Firstly I need to get something off my chest. Paul Jewell please buy a CB one who can actually defend, doesn’t get injured and can pass a ball. A performance last night that was unacceptable and sadly just the thing I’ve come to expect off Ipswich these past few years, I know following a football club tends to be like a yo-yo but we’ve not had many ups lately and considering the amount of money Marcus Evans has pumped into the club it is unacceptable. The team as I stated in my pre season preview needs time to gel and as a fan I need to be patient but results like last night leave a sour and depressing taste. On Sky on Saturday against Peterborough so that should be amusing, only saving grace is that we are away from home!
Yesterday’s Musselburgh selections were just as depressing, Highland Warrior to his credit didn’t run that bad a race and stayed on well he was sent off at 33/1 and he’s one of those likely to pop up again sometime, worth adding to a Nag me alert. Midnight Dynamo on the other hand looked very much one paced and despite the weight pull with Blown It and Wicked Wilma never looked like getting involved. Nicola’s Dream was well backed into 5/2 from the early price of 5/1 she however was also pretty disappointing and never looked like getting close to the inform Carragold once he had flown the nest.
Today’s racing fortunately is a little better than the last couple of days. The highlight without doubt being the first day of the York Ebor meeting. There is also a decent looking class 3 handicap at Nottingham and a couple of other flat cards.
2.00 York – Numerous possibilities in here not least with a couple of old stagers who love the course and distance in Ancient Cross and Johannes. Strike Up The Band and Irish Heartbeat also look in good form and have won off higher marks. I’m though going to take a chance on one who I think could prove much better than this class in time, that one is Barry Hills runner Shropshire who drops back to 5f sprints having been contesting better races over further. Last year he was sent off favourite for the Gimcrack albeit flopping having previously won a maiden in emphatic fashion from the 100+ rated Lexis Hero. This season he ran in the Greenham and finished behind Frankel and Exceleberation the best three year olds at or around the mile distance, he was beaten 10l but on the bare form of that he should be better than a 90 rated handicapper. His run at York where he was sent off a 15/8 was hugely disappointing whilst last time out at Goodwood he led for a fair way in a decent looking three year old handicap. He’s got a hood on today and I’m hopeful it will ensure he bounces out well, gets to contest the lead or be thereabouts and then proves he’s some way better than a 90 rated animal. In summary I think most of these tend to beat each other and it’s a case of trying to find one capable of being ahead of his mark, I do feel Shropshire is one. Obviously plenty of dangers and I’m going to go win only as he’s just as likely to blow out.
- 1pt win Shropshire @ 12/1 Bet 365
2.30 York – Two year old races tend to be ones I avoid, mainly as you’ve no real handle on how much improvement any horse is capable of and there’s very little form to combine. I do though think one in here is overpriced based on his last run and I also like to forget one bad run from a horse who has shown form previously. Fort Bastion ran a pretty average race at the July meeting but was given what you’d call a pretty wet ride by Peslier. He was miles behind as the two leaders Chandlery and Red Duke quickened up front and both have since run well. Fort Bastion prior to that run finished second to Maybe in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, the form behind him that day doesn’t look great but the fact he got to within 2l of Maybe I feel entitles him to be worth another chance. Maybe has since dotted up in a Group 2 in Ireland. There are a wide number of animals in here who could prove well above average but your taking them on the unknown on the whole, just feel at 12/1 Fort Bastion is worth another chance. I think the other I’d consider backing as a cover would be Entifaadha for Haggas and Hills who won what looks a cracking maiden comfortably at HQ, Fencing who was third has since won the Washington Singer, second that day Telwaar was further behind Fort Bastion in Chesham. The fourth Burano from Entifaadha’s maiden was beaten a neck prior to that by Rockinante who has since been narrowly beaten by Chandlery and then won a listed race in France. The Irish runners could be anything but I’ll be honest I’m happy to oppose them.
