This is the 280th edition of the daily blog page.
There was just one selection for the blog yesterday – PICTURE EDITOR at Goodwood. I was right in deducing that the market leaders for this 11-furlong race would struggle to stay the trip, but the horse I selected to take advantage was the wrong one. The winner, Masked Marvel, improved considerably for his seasonal debut at Sandown a couple of weeks back, and this Gosden trained German-bred may be the sort that develops into a St Leger candidate during the season as Gosden took Lucarno on a similar path to St Leger glory in 2007. PICTURE EDITOR did pull a fair bit early-on (I often wonder why jockeys don’t allow horses just to run-on and settle down into a rhythm as they lose so much energy when being restrained) but he didn’t pick-up when asked, even tho’ he stayed the trip. It was remarked that he was a bit small (compared to the others) and it’s likely we’ve seen the best of him.
The other horse mentioned on the blog – BEATRICE AURORE – looked impressive when winning at an SP of 2/1, and she’s improving hand-over-fist. Quotes of 20/1 (available generally) are not unreasonable for the Oaks in a couple of weeks time. She has a good cruising speed, pace at the business end and, with a couple of wins at Goodwood, is clearly balanced and likely to be capable of dealing with coming down Tattenham Hill at speed.
There are some good Flat racing venues today (Sandown, Haydock, Salisbury) but the racing planned is ordinary. As such, I’m only looking at the one race, and that’s the class 3 h’cap over a mile at Haydock at 4:00pm.
Statistically, this is an interesting race. Only 1 winner in past 10 years has carried more than 9st3lb to victory (Beauchamp Pilot in 1993, and he went on to win the Cambridgeshire later in the year off a 15lb higher rating!). The race usually goes to a well-fancied horse (only 2 winners at longer odds than 10/1) but those at the head of the market this year look vulnerable.
She’s A Character won for the 1st time LTO since her 2yo debut and she’s had plenty of opportunities to win off OR80 (today’s rating) and failed (1 win from 9 starts at OR80 or less).
Tartan Trip won a weak class 4 h’cap over a mile on GF last summer (the next 3 home have since recorded just 1 win from 35 subsequent starts), and I reckon he’ll struggle today.
Colour Scheme has not improved since his impressive 3yo debut, and I feel he has yet to find his best trip.
Charlie Cool is best at around a mile (0 from 18 at 9f+; 5 wins from 24 over 8f to 9f). He won the race he contested LTO when he ran in it last year – but that win was off a 11lb lower rating. He’s in top form and this is his time of year and he has a touch of class (3rd in the Wolferton in 2007).
Cheers For Thea is due to go up 3lb for her 2nd LTO, but I feel she is best at under a mile (and she has no 5lb claimer riding today).
Our Joe Mack needs going softer than good.
Hacienda ran some good races last season on GF going, and has run respectably this season on going slower than he prefers. Another front-runner who will ensure it’s a stamina test today.
Satwa Laird has only won once from 9 starts at around a mile and I feel he isn’t proven to stay.
Douze Points, with just 1 win from 27 starts – no thanks.
South Cape looks to be on a tough rating at OR89.
Venutius ran a cracker last July at Newmarket over a mile when just beaten (and raised 5lb to OR92 for the effort), and off the same mark today (OR87) if he’s fit to do himself justice this front-runner will do well. If he needs the run, mark him as one to watch. Graham Gibbons rides and he is an under-estimated jockey.
High Resolution is best at Hamilton.
Layla’s Hero is not proven beyond 6-furlongs.
Celtic Change is another horse who – if fit – will do well here, but would prefer going to be quicker.
Marjury Daw will likely find this trip too short and the going too slow.
And that leaves just Sam Sharpe. He has his first run for Ian Williams today (was with Henry Cecil) and this £160,000 yearling has only had 10 starts to date, only seeing the track twice as a 4yo last season. He ran well on his seasonal debut last year to suggest he could figure in today’s race off a mark of OR82.
Do I have a selection? As I write this, I’m not sure. Why? Well, nothing jumps out of the page at me, but with the pace of the race almost certain to be hot with front-runners like She’s A Character, Hacienda, Venutius, Celtic Change and Sam Sharpe, it could set the race up for a finisher. With 16 going to post, there are 4 places on offer, as such HACIENDA at 12/1 looks good to be in the 1st-4 home, and I do like the potential of VENUTIUS at 16/1. Those likely to come with a run and finish in the places are Charlie Cool and Cheers For Thea, and of that pair I prefer CHARLIE COOL at 9/1 (available generally) who races today at his best trip and we know the horse is in form and that he holds his form. One I am wary of is Meehan’s Colour Scheme, as he could be the sort who comes good today - and he does meet the "profile" of the race(4yo, carrying under 9st3lb, unplaced LTO).
Overall, no selection today as the one horse I want to have a wager on – CHARLIE COOL – was available at 12/1 early doors and I wish I’d taken that.
Thanks for the comments on yesterday’s blog , and if anyone else wants to provide feedback, please do. As I said, I need some feedback as I’m coming to a busy period personally with exams, holidays and what-not (I’d much rather be in the garden than behind a computer on a sunny day) and if there’s little response to the content then I may as well throttle back and wait for the return of the jumps season in October.
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