Diary: July 1 2009


There are 3 runners from my list to follow in action tomorrow; At Catterick, Woodsley House (3.30) and Cape Vale (4.00) while at Kempton I have Emirates Sports in the 7.50.

Of the rest Cordoba catches the eye on pedigree in the Kempton 7.20 while on the same card Billberry looks to be on a winning mark in the 9.20.

Diary: June 29 & 30 2009

At least I got something right today with Fame and Glory justifying the market support to land yet another Group 1 for Aiden O’Brien. The real hero at The Curragh for me though was the evergreen sprinter Benbaun who now has form figures at the Irish track that read – 211221111231.

I will cover both Monday and Tuesday in tonight’s preview although to be honest there is not a great deal to comment on.

Sioux Rising won a Pontefract maiden on only her second outing and makes her handicap bow over course and distance in the 3.45 tomorrow off a mark of 80. The horses she beat have had mixed fortunes since so it is difficult to evaluate the form. She won well though and must be respected.

Pontefract Racecourse

Moving on the Windsor Maverin represents my list to follow in the 7.40. Form figures of 434323 tell their own story really and although he has a strong chance on official ratings he has been expensive to follow and could not be supported with any great confidence although the booking of Ryan Moore to ride him for the first time will not harm his chance.

At Wolverhampton Carleton could go well in the 5.00. He is on a decent mark if he handles the surface OK. The lightly raced Fleeting Star is another worth considering.

On Tuesday at Hamilton Exgray should have come on for her promising debut when 2nd at Musselburgh – she runs in the Hamilton 2.15. Northside Prince has shown some signs of promise in his races and is one I have been keeping tabs on. He runs in the 3.15 and I see he is dropped in trip to a mile despite having a stamina laden pedigree.

My list horse at Thirsk is Cape Vale in the 9.00. He has been a frustrating horse to follow and I can’t help thinking that he needs easier ground and some help from the handicapper.

Lastly, my list to follow is also is represented by Halfway House in the Brighton 4.00.

My thanks to David Hebb for his photograph of Pontefract racecourse.

Diary: June 28 2009

With Sea the Stars missing from the Irish Derby I don’t have a strong view on the outcome. Fame and Glory would seem the obvious choice and so often the obvious choice is the right one!

The Group 3 sprint at 2.10 could go the way of Inxile who seems to enjoy his trips across the Irish Sea. A revitalised Captain Gerrard and course specialist Benbaun (pictured below) are the likely dangers.


As a member of the Elite Racing Club I will be hoping for a win from the club 2 year old State Fair tomorrow in the 2.00 at Salisbury. He has the best form of those that have run so I am reasonably optimistic.

Surprise Pension has already done me a favour this season when winning at Leicester. The runner up that day has franked the form and Surprise Pension may well be hard to beat in the 2.35.

Over in France Curtain Call is my selection for the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Today’s picture is by the artist Karen Davies.

Diary: June 27 2009

Tomorrow sees Newcastle stage there big day, at least on the flat, with the Northumberland Plate. The two that I looked at for this were Wells Lyrical and Electrolyser. The former has not been out of the first 3 in his last 8 starts and won 3 times on the bounce last season. He gets this trip only going down by half a length over this trip at Doncaster on his latest start. His career wins have all come on ground officially classed as good and it is possible he might not want conditions to be too quick. Electrolyser has only had 6 career starts having not raced as a juvenile. He looks a late maturing sort and although untried at this trip he shapes as though a test of stamina could play to his strengths. Clive Cox has had his team in tremendous form and in Electrolyser he has a live contender here.

The Osteopath won at Newcastle on Thursday and Osteopathic Remedy, in the same ownership looks quite well weighted to score in the 3.45. He handles any ground and comes into this race in good heart having finished runner up at Redcar last week.

Mark Johnston has an interesting newcomer in the 4.20. Lowdown is a half brother to several winners including Al Khaleej. My regulars will know I have been plugging the chances of a horse called Danehillsundance over the last few weeks – with a notable lack of success. I suppose I will have to desert him now so he will most likely bolt up at a big price in the 4.50. He is well handicapped.


Dream Eater has only won once in 14 starts but he has some good form in the book nonetheless. He has been eased in class tomorrow in the 3.25 at Newmarket and also dropped back to 7 furlongs and I would hope for a big run from him. Court Masterpiece would be a big danger at his best.

The lightly raced Wintercast is my selection in the 4.00 where he looks less exposed than some of his rivals.

Spirit of Dubai was 4th behind Midday in the Lingfield Oaks Trial and if reproducing that form would take some beating in the Chester 3.50.

Hawk Mountain rarely runs a bad race and looks the likely winner in the Doncaster 8.10 where he is a course and distance winner.

There are two runners from my list to follow in action at Windsor. Judge ‘N Jury in the 3.35 has come down a little in the weights and has a 7 lbs claimer on board but really quick ground is probably not ideal for him. In the 4.05 I am hopeful of a good run from Warringah although the 2/1 quoted about him in the RP looks too short.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Karen Davies.

