Good morning all,
The second installment of my Eyecatchers is now ready for you to peruse, I hope you find it of some use.
Racing today isn't great, I'm afraid, but I do have a selection at Chepstow at the end of the piece that ought to be favourite, and isn't.
I'll do a round up of the Eyecatchers tomorrow and which ones we should be looking out for in the next few days.
Bangor-On-Dee, Friday 29th July
1.40 Mares Maiden Hurdle (2m3f)
Whilst the form of this is nothing to write home about, there were one or two interesting ones going into the race. Toboggan’s Gift, given a mention as a likely improver at Cartmel (finished well to take second) sadly got no further than the 5th (jumped flight fine, pitched on landing) but she’s a good size for hurdling and will remain interesting at a low level.
Classi Massini has got chaser written all over her and performed with great credit here. Related to the yard’s useful hurdler, Curious Carlos, this step up in trip seemed to suit her and there should be a run-of-the-mill Novice to be won with her.
The most interesting run came from Where’s Cherry, an inmate of the Fergal O’Brien yard. Not out of place in the paddock by any means, she was a little keen in the race but was ridden right out to the line by Paddy Brennan despite getting outpaced in the final mile and her chance disappearing. Paddy had a bit of a job to pull her up, as she finished full of running, and she should strip much fitter for this. She’s a bit of a slow burner, but should be capable of better when getting a trip.
3.20 Novice Hurdle (2m)
Both the winner and second were rated high-80’s on the Flat and the form looks solid enough.
Winner Winterlude had finished fourth in a race at Uttoxeter that is working out okay, and showed the benefit of that with a cosy win here. Further will suit in time, and he should win again.
It should be remembered he was getting a stone from the second, One More Go, and Dr Newland’s horse comes out of this with great credit. Just done for a turn of foot, and a return to further is surely on the cards. He got a little warm beforehand but looked well, and should continue to pay his way.
Stamp Your Feet still looked a little green in the paddock but improved on his well-beaten second to Avispa previously. He too is going the right way and it’s still early days for this 4-y-o.
Back in the field, dual Point winner Twister Mix shaped with some promise (and blew very hard afterwards) and once seeing a fence, should do better. The yard have done well with a similar type in Schindler’s Prince, enjoying a renaissance at the age of 11, and Twister Mix, only 5, surely has his best days ahead of him.
Doncaster, July 30th
2.20 2-y-o Maiden Auction Stakes (7f)
Paddock told a bit here – Armagnac was very coltish and got warm, Masterofdiscovery is very small and needs to grow, Charlie Rascal was also on his toes and coltish. Trading Punches was too green, but does have some scope, and will do better in the Autumn. Chalieb and Prince of Clappers were both very backward.
The one to take from the race was the third, Carducci, who looked really well beforehand. Tall and rangy, she travelled well in the race and looked to have learnt plenty from her Newmarket debut. Tom Queally rather allowed the front two to get first run but she stayed on in pleasing fashion, and was picking the leaders back up in the last 75 yards. She’s entered up in a similar contest on Thursday at Salisbury and if taking her chance, would be a leading contender.
The big disappointment was Richard Fahey’s Right Action, just about the paddock pick but will need to settle better than this if he’s to progress.
4.05 – 3-y-o Handicap (1m4f)
Only a small field but not a bad bunch. Michael’s Mount is a lovely walker and looked very well here, just about being the pick of the paddock. A stronger pace in the race itself would have suited, and in first-time cheekpieces, this was a decent effort. There’s races to be won with him, maybe when stepped up slightly in trip.
Daphne was the other in first-time cheekpieces and although she carries her head a bit high, she did little wrong in the race itself. Allowed to set her own fractions, she fought on well enough once tackled. Connections now appear to have found the key to her, and she may do better yet.
Both the above pair are in at Sailsbury on Thursday and will warrant a second look.
Winner Cape Cova was a little warm and on toes (again, a hot day, so that can be forgiven) but looked very fit. Clearly progressive and as he keeps winning by small margins, isn’t getting killed by the handicapper, can probably win again.
He is in at Newbury on Friday in a better class race.
4.40 Conditions Staked (6f)
It’s worth giving Burnt Sugar a mention. Although only a 9-4 chance to win this, the small field and lack of pace was always going to be against him and he was duly well beaten. He ran again at Ascot on Saturday where he was dropped back to 5f and again, in a race with little pace (only the last-minute call up of Stepper Point ensured any pace at all) finished well beaten.
Many will think he’s gone for the season but if he turns up in a big-field handicap at 6f, which is much more his thing, he’d be of interest, and may well be overpriced on the back of two seemingly poor efforts.
Pontefract, Wednesday 3rd August
2.40 2-y-o Maiden (6f)
All kinds of everything in the paddock but not too much to like. Pudding Chare looked well for his debut, is well put together for his size and this debut effort was a good one. A little slow away and green for much of the race, he ran on well once hitting the rising ground to finish a solid third. He will have learnt plenty from this and a run-of-the-mill Northern Maiden should be there for the taking. Breeding suggests he’ll get a mile in time.
Winner Perfect Madge was one of three to look well in the paddock and duly obliged at the fifth time of asking, taking a big step down in grade to do so. Her trainer thinks she’ll be better for slower ground too, so all in all this was a good effort, although she was drawn well.
Unlike Glorious Artist in stall 10, who was the other to look well. Still a bit green in the paddock, he had to race wide throughout the contest and as such, this wasn’t a bad effort. He gets a mark now and qualifies for nurseries, where he will be worth a second look.
Heaven’s Rock has an engine at the back but the front end is out of proportion – his head and neck don’t mirror the strength of the rear. Father Mackenzie looked a bit smaller than a few of these and lost quite a few places close home after leading at the furlong pole. A return to a flatter track may help, but this was his sixth effort and it’s debatable whether he’s going forward.
Runner up Mont Royal looked rather unfit pre-race, and very green, and showed that greenness in the closing stages. He took an age to get himself together but once the penny dropped, was rattling home, and would surely have won in another two strides. Given all that, this was a remarkable effort, and he may well turn out to be the best of these in time.
Today, I'm looking at the 3.15 at Chepstow for a bet, and I'd have Diamonds Are Dancing as favoutite over Castle Talbot given the former's liking for the track and poor strike rate of the latter. Both are stepping down in grade, despite being in form, but John O'Shea's 6-y-o is in the form of his life, and I'd expect him to win again.
Good luck with all your bets today,