The Syndicate

AW Selections Feb 18 Onwards

| February 2, 2018 | 9 Replies

Selections will be posted here at 6:30pm Monday to Friday and 11am Monday morning. Any selections at any other time will have a text sent first.

Selections for Saturday 17th February

4.05 Lingfield. Berryessa. Non Runner

7.15 Kempton. Veena. 0.5 points each-way. 13 Coral/BetBright/Ladbrokes/BetVictor

7.45 Kempton. Gothic Empire. 0.5 points each-way. 15 various

8.15 Kempton. Bluff Crag. 0.5 points each-way. 11 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook/Bet365

Apologies but I’ve run out of time to add notes tonight but normal efforts have gone into the selections- quite a lot to look at and let’s hope to end the week on a high.

Friday 16th February

UPDATE: One to add to the one from last night (beneath): 8.45 Newcastle. Picks Pinta. 0.5 points each-way. 7 various

We backed Picks Pinta with an increased stake in the summer. Unfortunately that day the horse in stall 2 veered right coming out of the stalls, hampering most of the field in a domino effect and allowing the only horse unaffected (in stall 1) to fly clear and hold on with PP finishing 2nd. After a 3 month break PP has had three runs on Tapeta, improving with each and placing the last twice. He was stretched by an extra furlong last time out but is back at 6 furlongs today. There should be pace here from the likes of Hadley which will help set it up. It may be that favourite Breathoffresair has peaked after recording a hat-trick this winter, but either way PP should be pushing hard off 4 lbs less than when we previously backed him.

 

3.40 Lingfield. Dream Magic. 1 point win.5.5 Ladbrokes/Bet365 (plus BetFred/Totesport but not BOG until 8am), 5 various

Dream Magic was half of our successful double at the beginning of the month, doing so in emphatic fashion. That 10 length victory was like a replay of his previous win (with a failure on Fibresand in between) and a 6 lb rise is remarkably lenient.

He is up in class but then it’s looked like a mismatch in those two runs and a repeat would see him still have a great chance. Richard Kingscote rides and if able to get a soft lead then that will only increase his chances. King Kevin has been winning over shorter distances and the clock puts our selection ahead of the rest despite not having been fully stretched recently since his upturn after being upped in trip.

Thursday 15th February

8.00 Chelmsford. Evanescent. 1 point win. 6 Betfair Sportsbook, 5.5 PaddyPower, 5 various

8.30 Chelmsford. Tabla. 0.5 points each-way. 12 WillHill/PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook

Tabla’s record of only placing once in 14 runs in handicaps doesn’t look too inspiring, but there are reasons to think that improvement is coming. Her mark has fallen from 68 to 53 in the last year and she drops significantly in class from a 0-75 into a 0-52.

She had a change of trainer at the end of last year and she’s since been dropped in trip. A 4 length defeat last time out at her first attempt at 7 furlongs and finishing 8th of 10 again doesn’t sound too impressive, but she was strong in the finish and this is much weaker. Her cruising speed may have been stretched in that last run, but she’s now had that experience of the shorter distance, and the increased pace that goes with it, and, again, this drop in class should return her to her comfort zone. With stamina on her side, if she’s in touch turning for home then she should outrun these odds.

Trainer Tony Carroll has been desperately short of winners in the last year but it seems his string are now beginning to find some form. Whereas he was winless and only had 12 place in the last quarter of 2017 from 83 runs on the flat, he’s started 2018 with 5 wins and a further 18 places from 58 runs.

Evanescent’s form has mirrored the upturn in the performances of runners from the stable. He failed to beat a horse in two runs in October and December but then improved over an extra furlong when travelling well until around a furlong out and then going into reverse. Dropped back to 7 furlongs (tomorrow’s distance) he led all the way on his most recent run at Lingfield at the end of January but was taken on the bob in the tightest of photos by the reopposing Rising Sunshine. Chelmsford should suit his front-running style, Robert Winston rides and if he keeps moving forwards now, like others from the yard have done recently, then he will be hard to peg back.

