Redvers looking to cash ‘in’ at Ascot…

We had a bit of ‘down time’ last weekend on the flat with no BDH runners and indeed no real races of interest for us at all. We are back in action this weekend, however, as we send one of our BDH troops into battle for us at Ascot.

Let’s crack on with things and fire straight into our BDH qualifier…


A snappy race title if ever I saw one?! Hopefully we will be cashing ‘in’ over the straight 7 furlongs with our BDH qualifier REDVERS.

The pace angle in this race isn’t overly obvious but from my pace map analysis I think we are just about looking at the pace coming from the middle stalls.

Here is the COMOOB International (that’s much catchier!) pace map for your perusal…

Coomob International - Asc 26-07

As you can see there is no obvious front-runner is this large pack but the pace map does suggest that it will be one of Es Que Love, The Confessor or Trail Blaze (aptly named!) that is likely to try and set the pace. Glen Moss or Galician may try and pull the field along from up top but they are not exactly confirmed front-runners and I’m happy to stick with my initial assessment of the pace coming down the middle.

If we look at last years renewal we see that the vast majority of the field bunched together in one big group down the middle, in fact only 2 (+ 1 who completely missed the break) stayed apart from the main pack. In 2011 they also bunched together in one group down the middle. Based on the info we have at hand for this renewal it could well be another contest where they bunch up down the middle.

So how will that effect REDVERS?

Our boy is drawn in stall 4. Not totally ideal, I admit, but he should be able to latch on to the middle group early and all being well he will swoop late down the outside to nab the prize. He is drawn near enough potential pace angle TRAIL BLAZE to get a decent tow into the race so that is certainly a positive.

I also had a quick squint at the trends for this contest , using the previous 15 renewals, and to help us in our search for the winner applied the following 3 to the numbersome (I may have made that word up) field…

13/15 were aged 4 or 5

12/15 had previously won at the distance

10/15 finished in the top 7 LTO

That chops the field down to a more manageable 10 and most importantly includes our lad REDVERS.

Richard Hughes gets the leg up on REDVERS for the first time today and that in itself is very interesting. He doesn’t ride that often for Ed Vaughan so has the trainer actively made sure he secured the services of the champion jockey with this race the horse’s main target? Hughes, after all, has won 2 of the last 3 renewals of this race. In fact his record in this race in the past 7 renewals is a rather fetching 1713053.

There is plenty of 14-1 floating about for REDVERS at the minute and at those odds I’m more than happy to be on. You don’t need me to tell you this is a bloody hard race to win but we have plenty in our favour and at those odds the gains waaay outweigh the risks.

It would be rude of me to not also mention a previous BDH warrior FIELD OF DREAM, who also lines up in this as he seeks to win the race twice on the bounce. He is higher in the weights this time around, marginally, but you can’t deny he comes here in fine fettle. REDVERS is 3lbs better off with him than when they met in the Bunbury Cup last time out and I have a feeling that may just be enough to turn the form around, especially if we consider REDVERS may well have gotten much closer with a clearer passage. It’s tempting to pitch in again with FOD but I’ve had my profit from him for now and this looks a tougher assignment. If his price starts to get silly I may have a dabble but right now I’m happy to side with REDVERS and leave it at that. If FOD wins without my money on then so be it, I won’t shed a tear, he owes me nothing.

Best of luck if you are getting involved and lets hope REDVERS and Hughesie can land the COMOOB International booty for us!!

All being well there should be a couple of our warriors doing battle for us at Glorious Goodwood next week, remember and tune in…

Ben (BDH)


4.25 Ascot (19-06-2013) – ROYAL HUNT CUP (HERITAGE HANDICAP) 1m (28 ran)

Aaaahh…the cavalry charge that is the Royal Hunt Cup! From a pace perspective it was one of the more clear cut races of the week and as such it is next under the spotlight in the 2013 BDH Royal Ascot review…

Race in focus: 4.25 Ascot (19-06-2013): Royal Hunt Cup – 1m, Class 2 Handicap (28 ran)

