Archive for the ‘ Boylesports ’ Category

17 Aug
2016

York Day One Tips

All roads lead to the Knavesmire here in sunny York, with day one of the always keenly-anticipated Ebor Meeting upon us.

If affordable champagne, top notch Flat racing, big crowds and tricky betting heats are your bag then this is the place to be without question.

The opening card of the four day fixture has the look of a bookmaker’s day, but the way to attack it could be to target a couple of big-priced fancies in the feature races…

Rated 120 and placed in both the English and Irish Derby, you’d have to respect Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho in the Great Voltigeur at 3.05pm, the horse who the firms make just 4/1 for next month’s St Leger.

He’s odds on to take today’s audition for that contest by the scruff of the neck, but there could be value in opposing him today with 10/1 chance Imperial Aviator.

Trained by in-form Roger Charlton, who has notched three winners from his last 11 runners, Imperial Aviatior steps up in trip here after a break, trying his hand at Group 2 company after a failed experiment in the French Derby.

To be fair he was completely unsuited by the Soft ground at Chantilly, and as a son of star performer Paco Boy, is much better judged on what he can achieve on today’s surface, Good to Firm.

His father was unbeaten on that going description, including a brace of Group 1’s.

As for Imperial Aviator, he was unbeatable at a lower level in the spring, seeing Ulysses at Leicester, before turning on the style in a red-hot three-year-old handicap at Newbury in May.

This demands far more, but he could have lots of improvement to come at a mile and a half, and he looks generously priced at 10/1 with any of bet365, Boyle, Hills or Ladbrokes.

The big ones comes around at 3.40pm, with the big money Juddmonte International attracting a glittering field of 13.

Trying to attain a sixth win on the bounce, Roger Varian’s Postponed is hot favourite for this, but he has to prove he’s as potent at a mile and a quarter as he is at a mile and a half, and at more than four times his price there could be value in chancing your arm with the William Haggas-trained Mutakayyef.

Drastically improved since being gelded in the winter, this son of Sea The Stas looks more than ready for a tilt at a top level prize, winning both of his starts this year.

Haggas could barely be having a better season, firing in winners left, right and centre, and in Mutakayyef he has a horse who could net him a huge prize.

He looked great last time out at Ascot, and goes really well here any York.

Back him each way at a general 8/1.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bets at York:

3.05 – Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes – 5 Imperial Aviator (each way) @ 10/1 (bet365, Boyles or Ladbrokes)

3.40 – Juddmonte International Stakes – 7 Mutakayyef (each way) @ 8/1 (bet365, Betfred, BetVictor or Betway)

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Posted 8 months, 1 week ago

30 Jul
2015

Shark Attack Feared In Galway

One of Irish racing’s best-loved and most instantly recognisable characters could be about to take centre stage at packed to the rafters Galway today, as County Carlow-based John Hanlon, far better known simply as ‘The Shark’, arrives in the wild west armed with a strong and intriguing challenge for today’s €300,000 Guinness Galway Hurdle (4.45pm, live on RTE1), courtesy of stable star Hidden Cyclone.

The 10-year-old Stowaway gelding has done his charismatic trainer proud, winning 12 races in all including five of his six outings over hurdles.

What’s more, he’s been readied for his big day with a fluent win on the Flat at Leopardstown, a smoother than smooth performance during which he never remotely left his comfort zone.

You can be 100% certain he will have to this afternoon though, as the proven quality and younger legs of the likes of Quick Jack, Diakali and Thomas Edison put it up to him.

However, the ratings case for Hidden Cyclone couldn’t be any more plain….the horse who has consistently boxed against the heavyweights over fences is rated 158 in that code, plus has as recently as February won a Grade 2 Chase.

Over hurdles however he is much more favourably assessed, seeking to exploit a mark over the smaller obstacles of just 137.

Factor in the three pound claim of Brian Hayes and you can see exactly why he’s an attractive proposition, under a feather weight, at the 8/1 available each way with Boylesports of BetVictor.

He ran well on his only previous experience of Galway (in 2013) and is one to keep on side today.

‘The Shark’ could also enjoy a dream start to the afternoon, with the richly-promising Clondaw Farmer fancied to successfully plough a successful furrow in the Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase, run at 1.50pm.

Placed in a point-to-point, he won his bumper here at Galway a year ago, and then eased through his maiden hurdle at Down Royal without breaking sweat.