 

Wednesday 14th February

4.20 Lingfield. Billyoakes. 0.5 points each-way. 6 various

4.50 Lingfield. Loving Your Work. 0.375 points each-way. (34 MarathonBet) 26 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/Bet365

Leonard Thomas was a non-runner today and no joy from the other two who were both well beaten.

Loving Your Work might be worth a modest stake at a large price. The seven year-old runs off his lowest ever mark and has a 2nd run since a four month break. He also reverts to the distance of his last two wins.

Although 13th of 16 in that most recent run, he was only 5 lengths away and travelled strongly, being last off the bridle. He was unable to make up much ground from behind a wall of horses in a race not run to suit and others found more in the final furlong. But, dropping down from a mile and a half to a mile and a quarter should see him stronger in the finish and with that run behind him he looks capable of outrunning these massive odds (although it looks like this has been backed elsewhere too and the price has started to be cut).

With Jason Watson’s 7lb claim taken into account, Billyoakes is also down to a lowest ever mark, over 30 beneath his highest two years ago. He’s a reliable performer, normally at the front end and from a low draw he should be able to be up with the pace and stay out of trouble. Nothing went right for him last time out when stumbling out of the stalls and having to come from behind, then he had gap after gap close on him, being switched and snatched up numerous times. It wasn’t Watson’s finest hour but the horse looked clearly the best in the race and did remarkably well to only lose by a length.

Favourite Pride of Angels along with Strategic Heights are respected, but in this form and off this mark Billy is very likely to at least place and each-way is preferred as a near shot to nothing. Awesome Allan is also one to keep an eye on and will be very much of interest when trainer Dave Evans gives a senior pro, rather than an inexperienced apprentice, the leg up.

Similarly, Joey’s Destiny (running in the 5.15 at Wolverhampton) is one in the notebook but tomorrow has an inexperienced rider with only 4 wins to his name and the widest draw to contend with. In the same race, Air of York is another on the radar but I’d rather a different rider and a race that looks likely to have more pace.

In the 7.15 at Wolverhampton, two of our winners from last week, Great Return and Luv U Whatever go head to head but look fairly priced, currently.

Tuesday 13th February

2.20 Southwell. Leonard Thomas. 0.5 points each-way. 8 Bet365, 7 various

4.00 Southwell. Best Tamayuz. 0.375 points each-way. 13 Bet365, 11 various

5.00 Southwell. Broadhaven Honey. 1 points win. 7 PaddyPower/Bet365, 6.5 various

The 4.00 has a collection of horses that have won at Southwell this season. Sooqan seeks a four-timer at the course (has also won at Wolverhampton), Angel Palanas bids for a hat-trick, while Kommander Kirkup has had two victories here and Queens Royale three. Mister Music won last time out and Powerful Society and Best Tamayuz have also got their head in front, albeit at the end of last year.

With such an unusual amount of winning form in a field, especially at the course, it would normally be a race to avoid. But, most of these have gone up in the weights, up in class and will have to continue their winning spells over an unfamiliar distance. Meanwhile, Best Tamayuz has been running consistently well, placing in 6 out of 7 runs and yet is 3 lbs lower than the beginning of that sequence. In his career he’s placed in all 10 runs at 7 furlongs at Southwell in Class 5 or 6 with 7 of those off higher marks. He doesn’t have a line of ‘1’s next to his name, but on better terms than would have been the case a month or two ago, he’s a strong contender at a decent price.

Leonard Thomas has also run well here, placing without winning, and was narrowly beaten by the favourite in tomorrow’s 2.20, Star Ascending, last month. He’s 10 lbs better off between the two tomorrow and that should help reverse that defeat by a head. Ochos Rios is another threat but has a habit of badly missing the break, while Stoneboat Bill often travels strongly before finding little in the finish. Otherwise, there’s a lack of depth in the field and Leonard looks a strong each-way selection at the prices.

