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18-05-2012, 09:15   #1
Doctor Faustus
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Dr.Faustus Horse Bets

Hi all, I've been recommended to start posting here by one of your mods in Pyro, who I've known for a couple of years now, and he suggested I start a thread up on Boards, so here I am!

I've been into Racing now for 3 years or so (I'm 21) and I've generally found my niche backing bigger priced outsiders that I determine as value, on a win-only basis. Although I do back horses in single figure odds often enough, I'm always prepared to take a punt on one coming back to form. It does mean my strike-rate is reasonably low but it doesn't have to be when most winners are backed at double-figures.

Thread has a 100pt bank to start, 1-5pt staking plan and usually win-only bets.

Hopefully I can find some winners and be of use to someone!

Any other queries, give us a shout.

All the best,
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18-05-2012, 09:16   #2
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Although he hasn’t won on the flat since 2007, and that win coming in Germany, WALDVOGEL (14:00) comes into this race off an attractive looking mark, fitter than the bare form suggests after an outing in a charity race at the Aintree Festival and over what could well be ideal conditions, he’s more than capable of playing a big role in the finish. A listed winner in Germany in his younger days, he’s getting on a bit but seemed to be as good during the summer last year, going very close at this C&D in July off a 2lb higher mark. Ideally he wants a sound surface I think and although he ran well in competitive handicaps at Ascot (not beaten far) and back here at York, I just think the combination of the higher rating and the softer surface meant he didn’t stand much of a chance of winning. His penultimate effort of the 2011 season needs excusing as he was held-up off a very modest pace and while his last start was pretty abysmal, he’d had a long season by his standards and was possibly just feeling the pinch.

In the Racing Post, it claims he’s been away from the track for 219 days and if that was so, fitness would be an issue but it fails to point out that he ran well enough in a Charity Race at Aintree. That was over 1m5f and although the form shouldn’t be read literally, at least he had an outing on course about a month ago which would have blown any cobwebs away. Waldvogel enjoys the 1m4f of York and a sound surface and he gets both of these today and he’s attractively handicapped from this rating, as he’s more than capable of running close to a mark of 100 if he’s back to somewhere close to last year’s best. There are of course some more unexposed animals in the line-up but this sort of price is well worth taking, as he’s hilariously overpriced in my book (I’d take 12/1). It might be just that he’s a perennial loser on the flat, but he does know how to win races having done it over hurdles in the more recent past and Andrea Atzeni is one of the more capable jockeys who can do a low weight, so this horse is definitely interesting today in an open race.

--

Three year-old early season middle-distance handicaps are often tricky puzzles to solve and with a raft of big yards involved today, this is definitely one of them. KEY GOLD (16:45) won her maiden last time out over this trip with a minimum of fuss, even though she didn’t seem to appreciate the soft conditions that day. It’s likely that she’s well-in off a mark of 72 and definitely stays the trip, thus looking overpriced in this contest. She’s had four starts, shaping as though these trips would be her forte over a mile on her second outing and confirming that when staying on strongly over 10f at the beginning of this year. She was a warm order for her reappearance effort kept to maiden company, upped in trip again to 12f. That will prove not to be the strongest of heats in time but she did well to win, especially as he wasn’t overly extended and seemed to be uncomfortable on the soft surface, changing her legs on occasions and not looking completely happy. Both this and her pedigree suggest better ground will suit, which obviously bodes well for today. The handicapper hasn’t moved her for that success and I think she’s been underestimated in that respect, especially as there is definitely more to come over this trip and on a better surface. Plenty here come in with chances, either looking like they’ll appreciate the extra distance (Estedaama and Daneking) or are possibly well-handicapped (Priestley’s Reward) but Key Gold should be around the 5/1 mark, given I still think there’s more to come and given she’s a bigger price than that currently, worthy of a small investment.

Bets
14:00 York – Waldvogel; 2pts @ 25/1 Boylesports, William Hill (bog)
16:45 York – Key Gold; 1pt @ 8/1 Bet365, William Hill (bog)
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18-05-2012, 10:09   #3
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Great write up, best of luck with the log.
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21-05-2012, 14:36   #4
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Monday’s selections for a race at Windsor this evening posted below. Friday was the last day of posting and both selections ran pretty poorly. Waldvogel was a bit of a nuisance in the preliminaries but looked to have every chance 2f out, but his effort faded and he finished well-held. There’s definitely a race in him somewhere, but he’ll likely have to go to a less competitive level than the one he ran in last time. Key Gold ran too bad to be true, able to set the fractions in front and looked to have a decent chance. She finished very poorly and it may just have be that she isn’t actually that good.

