Diary: September 24 2010


Tomorrow sees the start of the Ascot Festival meeting and I will start tonight’s bulletin there. The first race, the 2.00 is a nursery, that is a handicap for 2 year olds. I have been following Byrony who is trained by Richard Hannon and the horse has now won 3 in a row. He has of course gone up considerably in the weights but I will stick with him until he loses. Another I like in this race is Apace a winner at Folkestone last month.

Another horse that I have been following is Michael Bell’s Hypnotized who runs in the 2.35. He has won a couple of times on the all weather at Kempton but has largely been disappointing of late. He tries a longer trip here but as he has tended to pull hard in his races I will keep a watching brief on this occasion.

In the 3.10 there are 3 horses that I have been following; Star Rover, Dungannon and Deacon Blues. I am not sure that either Star Rover or Dungannon are racing over their optimum trip here so I will plump for the consistent Deacon Blues who was a good third in the Portland handicap on his last start and has the benefit of Kieren Fallon in the saddle (who won for us on Jade at Pontefract today).

In the 3.45 I am going for the 100/1 outsider Funday. She is a sister to the hurdler Pigeon Island and I just think she may be better than she has shown so far.


There are some decent types in the handicap at 4.20. The connections of Bramshaw were very enthusiastic about him when they appeared on the Morning Line the other week and this lightly raced type is one to consider. For my selection though I have chosen Brick Red who was a winner at Kempton last month and may be ahead of the handicapper.

Haydock next and Muffraaj is an interesting runner in the 2.45. As the name suggests he is by Iffraaj who was Timeform’s highest rated speed horse of 2006. Leviathan will like the soft ground and is my selection in the 4.30.

In the 5.05 Lordship ticks most of the right boxes. He likes soft ground and has won 3 times for his jockey Jake Payne.

At Wolverhampton the Godolphin juvenile Tahaamah can make a winning debut in the 7.45.

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

Diary: September 23 2010

I don’t have a particularly strong view on tomorrow’s racing but I will just point out a handful of horses of interest.

Staring at Pontefract in the 2.30 Jade has shown some promise for up and coming trainer Ollie Pears. He will stay further than this 6 furlongs in time and may be being lined up for a handicap over further once he has qualified for a rating. With K Fallon booked to ride tomorrow though he could be of interest if there is any market confidence behind him. Jade is certainly one to look out for.


Cheyenne Red who runs in the 3.30 is one to keep tabs on in the coming weeks as he has slipped down the weights to what looks a winnable mark. His record suggests that he likes some give in the ground and he may not get that at Pontefract tomorrow. Once again though he is one for the notebook.

The 4.00 could be between High Office and Fastnet Storm. Fastnet Storm has won twice at the track from 3 runs while High Office showed a willing attitude when scoring at Yarmouth last week and reappears here under a 6 lbs penalty.

At Perth could be one to go well at a big price is Le Roi Max in the novice hurdle at 2.50.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Jo Stockdale.

Diary: September 21 2010


There was nothing very remarkable about today’s racing apart from perhaps the fact that Captain Scooby (4/1) won at Hamilton and Scooby Dee (25/1) won at Leicester! Did you have the double?

There is not much doing today. The conditions sprint at Beverley (3.30) is the most interesting race of the day. Last year’s winner Captain Dunne lines up again while Our Jonathon and Anglezarke both seek to recapture last season’s form. Tax Free is probably the percentage call. He was second last time out at The Curragh and the winner has since gone in again. As long as the going isn’t too soft he looks the likely winner. For the more adventurous spirits among you Anglezarke and Our Jonathon would have chances on 2009 form.

Diary: September 20 2010

We had quite a successful weekend from a punting prospective. Forte Dei Marmi collected his 3rd big handicap prize of the season at Newbury although his backers were given a few anxious moments as Kieren Fallon had to extricate the horse from the deepest of pockets. Luca Cumani’s charge looks likely to contest a listed or group 3 race next time.

Paul Hannigan had a successful week at Ayr as he closes in on the jockey’s title. He ended the week with a well judged front running ride on Cosmic Sun. Another horse to make all the running was Spoken at Newmarket who was also winning for the 3rd time this season.

We also had a profitable time of it this afternoon thanks to Royal Trooper. His win at Hamilton was his 3rd career success and they have all been gained off a handicap mark of 70.

Turning to tomorrow’s racing Knot in Wood has plenty going for him in the 2.40. He won the race in 2008 and has won 4 times in total at the track. He ran in the Ayr Gold Cup yesterday just as he had done in 2008 so being turned out again so quickly is not a negative.

At Leicester the well regarded Dean Swift can make a winning debut in the 2.20. I have been following Walvis Bay this season. He runs in the Leicester 3.20 but he may just be a little high in the weights so I am going to bypass him this time.

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Julie Whitwam.

Diary: September 18 2010

Cheverton gave us an 11/1 winner in the Ayr Bronze Cup from a high draw which may well be a pointer for the Gold and Silver versions tomorrow.

The Ayr Gold Cup 3.20 looks particularly tricky but I will run through a few of the horses that I fancy. Evens and Odds did us a favour in the Stewards Cup and although he has gone up 6 lbs for that win he has what could be a favourable high draw. Jonny Mudball was just pipped on the line at Goodwood in the Stewards and is handicapped to again finish close to Evens and Odds. He is another with a good draw in stall 25. Poet’s Place has a 5 lbs penalty for his impressive win in the Portland handicap. He is clearly on the upgrade and may well be ahead of the handicapper.

Victoire de Lyphar has the potential to be a group horse and could be the best of the Dandy Nicholls runners. He is drawn 24. Hawkeyethenoo has already won 3 times this season and could still be improving. If the draw bias turns out to favour those drawn low then Johannes could be worth considering. He is not on a bad mark if he can recapture his early season form.

If pushed to narrow it down I would choose Victoire de Lyphar and Hawkeyethenoo.

In the Silver Cup at 2.15 Hogmaneigh would be my pick of those drawn low. Definightly and Something are worth considering from the middle draws and of those drawn high Tiddlywinks would be my main fancy.

My two against the field in the 5.00 are Tamaathul and Our Joe Mac. Other selections at Ayr are Sweetie Time (2.45) and Cosmic Sun (5.35).


At Newbury I would keep an eye on Red Lover who has been the subject of some favourable reports. His trainer does not have many first time out winners so we might need to be patient with this one but he is one for the notebook.

In the 2.30 Temple Meads would have a good chance if he gets the trip and looks the value bet.

The progressive Forte Dei Marmi has already landed a couple of big handicaps and should go close in the 3.05 for Kieren Fallon.

The Group 3 sprint at 3.40 looks tricky. Triple Aspect should run well for his in form trainer despite having to carry a 3 lbs penalty while Total Gallery would be a player on his best form.

In the 4.15 Tazeez is the likely winner but his price is very short and it may be that Fair Trade could represent a bit of value should the favourite fail.

Fury comes from a winning family and represents William Haggas in the 4.50. The trainer has his share of debut winners and this one could well oblige.

The 5.25 is ultra competitive but sprint king Dandy Nicholls may have the answer with Xilerator a winner last time out who is less exposed than some of his rivals.

Rigidity looked good when winning at Chester last week and is preferred to Sour Mash and Spoken in the 4.40 at Newmarket. Others to look out for at Newmarket are the Andrew Balding pair of Simenon (3.30) and Cool Strike (4.05).

Today’s picture is courtesy of the artist Jo Stockdale.