Archive for the ‘ glorious goodwood ’ Category

01 Aug
2014

French Raider Taken To Land Nassau Stakes – Saturday’s Best Bets From Glorious Goodwood

With the foot of our regular columnist Tom Lee firmly to the floor of the Galway bandwagon as it roars its way towards the finishing line of the seven day jamboree of racing on the west coast of Ireland, the RTE and Channel 4 Racing presenter has asked the Betting Directory team to step in to provide selections for Saturday’s racing.

In Tom’s absence, both of Saturday’s picks come from Goodwood on the final day of the five day ‘Glorious’ meeting at the Sussex track, the first of which is in the Nassau Stakes where we’re taking French Raider, Narniyn, to land the £113,000 first prize in this fillies and mares Group One for Alain de Royer-Dupré and the Aga Khan.

We’re siding with the daughter of Dubawi to bounce back to winning ways after she came unstuck against the boys in the Group One Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud last time out, a race in which she finished fourth but was far from disgraced just two lengths behind winner, Spirit Jim, in what was her first try over 1m 4f. Prior to that, the four-year-old had enjoyed a four race winning streak stretching back to last September and it has to be thought that her most recent outing at the end of June will have done her more good than harm and dropped back to 10 furlongs, she is taken to bounce back to winning ways as the trip certainly won’t pause a problem and at odds of 4/1 with Bet Victor, she looks a solid pick.

Competition comes in the form of the Sir Michael Stoute trained Mango Diva who won a Group Two over nine furlongs at the Curragh last time out and the Aidan O’Brien trained Venus De Milo, who came second behind Thistle Bird in the Pretty Polly Stakes last time out but whilst this race lacks a proven Group One performer, Narniyn looks the value pick of the leading protagonists.

The next selection comes in the 32 Red Cup, which was controversially renamed recently after 174 years of being known as the Stewards Cup. However, a cavalry charge of 28 runners is still on the cards, something that has become synonymous with the race since it was first run in 1840 and this year we’re calling that it will go the way of Intrinsic, an intriguing entry from the little known Cambridgeshire trainer Robert Cowell, who’s better known for his runners on the All Weather than he is for prestigious handicaps as his record of three group wins in five years illustrates. However, the fact that Richard Hughes has overlooked the two Richard Hannon entries in this race in favour of the ride on Intrinsic speaks volumes about the potential of this four-year-old.

It took three attempts for this son of Oasis Dream to lose his maiden tag 12 months ago but when he did, he did so in style with a three and a quarter length victory at Newcastle in the final start as a three-year-old after missing his entire juvenile campaign. He re-appeared in an 18 runner handicap at Ascot in May, in which he saw off some seasoned rivals with an eye-catching victory. He followed that up just two weeks later with a victory over six furlongs at Goodwood and it looks as though that course and distance victory was enough to convince connections to put him away for a tilt at the Stewards Cup.

Up a total of 23lbs since that win at Newcastle last October, this late developer certainly looks to be on an upwards curve. With that, it is difficult to quantify just how much he has in hand on the handicapper but for a horse clearly heading in the right direction, it’s worth taking a chance that he’s capable of getting the better of 27 rivals in the hands of the champion jockey at odds 7/1 with bet365 with just three runners below him at the weights in the race. It’s not an original pick plumbing for the likely favourite in a race of this nature but given how competitive this field looks, an unexposed type of this nature stands out more so than any other and we’re happy to take an each way chance.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets from Goodwood

3:15 – Nassau Stakes – Narniyn @ 4/1 with Bet Victor

3:50 – 32Red Cup (Stewards Cup) – Intrinsic @ 7/1 (each way) with bet365

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Posted 2 years, 5 months ago

31 Jul
2013

Another Perfect Plate Day Approaches…

People’s spending habits might still be under pressure, and the economy enduring what could best be described as a squeeze, but try telling that to anyone present here in the seven day long bubble which is Galway…

As we roll into the first of the two big days of the week, with this afternoon’s tote.com Galway Plate the €200,000 highlight live on RTE1 at 5.30pm, we can reflect on two superb opening chapters at Ballybrit, with punters off to a flyer on Monday and the crowd up, before a riotous Tuesday which saw the crowd rise by more than 4,000 on 12 months ago.

