My Saturday punting hasn't went well for quite some time now, and funnily enough that used to be where the majority of my profit would come from. Coolminx was the first runner on this occasion and she shaped well enough for a long way, showing plenty of speed down the centre before backing out of the equation. I had hoped that she might take a tracking position, but Barry McHugh brought her down the middle of the track through the early stages and that was costly. It did not matter anyway, as the winner was not going to be beaten too easily and at least we should get a nice price about her again. Her turn is coming, soon.
I mentioned in the write up that Dolphin Rock had to be prominent to be seen at his best and sadly for us he wasn't quick enough out of the stalls to grab a nice sit, and that was that. Ignore this run, he could not get a chance to show what he's capable of and it's a completely understandable defeat. David Barron is sure to get a win out of this gelding very soon and I fully intend to keep him on side until that is the case.
Capaill Liath showed loads of pace in the big handicap at Ascot, but he couldn't sustain his effort and was always a sitting duck. It proved to be a silly selection and the next time that I side with him will be when he drops a couple of lbs, which should see him hop back down in grade to take on much lesser opposition.
-3.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 3-7-0-8-9-1-8-4-8-0 (1 winner & 1 place).
There's rarely anything to be bothered about on a Sunday, but this time is different and there's three really good looking handicaps for us to get stuck into. Hopefully one of the bets could oblige, though it's quite hard to be too confident with Ascot being a track that I generally struggle with. They're good value bets at the same time and let's hope that another Art Scholar is imminent. All the best folks and have a good day.
Quite a trappy affair but Cill Rialaig seems to love it around Ascot, posting RPR's of 96, 102, 108 & 102 on her four outings at the track and Hughie Morrison's 7-year-old mare looks like an attractive proposition off her current mark of 96. You can ignore her latest run, which came over a trip too short at Listed level, and going back to her penultimate outing, which came over C&D in the Duke Of Edinburgh, leaves her coming into this race on the back of a cracking performance. She travelled beautifully through that contest, having overcome a poor draw to get a nice sit alongside the speed and she looked to hold a really solid chance of winning when taking up the running after they turned for home (traded at 2.64). However, she was then swamped a furlong from home and that was that, though she battled on willingly afterwards. That was an excellent effort all things considered and a reproduction of that form in what is a much easier race would see her get involved here. Jimmy Fortune is also on board now, having taken over from Darryl Holland last time out, and I rate Fortune very highly, even though he is struggling badly for winners of late; has had an ocean of places mind. Overall, this mare is capable of a really good level of form on her day and if getting the breaks, she's going to run another big race at a track that clearly suits her. I just hope that she will be ridden prominently again, as there does not look to be a lot of pace on here and that will suit her if she's given the opportunity to skip the field in the home straight. Medium sized stakes should be played here.
Tinshu ran what was possibly her best ever race on turf over this C&D last year, when finishing really fast from off the pace to come 2-lengths behind a useful Godolphin performer and it's possible that she would have won if it wasn't for giving first run to the duo that ended up in-front of her. Derek Haydn Jones' 6-year-old mare is in truth an all-weather specialist, but she improved over the winter on that surface when given the aid of cheekpieces and it's entirely possible that they could help to spring similar improvement from her on turf when she has enough in her favour, as looks likely here. They were applied for her most recent outing, but that was at Sandown and she simply found the stamina test that bit too demanding, which is understandable. This track will suit more and she clearly has no issue with it, having run really well on her only other start at the track and some all-weather performers seem to love it around here as well. Being eased in the ratings by the handicapper will help too, as he has moved her down by 3lbs for her latest run, leaving her 1lb below that eye-catching C&D run last year (which was actually in this race). The fact that it will almost certainly be run at a solid tempo is going to be another positive and although she's far from the most obvious winner in the line up, I fail to see how the current price is available given all that is in her favour. The ground won't pose any issues either and Dane O'Neill knows exactly how she needs to be ridden (has won on her 5 times from 15 rides). It won't be easy for her to win against this opposition, but she's overpriced and should be backed as a result. Old Sirvino would be of interest from a better draw.
I've long thought that the enigmatic Mass Rally was worth a try over the minimum trip in order to get him to have as much pace to aim at as possible and he's getting that today at a track where he ran really well on two occasions when under the tutelage of John Gosden. This 5-year-old gelding is yet to win since joining the Michael Dods yard at the beginning of last season, but he has run many a fine race in defeat in some competitive handicaps over 6-furlongs and a return to the winners enclosure is certainly overdue. The big problem that this generally consistent sprinter has is that he's a real bridle merchant, who typically finds nothing when asked to come off it. If it wasn't for that, he'd surely be rated 100+ and be contesting some of the best races around. At least we know that the ability is there and if he consents to quicken when he's asked, then today's mark of 90 would be blown out of the water. Dropping back to 5f may help, especially as this is going to be run at a ferocious gallop with pace horses being littered all over the track, mainly in the low-to-middle stalls. His sit in stall 11 should be perfect and although I have slated Paul Mulrennan in the past, he's very good on this type of tricky animal. The most recent form of Mass Rally shows him to be in really good heart (traded odds-on in three of last four outings) and if he handles the ground - which I've got my doubts about over such a sharp trip - then he should be bang there in contention. Regardless, his price makes him worthy of consideration and the usual stakes should be played. If he's produced at the right time and coaxed into giving his all, then he'll win this race. The only problem is that it'll be very hard to do that and he's clearly a horse with attitude problems, in that he doesn't want to put it all in when it's just about to get tough. He's a good value bet at the same time and here's hoping for some luck/skilled riding!
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