Good luck

Diary: June 26 2009

At Folkestone tomorrow I am quiet interested in a couple of horses that are looking to complete hat tricks. Our old friend Caribbean Coral has won sellers at Bath and Brighton this month and while the 3.05 tomorrow is probably a harder race than either of those he is certainly in form.

At the tail end of the jumps season Callisto Moon put up a really good performance over hurdles when runner up to Sangfroid at Sandown. Back on the level I quite fancied him back at the Esher track for a staying handicap but I didn’t quite have the courage of my convictions. He duly came in at 20/1 and has won since at Musselburgh. He runs in the 3.40 tomorrow when he will be ridden by a jockey in excellent form, Daryl Holland.

atastretchamended malton

Kattar was last of 6 on his handicap debut but there may have been excuses for him and 14/1 looks a big price in the 5.15. Before leaving Folkestone I have to point out that George Baker looks to have a good chance in the opener at 2.30. That is George Baker the horse, trained by George Baker and ridden by another George Baker!

Hitchens hasn’t done much since winning a conditions event at Thirsk but he has come down the weights a few pounds as a result. He could be given a small each way chance in the Newcastle 7.25. The 7.55 looks to be between Silk Trail and Kammann. Silk Trail is preferred. Charles Parnell is on a handy mark compared to his all weather form and I can see him going close in the 8.55.

The only runner from my list to follow at Newmarket is Dark Lane in the 9.10. He is not without a chance and the drop back to 5 furlongs may well help him.

At Doncaster Wigan Lane has an each way chance in the 2.20.

Today’s picture is by courtesy of the artist Ruth Buchanan.

Diary: June 25 2009

This evening I will concentrate on the chances of the runners from my list to follow.

Starting at Kempton in the 3.40 we are represented by Cloudy Start, a winner at Epsom last time out over 7 furlongs. He looks a progressive sort and the extra furlong tomorrow should help him but he has a fair bit to find on official ratings in this conditions event. He has an each way chance.

Hillside Las has only won once from 8 starts and that was a Lingfield maiden. He has generally run his race though and with a first time visor and conditions largely in his favour he comes into the 4.10 with a sound chance.

Like Hillside Lad, Penang Princess is trained by Ralph Beckett and is probably my best chance of a winner tomorrow. She goes in the 4.40 and comes into the race on the 00back of a win at Sandown last month where she beat today’s Salisbury victor King Of Wands.

Free Falling runs in the 5.40 but has been largely disappointing and is best watched at present.

katy warwick

At Warwick Ralph Beckett saddles Bennelong in the 3.20. He has been fairly consistent and should finish in the first 3.

My other runners at Warwick are Honest Quality (3.50) and Choral Service (4.20). The latter, making his handicap debut is perhaps the more interesting of the pair.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Katy Sodeau.

Diary: June 24 2009


The Carlisle Bell Handicap (3.35) is a typically tight looking affair.  I have been following Sir Royal all  season and I think I will stick with him here to convert his recent seconds into a win. The stable won the race a few season’s back with Hartshead.


Dig Deep is well handicapped on his best form and looked to be coming back to form when 4th at Pontefract last time.  He is my selection in the 5.15.

Down at Salisbury the card opens with a four runner staying handicap where they all look to have chances.  I narrowly prefer Darley Sun to King of Wands.

Keep an eye on Forest Crown in the 2.10.  She is a half sister to Crowded House.  Mabuya has been doing enough to suggest he can win a modest contest and he should go close in the 3.15.

My thanks to Jane Ince for the excellent photo of Carlisle racecourse.


Diary: June 22 & 23


There are certain publications that are essential reading for anyone that follows the sport of Kings. One book that I buy every year is Steve Taplin’s excellent publication that gives an informed insight into the prospects of the latest crop of 2 year olds. His selections are well worth following, not just in their juvenile season, but also in subsequent years. Art Connoisseur who won the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Ascot yesterday featured in Mr Taplin’s book last year as one of his 50 to follow.

The recession is bound to hit the racing industry and one recent high profile victim is the Scottish trainer Len Lungo who has announced his retirement. Always a good trainer to follow around the northern tracks Lungo trained the likes of Brooklyn Breeze, Crazy Horse, Full Irish, Villon, Monolith, Rehearsal, Skipper’s Brig, Rasharrow and Wild Cane Ridge (pictured below).

wild cane ridge haydock

One of my favourite Lungo trained horses was The Bajan Bandit who won 15 times in his career with 9 of those coming at Ayr. Len Lungo will certainly be missed.

As usual I will cover both Monday and Tuesday in tonight’s preview. There are plenty of meetings to go at and I will endeavour to find something of interest at each one.

