Tiger on the prowl…

English: in 2007 Esperanto: en la jaro 2007

Woods isn’t the only Tiger on the prowl…

Tiger on the prowl…

No, don’t worry I’ve not gone all golf on your ass, the Tiger in question here is the Michael Dodds trained TIGER REIGNS. The 7yo was strutting his stuff at Pontefract yesterday in the Class 4 Veterans Handicap at 4.30 and was generally un-fancied in the market.

The horse has been winless, and some would say massively out of form, since September 2010 but yesterday my antenna begun twitching when I started digging into his race specifications and preferences.

Here is what I uncovered….

Outwith his maiden win all 6 of his career victories have come under the following conditions…

Ridden by Phillip Makin | Racing over a mile | In a field of 12 or less runners

For the record his maiden win also ticked 2 of those filters.

Now I know what you are thinking, most of his runs probably came under those conditions. Well…uh…no. Before yesterday the form line of TIGER REIGNS under those race conditions read 51141111, pretty handy I would say! In other words he had raced under those conditions 8 times in his 36 career starts and won 6 of them. Even more interesting is the fact that after his last victory (that one back at Ayr in Sept 2010) he had only raced under his ‘ideal’ conditions ONCE!

Yesterday he was available at 18-1 with your regulation bookies and 32 (place 5.79) on the exchanges. Needless to say I had a punt in the win and place markets at those juicy odds…needless to say he finished where all good e/w bets finish…FOURTH! That is by the by though. Essentially what we have in TIGER REIGNS is an extremely well handicapped horse (currently sitting on 78, his career high win mark is 97 and has been rated as high as 102) who has a stringent set of ideal conditions which highlight when we should be looking to get involved in him.

The worry about him is whether or not he still has the will/ability to win. Yesterday definitely suggested there is still something there, especially from his current mark and especially under his ideal conditions, and as a horse that most are likely to dismiss as a ‘has-been’ I’m personally extremely interested in him.

I’m not adding him to the BDH offensive line, he isn’t a straight track kinda fella and didn’t catch my eye after running well from a poor draw, but he is worth keeping in mind from here on in, especially when he lines up with Makin on his back, over a mile and in a field of 12 or less. That form line now reads 451141111 by the way.

He isn’t a guaranteed future winner, not by a long shot, but he could just be one of those that rolls in at a tasty price from left-field when the planets align for him…

Ben (BDH)

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BDH Stewards’ Sprint Stakes Review: Yeeoow! I feel Good(wood)!

Get up! Get Down! Get up again…

A couple of points of interest from myself today as I take a look back at our Stewards Cup runner from Saturday and also introduce a new member to the BDH squad as we continue to bolster our offensive line.

Starting with…

Saturday’s BDH runners: DINKUM DIAMOND

Getting into top gear…door sandwiched shut! Gets round another way…finds arse end of another runner going nowhere! Yeah that’s Glorious Freakin’ Goodwood for ya! Dinkum Diamond didn’t exactly have a clear run in the hustle and bustle cavalry charge that was Saturday’s Stewards Cup, not enough to stop him winning but enough to get me pissed off for a couple of minutes! Cathy Gannon started stoking him up with 2 furlongs to go and although the response wasn’t instant he was starting to get some forward momentum, that was until the runners either side of him formed a pincer type movement and slammed the door shut in his face. In fairness to jockey and horse they found a way out but were then met with a back-tracking runner and that was game well and truly over. The interference didn’t mean the difference between winning and losing (far from it, the impressive winner had long since flown), at best it cost DD sneaking a place, but not getting a clear run is always a frustrating result in horse racing. It’s like sex without the climax…or something like that?! It’s wholly unsatisfactory, whatever you liken it to!

Anyway I digress… DINKUM DIAMOND stays in our BDH squad although we need to keep an eye on the underfoot conditions from here on in. The never-ending heatwave looks to be coming to a shuddering halt (booooo!) and we are starting to see conditions with a bit more juice in them. Ideally we want Good to Firm for DD (Good ground is passable) so hopefully his chances won’t be snatched from him by the ground.

Now time to bolster our hit-squad with a Badly Drawn Horse from Saturdays Goodwood action…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Goodwood (03-08-2013): Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Sprint Stakes – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (24 ran)

How the race played out…

Reserve Stewards Cup Review

Pace wise this was simple; if you weren’t drawn up the top end you had little to no chance of being involved in the finish. The first 2 were drawn in 2 of the 3 highest stalls and the first 4 home were all drawn in stall 17 or above. They ended up drifting down the bottom side in the final half a furlong but that is irrelevant as they were comfortably ahead by that stage. TAKE COVER was the main pace-setter from up high with ABOVE STANDARD also doing his best to get involved from his middle to high posi. TAX FREE tried to hook onto the pace from box 12 but he could never really get there, with the same being said about NOVERRE TO GO from stall 2.