The figure of 18,248 was markedly up on the 14,058 who clicked their way through the turnstiles on the equivalent day in 2012, though Galway being what it is there were probably another few hundred who got distracted by the mayhem on Shop St and have delayed their trip to the sports until today.

The increase in spectators also lead to a healthy rise in turnover in the betting ring: the bookies enjoyed a sharp spike in business compared to a year before, with €1.25m changing hands as opposed to €970,297.

Plenty of punters shouted home the winner of the feature Topaz Mile at 6.45pm, with young Colin Keane powering clear on the each way gamble Brendan Bracken for trainer Ger Lyons (fuelled by featuring in the Racing Post Pricewise column).

Keane then explained his delight at riding a winner at Galway, a change of fortune after crashing his car last week!

Though, as my betting ring colleague Brian Gleeson was quick to remark: “he’ll be able to afford the panel beater now!”

Hopefully those same winning punters have saved a few quid to play with this afternoon, as there are plenty of options split between two really tremendous cards at Galway and Goodwood.

The latest ‘duel on the Downs’ will be the clear highlight of a mouthwatering second day at Goodwood, and for all that Toronado and Dawn Approach look to be separated by the width of a cigarette paper, the Sussex Stakes (3.05pm) can confirm St James’s Palace Stakes form.

Don’t be in any way surprised if Declaration Of War plays a big part too, but aside from his Derby aberration Dawn Approach is unbeaten in nine starts, and is chiselled from pretty stern stuff.

Elsewhere at Goodwood, if you’re fancy playing on something altogether more speculative then you could do a lot worse than backing Brian Meehan’s Testudo at 14/1 in the Gordon Stakes (2.30pm).

I am absolutely convinced this grey son of Duke Of Marmalade remains capable of much better on just his fourth start, and given his entries in both the Voltigeur and St Leger you’d have to think his shrewd trainer agrees.

It’s a shame there aren’t a dead eight runners for each way purposes, but even so he doesn’t deserve to be dismissed as a 14/1 shot.

Here in Galway there’ll be a monster crowd for Plate day, but at the time of writing everyone is holding their breath to see if overnight favourite Carlingford Lough even gets into the big race (5.30pm, live on RTE1)!

He’s first reserve and needs something to be withdrawn to take his place in the line up, though owner JP McManus has four runners in the race proper, and you’d have to suspect they’ll shoehorn him in one way or another.

If they do Carlingford Lough will hold a huge shout off a mark of 133, but either way it’s a cracking renewal with plenty of feasible options for punters.

One I really like is Punchestown Festival winner Klepht for Tom Mullins and Robbie Power.

He signed off his novice campaign with a flourish, and has only run once on the Flat since then to protect his mark of 144.

He’ll be held up and try and creep through beaten horses, but don’t be surprised to see him finishing fast and late.

You could certainly do worse than have a look at the 14’s available each way with Coral.

Also at Galway, Dermot Weld should be having a winner on the card with Lucky Kitten in the 60-95 mile handicap at 6.40pm.

He’s got precious little to beat in a small field, yet is available at 5/2 with BetVictor.

I can also pass on a very good word for Usuel Smurfer in the three mile handicap hurdle at 4.10pm.

A winner at Downpatrick and not out of the frame in three starts over timber, he looks worth following in an open contest, especially as a number of bookmakers including Betfred and Coral will accommodate you at 10/1 each way.

Finally, a mighty thank you to all those who packed out McHugh’s in Galway last night for our Injured Jockeys Fund race night, featuring myself, Paddy Power, Shark Hanlon, Marietta Doran and Niall McCullagh.

We haven’t had time to count a vast amount of change and notes currently filling four buckets, but every cent will be going to a very, very important cause, so well played and thumbs up if you made the effort.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bets:

2.30 Goodwood – Neptune Investment Management Gordon Stakes – 7 Testudo (win) @ 14/1 (bet365, BetVictor, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

3.05 Goodwood – Qipco Sussex Stakes – 5 Dawn Approach (win) @ 11/10 (bet365 or Paddy Power)

4.10 Galway – 40,000 Euros Tote Jackpot Guarantee Handicap Hurdle – 5 Usuel Smurfer (each way) @ 10/1 (Betfred or Coral)

5.30 Galway – thetote.com Galway Plate (Handicap) – 6 Klepht (each way) @ 14/1 (Coral)

6.40 Galway – Bet Online At thetote.com Handicap – 3 Lucky Kitten (win) @ 5/2 (BetVictor)

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Posted 3 years, 5 months ago

04 Aug
2012

Course Form Can Prove Key On Final Day Of Glorious Goodwood

With Tom over in Galway this week and his workload proving very demanding, he’s asked myself, Richard Smith, to step in to his shoes at the last minute to provide Saturday’s tips.