He’s up against the frustrating As De Ferbet for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh this afternoon, and can make his winning mentality count.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bets at Galway:

1.50 – Guinness Dublin Porter Beginners Chase – 2 Clondaw Farmer (win) @ 4/1 (bet365, Betfred, Betvictor, Coral, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

4.45 – Guinness Galway Hurdle – 14 Hidden Cyclone (each way) @ 8/1 (Boylesports of BetVictor)

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Posted 1 year, 8 months ago

29 Jul
2015

A Hole ‘Inois’ In The Galway Plate?

If Monday and Tuesday have been something akin to a juicy appetiser here in Galway, Wednesday promises to be the most succulent of main courses, with a maximum field of 22 for thetote.com Galway Plate (5.30pm), an extended 2m 6f handicap chase groaning under the weight of €220,000 in prize money, which stretches down to sixth place.

It isn’t the most richly remunerated race at the Festival, that honour goes to the Galway Hurdle with its whopping €300,000, but it’s still enough to have tempted five runners from the Closutton stable of champion trainer Willie Mullins, a pair of visitors from England, plus a host of challengers from powerful Irish stables.

The quality is rising too, with 2013’s AP McCoy-ridden winner Carlingford Lough going on to strike in a pair of Grade 1’s, while last year’s hero Road To Riches hasn’t turned out too shabbily either, subsequently proving what a snip he was in Galway off a mark of 149, winning Grade 1’s in Down Royal and Leopardstown, and then finishing third in both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups.

Is there another future star lurking among the 2015 contenders?

There’ll be tips flying around the betting ring for the likes of Jacksonslady (third in this in 2013), Shanpallas, Irish National second Rule The World, Gordon Elliott’s hat-trick seeker Make A Track, Colour Squadron on his first start for Enda Bolger, plus 25/1 shot Alderwood given that he went off 8/1 joint favourite a year ago.

However, surely the one with real potential to improve and win a race of this calibre off a mark of 147 is Alechi Inois?

Ruby Walsh will have faced the choice of the five Mullins runners, and rather than ride top weight Boston Bob (a four time Grade 1 winner) he goes for the rising force of Alechi Inois, very much a tip in itself.

This horse is five from seven over fences, fit from a win over hurdles at Cork on July 10th, and running under a tidy 11st 1lb due to stable companion Boston Bob helpfully keeping the weights down.

He’s proven on both Good and Soft ground, and whereas the likes of Make A Track, Colour Squadron and Rule The World haver to prove they can handle Galway’s famously stiff track, having never run here before, Alechi Inois is a perfect two from two at the venue.

He could still be very well handicapped, and that lengthy list of positives outweigh his lack of handicap experience.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bet at Galway:

5.30 – thetote.com Galway Plate (Hcap Chase) – 5 Alechi Inois (each way) @ 6/1 (bet365, Boylesports & Coral)

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Posted 1 year, 9 months ago

01 Aug
2013

No Doubting Thomas, Ted Or Tony On Galway Hurdle Day

Dermot Weld, 26-time leading trainer at the meeting, may be the man to follow year on year at the Galway Races, but the man who has made an even more stunning start during the opening three days of this year’s Festival has been County Meath handler Tony Martin.

Both men are tied on five winners after three days combat, but Weld has reeled off 16 runners to achieve his still impressive tally, while amazingly Martin has a 100% strike rate with a perfect five from five!

Edeymi at 16/1, Dark Crusader at 12/1, Busted Tycoon at 9/4f, Blackmail 5/4f and Victrix Gale at 7/2f have left bookmakers gasping for oxygen as confidence has gathered around the stable’s runners, and it’ll come as little surprise given Martin’s reputation for shrewd placement to know that all bar Blackmail have obliged in handicap company.

That’s where this arch strategist really thrives, and this afternoon’s 20-runner €260,000 Guiness Galway Hurdle (live on RTE1 at 4.55pm) could be in for some more of the Martin treatment, with both of his runners strongly fancied.

JP McManus enjoyed an extraordinary 1-2-3 in yesterday’s Galway Plate, and his colours are carried by each way gamble Thomas Edison.

Available at 16/1 on Monday morning, this six year old son of Danehill Dancer is now only as big as 8/1 with any of Betfred, Ladbrokes or Paddy Power, as he searches for his first win in 12 months.

