BDH Saturday Qualifiers: Mob-handed in search of Gold & Silver…

Will 38 years of Scottish hurt end with Jack Dexter capturing Gold?

A busy day in store for us on Saturday as we fire double barreled assaults upon both the Ayr Gold and Silver Cups!

As well as our 4 Ayr raiders we also have last weekend’s unlucky 2nd, STEPS, ‘stepping’ into Group company for the first time at Newbury.

Before all that, however, we have to deal with Fridays runners…

WAKING WARRIOR 2.20 Ayr

12th of 24. Pace was up his side. Average run. Never looked like landing a blow. Time to drop him from the squad. He was staying on at the end but to be honest I’m just not feeling it and I’m happy to drop WW from the squad.

TAWHID 4.50 Newbury

Winner! Job done! He won how I hoped/expected/how he should have. Soft ground is simply a must for him and Silvestre De Sousa is a massive bonus when he takes the ride. His place in the squad is safe, lets hope there are a couple more spots for him before the season is out.

Now onto Saturday’s action…

Saturday’s BDH runners…

BDH Runners:YEEOOW & THUNDERBALL 2.40 Ayr

First things first lets take a look at the pace map for this 27 runner sprint…

Ayr Silver Cup

Pace coming from all over the track, which is handy as we are berthed in Stall 1 (THUNDERBALL) and stall 21 (YEEOOW). If anything there is slightly more pace down the bottom end (low numbers) but there isn’t enough to make a definitive pre-race conclusion. On the pace angle we are good with both. With the pace map looking like this I’m very happy to be hedging our bets with 1 high and 1 low.

Let’s deal with our 2 runners individually….

THUNDERBALL – Ran a very sound race at Doncaster last week (3rd), only 3lbs shy of his career best on the figures, and the 2lb raise he receives for the run still leaves him 1lb below his highest ever winning mark; good.

My initial assessment of him was that we want 6 furlongs and Soft and that’s what we get here; doubly good.

A straight track was also a preferable condition for him and he also gets that here, the only real ‘reservation’ is that this is a race worth more than 20k to the winner, an area he is yet to prove he is totally up to. However, he meets everything else and with Queally remaining in the saddle (form figures of 016813 when riding the horse) I’m more than happy to take a punt at prices of 20-1+. Needless to say in a race of this many runners I will be covering him in an each-way capacity.

YEEOOW – Another that ran a solid 3rd at Doncaster last week, running 1lb below his career best whilst at the same time meeting with ground with cut in it for the first time. Joey Haynes gets the leg up here and his 5lb claim takes the horse down to a mark of 87, 3lbs below his highest ever winning mark.

Off the back of last weeks effort and with the claimer making things interesting I think we need to play our boy again here. Like Thunderball I’ll also take this lad in an each-way capacity.

I would often try and find something else to have on my side in a race with this many runners but to be honest nothing really stands out at me, well nothing that tempts me into a bet. I’ll let it roll and just go to war with our 2 BDH warriors.

BDH Runner: STEPS 3.30 Newbury

Clearly Roger Varian’s hand has been forced to a certain extent here by the consistency of his horse and another rise in the weights (up 3lbs to 104) has made the trainer look to Group contests to get his 5yo back in the winners enclosure. I initially suggested that I didn’t think he would be up to this level but his last run has made me rethink that opinion.

He gets his bare minimum 5f trip here (well bar 34 yards!) and also his favoured Soft ground. Andrea Atzeni back in the plate is also interesting as together they have an eye-catching record of 131585. This wouldn’t be the toughest Group 3 we have seen and with Steps in such rude health I reckon it’s worth taking an interest in him again here. There is plenty of 8-1 flying around so I’ll probably look to take him Each-Way if I can.

BDH Runners: JACK DEXTER & DUKE OF FIRENZE 3.50 Ayr

Huge field again so let’s first take a look at the pace map…

Ayr Gold Cup

Like the Silver Cup there does seem to be a decent enough spread of pace here although it may just be that it is low to middle that is the strongest zone with regards to the pace. That isn’t totally ideal for our pair, boxed in stall 22 (JACK DEXTER) & 20 (DUKE OF FIRENZE), but it isn’t catastrophic either. It does mean that I’ll probably be looking for some sort of cover bet from the bottom half though. We will get to that later.

Let’s deal with our 2 BDH runners individually first….

JACK DEXTER – 110 is a hefty mark to win any handicap from but Advanced won this race from a mark of 109 in 2007 so it can be done and JACK DEXTER is certainly a progressive and classy beast, as shown by his close 4th in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot. The soft ground will be perfect (form of 11111) and even if it dries out to Good to Soft I wouldn’t be put off (form of 261). He has good track form (531 – including a very comfortable victory in last years Bronze Cup), Graham Lee knows him very well (1541101041), he runs well in 16+ runner fields (741110064) and runs well in September/October time (4111).