It’s been tough going finding the winners at both Galway and Goodwood this week but I’m looking to end what has been a fantastic week of racing on a winning note and as such, I will be concentrating my efforts on Saturday’s card at Goodwood.

The highlight of the week arguably came in the first Group One event of Goodwood’s five day meeting on Wednesday where Frankel obliged at odds of 1/20 to make it 12 wins from 12 starts in the Sussex Stakes, becoming the first horse in the race’s 171 year history to win twice. It now looks like Frankel’s next destination will be York for the Juddmonte International later this month, which will see the Sir Henry Cecil four year old run over 1m 2f for the first time and already the bookies are running scared, offering just 1/4 about a thirteenth straight win despite the step in to the unknown and against potential opposition of Nathaniel’s and St Nicholas Abbey’s quality.

The second Glorious Goodwood Group One contest comes in the form of the Nassau Stakes at 3:15 on Saturday afternoon where I like the look of John Gosden’s Izzi Top to fill the void made by Midday, the now retired stablemate of Frankel, who won this race three years running up until 12 months ago.

They’re certainly big shoes to fill but I am confident that Izzi Top can justify her 15/8 quote with Blue Square after it would appear the penny has finally dropped for this filly who is unbeaten on her three starts this season, all of which have been at group level, including the Group One, Pretty Polly Stakes, at the Curragh last time out where she won with something in hand.

She concedes weight to two very good three year olds in the way of stablemate, The Fugue and Aidan O’Brien’s Epsom Oaks winner, Was, but despite giving her younger rivals nine pounds, this progressive four year old can make her experience count to give her in form trainer a twelfth group win of the season.

The Stewards Cup at 3:55 looks every bit the minefield that the 28 runners going to post would suggest, however, never one to be put off by a “cavalry charge” I think there’s some value to be had by backing Goodwood specialist, Borderlescott, at 20/1 to win the race he won for the first time six years ago! That’s right, now at the age of 10, I’m still confident that there’s enough life in the legs of Robin Bastiman ‘s old boy for one last big prize.

In six career starts at the Sussex track, Borderlescott has finished in the top three on five occasions, including two wins and two further places in this race. Granted, one of those wins was his last racecourse success, coming at Glorious Goodwood in 2010 but it came in the Group Two, King George Stakes, where he beat 14 top class rivals, earning a rating of 112 in the process.

Age catches up with the best of us and as such, Borderlescott is no longer mixing it at the highest level but he is still more than capable of making his presence felt as he has shown with two seconds in stakes races so far in 2012 and has put in efforts worthy of a three figure rating, which is exactly what the handicapper has assigned him here, carrying a weight of 9-9 off a mark of 103.

There’s no doubting his love of this course as his last five runs at Goodwood have all surpassed the 103 mark and whilst age is a slight concern, I’m prepared to say he’s worth an each way bet at the 20/1 on offer with Bet365 or Skybet about making it in to the top five (both firms offering enhanced place terms).

Despite boasting only half the size of the Stewards Cup field, the 2:40, Toyo Tires Performance Stakes, has an equally competitive feel to it with bookmakers going 11/2 the field but one in which I think another horse with proven course form can do the business. The Amanda Perrett trained Roxy Flyer has two wins to her name at Goodwood and ability to handle the undulating track could prove crucial in landing the £24,000 first prize.

A repeat of the credible sixth she ran over course and distance in the Group Three, Lillie Langrty Stakes, at this meeting 12 months ago would put her bang in contention back in handicap company as she seeks her first win in 12 starts. However, three seconds from her last four outings, including a promising seasonal reappearance at Kempton in July, suggests she’s knocking on the door of the winners enclosure once again and local trainer, Perrett, may have just found the ideal race to end that sequence with more improvement likely to come. An each way bet at the 8/1 on offer with Bet Victor or William Hill looks the way to go.

