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)

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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I don’t wanna dance + New BDH recruit…

I don’t feel like dancing…

Life is difficult at times. We all know that, we all accept that. Finding winners on the gee-gees is also pretty difficult. We all know that, we all accept that as well. So when a horse with latent ability starts making life difficult for himself and in turn making life frustrating for his supporters…it is safe to say we have every right to question our support of said beast.

Yes Dance And Dance I am talking about YOU!!

I’ve watched his run in Sunday’s Cambridgeshire a few times now and every time I’m left with the notion that there is so much left in his tank at the finish, sooooo much! I know I’m not the only one that has been seduced by his performances, he has started to become the master of seduction in recent runs. However, there has to be a time when we say enough is enough, I’m not falling for your ways any more, I’m fed up throwing a portion of my hard-earned cash on you for little to no return, only getting a faint buzz at the end of your races when you start teasing us all with what might have been and would could be in the future.

Sometimes you have to take a stance against these beasts and I’m taking one now. Dance And Dance you are OFF the BDH list. I don’t need time wasters and attention seekers in our squad. We have worked damn hard over the summer and I’m not in the mood to let you spoil the party!

I’m sure Dance And Dance will win again at some stage, if it happens to be next time out I’ll live with it (maybe!), but as far as being a member of our cherished BDH attack force I’m afraid to say (perhaps happy to say!) that your time is up, bye bye.

Not wanting to be overly light with our attack line I myself got involved in transfer deadline day yesterday and after shifting Dance And Dance out of the squad (someone else can deal with the wayward star!) I managed to secure the services of a youngster who I hope can land us something before the season is out…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Sandown (31-08-2013): BETFRED GOALS GALORE HANDICAP – 5f, Class 3 Handicap (14 ran)

How the race played out…

Sandown 31-08

With the 1st & 2nd coming from stalls 2 & 3 it is safe to say that it was an advantage to be drawn low; I’m pretty much coming round to the notion that this is where it pays to be in these tricky Sandown sprints. ASK THE GURU absolutely blitzed out of the gates in stall 1 and that gave a perfect target for BURNING THREAD & TIDAL’S BABY to aim at. The potential front runners from up high, SWENDAB & FRATELLINO, couldn’t get their preferred spot and this again helped it become a low drawn affair. The majority from up high had to switch behind early and this caused plenty of bunching on the far side and middle of the track. ASK THE GURU set a strong pace out front but couldn’t hold it in the final furlong and that gave a perfect slipstream for the eventual first 2 home to sweep past and strike.

There were a few hard-luck stories in-behind with the next 3 home SIR MAXIMILLIAN, DUNGANNON & MISSION APPROVED all meeting some sort of trouble at some stage of the contest.

The end result…

The winner BURNING THREAD was in the prime spot behind the pace setting Ask The Guru and he duly obliged. With retrospect he was well in on old form, had his ground and had previously won over course & distance. Depending on what the handicapper does he may still be able to squeeze out another win before reaching his ceiling again. 2nd home TIDAL’S BABY essentially just couldn’t match the winner and it may just be that he has enough weight for now. This was, however, his 2nd best RPR figure so that’s not conclusive by any means. 3rd home SIR MAXIMILLIAN ran a sound race given that he met trouble in-running and had an average draw. For all this was a solid run he is showing signs that he is held off his current mark. We know all about DUNGANNON in 4th and he was probably slightly more hampered than Sir Maximillian, having to switch numerous time to try and get a run. There was plenty to like about this run and he is still running at a consistent enough level, his time will come. 5th home MISSION APPROVED had the worst draw of all as he was parked widest of the field in the outside box. Moore tracked him across as soon as he could but he had to wait for gaps (on more than 1 occasion) and when they did appear the race was all but over.

BDH to follow…

MISSION APPROVED (5th) (Sir M Stoute)

Having his first run since being gelded and also dropping back to 5f for the first time in his 7 race career, this Dansili 3yo did extremely well to finish only 4 and a bit lengths behind the winner. Ryan Moore had to switch early and bide his time but the gaps just didn’t come in time for him.

He looks a powerful sprinting type as he traveled with plenty of gusto out the back and looks well suited to this drop down in trip. He impressed me with the way he quite easily consented to ghost through the gaps when they did appear and he closed in on the pack with minimal effort when asked by his pilot.

His rating of 80 looks extremely workable, especially when we consider that was gained over 7 & 8f trips. It should also be noted that he recorded his best Proform speed figure to date in this race, by quite some way in fact; another sign that this drop in trip brought about improvement from a potentially very lenient mark.

We don’t have a great deal to go on with regards to preferences as this was only his 7th career start (5th on turf) but his only turf victory to date (has won on the A/W) was gained off Soft ground at Warwick last October and it could be we see more improvement once the ground eases in the final couple of months of the season.

Conditions – As mentioned already we don’t have a great deal to work with although he looks for all the world like a sprinter to me and I am looking for him to be back over the 5f trip, possibly even 6f. Ground he seems adaptable with although ground with cut in it may just be more of a help.

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

Ben (BDH)

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Today I’ll leave you with the immortal words of Mr Eddy Grant…

BDH Sunday Runner: D&D aiming for an Irish Jig?

Hopefully D&D will have the luck of the Irish!

We make a very rare foray across the Irish Sea for a BDH qualifier today, with one of our squad taking to the track in the Irish Cambridgeshire at Curragh.

Before that, however, just a few thoughts on Yesterday’s runners…

DUNGANNON – 205 Sandown

An each-way bet was suggested and he finished a fine and dandy…4th! Would have been fine if the full 16 had gone to post…but they didn’t, we had 2 non-runners. The race pace played out a bit muddling, didn’t really suit our lad and the gaps did not appear when needed. That’s racing, however, and there are no excuses here.

I’m still not convinced by the Sandown draw but it could be argued that Dunny ran well again from a poor draw…

THUNDERBALL – 255 Chester

He was a no bet for us anyway as he pretty much had nothing in his favour here and as predicted he ran like it. Hopefully, however, it will give us a massive price next time out, if of course he fits our criteria.

Now onto today’s BDH qualifier…

Sunday BDH Runner: DANCE AND DANCE – 445 Curragh

To be fair I wasn’t really expecting him to appear in Ireland but kudos for connection for looking a bit further afield in their bid to get him back in the winners enclosure.

The return to 1 mile is a positive move for me, in my opinion that’s where he is most effective at these days.

Ryan Moore back in the plate is also a huge bonus. His record on D&D is a rather fetching 12240. Moore also has a solid record at the track with 9 wins from 31 for a 29% S/R.

He runs well when returning after a break of 15 days or less and has proven in the past that he runs very well in large fields.

It’s a tough race to try and win, with more than a few unexposed sorts going into battle, but back at a mile and with Moore in the saddle I’m happy to pitch in again on D&D.

I’ll be honest though we can’t keep giving D&D that many more chances, his days may well be numbered as a fully paid up member of the BDH squad…

Ben (BDH)