How the race played out…

Royal Hunt Cup

The field split into 2 distinct groups; 7 stayed low whilst the others all stayed or went middle to high. As you can see from the pace map it was the low numbers that held the pace advantage, in the end it was a fairly hefty advantage, with the first 4 home all coming from the low group and the 5th coming form stall 10. Educate switched all the way over from his 11 box and ended up running in essentially the 28 box position, a move that severely compromised his chances. Prince of Johanne & Stirring Ballad both made late switches after about 2 furlongs and went across to the larger group on the stands side, again severely compromising their chances. Arsaadi set a strong pace for the low numbers and he was backed up by a clutch of pace pushers, all this played to the hands of Belgian Bill who picked them off from out the back of the small group. This is a good example of the fact it doesn’t matter if you have a large group to run with, the important aspect is that you have a group with plenty of pace in it. Had the horses that switched late stayed low instead I’m in no doubt they would have finished much closer.

The end result…

As already mentioned the winner, BELGIAN BILL, was given a fantastic tow into the race by the pace pushing runners in front of him. He was able to hook onto the back of this pace quite easily and strike inside the final furlong, winning fairly readily in the end. Second placed PREMIO LOCO fired in his best run for some time and this was not only a sign that he benefited from being where the pace was but also that he benefited from dropping back into handicaps and sits on what is probably a pretty handy mark. Third placed ARSAADI did most of the donkey work down the bottom end, which isn’t really her style, and in the process recorded a career best on the figures. She had been dropped 4lbs since her last start and there are signs that this new mark is much more within her range. Fourth placed DONT CALL ME ran 3rd in this race last year but that was from a 14lb lower mark and he was another than quite rightly was handed a career best RPR figure. As with the others round about him he also benefited from being where the pace was. Fifth placed DAVID LIVINGSTONE was the first runner home that wasn’t in the far side group. The break-away group had grabbed enough of an advantage, however, by the time he got into top gear and despite this being a decent effort it was, ultimately, in vain. Sixth placed FIELD OF DREAM put in some sterling late work and almost nabbed the race on his side of the track, only failing by a short-head to peg back David Livingstone. He was held up out the back of the big group and that made life difficult for him, mainly because he had to get a tow into the race from runners that were a length or two down on the pace setting low drawn group.

The facts are that the low numbers kicked the middle and high numbers butts here! Anything running well from the middle to high ranges deserves our utmost attention…

BDH(s) to follow…

FIELD OF DREAM (6th) (J Osborne)

This 6yo gelded son of Oasis Dream put in some fine late work from his unfavourable draw and was finishing with some rattle once jockey Adam Kirby had him stoked up. For me this was a clear indicator that he has now slipped down to a winnable, or at the very least, competitive handicap mark. He won a valuable handicap at the track last July from a mark of 99 and was then raised in the weights to marks in the 100’s (went as high as 104 at one stage). Although he ran some decent races from those career high marks (including a decent 4th off 103 at Ascot last September) he did give the impression that he was in the grip of the handicapper. He ran here off a mark of 98 and in the process recorded his best RPR figure since the aforementioned 4th last September, again another indicator he is coming to the boil.

A quick look at his overall record tells us these straight track races are where he is at his most potent…

Form on straight tracks – 4 wins from 15 starts

Form when racing round a bend – 0 wins from 11 starts

He seems to really relish the cut and thrust of tanking down a straight track and my inclination is that this is where we should be looking to get the money down on him.

It should also be noted that 3 of his 4 career wins have come when returning within 30 days of his last start (other came on racecourse debut in Italy) and it does look like he is a horse that performs at his optimum when he has had a recent run (within the last month). His form when running after a break of 31 days or more reads 300370852068 and also backs up that a recent run is preferable.

There was plenty of talk about the draw in this race (mainly concerning Richard Hughes and his switching tactics) but there is every chance this lads fast finishing effort skips under the radar a touch.

Conditions – We can keep it simple with this one; a straight track, running withing 30 days of his last start and from or around his current mark of 98.

He looks to be coming into form and is now back to a mark he can win from, the added bonus with him is that he isn’t that often well supported in the market.

FIELD OF DREAM 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.

I will be back again later this week with another Royal Ascot review as I continue to build the BDH war chest…

Ben (BDH)