Good Luck

Saturday’s Goodwood Picks

2:40 Goodwood – Roxy Flyer (each way) @ 8/1 with Bet Victor or William Hill

3:15 Goodwood – Izzi Top (win) @ 15/8 with Blue Square

3:55 Goodwood – Borderlescott (each way) @ 20/1 with Bet365 or Skybet

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Posted 4 years, 5 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, 5 months ago

31 Jul
2012

Weld All Set To ‘Rock’ Galway On Day Two

Different year, same story.

Dermot Weld, the acclaimed King of Galway, returned to his favourite hunting ground on Monday afternoon, rattling in a 155/1 opening day treble day together with a couple of seconds to leave punters and bookmakers alike marvelling at the Curragh handler’s ability to ready one for the unique test which is Ballybrit.

He’s still got a way to go to match last year’s staggering 17 winner haul, but he’s got the bit between his teeth and six days left to go to war, and anyone who snapped up the pre-meeting 11/8 with Paddy Power about him bagging 12 or more over the seven days is entitled to feel pretty satisfied at this stage.

The stage looks set for more of the same this afternoon, with Weld’s Rock Critic primed to run a mighty race off top weight in the feature Topaz Mile Handicap at 5.35pm (live on RTE) as the great trainer chases win number eight in the race.

As the most valuable Flat prize of the seven day meeting it’ll take some winning, but Rock Critic brings impeccable credentials to the table, with track, trip and ground all in his favour – in fact, he’s a dual course and distance winner who has won three races in total at this meeting.

What’s more, fascinatingly this is a horse who has never been beaten in the month of July!

Four runs, four wins (three of them at Galway don’t forget).

With a record like that and his stable targeting this meeting with a sniper’s accuracy he’s hard to ignore!

The draw has been kind enough (stall 8) and this robust course specialist will take the beating.

Weld nominated five horses to follow across the meeting in Saturday’s Racing Post, the first two Train Of Thought and Thunder Mountain won yesterday, the third is Rock Critic.

With that in mind the 9/2 available with any of Blue Square, Paddy Power or Coral makes plenty of appeal.

Perhaps the only negative is his big weight, in that over the last 20 years only four horses have managed to carry in excess of nine stone to victory in this race, but those stats also show it can be done, indeed Weld managed it with Free To Speak in 1998, and you’re usually top weight in a handicap for a reason!

More of the same this afternoon will do very nicely indeed!

Elsewhere on the card Weld can bring up a double courtesy of the very strongly fancied Big Break in the seven furlong fillies’ maiden.

With a couple of non-runners in the race you’ll have to be quick to snaffle some of the even money, but she’s well fancied to get the job done on debut.

Very well related, her half sister Zaminast won this first time up in 2010, and her brother Famous Name hasn’t exactly brought shame to the Weld household.

Big Break is available at evens with Sky Bet, Totesport and Betfred.

Over at Goodwood German colt Girolamo has to be the value angle to upset Michelangelo and Noble Mission in the bet365 Gordon Stakes (2.35pm, live on C4).

A very close third in the German Derby at Hamburg, connections will have been over the moon to see the winner of that race Pastorius win a Group 1 at Munich last weekend to provide a tidy form boost.

If you’d backed the last top-rated German horse to target an English Group prize you’d have found King George winner Danedream, who just happens to represent the very same trainer and jockey combo of Peter Schiergen and Andrasch Starke.

They won’t have come here just for a jolly, and proven at the level Girolamo can shake up some big names on the home team.

Grab a bit of 4/1 with any of Bet Victor, Blue Square, Paddy Power, Stan James or William Hill.

Also at Goodwood, Richard Hannon goes for his third win in the Lennox Stakes in the space of just five years, and although Strong Suit goes for Sunday’s Maurice de Gheest at Deauville he fields a more than able substitute in the form of Libranno, who ran very well to be fourth in the race in 2011.

Tough as nails Libranno is in the form of his life, winning two on the bounce at Salisbury and Newmarket.

He has a pair of course wins in Group company to his name, and with Richard Hughes up he can chin the heavily backed market leader Chachamaidee.

