Diary; June 1 & 2 2009

You get two for the price of one today as I need to preview Monday and Tuesday’s racing today. No time tomorrow night as it is my Italian evening class!

So how did my predictions go on Saturday? Well Main Aim was a well backed winner and Sweet Sonnet made a successful debut in unlikely fashion making up no end of ground in the final furlong. We have had some success of late – I am still recovering from having a 20/1 winner on Friday!

Anyway, there are numerous meetings over the next couple of days so without further ado…

I have had Carleton in my notebook for a while as I feel he is quite well handicapped. He put in a promising effort when 5th at Windsor a couple of runs ago and he returns to that track tomorrow for the 7.25. He seems to act on any ground and if things drop right for him he should be there or thereabouts.

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Reverence ran well for a long way at Haydock on Saturday in a race won by a horse formerly trained in Greece. Reverence ran respectably in 4th but is probably not the force of a few years back when he was one of the top sprinters in Europe. His half sister Impressible runs at Carlisle tomorrow in the 4.15. Unlike Reverence she seems to prefer a quick surface and although she is 5 lbs higher than her last winning mark she should run well. Her jockey, David Allan is a bit of a sprinter himself having won a race for jockeys a little while back.

Roger Charlton sends Splendorinthegrass to Thirsk for the 7.10. This colt showed some promise in a couple of runs last season but was always expected top do better as a 3 year old. He is a full brother to Etlaala and Selective so the 7 furlongs trip should be OK and I think he will handle fast ground.

The oddly named Hey up Dad represents my list to follow in the 8.10. He has been a bit disappointing so far this season and I think I will keep a watching brief with him for the moment. His win last season came in a maiden at Ayr on heavy ground so conditions may not be in his favour tomorrow.

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There is racing in Ireland on Monday at Listowel and Naas. I haven’t studied the two Irish cards in any detail but Pride Celebre caught my eye in the 5.40. She raced much too keenly when 5th at Dundalk and if she settles better she could go close.

Moving on to Tuesday I rather like the name of one of the runners in the 6.50 at Folkestone – Guesswork – quite a lot of that is involved in trying to find the winner of a horse race! This 2 year old is actually not without a chance having finished 4th first time out. She is related to the high class Court Masterpiece. At Ripon in the 4.00 High Office looks sure to go well after his 2nd at Beverley recently.

My thanks to Katy Sodeau (racing at Windsor) and Ruth Buchanan (parade ring at Thirsk) for allowing me to use their paintings.  See links for more details on both artists.

That is about it for today. Next update Tuesday evening.

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Diary: May 29 & 30 2009

Given the name of this web site Mykingdomforahorse had to be one for me to follow last season; he even won a race! This son of Fantastic Light stays in training with Mick Channon and has his second run of the season at Goodwood in the 4.10. He only beat one home at Windsor last time though so I am not going to go overboard about his chances. Peter Makin’s Mabuya is my selection in this race. Runner up on his handicap debut at Bath he showed he handled Goodwood when 2nd there in a maiden last season and he looks a solid choice.

At Haydock’s evening meet I am relying on Tricky Situation in the 8.40. A half sister to the very useful Trick or Treat she was a promising 2nd on her only run as a juvenile.

Exgray is an interesting newcomer for Bryan Smart in the Musselburgh 6.50. An Exceed and Excel filly she is a half sister to the prolific juvenile winner Steelaninch. Later on the card one of the horses on my list to follow, Woodsley House, lines up in the 8.50. The 7 year old is back to the same mark as his last win but ideally would like some cut in the ground.

I will be a bit short of time tomorrow evening so I will look ahead to Saturday’s meeting tonight starting at Doncaster. In the opener at 2.30 Alrasm, second on his debut at Newbury should be able to go one better and should benefit from his debut effort.

There are two runners from my list to follow in action on the Town Moor. Lucky Dance in the 4.05 and Falcativ in the 4.40. The latter has won his last 3 starts and is clearly on the upgrade and he has the better chance of the pair.

Off to Goodwood next where I have high hopes of Crackentorp in the 2.50. A winner twice on the all weather at Lingfield last season he looks less exposed than some of his rivals.