In-between times though he’s run some richly promising races, and warmed up for this afternoon with a decent second over a mile and a half on the Flat at Bellewstown.

Yesterday’s Plate winner AP McCoy will ride him, and it’s easy to envisage the duo at least finding their way into the frame at an each way price.

There’s been plenty of cash around overnight and into Thursday morning, and despite no previous Galway experience Thomas Edison should handle the sharp, undulating track and Soft ground with ease.

His mark of 133 means he arrives here with a racing weight of just 10st 6lbs, and that gives him a major shout.

Expect him to be held up and creep into the race as it develops.

As for his even more strongly fancied stablemate Ted Veale – what’s not to like?

Only out of the frame once in seven starts over hurdles, he was only third in a maiden hurdle here last year, but appears to have improved beyond all recognition since then.

He loves the hustle and bustle of a big field, and was third in the Boylesports at Leopardstown in January.

A hugely impressive win in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival followed, before Martin dared to throw him to the lions in Grade 1 company at Punchestown at the end of the season, an experiment that ended really rather well!

He was beaten 16 lengths by Jezki, but still went home with a nice wedge of prize money after finishing second, ahead of the Supreme Novices’ winner Champagne Fever.

Martin again chose Bellewstown for this guy’s warm up run, a pointer to him handling Galway’s undulations, and he duly hacked up by four lengths from stablemate Blackmail, who as you already know franked the form by winning easily at Ballybrit just yesterday.

Behind Blackmail was the Willie Mullins-trained Pique Sous, who re-opposes this afternoon and was conceding weight at Bellewstown, but Ted Veale is strongly fancied to confirm his superiority.

It may sound greedy backing two from the same stable at single figure odds in such a hot contest, in which Galway specialist Rock Critic represents Dermot Weld, Cheltenham Festival winner Flaxen Flare has attracted each way support, Missunited is very strongly fancied for last year’s winning stable, and Drive Time is 12/1 a year on from being sent off the 4/1 market leader, but I think Ted Veale will win and Thomas Edison might chase him home, so there’s method in the madness.

Tony Martin is having a Galway most trainers can only dream about, and it could be about to hit even higher notes this afternoon.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bets at Galway:

4.55 – Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap – 5 Ted Veale (each way) @ 5/1 (Betfred, BetVictor or William Hill)

4.55 – Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap – 18 Thomas Edison (each way) @ 8/1 (Boylesports or Betfred)

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Posted 3 years, 8 months ago

23 Nov
2012

All Or Nothing At Ascot This Afternoon

The rain which has been battering large parts of the UK (Ffos Las abandoned today) has failed to drown Ascot, and they race this afternoon at the Berkshire track on ground officially given as Good to Soft.

I’m off to Haydock and will be holding fire on Saturday’s selections until we can get a grip on how they’re getting through what are set to be very testing conditions, but no such problems apply at Ascot, and at a double figure price Gloucestershire trainer David Bridgwater’s All For Free could be worth chancing in an open renewal of the 2m 3f 0-135 handicap chase at 2.40pm.

Unlike favourite Kapga De Cerisy who is having just his second start over the larger obstacles All For Free has plenty of experience (8 starts including two wins & two seconds over fences), and is a recent course winner at Ascot.

Second favourite Royale’s Charter is heading up the weights after winning a couple of weaker events at Worcester and Taunton, whereas the handicapper has shown All For Free a little bit of mercy and dropped him a couple of pounds to 124.

That handicap mark leaves him with a perfectly workable racing weight of 11.4, and promisingly Richard Johnson is available to take the ride.

A point which certainly shouldn’t be overlooked is his new stable – David Bridgwater could be set for a pivotal weekend with The Giant Bolster capable of underlining his Gold Cup credentials in the Betfair Chase at Haydock tomorrow – and on his first chance to show what he’s done with a new recruit could well improve a horse who’s still only six years of age, but has already been through the hands of Shark Hanlon, Milton Harris and Martin Keighley.

If he has him ready to roll first time and can eke out a little bit extra from him then this is winnable – a little each way at the 12/1 available with any of Bet Victor, Blue Square, Bet365, Boylesports or William Hill might do the trick.

Good luck!

