Good morning all,
Delighted that the jumps season finally got underway this week and I'm sure I'll have some twighopping eyecatchers this time next week, but before then there's the small matter of the Derby and the Oaks tomorrow. And the Eclipse on Sunday, so it's a packed weekend!
Here's the latest three to catch the eye over the past week. I hope they prove of use to you.
Lord Halifax (Charlie Fellowes)
Lord Halifax is going in this weeks Eyecatchers and I don’t think it is for the first time either, as I saw him on his debut at Windsor a year ago when he was one of the better ones in the paddock. He ran on takingly that day, finishing midfield behind Geizy Teizy and eventually came good over 12f at Kempton that winter.
Since then it’s all been a bit disappointing, in truth – two very short-priced defeats at Lingfield and Chelmsford, although the Chelmsford effort was too bad to be true, with his jockey Kieran Shoemark, reporting he hung right-handed all the way.
But there was a bit more promise to his Wolverhampton comeback run in early June, staying on nicely late to finish fifth to Australis and Caravan Of Hope over 14f.
Needless to say, that form looks all the better after the pair finished 1-2 in the Northumberland Plate last week. I don’t think Lord Halifax is any star, but neither do I think we’ve seen the best of him yet either, and he is capable of winning a race or two before the handicapper catches up with him. He’s entered up for races on both Sunday and Monday, so we’ll see where he goes.
Shamaroon (Sir Michael Stoute)
Ran at Windsor, 28th June, finished fourth in the 1m Maiden
This was the debut for Shamaroon, who has plenty of speed in his pedigree on the dam’s side (she was a half-sister to the Group 1 winner Silca’s Sister, and 6f Group 2 winner Golden Silca) but started out over a mile here. Green as grass both beforehand and in the race, he nevertheless shaped very nicely here, not given a hard time (hands and heels other than one corrective slap as he went to his left a bit late) after making up good ground mid-race.
It might be that shorter suits him in time, but this was still a good debut, finishing behind all the right horses, and he’ll win a maiden on this no bother.
Lockdown Dream (Mick Appleby)
I’d seen Lockdown Dream on the TV pictures for his Leicester debut where he looked a big, almost ignorant thing and I expected him to finish a well-beaten last, but he showed a little bit of promise and he built on that at Windsor on Monday afternoon.
He was pretty much flat out for much of this contest, with quicker horses going past him as they turn for home but to his credit, he stayed on well again under a hands-and-heels ride from Theodore Ladd to take a distant fourth, the classier and speedier types in front of him.
Sadly, with finishing seventh rather than sixth on debut, he’ll need another run to be handicapped under the new rules, but you can almost guarantee a step up in trip is going to see him in a better light. After all, the dam is a half-sister to a chase winner, and given his size, 10f looks a minimum at this stage.
Today's selection – One One Seven 7.30 Wolverhampton
If you want the reasonings I've written the race up for the Life here – https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/racecards/2020-07-03/wolverhampton/racecard/576865/free-tips-daily-on-attheracescom-handicap
Good luck with all your bets today,