Trainer Ron Harris doesn’t send many to Southwell- he was only represented here on 4 occasions last year- and Broadhaven Honey is his only runner on tomorrow’s card. He won here in November but was then well beaten when attempting to follow up. However, he raced down the unfavoured nearside in that sprint and is better drawn tomorrow to attack the centre of the track. He was behind the reopposing Red Stripes that day but is 13 lbs better off between the two this time around and has beaten the inconsistent Archimedes the last two times they’ve met. At twice the price of those rivals he looks the clear value pick.

 

Monday 12th February

No selections at the moment, but I will have another look at the 2nd half of Wolverhampton’s evening card and text if there’s anything worth backing. Meanwhile, a catch-up on the last week:

A reasonable profit on the week, continuing the bright start to the month. Pleasingly it was a far more consistent week, leaving us just a couple of good results away from reversing January’s loss.

Towerlands Par was a non-runner on Saturday.

Sonnet Rose was 3rd on Friday, sent into the lead off the final bend and travelling strongly but then headed inside the final furlong. I thought the drop to 7 furlongs might help her see it out, but it appears she’s vulnerable in the finish and one who doesn’t respond to pressure. Penny Dreadful couldn’t get involved after being unable to find a decent position and was well beaten. We finally got a win out of Luv U Whatever at the third attempt this winter. He’d been sent for home too early the last twice, and most recently was only collared in the final strides, but this time was held onto a little longer by the ever-improving Holly Doyle and still had a little in hand at the line.

We also had to wait for the last selection to get a win on Thursday. First up was the farcical race involving Bollihope. As the Racing Post commented,This was wholly unsatisfactory and not great viewing for anyone apart from those connected to the winner, or those who backed him. Presumably the beaten riders thought that the winner would come back to them, but how wrong they were. The winning time was almost three seconds slower than the first division and clearly this form can be taken with a huge mountain of salt.’

Incidentally, Bollihope had a wind operation since last seen. Now that such information is in the public domain, it’ll be interesting to see the effect this has over the coming months. There is a school of thought that it may be in the second or third runs afterwards that show the most benefit because the horse will then have experienced being stretched without a negative reaction and will thus gain confidence to push further thereafter. With this in mind, Bolli may be one to keep an eye on.

Also at Newcastle, King Oswald was given a dreadful ride by Josephine Gordon and may also be worth another look. Gordon has increasingly become a safe pair of hands and this was a rare misjudgement but the leaders had gone at such a crawl that it was going to be tough for anything off the pace to come through and the first four home had been in the front bunch throughout. But, King Oswald was held onto far too long when Gordon could and should have moved him closer earlier and when belatedly asked to pick up could only make minor inroads with seemingly plenty left in the tank.

Things didn’t quite fall Sharp Operator’s way at Chelmsford and he was shuffled back into last place before making some ground close to home, finishing 4th in a blanket finish behind the clear winner. The run didn’t scream out to be backed again unless at a price, but he’ll need respecting. Good Business justified the slightly increased stake by winning by 3 lengths, ahead of the early favourite Fareeq. Adam Kirby gave him prime spot behind the leaders and pushed him on in the final furlong.

The placepot went down in the 4th leg, with Leonard Thomas and Bollihope finishing 4th and 5th- in the 3rd race, Galilee Chapel was a non-runner so that selection was automatically switched onto the favourite who did place- and also failed in the final race. The pay-out was 645.9/1 so would potentially have been worthwhile, particularly if getting multiple lines through.

On Wednesday, Critical Thinking, Lord Murphy and Kelly’s Dino were all third and Touch The Clouds well beaten. Kelly’s Dino was the one to take out of the quartet, finishing like a train but had too much ground to make up in a race not run to suit.

