BDH Update: Is the Duke ready to Fire?

Will Ryan Moore find the gaps?

Another quick update for you today guys as another BDH runner heads into battle.

First of all though a big thanks for all the comments regarding Doctor Parkes’ win yesterday. Fantastic to see so many of you on board and collecting the spoils.

Now onto today’s task in hand…

BDH runner: 2:05 Sandown – DUKE OF FIRENZE

Ahh the Duke… what to do with the Duke…

I must say it’s not as straight forward a task as the good doctor yesterday. I did mention in my notes that I think he is a graded beast…and this is a graded contest…however, I was thinking more along the lines of the big 16+ runner sprints such as the July Cup and races of such ilk. An 8 runner contest at Sandown poses a slightly different conundrum.

For starters we know he needs a strong pace to come hard and fast off the back of, so lets look at the pace map and see if there is potential for plenty of speed….

Sandown Sprint Stakes

That does give us a bit of hope. Three potential front-runners and 2 others sitting in-behind suggests there may well be plenty of pace on the go here.

My main concern really is that a flying 5 furlongs at Sandown generally plays to the hands of those up with the pace or making the pace, the ones coming from behind can often come unstuck (the stats do back this up).

I’m very much in 2 minds about how this race will suit Duke Of Firenze. On one hand he has a good draw and should get a decent pace to aim at but on the other hand it is not a track that really suits horses flying hard and fast from out the back…hmmm…

My thought is to take a punt on him at around the 6-1 mark but at reduced stakes. Now I generally don’t play about with my stakes unless the situation really suggest that I do… today the situation suggests I reduce my stakes!

I think there will be better opportunities for this lad as the season progresses but there is the potential for the race to fall into his lap, especially if the 3 potential pace-setters go hammer and tong at it up front, and as such I want a bit on him in case that situation does arise, especially as we can get around 6-1 on the exchanges and with a couple of other firms.

Am I as confident as I was about Doctor Parkes? Not at all. Do I think there is more to come from this horse? Most certainly. Will he get the fast pace needed? I’m hopeful.

At the very least today will be a good test for him and hopefully a decent indicator of does he just have another valuable handicap in him or whether he can indeed take the step up the ladder to Graded level….

Best of luck if you are getting involved.

Ben (BDH)

 

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