I see very little negatives for him and the only small worry I have is the draw. At current odds I’m definitely on and once again I will look to cover him each-way.

DUKE OF FIRENZE – Hmmm…Duke Of Firenze (DOF)…what to do with DOF. My feeling is that 6 furlongs on soft ground will not suit. He has always struck me as one that is more at home on the top of the ground and his 2 runs on ground softer than Good have not promised too much.

Ryan Moore doesn’t make the trip up for the ride although I must admit Cathy Gannon is an interesting booking. She has ridden once for Stoute in the past 5 seasons and that was a winner. Is this a handy spare ride or have they booked her especially? It’s probably the former and in any case it isn’t really enough to swing me into a solid punt.

He is a tasty price for sure but I think he is a tricky ride and I would probably rather have a jockey that has ridden him before taking the mount here. I would also rather it was Good or better ground. If the pace does end up being down low then there is also a chance he doesn’t get a tow into the contest and as he seems to enjoy coming through runners late on that could prove to be a bit of a problem.

All in all I just have a few too many questions about DOF today and personally I won’t be backing him here.

So that leaves us with JACK DEXTER going into battle in the ultra competitive 27 Ayr Gold Cup; time to look for a bit of back up me thinks!

I want 2 others on my side here and those are GABRIEL’S LAD from stall 13 and OUR JONATHAN from stall 12.

I ran the entire field through my extended trends analysis and only 1 runner passed all 15 trends, that was GABRIEL’S LAD. He is an improving sort who was only just pipped by our BDH runner Redvers last time out and he also has winning form on soft ground. His mark of 99 looks workable and he is one I want on my side.

OUR JONATHON won this race 2 years ago, is fantastically well handicapped (10lbs below last winning mark & 19lbs below his peak rating) and will love the ground. He missed the break last week in the Portland at Doncaster but still ran well enough in defeat without managing to get overly involved. There is plenty in his favour here and his odds are too tempting to ignore.

Summary of runners…

2.40 Ayr

THUNDERBALL – Bet Each-Way

YEEOOW – Bet Each-Way

3.30 Newbury

STEPS – Bet Each-Way

3.50 Ayr

JACK DEXTER – Bet Each-Way

DUKE OF FIRENZE – No Bet

Additional selections…

Each-Way on GABRIEL’S LAD & OUR JONATHON – 3.50 Ayr

These cavalry charge sprints are always tricky to nail (bloody tricky!) but I feel we go in with solid chances of collecting at least some each-way spoils, hopefully much much more.

Best of luck if you are getting involved

Ben (BDH)

p.s. We are fast approaching October so if you are looking to join the full NTF service for the 2013/14 National Hunt season then make sure you join the FREE list so that you are eligible for the discounted sign-up offer…

>>>Join the FREE NTF service

Even if you are not looking to join the full service there are still plenty of FREE racing guides and betting systems for you to download, with more to follow as we reach the National Hunt season proper.

Advertisements

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)

p.s. I have a free guide available to all members of the FREE service. It concerns an angle that I follow that can generate huge priced winners! If you are not on the Free service then you can’t get the guide. You can join and pick up numerous free guides at the following page >>> Join the BDH/NTF community

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)

 

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)

 

BDH Sky Bet Dash Review: Fahey 4yo still to show his full hand…

Fahey runner just needs dealt a good draw…

A quiet enough weekend for us, with only Redvers pitching into battle for us (more on him in a moment). There were, however, a couple of races of interest for me as I look to increase the BDH squad in search of more under the radar profits. Before I give you the newest member of the squad let’s first deal with Saturday’s warrior…

Saturday’s BDH runners: Redvers

Ahh, Redvers… Redvers, Redvers, Redvers… what to do with Redvers…

First up was he drawn on the wrong side? After review of the race I would say no. Although the field split into 2 distinct groups I don’t think any side had a huge advantage over the other, the way the field finished would back that up.

Did he meet trouble in-running? Personally I would say yes and it was just as he was hitting full stride. Hughes got the gaps alright, the horse started clicking through the gears alright, but at a vital moment 3rd placed finisher Loving Spirit decided to shift and park himself directly in Redvers lane (watch the replay, it’s quite noticeable). The effect of this was that Hughes had to take a pull (albeit a small pull) and then restart his mounts forward momentum and challenge all over again…except there was no time to restart his forward momentum and challenge. There wasn’t much in it but in a race of spit second actions and decisions it was probably enough. In fact I’m sure Hughes eased up a touch once he new his chance was gone (which is fair enough…to be fair!).