On Tuesday, the only selection, Sir Geoffrey, gave us a good run for our money, battling the winner for a long way and only being defeated close to home, losing by just under a length.

Two winners on Monday from Sir Lancelot and Great Return who won by 7 lengths. Our 40/1 shot Tess Graham lost a lot of ground after a barging match coming out of the stalls and did remarkably well to run on for 5th. Definitely one for the tracker.

The other long-shot of the month so far, Corporal Maddox @ 33/1, is also worth tracking if a similar price again. He ran on but had too much to do from the back of the pack and was also forced very wide off the final bend.

Saturday 10th February

UPDATE: No further bets today (and Towerlands is now a non-runner).

One for Lingfield for tomorrow is here. If there are any for Wolverhampton’s evening meeting then I’ll text tomorrow. A few things have got in the way today and I’m having to put this up a little early. I’ll amend the prices later if they’ve dropped by 6.30.

2.55 Lingfield. Towerlands Park. 1 point win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 various

Friday 9th February

2.00 Chelmsford. Sonnet Rose. 1 point win. 3.75 various

4.15 Chelmsford. Penny Dreadful. 1 point win. 11 SkyBet/BetVictor/Bet365

4.45 Chelmsford. Luv U Whatever. 0.75 points win. 5.5 various

I’ll do a recap in tomorrow night’s post. Meanwhile, it’s worth having a look and shaking your head at the 3.45 today. When doing so, it’s worth bearing in mind that Outlaw Torn ran 3 seconds slower than the other division of the race run today and 9 seconds slower than the standard time for track and trip. In a normally run race, time wise, he would have been last.

Thursday 8th February Placepot Picks for Newcastle.

(Two singles for both Chelmsford and Newcastle are beneath.)

96 lines, each 0.01 points. (This may not fit perfectly into different sized banks with the multiples of 10p per line restriction, but try to get it as close as possible to 1pt.)

2.05 Traditional Dancer AND Pantomime AND Archibelle

2.40 Lexington Law AND Theglasgowwarrier

3.10 Highwayman AND Galilee Chapel

3.40 Bollihope AND Leonard Thomas

4.20 Henpecked AND Rubenesque

4.55 King Oswald AND Newmarket Warrier

It’s certainly a tricky card so could be a decent payout if we can sneak through. Progress can be tracked at Scoop6.co.uk

If you have any questions or problems, you can email me at milesbets@gmail.com

Thursday 8th February (Part Two)

Placepot picks for Newcastle to follow by midday. This just needs to be made by the time of the first race at 2.05. Two for Chelmsford here and two posted last night for Newcastle this afternoon are beneath.

5.55 Chelmsford. Sharp Operator. 0.75 points win. 5 PaddyPower/Betfair Sportsbook (plus StanJames BOG, Unibet/SportingBet/Marathon/888Sport, all not BOG)

7.00 Chelmsford. Good Business. 1.25 points win. 3.75 WillHill/BetVictor (plus SunBets), 3.5 various

Good Business was an eased down winner over course and distance last time out. The time was better than today’s favourite Fareeq’s win here last month despite Good Business carrying 20 lbs more (there’s only 2 lbs difference between the two today). His more prominent style is better suited to Chelmsford and Adam Kirby rides. In summary, these two market leaders are the wrong way round in the betting.

Sharp Operator has been lightly raced and tried over various distances, but looked at home running a mile and a quarter last time. There’s scope for further development, he runs for a yard in fine form at the moment and Ben Sanderson, who won for us on Sir Lancelot on Monday, takes off a very useful 3 lbs depsite this being an Apprentice Handicap. Many in opposition are stepping up in trip.

Thursday 8th February

Two tips for tomorrow are below. I’ve got a bit bogged down with Newcastle and consequently am a bit behind schedule, meaning there may be more to come for Chelmsford’s evening meeting. Newcastle also begins with 6 tricky handicaps for older horses so let’s put our Placepot hats on for that. I’ll send a text late morning when bets for Chelmsford and the Newcastle Placepot selections are ready.

