Pride comes before a fall or something along those lines as my bragging last week saw us follow up with a bad case of “seconditus” with all three suggestions hitting the frame but not one of them managing to get their heads in front where it really mattered. That’s racing as they say, and as I am not a “tipster” as such I can hopefully move on, though how others charge for similar and often less informed scribblings is beyond me, and sadly gives us racing journalists a bad name.
On to the racing over the last week or so and ever since the great one retired, it seems as if we are constantly looking for the next Frankel. Numerous names have been bandied about over the last few years with the Godolphin owned Charlie Appleby trained Pinatubo the latest to explode on to the scene after winning all four races to date, The latest a nine length romp in the Group One National Stakes at The Curragh which he took from Aiden O’Brien’s Armory who never really laid a glove on the odds on favourite once William Buick asked the son of Shamardal to go and win his race.
Now as short as 5/6 (best priced 5/4) for next season’s 2000 Guineas, he needs to be every bit as good as he looks to justify that sort of antepost price, yet I cannot help but remember his trainer describing him as precocious, and I wonder if he will train on as hoped, or be outmuscled by a more backward juvenile who matures and strengthens over the winter. I will not even consider getting involved at such ridiculous odds.
Elsewhere this week, and seemingly under the racing press radar, we saw a monster gamble pulled off on Mick Channon’s Jeanie B at Pontefract on Thursday afternoon as the daughter of Bated Breath was backed from and early 20/1 to 12/1 overnight before eventually going off the 7/2 joint second favourite and coming home well to score by two and a half lengths.
I am afraid I do not subscribe to the idea that this meant the bookmakers lost millions, I struggle to get a fiver on with some of them these days thanks to their algorithms, but she clearly made somebody a few quid as she strode past the line in what I see as a story with a very happy ending – but then again I am not the one setting the odds.
On to the racing this weekend and the fiendishly difficult Ayr card includes both the Silver and Gold Cups over six furlongs – tough tough handicaps that the bookmakers love to push as your chances of finding the winner are seemingly remote.
These are not the sort of races I normally get involved in to be honest and no doubt there are a few plot horses who have been saved for these valuable contests, but I do think both Arecibo (2.40pm Ayr) and Major Jumbo (3.50pm) have each way chances, though do shop around for bookies playing extra places to give us a sporting chance of success.
For my own bets, I might have a pound each way on those mentioned above for the fun of it, I far prefer the chances of Nazeef in the 3.20pm at Newmarket Saturday. She quickened up in the style of a pretty decent animal to win last time out on the Chelmsford All-Weather and has already scored at Newmarket on turf so there should be no worries on that score. Whether a rating of 93 is fair ahead of her handicap debut is open to question but she is improving fast and she looks the bet of the day to me (famous last words).
At Newbury I will be keeping an eye on the first run of the highly regarded Hukum in the opener at 1.10pm though a winning debut looks a big ask with the talented Cherokee Trail in the field. I will wait for the 1.45pm when I will have a little each way on Ger Lyons’ Blue Uluru who looks overpriced. He does have a few pounds to find with likely jolly Dakota Gold but may have a bit more to offer as one of the youngest in the field and after a comeback third following a year off, he should be spot on now to at least make a fight of things.
For the third of my weekend trio, fingers crossed as always, how about Pierre Lapin in the 2.55pm at Newbury. A once raced son of Cappella Sansevero who won going away despite looking as green as grass on his only start at Haydock, he ought to improve a good deal for that effort and could well be a serious classic contender in 2020. If that is really the case he needs to see off this field, especially in receipt of three pounds from likely market rival Mystery Power who was last seen finishing fourth in the
Horses To Follow:
On Wednesday I got the “nod” that Roger Varian’s Maqtal was thought of as a well above average sort and so it proved as he won a seven furlong Yarmouth maiden at odds of 6/4, though only by a pretty hard four half a length. Zafeer followed him home in second for Marco Botti but with the William Haggas yard seemingly a little out of sorts, it was third placed Kinsman that caught my eye. Having to be switched after failing to get a decent run, he was a further neck behind under James Doyle but ought to learn plenty for the experience and can come home alone in a future contest once that yard are firing on all cylinders again.
Nazeef 3.20pm Newmarket Saturday
Blue Uluru each way 1.45pm Newbury Saturday
Pierre Lapin 2.55pm Newbury Saturday