BDH Weekend Review: Refusing at Ripon…

Murtagh holds on to defy 1 of my Cambridgeshire picks! Bugger!

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…

Cambridgeshire…

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 

Ben (BDH/NTF)

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BDH Saturday Qualifiers: Choose Life. Choose Ripon. Chooseday…

We head to Ripon for our Saturday BDH runners.

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…

Saturday’s BDH runners…

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…

CHOOSEDAY

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.

THUNDERBALL

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

Ben (BDH)

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BDH Friday Qualifiers: Last chance saloon for WW & Taw?

Are 2 of our squad drinking in the last chance saloon today?

Two of our BDH squad take to the rain softened turf today with WAKING WARRIOR running up at Ayr and TAWHID running down at Newbury. Both horses potentially running in the last chance saloon as far as being fully paid up members of our BDH offensive line.

Before I give you my take on their chances here are my thoughts on our Wednesday runner MISSION APPROVED… ‘agggghhhhh not another bloody photo finish 2nd?!?!?’

Only kidding (kinda!!), here are my real thoughts…

MISSION APPROVED 8.45 Kempton (AW)

Whether it was Richard Kingscote stealing the race with an early move or it was in fact James Doyle ‘losing’ the race by getting his mount going too late is irrelevant now, the facts are the line came a yard or 2 too soon for our lad and we ending up going down by an ever diminishing head. It can be a game of fractions this racing malarkey and we just came out on the wrong side of it. There was nothing in this run to suggest we should take him off our list and for now he remains as part of the team. Hopefully we will see him back on turf next time out…

Now to tackle today’s runners…

BDH Runner: WAKING WARRIOR 2.20 Ayr

I’m possibly being a bit harsh on saying this is the last chance saloon for this guy. In fairness he hasn’t had the best of the draws on his last 2 runs, however, I don’t want to give him too many more chances as his flat record does give me a wee bit of concern (0 from 25). I am happy to wade in with him today though as there is plenty of juice in his price to warrant our involvement.

He actually ran a decent 5th in this contest last season off the same mark on heavy ground so we can be fairly confident the track and underfoot conditions will be fine for him.

From a pace angle he should be OK, there are pace horse close enough to him to give him a good tow into the contest. To be honest there is pace from a few sources right across the track so baring something unusual happening with the grouping splits he should have as good a chance as any. The one worry would be a large group far side (low numbers) and a small group near side (high numbers) and our boy stuck in the near side. In the big sprint on Thursday at the track they split into 3 groups and that situation here would be perfect for our lad.

In a race of this size and with the odds available on our BDH warrior I’m happy to pitch in with an each-way punt.

BDH Runner: TAWHID 4.50 Newbury

Soft ground; now we are talking! This is the real ground we have been waiting for. He has run 3 times for us since he was added to the squad, for the first & second of those runs he was a ‘no-bet’ as the ground was officially described as good. He ran well enough on both those runs without winning but from a punting angle it wasn’t for us anyway. Last time out (3rd run for us) he had Good to Soft ground, which was closer to what we are after, but it is safe to say that he was given an…um…interesting ride. Whether that was pilot error or riding to instruction isn’t clear but whatever it was it clearly didn’t play out well. Today we have Soft underfoot conditions; game on!

The Soft/Heavy ground form of Tawhid reads 113 (3rd in a Group 2) and Silvestre De Sousa back in the plate is a huge bonus (the pairing have a 1432 record together). Here he steps back down out of Group company for this first time since his maiden victory last October and the 3yo weight allowance he receives here sways things very much in his favour.

This is a golden opportunity for him and I’ll be backing him for the win. If he doesn’t convert then his place on the BDH squad is very much in jeopardy…

Ayr Gold & Silver Cups… 

At the minute we are double handed on the BDH front in both these contests, fingers crossed all line up on the day. Make sure you check back in either tonight or Saturday morning to see my full thoughts on these squad members. Needless to say the Ayr Gold Cup is very much a race I want us to nail…

Ben (BDH)