The pace map gives us clear indicators that the high numbers were where the pace was emanating from and in the end that played right into the hooves of those drawn middle to high.

The end result…

First home SEEKING MAGIC came from the highest stall of all the runners and this easily allowed him to hook onto the pace setters and grab them late on in the shadow of the post. He has taken his form to a new level this term (posting career best figures) and his previous 2 runs fully suggested he was getting ready to strike and land a tasty pot. With only 19 career starts to his name he may yet have improvement to come before the season is out. Second placed TAKE COVER has to go down as unlucky here. He led everywhere but the line in this race and despite this being a big step up in class he showed he is more than ready for it. He is another that is lightly raced and may have more to give yet. Third placed CHOOSEDAY was never too far away and dug deep in the closing stages to record a career best RPR figure. My feeling is that he may just need a wee bit of respite from the handicapper to get himself back to winning ways. ABOVE STANDARD was on a hat-trick and a career high mark and battled on well for 4th and a career best on the figures. The ground probably wasn’t quite quick enough for him and he could still have another big run in him off his mark. Fifth placed OUT DO was the best of the middle to low drawn runners but he is still 10lbs higher than his win at Yarmouth in June and the signs are that he needs to drop a couple before winning opportunities come his way. Sixth home YEEOOW was drawn at the complete opposite end of the stalls from the winner and this effort was an improvement on the form he has shown since his win at Ascot in May. This was a fine effort from a very difficult draw and he stuck in well at the business end.

BDH to follow…

YEEOOW (6th) (Mrs K Burke)

This Holy Roman Emperor gelding was the first home of the low stalls and was comfortably ahead of the others drawn in the same vicinity. Essentially he is a horse that has to come with a late run and the way this race unfolded meant there was little chance of that happening here, with regards to the runners that finished ahead of him.The way the race panned out from a pace perspective gave him little to no chance of victory so his 3 length 6th gains the utmost respect from myself.

The Burke’s have a decent team at their disposal this season and this 4yo would be near the top of their tree with this run very much suggesting that he can still do some damage off his current mark (only 3lbs higher than his last win).

A scrutiny of his form doesn’t really give us much in the way of angles to work with (apart from his obvious liking for Kempton – 1212) but a quick squint at the Burke yards form with their sprinters suggest we should possibly be looking at a Redcar (4 wins from 14) , Carlisle (3 wins from 5) or Ffos Las (2 wins from 3) as future targets. There is, I admit, nothing concrete in any of that for YEEOOW and he is one we should probably play by ear, race upon race.

Conditions – As already mentioned there is nothing stand-out obvious about the horses turf form and I’m happy to take him as he comes and scrutinize him on a race by race basis. He probably doesn’t have masses up his sleeve from the 93 mark but there should be enough for another victory to be squeezed out, preferably with Martin Harley on-board who seems to know the horse well.

YEEOOW now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Current BDH Squad

The following are the current members of our BDH Offensive line…

BACCARAT | DANCE AND DANCE | DINKUM DIAMOND | DUKE OF FIRENZE | DUNGANNON | JACK DEXTER | REDVERS | STEPS (soon to be featured on my guest post for horseracing.ie) | TAWHID | WAKING WARRIOR (featured in my guest post for Make Your Betting Pay) | YEEOOW

If you want to read about them then click on their names in the BDH TAGS section on the right-hand side of the Blog or pop their name in the search function right at the top, that should take you to the original post. If I have missed any of our team from the list then drop me a comment below, I’m pretty sure I got them all though 🙂

Cheers – Ben (BDH)

BDH Stewards Cup Analysis: DD hoping to Hoof It to glory…

Aah Glorious Goodwood, Glorious freakin’ Goodwood! Unless in some dark and distant land Glorious means “the festival of finding trouble in-running” I think they should re-name it! In truth I’m being a bit harsh, I actually enjoy watching the meeting, just not punting on it as much, it’s a bit too in and out for my liking (I’ve learned this through numerous roller-coaster Glorious Goodwood punting experiences!) so I’m actually quite pleased I haven’t gotten too involved in the punting side this week.

The 2 BDH runners I did open up the punting bank for this Friday both got checked at vital stages in their forward runs (as is far too often the case at Goodwood!) and Duke Of Firenze most certainly still had plenty of nitro boost left in his rocket pack, he just had no room to use it!

