2:55 Newmarket (08-06-13) – BETFAIR HANDICAP – 6f, Class 2 (14 Ran)

There were a couple of races I was contemplating reviewing on here today but on closer inspection this was the one that gives the most grist to my mill…

Race in focus: 2.55 Newmarket (08-06-2013): Betfair Handicap – 6f, Class 2 (14 ran)

How the race played out…

Newmarket 08-06-13

As you can see from the pace map it was Whozthecat who set most of the pace from stall 6 along with Zero Money from stall 5, in essence this perfectly set the race up for the front 2 in the market Nocturn & Enrol, who did indeed fill 1st & 2nd on the podium. The majority of the field bunched up on the near side and that very much benefited the low numbers, again playing to the hooves of the front 2. Doctor Parkes was the only runner to not really join the others. He was drawn widest of all in stall 15 and had to cut out his running on his own. Doctor Parkes is a hold up/close to pace horse who simply had no cover here and he found himself all alone with no option but to make his own pace.

The end result…

As already mentioned the race very much played to the hands of the front 2 in the market, Enrol & Nocturn, and they were in the prime spot to take advantage of the pace unfolding right in front of them. From a pace angle Doctor Parkes was clearly the most inconvenienced  from the highest stall (15) and the old boy Johannes also had a bit of a job to do from the next stall down (14), both of them I would probably mark up a couple of lbs. Third placed Mezzotint did meet a bit of trouble in-running so his final placing is also noteworthy from stall 11.

BDH(s) to follow…

DOCTOR PARKES (5th) (S Williams)

There is a lot to like about this run from the 7yo who is essentially a hold up/close to pace horse who simply had no cover in this contest and was forced to cut out his own running, mostly away from the rest of the field. He is far from a natural front-runner – in fact I can only find one other instance in his 39 career starts where he led – so this effort , where he was running in a position he clearly isn’t familiar with, needs to be marked up at least a couple of lbs. He only really faded in the final 50 or so yards and there is no shame in that as he looks a much better beast over shorter…

Record over 5f = 5 wins from 25 starts (20% S/R)

Record over 5 1/2f & 6f = 1 win from 14 starts (7% S/R)

He currently sits on a handy handicap mark of OR85 and he has won in the past off OR89 & OR84; it is a fair assumption to make that he has the ability to score off his current OR. He loves to hear his hooves rattle with his 5 turf victories coming on GOOD (x1), GOOD TO FIRM (x2) & FIRM (x1), the current ground conditions are right up his street. On Saturday he also recorded a Proform speed figure that sits just 1lb below his best, another firm indicator that he is on the cusp of striking gold.

In short, he is running near his best on a mark he can win from on ground that he loves; there is a lot to like about both his run at Newmarket on Saturday and his current profile.

Conditions – Ground conditions look important and we don’t really want to be backing him on anything less than GOOD with GOOD TO FIRM or better probably being ideal. A drop back down to 5f is also what we want to see as that looks his optimum. If he were to run back at 6f then it would need to be a flatter track than Newmarket with little to no incline to the finishing post, ideally though it will be 5f where he is campaigned at in his next few starts. He is handicapped to win a race and given a better draw than he was here he can find his way back to the winners enclosure. 

DOCTOR PARKES 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.

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Many thanks for joining me here on the latest BDH post and I leave you with another from the ‘badly in need of a wash’ Manc indie kid…

.

Ben (BDH)

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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)