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Ben’s a jockey to follow at Carlisle..

Good morning all,

A shorter article than normal this week as my Mother-in-Law died late last week. However, I will have quick look back at Saturday’s St Leger. I also have one for the tracker from Doncaster and a Monday selection for you.

Capri courageous in Leger win

This year’s final classic of the season the St Leger looked a decent race on paper and so it proved, with the right horses fighting out the finish.

Irish Derby winner Capri came on top to give Aiden O’Brien another win in the race. The colt was very much suited by the test of stamina that this year’s renewal provided and dug in to win and hold off Crystal Ocean and Stradivarius. The former looked to be going best of all between the final two furlongs but just wasn’t as strong as the winner in the closing stages of the race on good-to-soft going. The step back to 1m 4f will suit the colt whose in the right hands to make a top class four-year-old.

Stradivarius who had won the 2m Goodwood Cup on his previous start ran another excellent race but couldn’t match the first two for class. He should make up into a good Cup horse next year and will also be suited by a quicker surface than he faced here.

The only disappointment of the race was Defoe who was weak in the market before the race, he put in a lifeless performance and was a beaten horse two furlongs from home. This wasn’t his true running and he can also develop into a top class four year old when he gets some ease in the ground. The winner will presumably head for the Arc after this performance for which he will have a decent each-way chance although St Léger winners do have a poor win record in the race.

One For The Tracker:

Hoofalong trained by Michael Easterby had caught the eye when running on over 5f at York on his previous start. He caught the eye once again at Doncaster over 6f. The rain that fell before the festival didn’t help the 7-year-old who is 0 wins from 12 runs 2 placed when soft appears in the going description, all four of his turf wins have come on good or quicker going. He is also 3 wins from 12 runs 6 places on all weather. Stable has been struggling for winners so this run wasn’t too bad in the circumstances. The gelding has dropped down to his last winning mark and can get another win when he gets his favoured underfoot conditions and the trainer is back among the winners.

Jockey Ben Curtis at Carlisle

If there is a better jockey around Carlisle than Ben Curtis then I have yet to see them. His record at the course is an excellent 26 winners from 101 rides 26% +134.14 A/E 1.73 41 places 41%.

He has booked rides at the course today, three for Johnny Murtagh, one for Brian Ellison and one for David Barron. It may well pay to keep an eye on his three rides for Johnny Murtagh but it’s his ride for David Barron that interests me most. The jockey is 4 wins from 10 rides 40% +34.3 A/E 2.09 8 placed 80% when riding for the trainer at Carlisle. The pair team up with Red Star Dancer in the 2:50.

Monday Selection:

Last weeks selection was a non-runner so let’s hope we can get a run this week.

2:50 – Red Star Dancer has his first start for David Barron since moving from Linda Perratt’s stable. Not shown much in six starts for his previous trainer and heavy ground would be a complete unknown for the gelding but the trainer has his horse going well 2 winners from 7 runners 3 placed in the last 7 days and of course, Ben Curtis takes the ride. The selection looks worthy of some each way support despite the unappealing form figures.

Red Star Dancer – 10/1 or bigger

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Sceptre Stakes Profile

We have a bonus mail for you today with a race profile from Nick Hardman of the Betting School Insiders Club.

Nick is renowned for his race profiling methods and the hundreds of points profit he makes each year using them.

If you want to join Betting School Insiders and get all of Nick's selections you can do that here

The race we are looking at is the Sceptre Stakes (Doncaster 1:50)

I have pasted the full write up on the website but here is the profile.  

  • Rated 100+ Top six in the betting
  • Top 5 finish last time out
  • Trained by Roger Varian, Luca Cumani, Sir Michael Stoute or Mick Channon
  • Aged 3yo
  • Watch out for those that last ran in a handicap
  • Previous course form (win or place) should be noted

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A tale of two horses…

Good morning all,

A busy and eventful weekend just gone, two days of Irish Champion’s Weekend, Arc Trials Day at Chantilly, an impressive win by Harry Angel in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and there’s more to come with the Doncaster St Léger Festival starting on Wednesday culminating in the final classic of the season on Town Moor.

