Tales From The Rails

Good morning all,

Thanks for all the messages Saturday, finally got my Flat season up and running with a couple of good winners. Let's hope I can kick on from here!

Something different on Thursday – I'll be turning my attention to the Greyhound Derby and putting my selections up for that. I'm sure many of you know the dogs was always my first love, and I'm looking forward to going to the first round heats on Saturday night. It does help when the competition is being staged on your doorstep!

A Newbury tale for you today, plus a selection from Huntingdon (fyi, I have done the card for the Life, all my comments are now live on there).

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Cash In With Vegas

Well after two weeks of hectic racing action from Chester and York, we can take a bit of a breather this week.

Mind you on Thursday, Sandown hosts the best evenings racing of the season and also we see the start of the three-day Goodwood May Festival, which also includes the Goodwood Food Show.

In this week's article. I’m looking back at Newbury’s Saturday card and a couple of horses that caught my eye at York. There's also some stats from Goodwood and Monday's tip.

Sir Michael Lands Another Lockinge

Sir Michael Stoute has trained the winner of the Lockinge Stakes seven times during his illustrious career but you had to go back to 2006 for the last of those wins. However, on Saturday he landed his 8th winner.

Mustashry, twice a winner at Group 2, was having first go in Group 1 company in the UK.  Always in a good position just slipstreaming the leader Ostilio and Laurens. He came alongside Laurens a furlong out and surged clear to win by 2 ½ lengths.  The 6-year-old will now head for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Laurens set for another good season

Laurens who did so well to win four Group-1’s last season, looks to have done well from three to four. For a few strides between the final two furlongs she seemed to be travelling a bit better than the winner but once he went past her, she had no answer to his strong finish and had to settle for second. The winner did have race fitness on his side and the filly will be fitter for this run, she looks set for another good season.

Agent’s set for Queen Anne date

Last year’s Queen Anne Winner Accidental Agent returned to action running a cracker to finish 3rd, beaten 3 lengths by the winner. The 5-year-old did best of those held up and this run should put him spot on for another tilt at the Royal Ascot race. I can easily see him finishing ahead of the winner next month.

Le Brivido looked unlucky

If there was a slightly unlucky runner it was Le Brivido. The 5-year-old was sweating profusely before the start and he was friendless in the pre-race betting drifting out to 8/1.

Dropped into the rear by Ryan Moore which wasn’t really the place to be. He travelled well enough but didn't get a clear run when making his effort two furlongs out. He was finishing his race off better than anything. Eventually finishing 5th, beaten about 4 lengths, but would have grabbed 4th in another stride.

He will get closer to the winner should he go for the Queen Anne and a bit a of ease in the ground probably wouldn’t go amiss .

Charlton’s the London Cup Headman

The London Gold Cup Handicap is a race where the form can be followed during the season. Trainer Roger Charlton had previously had three runners in the race in the past decade and all three had won. This year he saddled the top-weight Headman and the colt duly provided him with a fourth win in the race.

You had to be impressed by the size of Headman before the race. He’s one of the best-looking horses I have seen all season.  The son of Kingman came down the centre of the track staying on strongly all the way to the line and just held off the challenge of the well backed favourite Sinjaari by a short head. 

Both the winner and runner-up are horses on an upward curve and, will win more races. Roger Charlton is minded to being patient with the winner, who has plenty of scope for further improvement and should stay 1m 4f later in the season.  

York Recap

I gave you four horses to follow at York last week.  One of them Rock Eagle, didn’t run but the other three did.

Justanotherbottle – Ran well for a long way but possibly just needed the run. There was plenty of money for him before the race. He's not one to give up on as there’s a nice sprint handicap in the 5-year-old before the season is out. One to take an early price about when he races.

Staxton – Another who ran well, to a point. He probably just found the ground a shade to quick, given his best three RPR’s have come on good or good to soft. There are also races in the 4-year-old when the ground isn’t too quick.

Eeh Bah Gum – I was delighted with his run when 4th of 21 behind stablemate Copper Knight. Unlike stablemate, Staxton he loves quick ground. Drawn out wide, he was also away from the pace down the middle. I mentioned last week that Epsom Dash could be an ideal race for the 4-year-old if the going is on the quick side. He’s not certain to get into that race but the 33/1 available is a cracking price.

York Slow Starters

Looking back at race videos, the start of the race can be more informative than the finish.  At York last week we saw a fair few horses lose their respective races at the start.

Yafta – Dwelt at the start of the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and the 4-year-old was always on the back foot from then onwards but stayed on well to finish third. In the circumstances he did well to get within 3 lengths of the winner Invincible Army. Steadily progressive last season he will remain competitive on quick ground and on a stiffer 6f.

The winner is now the deserved 7/1 favourite for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.  But Yafta is as big as 40/1 with Ladbrokes for the same race. Given Ascot’s 6f will play to his strengths more than York and if he breaks on level terms he won’t be far away.

Tommy Taylor – Running in the same race as Eah Bah Gum. The 5-year-old was well backed before the race but dwelt at the start and he was always playing catch up from then onwards. He did manage to get into contention two furlongs out, but he wasn’t in the best position out on the wing on the far side. He’s a well handicapped horse.

Bless Him – The third horse to miss the break in his case by 3 or 4 lengths. At the finish he was beaten just over 4 lengths into 7th. This was his first run since last August and his first since a gelding operation. He hasn’t won since taking the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot two years ago. But he’s now dropped back to a competitive mark and could go well in the Hunt Cup.

Goodwood Stats

As we have three day’s racing at Goodwood to look forward to later in the week. Here are a few trainer/jockey stats to note.

William Haggas

Race Type: Handicaps

Race Class: Class 2

Best In Three Runs: 1st

6 winners from 18 runners 33% +19 10 placed 56%

Mark Johnston

Race Distance: 1m 6f/1m 6 ½ f

4 winners from 15 runners 27% +42 7 placed 47%

Jim Crowley

Race Distance: 1m 2f / 1m 2 ½ f

11 runners from 30 runners 37% +14.12 14 placed 47%

Frankie Dettori

Race Distance: 6f/6 ½ f

5 winners from 14 runners 36% +36.88 6 placed 43%

Monday Selection:

Last weeks each way selection Gabrial The Tiger did what all good each way bets do and finished 4th. Today's tip runs at Windsor.

Windsor

7:00 – A class 3 handicap over 6f. Victory Angel should be all the better for his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket 15-days ago. He’s on a competitive mark and should get his ground all three career wins have come on good to firm.  

Preference though is for previous C&D winner Vegas Boy. The 4-year-old travelled well and looked like he would catch the leader and eventual winner Louie De Palma at Ascot 10-days ago. He just couldn’t get past and had to settle for a ½ length second at the finish. Handicapper has put him up 2lb for this run, but he remains on a competitive mark especially and will prefer todays sounder surface

Vegas Boy – 7/2

Until next week.

Saturday Preview

Good morning all,

Managed to squeeze a preview into my busy day yesterday, live from the car park at York!

That, plus my selections for today, all on the main piece. Have a good weekend, and try a couple of quid e/w on Norway for Eurovision tonight. You've been told….

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Yorkshire, Yorkshire…

It's been great working at York this week and it comes to and end today. I'm a bit out of form though, so careful as it goes with today's picks is the advice.

Hopefully I'll be able to get a Saturday preview up at some point later on tonight, so keep 'em peeled for that.

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