Cambridgeshire Handicap Preview

By Samantha

The bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap has a prize fund of almost £100,000 and it has attracted some nice horses. It was established in 1839. It is actually part of what’s called the ‘Autumn Double’ with the Cesarewitch. It has been done three times in the past, all in the 1800s, and the feat isn’t attempted much nowadays.

Some of the top trainers in the country are represented in this and John Gosden has three- Wissahickon, Stylehunter and Tricorn. Based on jockey bookings, Wissahickon seems the preference as he is ridden by Frankie Dettori. He has won four times from his six starts. A slight negative is that all bar one of his wins have come on the All Weather and he is yet to tackle a race like this. He didn’t settle when finishing eighth of nine on his penultimate start but won nicely last time out at Chelmsford. The other two are drawn quite close together in 32 and 34. Tricorn is probably the outsider of the two as he has only been seen once since finishing tenth of thirty at Royal Ascot and he was eighth at his only try at this trip when beaten by Sharja Bridge and Third Time Lucky whereas Stylehunter won last time out over this trip at Goodwood but he was put up 8lbs for that. Examiner was pulled up on that occasion as he bled. He has Sebastian Woods taking off 3lbs from his back and he has been sixth on both runs since being pulled up. It looks as though he will struggle to win off this mark and was beaten by Mythical Madness in December.

David O’Meara has three in the line up also, all ridden by apprentices. Conor McGovern partners Waarif, Gabrielle Malune is set to ride Bravery and Mythical Madness will be ridden by Cameron Noble. Mythical Madness seems the best of the three as he will definitely stay as he won over it at Wolverhampton in 2016. He’s a seven year old now and they don’t have the best record in the race in recent years but he goes off 97 which is the highest mark he’s won off but with Cameron Noble taking 5lbs off, I could see him out-running his odds. There are stamina doubts with Waarif and Bravery. The former has won four of his twelve starts in 2018 including last time out by a length just one week ago. Bravery has dropped considerably in the weights since his last win in the 2017 Lincoln but I don’t think he gets this trip.

A couple of these ran in this last year including David O’Meara’s Bravery (thirteenth) and Sands Charm (second). The latter has been beaten a long way on all starts after that one so it will be a surprise if he can land a blow in this. Third Time Lucky won this in 2015 and looks to win it again, this time under Jack Garrity. The grey son of Clodovil was tenth of seventeen behind Seniority in the Unibet Golden Mile with Mythical Madness ahead of him. He won at York in a handicap on his penultimate start under young Oakley Brown and is 6lbs higher than the mark he won this race at in 2016.

Image result for third time lucky horse
Third Time Lucky (Nearside)


Some of the top owners are also represented in this. Godolphin have Mountain Hunter and Very Talented. Both are trained by Saheed Bin Suroor and, based on the market, Very Talented is the better of the two. He hadn’t been seen since finishing third in the 2016 renewal of this race when he won at Chelmsford nine days ago. That was an encouraging performance and he will have come on from that and be primed for this. His stable mate was successful over in Meydan over the winter and he was fifth on his only start in Britain this season on the 13th September. The colours of some very good horses including Postponed, who never seemed to like it at Newmarket, will be carried by Sharja Bridge and Uae Prince. Andrea Atzeni is set to ride Uae Prince so he seems the preferred runner from the stable. We haven’t seen him since May and that was the only time we’ve seen him on a racetrack in 2018. He is a dual winner and one of those victories has come at this trip. He’s 6lbs higher than his last win but he has run well after a break before. He’ll go close. Sharja Bridge has won just the once in a Nottingham maiden. He hasn’t really shown the form from last year yet so he needs to step up.

King Power Racing have tasted lots of big race success recently and they have Pivoine and Zwayyan in this race. Zwayyan is partnered by a very good young jockey who has already won a big handicap this season. The pairing won at Chelmsford in August and was then just beaten off this mark at Ascot last time out. He isn’t without a shot but has been beaten twice by Via Serendipity this season. Stablemate Pivoine has a big weight as he won at York in impressive style beating Alfarris by two and a half lengths. On his start before that, Alfarris and Afaak, who is of the same ownership as the former, finished ahead of him in a handicap at Glorious Goodwood. Alfarris won that race and is the selection of the owner’s stable jockey Jim Crowley. He has won twice this season and has stamina in abundance. He has a decent draw and is a worthy market leader. Afaak won nicely on his second start this season then ran a blinder in the Royal Hunt Cup, finishing ahead of Circus Couture, What’s The Story, Raising Sand, Seniority, Tricorn and Kynren. Seniority is William Haggas’ other representative and the Dubawi gelding is owned by the Queen. He was favourite for that race but in the end wasn’t beaten far into eighth.

Kynren, Kenya and Danceteria are well fancied in the market. The former has attracted lots of support after being beaten only a neck at York last time out. He will stay as he was a staying on third in the John Smith’s Cup at York finishing behind Thundering Blue who runs for the same connections as Danceteria. The connections have had a brilliant summer with Thundering Blue after he was third in the Judmonte International and then went on to win the Stockholm Cup in Sweden recently. The yard’s representative in this is looking to do better than Blue did last year in this race when he finished seventh. Rated 103, this horse was searching for a five timer but missed the break and then stayed on to be fifth in a competitive Curragh handicap. He’s only three and is open to improvement.
Kenya goes for trainer Aidan O’Brien and this colt was last seen when second to I can Fly in a Group Two and, before that, he won the Irish version of this race by three and a quarter lengths. He is the classy horse in the line up and this is a drop in class for him.