Friday’s best bet at Ascot:

2.40 – Winkworth Handicap Chase – 8 All For Free @ 12/1 (Bet Victor, Blue Square, Bet365, Boylesports or William Hill)

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Posted 4 years, 5 months ago

28 Sep
2012

Cheveton Worth A Nibble In Haydock’s Joseph Heler Cheese Lester Piggott Handicap

It’ll definitely be a case of ‘fast ground lovers need not apply’ at Haydock Park on Saturday afternoon, with the sustained recent rainfall turning it into a real test, with the ground officially given as Heavy (Sinking a distinct possibility in places).

I may have made the last bit up, but you get the picture…

A tractor is one guaranteed way to get through it, the other is to back confirmed mudlark and Haydock course specialist Cheveton in the Joseph Heler Cheese Lester Piggott Handicap at 3.15pm (live on Channel 4).

Rumour has it he wears an oxygen tank and flippers on the gallops to simulate race conditions like those he’ll encounter here!

Herefordshire trainer Richard Price has skilfully coaxed the eight year old back to form in recent weeks, seeing him finish second on Soft ground at Ffos Las a fortnight ago, and then run a cracker to be second to Jack Dexter in the Ayr Bronze Cup last Saturday.

Given that this horse won the Bronze Cup in 2010 and then won the Silver Cup in 2011 we know he saves some his best performances for Ayr, but he also relishes a trip to Haydock, winning there in three of his four career starts, including in this race in 2010.

That has to be a tip in itself – he won this off 92 two years ago, and now gets to line up off a mark 83 on a day when the conditions might as well have been purposely created for him, and he’s back in rude health and something approaching top form.

It’s only fair to acknowledge that he was well beaten in this a year ago when sent off 5/1 market leader, but that was off a mark 10 pounds higher than now, and he seems to get on like a house on fire with new pilot Tadhg O’Shea.

Drawn 11 there should be plenty of pace for him to exploit early doors, and the drop back to five furlongs should be ideal.

Granted a bit of luck in-running he’s certainly entitled to be bang there in the thick of it, and at an early price of 7/1 with Boylesports he’ll do nicely.

Down at Newmarket the terrain will be far more suited to the riches that are on display, with the Cambridgeshire Handicap and a pair of Group 1’s forming the bedrock of a brilliant HQ card.

There might be a value angle to be exploited in the opening Group 2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes at 1.55pm, with a field of nine top quality juveniles declared to do battle.

Jeremy Noseda’s unbeaten Fantastic Moon is no bigger than 25/1 for the 2,000 Guineas after winning his first two starts, while Mark Johnston’s Steeler is clearly very tough and takes his races well.

Bookmakers have based their marker around that duo, but the one who really impressed me in defeat recently was Sir Henry Cecil’s Al Waab.

A son of Danehill Dancer, he won his first two starts (both at Newmarket on the July Course) before coming up against Thursday’s highly impressive Newmarket winner Havana Gold.

Havana Gold would be unbeaten but for an unfortunate incident with a slipped saddle at Deauville in August, but next time up Al Waab gave him an almighty test at Haydock three weeks ago, getting to within a head and just failing to nail him on the line.

I especially like the way he saw out the mile at Haydock, and Newmarket’s stiff track could bring further improvement.

The ground will be fine and Tom Queally’s back in the saddle.

I definitely want to be with Al Waab at William Hill’s 13/2.

A little later in the day the Group 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (3.00pm) looks worth the admission fee alone, with the likes of Beauty Parlour, Siyouma, Chachamaidee, Up and Elusive Kate turning up.

Elusive Kate is obviously a very hardy filly, winning Longchamp’s Prix Marcel Boussac this time last year before an unhappy a trip to the Breeders’ Cup.

A long injury-laden spell on the sidelines followed, but she’s returned as good as ever this summer, finishing second in the Falmouth on her return, before a cracking effort to win the Prix Rothschild at Deauville under William Buick.

In form trainer John Gosden then allowed her to take her chance against the boys in the Prix Jacques Le Marois back at Deauville last month, and she didn’t disappoint, getting to within a length and half of the top draw Excelebration.

Her stable are on fire at the moment, Buick’s riding out of his skin, and she’s going to find this easier back against her own sex.

