BDH weekend review & Monday qualifier…

Time for Waking Warrior to turn into the Ultimate Warrior!!

Just a quick post from me today with a review of our weekend runners as well as my thoughts on a sneaky wee BDH qualifier that runs at Thirsk today…

BDH Weekend Runners Review…

315 Newbury – TAWHID – The ground just didn’t come in time for him and he ran as I expected. The jockeys were all reporting that after the first couple of races the ground was riding just on the fast side of good and visually, to me anyway, it didn’t look like the rain had gotten into the ground enough for our boy. As I have already mentioned we will get him at the end of the season when the rain comes, his performances on ground that isn’t ideal for him tells me there is plenty talent in there.

330 Ripon – BACCARAT – Winner! One run as a member of our squad and 1 win! We can now release him back into the wild! He was drafted in to do a job for us and that’s exactly what he did. I’m obviously not saying I won’t be backing him again in the future but for the sake of our BDH squad his job is now done and he is off the list. Good stuff Bacca, your work is much appreciated.

My value cover in the race, RODRIGO DE TORRES, ran a stormer to finish 3rd at 33/1 and landed some tasty each-way sheckles for me. Assuming the handicapper leaves him alone he looks feasibly handicapped at present and the young claimer on top is certainly a bonus.

350 Newbury – DANCE AND DANCE – He is a frustrating bugger but a frustrating bugger that will hopefully land us a decent pot before the season is out. He ‘won’ ‘his’ race but unfortunately the progressive winner was in his own race, on his own, out front. I certainly think a return to a mile will suit D&D as he did seem to have plenty in the tank as he raced for the line. 7/1 second wasn’t a bad result considering and will have rewarded any each-way backers (for the record I was not one of those).

415 Doncaster – DUNGANNON – Needed the run? Quite possibly. That was my one worry beforehand and he certainly seemed to flatten out at about the area where fitness may have become an issue. Lets hope he is back on the track within those all important 30 days…

TAWHID, DANCE AND DANCE and DUNGANNON stay in the squad. BACCARAT drops of the list with a perfect 100% record for the team. Good lad.

BDH Monday Qualifier: Waking Warrior – 3.00 Thirsk

A sneaky one for us today as we have WAKING WARRIOR in the 3.00 at Thirsk going into battle for us. Walking Warrior was highlighted by myself in a guest post I did for the Make Your Betting Pay website.

Our boy is actually still a maiden on turf after 23 runs (yikes!) but he has run plenty of solid races in defeat, including some decent performances at the track. He should have plenty speed to aim at here today and his young jockey (who is 3 wins from his last 6 rides) knows him well.

It is a competitive enough field today (for the grade) but our lad has a decent chance and on a light betting day I’m willing to take a chance on him. He is running much better than the bare form suggests and I’m confident he will break that turf duck sooner rather than later!

I may have another runner to replace the departing Baccarat once I have done a full review of the weekends action, if so I will post on here in the next couple of days.

With the York Ebor Festival rolling into action on Wednesday I will also have a couple of BDH guides available for you all here on the Blog, probably the Nunthorpe and the Ebor itself, both races I like to get stuck into.

Ben (BDH)

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Will Baccarat have us Dancing & Dancing in the Great St Wilfrid?

BDH going in mob-handed in search of Saturday winners!

A busy day for us this Saturday with no less than 4 of our BDH offensive line taking up attacking duties across the length and breadth of the country. In fact it is an hour of power blitz for us with our first race at 3.15, closely followed by the 3.30, the 3.50 and finally the 4.15

So no time for dilly dallying, I’m just going to crack straight into the action and take you through our qualifiers in chronological order.

Starting at Newbury…

BDH Runner: TAWHID 3.15 Newbury

The 3yo steps out of his own age group for the first time here and although this wouldn’t be the toughest Group 2 on paper a case could probably be made for all 5 of them.

My main concern, however, is the Good to Firm ground that is forecast. I have already expressed my wish for at least Good to Soft for this lad and with that in mind I’m considering swerving him here today.

There is some rain forecast at the track but I would be surprised if it was enough to get properly into the ground. As always I will keep my eye on proceedings but as things stand I don’t think I’ll be getting involved with him here.

*Note – I’m reading conflicting going descriptions at the time of writing. It looks like it has softened to Good (from Good to Firm) so I would actually be leaning towards a bet if the softening continued. Best I can say is keep your eye on things, it’s a winnable race for him if the ground comes his way…

BDH Runner: BACCARAT 3.30 Ripon – GREAT ST WILFRID STAKES

The big sprint of the day and Ripon’s most valuable contest of the season.

