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)

BDH Weekend Review: Job Dun!

Well that was a pretty good weekend!

4 BDH qualifiers – 2 winners. For good measure the Haydock Sprint Cup winner was also thrown into the mix; good work GLB.

When reviewing the weekends action for my own records I also, naturally, kept my BDH brain in full recruitment mode as I look to replace and strengthen our squad. Unfortunately nothing instantly stood out at me and I won’t add new members just for the sake of it. That would be pointless and a sure way to eek into our profits.

I have a couple of potentials in mind but I want to review the action again with a fresh mind, possibly tonight or tomorrow, and do a bit more digging into their previous form.

For now, however, I’ll give you my thoughts on our 4 weekend runners and where we go from here with them…

Weekend BDH runners…

BDH Runner: REDVERS 1.55 Ascot – 1st at BFSP 10.37

He was drawn with pace round about him and jockey Richard Kingscote gave him a superb ride, hooking behind the pace on his side instead of right out the back and cruising into contention in style; job was a good ‘un.

As far as I’m concerned for our BDH list it is “thanks and good-bye, we will call again if your services are required”. As always that doesn’t mean I won’t back him in the future but for now he drops off the BDH list after doing the job we employed him for; securing us some tasty profits!

Good lad Redvers and best of luck going forward.

BDH Runner: WAKING WARRIOR 2.00 Thirsk – 6th at BFSP 12.5

The Kevin Ryan horse always seemed to be climbing a slippy slope here and that has to go down primarily to the draw. I thought it may be tricky from his berth but I maybe gave too much credence to its effect being lessened over the furlong further. Lesson learned and for now he stays in our squad.

I want to see him get a real shot at a race from a decent draw before making a solid assessment of his position in our squad.

BDH Runner: TAWHID 2.40 Haydock – 4th at BFSP 4.92

Hmmmmm…Tawhid…hmmmmmm. Either Mosse got the tactics wrong or the tactics he was given were wrong. The horse maybe didn’t help himself too much either but the facts are he managed to meet trouble in-running and wasn’t really able show his true potential. Once in the clear, and the race was over, he looked to have plenty left to give.

I learned nothing from this run, which is a shame as he had his ground on this occasion and should have been able to show more. He stays on the list for now.

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON 5.10 Ascot 1st at BFSP 4.74

This played out perfectly for Dunny and he made no mistake this time. I was a bit concerned by the price beforehand but I managed to get 5.5 on the exchanges about 15-20 mins before the off and I was happy with that; the more I looked at the race through the day the more convinced I became that he was going to win. (I tweeted 10 mins before the off that I had backed him, for transparency’s sake).

I see no need to keep him in our squad from here on in and like Redvers we say goodbye to Dunny after his well-timed victory at Ascot.

Good job Dunny, job well done, we may well see you back in the squad at some time in the future…

The other race covered by myself was the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup…

Haydock Sprint Cup

GORDON LORD BYRON did the job in fantastic style for us and that my friends is how you win a Group 1 contest! Impressive! To be fair he had his conditions but regardless of that fact it was an almighty performance.

In the end I only went with Heeraat as my cover bet, viewing of the ground from earlier races put me off Lethal Force as did his ever diminishing price. My own pace notes suggested he wouldn’t get an easy lead and that mixed with the softened ground just didn’t sit well with me as we approached the off. It is safe to say his run shouldn’t be taken at face value, he is waaaay better than the end result and conditions simply did not play to his strengths.

Heeraat ran a very poor race but his jockey Paul Hanagan did report after the race that his mount had ‘lost it’s action’ so we maybe also shouldn’t take his run at face value either.

In the end this was all about GLB though and he confirmed that when conditions are tilted towards him he is a serious player in the Group 1 sprinting division.

BDH Handicap Sleepers…

Some of you probably noticed that one of the handicap sleepers in my recent FREE guide was running at York yesterday; TIGER REIGNS in the 3.35. You will also have hopefully noted he was clearly a ‘no-bet’.

The field size was way outside his comfort zone and he was also running over a trip that was 2.5 furlongs longer than his optimum; he finished a comfortable 41 lengths behind the winner in 18th place!

Personally I’m happy with that. That should see another drop down the ratings from Mr Handicapper and it should also see him start at some juicy odds next time out. Hopefully connections will find a race that meets requirements on his next start (if you have the guide you know what they are), I really think he can land something at lofty odds when he gets his conditions…

Closing thoughts for the day…

Back to the main BDH list and if I see a potential new addition to our squad to replace Redvers and Dungannon then I will fire up a Blog post later in the week with all the details.

I’m also now getting properly stuck into the National Hunt game behind the scenes as I start work on the NTF National Hunt service 2013/14. I’ll hopefully still be blogging as regularly as usual on here but if not you know the reason why…

Ben (BDH)

GLB to land the Group 1 spoils for BDH?

GLB to take the G1 spoils today?

A potentially very busy day for us on Saturday here on BDH with 4 of our attack squad entered to run at various venues up and down the country. I also want to take a quick look at the Group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup as it features plenty of runners we have had dealings with this summer, and as a fan of consistency it makes sense to cover the race, using trends and pace as our main weapons into the contest.