Bookmakers are absolutely right in showing her plenty of respect in making her 5/2 joint favourite with Beauty Parlour. Win bet.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

1.55 Newmarket – Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes – 2 Al Waab (each way) @ 13/2 (William Hill)

3.00 Newmarket – Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes – 4 Elusive Kate (win) @ 5/2 (bet365, Paddy Power, Blue Square or Bet Victor)

3.15 Haydock Park – Joseph Heler Cheese Lester Piggott Handicap – 14 Cheveton (each way) @ 7/1 (Boylesports)

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Posted 4 years, 6 months ago

25 Aug
2012

‘Man’ On A Mission To Win The Ebor – Saturday’s Tips

If it still seems a tad unusual building up to a Saturday Ebor rather than the traditional midweek spot, then rest assured that the big betting heat of the week has lost none of its lustre, with a field of 20 all set to line up over York’s famous 1m 6f at 3.40pm (live on Channel 4).

It’s got the makings of a cracker, with some punters considering Sir Mark Prescott’s Motivado home and hosed before the race has already been run, such is the allure of seeing a horse seemingly so far ahead of the handicapper, with just a four pound penalty for his runaway Goodwood win of three weeks ago.

What bothers me with him is not his chance but his price – 4/1 in a 20 horse race isn’t great when you stop to consider the level of opposition – though Luca Cumani’s Purple Moon was another heavily backed favourite in 2007.

He may well win as he pleases, but there are plenty of others in with a squeak…..the likes of French raider Hammerfest, who might well be carrying my cash but for a stinker of a draw in stall 21, Tim Easterby’s York specialist Crackentorp who has course form since last June of 1-1-3-1-9 but also a career high mark, Dermot Weld’s mare Sense Of Purpose who’s more used to listed and Group company than the rough and tumble of handicaps, as well as John Gosden’s very strongly fancied Camborne.

The stats tell us nine of the last 11 winners were drawn 14 or higher, although the way they seem to spread across the track nowadays perhaps makes that less of a barrier than previously.

Perhaps more compelling are the stats regarding weight carrying performances: in the last 50 years only the great Sea Pigeon in 1979 has carried more than 9st 4lbs to victory, and in fact there’s been no winner since him rated higher than 104!

If we apply that rule here then in-form 8/1 shot Camborne (9st 7lbs, rated 106) is struck off the list instantly – despite having won at Doncaster and Royal Ascot the last twice.

Clearly a good horse can make a mockery of stats, but the one I believe can give them all a headache scraped in by the skin of his teeth as a reserve.

Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani boasts two Ebor wins in the last seven runnings on his CV, with Mephisto in 2004 and Purple Moon in 2007 both getting the job done, and he’ll have been elated to see Qahriman sneak in at the foot of the weights after the defection of Harlestone Times.

The big slice of luck he had in sneaking into the race could be pivotal to the outcome of the Ebor – he’s drawn one which isn’t altogether in keeping with the high trend, but there’s a huge word around for this four year old son of Tiger Hill now he takes his place, and with rain around he’s one who’ll thrive on cut in the ground.

He won over course and distance in June to prove his suitability to the track, and has been kept back for this. He got a six pound rise to take him up to a mark of 96 – just enough!

We know he goes well fresh, has barely any miles on the clock, and has only been out of the frame once in his career.

In short an in-form, course and distance winner, with Kieren Fallon on his back, hailing from a team who know every minute detail about winning this this big prize.

His half brother Afsare was second in the Arlington Million in Chicago last Saturday – Qahriman can show him how it’s done here at 6/1 with either Sportingbet or William Hill.

On the same card some top class stayers go to war in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over two miles at 3.05pm, and it’ll be disappointing if John Oxx’s Saddler’s Rock can’t add to his wins in both the Doncaster Cup and the Goodwood Cup.

If anything he was dossing when he hit the front at Goodwood, but with a long home straight to assert superiority he should have too many guns for the likes of Cavalryman and Ibicenco.

It’s worth noting the record of favourites in this race over the last eight years, they’ve finished as follows: 1-3-2-1-1-2-3-1.

The price isn’t much to rave about, but if all goes to plan Blue Square, Bet Victor, Paddy Power and William Hill should all be paying out after laying the 11/8.

With rain around in Yorkshire Harris Tweed fans will be hoping there’s some left to go around down at Goodwood, where the tough front runner takes a drop in class to contest the listed Windflower March Stakes over 1m 6f at 4.30pm.

William Haggas has already bagged the Lowther with Rosdhu Queen this week, and he’ll be hoping another stable big gun can oblige here.

This horse never ever seems to run below par, and on his first start outside of Group company since September 2010 can land a second win of the season.

Paddy Power are 9/4 and that might not last long given that Boylesports are just 13/8 at the time of writing!