It’s a large 20 runner field so I’m slightly disappointed that our BDH runner is 11/2 favourite (I would prefer a wee bit more juice in the price) but there is no doubt he is a highly progressive horse, with course and distance form, form on the *predicted* ground and a jockey that knows him well. In short I will be putting my money where my mouth is with BACCARAT.

With a large field going to post and a race that throws up some fairly strong race trends I think it’s wise to dig a bit deeper and to see if there is any value lurking a bit deeper in the pack as back-up to our boy.

Starting with, naturally, the pace angle. Before I post up the BDH pace map I did a bit of digging around in my Proform database and had a look to see if there was any normal draw bias over the 6f trip at Ripon. I know I always bang on about the draw bias coming from the pace bias but there are occasions when 1 side of the track is favourable over the other; the 6f at Ripon is potentially one of those occasions.

I wanted to look further than just where the winners of this specific race came from so I had a look at all 6f races at the track with 13 or more runners since 2007. Here is what I found…

Since the start of 2007 there has been 52 races over 6f at Ripon with 13 or more runners and only 1 of those races has been won by a horse drawn in stall 15 or above (88 have tried, making it 1/88) in fact if you go back just another 2 years the figures then read 2/157; it certainly seems the near side rail is a difficult place to win from in large fields at Ripon.

To balance that stat out, however, we should consider that the first 3 home in the 2011 renewal of this race were drawn 17-20-19. So whilst it may be hard to win from the high stalls it isn’t completely impossible. Clear? OK!

Lets get this years pace map up…

Great St WilfThe runners for this race generally split into 2 groups and DR RED EYE looks the pivotal runners here from stall 15. If he stays high then, in theory, the high numbers have a squeak, if he barrels down to the low numbers then the high stalls could be left…um…high and dry!

Even if he does stay high the low to middle stalls look to hold marginally more pace and with my previous Ripon 6f stat in mind I’m happy to concentrate on low to middle. Handily that includes our BDH runner BACCARAT; tick.

Keeping to the pace angle again recent renewals of this race have told us that it’s difficult to come from out the back to win the race. The past 15 renewals have seen 4 front-runners, 9 close to the pace runners and only 2 hold-up runners succeed. It’s not impossible to win from out the back but it’s certainly preferable to be making or sitting close to the pace. Something worth considering in the analysis. Given a good start, unlike his last run, BACCARAT should run close to the pace or at the very least midfield/close to the pace; tick.

The race trends for this handicap have been a decent pointer in recent seasons and to help us narrow the field (oh…hold on that’s my other site isn’t it!?!) I’ve applied the following set to this years runners…

1              15/15 were rated 101 or less

2              15/15 had 3+ starts in current season

3              13/15 ran within the past 21 days

4              12/15 had recorded a top 3 finish in 1 of their last 3 runs

5              12/15 had 3+ career victories

6              12/15 recorded at top 7 finish LTO

7              11/15 ran over 6f LTO

…and here is how that works out when applied to the 20 strong line-up…

Great St Wilfred Trends

BACCARAT is one of 6 that top the board with full marks 7 from 7; tick.

The only other thing we seriously need to consider is that there is heavy rain forecast for the track. Whether it arrives or not is another matter but we should probably be looking for runners with Good and softer leanings rather than Good and faster leanings.

Outwith our BDH runner SPINATRIX is a hard to pass over, he looks to have conditions in his favour and is yet to finish unplaced from 7 starts at the track, including 3 victories. I don’t really want to be loading up at the front end of the market though so I’m going to look for value elsewhere.

The same comment would probably apply to LOUIS THE PIOUS. He is in fine shape coming into this and should be there or there abouts but again I don’t really want to be loading up on the front end of the market.

For a value I’m going to look to the well handicapped RODRIGO DE TORRES. His last 3 bits of form read well and the 5lb claim from his young jockey puts him on a pretty tasty mark. He hasn’t actually raced in as many handicaps as you would think and down at this 6f trip I think there is plenty scope for him. He may also get an easy enough lead out front, if they decide to attack from the business end, and that could make him pretty dangerous.

We have BACCARAT on side through our BDH squad and from a personal angle I’m going to take RODRIGO DE TORRES into the fold for a bit of value cover. SPINATRIX and/or LOUIS THE PIOUS both look significant dangers but for now I’ll settle with BACCA and RODDY.

BDH Runner: DANCE AND DANCE 3.50 Newbury

He failed to fire with any authority at Goodwood and Ryan Moore jumps ship here…well to be fair he jumps plane as he is riding at Arlington across the pond instead of staying here and riding in good old blighty! Kieren Fallon is an able enough deputy though and I’m happy enough on that score.

