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)

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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)