Also at Goodwood David O’Meara’s Powerful Presence could be the answer to the big field 7f handicap at 2.45pm.

O’Meara opts to employ the services of in-form seven pound claimer David Bergin, and that could be pivotal on a horse who’s been creeping up the weights.

Neatly in towards the foot of the handicap this horse’s form figures of this trip are a sight to behold: 1-1-2-2-2-1-1-1.

We know he’s able to cope with a range of ground, so if he handles Goodwood then this chestnut son of Refuse To Bend is capable of being involved at the business end of proceedings, priced up at an inviting 16/1 with either Blue Square or Boylesports.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

2.45 Goodwood – Betfair Summer Double Second Leg (Handicap) – 16 Powerful Presence (each way) @ 16/1 (Blue Square or Boylesports)

3.05 York – Weatherbys Insurance Lonsdale Cup – 7 Saddler’s Rock (win) @ 11/8 (Blue Square, Bet Victor, Paddy Power and William Hill)

3.40 York – Betfred Ebor (Handicap) – 21 Qahriman (win) @ 6/1 (William Hill)

4.30 Goodwood – Windflower March Stakes – 1 Harris Tweed (win) @ 9/4 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 4 years, 8 months ago

03 Aug
2012

Gatewood Set To Provide That Friday Feeling At Glorious Goodwood

A cracking renewal of the 1m 4f Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes (live on C4, 2.00pm) gets Friday’s Glorious Goodwood card underway, and favourite Gatewood can oblige in the hands of William Buick.

This contest represents a big up in class, but favourable reports of this Galileo colt’s home work, allied to rapid progress which has yielded wins so far this campaign in handicap company at York, Epsom and Royal Ascot mean he is the one to beat.

Already rated 104 he has the Godolphin pair Dubai Prince (116) and Songcraft (112) to beat, but make no mistake this is a serious horse, and it’s likely whatever beats him will win.

Bookmakers Boylesports, Blue Square and Paddy Power make John Gosden’s charge no bigger than 15/8, and that can pay dividends.

Stablemate Gregorian is set to go off market leader for the Group 3 RSA Thoroughbred Stakes at 2.35pm, but on the back of some gruelling races (French Guineas, French Derby, St James’s Palace) it can pay to oppose him.

Roger Varian’s Aljamaheer has only had four runs, but looks set to be ideally suited by this step up in trip to a mile, and on the back of a cracking run in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot looks a hint of value at 9/2 with any of Bet Victor, Blue Square or William Hill.

Here in Galway they kick off proceedings with a tricky looking 2m 2f amateur riders handicap hurdle, but I can pass on a good word for Michael O’Hare’s Presenting gelding Special Bar in the hands of the talented Declan Lavery.

Not knocked about at Bellewstown last time out, he might be quite well handicapped, has been saved for this, and hails from a stable bang in form.

The celebrations will be memorable if he can oblige for connections – Coral’s 7/1 looks fair value each way.

Good luck!

Friday’s best bets:

2.00 Goodwood – Coutts Glorious Stakes – 4 Gatewood (win) @ 15/8 (Boylesports, Blue Square or Paddy Power)

2.35 Goodwood – RSA Thoroughbred Stakes – 2 Aljamaheer (win) @ 9/2 (Bet Victor, Blue Square or William Hill)

5.10 Galway – Guinness (Q.R.) Handicap Hurdle – 11 Special Bar (each way) @ 7/1 (Coral)

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Posted 4 years, 8 months ago

22 Jul
2012

Look To The Heavens As Smoker Bids To Inhale Anglesey Stakes Field

If Saturday was a day’s racing to make you salivate then Sunday isn’t far behind, with the Curragh serving up a treat on Oaks day, plus the ever informative Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary, as well as a pair of valuable Group races at Maisons-Laffitte.

Proper winter ground lies in store for those braving the Curragh, and though they aren’t big fields the quality on display more than compensates, with four races live on RTE1 kicking off shortly after 2pm.

Needless to say there’ll be a few getting stuck in the mud, and later in the afternoon I think we might have unearthed a big priced candidate who’ll thrive in the conditions to put the wind up an odds on favourite, but more of that once we’ve touched on the Group 3 Kilboy Estate Stakes over nine furlongs at 2.10pm.

Just seven filles and mares are set to go to post, but Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo filly Up is an obvious starting point given that she’s top rated on 111, plus is the choice of stable number jockey, O’Brien’s son Joseph.