The Tatling (pictured below) is a 12 year old now and has had a splendid career winning 14 times including 2 Group 2s and a couple of Group 3s. He runs in a much lower grade these days claiming races these days and runs in a claimer in the Chepstow 6.50 tomorrow. He ran poorly at Bath last time out but is weighted to win tomorrow if he can put that disappointing effort behind him.

the tatling

Guesswork and Virginia Hall both went into my notebook as possible juveniles to follow based on pedigree. Guesswork has finished 4th in both her starts and I see that she is dropped back to the minimum trip for the Lingfield 2.15 tomorrow. Virginia Hall was last of 9 on her debut run but like Guesswork she has shown some early speed. I wouldn’t write off either of these fillies just yet.

Billberry was finishing strongly when 3rd at Lingfield over a mile on his first run of the season. That run should put him spot on and he returns to Lingfield for the 2.45 tomorrow. He is a course and distance winner.

Lochstar has won two of his four starts on the all weather and should go well for Andrew Balding and William Buick in the 3.15.

Seeking the Buck is my selection for the 3.45. Hr is on a hat trick and looks well weighted.

You wouldn’t envy the task of the course commentator at Windsor in the last race tomorrow evening. Googoobarabajagal runs in the 9.10 and I bet the commentator is praying the horse isn’t involved in the finish!


Masafi won an amazing 7 times in the 2004 season when trained by Sir Mark Prescott and has since been hurdling for Howard Johnson. He hasn’t won since January 2006 but should go close in the seller at Wolverhampton tomorrow (2.30). His main rival might be Aureate another horse that has come down in the world since the day he won a Chester handicap by 19 lengths for Mark Johnston. Masafi is also entered in the 2.45 at Beverley on Wednesday.

Caribbean Coral was useful in his time, winning the Vodaphone Dash at Epsom in 2004. He runs in selling company these days and won in that grade at Bath last week. He looks the one to beat in the 3.30. He is a course and distance winner on the strength of a success at the seaside track on only the second race of his career back in 2001. The main danger my come from a more prolific course and distance winner in Landucci who has won 6 times at Brighton, in fact he has never won on turf anywhere else.

At Newbury on Tuesday Richard Hannon gives a debut to the well named Sabatini who is out of a mare called Two Sets to Love. She runs in the 6.50. Hannon is mob handed in the 7.25 with 4 runners. Two of them are by first season sire Motivator, these are Love Action and Pollenator. John Dunlop has a good record in this race and it would be worth considering his newcomer Clarietta.

newbury small

There are a number of illustrations in tonight’s preview. My thanks to Sarah Clegg (photo of Wild Cane Ridge), Lisa Miller (The Tatling and Newbury parade ring) and Katy Sodeau (Windsor).

Diary: June 20 2009

We are back at Ascot again tomorrow where my selections have mainly failed to cover themselves in glory during the week.

I was hopeful that Tajaaweed would have a good season for Sir Michael Stoute. The former Dee Stakes winner began his campaign at Longchamps where he was 8th in Group 1 behind Vision D’Etat. Fast ground may not be ideal for him though and I see that Ryan Moore has elected to ride another Chester winner, Doctor Freemantle in the 3.05.

Crackentorp was 2nd at Goodwood at the end of May. He is a lightly raced sort and should be suited by a good gallop as he appears to have plenty of stamina. He is my main hope in the 5.00.

The marathon trip of the 5.35 will take some getting so proven stamina is a key requisite for any selection. Tyrrells Wood is a dual hurdles winner and won on the flat at Pontefract over 2 miles one in a truly run race. Tasheba is another winning hurdler that comes into this race with a sound chance. He won on the flat over 17 furlongs for Peter Chapple-Hyam and scored over hurdles at Ascot and Cheltenham.


Siren’s Gift doesn’t always look the most straightforward and has gone off the boil a bit since finishing a close up 3rd to Look Busy at Bath. Although she doesn’t have a great strike rate I can’t help thinking that she has a nice race in her at some point this season. She runs in the Ayr 2.55 but might find the track and going not quite to her liking. Keep an eye on her for the future though on fast ground and a sharp track.

Red Kestrel started the season on a mark of 95 which seemed rather harsh. Two defeats have seen that rating reduce to 88 which should enable him to be more competitive in the Ayr 3.25 where the step up in distance will also be a plus factor.

Seafield Towers is on a losing run of 35 which must put him up there with the least successful flat horses. His last win came at Ayr back in 2005 and he returns to the scene of that triumph for the 4.35. His 3 career wins have come at 4/1, 33/1 and 20/1 – he is 33/1 in the RP for tomorrow’s race. Are we in for another big price win from 9 year old? I probably wouldn’t bet on it – at least not with very much money!


Invincible Lad has been in fine form lately but has risen to a career high mark as a result. He still comes into the reckoning in the 5.10 though.

There are a couple of runners at Newmarket that are worth a close look. I liked the way that Bravo Echo ran when 3rd at Sandown and he is my selection in the 2.10. In the 4.55 I like the look of the Godolphin newcomer In Footlights, on paper at least.

At Haydock there are a couple of runners from my list to follow in the 9.05. Hey Up Dad is yet to find his form this season so I will go with Mr Freddy from the in form stable of Richard Fahey.

Today’s pictures are by courtesy of the artist Katie Scorgie.

Good luck