She gets a small weight allowance, but isn’t certain to appreciate the 4mm overnight rain and doesn’t always break well.

Any hanging around here could spell curtains against one as a good as Libranno.

Given that she’s 6/4 and he’s 9/2 I’ll happily row in the Hannon team’s son of Librettist.

Back to Galway though, and the great summer festival made an electric start on day one, with the rare commodity which is the sun beating down on a crowd of 17,710 (up on last year), and bookmakers taking in a healthy €1,412,596 (up from 2011’s €1,309,926).

Although the rain has arrived that won’t lessen the party atmosphere one iota – more of the same this afternoon will do very nicely indeed!

Good luck!

Tuesday’s best bets:

2.35 Goodwood – bet365 Gordon Stakes – 4 Girolamo (win) @ 4/1 (Bet Victor, Blue Square, Paddy Power, Stan James or William Hill)

3.10 Goodwood – bet365 Lennox Stakes – 3 Libranno (win) @ 9/2 (Bet365, Bet Victor, Blue Square, Paddy Power, Ladbrokes or Stan James)

5.35 Galway – Topaz Mile EBF Handicap – 1 Rock Critic (win) @ 9/2 (Blue Square, Paddy Power or Coral)

6.10 Galway – caulfieldindustrial.com EBF Fillies Maiden – 1 Big Break (win) @ Evens (Sky Bet or Betfred)

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Posted 4 years, 5 months ago

30 Jul
2011

Saturday’s Bets From Goodwood & Galway

The last thing I expect whilst enjoying a spot of Sushi at 9pm on a Friday night is an S.O.S call from an international number! However, having known Tom for several years now, it came as no surprise to learn that this column’s regular tipster was in need of the Bulldog’s help – the reason? ‘something’s’ come up and he can’t guarantee he’ll get access to an internet connection to upload his selections for the weekend’s racing before he gets to Ballybrit at lunchtime on Saturday! Credit must be handed to Tom for thinking of the site’s loyal readers and his every growing army of followers on Twitter, wanting to ensure they’ve been well informed of his fancies early enough to get their bets on but I smell something fishy, and it’s not the pollack in Ade’s Skoda which Tom told us about in Thursday’s column.

I know Tom is a great lover of all things 90s, from his taste in music through to the Dockers Chino’s and Kickers combination he often sports but to cite the inability to obtain internet access as his reason for being unable to upload his own blog post would make anybody think he’s stuck in 1995 and not Galway in 2011! I can therefore only conclude that the fishy smell to be that of the many Oysters being consumed in Galway City centre, washed down with pints of Guinness and no doubt lager from every corner of the Globe. We’ll let him off though, he’s done a great job with his tips this week and has been working tirelessly on camera for RTE and having checked, I can confirm that none of The Quays, Tigh Neactain or Central Park Nightclub have Wi-Fi access!

Without further ado, to the bets Tom wants to pass on for Galway and Goodwood on Saturday afternoon. First up, over in Ireland, the Eoin Griffin trained Baracas is expected to run a big race in the 2:55, Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle. He was a faller last time out when making his chasing debut at Punchestown back in May but back over the smaller obstacles it is thought that he could be well treated on a mark of 125. The six year old showed plenty of ability last season in Novice company, including a win at the Galway Festival 12 months ago, he won his last hurdling start at Fairyhouse in May when stepping up in trip and it is believed that he could well have more to offer here, it won’t be an easy task with several promising runners in the field but at odds of 20/1 with Paddy Power, it’s worth an an each way interest that Baracas can make the top four.

The feature race on the final day of Glorious Goodwood is the Group One, Nassau Stakes, at 3:10 which sees only six go to post following the withdrawal of the Aidan O’Brien trained Misty For Me. The Irish 1,000 Guineas  winner was contesting favouritism for this Filly and Mares Group One with Midday, who finished six lengths back in second when Misty For Me won the Pretty Polly Stakes in June, however, the drying ground at the Sussex track has forced connections to not take any chances with the three year old and as a result, Midday is taken to make it a hat-trick in this race. Winner in 2009 and 2010, the Henry Cecil trained five year old has been a model of consistency throughout her career, never finishing out of the top three since she was a juvenile and landing five Group One races in the process. Her second behind Misty For Me last time out can be put down to the fact she was beaten by a better filly but that is a rare occurrence and there are fewer fillies in training right now that could repeat what Misty For Me did at the Curragh, including the five rivals that line up for the Nassau.