What’s interesting about her is her placed form, in that she got to within a length of the winner in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial (her stablemate Homecoming Queen who went on to win the Guineas), plus she got to within a length of the winner when second in the French Guineas.

On the downside her strike-rate is poor – just one win from eight outings, and when facing the older horses for the first time she finished last of four, albeit in Group 1 company in the Pretty Polly three weeks ago.

That was the only time to date she has run on ground involving the word ‘Heavy’ in the going description, though it was a curious run in that although she was never dangerous she was keeping on well under pressure, although she was getting lumps of weight (11lbs) from the others.

None of that strikes me as a reason to back her in this company, especially as Dermot Weld’s Selkirk filly Caponata looks ready to add to her unbeaten record on ground she’ll love.

She won her maiden in the style of filly going places on testing ground at Gowran Park, and then stepped up to win a listed race at Naas.

Yes this is a jump in class, but not enormous, especially when you consider she’s got a pair of Group 1 entries in the bank later on during the summer (Yorkshire Oaks & Matron Stakes) hinting at what might be to come.

She beat the re-opposing Shebella comfortably last time out, and David Wachman’s Soft ground specialist Tannery might be the one to give her most to do.

The price isn’t extravagant, but Caponata can get us off to a solid start at 11/8 with any of Betfred, Paddy Power or Totesport.

At 2.45pm we get another look at Aidan O’Brien’s Coventry Stakes third Cristoforo Colombo in the six runner Group 3 Anglesey Stakes over six furlongs, and the betting suggests he’s a certainty – with Paddy Power offering just 4/9 at the time of writing.

Is he a bet at the price?

He isn’t rated 110 by mistake, but he’s a shocking odds on shot for the money buyers if you attribute even 20% of his course and distance defeat in the Railway Stakes last time out to the ground.

If anything it’s likely to be even more testing this time, plus he isn’t running against rubbish.

Yes it’s possible his class will carry him through, but at a tempting 8/1 I’m very keen to take a risk with a once-raced unbeaten dark horse from the local stable of Paddy Prendergast.

A son of 2005 Epsom Derby winner Motivator (who lest we forget won both the Racing Post Trophy and the Dante on Soft ground) his Down Royal winner Smoker looked the part and then some when scoring on debut on horrible ground, and though this is a raise in class he too has some fancy entries down the line, and when the muck’s flying here he’ll be relishing the battle.

Perhaps he didn’t beat much on his only run to date, but he did win by the best part of five lengths and the third that day has franked the form by winning since then, and with the ground far more suitable for Smoker than Cristoforo Colombo, surely it seems reasonable to throw a few quid at him each way when his more celebrated rival is so short in the market.

Even if Cristoforo Colombo does win it’s still 2/1 a place for Smoker to finish second, and with that in mind I’m happy to have slice of the 8/1 available each way with either Boylesports or Paddy Power.

Anticipation will be at fever pitch as the field of seven make their way to post for the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks shortly before 3.20pm, but it might not take too much solving in that none of the last eight winners of this contest returned bigger than 9/2, and I’m not sure that’s going to change in a rush…

There are a few formlines to work with too – Was beat Shirocco Star in the Oaks, Princess Highway beat Was at Naas in the Blue Wind Stakes, Princess Highway beat Shirocco Star in the Ribblesdale.

However, they may all be playing for places as John Gosden sends over his King George second Nathaniel’s sister Great Heavens to take advantage of her favoured testing ground, on what will be her first start in Ireland.

She only ran a fortnight ago when taking the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park, but that was a display of such authority her connections have readily stumped up the cash to supplement her for this, and she can extend her unbeaten run during 2012 to four.

There has to be a small risk that this will come too soon for her, but with the admirable Princess Highway having met with a minor training interruption earlier in the week, and Dermot Weld openly questioning whether she’ll cope with the ground, you’d have to favour Great Heavens on this surface, while the supplementary entry is a tip in itself.

Her Haydock win was a blitzkrieg performance from the front, and it my be that she can once again dominate with the opposition struggling to plough through the mud. She strikes me as having even more to give than has been shown to date, and on this ground that could be curtains for the rest.

Great Heavens appears the most likely winner of the Irish Oaks, and is a 7/4 shot with any of Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or Stan James.

Good luck!