Not a lot of these have actually won over this trip but Circus Couture and Mistiroc have. The first mentioned carries top weight and runs for Jane Chapple-Hyam. He ran for the first time in the UK in May after moving to his current yard. He was very successful over there and was second in a group three last time out, which has been his best performance since coming over here. Mistiroc’s last win came at the 2016 Shergar Cup meeting and he looks ridiculously high in the handicap. Mordin is very consistent and all bar a little blip in the John Smith’s Cup, he is yet to be beaten out of the top two and never beaten more than a length. He will most definitely stay and could be a bit of value at 16s.

The draws can be influential in these big field handicaps. Mostly the winners come from higher draws above 28 or below 7. Raising Sand has the widest draw of all in 35. He has a bit to find from there and there are stamina doubts with him especially off his current mark. Tricorn, who I’ve previously mentioned, goes from 34 and stable mate Stylehunter will jump from stall 32. They sandwich Via Serendipity, who has won twice this season including last time out at the Shergar Cup meeting. He is untried at this trip but if he stays he looks a bit of value. Seniority beat him just a length at Chelmsford in June but is better off in the weights to the royal runner. 2016 winner Third Time Lucky won the 2016 renewal of this and is on the opposite side of them. Next to him is Mark Johnston’s Masham Star who was sixteenth behind Seniority at Goodwood and has a bit to find based on that. Examiner and Misiroc go from 29 and 28 respectively.

Keith Dalgleish trains the horses drawn in one and two. Euro Nightmare has ran in decent company this season and she won a Fillie’s Listed race in May and she is a multiple winner at this trip. 50/1 may be a bit of big price. Her trainer also has What’s The Story in this. This horse will be partnered by Tom Queally and I’m not too convinced he’ll stay. Sabador will start from 3 and, on the last two occasions, he has been knocking on the door in big field handicaps over seven furlongs. He kept on well to win his maiden over a mile and that’s the only hint he’ll stay. Waarif is drawn in 4, Circus Couture is drawn in 5 and Afaak will go from stall 6, who’s chances have all be mentioned previously. Ventura Knight will be one of the outsiders and he comes out of stall 7. His last win came in June off 94 but now he’s rated 103 so he is likely to struggle.

King’s Gift will stay and won on his penultimate start but was behind Third Time Lucky and Pivoine either side of that so has a bit to find with them. Restorer will also stay but was behind Danceteria in August. There are questions about Via Via’s stamina but he is dropping down to a better mark and Abe Lincoln hasn’t been seen for 183 days and his record of runs after a break isn’t brilliant. He is also a bit high in the handicap.

My Verdict

There isn’t really a standout horse in the line up really. Favourites don’t have a very good record in this race but I like the chances of ALFARRIS. He has lots of stamina which is something he’ll most definitely need and a decent draw. I really do think that Mythical Madness is over priced at about 66/1. He’s beaten a lot of these before and likes the trip. Via Serendipity is a bit of an unknown as he is yet to tackle this kind of trip. He has been running so well lately and has the beating of Zwayyan on two separate occasions. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the winner’s enclosure. Danceteria is a nice horse and will have improved from the run last time out. Mordin completes my shortlist as he goes under the ‘could be anything banner’ in my books. He is so consistent but this will be a challenge for him.

Ayr Gold Cup Preview

Growl (not our photo)

by Samantha

Twenty five runners go to post in this handicap over six furlongs. Some old favourites like George Bowen, Kimberella and Growl line up for the £124,500 winning pot. The going will be heavy for the race so form on that type of ground is a huge plus for a horse contesting any race on the card at Ayr this Saturday. In the Bronze Cup on Friday over course and distance, the hugest few places were filled by horses with a high draw.

Here is your runner by runner guide to 2018’s Ayr Gold Cup….

No1- Perfect Pasture
Nathan Evans and Mick Easterby

He has only ran twice since November and he was a convincing winner of a Listed race at Doncaster on soft in March. Last of eight behind Kimberella in a Listed race at Chester in August, he was tailed off last off of 108 and runs off that mark again. He’s won thirteen of his forty six starts but won’t want the ground any heavier. He will go on the current going but isn’t likely to like it any softer.

No2- George Bowen
Sebastian Woods and Richard Fahey

Won with this apprentice on his back at Hamilton in July. Close fifth in the Stewards Cup last time out, he hasn’t raced off a mark this high before and the ground may go against him.

No3- Ice Age
Scott McCullagh and Eve Johnson-Houghton

Beaten just over two lengths in seventh in an ultra competitive handicap at the Curragh last time out, he was fourth behind Gunmetal (1st) and Growl (3rd) in the Great St Wilfrid. The ground may cause him to struggle and he is 2lbs higher than last winning mark.

No4- Justanotherbottle
David Carroll and Ger O’Neill

Fourth in a Listed sprint last time out, three lengths behind Kimberella (3rd) and before that just lost out in a head bob finish to Gifted Master in the Stewards’s Cup beating Growl, George Bowen and Gunmetal. His last win came off a mark of 97 and he is currently 8lbs higher than then so may struggle. He’s yet to win over six furlongs and has been unplaced on all starts on soft so won’t like the ground.

No5- Kimberella

Connor Murtagh and Richard Fahey

This horse is a proper star of the sprinting division. The eight year old has done it all and is a two times listed winner. He was disappointing on his penultimate start when finishing nineteenth of twenty in the Great St Wilfrid. He has won off a 4lbs higher mark than this in the past but has a huge weight so is likely to struggle on ground he doesn’t like.