3.45 Newcastle. Bollihope. 1 point win. 4 Ladbrokes/PaddyPower, 3.75 various

4.55 Newcastle. King Oswald. 0.5 points each-way. 10 Coral/BetVictor, 9 various

Outlaw Torn hasn’t placed in 9 runs on Tapeta at Newcastle, but has been running well at Chelmsford. This makes sense because he likes to run at the front of affairs, or at least as prominently as possible, and the long sweeping bends and short straight at Chelmsford suits is style whereas the very long straight at Newcastle often makes front-runners sitting ducks.

So, at first glance it seems strange that he’s sent to Newcastle tomorrow by Richard Guest. However, Guest also has Bollihope running for him in the same race- a horse that is often held-up and then keeps on running and running and needs a decent pace to chase down. I can only think that Outlaw Torn is here to ensure there’s enough pace injected and that the race is set-up for Bolli who has won 3 from 6 over course and distance, with two of those in a higher class and off higher marks.

Wednesday 7th February

UPDATE (@ 9.50pm): One more to add to the three below. 4.30 Chelmsford. Touch The Clouds. 1 point win. 3.25 various

Three here for Wolverhampton, but I want to have another look at a couple of races at Chelmsford. If there’s anything else to add I’ll text later tonight between 9 and 10 or once the markets have settled down in the morning.

6.55 Wolverhampton. Lord Murphy. 0.75 points win. 5 Bet365, 4.5 various

7.25 Wolverhampton. Critical Thinking. 1 point win. 4.5 BetBright/Bet365, 4 various

7.55 Wolverhampton. Kelly’s Dino. 1 point win. 4.5 Bet365, 4.33 various

Tuesday 6th February

3.35 Southwell. Sir Geoffrey. 0.75 points win. (5 BetFred/Totesport not BOG until 8am, Marathon not BOG at all) 4.5 various (which will be recorded).

Sir Geoffrey raises his bat tomorrow to acknowledge his 150th run. He first won in 2008 and has added to his tally every year since, with the exceptions of 2009 and 2011. Now a 12 year-old, he came back from a break last week to record his 9th victory at Southwell.

That gives some encouragement because he has never won off the back of an absence before in his long career. He showed plenty of early speed to take the lead last week and laboured slightly towards the finish and with that run behind him may be able to last home slightly stronger.

When he has won or placed he’s often followed that up and he’s one who holds his form over a series of runs. He’s won four from ten runs over course and distance, all within the last 25 months and off marks between 52 and 61, making his current mark of 55 very workable. He’s also won three from three over course and distance with tomorrow’s jockey, Kieran O’Neill.

Market rivals, Archimedes is inconsistent and Shelneverwalkalone makes her Fibresand debut. Her place at the top of the market comes from a narrow defeat at Lingfield, but form rarely transfers across such different surfaces.

Monday 5th February

4.45 Wolverhampton. Tess Graham. 0.25 points each-way. 41 various

5.15 Wolverhampton. Sir Lancelot. 0.5 points each-way. 7 various

6.45 Wolverhampton. Great Return. 1 point win. 6.5 Bet365/Betfair Sportsbook (plus BetWay- BOG at this time- and Marathon, not BOG), 6 various

Two Apprentice Handicaps, both 7 furlong contests, begin the Wolverhampton card later today, open only to riders with 10 or fewer wins to their name. Because of this, there’s a collection of riders with just a handful of rides behind them and it may pay to stick with others who are relatively experienced.

The opener also has a large number of horses more used to sprinting 6 furlongs who may struggle to last the distance- there’s certainly the possibility of them going off at an unsustainable pace, especially in inexperienced hands, and something coming through from the rear.