Anyway here is my take on how our 3 troopers performed and my thoughts on them going forward from here…

TAWHID (2nd in the Thoroughbred Stakes) – I was more than happy with this run and also more than happy to have not punted him. He coped well enough on the Good ground but he still gave me the impression he wants at least Good to Soft and on the day was beaten by the better horse who was also more suited by conditions. Tawhid will get his chance once the rain gets into the ground at the back end of the season, and then we will be on and collecting the profit.

DANCE AND DANCE (10th in the Betfred Mile) – I think this was a case of Moore wanting the horse closer the pace but the horse wanting to do the usual and sit out the back. Moore had him well enough placed but when he made his move around 2f out the path he intended taking started closing rapidly and he had to switch. I don’t think it was the difference between winning & losing but it may have cost him nicking a place. He still remains of utmost interest from his current handicap mark.

DUKE OF FIRENZE (10th in the King George Stakes) – Traveled well enough but the doors just didn’t open at the right times for him. It still doesn’t confirm or deny whether he is a Group animal in the making but there is a large part of me that wants to see him tackle a handicap off this current mark, I really do think he can land a large handicap pot from his rating. Moore was easy enough on him once the lanes up ahead started squeezing shut and he still remains of interest.

We have another of our BDH crew taking to the Sussex Downs on day 5 of the “Glorious” Festival in the cavalry charge that is the Stewards Cup…

Saturday BDH Runner – DINKUM DIAMOND – 3.50 Stewards’ Cup

With 28 runners set to go to post the pace map is, as ever, a fine place to start…

Stewards Cup

From a pace perspective it looks like there is a good chance that it will be split right across the track. There is probable pace coming from Top (WHOZTHECAT), Middle (BLAINE) and Bottom (DR RED EYE). DINKUM DIAMOND is drawn almost slap bang in the middle and that gives him options on the pace side although he could just fire straight down the middle and hook on to the pace of Blaine. Draw/pace wise he looks fine.

Next up I want to look at the ground. My stipulation for him is Good to Firm; all his career wins have come on such a surface. At the moment Goodwood is sitting at Good (Good to Firm in places). For me that would be OK as he has run some sound races on Good ground and the G2F patches suggest it is currently heading for the faster side anyway. There are showers forecast so if there is significant softening of the ground then I would most likely be looking to jump ship, however at the minute I’m good with the likely underfoot conditions.

From a handicapping perspective I would say his mark (103) is well within his grasp and he is only 1lb higher than his 3rd in the Dash at Epsom and 3lbs higher than his excellent 3rd at Ascot last time out.

Cathy Gannon is getting to know him very well (17033) so it’s a positive that she keeps the ride.

I know he is yet to win over 6 furlongs but he has ran some eye-catching races over the trip and the way he was finishing last time out over the distance at Ascot tells me this isn’t too much of a worry, in fact he has actually ran to within 2lbs of his 5f form over the furlong longer trip, 6f does not scare me with this lad.

Ideally we want drying ground for DD but at the moment the conditions are enough to persuade me to punt and at around 18-1 (larger on Betfair) I’m happy to take the plunge. I will naturally be keeping an eye on the weather though…

*Note – Ground now changed to Good all round but no showers are forecast and it is set to be a dry and breezy day. Again it is a case of keeping an eye on proceedings, watching the weather and seeing how the first few races play out…

To be honest this contest looks tricky, fast and furiously tricky! But then it’s Glorious Goodwood and the Stewards Cup, we should expect nothing less.

I generally like to have a cover bet running for me in these sprint minefields so I gave the entire field a quick analysis with my own trends… but that didn’t really clear the waters much, there were a number within close proximity of each other.

Hoof It, Face The Problem & Prodigality are the 3 that I finally settled upon to make up my cover bet shortlist. Of that 3 I’m leaning towards 2011 winner HOOF IT.

He missed most of last year due to a couple of problems but he returned to action at York last month. That was over an inadequate 5f and clearly that was a race to simply blow away the cobwebs and smooth off the rough edges. He ran well without over exerting himself that day and he is sure to strip much fitter here.

He is only 1lb higher than when winning this race 2 years ago and considering he finished 1/4L 3rd behind Dream Ahead & Bated Breath in the 2011 Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup I don’t see this mark being much of a problem.

Kieran Fallon back on top is a massive positive, with the pair having a 7117116 record together when teaming up.

He likes the ground, handles the trip and track, enjoys the thrill of large field sprints (4 wins from 10 runs) and Easterby is sure to have him primed to the minute for this repeat bid.

