BDH Qualifier: “I feel good!”…

…hopefully we will be feeling good at the end of the day anyway!

We have another BDH warrior getting ready to do battle for us on day 3 of the St Leger meeting. Before I get onto that, however, a quick word on Thursdays runner…

THUNDERBALL – 4.25 Doncaster

Gaaagh that was a close one! To be honest I can’t knock the run at all, he was beaten a neck & a neck into 3rd and battled on all the way to the line. There was serious money flooding on to the horse all day but hopefully some of you got some sort of price. The race kinda fell apart throughout the day with 7 non-runners but at least the each-way money was secured with his 3rd placed finish.

THUNDERBALL stays on the BDH list and hopefully he can land us something soon, with the ground likely to be playing to his strengths until seasons end.

We also came agonizingly close with our handicap sleeper runner at Epsom. MY KINGDOM ran a blinding race in 2nd and at one stage it looked for all money that he would land us the spoils. Somehow and from somewhere Brocklebank sprouted wins from out the back and nailed our lad on the line. I’m pretty sure he picked up a discarded rocket-pack around the 1 furlong marker to fly home and scupper our celebrations!!

Still, I know plenty of you had an each-way double on the 2 runners so all was not lost at the end of the day.

Now onto today’s James Brown inspired BDH runner…

BDH Runner: YEEOOW 4.25 Doncaster (13-09-13)

This lad is probably the only 1 of our squad that has no real conditions applied to when and where we back him and as mentioned when I added him to our squad it is a case of taking him on a race by race basis.

First up there doesn’t appear to be anything else hugely well-handicapped in this contest so on the face of it the race doesn’t look too strong, obviously a bonus for us.

YEEOOW was actually dropped 1lb for his 6th place run at Goodwood last time out and considering that was his 2nd best career performance on the figures I’m more than happy with that outcome. This is only his 11th career turf start and with the 4yo only sitting 2lbs above his highest winning mark there is plenty in his recent runs to suggest he has improvement still in him.

The ground is an unknown for Yeeoow but I’ve haven’t seen anything to suggest he won’t act on it and until I see that visual evidence I’m happy to roll with it.

From the pace viewpoint with only 14 runners going to post there is no guarantee the field will split, I can see a situation where they stick as one group. The pace-setters look to be DUBAWI SOUND in stall 4, DR RED EYE in stall 5 and ELUSIVE FLAME in stall 14. YEEOOW is in stall 13 so he at least has a pace setter beside him and should, in theory, get a decent tow into the race.

The way things stand I’m happy to play YEEOOW here, there is enough juice in his price at the minute to play him each way and at the very least we should learn a bit more about our BDH squad member, hopefully he can land us some tasty profits in the process.

Best of luck if you are getting involved and I’ll leave you today with this classic (and damn funny!) James Brown clip…

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)

 

Wokingham Stakes Review: The Duke still has plenty of Fire(nze)…

Today brings with it the last, but certainly not the least, of the BDH Royal Ascot previews. Fittingly it is the Wokingham Stakes that falls under the microscope as I try and uncover the next York Glory amongst the also-rans of the valuable 6f sprint handicap.

Race in focus: 4.25 Ascot (22-06-2013) – Wokingham Stakes (HERITAGE HANDICAP) 7f (26ran)

Wokingham Stakes

The runners split into 2 groups here although it was very much a middle to low heavy field as only 6 runners actually stayed on the stands side. Despite being in the main group the runners that were coming from stalls 1 – 11 really struggled to land any significant blow here with their best position being MASS RALLY in 11th. It significantly paid to be in the middle group of stalls here and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th & 6th were all drawn in an 8 stall range (stalls 12-19). POOLE HARBOUR made the pace from down low but the main group of runners bunched into the middle and he ended up acting as front-runner for them all. BABAK CHINTA acted as a good wing-man for the overall leader and it was his early pace pushing that helped set it up for the hold up horses; the first 5 home in the main group were all hold up horses. From the high numbers it was ZERO MONEY who led the raiding party but he is far from a regular pace-setter and he just didn’t go fast enough to pull his small band of horses into contention.