- 1pt win Fort Bastion @ 12/1 Stan James
- 1pt win Entifaadha @ 5/1 Ladbrokes
3.05 York – Cracking renewal of this Group 2 and we get to see our ante-post 100/1 tip for the Leger reappear in Thimaar. I’d be hopeful of a good run more than anything as all he’s done so far is win a maiden, franked slightly by Cops and Robbers winning. He’s obviously got a lot to prove in here but you never know, main thing from my point of view is he runs well and then turns up at Doncaster no point having a 100/1 bet on a non-runner, obviously I’d be chuffed to see him win here but won’t actually be advising a bet on him here as I think this race actually resembles the Leger field bar a few others Census, Brown Panther, Fiorente and I’d rather not back him at 20s if that makes any sense. Whoever wins this race will rightly be the Leger favourite and the current one Seville is running in. He’s a horse I’ve rattled on about before and was my main hope for the Derby, where he flopped, he has though put in a couple of much more creditable attempts since not least in beating Treasure Beach and Reliable Man behind Meandre. That form is easily the best on offer here and he’s a worthy favourite but you’d have to be a bit put off that he keeps coming second and may yet again find one improve enough. Sea Moon for me is the hype horse in here, only Thimaar has a worse official rating of the eight and although he has potential the price of 3/1 doesn’t appeal one bit. Namibian and Hunter’s Light are pretty closely matched with preference for the former he rarely runs a bad race and is likely to lead here which could upset Seville who led in France. Al Kazeem and Thimaar have both faced off before and again look pretty closely matched. Genius Beast is the one at the current prices I feel is overpriced, I’ll say I think Seville should win but I think the sensible man would look at Genius Beast’s form and think why he is he 25/1 and something like Sea Moon 3/1. Last season he ran in the best maiden of the year finishing third behind only Frankel and Nathaniel, next time out he finished a length behind Nathaniel before then trotting up in a maiden. This year he won the Sandown Classic Trial ahead of some decent types not least Masked Marvel who has finished ahead of Namibian. Before then running a little flat in a Group 2 in France and then on soft ground at Royal Ascot behind Nathaniel. He’s got a bit to prove but I do think with Zarooni in good form and Fallon booked a price of 25/1 is a bit of an insult as he’s not out of his depth.
- 1pt e/w Genius Beast @ 25/1 Bet 365
3.30 Nottingham – This handicap has a fair number of likely improvers in the mix and you could probably make a case for several not least Midsummer Sun who following a win at Haydock was talked about in glowing terms he should prove better than his mark of 88, he does though have to bounce back from a poor run but that that last race was a Group 3. Ivan Vasilevich is in cracking form and won 3 of his last 5 he remains on the upgrade, likewise the Mark Prescott runner Arabian Heights. Polperro from the Gosden absolutely bolted up last time at Windsor in what looks a pretty decent maiden considering General Synod rated 85 was back in the field, he’d previously not been beaten by far by the likes of Albaasil, Arch Fire and Laatafreet all very useful three year olds. He like Midsummer Sun could prove a fair whack better than his mid 80 mark. The one I’m chancing though is Mohedian Lady from the Cumani yard. Her form from last year entitles her to be very competitive in here having finished 2l behind Beatrice Aurore on debut that one has since won a listed race and Group 3. She then ran with credit in a competitive sales race finishing pretty much in a bunch prior to winning a maiden easily. This season she has only been seen once back in May in a Newbury Listed race she was beaten 9l that day but wasn’t pushed overly hard close home. That listed race has produced the English and German Oaks winner, the Oaks third and a number of other winners. It’s one of the best pieces of form in here and with her form last season especially behind Beatrice Aurore and ahead of the likes of Rumh I feel she’s well capable of going well of a mark of 86 on her handicap debut. The 10/1 allows a little each way with 9 runners and I think that’s the way to go.
- 1pt e/w Mohedian Lady @ 10/1 Bet 365
3.40 York – Sticking with my mantra of value against hype. Now Await The Dawn is obviously not as hyped up as say Sea Moon but I feel he can be taken on at 4/5 by the Cecil pair. The one I’m siding with is Twice Over who has looked short of his old form this until a run in the Sky Bet York Stakes in July. He won that relatively easily and the form has been franked by Class Is Class, obviously Await The Dawn and Midday are both someway above that standard but I do feel Await The Dawn has yet to really meet a truly class horse he’s beaten the likes of Harris Tweed, Drunken Sailor, Distant Memories, Nanton what not but he’s not actually beaten anything that makes you sit and go wow he’s pretty damn unbeatable. Midday as it goes has and she is a wonderful mare but I’m just sticking with Twice Over against the pair of them hoping he can continue his reconnaiscance.
4.50 York – Eagles Peak beat our old friend Thimaar on debut and his mark of 98 may underestimate him but as with most of these short priced runners in big handicaps, thinking of the likes of Pekan Star and Mijhaar recently it’s worth finding something to take him on with. I’m not going to go into too much detail as I’m tired of droning on but going to chance two against him, the first is still on the upgrade and from the Johnston yard in Ithoughtitwasover, the run behind Parlour Games was good form especially as that one in my book is 100+ rated. He should continue to be competitive. The other I’m going to nominate is an older horse in World Heritage. I mulled over a few here but this horse has been coming back down the handicap and has some class form in the book he struggles to win but some of his old form in France behind the likes of Stacelita and Cirrus Des Aigles entitle him to be competitive off 95. Last time out he ran reasonably well behind Classic Punch and ahead of a couple of these who I see no reason why they would turn the form around in Demolition and Tiger Reigns.
- 1pt win Ithoughtitwasover @ 8/1 Ladbrokes
- 0.5pt win World Heritage @ 20/1 Ladbrokes
Will bung any system bets up later on Twitter.