No6- Gunmetal

Joe Fanning and David Barron

Finished behind Perfect Pasture good to soft in October and has climbed 16lbs since May. He won the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon by two and three quarter lengths last time out and has gone up 7lbs for that victory. He is yet to face conditions like this so he is likely to find this hard especially off this mark.

No7- Major Jumbo

Finley Marsh and Kevin Ryan

Second behind Kimberella in a Listed race last time out, he was a good third in a heritage handicap at Ascot the time before that. He is untried on the conditions and there is a possibility he will handle it.

No8- Son Of Rest

Chris Hayes and Fozzie Stack

This Pivotal colt will relish conditions as he has won on heavy before and was a brilliant second to Havana Grey in the Flying Five at the Curragh this weekend. There are question marks about his stamina at this trip as he is yet to win at it but the fact he has his perfect conditions boost his chances.

G Force winning the Sprint Cup aged 3 for old connections

No9- G Force

Clifford Lee and Adrian Keatley

He was last seen in May when he was eighth of nine in a group two behind Merchant Navy. He’s a classy sort and will like conditions as he won a handicap by five and a half lengths in April on soft to heavy ground. He won the group one Super Sprint at Haydock in 2014 as a three year old off a lot higher mark than what he is on in this so that isn’t an issue.

No10- Baron Bolt

Cameron Noble and Paul Cole

Winner of two of his six starts this season, he won nicely last time out and runs off a career high mark in this. He has been behind Gunmetal and Ice Age recently though. He will need to step up but may struggle to do so with his current mark and he would appreciate the ground drying up like lots of these.

No11- Muntadab

Tony Hamilton and Roger Fell

Twelfth in the Silver Cup here in 2016, he won a big field handicap on good ground in October 2016 beating Get Knotted and George Bowen. He has been running off 100 since November and would appreciate a drop in the weights from the handicapper. He has won on soft ground in the past but the mark he has to run off could be his downfall.

No12- Flying Pursuit

Rachel Richardson and Tim Easterby

This horse was sixth behind Gunmetal after going up 6lbs for landing the Sky Bet dash at York by a neck to Golden Apollo and a further three and a quarter lengths back to Summerghand, Growl and Tommy Tucker. He will go on the heavy ground as he won a nursery on it at two.

No13- Summerghand

Danny Tudhope and David O’Meera

He has won seven times from his twenty starts and is a good flag bearer for the yard. He was twelfth at the weekend in competitive handicap at the Curragh which Ice Age also ran in and finished seventh. Five times a winner since April, he has gone up 17lbs since then and races off a career high mark.

No14- Naadir

David Probert and Kevin Ryan

Winner on soft ground in March, he was third behind Perfect Pasture in October. His last win came off a mark of 92 and he’s a lot higher than that and he won’t like the ground.

No15 Growl

Paul Hanagan and Richard Fahey

He was third in two big field handicaps this summer off this mark and was also third in a handicap at Chester last time out. His last win came in 2016 off of b114 in a Listed race. Being beaten on heavy going twice goes against him but he runs off an appealing mark.

No16- Golden Apollo

David Allan and Tim Easterby

He ran better than his placing suggests last time out in the Porrtland but was beaten into eleventh by Gunmetal in the St Wilfrid. All his best runs have come on ground with good in the description but he has placed a few times on soft.

No17- Staxton

James Sullivan and Time Easterby

Staxton is the only three year old in the line up and he ran a decent race last time out at Newmarket. He’s untried on heavy going and looks a bit of an unknown quantity against these seasoned sprinters.

No18- Teruntum Star

Kevin Stott and Kevin Ryan

Last of twenty in the Great St Wilfrid, he had won the consolation race for that race the year before and followed that up with a nice win in the Coral Sprint Trophy. He’s slowly dropping to a reasonable mark.

No19- Aces

Richard Kingscote and Ian Williams

He won the concluding race on the Derby card and got an 8lbs hike in the weights for that. He won next time out over seven furlongs at Newmarket and then was fourteenth of seven in a race at Goodwood. Will need to step up.

No20- Goring

Edward Greatrex and Eve Johnson-Houghton

A ten times winner, this horse is very versatile and was last seen unplaced at Royal Ascot. He probably won’t like the ground and will struggle to take this.

No21- Tommy Taylor

Tom Eaves and Kevin Ryan

Currently dropping down the weights after landing a Listed race at York in September 2017. He was beaten a neck on heavy ground on debut so he definitely goes in it and runs off a decent mark.

No22- Get Knotted

Callum Rodriguez and Michael Dods

Winner on soft at York on his penultimate start, he was eighth off this mark beaten just over three and a half lengths on his most recent start and is still 2lbs higher than that winning. He was a course and distance winner at two but has been unplaced on all tries on heavy.

No 23- Brian The Snail

Jack Garrity and Richard Fahey

This horse was a long way behind Aces on seasonal debut and then won a handicap on good to firm at Doncaster. Form figures of 0000 in his last four runs aren’t very encouraging for his chances and he probably won’t like the heavy going.

No24- Tanasoq

Connor Beasley and Paul Midgely

Untried on any softer than good, he was a non-runner on heavy in 2017 so it will be interesting to see if he actually takes his chances. He won the Dash at Epsom as the third leg of a four timer he achieved this year but looks too high in the handicap.

No25- Upstaging

Connor McGovern and Paul Cole

This horse has barely any weight to carry especially with his capable apprentice taking off 3lbs. His wins have all come on good or on an all weather track. He is 1lbs higher than his last winning mark and ran well in last year’s Stewards’ Cup too.

How Could The Race Pan Out?