The end result…

The pace coming down the middle played right into the hands of the winner YORK GLORY and he was able to hook behind the main pack from his draw and cruise menacingly into contention before landing his killer blows inside the final furlong. This was an impressive run from a horse that is probably going to go on and make his mark in Graded company. Second placed SHROPSHIRE was another that was able to sit out the back and come through late although he had no answer to the winners finishing burst. This was a career best run and he now finds himself on a career high mark, a mark he may well struggle from. Third placed DINKUM DIAMOND got going a little too late but this was a fine effort and he took advantage of his decent draw. Fourth placed KHUBALA was the first home from the stands side runners and this was a decent effort considering he would have liked a bit more cover. Fifth home was GLASS OFFICE and he was another that came from out the back. He is still lightly raced and probably still has more to offer. It should be noted that 3yo’s have a pretty poor record in this race so fifth was a sterling effort. Sixth placed REX IMPERATOR was another that took advantage of his draw and came from off the pace late. He has only has 2 wins from 14 to his name and seems a bit inconsistent for my liking. Seventh placed ELUSIVITY was the 2nd home from the high stalls and although this was an OK effort he is going to want a bit more cut in the ground before he is winning again. DUKE OF FIRENZE came home in 8th (3rd in his group) and realistically had no chance from the highest stall of all and racing in the small group. For him to get as close as he did was a fine effort as this really didn’t play to his strengths.

BDH(s) to follow…

DUKE OF FIRENZE (8th) (Sir M Stoute)

I think he is plenty better than this, I really do. He had little to no chance from stall 26 here and with no pace up his side his cards were played and busted as soon as the gates opened. He was finishing strongly here but he was never going to be able to get into a position to strike a killer blow. He was dealt a poor hand but in fairness I though he made the most of it.

As his win at Epsom in the dash testified he loves coming late and fast and passing through runners in the closing stages. He didn’t have any chance of doing that here but it was noticeable that he started to pick up and gain interest as others dropped back to him late on. He obviously loves threading his way through a pack, it brings him alive. Ryan Moore is the perfect foil for him as he can get the horse stoked up out the back and the horse will keep responding for him when asked.

I think a strongly run 5 furlong may just be his optimum conditions although I would certainly not discount him when running over 6 furlongs.

Is he a Group horse in the making? Possibly. I do think he has plenty of talent in the locker and a mark of 101 certainly doesn’t seem beyond him. After that, who knows.

Conditions – He will be a very difficult horse to win with from a poor draw so we really want to see him in a large field, covered up behind a strong pace and on the correct side of the draw. Ground wise he seems to be a Good ground type of horse, he certainly doesn’t look like one that would want it any softer. I do think there is a handicap still in him although Graded company may also be within his compass as well.

DUKE OF FIRENZE now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool (horse tracker in other words) and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

The BDH war chest has now been stocked up nicely after Royal Ascot, we now just need a couple of them to deliver the goods York Glory style!

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Ben (BDH)

3.15 Epsom (01-06-13) – INVESTEC DASH (HERITAGE HANDICAP) 5f, Class 2 (17 ran)

Hi guys and many thanks for all the messages, tweets and comments over the weekend. Before I get stuck into the meat of today’s post (the Epsom Dash BDH report) I just want to take a quick look back at how the figures played out on Saturday…

The Epsom Dash was the first race for scrutiny and disappointingly one of my own selections, Humidor, was a non-runner. I felt he had a serious chance in this, even more so with how the race played out. Regardless of his absence the shortlist (OK it was a fairly long shortlist!) played out well.

Here is how the shortlist fared…

JIROFT – 5th at 33/1

DINKUM DIAMOND – 3rd at 25-1

DUKE OF FIRENZE – 1st at 5-1

CAPTAIN DUNNE – 7th at 7-1

LONG AWAITED – 12th at 11/2

MISTER MANANNAN – 16th at 20/1

SMOOTHTALKINRASCAL –  2nd at 7/1

First 3 home on the list so I’m happy with how the figures performed. Would have been happier if Smoothtalkinrascal got up though…

The 2nd race for us was the big one itself – The Investec Derby!

Think I’ll just let the figures talk for themselves here…

BATTLE OF MARENGO – 4th at 11/2

OCOVANGO – 5th at 8/1

RULER OF THE WORLD – 1st at 7/1

CHOPIN – 7th at 12/1

DAWN APPROACH – 12th at 5/4

Ruler Of The World did the job fantastically well and on my figures was the real strong contender for this race. Of the others I reckon Ocovango can be marked up a notch or 2. He had the death draw in stall 1 and also got squeezed for room 2f AND 1f out.

Again I was clearly more than happy with how the figures played out.