So does Redvers stay in the BDH squad? For now, yes he does. The ‘problem’ with Redvers is that his running style is always likely to cause him potential traffic issues, he comes from out the back and he comes late, that in itself brings potential traffic jams. Ideally his 5 length defeat will be enough to drop him a pound or 2 from the nice Mr Handicapper, although that may be a bit of wishful thinking from myself!

For now Redvers stays in the BDH troop.

Now time to add another warrior to our squad…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 3.30 York (27-07-2013): Sky Bet Dash – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (20 ran)

How the race played out…

Sky Bet Dash

 

Pace wise this race played out a bit on the strange side, especially with the front-running BOGART depositing his jockey on the turf (saddle slipped) at the 2 furlong pole. It seemed that the field formed a bit of a fragmented large group for most of the race although on closer inspection it was the middle to high numbers that had formed the sturdier group, with the low numbers having their own mini battle in a sub group just off the bulk of the field. BOGART was the main front runner of the pack and until his saddle incident he was the one that was pulling most of the field along. From the low numbers it was PRODIGALITY & FAST SHOT that attempted to stamp their authority on the contest although they never quite got the lead they wanted. The pace map tells us that it was those from middle to high that dominated the finish, even though they actually ended up drifting across the track in the final furlong and ending up fighting the finish out in the lanes of the low numbers. Regardless of this it still suggests there was an advantage following the BOGART side of the field (middle to high) rather than the PRODIGALITY/FAST SHOT side of the field (low).

It was a wee bit of a pace muddle in truth but we can still take positives and negatives from the outcome.

The end result…

Winner TROPICS sat in the middle of the pack and made his winning move in the final couple of furlongs. He has been progressing well this term and was probably still handily handicapped for this contest but I have a small suspicion that the next weight rise will be the one that anchor’s him; he probably didn’t have all that much in hand at the finish. Second placed SUMMERINTHECITY put in a fine shift and should be on a mark he can win, or at least get close, from; a bit of juice in the ground won’t go amiss for him. KHUBALA did well to finish 3rd as he met trouble in-running at a vital time. There is every suggestion he is still on the up and would remain of some sort of interest. Fourth placed PRODIGALITY found himself a bit isolated and is probably better with cover, he is possibly just at the top of his handicap ceiling as well, with that in mind this was a solid run. TAROOQ was hampered slightly 2f out but I don’t think he would have necessarily finished much closer than he did. He is clearly much better on the A/W than the turf (8 A/W wins compared to 1 turf win) but he is a massive 20lbs lower on turf than A/W and one feels there has to be a turf race in him off that mark somewhere. Things really didn’t go to plan for 6th placed BACCARAT. He missed the break and was on the back hoof for most of the first 3 or 4 furlongs. Paul Hanagan did manage to coax him back into the contest but he was then hampered by the tumbling Amy Ryan (Bogart’s jockey) and despite finishing like a train his mishaps pretty much cost him any better than 6th place. Despite everything it was still a noteworthy run and fully suggested there is still more than enough to come from his current mark.

BDH(s) to follow…

BACCARAT (6th) (R Fahey)

Quite simply things did not pan out for this improving 4yo. Stall 5 wasn’t a great draw, as the pace map tells us, and the fact he missed the break just made it all the more difficult for him. Despite Hanagan working him back into the race he didn’t really have that much to hook onto the back of so the fast finishing effort deserves marking up a touch, in my opinion anyway. The interference he suffered also put a rather big, Amy Ryan shaped, spanner in the works and in the end a 3.5L defeat was a pretty good result.

From a handicapping viewpoint there really does look like there is plenty more still to come from his mark of 94 and I can’t believe for one minute that this is his limit. At a rough estimation we are probably looking at a 100 rated horse, at least.

It’s hard to assess if it was the missed break or the generous early pace that left him floundering out the back (probably 75% break – 25% 6f pace) but I do feel a step back up to 7 furlong would not go amiss, there is plenty enough stamina there and he does already have form over the longer trip.

This would be the 2nd race in a row that he has been dealt a poor hand by the draw dealers, admittedly it was worse in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, and I really feel he is a potent weapon waiting to strike from a handy draw. With only 7 career starts to his name there still looks plenty more to come this son of Dutch Art.

Conditions – I’m looking for 7 furlongs as an ideal but 6 furlongs would be perfectly adequate. He seems to cope well with the Good & Good to Firm ground so hopefully it stays dry for a bit longer.