Like most Goodwood contests I’m fully prepared for hard luck stories in-running, especially with 28 runners belting it down the 6f straight track, but you gotta be in it to win it and I’ll be having a dabble on BDH runner DINKUM DIAMOND (providing the ground looks OK and doesn’t deteriorate) and a covering bet on 2011 winner HOOF IT.

Best of luck if you are getting involved in this fiendishly difficult conundrum.

Ben (BDH)

 

BDH Glorious Goodwood Assault: In Ryan Moore we do trust…

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

No BDH action on the first 3 days of Glorious Goodwood, which if I’m honest has been perfectly fine by me (I’ve had NTF Summer Stunner Carlingford Lough to keep me in clover this week!). GG has never always been the kindest meeting to me and I wasn’t overly keen having a punt anyway, not with the unsettled weather floating around over the Sussex Downs. The weather seems a bit more settled now, which is pretty handy because *BANG* like buses we go from zero qualifiers on the first 3 days to THREE on day 4!

Here is my take on our 3 BDH gladiators…

2.30 Goodwood – Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes

BDH runner – TAWHID

This one may have sneaked past the attention of some of you guys because…eh…well…it was a guest post from myself on horse-racing.ie! Ideally I want at least Good to Soft for this 3yo, so for him (and me) this drying ground doesn’t sit well. In fairness he has never run on Good before (best form on Good to Soft & Softer – worst form on Good to Firm) so this assignment possibly falls into that ‘maybe worth a punt‘ zone. SDS takes the ride here, however,  which at Goodwood, is a wee bit of a negative for me so that starts to swing it back into ‘maybe not worth a punt‘ zone. As you can see I’m a bit in 2 minds with this lad and personally I reckon there will be better targets for him in the latter part of the season, today I’m inclined to leave him alone. If he wins today then so be it, there will be other, possibly stronger opportunities for me to get my money down on him before the season is out anyway.

*If it rains, however, I will clearly look to change my mind about not backing him today.

3.05 Goodwood – Betfred Mile (Heritage Handicap)

BDH runner – DANCE AND DANCE

First up: Drawn in stall 1 over a 1 mile at Goodwood in a large field = Great! / A hold up horse drawn in stall 1 over a mile at Goodwood in a large field = Not quite as great!

However, in Ryan Moore do we trust? Yes, in Ryan Moore we do trust. Moore will know this horse is a perennial hold-up merchant but he will also know the value of the 1 stall in this race and the potential to waste that good draw by bolting his mount to the back of the pack from the favourable position. At the time of writing this post his Betfair column isn’t available so it will certainly make for interesting reading re. his race positioning plans for Dance And Dance.

For the record these are the draw stats for the  1 box in 15+ fields over the 1 mile trip at Goodwood since 2007…

7 winners from the 1 box from 25 races | 28% S/R | +£112.17 BFLSP – Win & Place 11/28 | 44% S/R

You don’t need me to tell you that is impressive figures! That is way more than expected and no other stall comes close to that sort of hit rate.

Apart from the draw quibble everything else looks in place. He is incredibly well handicapped on a mark of 94 (he ran 5th in this off 108! in 2011), the ground has come right for him, Ryan Moore has a solid record on him and he runs well after this sort of break.

The draw has slight issues for us but 2nd time blinkers may help combat that and I’m on this BDH warrior today.

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

3.40 Goodwood – Betfred King George Stakes

BDH runner – DUKE OF FIRENZE

Again we entrust our BDH warrior to Ryan Moore and again I’m happy to pitch in with him.

As far as the draw goes I’m thinking he is pitched in perfectly in the 7 stall. Take a gander at the pace map…

King George G Gdwd

There looks plenty of pace on in this Grade 2 and a lot of it is coming from down beside DUKE OF FIRENZE. In theory there should be a flurry of pace happening right in front of him and that should allow Moore to sweep in behind and strike hard, fast and late. There are also some speed options up high but the pace map gives firm indicators that the bulk of the pace will be blasting out from stalls 6 and below, DOF is situated in stall 7.

Outwith the draw we know DOF handles the track (1 from 1), handles the ground (all 4 career wins on Good), enjoys tackling undulating courses (form on undulating & very undulating tracks reads 111) and loves firing off the back of a burn up out front (check the Epsom dash). The only real query is whether or not he is up to Grade 2 class. There is no doubt he has to improve on what he has shown to win this but with only 13 runs under his belt that is a distinct possibility.

At the odds available I’m happy to take the plunge and I’m on this BDH warrior.

In Ryan Moore we do trust…

Ben (BDH)