Anyway enough of the guides and onto the matter in hand; sourcing a badly drawn horse (or 2) for us to follow…

Race in focus: 2.55 Epsom (01-06-2013): Investec Dash Handicap – 5f, Class 2 (17 ran)

How the race played out…

Epsom Dash 2013

As you can see from the pace map it was perennial speedster CAPTAIN DUNNE who blasted away and set the pace from the high stalls. Both JUDGE N JURY & JIROFT tried to set a pace down low but the field all gravitated towards the high stalls (near side) and they were forced to tow the line to a certain degree or end up being isolated on their own. Pre-race I knew there was the potential of pace from high and low but Captain Dunne absolutely blitzed the start and the others simply dropped in and followed, making it a high end pace race.

This obviously made life that much harder for those coming from the low stalls as they had to drag themselves across to tow the line with the bulk of the field.

The end result…

Relative to the horses that finished around him winner DUKE OF FIRENZE had a fairly straight trajectory from box 16 to the finishing line, only having to switch positions to get the gaps at the end. He ran well in the York race that was covered on here last week and he was coming here in decent form. The pace very much played for him here and Moore was masterful in the saddle as he picked his way through late on. Second placed SMOOTHTALKINRASCAL is the obvious eye-catcher in the race and probably the unluckiest horse in the race as well. He was carried slightly left out of the stalls and then had to switch to his right and cover the width of the track to come where the pace was. This cost him vital ground but he dug in and finished with an almighty rattle. Third placed DINKUM DIAMOND is another that was inconvenienced by the draw and he also met trouble a couple of times in running as he tried to track across to where the pace was. He finished strongly and is somewhat of an overlooked horse in the outcome of this contest. Fourth placed FAIR VALUE had every chance from a prime draw and there are no real excuses for him. Fifth placed JIROFT, who was making his UK debut, tried to be right on the speed early with Judge and Jury but the pace was up the other side and he had to try and make his way over. He did extremely well to dig in and finish 5th from a less than ideal position.

BDH(s) to follow…

DINKUM DIAMOND (3rd)  (H Candy)

This 5yo’s run was eye-catching on 2 fronts…

1) He had his poor draw to overcome from stall 5

and

2) He didn’t actually have ideal conditions for him to perform to his optimum

The first point is pretty self-explanatory and unlike 2nd placed Smoothtalkinrascal this lad didn’t tuck in behind the pace and stayed slightly detached from the real bulk of the pace group. I wouldn’t say he had the clearest of runs either when he was asked to pick up by his jockey and as such his 1/2 length defeat is even more noteworthy.

As for not having his conditions, consider this; ALL 4 of his career victories have come on Good to Firm, on Saturday he was racing on Good ground and a Good that had been upgraded from Good to Soft the previous day.

His Good to Firm form figures read 11673311 with the 6th and 7th placed runs coming in Graded races as a 2yo.

To add more credence to his run he was also giving weight away to all bar 2 of the field on Saturday and recorded an RPR figure that was only 1lb shy of his best, it was in fact his best figure for 9 runs.

The first and the 2nd both took the attention away from this lad and that could mean he goes into his next couple of races flying a touch under the radar and, hopefully, starting at a rather tasty price.

Conditions – For starters I think we really want to be seeing him on GOOD TO FIRM ground. With the weather now hopefully turning for the better we will surely have a good chance of that happening. He has actually been dropped 2lbs to OR 100 for his run on Saturday and if he is dealt a favour by the draw then he can land a handicap of a similar nature soon.  I also wouldn’t dismiss him running a big race in a Graded sprint if he is dealt with Good To Firm underfoot.

SMOOTHTALKINRASCAL is only a 3yo and could well turn out to be a Graded sprinter off the back of this run. Most punters will have noticed his run, however. Of the others 5th place JIROFT may well crop up somewhere as he has shown he can transfer his Italian form to over here, he remains in the peripheral vision.

DINKUM DIAMOND now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool (horse tracker in other words) and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.

Many thanks for joining me here on the latest BDH post and I leave you with another from the tea-cosy wearing wonder of a similar name…

Ben (BDH)

Epsom Derby Meeting Day 1: Dosage & Trends Analysis

Which of today’s fillies will fill the shoes of Was?

Classic time again this weekend and I’m taking another dive into the top class action on offer and giving it the full Trends and Dosage shakedown!

Today I’m tackling 3 races; The Diomed Stakes, The Investec Mile and the big one of the day The Investec Oaks.

You can download the full analysis guide, for FREE, from the following link –

>>>NTF Epsom Derby meeting Day 1 Analysis Guide

As always you don’t have to side with me here, there is plenty of analysis in the guide that you can utilize into your own thoughts and workings.

Happy punting however you decide to put the guide to use.

p.s. I’m starting to pull together the BDH Trend Horses page so give it a look when you get a chance (click tab in menu bar above).

Ben (BDH)