BDH has moved to the following address…
I look forward to seeing you over there.
BDH has moved to the following address…
I look forward to seeing you over there.
Hi guys, just a quick post from me as I’m a bit tied up with all things NTF at the moment.
BDH Sunday Qualifier: THUNDERBALL 4.45 Goodwood
6 furlong? Straight track? Race worth less than 20k to winner? Tick, tick and tick. But what about the 4th condition, the most important one; Soft ground. Well it is currently Good to Soft (Soft in places in the home straight) with rain forecast, some heavy rain as well by the looks of things. For me that is a 3/4 tick… so I’m on!
He drops down to Class 3 level today. His last 10 turf runs have seen him run at Class 2 level 9X & Class 3 level 1X. His run at Class 3 level was when we almost cashed in on him at Doncaster when he came a 1/2 length 3rd. Needless to say I’m happy with this step down in Grade.
There is pace coming from the stalls beside him – Stall 20 & 15 should go on and stall 18 may also be up there, we are in stall 19. There is pace at the other end as well so it isn’t a massive positive being where he is but it isn’t a negative and it is always handy to have pace round about Thunderball so that he doesn’t have to be making it himself.
We have never really been able to get properly stuck in to Thunderball since he has been in the squad (for 1 reason or another) but I’m willing to keep the faith with him today.
Now let us kneel down, fold our hands and pray for a bit of rain….
p.s. The doors for the NTF Subscription service are now open….
Wow! That was some performance from Treve wasn’t it? She blew the others away in scintillating fashion and is rightly receiving plaudits left, right and centre.
As always I like to give a run over my own figures once the dust has settled and despite not personally lumping on the winner I can’t complain with the performance of my shortlist…
BDH Arc Shortlist
TREVE – TS 17/19 – Winner at 48/10
LEADING LIGHT – TS 17/19 – 12th at 14-1
NOVELLIST – 17/19
INTELLO – TS 16/19 – 3rd at 10-1
RULER OF THE WORLD – TS 16/19 – 7th at 12-1
FLINTSHIRE – TS 16/19 – 8th at 20-1
That is a decent performance in my eyes and a fine example of how my Trends & Dosage combined figures work to create strong short-lists.
I personally only got a return on the Each-Way part of my Intello bet but the figures held up well and that is always a positive sign.
To be fair the figures have been spot on most of the summer, through from Address Unknown in the Chester Cup, to Talent in the Oaks and yesterday with Treve in the Arc. Those 3 were notable highlights for me in a different way. I personally didn’t back them but I know that a number of you did by using my own shortlist to form your own selections. I very much consider myself an analyst rather than a tipster so the fact you guys are able to use my in-depth work to come to your own conclusions makes me equally as happy as backing a winner myself.
Anyway, I digress, back to the Arc.
TREVE was simply outstanding. Hopefully she returns to defend her crown next year. It will take an almighty performance to win 2 Arc’s on the bounce but after that run it wouldn’t really be a surprise! She is very exciting if kept in training.
ORFEVRE ran a sound race to finish 2nd again and not much needs said about him to be fair; he ran like the horse we know he is. I would be surprised if he can go 1 better next year and it is more likely that he joins Youmzain as a triple Arc runner-up.
I thought INTELLO ran a fine race at his first try at the trip and I have no doubt he stays it. It may not be his best trip though as he is a strong traveler and may just be better coming off a strong pace over 1m2f. Word is he may well go off to stud now so, unfortunately, that may be it for him anyway.
AL KAZEEM ran a sound race in 6th and although not matching what he has done so far this season it was a decent effort under conditions that didn’t really suit.
RULER OF THE WORLD is the puzzler for me. He was in the thick of the action until turning for home when all of a sudden he found himself dropping almost to the back…then he picked up, flew home and finished 7th! Could it be he doesn’t like to be crowded in amongst horses? He doesn’t look the biggest of 3yo’s and things did get a bit rough turning for home with horses making challenges all around him. If we think back to when he landed the spoils for us in the Epsom Derby he made his move round the outside that day and had relative space to unleash his challenge. This was the largest field he has faced and after that I’m just inclined to think he maybe needs space to perform to his best and doesn’t thrive on being amongst runners. I guess his Prix Niel run would counteract that argument but it wasn’t quite as rough a race and there were less runners. Whatever the case he is a very interesting horse for next year (if kept in training) but I will be keeping an eye on that roughshod theory of mine!