There’s some very useful competition in the field, including last season’s dual Oaks winner, Snow Fairy, who was no match for So You Think and Workforce in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown earlier this month but still, could have more to offer on what will be only her second start as a four year old. Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Capella also looks set to run a big race having bolted up in the Group Two Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket last time but the six year old has yet to win a Group One. Both the main market rivals present a danger to Midday but would have to put in career best efforts to beat the winner of this race for the past two years and with a proven love of this course, Midday is taken to become the first ever horse to win this race on three occasions, she can be backed at 7/4 with William Hill.

The Stewards’ Cup at 3:45 is the big betting race of the day with 28 set to go to post  for this 6f handicap. Tom’s pick in this cavalry charge is Crown Choice for the Walter Swinburn stable who has shown flashes of ability in big field handicaps this  season, including a course and distance success back in May. The six year old would need to repeat that effort be in with a chance at the business end and at 22/1 with Victor Chandler (who are paying fives places) he’s worth an each way bet.

Good Luck!

Saturday’s Best Best

2:55 Galway – Ladbrokes Handicap hurdle – 5 Baracas (each way) @ 20/1 with Paddy Power

3:10 Goodwood – Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes – 3 Midday (win) @ 7/4 with William Hill

3:45 Goodwood – Blue Square Stewards Cup – 19 Crown Choice (each way) @ 22/1 with Victor Chandler

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Posted 5 years, 5 months ago

27 Jul
2011

A Perfect ‘Storm’ Brewing On Galway Plate Day

Plate day in Galway. A favourite’s chance and then some for Bahrain Storm.

We’ve got the rain, plenty of that here this morning, so now we just need a storm out on the track, though hopefully no ‘bah’, though thinking about it I did tuck into a very tasty piece of lamb last night in the restaurant at Bodkins next door to Galway Crystal. Recommended.

A quick glance back at yesterday and you’ll see three winners for the king of Ballybrit Dermot Weld propelled him back where he belongs, at the top of the leading trainer standings, following a sweltering day two of the inescapably brilliant week long jamboree which is the Galway races.

A big crowd allied to scorching weather usually guarantees a bouncing atmosphere, and it was no different on Tuesday, with at least 20,000 packing the west coast track.

We head in to day three with the action hotting up and the weather doing what it pleases, and with a maximum field of 22 heading to post for the 2m 6f thetote.com Galway Plate, live on RTE at 5.25pm.

It’s not often you find yourself heading into a race of such competitive nature this sweet on the chances of just one animal, but if you’re going to fall on your sword it might as well be with all guns blazing, so I’m happy to report Hills are still laying the standout 7/1 quote about Bahrain Storm this morning. Even better, Boylesports are offer e/w terms about the first five home and are also 7/1!

A course specialist with trip and ground to suit, this talented eight year old has begun his chasing career in most satisfactory fashion, winning two of his three starts including most recently at Killarney 16 days ago (he has actually run four times over fences but his other chase start was way back in May 2009).

A clean jumper, he was a very good hurdler, ascending to a mark of 154 when notably winning the Galway Hurdle two years ago, and returning to take second behind Overturn in 2010.

It appears much or all of that ability has been transferred to the larger obstacles, and though a lack of experience could be a pointer you’d have to hope his obvious affinity for Galway might be a leveller in that department.

We know he’ll get up that punishing hill, and today’s pilot Shay Barry knows him well having won the Grimes Hurdle and taken second in the Galway Hurdle when on his back last summer.

Of vital importance the handicap has been beyond kind: a mark of 135 allows him to lurk at the bottom of the weights hiding behind ten stone in the manner of a greedy pike – flush in, not a pound wrong or a hair out of place.

I know the opposition is many and varied, not least the English challenge of Rebel du Maquis, Qulinton, Matuhi and Aigle D’Or, but with so much in his favour there’s no way I’m going to pass up this opportunity to back the winner of my favourite summer NH prize at 7/1.

