason of his transfer
  From the pleasant mountain-land.
The season was September,
  And it killed him out of hand.

Jack Barrett went to Quetta
  And there gave up the ghost,
Attempting two men's duty
  In that very healthy post;
And Mrs. Barrett mourned for him
  Five lively months at most.

Jack Barrett's bones at Quetta
  Enjoy profound repose;
But I shouldn't be astonished
  If now his spirit knows
The reason of his transfer
  From the Himalayan snows.

And, when the Last Great Bugle Call
  Adown the Hurnai throbs,
And the last grim joke is entered
  In the big black Book of Jobs.
And Quetta graveyards give again
  Their victims to the air,
I shouldn't like to be the man
  Who sent Jack Barrett there.


Rudyard Kipling

Continue reading “The Story of Uriah”

Diary: July 29 2007

Dylan Thomas was the star of the show at Ascot today with a very classy performance in the King George.  I got it wrong (not for the first time) with Scorpion getting  too carried away by the likely going.


There were a few other winners from our list to follow.  Gull Wing dotted up under Jamie Spencer in the fillies handicap at York and was not inconvenienced by the heavy going.  Harland (France) and Evening Time (Ireland) were the other winners.  Macorville, Eagle Mountain, Youmzain and Magic Mountain all filled the runner up spot in their respective races.


I have followed Signor Peltro since his very first outing when he won at 22/1 and was pleased to see him get back to winning ways on Friday evening.  The first time blinkers certainly seemed to do the trick on him.


There is a quality card at Ascot tomorrow where our list to follow is represented by Strategic Mount in the Heritage Handicap at 2.15.  Paul Cole’s colt won 3 times last season all on good to firm going so we will need to keep an eye on the weather.  He has not run since last September so may need this.


The sprint handicap at 3.15 looks fiercely competitive.  There are 4 from our list to follow so I will start with them.  Buachaill Dona has won 2 of his 4 starts at 5 furlongs and coming from thye Dandy Nicholls yard must command the greatest respect.  Hogmaneigh will need to weave his way through plenty of horses if he is to win this but he put up a fair display when 4th at the Curragh last time and is one for the short list.  Dig Deep has a 5 lbs penalty for a course and distance win last time out by Liam Jones takes 3 of those pounds off.  Good chance as long as the rain stays away.  Blazing Heights has been 2nd twice this season but in truth does not win too often. He is well drawn though.  Hogmaneigh would be my each way selection with the Kevin Ryan pair Green Manalishi and King Orchisios worth a look at big prices.


Sue’s Surprise has the best form on show in the 4.00.  She was 3rd to Passaeg of Time in the Musidora before finishing last in the Oaks. Salsa Steps looks the likely alternative.


There are 2 runners from our list in the 4.35.  Record Breaker has already won twice this term and possesses both speed and stamina.  Sunley Peace has been running better than his bare form figures suggest and he has place claims at least.


The listed race at 3.50 at Pontefract is an intriguing one as the main protagonists; Tam Lin and Blue Ksar have their quirks.  Tam Lin was beaten a head by Harland last time out and the winner franked the form this afternoon. Tam Lin will do for me.


The only other runners from our list are Sagredo in the 3.15 at Pontefract, and Geojimali in the 4.25.


Good luck


Continue reading “Diary: July 29 2007”

Diary: July 28 2007

Tomorrow’s big race, the King George, (Ascot 4.20) only has 7 runners but is tricky to solve nonetheless.  Dylan Thomas sets the standard.  Some will point to the fact that he has been beaten on his last two starts bit one of those was behind the subsequent Eclipse winner. You would think that Dylan Thomas would be involved in the finish with the main concern, as is often the case thee days, being the ground.  Youmzain has come in for some support during the week.  He was 4 lengths behind Dylan Thomas when they met at the Curragh in May but could be better suited by ease in the ground.  Of the remainder Scorpion looks interesting as he handles the ground and has proven stamina.  He would be my choice if the ground rides soft.