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The listed race at 3.25 features a couple of runners, King of Dixie and Premio Loco that have built their reputations mainly on their efforts on the all weather. Premio Loco comes from a stable that had a nice winner today thanks to Luminous Gold. Premio Loco is respected but I narrowly prefer King of Dixie. After running a shocker on his seasonal reappearance at Wolverhampton Hillside Lad put up a better show when 6th of 16 at Salisbury and back at 5 furlongs and having been dropped a couple of pounds by the assessor he can go well in the 4.30.

Riggins was hailed as the proverbial good thing at Newmarket but met with traffic problems and could only finish 8th. Off the same mark he should make amends in the 5.40.

Since putting in some top class efforts last season Captain Gerrard has completely lost the plot. I see that he wears first time blinkers in Haydock’s 2.05 tomorrow and it will be interesting to see if they do the trick. He prefers some give in the ground so some rain would not go amiss.

Main Aim romped away with a Newbury handicap a couple of weeks ago and he may well be able to cope with the step up to Group Class in the 3.05. He seems versatile with regards to ground conditions.

Cape Tribulation’s last win on the flat came in a Nottingham maiden but since then he has had some notable success over hurdles. It may be that his handicap mark on the flat is on the lenient side and with Seb Sanders in the saddle being another plus he looks an interesting runner in the 4.45.

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Court Masterpiece won the Sussex Stakes in 2006 before leaving the UK to race abroad. He hasn’t run anywhere for a couple of years but I see he is now with John Quinn and lines up in the 2.40 at York. It will be interesting to see how he gets on.

I fancied Hitchens and Siren’s Gift in the 3.45. Hitchens was disappointing on his last start however so I have decided to go with Siren’s Gift. The stable are in good form (Lochstar won for them today) and the horse was only narrowly beaten by Look Busy last time out and that horse has well and truly franked the form since. In the 4.20 I like the look of the well bred newcomer Sweet Sonnet.

The lightly raced Quannah Parker, named after an Indian chief, ran a fine race in 3rd at Haydock last Saturday and a repeat of that sort of performance will see him claim a few scalps in the 4.55.

I have one selection at each of Saturday’s evening cards. Free Falling in the 7.00 at Lingfield and Dream of Gerontius in the 6.45 at Newburyb where the unraced Flashy Lover would also be interesting particularly if attracting market support.

Today’s pictures are by courtesy of the artist Katy Sodeau.

Good luck

Diary: May 28 2009

The best quality racing tomorrow comes from Sandown where I will start with the handicap at 8.50. Cadre did us a favour at very generous odds last time and being a lightly raced sort can’t be ruled out. The other one I would put forward in this race is Shamali. This 4 year old has only had 3 starts winning the last of these at Wolverhampton in November. A mark of 85 might well underestimate his ability.

Patkai has a 50% career strike rate and is 2 from 2 at the trip in the 7.10. Having said that no favourite has won the race in the last 10 years so the 8/13 on offer is probably not that attractive.

We are faced with a similar dilemma in the 7.45 where only 2 favourites have obliged in the last decade. I still fancy a couple at the head of the betting though in Pipedreamer and Conduit. There is a doubt whether the trip is quite ideal for either horse but I will just give the edge to Pipedreamer who has the benefit of a run this season.

My last fancy at Sandown is Border Patrol who seems to be improving rapidly.

Sir Royal has disappointed in his 2 runs this season but both were on fast ground. If conditions are a bit easier tomorrow he might be worth a small each way interest in the Ayr 3.50.

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At Lingfield Lochstar should strip fitter for his run at the track earlier in the month and is my selection in the 3.30. He will have to overcome a poor draw however.

Sir Michael Stoute has his horses in great form and his Dancourt looks the one to be on in the 4.30. He is making his handicap bow and looks to be on a mark that his trainer can exploit.

Looking for a bit of value at Yarmouth it might be worth having a look at Choral Service in the 3.10. He did enough on his reappearance at Nottingham to suggest he has a race in him. Maverin is another that has claims.

Espiritu has form in decent races and look the one to beat in the 3.40.

Ithbaat won well at Yarmouth on May 11 and the 4th in that race has since won while the runner up was only beaten a short head on his next start. Ithbaat looks to have more to offer and gets the nod in the Newcastle 9.15.

Today’s picture is by courtesy of the artist Jane Dunn.

Diary: May 26 2009

There are some familiar names in action at Chepstow tomorrow. I remember Caribbean Coral winning the Vodaphone Dash at Epsom back in 2004. He’s a 10 year old now and hasn’t won for nearly a year but he has always been bit tricky to win with as he needs to be held up until the last moment. George Baker rides him tomorrow in the 2.30 where he has an each way chance.