Saturday saw two contrasting performances by three-year-old colts. Harry Angel could hardly have been more impressive in taking Haydock’s big race on Saturday. The turn of foot he showed in heavy ground was exceptional. Granted the well fancied Brando didn’t run his race but Harry Angel is now rightly the Champion Sprinter in Europe after this win. The faith shown in the horse by Clive Cox as a two-year-old has been well rewarded this year.

Over in at Leopardstown the feature race on a stellar card was the Irish Champions Stakes. A race in which English and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Churchill attempted to win his first Group 1, at 1m 2f. On paper the race didn’t look the strongest of renewals and Churchill was sent off the 8/11 favourite. Sadly for his backers, he put up a rather lack luster performance to finish 7th of 10. His season looks to have ended. It will be interesting to see if he stays in training as a four-year-old but he doesn’t look the type to improve for an extra season on the track.

Over at Chantilly on Sunday Cracksman did what was needed to win the Prix Niel but we are still no nearer to finding out whether connections will roll the dice and go for next months Arc with the colt. Vazirabad took the 1m 7f, Prix Gladiateur in fairly comfortable fashion and looks like one of the leading fancies for the Melbourne Cup. The performance that caught my eye on Arc Trials Day came from the German Raider Dschingis Secret who stayed on too strongly for his rivals to take the Group 2 Prix Foy. The four-year-old is clearly still improving and will now head for the Arc. He would have to find more improvement to beat Enable in that race but he should be a lively each way contender if the ground was to be on the soft side.

One For The Tracker:

For those of you have been following the notebook horses. You will have been pleased with wins by Hyperfocus at 11/2 on Friday and Tommy Taylor at 14/1 yesterday. Last week’s tracker horse Roll on Rory also ran second at York on Sunday.

This week’s horse for your trackers is the Jamie Osborne trained Raising Sand. The five-year-old looked an improved horse when winning at Ascot over a mile on his previous start. He ran just as well again back at Ascot this time over a 1f shorter. He only finished 4th but he did best of those held up in the 7f, Class 2 handicap on Saturday’s card. His winning chance probably wasn’t helped by a tardy start and in the circumstances did well to get within 1 ¾ length of the winner at the finish.

Stat Corner

A short one this week and two trainers whose runners could be worth noting, at this week’s St Léger Festival at Doncaster. In the past five years trainer Hugo Palmer and John Gosden have got the following records in handicaps at the meeting:

Hugo Palmer – 3 winners from 7 runners 43% +20.5 A/E 2.11 3 placed 43%
John Gosden – 3 winners from 7 runners 43% +8 A/E 1.71 4 placed 57%

Monday Selection:

Hope Solo made it another winner for the Monday selection when winning at Ripon following in the hoof prints of Hee Haw who had won at the track the previous week.

Not the easiest of days to find solid betting opportunities but I am off to Brighton for today’s selection.


4:25 – Funky Footsteps – The selection is trained by Eve Johnston Houghton who has had 14 winners from 38 runners 37% +29.42 A/E 1.8 23 placed 61% with her three-year-old+ runners at Brighton in handicap races since 2014. The filly hasn’t won since her racecourse debut last year on soft ground and is on an eight race losing run but she has been there or there about’s on her last four runs and shouldn’t be far away again.

Funky Footsteps – 5/1

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Solo winner for Easterby at Ripon…

Good morning all,

There was a distinct chill in the air yesterday morning and you can tell that we have moved into the meteorological autumn. A bit like the start of spring the onset autumn is a time of change. So in the spirit of change, I am making some slight tweaks to the format of the Monday column. My look back at the highlights of the previous weekend’s racing will continue, although I will be focusing in on one (or if space permits, two races). The main differences will be noticed in Stats Corner and the Monday selection but more of that next week.

A quiet week and not much to look back on in regard to Saturday’s action, but there is plenty of big racing in the coming weeks to look forward to. Next weekend we have Irish Champion’s Weekend, the following week we have Doncaster’s St Léger Festival, followed by Ayr’s Western Meeting and concluding with the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket. In the circumstances then a relatively quiet Saturday is a welcome relief.