Macedon represents our list to follow in the lady riders race at 4.55.  He was 4th behind Pinpoint and subsequent Hunt Cup winner Royal Oath in the Newbury Spring Cup and has an each way chance on that form.


In the 5.25 Count Ceporano has come down the weights and would have an each way chance at a biggish price.  Captain Jacksparra has been a bit disappointing in his last couple of runs but had been running consistently before that.  The booking of Johnny Murtagh catches the eye.


Osteopathic Remedy runs in the Newcastle 2.50.  He looks as though he needs to come down in the weights a little.


Passion Fruit has been running well this season without winning and deserves to get her head in front.  She has a good record at Newcastle and should go well in the 3.25.


Gull Wing is another that has been quite consistent without winning.  Jamie Spencer rides him for the first time in the 2.10 at York.

  Macorville should relish the ground in the 2.40.  He was just touched off by Juniper Girl in the Northumberland Plate and can gain compensation here.  

Eagle Mountain has yet to win this season but has not had the best of luck.  Kieren Fallon was knocked out of the saddle on him at Longchamps last time and Shay Heffernan takes the ride in the 3.15.  He gets my selection.


Five a Side won on his debut at Epsom last season and held a Derby entry.  He made no show on his reappearance at Leicester last month.  Mark Johnston’s horses are perhaps not going as well as usual.  Hassaad was a winner at Ascot back in May and could bounce back to form here.


At Salisbury I see that Magic Mountain is dropped to a claimer in the 6.40 and is worth considering.


See you tomorrow.


Continue reading “Diary: July 28 2007”

Diary: July 27 2007

Connections of Reverence and Al Qasi will be hoping that the ground rides on the soft side for the 1.30 at Ascot tomorrow as both need plenty of give in the ground.  Baltic King is the opposite in that he shows his best form on fast ground which he has not encountered too often this season! He has won 3 times before at Ascot though.


Reverence has to give away weight all round and if he runs like he did last time at Sandown he won’t do it. On the basis that he will have come on for that run I will take a chance on him.


There are some interesting newcomers in the 2.10.  Mullein is a half sister to Illustrious Blue and trained by Ralph Beckett.  Ballora looks another likely type for the longer term.


Star of Light is one of many sufferers this season from the ground conditions as he really needs fast ground.  He has come down a few pounds in the handicap for the 4.30 but may again find himself beaten by the ground.


Roger Charlton saddles Fifty Cents in the 5.05. He has only run twice, winning a maiden at Haydock at a time when the stable were out of form.  He is interesting here on his handicap debut.  Leptis Magna won at Windsor a couple of runs ago but has raced a bit too keenly since.  Stable not going well at the moment.


Swinbrook is on a 10 race losing run since beating Zidane at Leicester last season.  He has ability if things drop right for him and he seems to handle any going.  The other runner from our list to follow is Signor Peltro who wears first time blinkers.  Swinbrook would be my each way selection.


Sir Michael Stoute had a winner today with Cabinet and I fancy he could have another success in the 8.45 at Newmarket with Comma.  She was 2nd at Kempton on her first effort in handicap company and looks on a decent mark. Mia’s Boy got off the mark at the 4th attempt at Thirsk last month and has always been well regarded by his trainer.  He looks the likely danger to Comma.


Staked a Claim has done enough in a couple of runs to date to suggest he can win the 3.05 at Thirsk.


Vanquisher represents our list to follow in the 4.15 but has been rather expensive to follow.


Continue reading “Diary: July 27 2007”

Diary: July 26 2007

Winners have been a tad thin on the ground of late but tomorrow looks a bit more hopeful.


There are a couple of runners from our list to follow in the 8.10 at Folkestone. Pairumani Princess has been 3rd on her last 2 runs and this looks an easier race that either of those.  She is a half sister to Persian Lightning who was a decent handicapper and also won a listed race.  Franchoek, trained by Alan King made an encouraging return to the track when 5th last time out and the 2nd in that race, Duty Free has won since.


