BDH Stewards’ Sprint Stakes Review: Yeeoow! I feel Good(wood)!

Get up! Get Down! Get up again…

A couple of points of interest from myself today as I take a look back at our Stewards Cup runner from Saturday and also introduce a new member to the BDH squad as we continue to bolster our offensive line.

Starting with…

Saturday’s BDH runners: DINKUM DIAMOND

Getting into top gear…door sandwiched shut! Gets round another way…finds arse end of another runner going nowhere! Yeah that’s Glorious Freakin’ Goodwood for ya! Dinkum Diamond didn’t exactly have a clear run in the hustle and bustle cavalry charge that was Saturday’s Stewards Cup, not enough to stop him winning but enough to get me pissed off for a couple of minutes! Cathy Gannon started stoking him up with 2 furlongs to go and although the response wasn’t instant he was starting to get some forward momentum, that was until the runners either side of him formed a pincer type movement and slammed the door shut in his face. In fairness to jockey and horse they found a way out but were then met with a back-tracking runner and that was game well and truly over. The interference didn’t mean the difference between winning and losing (far from it, the impressive winner had long since flown), at best it cost DD sneaking a place, but not getting a clear run is always a frustrating result in horse racing. It’s like sex without the climax…or something like that?! It’s wholly unsatisfactory, whatever you liken it to!

Anyway I digress… DINKUM DIAMOND stays in our BDH squad although we need to keep an eye on the underfoot conditions from here on in. The never-ending heatwave looks to be coming to a shuddering halt (booooo!) and we are starting to see conditions with a bit more juice in them. Ideally we want Good to Firm for DD (Good ground is passable) so hopefully his chances won’t be snatched from him by the ground.

Now time to bolster our hit-squad with a Badly Drawn Horse from Saturdays Goodwood action…

BDH Review…

Race in focus: 2.05 Goodwood (03-08-2013): Robins Farm Racing Stewards’ Sprint Stakes – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (24 ran)

How the race played out…

Reserve Stewards Cup Review

Pace wise this was simple; if you weren’t drawn up the top end you had little to no chance of being involved in the finish. The first 2 were drawn in 2 of the 3 highest stalls and the first 4 home were all drawn in stall 17 or above. They ended up drifting down the bottom side in the final half a furlong but that is irrelevant as they were comfortably ahead by that stage. TAKE COVER was the main pace-setter from up high with ABOVE STANDARD also doing his best to get involved from his middle to high posi. TAX FREE tried to hook onto the pace from box 12 but he could never really get there, with the same being said about NOVERRE TO GO from stall 2.

The pace map gives us clear indicators that the high numbers were where the pace was emanating from and in the end that played right into the hooves of those drawn middle to high.

The end result…

First home SEEKING MAGIC came from the highest stall of all the runners and this easily allowed him to hook onto the pace setters and grab them late on in the shadow of the post. He has taken his form to a new level this term (posting career best figures) and his previous 2 runs fully suggested he was getting ready to strike and land a tasty pot. With only 19 career starts to his name he may yet have improvement to come before the season is out. Second placed TAKE COVER has to go down as unlucky here. He led everywhere but the line in this race and despite this being a big step up in class he showed he is more than ready for it. He is another that is lightly raced and may have more to give yet. Third placed CHOOSEDAY was never too far away and dug deep in the closing stages to record a career best RPR figure. My feeling is that he may just need a wee bit of respite from the handicapper to get himself back to winning ways. ABOVE STANDARD was on a hat-trick and a career high mark and battled on well for 4th and a career best on the figures. The ground probably wasn’t quite quick enough for him and he could still have another big run in him off his mark. Fifth placed OUT DO was the best of the middle to low drawn runners but he is still 10lbs higher than his win at Yarmouth in June and the signs are that he needs to drop a couple before winning opportunities come his way. Sixth home YEEOOW was drawn at the complete opposite end of the stalls from the winner and this effort was an improvement on the form he has shown since his win at Ascot in May. This was a fine effort from a very difficult draw and he stuck in well at the business end.