The most interesting race on Saturday was the Group 3 Solario Stakes, for the two-year-olds at Sandown. Some very good horses have won the race since its inception, in recent years the most notable have been Raven’s Pass and Kingman.

Whilst I doubt this year’s winner Masar will emulate that pair he looks a very good colt in the making. After the race his trainer Charlie Appleby said “We're planning around his three-year-old career so he'll probably only have one more run this season, maybe in something like the Royal Lodge. The further he goes the better he'll get as well”. The way he finished off his race he will clearly stay further and on pedigree, looks a 1m 2f+ colt.

Irish raider Romanised ran up to his best in second with recent Redcar winner the improving Arbalet finishing 3rd for Hugo Palmer. Purser was well fancied to follow up his recent Newbury maiden success but wasn’t able to follow in the hoof prints of Raven’s Pass and Kingman and could only finish 4th. He ran a bit of a strange race. He didn’t get a run between the final two furlongs but even when the gap opened he didn’t find as much as might have been expected. He wasn’t given a hard race by Frankie Dettori when he realised his chance had gone in the final stages so can be rated a bit better than his final position suggests. The David Menuisier trained Vintager was prominent in the pre race market but ran well enough in 5th to think connections have a decent colt for the future.

One For The Tracker:

Roll on Rory, won four times last season and steadily went up the weights. This season has been much tougher but there have been signs on his last couple of starts that he is returning to form and can win shortly. He was nicely backed at Beverley on Saturday and ran his best race of the year when finishing 3rd. He will probably be nudged up a bit for this performance but the four-year-old is racing off an 8lb lower mark than for his last win back in September 2016 and can win a race in the coming weeks. All five of his career wins have come when racing 16 to 30 days since his last start.

Stat Corner:

September Trainers:

As it’s a new month I thought I would look at two trainers who have the winning habit in September; Saeed Bin Suroor and David Menuisier.

Since 2014 Saeed Bin Suroor has had 50 winners from 163 runners 31% +51.6 A/E 1.25 85 placed 52% in the month. Those figures are respectable without any further ‘slicing and dicing’ but if you add a race class filter and look at his runners in Class 3 & 4 races he has had 26 winners from 61 runners 43% +58.25 A/E 1.65 37 placed 61%. Let’s hope for more of the same this year from the Newmarket handler.

Another trainer whose runners I will be noting this month is David Menuisier. Relatively new to the training ranks compared to the first trainer. Last September he had 5 winners from 14 runners 36% +28.25 9 placed 64% and since he started training he has had 7 winners from 27 runners 26% +25.25 A/E 1.71 13 placed 48%, including 1 winner from 3 runners 2 placed so far this September.

Monday Selections:

A welcome winner for the Monday selection, as the Paul Midgley trained Hee Haw landed some nice bets when winning at Ripon last Monday and it’s back to Ripon for one of today’s selections.


4:10 – Hope Solo, hasn’t beaten a rival home in her last two starts but the filly showed at Pontefract back in July that she had trained on when 4th beaten less than 3 lengths by Avon Breeze in a Class 3 handicap. The handicapper has eased her mark by 8lb since and the three-year-old drops back into class 4 company here. She would probably appreciate more ease in the ground so the forecast rain for the area would be welcome but she does get the first time cheekpieces and the booking of jockey Danny Tudhope takes the eye (0 wins from 10 runs 5 placed with trainer Tim Easterby), as he had 8 winners from 35 rides 23% A/E 1.33 15 placed 43%, in handicaps over 6f at the course in the past 5 years.


5:20 – Kodicat, the filly can hopefully continue the good form of the Kevin Ryan yard. She ran her best race since winning a handicap at Catterick back in April, when 3rd at Thirsk 38 days ago, travelling well she looked the most likely winner when hitting the front inside the final furlong when worn down just before the line. Maybe the three-year-old hit the front too soon but she does look an ideal ride for Jamie Spencer who will look to produce her as close to the line as possible.

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable week's punting.

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