I thought FLINTSHIRE did well enough in 8th on ground that really would not have suited and he is another that is of maximum interest next season, especially when racing on less testing ground. I have a feeling there is more to come from him as a 4yo.
All in all it was a thoroughly enjoyable race to watch and it was won by a filly who produced a performance right out of the top drawer. Can she land 2 Arc’s on the trot though? That is the million dollar question…
I know plenty of you are itching to get on with the jumping stuff so here is the good news…
Doors to my 2013/14 National Hunt service will be opening this week!
Firstly to previous members (Wednesday). Then to members of my FREE NTF list (Friday). Then (if places remain) to everyone else (Monday 14th).
If you do want to join the full service then I seriously advise you to get your name on the FREE NTF list. Not only will this guarantee you a place on the service but you will also be able to join for the discounted rate.
On joining the FREE list you will also be able to download my free 90+ day October trainers guide (highlighted 3 winners yesterday!).
I will also be unleashing my ’20 to follow’ list tomorrow (Tuesday) which gives you a group of ‘under the radar’ horses I expect to win plenty of races this 2013/14 season.
*Spoiler Alert* There are NO Henderson, Nicholls or Mullins horses on this list!!
Make sure you don’t miss out on all this by joining the FREE list HERE >>> Join the FREE NTF list
p.s. Want to know what is in the NTF 2013/14 service? Think of this summer here on BDH but think BIGGER, BETTER and MORE!
I’m really excited about this forthcoming National Hunt season…
The Arc De Triomphe. Arguably the greatest flat race in the world. It gets my vote anyway! With that in mind it would be rude of me not to put the race under full and unadulterated BDH scrutiny.
Before that, however, just a wee line on our BDH qualifier at Ascot, DINKUM DIAMOND…
BDH Saturday runner: DINKUM DIAMOND (Ascot)
He was a no bet anyway but I always like to keep a close eye on our squad even when the money isn’t down.
I thought he ran well in 5th without ever really threatening the places. The ground was upgraded to Good to Soft from Soft so conditions would not have been as bad for him as they were predicted to be. If we can get him on Good or better before the season is out (Good to Firm still the preferable option) then I will be happy.
As for the winner of the race (breath…5, 6, 7, 8…) I think the less said about him the better! He obviously felt the pressure of running with the BDH cash down in previous runs but once unleashed from our shackles he was free to get a photo-finish in his favour. Frustrating but racing has a habit of doing that sometimes…
2013 Arc De Triomphe Analysis…
Before I get onto the analysis of this years renewal I have a wee poll for you all…
Now onto the serious stuff…
From a personal perspective I was all set to pull the trigger on NOVELLIST. He ticked most of the boxes in my guide and had clearly been primed for this race since his King George romp at Ascot back in July. I was ready to put the money down and highlight him as the main selection in the BDH guide… Alas, it was not to be. Turns out he ate some dodgy snails, or some of that horrible Pâté they serve over there and has been declared unfit to race (fever/temperature is the official line).
For me then it was back to the drawing board to sift through the remainder of the field to look for the most likely winner and an alternative selection for a two-pronged BDH attack on France’s showpiece contest.
All the usual in-depth BDH analysis for the 2013 renewal of the Pric De L’Arc De Triomphe can be downloaded from the link below…
Remember there is plenty of information in the guide so you don’t just have to follow my selections if you don’t want to.
Best of luck if you are getting involved and let’s hope for a cracking race!
I am in the process of pulling together 2 new and FREE NTF guides for the forthcoming National Hunt season.
One is a Scottish themed micro-system (VERY easy to use) and the other is my own ‘to follow list’ for the forthcoming season. It will be slightly different to the ones that are already floating about out there and will include quite a few ‘dark horses’ that probably won’t appear on other lists.
These FREE guides will be EXCLUSIVE to members of my FREE NTF list so if you want them you need to join at the following link…
One BDH qualifier for us on Saturday but is the ground playing for or against us at Ascot?
