The Beverley ground drying up really hindered Shawkantango and he was never sighted. His usual end-of-race burst was non-existent, although it's understandable as the others weren't really coming back to him. That's where the ground would have came into play and it's a race that you can put a line through. He also missed the kick again and you're not going to get away with that when there's so much against you, let alone at a track where most of the prominent racers were massively favoured throughout the meeting.
When I was going through the race last night, at which point the ground was likely to end up on the soft side (with more rain being possible), he looked to have so much to suit but that just didn't come to fruition unfortunately. The handicapper will probably drop him a pound and that'll result in him being able to get into weaker races, which will be a help. I like trying to decipher when a horse will have enough to suit but this fellow is just impossible to gauge and maybe it's time to give up. We'll see what prices he'll be tough.
Collateral Damage was the other selection and I don't want to say much or else I'd get done for libel....
-4.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 7-1-4-4-1-0-0-6-7-4 (2 winners & 0 places).
Today's racing is rather good and hopefully we'll land on a winner from the trio of bets that I have been able to find. None are particularly strong due to the nature of the races that they're in and we'll be doing well to get one to win, but let's hope for the best and whatever will be will be. Have a very good day folks.
Sir Michael Stoute hasn't had the run of things over the past while but with his yard being in much better form of late, his runners are worth keeping an eye on. They're rarely good value bets, which is enough for me to avoid the vast majority of them but Labarinto looks attractively priced and should make a bold bid to get back to winning ways. This 4-year-old colt has it all to prove after showing very little in his seasonal return, but he isn't a miler by any stretch of the imagination and throwing him in the Spring Cup wasn't the smartest of decisions, unless connections just wanted to get a run into him. The very demanding ground that day didn't help him either and the return to a sounder surface will help, especially now that he's back at 1m 2f - which is his trip. A mark of 97 won't be easily defied against today's useful opposition but the way in which he won the 3-year-old 1m 2f handicap at Glorious Goodwood last year (off 93) suggests that he could make up into a Group 3 performer at some point and if that's to be the case, he will have to prove capable of winning off such a lofty rating. This is his first outing at York but that doesn't hold any fears, as he's highly suited to this sort of track and his sit in stall 1 will ensure that he'll get a nice racing position. Ryan Moore being on board is an obvious positive and he has an excellent record at this track, although he'd want to considering the quality of the animals that he gets to ride. I don't think that he gave this horse a great ride when they won at Goodwood last year (they got way too far back in a race that suited those on the speed) and hopefully he'll know better this time around. It won't be easy to win a race of this nature but 8/1 is an attractive price about him and he should make a good attempt. The usual stakes will be played.
Punting in these big-field handicaps is akin to guessing at the best of times, but Secret Witness could be a very lively contender if he gets some breaks and taking a chance on him is justified. Not very many of the 6-year-old sprinters can claim to have finished in the runners-up position on no fewer than 13 occasions throughout their career so far and although it would seem like this fellow has issues with his "will to win", I wouldn't believe that to be the case at all. If anything, he has just been unlucky on numerous occasions and hopefully that'll change here. This race comes just 5 days after he made his seasonal reappearance over 6f at Ascot. That came on soft ground and a quicker surface suits more, so the effort that he produced needs marking up. James Doyle, who's on board again today, didn't give him a hard time of it at all and I'd expect that the horse will now be nearing his peak. The way in which he travelled through that contest was encouraging and although a mark of 94 is about as high as he wants to be, he has run very well of similar marks in the past year or so. A quick turnaround won't faze him and today's track is ideal as well (only run here - over C&D - resulted in a brilliant 2nd to the Group-class Hitchens in September of 2010). With the Ron Harris yard in decent knick and the horse likely to improve for his recent outing, a big run should be on the cards and he looks worthy of an interest at the current odds. The way that James Doyle is riding at the moment means that he's an asset to the majority of horses and hopefully he'll notch another win here.
The pair at the head of the market may well have the race between them, but they're too short to even be considered as bets in a race of this nature and Sirius Prospect is worth taking another chance on. It's as clear as day that this 4-year-old hasn't run up to scratch in both of his runs this season and maybe he just hasn't trained on as expected, because they were abysmal runs by his previously high standards. My job is to find excuse after excuse, mainly to find out which horse is the value in a race, and I firmly believe that this one has had no chance of giving anything like his best in his pair of outings this season, so they are best ignored. Running on the wide-outside with absolutely no cover or toe into the contest really hindered him in a Listed race at Newmarket last time out and added to that was the fact that there was no pace on - meaning that you can completely overlook that run. Before that, he was far too fresh at Doncaster and never landed a blow in another race that suited those who were up there from the off. We're almost certain to see a much better animal in operation this time around and although he has it all to do to beat the main duo, he is capable of doing so if he gets a solid pace to aim at (looks likely) and if he can get some cover mid-race. This is the same horse who absolutely bolted in off a mark of 101 in a good handicap over C&D last October when there was a massive bias to being on the speed (he was held up) and that win made him look like he'd be competing well in Group 1's, never mind Listed races (beat Mayson in one next time out; that horse has improved a lot since). Hoof It is clearly the one to beat but his eyes will be firmly fixated on the bigger prizes, the Group 1's, and I'd imagine that he'll improve for the outing. Other dangers are out there to be found but Dean Ivory's charge is the value call at around the 12/1 mark and again, the usual 2pt stake should be played. If he returns to the horse that we know he can be, he will run a very good race.
Copyright © JamesBoyleRacing
Design By Keith McKiernan