He is stacking up some decent form lines, is in form and his mark looks well within his range, he is an improving 4yo I’m very happy to add to our squad.

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

Ben (BDH)

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)

 

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!

Free Guides & Updates

If you want to receive regular updates and download an array of free guides from BDH/NTF then please visit the following page and join the growing community –

>>> Join the BDH/NTF community

On joining you will be sent a link to download a multitude of FREE GUIDES, including free horse racing tips, pointers, guides and free horse racing betting systems.

(If you are a current NTF member then you can ignore this message)

Ben (BDH)

Royal Ascot Day 5: The Diamond Jubilee Stakes Dosage & Trends Analysis

Can another Oz raider follow in the hoof-prints of Black Caviar?

Amazingly that is us now staring day 5 of Royal Ascot 2013 slap bang in the chops!

Does it get any easier? Does it hell! I won’t shirk my responsibilities though and I’ve tackled the tricky looking Diamond Jubilee 6f blitz full-on and smashed it over the *coupon with a twin Dosage & Trends assault. I’ve also taken a look at the fascinating puzzle that is the 29 runner Wokingham Stakes and pulled together a pace map for your perusal. Interestingly the race also contains 2 (yes TWO!) BDH to follow horses. But more on both those races in a bit…

*Coupon is Scottish slang for head/face

Day 4 at Royal Ascot (or Friday as some may prefer to call it!) was far from a day of heavy hitting for me. I was pleased, however, to see the Ballydoyle inmate LEADING LIGHT fire in a battling victory in the Queens Vase. Mainly because it bolstered the Montjeu offspring record  over 2m+ at the track. I like those angles, so I like to see them stand up under pressure, I’m a man of simple pleasures! LEADING LIGHT is a gutsy, battling sort of colt and I like his attitude, it will be interesting to see how he is campaigned from here as I think he has plenty to offer.

Performance of the day has to go, however, to SKY LANTERN. That was a mightily impressive display in the Coronation Stakes and fully confirmed the impression that she is a filly right out of the top drawer. She scored full marks on my trends for the race so I wasn’t surprised by the win, but the way she won from her tricky draw DID surprise me. The ‘Sky’ could well be the limit.

On the polling front it didn’t pan out for you guys as BATTLE OF MARENGO was gunned down late by the charging HILLSTAR and Ryan Moore. Never mind though as you have one more chance, as a collective group, to nail a Royal Ascot BDH polling victory…

.

Before I lavish you with the final FREE BDH Royal Ascot analysis guide of the week it’s time to put the cavalry charge that is the Wokingham under a bit of scrutiny.

I’m not sure if it is the racing gods conspiring for us or against us but we have ended up with 2 recent BDH to follow horses going to battle here; YORK GLORY & DINKUM DIAMOND.

Of the two of them I would say it is DINKUM DIAMOND that has the best of the draw, however, YORK GLORY should also just have enough from his draw to hook onto the back of the pace.

Here is how I see the pace working out…

Wokingham

I’m thinking it is low to middle that has the call here. Obviously that suits DINKUM more than YORK but I can see a situation where the high numbers swing down low early and hook onto the back of the main group.

I also fired the field through some primary trends…

15/16 aged 4, 5 or 6 

14/16 top 4 finish LTO

14/16 rated 102 or less

After that you are still left with around a third of the field but importantly it still has DINKUM & YORK in the frame.

Both look to have conditions in their favour and at the prices – YORK GLORY 16-1, DINKUM DIAMOND 25/1 – I’m happy to have them both on my side.

Even if they don’t fire today they won’t be dropping off the to follow list, there is every chance it will be a messy race.

Now onto the final race in focus for the week; The Diamond Jubilee.

From an analysis side of things this is far from clear cut (as you will see from the guide). There are a lot of runners very close together on the trends and the Dosage doesn’t cut a big enough swathe through the field for it to be of any real significance. Regardless I have given my two tuppence worth for you all to consider…

>>>Free Diamond Jubilee Analysis Guide

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

Hopefully you have all enjoyed the BDH analysis through this Royal Ascot week. As always it has been a tricky assignment and personally I’m glad I cherry-picked my targets.

By the way can anyone find me a video of BILLIE MAGERN holding on at the end at Market Rasen yesterday!? In twitter speak I am still #gutted ! Sterling effort from the Summer Stunner though…

Free Guides & Updates

If you want to receive regular updates and download an array of free guides from BDH/NTF then please visit the following page and join the growing community –

Join the BDH/NTF community

On joining you will be sent a link to download a multitude of FREE GUIDES.

(If you are a current NTF member then you can ignore this message)

Ben (BDH)