Before I get on to that though we have a wee bit of house keeping for our midweek BDH runner…
Thursday BDH runner – MISSION APPROVED (Warwick)
Another placed effort for the squad, this time a 3rd placed 1 length defeat at BFSP 7.4. I think we were a smidgen unlucky here as James Doyle had to get across early from the wide draw and that may have just left him a tad short for his finishing effort. MA was in the lead entering the final furlong but he just couldn’t sustain the effort all the way to the line. I was half banking on a decent amount of rain falling by the time our race was off (my original post on Mission Approved stated that ground with cut in it would help) but it just didn’t come in enough buckets to properly change the ground; when you need the rain it doesn’t come and when you don’t want it (like when you are walking the dogs!) it comes down in buckets!
Anyway I’m not overly disappointed with this run, it was a tough (although not impossible) draw to overcome but this was a decent effort. He has now run twice for us and been beaten a head and a length and I’m still happy to keep him in the squad for now. Hopefully he will get ground with a bit of cut in it sooner rather than later…
Now onto Saturday’s qualifier…
BDH Runner: DINKUM DIAMOND 1.30 Ascot
Ascot is currently SOFT so that quite simply means NO BET for us. We want Good to Firm or at the least Good but Soft is a no go. If he somehow wins on the Soft stuff then the world will have dropped off it’s axis!
DD has run 3 times for us since making the squad. We managed to grab some nice E/W profits when he ran on the Good to Firm at Ascot (3rd at 22-1, was 33’s in the morning), he got a troubled passage in the Stewards Cup next time out and then the ground went against him/us at York and he was a no-bet.
There will be others much more suited to the underfoot conditions in this race and I’ll happily leave him alone in this Listed contest. We may indeed struggle to get him on his favoured conditions now before this season is out…
Arc De Triomphe – Sunday
I am neck-deep in National Hunt stuff at the minute but I have taken time out to put Sunday’s big race at Longchamp under the ‘Trosage’ microscope and I will have a full and free BDH analysis guide ready for you to download here on the Blog.
To make sure you don’t miss out on this free and alternative guide for one of the worlds most famous and prestigious races simply join the NTF/BDH FREE list, where you will also be able to download a clutch of free racing guides and mini-angles…
A bit of mid-grade, mid-week action for us today with one of our BDH squad tackling the 6 furlong trip at Warwick…
BDH Runner: MISSION APPROVED 5.10 Warwick
We were very unlucky not to collect with him at Kempton last time out when he went down in a photo-finish by a head. That was a career best on the figures and his A/W mark was also put up 5lbs to 85 by the handicapper off the back of the run. He is able to run from his mark of 80 here back on the turf and although Turf-A/W form doesn’t always translate I would be confident our lad has at least a similar amount of improvement in him from this turf mark.
The positives for MA are that he is 1 from 1 at the track, both his wins have come going left-handed, he should handle any change in the going if the forecast rain arrives and the Stoute yard are in a decent bit of form at present – 10/29 | 34% S/R in the past 2 weeks. The Stoute runners also do well from their limited raids to the track – 5/16 | 31% S/R in the past 5 seasons.
The negative for MA is potentially the draw. Stall 15 of 17 wouldn’t be ideal although admittedly the figures don’t say it is completely impossible and there haven’t been too many large field races over this trip at Warwick in recent seasons to make a strong assessment.
Digging into my Proform database I had a look at 6f races at Warwick with fields of 12 or more and looked at those in stalls 13+ as a group. The following figures were returned…
2/56 | 4% S/R – Win & Place 8/56 | 14% S/R
It is a concern rather than a worry I would say…
So do we back him or not?
Personally if I can get 5’s or above then I will take it. The draw is a concern but he is an improving horse and he may just have a bit too much for some of these. James Doyle rode him for the first time last time out and hopefully he will have learned plenty about him that day and he will be able to keep him a bit closer to the pace here.
Best of luck if you are getting involved.
Poor show from our BDH qualifier on Saturday and another photo-finish defeat, this time for 1 of my Cambridgeshire selections.
Here are my thoughts on Saturday’s action…
Chooseday – 3.45 Ripon
Choose Life. Choose a family. Choose a f*ck*ng big television. Just choose to go in the f*ck*ng stalls you bloody monkey!!
The writing was on the wall (in the gutter would be better terminology!) before the race was off here as it took at least 5 minutes (AT LEAST!!) to get him in the stalls. They even had to load the jockey first before getting the horse in! It was clear he wasn’t in the mood for this run and he never got involved at any stage of the contest once the gates sprung open. He broke average at best and then just dossed about out the back.