The majority of the pace is drawn in the lower numbers so Muntadab, Major Jumbo, Flying Pursuit and Ice Age will be at the front of affairs on that side. The only front runner drawn high is Justanotherbottle, who comes from 25 which is the widest stall. He should get an uncontested lead but Gunmetal also sometimes runs front rank and he is almost dead central in stall 15 so he can pick which way he wants to go. This leads me to think that they could possibly split and the horses drawn thirteen upwards could follow Justanotherbottle down the rail and all lower numbers on the other side. There are lots of horses who like to front run in the lower draws so they could do a lot of the early work and tire out in the finish to aid the challenge of the higher drawn horses who go on the ground like G Force, Son Of Rest and Tommy Taylor, who will be held up.

My Verdict

I think that the smart way of picking a horse in this race that looks almost impossible to decipher is going with one that will most definitely go on the ground and, less importantly, be drawn high. Son Of Rest is predicted to be one of the favourites and I can understand that as he will relish conditions. He is one of two main fancy for me but there are stamina worries with him as he is yet to win over six furlongs. G Force is one that has caught my eye when researching this race. He is a group one winner and most definitely goes on this ground as he won a race by five and a half lengths on soft to heavy in April over in Ireland. For sentimental reasons, I’d like to see Kimberella win this and Tommy Taylor isn’t without a chance either.

Selections- Son of Rest and G Force (Both EW)

Classic Stars Retired Within Minutes Of Each Other

Alpha Centauri (The Grey)

By Samantha

The racing world suffered a huge blow this Sunday when two of this season’s classic winners were retired within minutes of each other.

The two horses in question were 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior and Irish 1000 winner Alpha Centauri. They were trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien and Jessica Harrington respectively. Both horses picked up injuries whilst racing at the Leopardstown in Group Ones on Saturday and the true extent of their injuries were announced on Sunday afternoon.

First announced was Saxon Warrior. The son of Deep Impact injured his tendon when finishing a close second to Roaring Lion in the Champion Stakes. In his career, he won the Beresford Stakes, the Racing Post Trophy and the 2000 Guineas. He was stepped up in trip dramatically from that race to run in the Derby and ended up finishing fourth. He was then third in the Irish Derby. Since then, he has been beaten three times by Roaring Lion including when he sustained the injury that would end his career. Speaking about the horse, his trainer, Aidan O’Brien, said, “It’s a big pity that we’ve had to retire him. He was a brilliant horse and put up his best performance when winning the 2000 Guineas.”

Eleven minutes after that news was announced, the Racing Post tweeted that Alpha Centauri had also been retired. Twitter went into turmoil. Beaten on just four of her nine starts, she has been a star of the season after landing the Irish 1000 Guineas in convincing style for Colm O’Donoghue, Jessie Harrington and the Niarchos Family. She backed that up with a six length win in the Coronation Stakes beating the English and French 1000 Guineas. She proved just how good she was when beating the boys in the Jaques Le Marois Stakes. She was 3/10 favourite to land Saturday’s Matron Stakes but could only manage second behind Laurens. It was suspected that something was amiss and that was confirmed by Alan Cooper, racing manager to the Niarchos Family, he said, “She got a chip in her right front fetlock and following discussions with the vets and with Jessie [Harrington, her trainer] the decision was made to retire her.”

They will leave a gaping hole in the racing scene as many fans were extremely excited to see what they would achieve later on in the season especially as Saxon Warrior was set to go back to a mile. He will be a welcomed edition to the stallion ranks as he is out of a Galileo mare and by Deep Impact. Alpha Centauri’s foals are sure to make a decent price at the sales as she has a nice pedigree being by Mastercraftsman and has won so many top races on the track.

The last thing to say is- happy retirement!



By Killian

Champion Stakes
Eight runners line up for the highlight race of the Irish flat season. This year’s renewal isn’t a vintage race on paper. In my opinion Roaring Lion is a banker. I have grown to love this colt over the season and admire his courage. I have no doubt he will be involved in the finish and should be too good for this lot. Saxon Warrior rates the obvious danger. However I believe he does not stay the trip and will need a slowly run race. Verbal Dexterity may reward each way punters.

Petingo Handicap
I may be losing my marbles slightly but I think Birth Of Venus has a decent chance at 50/1. Having watched this horse in the flesh at Killarney twice I think I have figured him out. Birth of Venus has a habit of hitting flat spots in his races before staying on again. His last run behind Still Standing represents solid form. The step up to a mile and five and a strong gallop is what he needs. Astronomer is a non runner which makes his task a little easier. I hope the market is wrong and not me.

Sovereign Path Handicap
I have been following Band Of Outlaws since the start of the season at Naas. He has been placed a myriad of times since and managed to win a competitive handicap at the Curragh. On ratings he has only improved 3 pounds since the start of the season, which I find baffling. Shane Crosse takes 7 pounds off his back today as well. Band Of Outlaws was narrowly denied Listowel earlier this week and is in great form. The horse deserves to win a premier handicap like this and represents value at around 16/1. Despite being top weight Burnt Sugar should be involved and could drift out to double figure prices.

Tote Placepot
On big days like this the Tote Placepot is always worth a shot and can have huge payouts for small stakes. In the words of Del Boy, “He who dares wins.”