Another that caught my eye was the 5 year old Cheap Street in the 4.50. He was a decent juvenile winning 3 times when but he hasn’t won since. Rated as high as 90 at one time I see he is racing off a mark of 64 now.

It seems reasonable to hope that the well related Venture Capitalist will improve for a step up to 10 furlongs in the 3.30 at Leicester and I think he could go well. One that could pose a threat is Michael Bell’s Halfway House, a beaten favourite on his last run but now coming down in trip.

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Invincible Lad won a couple of times on the all weather last October. He is a half brother to Ellen’s Academy who was a firm ground specialist so he is worth a second look in the 4.30.

Turning to the Redcar 2.10 Wigan Lane is a half sister to a couple of horses that won first time out as juveniles and comes from a stable well known for first time out winners. She is also well drawn.

Baybshambles was a real fun horse to follow last season winning 3 races. He was finishing strongly when just failing to get up at Beverley last time out and has a chance in the 3.40 despite being 3 lbs out of the handicap.

There are a few horses that you might like to consider on Wednesday.

Beverley 6.20 – Mr Freddy; 6.50 – Northside Prince; Lingfield 3.35 – Aromatic.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Jo Stockdale (see links).

Good luck

Diary: May 25 2009

Mick Channon has a few horses in his string whose names have connections with Southampton. Last season’s winning 2 year old Woolston Ferry is one – I remember catching the ferry to go to the cinema at Woolston to watch the Bond film “You only live twice.” I don’t know if the ferry, or come to that, the cinema is still there now. Anyway, I latched on to Archers Road (pictured below) this year partly because I used to live there – a street opposite the Dell where Channon was so often the hero in his footballing days. The horse is as tough as they come and scored for the third time at Beverley yesterday. He is yet to be out of the first two in 7 starts!

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I was really pleased with Friday night’s preview which yielded quite a few winners. Apart from Archer’s Road the one that particularly pleased me was Moheeb who seemed to have everything in his favour and absolutely dotted up. Exceptional Art gave us a 12/1 winner and there were several more winners from my list to follow.

It was good to see the Temple Stakes fought out by two of the most genuine horses in training and both from unfashionable yards.

Sunday was not quite such a success story but at least Casual Conquest gave me something to shout about. It is of course a frustrating old game as demonstrated by Jimmy Styles who went and won just when I decided to desert him.

There are plenty of meetings around and about tomorrow but I have just picked out 7 horses to look at.

Starting at Chepstow where Barry Hills has Park Lane in the 2.50. On his debut as a two year old Park Lane was beaten 6.75 lengths by Nasri despite being unfancied at 33/1. He has finished 2nd on his last couple of starts, both on the all weather at Lingfield. The form of that last run has hardly worked out well as both the winner and the 3rd have finished last on their subsequent outing. Barry Hills has his horses in great form and Park Lane has obvious claims in what looks a weak race but at around 5/2 I just don’t think he is value.

The next one I considered was Dannios in the 4.00 at Chepstow. Luca Cumani’s 3 year old ran 3 times last season over 6 furlongs in the space of about 5 or 6 weeks. Stepped up to a mile in handicap company off a mark of just 65 he could well be leniently treated and at around 8/1 he looks a reasonable bet.

Dog on the racecourse II

At Leicester John Quinn runs Surprise Pension in the 2.05. This horse has been dropped to a mark of 54 and with a useful apprentice taking some more weight off is handicapped to be competitive. The stable have had a few winners recently after a quiet spell but I would just worry that the horse might prefer some juice in the ground so although I am tempted at 8/1 I am going to pass him over.

High Office remains a maiden although he has been placed on 4 out of his 5 starts. He has gone up 5 lbs for finishing 2nd at Beverley which seems a bit harsh. He has a chance in a trappy looking race.

Nanton was 2nd in the Cambridgeshire last season and is only 2 lbs higher for the Zetland Gold Cup tomorrow (Redcar 3.55.) Quick ground suits him and if at his best 16/1 would be a big price about him.

They race at Cartmel tomorrow evening where my selections are Knockara Beau (3.35) and Pay On (5.20).

My thanks to Dan Maudsley for his unusual photo of a sheepdog on the racecourse at Cartmel.

The photo of Archer’s Road is by kind permission of British 2YO Racing.