Not much we can take from this run to be honest and one of them we just have to draw a line under.
The one possible ‘excuse’ (not a word I like using) is that it may have come a bit too soon after his run at Ayr last week. His record when running within 7 days of his last start now reads 470; it is certainly something to bear in mind going forward.
Thunderball – 3.45 Ripon
Was a no selection for us anyway and he ran as I expected. We really need to see him on some soft ground (at the very least on Good to Soft) before our money is down. He really doesn’t look like he enjoys the Good or better ground but at least he may drop a couple of lbs before he does the business for us on the soft stuff (that’s the plan anyway!).
Hopefully patience will pay dividends for us with this lad…
Apologies for not getting my Cambridgeshire analysis into the Blog post but hopefully some of you managed to pick it up from the comments section of the post when I dropped it in at around 10.45 (check comments section here if you want to give it a gander).
I went for a big price swipe with The Rectifier and a slightly less bigger priced swipe, although still a juicy 20-1-ish when I backed it, on Code Of Honour.
As you all know Code Of Honour failed by a whisker to get up on the line! Aaaaggghhhh! Why do these bloody photo finishes go against you… still the Each-Way portion softened the blow…slightly…
New BDH Squad Members…
There isn’t going to be any. I’m happy to let our squad roll until the end of the season. We have a few in there that will handle any juice in the ground that may appear (Jack Dexter, Tawhid & Thunderball I’m looking at you guys…) and hopefully a couple of them can roll into the winners enclosure before stumps are drawn on the 2013 Flat season.
I’ll be rolling out a few FREE National Hunt guides over on BDH’s big bro’ NTF in the coming days and weeks so as previously mentioned that will be where my main focus is starting to turn towards.
The NTF action can be found over here >>> Get ready for the 2013/14 National Hunt season with NTF
Two qualifiers for us on Saturday at the Garden Racecourse, more commonly known as Ripon, with both our runners looking for glory in the same contest.
There is also a raft of former BDH runners hitting the track on Saturday, 3 of them being former winners for us and the other being one that had us tearing our hair out before we ceremoniously booted him out of the squad. If he should win the big one at Newmarket (Cambridgeshire) then his name shall never be spoken in these parts again!! I’m sure you all know who I am talking about…
Anyway let’s deal with our 2 runners from our current squad…
BDH Runners:CHOOSEDAY & THUNDERBALL 3.45 Ripon
A 12 runner field here so there won’t be a great a pace or draw bias at play. It is a slight negative to be in the higher stalls in this sort of field size at the track but not a complete danger area and our 2 are drawn in 2 (Thunderball) & 8 (Chooseday) anyway so I see no problems there.
The pace will probably/possibly come from SPINATRIX in stall 5. THUNDERBALL did attempt to go from the front at Ayr last week but that was probably due to circumstance rather than by design and I would expect him to be behind the pace rather than on it here. CHOOSEDAY should also be sitting quite handy as well. It can be difficult to win from out the back over this trip at Ripon so having our 2 sitting behind the leader should be a positive for their chances.
Let’s now deal with them individually…
One of our recent additions to the squad and we get a quick opportunity to see him strut his stuff here. I only had 2 conditions for him and those were Good to Soft or better underfoot conditions and 6 furlongs. He meets both those conditions here and with Good ground forecast and no rain predicted (the opposite in fact) we are good to go.
To add a bit of meat to the bone I’ve also noted the following…
His Ripon form is solid (25244) with his 2nd best RPR figure of 91 (best is 93) being recorded at the track.
5lb claimer Shane Gray takes the mount for the first time and if we take his claim into account then CHOOSEDAY is actually running off a mark of 81. To put that in context that has him 4lbs lower than when he ran 3rd at Goodwood (3 runs ago) and 6lbs lower than when he ran a close 4th at Ripon (2 runs ago) – those 2 runs were his 1st & 2nd best on RPR figures as well as his 1st & 2nd best runs on the Proform speed figures.
I’m happy to have him on our side today and at the odds available (around 9-1 at time of writing) I’ll take him in an each-way capacity.