Tess Graham is a speculative selection, as the price should suggest. Despite being yet to place in 10 career starts, there is some reason for hope. She was 7th of 11 over course and distance last month, racing in last throughout until passing a few on the home straight. But, that was a stronger race and one in which the leaders dominated. Furthermore, that was a first attempt at 7 furlongs and a first run since August. She wasn’t given a hard time and that could have just been a test to see if she’d get the trip.

From a lower draw she may be closer to the pace today but, as mentioned, it may not be a bad thing to be away from a possible pace battle. If showing some improvement for that return and experience of the distance, at the prices she looks worth chancing against a field in which none can be entirely trusted to perform. Aled Beech has his 161st ride and has won 6 Apprentice Handicaps on the All-Weather at a more than respectable 15% strike-rate and blindly backing him each time would have been profitable.

The second division (the 5.15- due to a large number of entries they’ve been split into two races) has turned out to marginally be the stronger of the two fields but has a similar range of (lack of) experience from those in the saddle. It’s unlikely to have too much pace injected and being prominent may be a positive

Sir Lancelot should be a contender and looks to be priced too highly. He’s 20 lbs lower than his peak and has won 3 times at Wolverhampton. He’s had a couple of changes of trainer in the last year and his current one has tried him at different distances on different surfaces, but he runs 7 furlongs at Wolves again for the first time since putting in his best effort for some time when 2nd here on the third day of the year. He was unfortunate to come up against Spare Parts that day who won a further three times in the following fortnight and is now rated 20 higher, with the reopposing Rising Sunshine, who has also won since, behind in third.

The three who like to push on are drawn low, including Sir Lancelot. But Louis Vee has a debutant rider which may leave it open for Pitch High to push on from stall 2, hopefully being tracked by our selection from stall 1. With the 7 furlong course starting on a shoot going directly into a bend, those drawn low can steal a march on the others and we have the most experienced apprentice in the race riding for us.

Trainer Warren Greatrex has spoken positively this morning about his Great Return’s chances later on today in the stayers’ contest. He has only his tenth run today and was stepped up in trip to 2 miles when returning from a 5 month break in December. He placed then and in his one run at this distance since, with those finishing around him running well again subsequently. He gets the trip and can build on those two runs with cheekpieces added to aid his focus in a finish.

Saturday 3rd February

2.00 Lingfield. Mythmaker. 0.375 points each-way. 13 various

2.35 Lingfield. You’re Cool. 0.75 points win. 7 various

3.10 Lingfield. Mia Tesoro. 0.375 points each-way. 15 Coral/BetVictory, 13 various

There’s some decent racing at Lingfield tomorrow with two qualifiers for Good Friday’s All-Weather Finals Day. In the 6 furlong sprint at 2.00, the top two in the market both like to blast out and play catch me if you can.

Caspian Prince is one of the speediest around and is sure to take them along. He’s lasting better as he gets older but still the suspicion is he’s more suited to 5 furlongs. That said, he made a bold effort from the front here over 6 in December, only missing out on the places at the death and then battled all the way to the line to win over Newcastle’s stiff 5 furlongs. Favourite Kachy would like to be on his shoulder but an abundance of pace coupled with a wide draw means that he can’t miss a beat at the start to get to his desired position.

Mythmaker is likely to have a smoother route. He was drawn in stall 2 in December and tracked the pace, moving past Caspian in the run for home and grabbing second with the reopposing Intisaab and Royal Birth behind. He has the same draw tomorrow and it should be set up for him. A case could be made for a few here, but Mythmaker shouldn’t be this big.

Similarly, in the mile and a quarter qualifier, a number will have high hopes but Mia Tesoro looks overpriced. She beat Petite Jack over course and distance in November then couldn’t quite run him down in December with the pair finishing first and second with reopposing Intern and Utmost behind. The wide draw isn’t much of a disadvantage as she’ll be held up and as long as she’s not too far adrift turning for home, looks to have the kick to challenge. The one to beat is the favourite Victory Bond but is a very short price for another who will need a bit of luck in running.