3:20 6. Gospel 12. My Laurette
3:50 8. Saracen Knight 17. Birth of Venus
4:25 4. Cosmic Horizon 8. Sydney Opera House
4:55 3. Guiseppe Garibaldi
5:25 7. Magical
6:00 7. Making Light

Stake: €1 per line= €8

6:35 Roaring Lion NAP
3:50 Birth of Venus e/w
7:10 Band Of Outlaws e/wroaring lion

St Leger Preview 2018

Frankie-Dettori-Lah-Ti-Dar-1280.jpgBy Samantha

Sixties Icon, Milan, Shantou, Nijinsky. Four horses who’ve managed to get their head over the line first in the oldest and longest classic. Milan and Shantou both have become top class national hunt sires, siring the likes of Jezki and Death Duty. Some very classy individuals have placed in this race like Camelot, when he was attempting to win the Triple Crown, and Stradivarius and Crystal Ocean last year. Twelve horses will line up to try and be the 242nd winner of the final classic of the season.

This race was established in 1776 and is the oldest and longest of Britain’s Classics. The event was devised by Anthony St Leger, who the race is named after. The original distance was two miles but it was changed to the current distance of one mile six furlongs and one hundred and ninety three yards in 1813. In 1906, it was declared that geldings were no longer allowed to run in it.

John Scott has held the record for most wins as a trainer (fifteen) for one hundred and fifty six years and it doesn’t look like it will be beaten anytime soon. The fastest time ever recorded in winning the race was 3m00.44s by Masked Marvel for William Buick and John Gosden. Gosden has Lah Ti Dar in the line up this year and her price has shortened dramatically since it was declared that she was running. She is the likely favourite at the off.

Here is your runner-by-runner to the horses who will be running against her…

No1- Dee Ex Bee
Farhh x Dubai Sunrise

Silvestre De Sousa & Mark Johnston

This horse is very consistent at the top level without winning. He is yet to win as a three year old but won twice at two aver a mile. The reason why he hasn’t won recently is probably that he simply hasn’t has his ideal ground. He loves to get his toe in and will relish the conditions in this. He was second in the Derby and was well fancied to come good in the Irish equivalent but failed to do so. He was beaten by Old Persian and The Pentagon in that race. Since then, he was third behind Kew Gardens in a group one and second in the Gordon Stakes behind Cross Counter, who was beaten by Old Persian in the Great Voltigeur. His form with lots of his competition doesn’t give him the best chance but he’s sure to show his true ability on this ground.

No2- Kew Gardens
Galileo x Chelsea Rose

Ryan Moore & Aidan O’Brien

This horse is one of the leading contenders for this race in the race and one of five for Aidan O’Brien. He absolutely bolted up over one mile six at Royal Ascot in the Queens Vase beating Southern France and Nelson by just over five and a half lengths. He won a Group One over one mile three at Longchamp in July ahead of Dee Ex Bee and Nelson and then was third to Old Persian in the Great Voltigeur with The Pentagon, Nelson and Zabriskie behind them. He is a winner on soft in the past and his stamina won’t be an issue.

No3- Loxley
New Approach x Lady Marian

James Doyle & Charlie Appleby

He is fairly lightly raced as he has had just the six career starts. On his second outing, he was seventh in the Racing Post Trophy and The Pentagon finishes third that day. He won on his three year old debut beating Raymond Tusk three lengths. He’s been kept in good company since as he was a two length second behind Wells Farhh Go in the Bahrain Trophy and has won a listed race and a Group Two on his last two starts. If will be his first try at this trip but he will handle conditions and the track.

No4- Nelson
Frankel x Moonestone

Michael Hussey and Aidan O’Brien

The first thing to mention about this horse is that he’ll definitely handle conditions as he has won two group threes on similar going at Leopardstown. He is a half brother to US Army Ranger, who also has an entry for the Melbourne Cup like this horse, so they must think Nelson will stay despite being left one-paced by Kew Gardens in the Queens Vase and ended up well beaten by his stablemate. If ridden more conservatively, 66/1 maybe a bit of a ridiculous price.


No5- Old Persian
Dubawi x Indian Pearl

William Buick & Charlie Appleby

This trainer/jockey combination has already won a classic this season with Masar and have a good chance of another with this lad. I’ve fancied him for a while for this race after his King Edward VII win. He has won six of his ten starts and four of those have came this season. The first was by winning a handicap and then was a decent second to his stablemate Key Victory in a Listed race at Newmarket. After that, he won the Fairway Stakes and the King Edward VII at Royal Ascot. He was then sixth of twelve in the Irish Derby when stepped up to one mile four. That causes uncertainties about his stamina and the only hint of stamina in his pedigree seems to be his dam’s full sister who stayed one mile four well. Based on his Great Voltigeur win, he has the beating of Kew Gardens, The Pentagon, Nelson and Zabriskie.

No6- Proschema
Declaration Of War x Notable

Richard Kingscote & Tom Dascombe

Definitely isn’t one of the leading fancied runners. He’s yet to try this trip but he did bolt up by eleven lengths at Haydock in April over one mile three furlongs so he could possibly stay. He’ll like conditions but this grade looks too hard for him.

No7- Raymond Tusk
High Chapparal x Dancing Shoes

Andrea Atzeni & Richard Hannon

A winner on debut then second in a novice race behind Loxley, it was a surprise to see him entered in the Eclipse. He was sixth of seven but not disgraced at all. Next time out, he won a Listed race at Hamilton and then was a staying on second over one mile five furlongs in the Geoffrey Freer. He’ll stay and won’t mind the good to soft ground. It would be great if he could win for his owners.

No8- Southern France
Galileo x Atta Anna

Seamie Heffernan & Aidan O’Brien

Second over one mile six furlongs behind Kew Gardens and ahead of Nelson a neck behind, he has since been fourth in the Irish St Leger Trial beating Thomas Hobson, who won the Doncaster Cup. He kept on but never got to the leaders so it seems like he’ll stay a lot further than this. He won’t like the ground if it’s soft.

