Good morning all,
Latest three Eyecatchers are on the main piece today, plus a couple of interesting ones running later on worth consideration.
Mr Shady (ran Chepstow, 17th July, 1m2f Handicap)
Stan Moore’s 3yo has only won the one race from 14 starts, but to redress the balance a bit, he was pretty consistent for much of last year and based on this run at Chepstow earlier in the month, looks sure to be doubling his tally before much longer.
Carrying top weight for this 0-68 handicap (although technically not, as the winner was racing off 69 once his penalty was added on) he was held up for the first half of the contest before starting to make a bit of ground turning for home. However, he faced a wall of horses three furlongs out and only had the one behind him, so despite the fact he was still very much on the bridle and travelling well, he had a lot to do. Switched towards the rail as one or two moved off towards the middle, he then found himself getting hampered once more before finally getting out in the final half-furlong and from that point he ran on well to grab third in the final strides.
The winner of that race, Rosa Gold, looks progressive and the second, Swooping Eagle, is unexposed and from a big yard, so there’s no reason to think the form is suspect. 10f on quick ground looks ideal.
Chillon Castle (ran Beverley, 17th July, 5f handicap)
No wins and no places from nine starts to date means that Michael Herrington’s 4yo is still relatively well hidden from most people, but he’s caught the eye a couple of times now and there could be a modest sprint handicap or two to be picked up with him soon.
He’d caught my eye a bit when finishing midfield at Chelmsford back in June, but it’s his last two starts since being equipped with cheekpieces that are the ones to watch.
Firstly in a moderate classified at Thirsk, when he did best of those held up out the back early when coming with a good late rattle to snatch fourth, and then even more so when getting no run at Beverley when he would have surely gone close with anything like a clear run.
Taken back early, he travels well into the race but it’s clear he’s going to need some luck as they turn for home as he’s right up against the rail with horses in front of him. At the 2f pole, no sooner does a gap appear that he tries to go through than it shuts again, as he’s swamped by horses moving to their right. Pulled out into daylight in the final furlong, he then comes home strongly for fourth.
He’s always going to be one of these tricky types that will be hard to catch right, and some luck is going to be needed, but there could be a handicap to be won with him soon, and hopefully at a good price. A stiff five seems to suit, and he might even get an easy 6f.
Final Orders (ran Gowran Park, 20th July, 2m Novice Hurdle)
Rare, if ever, I throw an Irish one into the mix but with me staying at home more at present, I’ve had time to watch the Irish racing a lot more than I normally would, and Garvan Donnelly’s Final Orders has caught the eye twice now.
The first time was at Bellewstown earlier in the month when he was never put in the race, but ran on late to finish a respectfully distant fourth, the big three in the betting all in front of him. His run at Gowran Park earlier this week was arguably just as interesting, if not more. Ridden slightly more forward on this occasion, he’s still just about in touch as they start the climb back towards home half a mile out but can’t go with the leaders and drops off them. However, rather than fall out the back of the field, as seems likely, he actually starts to stay on again under the minimum of pressure, and seems to pass the winning post with a bit of running left in him.
One more run and he’ll get a mark, so get him in trackers with that in mind.
On to today. Just a couple at big prices worth a small mention. The first goes in the 5.05 at Newton Abbot, and it's Sellingallthetime. A record of 4 wins in 75 starts is a bit offputting, but he ran well on the Flat earlier in the week and he's worth a mention because of the form of the Mark Usher yard, which has taken something of a sharp upturn in the past week. After a spell in the doldrums, of his last 10 horses to run nine of them have run well, including one at 300-1 that went close to hitting the frame at Sandown last night! Regardless of how Sellingallthetime does here, it is a yard worth keeping an eye on at present.
The other is Graceful Lady, who goes in the Class 5 2m handicap at Beverley that closes the card at 4.45. She's a hard one to catch right, but she is more than capable now dropped in grade of a better showing here. It's not a year since she was winning a Class 3 handicap at Newmarket from just 1lb higher, and it wasn't a write off at York last time, she wasn't beaten that far at the death despite finishing last, and she always needs a run or two to get her fit. With Stefano Cherchi taking another 5lb off and this likely to be run to suit (she doesn't mind a slowly run race, which this could be), I'll chance her at 20-1.
Good luck with all your bets today,