I’m going to have to pass on him today. I’ve been looking for Soft ground since he made our list and yet again the rain gods have failed to deliver for us. His last win was on Soft (9 runs ago) and on that day he recorded an RPR of 99. Since then he has run 6 times on Good or better with his best 2 RPR figures being 89 & 83; essentially he has only managed to get within 10lbs of his last winning mark once on his ‘unfavourable’ ground. His other 2 runs were on Good to Soft where he recorded RPR’s of 96 & 50 (when he was drawn out of it in stall 1 at Ayr); more proof that he wants some sort of cut to run near or to his best these days.
Others aspects do look in his favour today but that ground worries me and is enough to put me off.
Best of luck if you are getting involved
Join the FREE NTF/BDH updates list for free racing guides and a discount on your full subscription to my National Hunt service – Doors open middle of October.
There was plenty of straight track sprinting action for me to delve into from the recent Ayr Gold Cup meeting, in search of some new members to freshen up our BDH attack squad.
The pace/draw angles were pretty clean-cut in all the cup races and that, to some extent, makes my job a little bit easier.
I actually pondered over adding my old mucker CHEVETON to our BDH squad. He ran a solid race from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ in the Bronze Cup and although I will be keeping an eye open for him he just doesn’t seem to be giving out the sparkle of old. He will go into my own personal ‘Handicap Sleepers’ list (he was actually already there) and if conditions are right for him I will back him, but he just hasn’t quite done enough to step up into the exclusive BDH squad.
That honour goes to 2 runners from Saturday’s Ayr Silver Cup. One who most will have noticed and another who I reckon should have skipped under the radar of most…
Race in focus: 2.40 Ayr (21-09-2013): William Hill Ayr Silver Cup – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (27 ran)
How the race played out…
We all know this was all about those drawn up high. The first five home were drawn in stalls 15 or higher and 9 of the first 10 home were also drawn in stalls 15 or higher. The field did split into 2 here but the low numbers, surprisingly, didn’t go and hug the far rail; a mistake in my opinion. In the previous days Bronze Cup, although it was also a high numbers race, the low numbers did the standard procedure of gunning it down their rail and they finished much closer to their highly drawn counterparts than the low numbers from this race did.
From the low numbers it was THUNDERBALL (Stall 1) & COLONEL MAK (Stall 7) that tried to set a pace but their bolts were pretty swiftly shot long before the race hotted up, fading to finish in 20th & 25th. It was always going to be a fruitless task trying to make serious strides down the middle of the track.
In the high group (near side) it was CHEVIOT in stall 25 that led the pack along and he held that position well into the final furlong. His front running provided an excellent tow into the race for the first 3 home (ANCIENT CROSS, FAST SHOT & AN SAIGHDIUR) who all sat on his tail before pouncing inside the final furlong.
It was quite clear that this was a race that favoured the high numbers and the low numbers really struggled to land any sort of blow.
The end result…
The winner ANCIENT CROSS had the luxury of being drawn in the 2nd highest box and as such had the ‘golden highway’ under the stands rail right underneath him all the way home. Although this was the highest mark he had ever won from he had placed/run well in the past from a slightly higher mark (100 & 101). The handicapper may well raise him above that mark after this and I imagine that may well anchor him for a bit. Second home, FAST SHOT, made a late surge for the line and was unlucky not to collect here. He has won and placed from around this mark in the past but if the handicapper knocks him up a couple of lbs he may also just find himself anchored, depends on exactly how much he is put up (if any). The Irish Raider AN SAIGHDUIR ran a career best in 3rd from a career high mark. He was ideally placed in the highest box of all (Stall 27) but had to move out a bit towards the centre to get a clear run, that may well have just cost him. PICTURE DEALER in 4th ran close enough to his best to suggest he may be able to pick something up from this mark. He is on a career high rating but is only a 4yo and could well have a bit more up his sleeve. The same comments could be applied to 5th home BOOTS AND SPURS, he ran a sound race and may be able to pick something up from his current mark. SIR REGINALD in 6th was the obvious eye-catcher. He was the only runner in the top 10 to be drawn in the bottom 14 stalls. The fact he came from stall 2 makes his 2 & 1/2 length 6th even more impressive. He actually came there with a serious chance in the final furlong but the efforts of running out in the middle ultimately left him a bit short in the finish. TAKE COVER is an interesting one. He finished a decent 7th here and he probably could have been done without the ground drying out. He is extremely lightly raced for a 6yo and he does give the impression that there is more still to come; he is one to watch from the well drawn ‘beaten’ horses.