Diary: May 24 2009

Today went pretty well for my selections and the horses on my list to follow.

Tomorrow at Newmarket Hyades looks good for the 3.30. Trip and ground should suit and the form of his win at Yarmouth has worked out well as the runner up has since won. I think William Haggas’s Mutamaashi could also go well in this race.

I tipped Jimmy Styles when he was second at Ascot and while he is worth considering tomorrow in the 4.05 I have a feeling that Musaalem may be able to return to the form that saw him win twice last season and he is the selection.

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The ground is sure to play a part at The Curragh tomorrow. Casual Conquest probably didn’t have the race run to suit when second to Bronze Cannon last time and he can do better in the 3.05. I don’t have a strong view on the 1,000 Guineas but Chintz and Luminous Eyes are a couple that make some appeal at big prices.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Trudy Redfern

Diary: May 23 2009

I have been in good form recently and today yielded 3 winners as well as a couple of seconds.

Turning to Saturday, at Beverley Judge ‘n Jury represents my list to follow in the 3.20. He has not been at his best of late but I wouldn’t rule him out in this. One that could run well here is Fullandby, a course and distance winner that is well drawn and acts on the ground, although he did run poorly last time.

The tough juvenile Archer’s Road is yet to finish out of the first two and is probably worth following while he maintains that sort of form. He goes in the 3.50.

Staying in Yorkshire I think that Dig Deep, who runs in the 4.10 has a nice sprint handicap in him at some stage of the season. He has won 5 times in handicap company and 4 of those wins were off higher marks so he is not badly handicapped. The stable are also coming into a bit of form after a quiet spell.

Exceptional Art is clearly a talented sort and well regarded by connections. He has tended to be a bit too keen for his own good but if he settles tomorrow he would be a threat in the Haydock 2.05. The lightly braced Miss Eze could also be worth a look as she won a maiden on heavy ground last season and has a feather weight.

Adorn looks to have the credentials to win the Cecil Frail Stakes at 2.35. She should handle some cut in the ground although I am not sure that 7/2 quoted in the RP is particularly good value.

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Anmour Propre would have been one of my main fancies for the Temple Stakes at 3.10 but at the time of writing he seems unlikely to line up because of the ground. Borderlescott looked to have retained his ability when 3rd to Amour Propre on his reappearance at Newmarket and he has to be on the short list. Bryan Smart relies on Captain Gerrard who will love the ground. Another at home on the ground will be Reverence who put up a good effort from a bad draw at Naas when runner up in a listed race there last month. Looks Busy has been running well this season and is another to consider, as is Tax Free. Although the ground would appear to have gone against the latter. Borderlescott is probably the percentage call as he rarely runs a bad race. Look Busy and Captain Gerrard should run well at bigger prices.

Sir Michael Stoute is a trainer in form and his recent Windsor winner Desert Creek looks an improver and can defy a rise in the weights in the 3.40.

In the 4.15 Moheeb has come down in the weights and acts on the ground. He could go well at a big price.

I have a short list of 3 for the 4.50 consisting of Opinion Poll, Alanbrooke and Distant Memories. I will burden Alanbrooke with my selection as I thought that he ran a promising race in defeat at Newbury recently.

I am hoping for a good run from Elite Racing Club runner Harlech Castle in the 5.25. He will act on the ground but may just have a bit too much on his plate and I prefer Atlantic Beach.

The 2.20 at Newmarket looks to be between Your Old Pal, Palavicini and Father Time. Father Time was 3rd in the Lingfield Derby Trial and the 4th, Alwaary has won well since so Father Time will do for me.

FinalFlourish

Nasri’s running in the Greenham was too bad to be true and I am going to stay with him at a big price in the 2.50.

Dark Lane looks to have a progressive profile and I would give him an each way chance in the 3.25, while recent Doncaster winner Hawk Mountain is the selection in the 5.45.

At The Curragh Delegator is the form pick in the Irish 2,000 Guineas at 3.45. He was runner up in what looked a strong renewal of the English version and has very solid claims. If he is to be toppled then Rayeni couild be the one to oppose him with. The John Oxx trained colt won both his starts as a 2 year old and handles soft ground.

In the 3.10 the in form Utmost Respect looks the one to be on after his excellent win last week at York on ground that wouldn’t have suited him.

Today’s pictures are by kind permission of the artist Margaret Barratt.

Bye for now