As is often the case at this ‘changing’ time of the year the weather is likely to play a crucial part in proceedings with rain forecast at both Haydock & Ascot. Looking at the forecast it could be that the north gets a decent lashing in good old fashioned stair rods style! Haydock got a weather beatdown yesterday and whilst that is hopefully the worst of it out of the way it’s best to keep an eye on any potential (probable?) changes in the underfoot conditions.

Before I tuck into the Group 1 sprint action lets first cover our BDH runners…

BDH Runner: REDVERS 1.55 Ascot

Enough in his favour to warrant our interest in him here. He looks to have a good slot in stall 5 as there seems to be plenty of potential pace around about him and he should be able to sit out the back and make his usual late move.

He never really got into the race last time out over C&D but he has had a wee freshen up since then and at tasty enough odds I’m on, probably with a bit of E/W cover.

BDH Runner: WAKING WARRIOR 2.00 Thirsk

Like last time at Thirsk he is drawn low, which is a small concern, however, this time it is over a furlong further so comes with slightly less of a worry. His form at the track is solid (26239) although this is the first time he has tackled the Thirsk 6f, something which I think will suit him.

There is enough in his favour to make him of interest but it is going to have to be with each-way cover, that draw niggles me a bit and at the end of the day we are dealing with a horse who is still a maiden on the flat. I do think 6 furlong here will suit him, as will the softened ground.

I’ll have a punt E/W on him and I’ll be hoping for him to flash home late under Mulrennan

BDH Runner: TAWHID 2.40 Haydock

Good to Soft with the potential for more rain makes the Godolphin runner an obvious bet, based solely on my previous comments about him. Looks a winnable race and Mosse is certainly an interesting booking. I’m happy to take a punt and at the projected odds, I’m on.

BDH Runner: DUNGANNON 5.10 Ascot

First things first that is a crap price for a horse who hasn’t won for a while, racing in a field of this size. There is a bit of the Dance And Dance’s about this! I’m not seeing much bang for my buck here, that is a concern.

There is, however, plenty in his favour and he is one of the better handicapped runners in the field, I can’t crib that too much. Draw wise he also seems to have more than enough pace around him to hook onto a swoop late, again I can’t quibble with that.

I would like to back him but I think I’m going to need to see a wee bit of a drift first before getting involved. For now I’m hanging fire and will watch and see how the market unfolds…

Now onto the Group 1 sprint action of the day…

Betfred Sprint Cup – Haydock 3.50

…and what better way to start than with the pace map…

Haydock Sprint CupThe above tells us that there looks a fairly heavy leaning towards the middle to low stalls for the pace angle and those drawn around 10+ may not have much to aim at on their side.

LETHAL FORCE & HEERAAT should set the pace from the low numbers with HAMZA in stall 7 also likely to try and get in on the pace-setting duties.

On the trends angle this would not be a race I would be getting overly deep in with regards to the trends, however, I have applied what I would consider to be 6 of the strongest trends to give us a way into the contest.

The trends I have used for today are…

1. 13/14 recorded a top 2 finish in current season

2. 12/14 were aged 3-5

3. 12/14 ran in a Group race LTO

4. 11/14 recorded a top 3 finish LTO

5. 11/14 started in the top 3 in the market LTO

6. 10/14 had previously finished in the top 3 at Group 1 level

Applying those trends to today’s field gives us…

Horse

1

2

3

4

5

6

Total

Lethal Force

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

6/6

Gordon Lord Byron

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

6/6

Heeraat

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

5/6

Hamza

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

5/6

Garswood

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

5/6

Slade Power

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

5/6

Reckless Abandon

N

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

4/6

Rex Imperator

Y

Y

N

Y

Y

N

4/6

Swiss Spirit

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

4/6

Kavanagh

Y

N

N

N

Y

Y

3/6

Kingsgate Native

Y

N

Y

N

N

Y

3/6

Intense Pink

N

Y

Y

N

N

N

2/6

Tiddliwinks

N

N

Y

N

N

N

1/6

Hoof It

N

N

N

N

N

Y

1/6

Soul

N

N

N

N

Y

N

1/6

Hawkeyethenoo

N

N

N

N

N

N

0/6

Looking at the top end we get a workable shortlist of LETHAL FORCE, GORDON LORD BYRON (GLB), HEERAAT, HAMZA, GARSWOOD & SLADE POWER.

If I have read the draw correct then SOUL POWER may have a bit to do from his draw and I’m happy to drop him from the shortlist.

Personally I wouldn’t be convinced HAMZA is a Group 1 beast so I’m also happy to drop him from calculations.

GARSWOOD dropping to 6f doesn’t convince me and draw is also leaning towards being a slight negative for him as well, personally I’m happy to pass him over for today.

That leaves 3 – LETHAL FORCE, GLB & HEERAAT.

I’m happy to take a punt on Gordon Lord Byron. Underfoot conditions will suit, the trip is ideal and he has Group 1 form to his name, he will carry my money.

I’ll possibly/probably also look to have savers on one or both of LETHAL FORCE & HEERAAT. LF is the dominate force in the sprinting division and it was no shame to be put in his place by Moonlight Cloud last time out. Softening ground is a wee concern but if it stays Good to Soft he should be OK. HEERAAT needs to improve but there does look improvement there. If there is a tasty priced winner he could be it.

Busy day ahead and best of luck if you are getting involved.

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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)