BDH(s) to follow…
SIR REGINALD (6th) (R Fahey)
He is the obvious one to take from the race but that doesn’t mean we should ignore him. This was a mighty effort from his stall 2 outpost and his 2 & 1/2 length defeat gives further signs that he is back to somewhere near the form he showed as a youngster. It is easy to forget he was rated as high as 105 at one stage of his career and also ran well in Meydan from marks in the 100’s at the start of the 2012 season.
I don’t have too many conditions that I want to apply to him as the main pointer for me is his handicap mark of 93 (he ran off 91 in the Silver Cup). 93 looks within his range and he looks a much happier and sounder horse these days. We must remember that his 3yo season was curtailed after 1 run because of injury and his 4yo season was also interrupted a touch because of another minor injury. His last 3 runs fully suggest that he is now over those ailments and is ready to show what he can do.
1 small condition I would like to have in our favour is Paul Hanagan in the saddle. The form line when the former champion jockey is in the saddle is 2119946016 compared to 335205097072 when he isn’t. Hanagan isn’t imperative in the plate but he clearly is a bonus.
Apart from that I’m happy to evaluate him on a race by race basis.
Conditions – Happy to take him on a race by race basis. Hanagan a serious plus but not a necessity. His handicap mark of 93 looks well within him and a big field handicap at 6 or 6 & 1/2 furlongs is a feasible target.
CHOOSEDAY (12th) (K Ryan)
This 4yo is a less obvious choice but it shouldn’t go unnoticed that he actually finished 2nd of the low drawn horses. He made a strong move to the front around the 1.5 furlong mark but his effort petered out on the unfavorable part of the track.
Pat Smullen was an interesting booking on the day and they obviously expected the horse to go well, only to be undone by the poor draw. This was actually the 2nd race in a row where he was berthed in an unfavorable stall, he was drawn on the wrong side of the consolation Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon last time out but still managed to run a solid race in 4th. The race before that he fired in a career best on the figures in the Stewards Cup consolation race at Glorious Goodwood, giving clear signs that he is still a horse on the up.
Conditions wise we don’t want him on anything too testing.
His Soft & Heavy ground form reads 53577
His Good to Soft or better form of 1343024214277340
He does handle cut but the signs are that he is much better without it.
I would also rather have him over 6f than 5f…
5 furlong form is 6 runs | 0 wins | 1 placed effort
6 furlong form is 15 runs | 2 wins | 5 placed efforts
Apart from those small points of note he is another we can probably play race by race. He is only a 4yo and seems to still be on the upgrade, he just needs a decent draw to show what he can do.
Conditions – Happy to take him on a race by race basis although would prefer to see him on Good to Soft or better and over 6 furlongs.
SIR REGINALD & CHOOSEDAY now both enter my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when they are due to run next.
p.s. I’m really starting to dig into the National Hunt action now behind the scenes. Make sure YOU don’t miss out on the action by joining the FREE updates list here >>> FREE NTF Updates List
Free horse racing guides are readily available with more currently in construction as I build up to NTF National Hunt 2013/14!
p.p.s One of the Handicap Sleepers on the Free guide just ran at Carlisle (Tuesday 24th depending on when you are reading this) in the shape of ROKER PARK. Everything looked in place for a decent run…but he ran a stinker! …so I had a closer look. He was drawn in stall 10 of 10. Runners in stall 10 over 5f & 6f at Carlisle since 2007… 3 wins from 91 starts for a 3% S/R! They do win quite a bit less than they should as well. Watching the race it was clear that Roker Park was up against it and he could never get into a position from that draw.
Carlisle is one of those sprint tracks that pretends it is a straight…but is far from it! Bit like Beverley and places like that. You are turning a fair bit and if you are stuck out wide you really are up against it. On the face of it ROKER PARK ran a stinker, digging a bit deeper I’m more than willing to cut him a bit of slack for that run.
…also I should have checked this before I backed him! Yes my money was down and subsequently lost as RP failed to get anywhere from that devil of a stall that is stall 10! Still, lesson learned, notes taken, we move on poorer but all the wiser!
Well Saturday was a tough day at the office!!
Jack Dexter ran a big race in 3rd under his welter burden and softened the hammers blows slightly (very slightly!!) but apart from his effort there was precious little else to shout about.