BDH to follow…

YEEOOW (6th) (Mrs K Burke)

This Holy Roman Emperor gelding was the first home of the low stalls and was comfortably ahead of the others drawn in the same vicinity. Essentially he is a horse that has to come with a late run and the way this race unfolded meant there was little chance of that happening here, with regards to the runners that finished ahead of him.The way the race panned out from a pace perspective gave him little to no chance of victory so his 3 length 6th gains the utmost respect from myself.

The Burke’s have a decent team at their disposal this season and this 4yo would be near the top of their tree with this run very much suggesting that he can still do some damage off his current mark (only 3lbs higher than his last win).

A scrutiny of his form doesn’t really give us much in the way of angles to work with (apart from his obvious liking for Kempton – 1212) but a quick squint at the Burke yards form with their sprinters suggest we should possibly be looking at a Redcar (4 wins from 14) , Carlisle (3 wins from 5) or Ffos Las (2 wins from 3) as future targets. There is, I admit, nothing concrete in any of that for YEEOOW and he is one we should probably play by ear, race upon race.

Conditions – As already mentioned there is nothing stand-out obvious about the horses turf form and I’m happy to take him as he comes and scrutinize him on a race by race basis. He probably doesn’t have masses up his sleeve from the 93 mark but there should be enough for another victory to be squeezed out, preferably with Martin Harley on-board who seems to know the horse well.

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

Current BDH Squad

The following are the current members of our BDH Offensive line…

BACCARAT | DANCE AND DANCE | DINKUM DIAMOND | DUKE OF FIRENZE | DUNGANNON | JACK DEXTER | REDVERS | STEPS (soon to be featured on my guest post for horseracing.ie) | TAWHID | WAKING WARRIOR (featured in my guest post for Make Your Betting Pay) | YEEOOW

If you want to read about them then click on their names in the BDH TAGS section on the right-hand side of the Blog or pop their name in the search function right at the top, that should take you to the original post. If I have missed any of our team from the list then drop me a comment below, I’m pretty sure I got them all though 🙂

Cheers – Ben (BDH)

BDH Stewards Cup Analysis: DD hoping to Hoof It to glory…

Aah Glorious Goodwood, Glorious freakin’ Goodwood! Unless in some dark and distant land Glorious means “the festival of finding trouble in-running” I think they should re-name it! In truth I’m being a bit harsh, I actually enjoy watching the meeting, just not punting on it as much, it’s a bit too in and out for my liking (I’ve learned this through numerous roller-coaster Glorious Goodwood punting experiences!) so I’m actually quite pleased I haven’t gotten too involved in the punting side this week.

The 2 BDH runners I did open up the punting bank for this Friday both got checked at vital stages in their forward runs (as is far too often the case at Goodwood!) and Duke Of Firenze most certainly still had plenty of nitro boost left in his rocket pack, he just had no room to use it!

Anyway here is my take on how our 3 troopers performed and my thoughts on them going forward from here…

TAWHID (2nd in the Thoroughbred Stakes) – I was more than happy with this run and also more than happy to have not punted him. He coped well enough on the Good ground but he still gave me the impression he wants at least Good to Soft and on the day was beaten by the better horse who was also more suited by conditions. Tawhid will get his chance once the rain gets into the ground at the back end of the season, and then we will be on and collecting the profit.

DANCE AND DANCE (10th in the Betfred Mile) – I think this was a case of Moore wanting the horse closer the pace but the horse wanting to do the usual and sit out the back. Moore had him well enough placed but when he made his move around 2f out the path he intended taking started closing rapidly and he had to switch. I don’t think it was the difference between winning & losing but it may have cost him nicking a place. He still remains of utmost interest from his current handicap mark.

