SATURDAY ‘GIFT HORSE’ AT 28.0: You may want to be on the coincidence double – Camelot and Arthurian Legend – or you may just want to lump on Master Minded. But be warned not to overlook Daqman’s Doncaster ‘gift horse’ at 28.0 on Betdaq this morning.
YET ANOTHER WINNING LAY: Daqman made it 13 winning lays from the last 15 when Choisan (4th 9-2) paid for the day yesterday. His idea was to use the winnings to bet in the tricky handicaps but his best shot, Red Quartet (2nd 5-1), was beaten half a length after trading as low as evens on the exchanges.
2.00 Doncaster Go Commando! The Racing Post headline poses a few problems if this one loses. I can see the Twitters now: Pricewise caught with his knickers down.
But the stats are on his side. Young horses win this race and, if yesterday’s sprint handicap is anything to go by, you want a hold-up horse drawn between 15 and 20 (four of the first six home yesterday, with the winner in 20).
So Marine Commando, aged three, drawn 18, rides a few lengths off the pace, and a Fahey-Hanagan, is the obvious idea of the winner. But that’s the snag with sprints, isn’t it: the obvious rarely happens.
Of the others drawn high, they’ve thrown everything at Barney McGrew as his rating tumbles but even first-time blinkers failed last time (a million miles behind Marine Commando over 6f on today’s course); it’s a similar story with Swilly Ferry.
Foxy Music was also behind ‘Commando’ and is a short runner (loves Chester, of course); Secret Witness is a CD winner but the handicapper seems to be in charge and, as a Pivotal, he may need rain.
Maybe Dreamacha has had her fling, 12lb higher than her last win; Cocktail Charlie seems to be struggling off his mark, too, and I can’t back a horse with just a maiden on his CV.
The answer is Ginger Ted (stall 14). He might well have won at York in July and Doncaster in August but arrived on the scene too late off slower than average times. Ignore his runs since, which have reduced his weight to a pound above his last winning mark.
Punters have forgotten he was only a length and a half off Hoof It at York and he is a gift horse at 28.0, as I write, with Marine Commando (8.0) pick of the shorter offers.
2.15 Newbury (Horris Hill) Not the race it was, class wise, but there may be a bit of an edge for punters in that all winners this century have been drawn from 2 to 9.
Like Diamondhead (23.0) and Tell Dad (9.4), they were already highly rated, had raced at least twice and won one of their last two starts. Diamondhead’s stablemate Mehdi is stronger in the morning market but has twice been beaten by Tell Dad and Brian Meehan seems to think Diamondhead’s Gimcrack run wasn’t his true form; maybe the firmer ground today will suit.
Saigon is the top rating from his consistency in the Pattern, with Johnny Murtagh booked but, like Tell Dad, is looking exposed. It’s a similar story with Strait of Zanzibar.
Red Art’s stable had a surprise winner yesterday and the form of his York race (fifth to Bogart) has worked out well but the early-doors each-way thieves were bagging Oxford Charley (9.8 as I write), having seen him weave his way through a big field at Salisbury recently.
2.45 Newbury (St Simon Stakes) Allied Powers and Colombian are out, which suggests the ground remains firm. That may also sink French Navy. I’m backing the filly Mohedian Lady, getting the allowance from Al Kazeem.
I was impressed with Mohedian Lady when she won her Listed; she’s progressive, has won on the firm in record time, the stable has won this before with fillies and Kieren Fallon could steal it in the small field. Beaten Up has beaten only handicappers but Al Kazeem’s form is solid at Group level and he must be the form choice.
3.00 Doncaster (Racing Post Trophy): High Chaparral, Motivator and Authorized landed this contest three Derbys in six years. Then the rot set in; results of the race on the new Town Moor course have thrown up fool’s gold.
Thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, were squandered in ante-post Classic bets on Ibn Khaldun, Crowded House, St Nicholas Abbey and Casamento in the last four seasons.
Ibn Khaldun and Casamento never won another race; Crowded House scraped a Group 3 and St Nicholas Abbey had to take 11 months off before returning to form.
That won’t stop the winner of today’s race being quoted at ridiculous odds for Epsom, particularly if it’s Camelot or Learn, the two Ballydoyle colts left in from 12 original Aidan O’Brien entries.
Both are ordinary maiden winners at this stage and Fencing has the better form, as winner of the Washington Singer. However, the runner-up in that race, Telwaar (not to be confused with Talwar), had been well beaten in the Rose Bowl (Listed) at Newbury, and the third, Leqqaa, was beaten favourite of five in the Houghton Stakes last week.
Talwar looks exposed but, though Zip Top has twice failed in Group-3s, he is highly regarded and Parish Hall had a similar profile before Jim Bolger sent him to Newmarket and won the Dewhurst at 20-1.
That today’s race goes to Ireland seems assured: I’m taking the 6.8 Zip Top, saving my stakes on Camelot at marginally better than even money on Betdaq this morning.
3.30 Aintree (Old Roan Chase): Alberta’s Run was favourite to beat Master Minded in the Melling Chase at Aintree in April because it was Master Minded’s first big race over 2m 4f but the ‘Master’ skipped nine lengths clear.
Master Minded’s form after a longish break is 131. On that April form, there seems no reason why he should fail here, back over the CD.
3.45 Newbury Naqshabban holds some of the principals on his third over CD last month but stablemate Kirthill (hampered) was a shorter SP that day; he’s shorter again here and his performance today depends on him liking the ground.
Oceanway also suffered interference in that CD race and has put back-to-back wins together before, though the horse that beat him at Goodwood, Circumvent, has better form on firm ground. It’s just that they don’t seem to know how to ride Circumvent (or he’s just plain tricky).
Willing Foe could bounce back. So, too, could Right Step, second in this race last year. But his place consistency proves only his lack of resolve, and he’s won just his maiden (way back in August 2009).
4.15 Chepstow (Silver Trophy): This has been won from right down the bottom end (10st 1lb to 10st 8lb) for six years in a row, with only one success under a weight of more than 11st 3lb in the last decade.
That Philip Hobbs has three of the four horses at winningmost weights says a lot for his ability to place his horses. The obvious one is Arthurian Legend (6.6)– Richard Johnson’s pick – and the obvious danger is Rebel Rebellion (7.6).
I may be a nut to oppose Johnson’s choice but I very much like the breeding of Filbert (19.5), a son of Oscar, and young Giles Hawkins is a jockey for the future.
WIN-30 JACKPOT: 4.2pts win MARINE COMMANDO and 1.1pts win and place GINGER TED (2.00 Doncaster)
BET 2.2pts win OXFORD CHARLEY and 0.9pts win and place DIAMONDHEAD (2.15 Newbury)
BET 6.25pts win (nap) MOHEDIAN LADY and 1.8pts win (stakes saver) AL KAZEEM (2.45 Newbury)
BET 3.4pts win on each ZIP TOP and CAMELOT (3.00 Doncaster)
BET 3.3pts win KIRTHILL and 1.5pts win OCEANWAY (3.45 Newbury)
BET 3.7pts win ARTHURIAN LEGEND, 3pts win REBEL REBELLION and 1pt win and place FILBERT (4.15 Chepstow)
DAQ MULTIPLES: 3pts win double Mohedian Lady (2.45 Newbury) and Master Minded (3.30 Aintree)
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