It’s a strange looking race on the pace front as their doesn’t appear too much speed on the go, however Confessor drawn in the box next to D&D may well set the pace, which of course would be a bonus to our lad. If he doesn’t go on from the front it could be a tactical, straight race affair and that wouldn’t be ideal for us.

On the plus side D&D does look one of the better handicapped runners in the race with the danger(s) probably coming from the clutch of unexposed 3/4yo’s in the field.

The fact is that Dance And Dance is an attractively handicapped proposition and with that in mind I’m happy to pitch in with him here, despite the small niggle surrounding the pace.

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON 4.15 Doncaster

A 5f blitz with plenty of pace happening round about him should be just what Dungannon is after. My one query is that he has been off the track for 43 days and ideally I would have wanted him back within the month. Apart from that he looks well placed to strike.

I’m happy to have him on our side today but a below par effort won’t put me off him going forward from here. This is his first run in the BDH silks and it could be this is a bit of a tune up for a future target but with plenty of pace around him I’m loathe to leave him out of calculations today.

Phew! Quite an hour of power that!

In review we have…

315 Newbury – TAWHID – Tentatively a no bet but if Good to Firm is missing from the going description and we are heading towards Good to Soft then I’m on!

330 Ripon – BACCARAT – I’m on. Unexposed on a track he likes and plenty to like about his chances. A value alternative in RODRIGO DE TORRES to cover things for myself.

350 Newbury – DANCE AND DANCE – Given another chance after his Goodwood mis-fire. I’m on. 

415 Doncaster – DUNGANNON – Not 100% ideal conditions but has pace to aim at and talented claimer puts him on an even more tempting mark. I’m on.

No doubt it could be a Sh!t or glory day for us here but hopefully at least one of our warriors can land the money for us.

…and if that wasn’t enough to keep us entertained…

Footie season kicks off! 

OK, I know, I’m Scottish and our season kicked off a couple weeks back but the thought of playing the fantasy football leagues with the Scottish Premier Division to choose your squad from…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Nah, you’re alright, I’ll hang fire for the proper stuff thanks!

So with that in mind, and if you haven’t already, then fire yourself over to http://fantasy.premierleague.com, pick your team and then enter it into my NTF Champions League. It’s free to enter a team and there are prizes to be won in the overall game. There are no prizes to be won by entering my own league but you do get the honour of being the winner of the NTF Champions League; some would say that is a prize money can’t buy!!

Once you have picked your team, pop along to the ‘LEAGUES’ tab and enter the following code to join my league – 1170033-369849.

All a bit of fun to keep us entertained throughout the footie season and you never know you might land some prizes along the way.

Sky Bet Super-6

Today also brings the resumption of the Sky Bet Super 6 competition.  The concept is essentially ‘guess 6 correct scores and win loadsa money!’ (and its free to enter). You just need a Skybet account and you can get cracking. If you have one then fire away, if not then sign up for one now! You don’t need to deposit any money as the Super 6 is free to play, cant say fairer than that!

The tag-line that SkyBet use for this weekly competition is ‘Predict 6 scores to win £250,000‘. For a free competition that takes about 2 minutes to enter it really is a no-brainer! I’M IN JEFF!

If you need a SkyBet account then click on the following link and get set up >>> Sky Bet sign-up

Once you have an account you will find the Super 6 details here.

I’ve never even been vaguely close to landing the main prize but that won’t stop me trying each weekend. You miss 100% of the shots you never take, as a great ice hockey player once said…

Best of luck on a busy day of BDH racing and…well…sport in general!

Ben (BDH)

BDH Sky Bet Dash Review: Fahey 4yo still to show his full hand…

Fahey runner just needs dealt a good draw…

A quiet enough weekend for us, with only Redvers pitching into battle for us (more on him in a moment). There were, however, a couple of races of interest for me as I look to increase the BDH squad in search of more under the radar profits. Before I give you the newest member of the squad let’s first deal with Saturday’s warrior…

Saturday’s BDH runners: Redvers

Ahh, Redvers… Redvers, Redvers, Redvers… what to do with Redvers…

First up was he drawn on the wrong side? After review of the race I would say no. Although the field split into 2 distinct groups I don’t think any side had a huge advantage over the other, the way the field finished would back that up.

Did he meet trouble in-running? Personally I would say yes and it was just as he was hitting full stride. Hughes got the gaps alright, the horse started clicking through the gears alright, but at a vital moment 3rd placed finisher Loving Spirit decided to shift and park himself directly in Redvers lane (watch the replay, it’s quite noticeable). The effect of this was that Hughes had to take a pull (albeit a small pull) and then restart his mounts forward momentum and challenge all over again…except there was no time to restart his forward momentum and challenge. There wasn’t much in it but in a race of spit second actions and decisions it was probably enough. In fact I’m sure Hughes eased up a touch once he new his chance was gone (which is fair enough…to be fair!).