I know everyone will be be desperate to know what’s going to unfold at Goodwood when Canford Cliffs and Frankel lock horns in the feature Sussex Stakes, but for my money it’s a race to savour, and I’ve absolutely no intention of a wager.

I did think Spirit Of Adjisa would run a big race under Ryan Moore in the opening Goodwood Stakes stayers’ handicap over 2m 5f, but I’d expected far more than the miserable 9/2 on offer this morning, and again I’ll keep my powder dry.

Instead, back at Galway, a much more speculative attempt to relieve the bookmaker’s satchels of a Euro or two can be found with Gordon Elliott’s Hoopy, a 20/1 shot each way with Victor Chandler or Paddy Power for the Tote Jackpot Races 3 to 6 Handicap Hurdle, 4.10pm live on RTE1.

Though his recent form is abysmal I’m hoping the application of first time blinkers might spark a bit of a revival, especially as he won this contest 12 months ago off a three pounds higher mark.

Elliott says the horse is working well, and on the pick of his form he’s entitled to get very close indeed.

As I said it is a bit of a shot in the dark, but at the price a tiny nibble each way shouldn’t completely empty the jar of silver usually reserved for the electric meter.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bets:

4.10 Galway – Tote Jackpot Races 3 to 6 Handicap Hurdle – 15 Hoopy (each way) @ 20/1 (Victor Chandler or Paddy Power)

5.25 Galway – thetote.com Galway Plate (Handicap) – 21 Bahrain Storm (each way) @ 7/1 (William Hill & Boylesports who are paying 5 places each way)

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Posted 5 years, 5 months ago

26 Jul
2011

Form An Orderly ‘Queue’ For Guinness & Oysters

The finer things in life are very much to the fore in the city of Galway, especially during races week.

Ireland might find itself in the midst of a crippling recession, but you still won’t get a finer welcome anywhere in the world, and definitely wouldn’t have known it had you been present at Ballybrit yesterday evening, with a sizeable crowd reveling in a great atmosphere as they witnessed an opening day winner for a certain D K Weld, plus a walk in the park for Fosters Cross in the big amateur riders’ handicap.

All being well he’ll be back for Thursday’s Galway Hurdle, for which Paddy Power left him unchanged at a pony 25/1.

Tonight’s card looks tricky too, but I cannot resist a small bet in the opening race on the card, as Nicky Henderson’s First In The Queue bids to atone for a mishap when unseating Barry Geraghty at Punchestown, by taking the Topaz Novice Hurdle, live on RTE2 at 5.05pm.

The only four year old in a field of just seven, he wasn’t sighted when well beaten in a mile handicap on the level at Ballybrit when with Sylvester Kirk 12 months ago, but fresh from a very easy win over hurdles at Ffos Las he can cause a bit of an upset at a tasty 8/1 in 2011.

Surprisingly Henderson has yet to taste success in Galway, but at the price he looks worth a small investment to break his duck, especially as market principles Sublime Talent (trainer played down his chances when interviewed yesterday) and London Bridge (wants the ground fast and connections would have preferred the taps to have been left off) both have question marks against them.

Incidentally, anyone taking in our coverage of the opening day may have heard Dermot Weld discussing his chances for the week with Brian Gleeson:

When threatened with a dead fish he nominated his filly Catch The Eye as his best bet of the week – she runs in the 8.15 tonight, but at 4/9 you’ll need deep pockets!

Much stronger opinions abound in England, where Roger Varian’s Mujrayaat is impossible to ignore on his first try in a handicap as he lines up in Beverley’s mile race at 3.45pm.

An opening mark of 83 may well prove to be lenient judging by how he inhaled a field of 15 in a Haydock maiden at the end of June.

He even had to overcome a little trouble in-running that day, and granted a clearer passage he’ll be very hard to beat.

Roger Varian is banging in the winners like there’s a closing down sale going on, and at 2/1 with Stan James Mujrayaat can add another to the board for the brilliant rookie trainer.

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped anyone’s attention that Glorious Goodwood gets underway this afternoon, and my Channel 4 colleagues have got their hands full for the next five days with some truly fantastic racing in prospect.

Hopefully they can get off to a flyer with the progressive Modun a strong fancy to take the opener at 2.00pm.