Sunday’s best bets at the Curragh:

2.10 – Kilboy Estate Stakes – 2 Caponata (win) @ 11/8 (Betfred or Paddy Power)

2.45 – Jebel Ali Stables & Racecourse Anglesey Stakes – 6 Smoker (each way) @ 8/1 (Boylesports or Paddy Power)

3.20 – Darley Irish Oaks – 3 Great Heavens (win) @ 7/4 (Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or Stan James)

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Posted 4 years, 9 months ago

13 Jul
2012

Hoist The Jolly Roger In The Quest For Friday Treasure

We’re spoilt for choice on Friday afternoon, with quality racing at Newmarket, Newbury and York meaning punters have got plenty to get their teeth into, plus a few tough choices for the top jockeys in the weighing room in terms of where their respective talents would be best deployed.

Personally I’ll be deployed at Newmarket for the second day of the July Meeting, and after a quiet enough opening session on Thursday I’m gunning to turn things around with a French-trained fancy in the feature Group 1 Falmouth Stakes at 3.00pm, live on Channel 4.

It’s a belting renewal of the fillies and mares mile contest, with a field of 11 due to line up.

Back against her own sex last season’s French Guineas and Oaks winner Golden Lilac looks a clear pick in the hands Maxime Guyon – this four year old daughter of Galileo has only been beaten once in seven career starts, and having bypassed Royal Ascot the stiff mile and Soft ground should suit her ideally.

To bolster confidence she won her seasonal reappearance when taking the Prix D’Ispahan at Longchamp in May, and providing all is well she should win, despite the quality on show in opposition.

That said she’s odds on in most places (evens only available with Hills and Blue Square), and rather than go gung ho there at bigger odds I’m going to try and burgle a few shillings each way by backing one of her fellow French travellers, with Alain De Royer-Dupre sending over his five times raced Dansili filly Giofra.

Albeit not to the stratospheric levels attained by Golden Lilac she has some quality form in the book, as displayed by her win in the Group 2 Prix D’Harcourt at Longchamp in April, when she trounced Vadamar and co by three lengths and more.

She was no match against the older gelding Cirrus Des Aigles next time up, but still had the likes of former Prix Niel winner Reliable Man in rear when taking second in the Prix Ganay back at Longchamp at the end of April.

Freshened up for this, back against her own sex on a track that should suit, Giofra might well be the one to chase home Golden Lilac, or even mop up an upset if Golden Lilac doesn’t run her race.

The drop back to a mile here is compensated by Newmarket’s stiff uphill finish, and given that her connections probably haven’t stumped up a fair whack to get her over here just to sample the Newmarket sausages, Giofra looks worth following each way at 10/1 with Boylesports.

It’s a race in which it’s difficult to try and gauge which of the British and Irish trained runners is best placed to land a blow – I’m a big fan of Elusive Kate, but the ground won’t be ideal for her, she hasn’t been seen for 252 days, plus William Buick chooses Joviality over here.

With that in mind I’ll stick with Giofra to make the places.

Meanwhile over at Newbury it’s a story of horses better known for their hurdling exploits treading the boards on the level, with David Pipe giving War Singer a run back on the Flat at 4.35pm, before Tony Carroll sends prolific National Hunt winner Jolly Roger into battle in the 1m 3f apprentice handicap at 5.10pm.

By former Eclipse winner Oratorio out of a Sadler’s Wells mare he gets to race in this lowly contest off a mark of just 75, and that’s before you factor in Aiden Blakemore’s seven pound claim!

He’s even won a race on the Flat from just two attempts, taking a Redcar seller for Neville Bycroft back in October 2010.

He’s changed hands a couple of times since then, but it’s Carroll who’s worked some magic, preparing him for an extraordinary six race winning spree in little more than four weeks from beginning to end, a sequence which saw his handicap mark over timber catapult from 94 to 133!

That run of form eventually came to an end off his new mark at the end of last month, but providing the petrol light isn’t flickering on empty this opening might provide more easy pickings, given that he’s been in the form of his life and all ground seems to come alike.

The early quote of 9/2 with Bet Victor looks okay to me.

Good luck!

Friday’s best bets:

3.00 Newmarket – Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes – 4 Giofra (each way) @ 10/1 (Boylesports)

5.10 Newbury – Chris Beek Racing Apprentice Handicap – 1 Jolly Roger (win) @ 9/2 (Bet Victor)

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Posted 4 years, 9 months ago

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