Yet another no-show yesterday, with both selections failing to be seen with any sort of chance. The first of ours to run was Halfsin, and he was supported on the basis that he'd be on the speed throughout, as he usually is. Typically, given our recent luck, he broke awkwardly (possibly by design) and had to sit out the back, which resulted in the game being up from the off. It's possible that he was out to get a few lbs off his rating, as that's exactly how they should ride him in order for that to happen, especially when a track rides like York is at the moment. It was an atrocious run, but again, it'd be harsh to judge the horse solely on it.
On another note, I didn't think that his stall opened as quickly as the rest, which may be why he got away much slower than usual and a couple of others noticed that as well. Marco Botti reported the reason for such a poor run as being that his charge "couldn't dominate", which is obviously a load of nonsense as he either wasn't sent out to dominate or wasn't able to due to a delay in the opening of his stall. It is worth looking at the reply anyway, as my eyes may be deceiving me. I'm nearly sure that it was delayed, though.
Sam Sharp was the other runner and he was weak in the market, which is one of the last things you want to see with an Ian Williams trained animal. He was held up, as expected, but there wasn't much of a pace on throughout, which wasn't expected. That hindered him massively, and he was off the bridle quite early as the tempo began to lift. To be fair to him, he stuck to the task despite being given a "strange" ride by Royston Ffrench and came home nicely, albeit without having a chance to trouble those in the first four. It was a decent run considering and can be built upon, granted a much stronger race-pace or longer trip.
-4.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 9-5-1-2-4-8-0-0-0-5 (1 winner & 1 place).
There's rarely much of interest on Sunday but surprisingly today isn't too bad at all and I've found a couple of runners that are worthy of support. Sadly, I'm a massive jinx at the moment, doing my finest Tom Segal impression but the show must go on and hopefully this is the start of a decent run of form. I wouldn't count on it, with the ground throwing everything up in the air, but if they're considered value bets then we simply have to back them. I'd bloody love proper fast ground to come back out to play though. It's so much easier when there's consistency to the form and I can go about everything so much easier, instead of struggling at the moment as I am. I can't even take any positives out of the selections running well, because the vast majority just aren't and as with most things in life, it's tough going when you're not feeling confident. I can do little more than apologize, especially to the guys who just signed up a couple of weeks ago but this always happens me from time-to-time and if you've got the bank in place to cope with losing runs then you will end up happy once the good times roll again, I can assure you of that. Anyway, less rambling from me and onwards we go, hopefully upwards too. Have a good day folks and happy hangovers to the drinkers!
Henry Candy has stated that his 4-year-old filly, Gosbeck, will not race if the ground ends up being on the very testing side, so here's hoping that the rain stays away. She seems to handle pretty much any ground though, so there should be no real worries there, but better ground would be ideal and if it did dry up then I'd be very confident of a big run. Regardless of nearly half the field finishing in the first two last time out, I do not think that any of them are obviously well-treated, bar Mark Tompkins' filly but she's probably more suited to the easier courses where her obvious speed leads to her holding a massive advantage over the opposition. I am, however, fairly sure that Candy's charge has the ability to make light work of her current rating of 84 and she should do exactly that when everything falls her way, which will hopefully be now. This contest represents a nice step down in grade, having run in a very good handicap at Epsom last time out (53 days ago). She could only manage a 7-length 4th place in the end, but Aiken was the winner of that off a mark of 91 and he has since landed a couple of races, at Listed (by 10-lengths) and Group 2 level. That is an obvious franking of the form and overall, it was a very strong race. Our selection for this race came into it on the back of a 187 day lay-off and wasn't too strong in the market, so she may have been expected to need the run and was ridden as if that was going to be the case. I thought that she was simply held up too far back and understandably tired on the ground having tried to make up plenty of yardage, which was very tough to do in those conditions. Whether she will be similarly ridden today or not is something that I don't know but she was sent off tracking the leaders the last time she visited the course and I would love if they were the tactics employed today. On that occasion, she was so very unlucky to lose (badly hampered, yet not beaten far) and it came off today's mark against what I would rate as being better opposition, so at least we know that she can perform to a very good level around here. This filly is a winner in waiting as far as I'm concerned, but she's reliant on certain things going her way (good gallop, luck in-running, etc) and whether she will get everything today will determine how she runs. The price makes her worthy of taking a chance on though and hopefully she'll give us a victory to savour! The market will tell us more as well.
Summerinthecity was beaten by over 7-lengths in a big-field handicap over 6f at Epsom last time out but found everything happening that bit too quick for him on what was lively ground at the speed demanding track and it was an effort signalling that he's still in good knick. Ed De Giles' 5-year-old will certainly enjoy the return to today's much slower ground and if he isn't hindered by any sort of track bias in this 19-runner field, then he should be up to performing well and possibly going close to winning it off what is a workable mark of 88 based on his seasonal reappearance. That day, over C&D, he was massively helped by being well-drawn in stall 15 and duly obliged to put in a cracking performance to finish a half-length second in a race that has worked out extremely well, albeit down to the fact that so many of those badly drawn could never get involved. The way that he galloped on under pressure was impressive and seeing as it was his first run for quite some time, he surely would improve for it. He didn't get much luck on his next outing, but ran really well from a modest draw and again showed that a mark in the high-eighties is something that he can defy when the cards fall his way. Tracks like Doncaster clearly suit him and he has a victory over C&D to go along with that second place finish last month, though has run a few shockers around here as well. In all reality, he is an in-and-out performer who could really do anything but he's very good on his day, more than good enough to win this race, and looks to have no obvious excuses just yet. Phillip Makin is hopping up for the first time and anyone who reads my write-ups will know that I rate him so highly, when he is on horses who are trying of course! He's a very interesting booking for the in-form Ed De Giles team and hopefully it's a signal of intent on their part. The market can often tell its own story with this yard but if they've got eyes on Ayr in September then they're going to have to get this fellow to win another race or two (easier said than done!) if he's to get into the big sprint. At least I think that he will be running on his merits and that's half the battle, especially seeing how many of our selections end up being hilarious non-triers for whatever reason. If he's good enough on the day and gets some luck, he'll run a big race and taking anything around the 16/1 mark about that happening certainly appeals. This fellow has a win in him soon.
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