Let’s dissect the runs of our BDH squad and see if we should boot any of them into touch…
2.40 Ayr – Silver Cup
Two things went markedly against Scott Dixon’s runner here. At the time of writing we were looking at Soft ground, which is the ideal conditions we want for him. By the time the gates went up it had dried to a tacky Good to Soft, OK for him but not perfect and in a race of this nature you probably want perfect conditions. It was also quite clear (by the time they crossed the line!) that it was the high stalls that held the upper hand here, he was isolated in stall 1 and that just left him high and dry with nowhere to go.
One thing that did surprise in this race was that the low group actually gunned it down the middle. Why not stay in a straight line and fire down the far rail? Most horses are better with a rail to run against, last time I looked there were no rails down the middle! Personally I thought it was a strange decision, it maybe made little to no difference but there was a rail down that side and I would have thought it would have been more beneficial to use it that float about down the middle of the track…
We learned nothing about T-Ball here and he stays on the list, hopefully we get PROPER soft ground for him next time out.
I actually though he ran a sound enough race in 8th. He came there with a challenging run but as soon as he was pulled into the middle his run fizzled out. He was at least still well in the ball-park come the line and I’m happy to keep him in the squad for now.
3.30 Newbury – Group 3
Didn’t even manage to engage 1st gear here! He was struggling after about 100 yards and never looked like landing even a glancing blow. Is he just feeling the effects of a long-ish season?
We have been unlucky not to collect with him recently (VERY unlucky!) but I fear he may be stuck in no-mans land now (above his handicap ceiling but not quite up to Group level). With that in mind it’s time to say goodbye to this squad member, he did us proud despite not winning but things are probably going to get tricky for him with regards where to place him and we now say au revoir to STEPS.
3.50 Ayr – Gold Cup
Hard to crab a 3rd placed effort from a mark of 110 in one of the most competitive sprint handicaps known to man. He was an each-way bet and he delivered. For a brief moment it looked like he would unleash a barn-storming finishing kick but it wasn’t to be. Drying ground wouldn’t have been perfect for him but in no way could it be used as an excuse, I would have preferred soft but was more than happy to dive in on Good to Soft.
One thing that did spring to mind in the aftermath of the race was ‘Did he need the run?’
This was his first start for 84 days, his record after a break of 31 days or more now reads – 464312 – admittedly not that bad but now look at his record after a break of 30 days or less – 11100115371 – or even after 20 days or less – 1001111. Certainly edging towards him being better after a recent run and something for us to bear in mind going forward from here.
I’m more than happy to keep JD on the list after that run.
DUKE OF FIRENZE
No bet on DOF anyway and ran as I expected. To be honest I didn’t even hear the commentator mention him once! These would not have been his ideal conditions and I’m not judging him on this performance. He can still do damage when conditions suit him, just not sure there will be spots for him to strut his stuff before the season is out…
I did put up 2 additional selections for the Gold Cup and they both ran OK without setting the world alight.
OUR JONATHON ran a sound race in 7th and I did briefly think he may sneak a place for us but he just couldn’t quite get there. He is on a decent mark and could pick something up before the season is out.
GABRIEL’S LAD was probably caught on the ‘wrong’ side of the high numbers and his 9th place was a decent enough run considering he had to do most of his work out in the middle.
Again I was surprised that there wasn’t a group trying to gun it down the far side rail. It was drying ground and what’s to say the far side wasn’t drying faster than the near side? Surely it was worth a punt instead of losing ground tracking over to the middle?
I’m going to review all the big sprints from Ayr later on today, there are a few I noted when watching the races ‘live’ as potentials for our BDH squad but as always I like to have a proper look once the dust has settled.
I’ll do my best to keep all things BDH updated in the coming weeks but my attention will be switching to NTF very shortly and I expect that to devour plenty of my time; I’m already doing some work on the Paddy Power Gold Cup!! I’m starting to think David Pipe has a fantastically strong hand (again!) to play in the race with a couple of his team (obvious and less obvious members) but there is also one from the Hobbs team that is potentially very interesting…
Anyway that’s for the National Hunt leg of my racing work (you can join NTF here and grab a bunch of FREE guides at the same time), I’ll hopefully have a new BDH squad member for you in the next couple of days on here.