Lions All the Way On Saturday!
What a Summer this is turning out to be? England have made the semi-finals of the World Cup and we have gone more than four days without any rain. All in all, the Summer of 2018 could well turn out to be a memorable one!
I did expect England to reach the quarter- finals but other results have meant, that the chance of England getting to the final is now a realistic one. England’s performances over the last weeks has been nothing short of outstanding.
In my World Cup preview. I did say that England would hammer a pedestrian Panama and “have a look of Germany at the 2010 World Cup. This tournament will be a great learning curve and something to build on, with 2022 in mind”. Well at least I got two things right in what turned out be an otherwise lamentable effort on the tipping front.
In the case of England, it could of course all end on Wednesday evening if we lose to Croatia but the dry weather looks set to be with us for another week. This is good news for this weeks Moet & Chandon July Festival at Newmarket which looks set to go ahead on quick ground.
The Lion Roars In The Eclipse
Anyway, moving away from the football and weather and back to the racing. I was at a wedding on Saturday so didn’t get a chance to see the Coral Eclipse until watching a replay. The race had lost some of it’s appeal with the late defection of Derby winner Masar on Friday due to a training setback but once again the race provided the racegoers who turned up with a thriller of a finish.
Roaring Lion who was third in the Derby was expected to be better suited by a return to 1m 2f and so it proved. Given a canny ride by Osin Murphy, albeit he was a little too liberal with the whip for my liking, the John Gosden trained colt just got the better of Saxon Warrior in the final 100yds. The drop back in trip also suited the runner-up, who looked like he had got first run on the eventual winner but was worn down in the end to be beaten by a neck.
Roaring Lion had to survive a steward’s enquiry as he did slightly nudge the runner-up when hanging slightly to his right close to the finish. However, the stewards made the right decision as the best horse won the race.
The winner will now head to the Juddmonte International at York and he could face Saxon Warrior again although the latter is more likely to end his season back over a mile where there are good races to be won.
My own foray into the ante post betting for the race failed as Happily, the stablemate of the runner-up could only finish 5th. Not a bad run in truth from the 3-year-old who found the ground just a bit to lively. There will be other opportunities to get the money back as there are races in her when the going eases in the autumn.
I can’t finish this weeks look back at the week of racing without mentioning the death of former top trainer John Dunlop. For those of us of a certain age John Dunlop will always be remembered as one of the great modern horse racing trainers and a real gentleman to boot.
RIP John Dunlop!
Stats For The Week:
Ralph Beckett – Newmarket July Course
As I mentioned earlier, it’s Newmarket’s three-day July Festival this week and here’s a trainer stat that might be worth keeping onside.
Trainer Ralph Beckett has a good record with his handicap runners on the Newmarket July course and in particular those going off at 8/1 and under in the betting. Since 2014 he’s had 14 winners from 38 runners 37% +26.62 A/E 1.62 20 placed 53%.
John Smith's Cup – York
On Saturday we have the latest running of the valuable 1m 2 ½ f John Smith’s Cup at York. It may pay to note any runners trained by Sir Michael Stoute. In the past ten years the trainer’s record in the race is 1 winner from 5 runners 20% +4 4 placed 80% (+8.75).
The trainer’s record in handicaps at the distance of the race is an impressive 6 winners from 12 runners 50% +29.75 A/E 2.68 7 placed 58% (+33.81) in the past 5-years.
He has two entered in this year’s renewal in Friday’s Sandown winner Melting Dew and recent Royal Ascot Group 3 third Zaaki, who look on workable mark off 103 and is best priced 12/1 for the race with Coral and Ladbrokes (just 8/1 with William Hill)
South Seas, trained by Andrew Balding, is the weeks horse for the tracker. The 4-year-old a Group 3 winner as a juvenile but only raced twice as a 3-year-old. He had shown on his two previous starts this season that he retained the ability to win a race. On Saturday at Sandown once again he shaped with promise. On ground that would have plenty quick enough he found things happening a bit too quickly here but was staying on steadily inside the final furlong to finish 6th at the line.
He could be worth a go over slightly further than a mile but for me he just needs more ease in the ground. On going, described as soft or good to soft the gelding is 3 wins from 5 runs 4 placed on good or quicker he is 0 wins from 5 runs 0 placed. He can win again when the ground eases.
Monday Racing & Selection
At last a winner for the Monday Selection as the Ralph Beckett trained Cross My Mind won at Windsor at odds of 2/1.
There are now six meetings in Britain and Ireland today, with an extra all-weather fixture at Wolverhampton. The flat turf meetings at Ayr, Ripon, Windsor and Roscommon have some smallish fields due to the continuing fast ground. At least the jumps fixture at Worcester has attracted some decent sized fields and the demand for an extra fixture on the all-weather isn’t surprising in the circumstances.
7:40 – Fanfair, was a shade unlucky not to win when beaten just a head at Lingfield two starts back. The filly didn’t fire last time over a furlong further at Newbury finishing 6th of 7. The drop back to 1m 2f will be more in her favour and she was placed over C&D last August on quick ground. It can often pay to overlook a poor run by horses at this sort of level and I am hoping that will be the case here.
Monday Selection: Fanfair
All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable weeks punting.
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