The Charmer Goes Again

Good morning all,

After working in the betting rings for the last few weeks and not actually getting to see much action, it was good to get back to paddock watching at Doncaster yesterday and there's a couple of races reviewed on the main email. There's going to be quite a few reviews this week as it's Lingfield today, quite possibly Hereford tomorrow, Leicester on Thursday and Huntingdon on Friday. Then back in the ring at Warwick Saturday. No rest for the wicked!

We're off to Lingfield today – I say we, that's me and the racing wife, Becky (every racing man should have one) to see how Coole Charmer gets on in his second handicap. My thoughts on that, plus those Doncaster races (with a couple for your trackers) on the main piece.

Coole Charmer goes for us, the Heart Syndicate, in the 3.00 at Lingfield and after his Bangor effort, we've got to be hopeful of a good run again. That form, second to the improving Twenty Eight Guns, got another boost when his Ffos Las conqueror, John's Luck, went in again at Plumpton so all the form lines look solid. We still look fairly treated despite a three pound rise for that second and the heavy ground shouldn't be a problem.

However, in much the same way as we bumped into an improver at Bangor, it might be the same again here as Fergal O'Brien's Petite Power is chucked in, if you believe his Point form. It would seem the move to the yard (from Ali Stronge) and the application of a tongue tie was enough to spark that improvement, and off the same mark here, takes all the beating if he can translate that hurdles win to fences.

I think I'd rather have a little bet on a “without the favourite” market, as we should go close if he runs his race. I'd be happy to come back safe and pick up some prizemoney right now! Let's hope the long journey is worth it….

Here's my Doncaster reviews from yesterday.

1.00 2m5f Maiden Hurdle

A mixed bag in the paddock. The positives were Hubertas, who has some scope and will improve for this, Wind Place and Sho, who has the look of a hurdler and seems to be learning, albeit slowly, Lough Derg Farmer, who still looked a bit green beforehand and still has plenty of growing to do. Best of all was Duncomplaining, a smashing chasing sort that dwarfed most of these. He simply didn’t have the speed to go with the main protagonists in the straight but travelled well to a point and stuck on again in the closing stages. A bit further, and preferably a fence, will see him in a better light. Definitely one for trackers.

Zipple Back looked plenty fit enough, if a little on his toes but again, as it was at Taunton, his jockey seemed reluctant to go for everything until very late. He’s looking a little fragile now and I wouldn’t want to be lumping on him at short prices.

I wasn’t mad keen on Tree Of Liberty either. He’s not the biggest and is short-coupled to boot, and is yet to get his head in front despite going off quite short for three of his five runs to date. Another to be a bit wary of at present.

Don’t completely give up on useful Flat performer Wind Place and Sho just yet. It’s possible the rain that had got in was just enough to scupper him, as he’s a hard pulling sort anyway. A big-field 3m handicap on good ground may well see him to better effect.

Winner Lough Derg Farmer always looked like getting there from two out, and although still green, did it well enough once straightened out. I would just sound a note of caution about the form, despite the front three in the market filling the places, but it’s hard to crab him on only his second Rules start. Further will clearly suit.


1.30 2m3f Novice Chase

All six had positives about them in the paddock, even rank outsider Lofgren, who looked well if a little outclassed.

Hammersley Lake looks the part, but was pulling a bit (had two handlers) and was a bit keen. Cyrus Moriviere looked really well in his coat and was very fit. Ma Du Fou was just about the pick, looking really fit and well (two handlers) and connections had come up to see him run. You get the feeling a big one was expected. Winner Massagot continues to impress every time I see him, he still seems to be growing and has become a bit leggy now. Querry Horse too looked very fit in a race where paddock negatives were hard to find.

Cyrus Moriviere looked to have this in the bag before his tack problems two from home saw David Bass unshipped. He came back in with the saddle at right angles so it was hardly surprising he got rid of his jockey so unceremoniously. The jumping issues that had blighted his two starts to date had looked to be well behind him, as he jumped quickly and accurately at his fences, and he did not deserve this. Compensation surely awaits.

Winner Querry Horse looked to be going nowhere four from home but his stamina kicked in once Cyrus had departed, and a poor jump from runner up Winner Massagot at the last was all the invitation he needed. He didn’t do a fat lot once in front and is probably value for a bit more than the winning margin.

Winner Massagot jumped better here, in the main, but when he needed a good one at the last to keep him in it, was very untidy, costing him ground and impetus. Without that, he might have gone close, and he’s slowly getting the hang of things.

The warning signs were out fairly early in the contest for Hammersley Lake, who had to be niggled out of a few fences and although near enough turning in, didn’t find much when asked. Bottom line – he’s 2-20 all contests and might just be hard to place.

Ma Du Fou’s jumping was never great and he looked like falling out the back at one point. But as the leaders began to tire, he started to rope them back in and wasn’t beaten far in the finish. There’s a suspicion he’s got closer than he probably should have done and he’s not really progressing as he should be.


Today's selection is Naranja in the 1.30 at Lingfield. I've been really taken with the way this mare has progressed and today's heavy going will suit her well. Her third to My Khaleesi at Cheltenham is working out really well, and there was little wrong with her Carlisle effort next time either. With a few of Warren Greatrex's not performing to their best, I'd be keen to take on The Nipper after her Wetherby effort where she looked far from a natural at hurdling. In fact, I'm considering a small reverse forecast with Phoeniciana as well, as she's a mare that has had a couple of favourable mentions in my pieces and is getting the hang of things as she learns to settle and take in the pre-race preliminaries better too.

Good luck with all your bets today,



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