No9- The Pentagon
Galileo x Vadawina

Wayne Lordan & Aidan O’Brien

This horse’s only wins have come over seven furlongs and one was in a group three. He has ran in the English and Irish Derbies and the Great Voltigeur, finishing behind Old Persian and Kew Gardens, this season. Connections obviously think he’ll stay as he has entries for two mile races in the future. He probably won’t like the soft ground and could be the pacemaker for Ballydoyle.


No10- Zabriskie
Frankel x Moonlight’s Box

Jim Crowley & Aidan O’Brien

His only win has come over seven furlongs. He was last in the Derby and eighth of nine in the Great Voltigeur, at the time of writing this, he was about 125/1 and that looks an appropriate price.


No11- Lah Ti Dar
Dubawi x Dar Re Mi

Frankie Dettori & John Gosden

This filly has captured lots of people’s imaginations after winning all three of her starts by a combined nineteen and three quarter lengths. It was touch-and-go whether she’d run in this and connections obviously think she’ll stay or she’d be running in the Arc instead. The way she won over one mile three suggests she will stay but she is untried at the highest level so she could just be a decent horse running against average Listed performers and that’s why she’s is winning so convincingly. She is very well related being by Lah Ti Dar and a sibling of So Mi Dar and classy two year old Too Darn Hot, who runs in the race before this and is rated 1lbs higher than her in official ratings.


No12- Maid Up
Mastercraftsman x Complexion

Rob Hornby & Andrew Balding

It took her five attempts to win her maiden and she did so nicely at Doncaster in June. She’s ever so progressive and in four runs, she’s gone from a mark of 69 to 105. She has been on a role since her maiden victory and has gone through the grades until she was beaten a short head on her penultimate start in the Lillie Langtry. She then came out and won very nicely over a mile and six at Goodwood so she’ll most definitely stay. The third horse had previously ran Southern France to two and a half lengths at Leopardstown but she beat him three and a half going away. Andrew Balding’s horses are flying at the minute so she’s a very good each way contender.


The main five trends of winners in recent years have been…
– 8/10 recorded a top three finish last time out.
– 10/10 ran in a group three or better last time out.
– 7/10 have been outside the top three in the betting
– 9/10 ran between three to five times that season.
– 10/16 we’re making their debuts over the trip.

When narrowing the field down by these criteria, you are left with Loxley and Raymond Tusk. The favourite, Lah Ti Dar, would be out at the second as she is yet to tackle a group race.

My Verdict

My antepost fancy for this race for a long time has been Old Persian. There are stamina doubts but King Edward VII win was very good and I don’t think he has had the credit he deserves in the media recently as all the talk seems to be about Lah Ti Dar and Kew Gardens. It was possible that Kew Gardens wasn’t meant to have a hard race there but Ryan did ride him out and wasn’t getting any closer. We must remember that he beat Kew Gardens in the Great Voltigeur last time out by one and a half lengths and Lah Ti Dar is yet to tackle a group race. She has a very good record and all her victories have been very convincing but lots of the key trends of the last few years go against her. This race will find out the true extent of her ability as she goes up against group winners. The other filly, Maid Up, could be a grand each way bet as she will stay and never runs a bad race. It would be great for young jockey Rob Hornby, who takes the ride, if she can go close and maybe win. The Aidan O’Brien battalion won’t make it easy for the English runners.

To Win- Old Persian
Each Way- Maid Up

Team Rein It In’s Fancies
Evie-Nelson E/W
Lois-Dee Ex Bee E/W
Killian- Loxley E/W



Doncaster Day 3 Preview


By Samantha

The feature race on the card on Day 3 of Doncaster’s St Leger meeting is the Group Two Doncaster Cup. In all fairness, it isn’t the best renewal of the race and there are no real superstars lining up. The rest of the card is intriguing though and here are my thoughts on it.

The first race is the Sceptre Stakes and Anna Nerium looks the standout as she is rated 109. This season she has been seventh in the 1000 Guineas, beaten just over six lengths, and then was beaten three quarter lengths by Wilamina in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom. She was eighth in the Coronation Stakes behind Alpha Centauri and won last time out in a group three on soft ground against the boys. Her main challenger could be Dancing Star, who met lots of trouble in running but still ended up second beaten just a neck last time out when stepped up to seven furlongs. Neither will mind any rain that comes and it’s likely that it will be between the two of them but Castle Hill Cassie may be able to land a surprise as she is ultra consistent but may not like any more rain.

Next up it’s the two year old sprinters’ turn in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes and this looks like it contains lots of could-be-superstars. Young trainer Richard Spencer’s biggest win of his career came when Rumble Inthejungle (pictured) won the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. He was ahead of Soldier’s Call, who has since won a group three at Chantilly, Vintage Brut, Well Done Fox, who he also beat on debut too, and Deia Glory. The only time he was beaten when just over two lengths behind Shang Shang Shang in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot. Legends Of War is an interesting contender and is likely to be Spencer’s colt’s biggest rival in this. He won convincingly on debut but was then put into the Group Two July Stakes but struggled. Dropped in class, he then won a class four novice race, a head in front of his other two competitors. It wasn’t the strongest race and his form at group level is questionable but he did run on well for second in the Group Two Gimcrack ahead of Semoum. Shumookhi seems the pick of the fillies as she won a Listed race last time out but Gossamer Wings was second in the Queen Mary and was behind top weight in this, Indigo Balance, last time out.

