BBOTD – August 18th

James Boyle
August 18, 2012

Konstantin finally consented to show his true worth when winning at Folkestone last Sunday, under what I thought was an excellent ride from Hayley Turner. He was being kidded along a bit earlier than expected, but began to eat into the gambled-on runner-ups lead in impressive fashion and asserted readily after. He did idle in-front, as he has done before, but won quite cosily in my opinion and could well have more to offer despite a rise in the weights putting him on a mark in the eighties. If he were mine, I would drop him in trip and apply some form of headgear. He's one to keep an eye on anyway and can win another contest.

+8.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 2-0-0-0-0-2-2-1-3-1 (2 winners & 4 places).

Nothing to get carried away with today, given that our three selections are in massive lottery races and we have to be hopeful rather than expectant. It's full steam ahead from here on in I hope; just need that bloody rain to stay well away from the tracks and all will be grand. Have a good one folks and roll on York's meet.

The write-ups are fairly short and blunt by the way. Had oceans to get through and I'm so tired! Apologies.


2:20 Ripon - Fast Shot - 1pt @ 14/1 (General)

Tipping Fast Shot is something that I was never keen to do (superstitious reasons!) but, if ridden correctly, he has a better chance here than the odds suggest and hopefully I won't have jinxed him completely. The Tim Easterby trained 4-year-old has been in great form this season, winning twice - including over C&D - and running many a fine race in defeat. His 2012 form is deceptive, making it look like he needs a bog to end up victorious but that's not the case in my opinion and he just needs a really good pace to run toward, which looks a near certainty here. The overnight rain will help, as will his sit in stall 6. There looks to be a lot of low-drawn pace for him to run after and if ridden intelligently, by that I mean keeping him prominent, then I think that everything will pan out beautifully for him. If he's waited with in mid-division or worse, then I'd give him no hope at all but let's hope that is not the case. His recent form is solid, with many excuses being there for his last trio of defeats and he comes here on the back of a good C&D effort, where he was beaten by just 2-lengths despite not getting his desired pace to run at. He's going to get it here and even though a mark of 90 makes things tough, there's more to come from him and not many well-handicapped runners are lining up in opposition. This C&D is ideal for Easterby's runner and if getting some luck, rain and a good ride, then he could have an excellent chance. 14/1 underestimates him and here's hoping.


Result - 12th @ 14/1; Never involved from the rear. Stupid ride/tactics.


3:20 Newmarket - Saloomy - 1pt @ 11/2 (General) *NON-RUNNER*

Saloomy looks to be a very nice type who should improve past his current rating of 77 in time and he can make his presence felt in this competitive, valuable 3-year-old handicap. David Simcock's charge is from a family who usually progress with age but I'm hoping that he has enough in reserve to take this type of contest already. He certainly shapes as if being a potentially useful type and is unbeaten in a couple of starts since connections dropped him back to sprint trips, first taking a weak Salisbury maiden with ease before making all of the running in an all-weather handicap at Kempton (sire has an excellent record on polytrack). In both performances he showed a very nice, uncomplicated style of racing and stretched out beautifully at the end of his races. This is a completely different ball game, in which he's carrying bottom-weight against superior rated animals but in the long run he could be as good as any of them and here's hoping that he's a quicker developer than some of his relations. The ground will be perfect, barring any unexpected rain, as he's thought to need it fast and this track is suited to his style of running. It's possible that he could be more patiently ridden though, with so many horses in opposition, but that may help him even more as he can race exuberantly when in front. Raul Da Silva is an excellent jockey booking, with his 3lb claim being invaluable in races where every pound counts and he's especially excellent in sprints. It'll be tough to win this but the horse looks capable to me and should be backed at the current 11/2 price-tag.


Result - Non-runner; Ground given as the excuse, which is nonsensical.


3:30 Ripon - Alben Star - 1pt @ 10/1 (Bet365, Hills, StanJ; 8/1 Gen)

No prizes will be won for originality here but Alben Star is an animal on the up and remains unexposed, so he has to be of interest despite the market leaving little to be desired. Whether Richard Fahey's 4-year-old has much in hand off a mark of 97 remains to be seen but I believe that he does and comes here on the back of a cracking performance in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood a couple of weeks ago. On that occasion, he managed to finish a 2-length fifth of 27, doing best of those racing towards the stands' side and I don't particularly think that Goodwood is his sort of track. Ripon may not be either, but it is at least a bit more suitable and that'll do for me, especially as he looks sure to get a race run to suit. Whether his sit in stall 3 will be prohibitive or not remains to be seen (will get clues from Fasty's race) but I'm hopeful that he's in the right place. The ground will be fine for him and recent yard form is encouraging. My main gripe is that Tony Hamilton is on board, as he frankly is not very good, but at least he does know the horse and has had plenty of Ripon winners down the years. It should be a fairly simple ride, with the horse needing to be positioned prominently and be asked to commit a fair way out, as the pace won't be collapsing too easily I suspect, given the nature of the track. Hopefully the horse proves good enough to justify his rather short price. There is at least enough room to play with at 8's and we'll play the usual stakes once again.


Result - 8th @ 5/1; Well-backed but wasn't best away, which ended it all.