Another crossbar smash yesterday, this time with the fast-finishing Borug, who ran a stormer despite the race-pace being the complete opposite to what he is in need of. The reapplication of cheekpieces clearly reinvigorated this usually tricky animal and he was able to step up on his previously decent efforts by quite some margin. The winner, who evidently had an ocean in hand at the weights, may have won even if the gallop was much stronger but he was subject to a very strange ride by William Buick and our runner might not have been for catching if he was favoured by the run of the race. In the end, he was beaten a couple of necks and though not the most obvious "hard luck" story that you'll ever see, I do feel that everything could have been different if it panned out as was hoped. The cat is truly out of the bag now, unfortunately for us.
Taking a chance on Kay Gee Be overcoming the draw was proved to be an incorrect decision on my part, as he could never get involved in proceedings having been forced to take a bad sit throughout. To be fair to the horse, he stuck to the task gamely despite being clearly beaten and not overly handling the track, so it'd be harsh to knock him for this. Richard Fahey will be pleased with it, I would say, and his charge will be winning a handicap at some point throughout this season. Just keep an eye on him when he is going to get properly fast ground, at a flat track around a bend, and then work it from there. He is handicapped to strike (might be dropped a couple as well) and can do so before too long, hopefully when we're on board.
-4.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 3-3-1-5-8-2-3-4-3-9 (1 winner & 5 places).
A trio of selections for today, all of which come in really tricky handicaps and hopefully we'll get the luck required to see one of them go on to score. I couldn't be happier with how the selections are running of late but the only problem is an excessive amount of places are falling our way, including some that have been very unlucky. If a couple of them turned into wins, we'd be laughing. There'll be a lot of that though and as I always point out, patience is all that we need to have. Have a good one folks and lets hope that today's the day where we get a lucky win instead of an unlucky loss. It wouldn't be before time at all...
Also, unsurprisingly, there will be no selections for Sunday.
There is an almighty amount of early speed in this 5f sprint and Racy will really appreciate that if he can be nicely positioned in behind them from what is not a great draw in stall 8, but at the same time it's not completely detrimental to his chances. This Kevin Ryan trained 5-year-old is completely luckless and his record of 1-19 is a poor showing considering the amount of ability that he possesses, with that solitary win coming in maiden company when trained by Sir Michael Stoute. He has run some brilliant races in big sprint handicaps since joining the Ryan yard and thrice lost out by less than a length in 0-105's in 2011. Getting him to relax mid-race seems to be his undoing, as it leaves him with nothing in the tank for a late finishing burst, according to his trainer and the fact that there will be a hell of a gallop here is only going to help him. The worry, as previously mentioned, is whether he will get a good position from his draw but I suppose you aren't going to get every little thing to suit in a race of this nature and sometimes it's worth just taking a chance that things will pan out. Amy Ryan will be taking the reins for the first time on board this speedball and she has been riding really well of late, and also rides well in sprints. Having her up for the first time might do the trick and at the current odds, medium stakes should be played. The horse is coming here on the back of a solid 4th at York last time out, for which he was sent off as the co-favourite and this is somewhat easier. Plenty of luck will be needed, but both he and us are bloody well due some!
This is one of my favourite races to watch as it's about sheer and utter speed, mainly due to being run on the fastest 5-furlong course that you'll find. Being drawn relatively high is always seen as a big advantage around here in sizeable fields and the one I'm routing for, Desert Law, is nicely positioned in stall 16. The question mark over him is quite simply whether he's quick enough, because the vast majority of his form to date has come over further and not too many horses are going to run well in this unless they've plenty of natural speed. I am firmly in the "he is quick enough" camp though and reckon that he is the true value call in this tricky contest, as his handicap mark of 97 is so exploitable and he may just relish this speed test, which will be unlike anything that he has ever encountered before now. The ground coming up on the quick side is key to him and not getting it often enough was costly throughout his 3-year-old campaign in 2011, as he only managed to win once despite being strongly fancied on numerous occasions. One thing that he has so often shown throughout his races is good speed and although the majority seem to think that he is a real 6f performer, I think that the minimum distance is his trip. He also represents the Andrew Balding yard, who are on fire of late and had two winners at this meeting yesterday. Balding also has an exceptional record on-track and there aren't many better men in the weighing room than Jimmy Fortune, who knows this horse well. Desert Law comes here on the back of a couple of months off the track and was last seen disappointing over 6f at Doncaster, his seasonal reappearance. You can overlook that run completely though, as he was far too fresh and keen, and wasn't favoured by where he raced throughout. Fortune didn't give him a hard time of it either and it's just a deceptive piece of form that cannot be taken seriously at all. He's so much better than that run suggests and if he enjoys this speed test as much as I think he will, then a good run is on the cards. The usual stakes are all that I can advise at the same time.
The above has been given the Pricewise kiss of death since I picked him out but we'll still take a chance.
There doesn't look to be an awful lot of pace on here and Oceanway should be right up there in the firing-line throughout, which will be advantageous. The issue with this Mark Johnston trained 4-year-old filly is her ability to get this 1m 4f trip but it seems to be within her range and I would not be one bit surprised to see her improve for it, especially now that she's tackling it on a quick surface. The only other time that she went this trip was in the November Handicap at Doncaster last year, where she was a 3-year-old taking on older horses. That also came on soft ground, when she was running off a lofty rating of 97, and judging her ability to see out this trip solely on that run would be stupid on my part and harsh as well. Her most recent outing, over the slightly extended 1m 2f at Chester, was very encouraging seeing as it came on top of unsuitably testing ground and she again shaped as if hopping up in trip would do no harm by finishing 3rd of 6, around 4-lengths behind the useful winner. The handicapper has dropped her a couple of lbs for that run, which is a big help and coming back to a fast surface is a similar help. In all truth, she's a bit of a one-paced galloper but she's game and is said to be "growing all the time" by her trainer, who also says that he's "itching to try her over 1m 4f again". I think that she'll really enjoy whizzing around here if allowed to stride on and hopefully that will be the case. At around 7/1, she's worthy of the usual sized support.
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