DUKE OF FIRENZE (10th in the King George Stakes) – Traveled well enough but the doors just didn’t open at the right times for him. It still doesn’t confirm or deny whether he is a Group animal in the making but there is a large part of me that wants to see him tackle a handicap off this current mark, I really do think he can land a large handicap pot from his rating. Moore was easy enough on him once the lanes up ahead started squeezing shut and he still remains of interest.

We have another of our BDH crew taking to the Sussex Downs on day 5 of the “Glorious” Festival in the cavalry charge that is the Stewards Cup…

Saturday BDH Runner – DINKUM DIAMOND – 3.50 Stewards’ Cup

With 28 runners set to go to post the pace map is, as ever, a fine place to start…

Stewards Cup

From a pace perspective it looks like there is a good chance that it will be split right across the track. There is probable pace coming from Top (WHOZTHECAT), Middle (BLAINE) and Bottom (DR RED EYE). DINKUM DIAMOND is drawn almost slap bang in the middle and that gives him options on the pace side although he could just fire straight down the middle and hook on to the pace of Blaine. Draw/pace wise he looks fine.

Next up I want to look at the ground. My stipulation for him is Good to Firm; all his career wins have come on such a surface. At the moment Goodwood is sitting at Good (Good to Firm in places). For me that would be OK as he has run some sound races on Good ground and the G2F patches suggest it is currently heading for the faster side anyway. There are showers forecast so if there is significant softening of the ground then I would most likely be looking to jump ship, however at the minute I’m good with the likely underfoot conditions.

From a handicapping perspective I would say his mark (103) is well within his grasp and he is only 1lb higher than his 3rd in the Dash at Epsom and 3lbs higher than his excellent 3rd at Ascot last time out.

Cathy Gannon is getting to know him very well (17033) so it’s a positive that she keeps the ride.

I know he is yet to win over 6 furlongs but he has ran some eye-catching races over the trip and the way he was finishing last time out over the distance at Ascot tells me this isn’t too much of a worry, in fact he has actually ran to within 2lbs of his 5f form over the furlong longer trip, 6f does not scare me with this lad.

Ideally we want drying ground for DD but at the moment the conditions are enough to persuade me to punt and at around 18-1 (larger on Betfair) I’m happy to take the plunge. I will naturally be keeping an eye on the weather though…

*Note – Ground now changed to Good all round but no showers are forecast and it is set to be a dry and breezy day. Again it is a case of keeping an eye on proceedings, watching the weather and seeing how the first few races play out…

To be honest this contest looks tricky, fast and furiously tricky! But then it’s Glorious Goodwood and the Stewards Cup, we should expect nothing less.

I generally like to have a cover bet running for me in these sprint minefields so I gave the entire field a quick analysis with my own trends… but that didn’t really clear the waters much, there were a number within close proximity of each other.

Hoof It, Face The Problem & Prodigality are the 3 that I finally settled upon to make up my cover bet shortlist. Of that 3 I’m leaning towards 2011 winner HOOF IT.

He missed most of last year due to a couple of problems but he returned to action at York last month. That was over an inadequate 5f and clearly that was a race to simply blow away the cobwebs and smooth off the rough edges. He ran well without over exerting himself that day and he is sure to strip much fitter here.

He is only 1lb higher than when winning this race 2 years ago and considering he finished 1/4L 3rd behind Dream Ahead & Bated Breath in the 2011 Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup I don’t see this mark being much of a problem.

Kieran Fallon back on top is a massive positive, with the pair having a 7117116 record together when teaming up.

He likes the ground, handles the trip and track, enjoys the thrill of large field sprints (4 wins from 10 runs) and Easterby is sure to have him primed to the minute for this repeat bid.

Like most Goodwood contests I’m fully prepared for hard luck stories in-running, especially with 28 runners belting it down the 6f straight track, but you gotta be in it to win it and I’ll be having a dabble on BDH runner DINKUM DIAMOND (providing the ground looks OK and doesn’t deteriorate) and a covering bet on 2011 winner HOOF IT.

Best of luck if you are getting involved in this fiendishly difficult conundrum.

Ben (BDH)