It’s a tough race, but being raised two pounds to a mark of 101 for his second in the John Smith’s Cup doesn’t strike me as prohibitive, and with the ground drying in his favour a win bet at 7/2 with any of Bet365, Paddy Power or William Hill is the way to tackle it.

The big prize on the card is the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at 3.10pm, and having won with such authority at York in May I’m fully prepared to get stuck in to Delegator once again.

He didn’t get the run of the race when only fifth in the July Cup, but lightning hopefully won’t strike twice, and at 100/30 with Ladbrokes he certainly looks worthy of an interest.

Attempting to concede weight to all comers is no easy task with the likes of Strong Suit and Libranno in opposition, but connections are bullish and it strikes me that stepping back up in trip to seven furlongs on ground that’ll be ideal is going to make him hard to beat.

Good luck!

Tuesday’s best bets:

2.00 Glorious Goodwood – bet365.com Stakes (Handicap) – 7 Modun (win) @ 7/2 (Bet365, Paddy Power or William Hill)

3.10 Glorious Goodwood – bet365 Lennox Stakes – 1 Delegator (win) @ 100/30 (Ladbrokes)

3.20 Beverley – Wilford Watts Memorial Handicap – 7 Mujrayaat (win) @ 2/1 (Stan James)

5.05 Galway – Topaz Novice Hurdle – 7 First In The Queue (win) @ 8/1 (Boylesports, SkyBet or Stan James)

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Posted 5 years, 5 months ago

31 Jul
2010

Enjoy a ‘Freebie’ on day six of the Galway races?

Paul Deegan’s Free Art is the one to be on in the Nursery here at Ballybrit this afternoon (3.30pm).

On his last outing he was only 6 lengths inferior to Pathfork, Jessica Harrington’s best two year old, and prior to that he was only a couple of lengths adrift of Zoffany of Aidan O’Brien’s (the winner of a Group 2 at Leopardstown last week).

This is infinitely easier, and he can make his presence felt at the top of the weights.

In the Premier Handicap at 4.00pm Paul Cashman’s Miss Eze (who scored at the venue earlier in the week) has her third outing of the meeting – she flew home on Thursday and can benefit from a better draw this afternoon.

Over at Goodwood I felt Strawberrydaiquiri ran better than bare form suggests in the Falmouth last time out having been hampered, her best form relates to tracks where she has raced around a bend, and the step up in trip should suit.

Up at Hamilton I hope they’ve got the bar well stocked as my good mate Steve ‘Parker’Allen is heading that direction and is confident of a bold showing from his filly Red Roar in the 8.40pm.

A half sister to Look Busy she is said to have improved markedly, and can win at the third time of asking.


Good luck!


Saturday’s best bets:

3.05 Goodwood – Blue Square Nassau Stakes – 5 Strawberrydaiquiri (win) @ 7/1 with Bet365

3.30 Galway – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nursery Handicap – 1 Free Art (win) @ 7/1 with Paddy Power

4.00 Galway – Low Low Handicap – 8 Miss Eze (each way) @ 8/1 with Bet365

8.40 Hamilton – Kane Gang Maiden Stakes – 8 Red Roar (each way) @ 17/2 with Victor Chandler

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Posted 6 years, 5 months ago

29 Jul
2010

Take the Galway Hurdle by ‘Storm’

A recent five length victory over 2006 Galway Hurdle winner Cuan Na Grai at Tipperary was the ideal prep run for Bahrain Storm for this year’s race, and the 2009 winner can make his presence felt this afternoon despite being a stone higher in the weights.

A summer horse who’ll love the ground Bahrain Storm hosed up in this race 12 months ago, and chasing his third win at the track he’ll be hard to keep out of the frame.

Over at Goodwood Michael Jarvis could well be celebrating shortly after 5.00pm, as he saddles Cansili Star in the seven furlong handicap.

He’ll love the undulating nature of the track, has made great strides this season, and has claims in this contest if you consider how well the form of his Epsom win turned out.

Good luck!

Thursday’s tips:

4.50 Galway – Guinness Galway Hurdle Handicap – 2 Bahrain Storm (each way) @ 12/1 with Stan James

5.10 Goodwood – Vintage At Goodwood Handicap – 6 Cansili Star (each way) @ 8/1 with bet365

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Posted 6 years, 5 months ago