In the 8.40 the consistent Monte Alto has definite claims but I am going to take a chance with Northern Jem, who may have found the going a bit too lively when well behind Hearthstead Maison last time.


The 4.30 at Sandown looks a competitive affair.  Seabow is very lightly raced and the very fact that he has been kept in training at 4 by the Godolphin outfit encourages me.  Clear Sailing was a long way last of 5 when making his seasonal reappearance here last month.  Had looked promising when winning at Nottingham last season and should not be written off yet.  The Sir Michael Stoute pair of Cabinet and Manbar are others for the shortlist but my selection goes to Seabow.


Furmigadelagiusta showed battling qualities when winning by a short head last time at Newbury in heavy ground and should go well in the 5.00 at Sandown.


Osteopathic Remedy was runner up at Thirsk over a mile last time out.  He is back to 6 furlongs tomorrow in the 6.30 at York and has an each way chance.


Bo McGinty has been running well this season without winning and also without being given too much chance by the handicapper.  He runs in the 7.00 at York where he does have some claims on form but heavy ground is not ideal for him.


Secret World and Shumookh represent our list to follow in the 7.30.  Secret World has had injury problems and although a 4 year old is very lightly raced.  His 4th in the Lockinge at Newbury earlier in the season puts him bang in with a chance here.  Shumookh likes to dominate from the front.  He was 2nd in a similar race at Nottingham last time out and is not without a chance.  I will give a slight preference to Secret World however.


Bye for now


Continue reading “Diary: July 26 2007”

Diary: July 25 2007

Winners have been a bit thin on the ground over the last few days.  The only success from our list to follow so far this week came from Richard Fahey’s Handsome Falcon at Beverley.  The only 3 year old in the field he battled gamely to win at 4/1.


I am not holding out too much hope for the 3 runners from our list that run tomorrow although Yossi would appear to have the best chance.


Yossi has been expensive to follow and many will have just about given up on him by now.  Doubts have been expressed about his attitude but he did little wrong on his last run when caught tight on the line by Rhaam.  He does possess ability though and things might just drop right for him in the 2.05 at Lingfield although he does have to overcome a bad draw.


Fisberry has not won for 2 years.  He has shown very little this season but he is coming down the weights and his trainer does well with sprinters.


Ravi River is another from my list to follow that has disappointed.  He has only been dropped 1 lb despite 4 successive defeats.


Continue reading “Diary: July 25 2007”

Diary: July 22 & 23 2007

It may have been raining cats and dogs for the last week or so (month or so?) but it certainly wasn’t raining winning horses for me today.  Cape and Portal where among those that disappointed, while Escape Route is in danger of finding a quick escape route from the sport if he keeps misbehaving at the start.  Green Room actually did the best of the horses from out list to follow chasing home Turbo Linn at Newmarket.


What is the winner equivalent to making hay while the sun shines?  Whatever it is Willie Haggas’s 3 year old Mutajarred is doing it.  He completed his hat trick at Nottingham in the last race on Friday before the meeting was abandoned and he clearly loves the prevailing conditions.

  Redcar is subject to an inspection tomorrow morning.  If it goes ahead River Thames must be in with a good chance in the 3.20.  He won on the bit at Ayr on Monday and should be able to defy a 6 lbs penalty.  

Moving on to Monday Seafield Towers runs in the 2.45 at Ayr.  He was tailed off last behind River Thames on Monday but was 10 lbs out of the handicap.  He is in the handicap proper this time and from a good draw could just go well at a big price.  10 year old Legal Set doesn’t win very often these days but has posted a couple of fair efforts of late.  He is another with a nice draw and could be one for the each way punters.


There are 3 qualifiers from our list to follow at Beverley.  Handsome Falcon (7.30); Bo McGinty (8.00) & Currahee (8.30)


In the 7.20 at Windsor Politeia could go well. She was running on late on her debut at Newmarket earlier in the month.


The lightly raced Marozi was an impressive winner at Lingfield on only his 2nd start and will take some beating in the 7.50.


Good luck


Continue reading “Diary: July 22 & 23 2007”