So does Redvers stay in the BDH squad? For now, yes he does. The ‘problem’ with Redvers is that his running style is always likely to cause him potential traffic issues, he comes from out the back and he comes late, that in itself brings potential traffic jams. Ideally his 5 length defeat will be enough to drop him a pound or 2 from the nice Mr Handicapper, although that may be a bit of wishful thinking from myself!

For now Redvers stays in the BDH troop.

Now time to add another warrior to our squad…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 3.30 York (27-07-2013): Sky Bet Dash – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (20 ran)

How the race played out…

Sky Bet Dash

 

Pace wise this race played out a bit on the strange side, especially with the front-running BOGART depositing his jockey on the turf (saddle slipped) at the 2 furlong pole. It seemed that the field formed a bit of a fragmented large group for most of the race although on closer inspection it was the middle to high numbers that had formed the sturdier group, with the low numbers having their own mini battle in a sub group just off the bulk of the field. BOGART was the main front runner of the pack and until his saddle incident he was the one that was pulling most of the field along. From the low numbers it was PRODIGALITY & FAST SHOT that attempted to stamp their authority on the contest although they never quite got the lead they wanted. The pace map tells us that it was those from middle to high that dominated the finish, even though they actually ended up drifting across the track in the final furlong and ending up fighting the finish out in the lanes of the low numbers. Regardless of this it still suggests there was an advantage following the BOGART side of the field (middle to high) rather than the PRODIGALITY/FAST SHOT side of the field (low).

It was a wee bit of a pace muddle in truth but we can still take positives and negatives from the outcome.

The end result…

Winner TROPICS sat in the middle of the pack and made his winning move in the final couple of furlongs. He has been progressing well this term and was probably still handily handicapped for this contest but I have a small suspicion that the next weight rise will be the one that anchor’s him; he probably didn’t have all that much in hand at the finish. Second placed SUMMERINTHECITY put in a fine shift and should be on a mark he can win, or at least get close, from; a bit of juice in the ground won’t go amiss for him. KHUBALA did well to finish 3rd as he met trouble in-running at a vital time. There is every suggestion he is still on the up and would remain of some sort of interest. Fourth placed PRODIGALITY found himself a bit isolated and is probably better with cover, he is possibly just at the top of his handicap ceiling as well, with that in mind this was a solid run. TAROOQ was hampered slightly 2f out but I don’t think he would have necessarily finished much closer than he did. He is clearly much better on the A/W than the turf (8 A/W wins compared to 1 turf win) but he is a massive 20lbs lower on turf than A/W and one feels there has to be a turf race in him off that mark somewhere. Things really didn’t go to plan for 6th placed BACCARAT. He missed the break and was on the back hoof for most of the first 3 or 4 furlongs. Paul Hanagan did manage to coax him back into the contest but he was then hampered by the tumbling Amy Ryan (Bogart’s jockey) and despite finishing like a train his mishaps pretty much cost him any better than 6th place. Despite everything it was still a noteworthy run and fully suggested there is still more than enough to come from his current mark.

BDH(s) to follow…

BACCARAT (6th) (R Fahey)

Quite simply things did not pan out for this improving 4yo. Stall 5 wasn’t a great draw, as the pace map tells us, and the fact he missed the break just made it all the more difficult for him. Despite Hanagan working him back into the race he didn’t really have that much to hook onto the back of so the fast finishing effort deserves marking up a touch, in my opinion anyway. The interference he suffered also put a rather big, Amy Ryan shaped, spanner in the works and in the end a 3.5L defeat was a pretty good result.

From a handicapping viewpoint there really does look like there is plenty more still to come from his mark of 94 and I can’t believe for one minute that this is his limit. At a rough estimation we are probably looking at a 100 rated horse, at least.

It’s hard to assess if it was the missed break or the generous early pace that left him floundering out the back (probably 75% break – 25% 6f pace) but I do feel a step back up to 7 furlong would not go amiss, there is plenty enough stamina there and he does already have form over the longer trip.

This would be the 2nd race in a row that he has been dealt a poor hand by the draw dealers, admittedly it was worse in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, and I really feel he is a potent weapon waiting to strike from a handy draw. With only 7 career starts to his name there still looks plenty more to come this son of Dutch Art.

Conditions – I’m looking for 7 furlongs as an ideal but 6 furlongs would be perfectly adequate. He seems to cope well with the Good & Good to Firm ground so hopefully it stays dry for a bit longer.

He is stacking up some decent form lines, is in form and his mark looks well within his range, he is an improving 4yo I’m very happy to add to our squad.

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

Ben (BDH)