More frustration on Sunday, as both selections ran really good races but neither managed to win. The first of our selections was Ingleby Star and although he was virtually untouched in the market, he was surely trying and ran a cracking race returned to his favourite track. He finished a solid 4th in the end, losing out on a place by a nose and a top 3 finish was the least he deserved to be fair. I thought that he was going to play a hand in the closing stages when Paul Pickard pulled him off the rails but he proved to be one-paced in the end unfortunately. I have no complaints anyway; he ran a cracker and remains of interest.
Rothesay Chancer was the one that got away, because he should have won his race and probably would have if he hadn't run the guts of 2-furlongs before the race officially started. That came about due to our selections stablemate (Rasaman) bursting through the stalls and forcing the race to be restarted. The eventual winner was restrained straight away but our selection took quite a while longer to stop and it certainly didn't help. When the race got going, we got a fine run for our money with RC running a cracker to finish 2nd but I still think that he'd have won if it wasn't for the goings-on at the beginning. Wonderful!
-4.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 3-8-5-2-2-5-3-4-4-2 (0 winners & 5 places; sickening).
The judgement is quite fine at the moment, the luck on the other hand just isn't there. It makes it more frustrating that I've been trying even harder of late, by putting in many more hours into my work but I just can't get one to put its head in front for us. Oh well, I've had significantly worse runs in which everything was going wrong so I suppose that there's no point in crying about it. A good spell will surely hit before too long and we'll be laughing then. Just need to find one to consent to win and all will be right with the world.
Today, I'm hoping for a David Barron special, as I'm siding with a pair of his. The first could do anything and is priced accordingly but the second is one that should really run a big race and hopefully it'll be enough to see him win. It looks a tough day to be betting on but I think there's plenty to like about the pair I've found and they look like worthwhile bets to my eye. Have a good one folks and here's hoping.
The chances of landing on the winner of this race is slim but Mitchum is sure to have more to offer in the sprinting division as a 3-year-old and looks an interesting contender here if the masterful David Barron has him reasonably well tuned up. It's impossible to know whether he will be, but the market should be a decent indicator and hopefully it will be speaking in our favour. The main reason for my interest in this speedy colt is that he's now running at a turning track with a stiff finish and this is something that I expect him to relish based on what he has shown to date on straight tracks. The decent ground will also help.
Mitchum hasn't been seen since finishing a 5-length 5th of 9 over this 6f trip at Ayr in September. On that occasion, he didn't look too comfortable on the good-to-soft ground and failed to see out his race as well as you'd hope. Taking a tug through the early stages didn't help either and overall, it was a very good run for a long time considering that there was plenty going against him. The fact that connections punted him from 10's into 6/1 before the off was also a solid indicator, because he was racing off 84 and Barron must have thought that it was workable. The handicapper has since dropped him to 80, which is handy.
Previous to that, Mitchum had won easily on his debut when scooting in by 8-lengths over 5-furlongs at Southwell. He looked a very nice prospect there, although he only beat a few trees but did it very nicely. He then ran very well in a decent juvenile conditions race at Beverley, also run over 5f (shaped as if he'd want further). Connections then let him take his chance in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes (6f) at Royal Ascot, but he was unsurprisingly outclassed. I think that he has the scope to find further improvement as a 3-year-old and should be up to defying a mark of 80 before too long. Going fresh doesn't seem to be an issue with him and hopefully Barron will enhance his already fine record at this track. This is an awful race in which you can give a chance to plenty but 16/1 about this fellow seems a bit big and I see no reason why he shouldn't be capable of getting involved. As per usual, small/medium win stakes will do and hopefully he'll have a say in proceedings. The market will be interesting and should tell us if we have a chance.
Splendid Light could take all of the beating in this 1m 2f contest but he's far too short for my liking and has to be opposed, even though it's clear that a mark of 86 may underestimate his ability. However, with just a couple of runs to his name throughout his career and an awkward head carriage, I can't believe that he's a viable bet at 7/4 against some very useful, hardened handicappers. The Pontefract track isn't the sort of place that I expect to see him excel at either and a more conventional track would be to his liking, although he'll be flying up the hill here if all is well. It may be an uncomfortable experience for him up until that point and overall, he has to be one to take on at what is an overly short price (he's half the price he should be).
Again, I'm siding with David Barron to come up trumps and this time it's with Suits Me, a talented, game and generally consistent front-runner who clearly has no problem acting on the Pontefract track. A couple of things are key to his chances and the main one is whether he'll get pestered up front or not. There are a couple of potential annoyances lining up here but I'd be hopeful that he'll get a relatively easy time of it and that makes him very dangerous. Jamie Spencer being on board is an absolutely massive plus, because he's an excellent judge of pace when setting off in the lead and I'm just hoping that he doesn't try anything too fancy. He's usually a very solid booking when Barron fancies a horse (24% strike-rate) and he seems to have no issue with getting horses to go at this track. This will be the first time that Spencer will ride the horse since he joined Barron at the beginning of last season and they look a match made in heaven.
Suits Me doesn't have a whole lot of room for maneuver off his current rating of 96 but he's more reliant on circumstance and fortune, so I'm willing to overlook the fact that he's 9lbs higher than his last victory, which came over C&D (beat progressive horse) in June. Since then, he kept on running too well for his own good and his rating suffered as a result. However, he managed to finish a head 2nd to a progressive next-time-out winner on his final turf start of 2011 - when rated 1lb lower than today - and that came over C&D also. It's fairly clear that he can run right up to his best around this track and I'm hopeful that he'll be up to doing it once again. There are a few ways this race could pan out, a couple of which could see him run very modestly but it's possible that everything will be run to suit and he looks to have every opportunity to take advantage from a sit in stall 1. He's also race-fit from having had a couple of outings on the all-weather surface at Meydan and, most importantly, he's overpriced at 7/1 here. The market will again prove interesting but I'd have him as being no bigger than 4/1 and medium win stakes should be played. If he's left alone up front, he'll be very tough to peg back and here's hoping that he'll land career victory #14.
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