Friday 2nd February

2.00 Lingfield. Outer Space. 1 point win. 4 Coral/PaddyPower/Betfair Sprortsbook

6.45 Wolverhampton. Dream Magic. 1 point win. 3.25 Bet365, 3 various

8.45 Wolverhampton. Corporal Maddox. 0.375 points each-way. 26 Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower/SkyBet. Some yet to price

Plus a win double, 0.5 points using Outer Space and Dream Magic

SkyBet/Coral (plus 10Bet, NetBet, SportPesa but not BOG until morning) 4, 3, Bet365 3.5, 3.25, Ladbrokes 3.75, 3. Betfair Sportsbook/PaddyPower 4, 2.75. Some yet to price one or the other.

With January’s dip, some relatively new members and approaching our third birthday, I thought it’d be a good time to update the biggest ups and downs from my selections over those three years. (This was previously last updated a year ago and has been at the bottom of the User Guide.)

The biggest dips have been:

18th November 2016 to 15th February 2017, -30.936

1st June 2016 to 30th July 2016, -28.198 points

16th December 2017 to CURRENT (as of close of play 31st January 2018), -26.203

26th May 2015 to 4th June 2015, -20.04 points

28th August 2015 to 8th September 2015, -19.858 points

15th September 2017 to 29th September 2017, -18.679

8th September 2016 to 19th September 2016, -17.951

9th October 2017 to 22nd October 2017, -17.931

7th June 2017 to 1st July 2017, -17.148

The biggest increases have been:

4th June 2015 to 25th July 2015, +90.572

15th February 2017 to 7th June 2017, +82.819

19th September 2016 to 18th November 2016, +65.164

22nd October 2017 to 16th December 2017, +60.720

1st July 2017 to 15th September 2017, +55.391

30th July 2016 to 28th August 2016, +51.539

19th Feb 2015 to 26th May 2015, +45.692

8th Sept 2015 to 28th September 2015, +36.682

29th September 2017 to 9th October 2017, +32.225

(Those figures don’t include the 48 points profit from the Jockey Championship in 2016, staked on 6th August and received on 17th October.)

There were some comments added to this in the User Guide and I don’t think there’s a need to add much, except to add that hopefully we’ll be out of this particular dip soon enough and that what the above illustrates is that positive and negative spells are seldom far away, but with the highs far exceeding the lows, it’s weathering these periods that’s key to benefiting from the upturns.

Onto tomorrow and Outer Space won for us nicely in a Claiming Stakes last month and this is no tougher. The main threat, at least in terms of ratings and the early market, is Captain Lars. That rival has been winning at Southwell recently, but does have a good history on Polytrack too. However, he doesn’t have such a record at 7 furlongs and that must be a big question mark over his chances. His relatively recent runs at this distance have seen him weaken close to home and it’s one thing to win over a straight 5 furlong sprint and another to follow that up over an additional 2 furlongs.

Dream Magic also switches surfaces but that’s a big positive. In between struggling on Fibresand, he bolted up at Wolverhampton, winning by an eased down 8 lengths. That was a first attempt at a mile and a half, which was clearly of benefit. He tackles the same distance again, now back at Wolverhampton, and is on better terms with almost all than would be the case in a handicap. This shouldn’t take a lot of winning and anything close to his previous performance should be enough.

A bit of a long-shot to finish with. Veteran Corporal Maddox has been dropping down the weights and classes but still shows some ability. He was rated 86 under two years ago and now runs off 58- a mark he won off on turf in August. Jason Watson takes off a further 7 lbs and is very good value for his claim.

Corporal last ran in a Seller in December when 4th, under 3 lengths behind Dutiful Son who won again on his next start and half a length behind Bridge Builder who has won two handicaps since. Yet, the selection was 7 lbs and 5lbs worse off that day against those two opponents than would have been the case in a handicap. Throw in Watson’s claim tomorrow and he looks on very good terms now taking on weaker company.

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