Good morning all,
We attended the final meeting of the year at Nottingham yesterday and although the weather was changeable, to say the least, the racing was quite interesting. As such, a few for your trackers, probably for next year, are highlighted and I hope you find it useful.
Those that read Betting Insiders are now 2/2 on my Ten To Follow list after The Big Bite sauntered to victory yesterday, and I try to make it 3/3 at Newbury today as another one off the list runs in the novice hurdle at 1.15. It's not the obvious ones either!
12.05 1m ½f Nursery
A few to like here, but one of them was most definitely not the second favourite, Amourously, who looks pretty average and was sweating up badly to boot. Nor was the well supported Freedom And Wheat, who has little in the way of size or scope. Both will be doing well to find an event weak enough for them to poke their respective heads in front.
I wouldn’t have had winner Queen Constantine on looks either, but her last two efforts now signify she’s going the right way, although what she’s beaten here is open to some question. Second home Silkstone looked fit and was quietly fancied to run a good race at Newmarket last time. That didn’t quite work out but this was better, and there’s every chance he will handle Tapeta, so they may keep him on the go.
St Ouen, who has previously done Punt readers a favour at Brighton, again looked well but weakened out of it and, disappointingly, isn’t progressing. If there’s one for next year, albeit at a low level, it might be the giant Whenapoet, who had been showing a bit more of late and, given his size, it’s hardly a surprise he’s not been sharp enough so far. Middle distances next year might be more his thing.
12.35 1m ½f Maiden Stakes
Not many of these to like and in truth, favourite Surfman was the one fit and ready for the day, standing out somewhat in the paddock. He won this in pleasing fashion, picking up nicely late on after still showing signs of greenness, and afterwards Roger Varian appeared, as if from nowhere. Either I had missed him pre-race or he’d been hiding, but his presence might have signified that he likes Surfman, who has a Derby entry, as he’s a rare visitor to Nottingham. Either that or he’d come to check his staff weren’t spending too much on cake (you can often find them in The Cheesecake Shop half a mile from the track, picking up supplies…)
Of the rest, Rhythmic Intent, who wasn’t far behind Surfman on debut, has shown that form to be worthwhile by finishing close enough behind him again. He’s a likeable sort, plenty of length and scope about him and should continue to progress. Funny Man has 3yo written all over him as well and behaved himself better here (withdrawn after playing up at the start last week) , so at least that be construed as a step forward. Runner-up Durston looked well too, and is bred to be decent when getting another quarter of a mile, at least. Again, he gives the form a decent look.
The one that might leave this well behind in time is Baasem, who is rather tall and a little out of proportion at the moment, but a winter of growing will sort that out, you’d hope, and he ran a lot better than he had done on debut here. Indeed, I'd mark this run up a bit as he stuck to the far rail, which didn't look the place to be. One more run and a 3yo handicap next year might be there for the taking, but don’t rule him out taking a novice next time up, as his half-brother Kitaabaat (also trained by Burrows) needed a couple of runs before winning on his third start too.
Entrusting wasn’t really one that caught the eye beforehand but he too has shown more than enough here, staying on nicely under hand riding late on to close in on the leaders. Think this race will work out well.
1.05 1m ½f Maiden Stakes
Division 2 of the maiden and not as much to like. Private Secretary clearly has his quirks, wearing a hood to keep him calm in the preliminaries here, which was removed before going to post. He looked well but had no answers to Space Blues in the latter stages of the race, the winner showing a smart turn of foot. Unusually for a Godolphin inmate, he didn’t knock your eye out in the paddock beforehand but actually looked better going through his paces to the start.
Away from these two they looked moderate, although Smarter could be the one that makes a good 3yo out of these. A bit too green to do himself justice here, although he stayed on nicely late on, he has the scope to do much better next year and is worth following.
On to today and for midweek racing, it's decent fare today.
It's the 1.15 at Newbury we go to for the selection and Baddesley Knight, who is the third on my Ten To Follow this year. Here's what I've written about him in Betting Insiders this month –
“We’ll stick with Chris Gordon for the next in the list as well, with bumper winner Baddesley Knight one that’s likely to make his mark in novice hurdles this year.
Another that’s built for fences in time, he was clueless both in the paddock and the race itself for his debut at Fontwell around this time last year but picked up really well in the last 200 yards as the penny dropped and he was only beaten a neck. He improved again on that when second to one of Nicky Henderson’s in another bumper at Newbury next time (in a race that was run at a crawl, that wouldn’t have suited him) before coming good at the third time of asking at Plumpton, winning easily and clearly looking like he’d benefitted from previous experiences.”
It's a tough enough race he's pitched into first time up this year but if he's fit – which is a concern, he's a big unit and might need a run – he should show his true colours and go close. I'm having a small win bet today.
Good luck with all your bets today,