Well it was quite a weekend on the BDH front! Today I will be adding another horse to our BDH war chest but before that I just want to tidy up the loose ends from the weekends racing.
Saturday’s 2 BDH runners: Redvers & Field of Dream
We went into the 19 runner Bunbury Cup with a two-pronged attack and came out with our pockets bulging with profits!
With FIELD OF DREAM it was a case of job done, money in the bank, thank you very much, lovely jubbly! Jamie Osborne’s 6yo fired in at 14-1 (21.61 BFSP!) for us and us such is now off the BDH list. As always that doesn’t mean I won’t back him if the situation dictates in the future, but for the purposes of our BDH war chest he has done his time and his services are no longer required. Fine effort Field of Dream, good lad.
REDVERS, on the other hand, remains on the list. He put in a big effort to finish a strong closing 5th and he did extremely well to get so close as he had to pick his way through the densest part of the pack. He looks in rude health and his time will surely come soon.
Darley July Cup
The celebrations were only just dying down when we were out of our seats again (or in my case running round B&Q getting some very strange looks!!) cheering home the winner of the July Cup, LETHAL FORCE, at 9/2 (7.22 BFSP).
It was a superb performance from Clive Cox’s sprinter and as I said in my guide he was probably going to get an easy lead and that was going to make him very dangerous indeed. It was a strong performance, beating confirmed Grade 1 animals, and there is nothing to suggest he can’t add more G1’s to his tally going forward.
As enjoyable as Saturday’s shenanigans were there is no point resting on our laurels, so lets crack on with the meat of today’s post and go in search of our next BDH warrior!
Race in focus: 3.15 Newmarket (12-07-2013): Bunbury Cup – 7f, Class 2 Heritage Handicap (19 ran)
How the race played out…
The field split into 3 groups from the off with 4 staying high and 4 staying low, with the bulk of the pack staying down the middle lane. The low group and middle group started to merge around the halfway point but the top 4 remained steadfast to their far side rail for most of the contest. As the pace map tells us it was this top 4 breakaway group that held the pace advantage, so much so they filled the first 3 positions at the finish; it was a strong pace bias at play. REDVERS can maybe count himself a bit unlucky as he was right on the cusp of the top 4 in stall 15 but jockey Neil Callan made the early decision to hook down onto the back of the main group. It was probably a decision that ended up costing him at least a place, however it’s not a decision that you can knock him over as he set his stall out early and stuck to his guns. BURWAAZ set a decent enough clip for the middle group but he clearly wasn’t going the same pace as I’M SO GLAD up the top end who had ES QUE LOVE right on his tail, pushing him along and keeping him honest. Down the bottom end it was up to HIGHLAND COLORI to set the fractions but one feels he was always just having to be kept up to his work and probably would have preferred a bit of company to help him set the pace. All in all this was a race dominated by the high numbers and again goes to show that you don’t necessarily need a large group to set a strong pace.
The end result…
The winner FIELD OF DREAM was able to sit in-behind the 2 pace pushers in front of him and hook onto the strong pace they were setting. A gap also opened up between the 2 of them in the final furlong and jockey Adam Kirby sensibly fired his mount through the gap, giving his horse the added impetus to go on and win the race. He was on a decent mark coming into this and was also in decent form, in winning this he equaled his career best RPR figure. Second home ES QUE LOVE put in a sterling effort here and he also equaled his career best RPR mark with this performance. He is starting to creep back up the handicap so that would be my worry for him going forward from here, you want him hitting the mark sooner rather than later, before his mark becomes really difficult to win from. Third placed I’M SO GLAD possibly paid the price for setting the strong pace up top but this was a decent effort and he is on a mark he can win from, probably at a slightly lower level. Fourth home DANCE AND DANCE was, in my opinion, very unlucky in-running. He didn’t break ideally from the stalls and also got bumped a little, meaning he was just caught on the hop for a few strides. Ryan Moore then went to make a forward move around the 2 furlong pole but had to switch left for room, room that didn’t come instantly and his run had to be checked. When that path was blocked he had to switch back right again and when a gap did appear in front of him he fairly powered home. He was the first home outwith the top group and there is every reason to believe he would have been much closer than 2.5 lengths down had it not been for interference; his draw and poor start clearly hindered him. Fifth home REDVERS was another that was a tad unlucky. Like Dance And Dance he had to work his way through the thickest part of the field and once daylight appeared he blasted home. HIGHLAND COLORI was the best home in 6th of the low drawn group and this was a solid run on a track he likes and ground he loves. My feeling is that he needs a bit of respite from the handicapper before we see him winning again though.
The bare facts are that this was very much a race to be drawn high. The low numbers were probably the most inconvenienced although the middle group would also be classed as ‘poorly drawn’ by myself.
BDH(s) to follow…
DANCE AND DANCE (4th) (E Vaughan)
The 7yo blasted home after having a less than ideal passage through the race and once Ryan Moore was able to get him properly into top gear he sprouted wings. This was a clear indicator to me that a) he is rediscovering his form and b) he is on a bloody handy handicap mark!
From a handicapping perspective we have to remember that he has won a competitive Epsom handicap off OR97 and finished very close in high class handicaps at Ascot (off OR102) and Goodwood (off OR110); he is currently on OR94. That’s 3lb lower than his highest winning mark and 16lbs LOWER than when finishing a very close 5th at Goodwood in the 2011 Totesport Mile handicap. Since that time he has ran well in numerous Group races, including Group 1 races. There is plenty about him that shouts ‘Well Handicapped’ and ‘Ready to Win’.
He has had numerous pilots throughout his career although for me Ryan Moore (Saturday’s jockey) looks the perfect foil. The horse loves to come with a rattle from right out the back and Moore is the perfect jockey to stoke him up and get him motoring. For the record the pairing have a tasty 1224 record together.
In general he is a fairly adaptable horse with regards to most race conditions although it may just be over the 8f trip that we really see him at his best; his best RPR figures and Proform speed figures have all been gained over 8 furlongs.
Interestingly he is entered in the Betfred Mile at this years Glorious Goodwood Festival, to me that looks an extremely viable and sensible target.
Conditions – I think it’s simply with this lad. He is on a very winnable handicap mark and connections know where he performs at his best. Ideally we want him in 1 mile races although 7 furlongs will also suit. Ryan Moore, again, would be ideal in the saddle although I won’t be put off by other jockeys.
He is in form and on a good mark and looks primed to strike very soon.
DANCE AND DANCE now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.
A day out at Beverley…
I’m off to Beverley tomorrow to watch my horse (horse I have a share in would be more accurate!!) TRENDING run in the 5.35 race. My good friend Tony McCormick (@TonyMacRacing on Twitter) is also sponsoring a race on the card (the 3.30) so I’m also there to support him as well/have a few drinks.
If you happen to be at the track come along and say hello, don’t ask for any tips though, I don’t plan on studying any of the races!
Cheers – Ben (BDH)