The third race is the first of two races at marathon trips on the card- the William Hill Mallard Handicap. This was won by Time To Study last year and he is currently 1lbs higher than his last winning mark and 5lbs higher than when he won this on similar conditions. He has a chance but the fact that he was nineteenth of twenty in the Ebor last time puts me off. Nakeeta was ahead of him in that race and had won it the previous year. He is 3lbs higher than then so that goes against him. Ryan Moore gets the leg up on Speedo Boy for the first time for the in-form Ian Williams team. He is a 120 rated hurdler and finished fifth of six behind Apple’s Shakira in a Grade Two. He’ll be a nice dual purpose horse for the future as he goes very well in any ground. He is well regarded as he has ran well in some top races on the flat. Ian Williams’ charge will like conditions and is sure to run a good race. Ben Vrackie is the unknown quantity in the line up. It took him three attempts to win his first race and John Gosden’s Frankel colt was left a bit one paced by St Leger hope Maid Up last time out but still stays the trip and ha a chance nevertheless. Austrian School doesn’t know how to run a bad race and if they go quick and the front runners fall into the hold-up horses’ lap, Theglasgowwarrior will be right there picking up the pieces.

The feature race comes next and it is a pathetic excuse for a Group Two to say the least. Willie Mullins has three in the race- Thomas Hobson, Renneti and Max Dynamite. He has three of the top jockeys-Ryan Moore, Frankie Dettori and Andrea Atzeni, in the country riding them. The first mentioned runner hasn’t won since June 2017 and is 7lbs higher than that victory. Renneti was last seen eight lengths behind fifth placed Thomas Hobson in the Irish St Leger Trial when last. He will stay but looks the weakest Mullins chance. Max Dynamite has contested most of the top staying races this year and is my pick of the Irish challengers. Sheikhzayedroad was a head behind Thomas Hobson int his a year ago and won this the year before. He has won off higher marks than this in the past too. Saunter was eighth on his only try at this trip but he won well over a mile and five furlongs so could be an each way player and is my selection in the race. Algometer is probably the second string David Simcock horse after him but is the highest rated so warrants respect. Jukebox Jive and Lord Yeats will probably struggle.

The rest of the card contains the Flying Scotsman Stakes (Listed) and the current short priced favorite is Sangarius. A son of Kingman, he won his first start by just a neck. He may be worth apposing as Athmad is an appealing runner. He also won on debut despite running very green and he demolished them. Some have won since so he has a very good chance and I think is the one to beat.

5 Races To Look Out For Tomorrow


By Samantha

Two of the sport of British horse racing’s biggest stars will be making their widely anticipated return to the track this Saturday in the feature races at Kempton and Haydock and the racing promises to be something special. Here are five races you need to make sure you watch…

1. September Stakes

14:05 Kempton

This race acts as the seasonal debut for one of the best fillies in the world at the minute- Enable. She’s had her issues but is back to full health and has a very good chance of opening her account for 2018 with a win. Last season, she won the Cheshire Oaks, Epson Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Her trainer John Gosden also has Weekender, who is likely in it as a pace angle but is a classy horse in his own right as he was second in the Ebor, in the line-up. John Gosden’s main rival in the training ranks is Sir Michael Stoute and he runs Crystal Ocean. He’s won two group threes and the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot. Last time out, he was second in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and is the superior on ratings. He has to carry 9st10lbs and Enable has to carry 9st2lbs so he’s at a huge disadvantage. Enable is my slight preference based on that and what she has achieved so far in her career. Cribbs Causeway and Peak Princess don’t have much of a chance.

2.Unibet Mile

14:25 Haydock

This race has attracted arguably two of the best older milers in training at the minute in the form of Here Comes When and Master The World. The former, who is now an eight year old, won the Sussex Stakes in 2017 and is back on that winning mark. The majority of his wins have come on a going with soft in the description but he has won on good to firm on debut. Master The World won the Winter Derby in February and is a year younger than the aforementioned horse. He has won on all types of going and his wins normally come as a bit of a surprise. Zonderland’s last win came in 2016 in a similar group three contest beating Master The World. He’s gone up 2lbs for a very close fourth in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood and will appreciate a drop in class so he has leading claims. Regal Reality looks the pick of the two three year olds as he won a group three over a mile beating the other three year old Threading last time out. Emmaus won the Listed King Richard III at Leicester in April on bottomless ground and he seems a bit of a course specialist there as that’s where all his wins have come.

3.32 Red Casino Ascendant Stakes (Listed)

15:00 Haydock

It’s disappointing that unbeaten Scat Daddy colt Beatboxer has come out of this race as he seems and exciting prospect. His absence opens the race up a lot and the other five seem to have claims to win this Listed contest. Floating Artist is one from one and his win came over a mile. He did it well and will continue to improve but Great Scot is just preferred. He won at Chester over seven furlongs on debut and over six furlongs here on his penultimate start. The colt, who will be partnered by Haydock maestro Richard Kingscote, was a very close third in Deauville last time out beating Certain Lad, who had previously been third in the Railway Stakes. Persian Moon was fancied in the Acomb but ended up third whilst staying on so the step up to a mile will aid his cause. Bullington Boy was last of eleven on debut over six furlongs and it will be a big surprise if he can win.

