The horse racing broadcaster reveals his observations from a couple of All Weather meetings to start the week, with two horses added to his tracker and one released.
A good week on the stable tracker front with Sammy’s Guarantee popping up at a big price (14/1) at Doncaster. One of the minus points of the tracker is that you can never control where the horses run next, but here was one that worked in our favour as Tom Lacey’s charge was added with a view to handicaps yet showed much improved form to win in Novice company. Her mark will suffer, but she is unexposed beyond two miles and will be retained for one more run.
Malina Girl was disappointing – see below – and is released.
My week started with a couple of All Weather meetings.
First, a seven-race card at Chelmsford where it was the performance of TAXIING that was of most interest. He had been a speculative selection in the Saturday column a few weeks ago based on the first start for David Evans angle, coupled with the fact he runs in the Rohaan colours, which seemed to indicate he may be worth more than some modest runs in Ireland suggested. He showed little that day but ran well here, just failing to catch the hanging odds-on favourite New York Bay. This was a new trip and there will be plenty of shallow races in the weeks to come, so he is added.
Incidentally, the next David Evans switcher after Taxiing was a horse called Lovealot Bear who popped up at 150/1. They are a yard who do well with switchers often, even those at long odds. Other stables who have good records with those joining their yards are Mick Appleby, Harry Derham, Lawney Hill and Sue Smith, so take note.
The following evening at Wolverhampton featured a rather unusual centrepiece in the shape of the £2.8m purchase Kalidasa in the maiden. By Frankel out of a full sister to Too Darn Hot, it would not have been the expected starting point. While he was good enough to win, it wasn’t in a particularly good time. Pinatubo started out at Wolverhampton so it may not pay to be too dismissive, but that was an early juvenile race rather than a maiden at a time when the better stable inmates are often tucked up warm at home or enjoying the Dubai sunshine.
The most interesting runner going forward was the lightly raced DAZY MAZY, who returned from yet another break between runs with a decent fourth having met a little bit of trouble turning in. She had also caught my eye at the track almost exactly a year ago. Although it looks as if she has had her issues, she is unexposed as result and if she will take racing looks to have more than enough ability to win off a mark of around 60. She is also added.
The other take away from the card was a reminder of the training skills of Dylan Cunha, who won the last with Asgard’s Captain having his first start for the yard. He was a Grade 1 winning trainer in South Africa before handing in his license and spending time as a commercial pilot. He started training in this country with just a handful of cheap horses but is improving the quality all the time and now also has the room to expand as he has taken over the old William Jarvis yard. Respect his runners.
Warwick’s big meeting of the season was the weekend call and a great atmosphere for what it always an enjoyable meeting, with good support races from Kempton and Wetherby on ITV’s coverage. No additions to the stable, but I did think Apple Away shaped like a National Hunt Chase horse for the Festival having got quite an aggressive ride, which set things up for Grey Dawning. He may have been seen to best effect as a result and will now be forced into graded company rather than handicaps at Cheltenham, and looks more of an Aintree horse anyway.
The staying chases were also a big reminder of how a handy position and good rhythm is a big advantage at Warwick, with seven fences in the last 7f and quite a tight turn for home. My Silver Lining epitomised that and provided a great story with James Best riding a winner for his mother in law in front of his family and friends. Malina Girl couldn’t get involved but, with the Cheltenham form taking a few knocks on the card, she is released from the stable with the Grand National being mentioned as a target. There was a £100k bonus for any horse doing a One For Arthur and winning this before landing the big one at Aintree.
Over hurdles, Klitschko did a massive amount wrong and still nearly won so if he consents to put his best foot forward he can cope with a mark of 118. Whether he has the mental fortitude to do so is the question.
Released: Malina Girl
Retained: Sammy’s Guarantee
Additions: Taxiing, Dazy Mazy