Harry Angel

4.32 Red Sprint Cup Stakes

16:15 Haydock

Some really nice horses have won this like Quiet Reflection, Dream Ahead, Invincible Spirit and Royal Applause. Harry Angel won this last year by four lengths by four lengths with Tasleet, The Tin Man and Brando all behind. He comes into this race this year after a mishap in the stalls at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee, leaving him injured. Connections have put in a lot of work to get him back comfortable in the stalls. On raw ability, he is the best horse in the field and will handle any ground thrown at him. Sir Dancelot will be a threat as he has won his last two including the Hungerford at Newbury and he holds Gustav Klimt to that running. James Garfield looks the pick of the three year olds as he almost won the Prix Maurice de Gheest but ran around in front. He beat The Tin Man, Sands Of Mali and Brando on that occasion despite that. Sands Of Mali was a good second at Royal Ascot and had previously won the Sandy Lane Stakes, the race that Harry Angel won last year. James Garfield was beaten by him that day but beat him convincingly the last time they met so the Archie Watson runner is preferred. Equtidaar is the selection of Jim Crowley over Tasleet. Donjuan Triumphant and Brando are both course and distance winners. Speak In Colours comes over from Ireland and was behind Equtidaar in June. Hey Jonesy looks as though he will struggle in this.

5.188 Bet Casino Sirenia Stakes

16:25 Kempton

Some very progressive colts line up in this race. Konchek looks the standout based on his rating as he is 5lbs higher than his nearest pursuer. He’s run a lot better than all of his placings have suggested. Quiet Endeavour won over course and distance last time out and is searching for a five timer after four wide-margin wins. He deserves his step up into this grade and has a very good chance for young trainer Archie Watson. Kessar won by ten lengths after finishing in twenty fifth in the Windsor Castle and was well fancied to land the Champion Two Year Old Trophy at Ripon after his victory but could only manage sixth. Junius Brutus won a conditions race last time out and is respected. Fuente has lots to find based on the weights.

Saturday Racing Guide

Lah Ti Dar

By Samantha

There is lots of high class racing on offer for racing fans of both codes this Saturday. The ITV cameras will be at Sandown and show races from Chester and Beverley as well with Group Three and Listed glory to play for. England, Ireland and France all play host to so brilliant racing. Here is your guide to the day’s action…

In England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

The Solario Stakes from Sandown looks to be a race which holds lots of classic clues for the 2019 season. Too Darn Hot looks the standout horse judging by his pedigree and how he won his debut. He did so by seven lengths, beating the first foals of Estimate, who’s foal will need further in time, and Honor Bound, a Oaks Trial winner. He himself is a brother to So Mi Dar and Lah Ti Dar and his dam was a very good horse. He likes this going and course so is the one to beat and is likely to be very short in the market. Arthur Kitt is somewhat a miracle. His dam, Royal Ascot winner Ceiling Kitty, died whilst giving birth to him and he had to be resuscitated so he would survive. He has had a very good racing career so far and won his maiden nicely before landing the Chesham. He’ll handle the step up to group level and will run Too Darn Hot close as he has lit more experience. Confiding and Dunkerron’s form both entwine as they were both behind Dark Vision last time out in a Group Two. Dunkerron came out on top and has been improving recently but will appreciate the drop in class. He has an interesting pedigree as he is by first season Australian sire Kuroshio. I prefer him to the aforementioned Confiding who has lots of good entries but may struggle to reverse the form. Watan is another leading contender who ran very green on debut but still managed to win. He was second in the Acomb at York and it looks like he will prefer a longer trip in the future as his half brother by Frankel stays one mile six. Victory Command is extremely overpriced and I could see him causing an upset. He’s never been out of the top three on all of his starts and has improved for the step up to seven furlongs. He was a two length winner of a Listed race at Ascot last time out and looks a ridiculous price at 16/1.

Arthur Kitt as a foal with the foster mare that raised him. 

Also at Sandown, there is a Group Three for the mares and Veracious, who was third in the Coronation Stakes, takes her chance. She’s the likely favourite and will be hard to beat but Awesometank and Laugh Aloud have good recent form and will go close.

Chester’s feature race is a Listed race over one mile six. Duretto is a very solid Andrew Balding inmate and goes well here. He looks the standout chance but Here And Now won well last time out and could be some value.

Over the jumps, at Newton Abbot, Leapaway looks a very promising horse for Philip Hobbs and the horse is searching for a four timer but he has 12st2lbs to carry so this will be an indication of how good he actually is. If he can pull this off, I’m sure he’ll go in lots of trackers ready for the coming season.

In Ireland 🇮🇪

Two nice two year old Aidan O’Brien in mates are set to run in the two Group Threes for two year olds on the card at the Curragh. Just Wonderful, the filly, is the market leader for the Flame Of Tara. She won on debut, which is sometimes unusual for an Aidan O’Brien horse, but she has since been unplaced when 2/1 favourite in the Albany and third in the Anglesey. She’s likely to like the step up in trip she will face here but she will get a big challenge from Bandivc Eile, who will come on for her second in a group two to Skitter Scatter. The other horse is Ten Sovereigns. He goes in the latter Group Three on the card and makes a lot of appeal after a seven length victory over a twenty five runner field. He is a very exciting prospect but Aidan’s other runner Fantasy will struggle. I fancied Jungle Inthebungle for the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot but he pulled off a shoe and finished down the field and has done on all runs since. If he can channel his form from the pre-Windsor Castle days, he’ll have a chance.

In France 🇫🇷

Windsor Castle winner Soldiers Call lines up in the D’arenberg Group Three race at Chantilly and is the likely favourite. William Haggas and James Tate both have representatives in the race. The former has Queen Of Bermuda. She is a three time winner at the minimum trip and won at Deauville so has a good chance. Second Generation is James Tate’s runner and she won at Windsor last time out but is probably the weakest of the English challengers.