Although PURIFICATION (20:10) was well-beaten on seasonal reappearance 23 days ago, he shaped with more promise than the bare form suggests and he’s more than capable of hacking up off this mark of 85, especially as he had looked a promising sort at one time. It’s interesting that connections persevere and he’s worthy of a bet at a double figure price. He’s had five starts to date and showed a high-class level of form in two of those, finishing 2nd behind Genius Beast on his final start in 2010, which is fairly strong form and then winning his maiden over 10f quite convincingly. He shaped that day as if further would suit and was sent off the relatively short price of 8/1 in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot. However, he looked inexperienced and faded tamely, eventually beaten 73 lengths. He wasn’t seen from then until last month having been gelded and although beaten 14.5 lengths, it wasn’t an abhorrent run. He saw plenty of daylight, was sent wide for his challenge and was hardly given a hard time in the closing stages, over a trip that is probably on the sharp side. In theory, he should have come on bundles for that outing and I’m expecting much better today. Purification handles faster ground, the gelding operation should have improved his attitude if nothing more and he’ll be all the better for his seasonal reappearance. The 3lb drop in the handicap is of obvious benefit and it may be that today we’ll see something like the best of this one, especially as he had previously looked to have a lot of potential. Although it may be that he didn’t train on, he’s worthy of a bet at a double figure price, especially with William Buick back aboard and conditions to suit, with the slight step up in trip also of benefit.

Bets
20:10 Windsor
– Purification; 2pts @ 12/1 Bet365 (bog)
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22-05-2012, 09:51   #5
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Selections for Tuesday are found below. Monday was a tad frustrating, especially as we got such a good price on Purification. He was eventually sent off 9/2cf and looked for a time as if he was going to get in front, trading 1.5 in the process. He suffered a bit of interference and was possibly scared out of the finish. He wasn’t unlucky though and doesn’t particularly shape as if one to follow.

WHITE DIAMOND (15:30) hasn’t been in bad form on her last two starts and was subject of a slightly too aggressive ride in a more competitive race this at Doncaster. Although untested at Brighton, the track should suit her and she’s still on a decent handicap rating, so has every chance of going close in a wide-open race. A winner over hurdles last season for Malcom Jefferson, she started life for the Michael Appleby stable with a very positive effort at Wolverhampton over 1m4f, running really well into 2nd and looking she still had some scope for progression. This case could also be made by the fact she had some fair form last year over these sorts of trips running off marks in the 70’s, so it’s entirely plausible that she’d improve a tad from a rating of 68. She about ran to that mark last time out in an Amateur Riders Handicap, possibly being sent for home too soon and passed with relative ease by the front-three. She stuck on well enough for 4th though and that was a much more competitive race than this one today, so she has definitely got a form chance. Brighton as a track should suit her, as her two wins have come on the fairly idiosyncratic tracks of Navan and Fakenham, so she doesn’t mind today’s sort of test and this is her trip, so she’s more than capable of going well. William Carson continues to impress in the saddle and rides for the first time for the Michael Appelby yard, a possible pointer in itself. This mare is overpriced, given she should enjoy Brighton given her past form and the track favouring those who like to be ridden prominently, she’s still well-handicapped on some of last year’s form and enjoys a sound surface. She should be around the 8/1 mark I feel, and is worth backing until that sort of price.

ARMIGER (17:30) likely enters the last chance saloon today given he’s only rated 49 and can hardly fall much lower, but I’ve always thought they’d be a race in him at some point and although his last three efforts have been abhorrent to say the least, I’ve found enough excuses to suggest that he could be worth a bet today if those excuses are legitimate. He looked like a horse that had a bit of a future on his first couple of starts but slowly dropped down the handicap ranks as a juvenile, not particularly showing a great deal. That being said, his effort on seasonal reappearance was far from shoddy and indicated there was a race within him, finishing the race well over 6f. He looked like he’d come on bundles for that but hasn’t at all. His next start could well have just been an awful run as he never looked happy, while his subsequent two outings I think were particularly poor due to soft ground, and next time an adverse reaction to blinkers, forcing him to do too much in front. That headgear has been discarded and I’m willing to give Armiger one more chance. He should be at home on a sound surface and certain efforts over 6f, as well as his pedigree suggest that this 7f trip should be within range. He might have lost the plot entirely but William Carson is a positive booking (last rode this horse when it was sent off 5/1). If I’m right about the reasons for his last three poor runs, a bold show would not surprise.

WEST LEAKE (20:30) returns to his best trip tonight and has fallen to an extremely workable mark given that he’s been running at the wrong distances on his four starts in 2012. Back under the right conditions and dropped in grade, he has every chance of putting up a big performance tonight. A three-time C&D winner, he’s won at a trip of a mile before (at Lingfield) but unless they go really quickly early on, he pulls far too hard over that trip and fails to get home. That pretty much sums up the story of the majority of recent efforts, especially his latest start over that mile trip. West Leake isn’t a complete lost cause form wise however, as his penultimate start when dropped to the slightly too sharp distance of 6f was promising, staying on well and still shaping that ability was still present. This is his first start at 7f this year and he’s now 8lbs lower than when he last tried this trip, alongside that he’s 3lbs lower than his last C&D victory. He’s a horse who always tries his best unless given an aggressive front running ride and enjoys being held-up off a strong pace over this sort of trip, so with the likes of Dvinksy and Fenella Fudge in attendance, a decent gallop should ensue. If it does and West Leake settles nicely in the rear, then he has every chance of really close off a mark of 60. He’s easily capable of running to about 70 when everything falls his way (often doesn’t) but with that more likely today and the price making it a risk worth taking, then he’s definitely a bet. In a race where there’s likely going to be a decent gallop, over his best trip and back to a workable handicap rating, West Leake will go well.

Bets
15:30 Brighton – White Diamond; 1pt @ 11/1 Bet365, BetVictor (bog)
17:30 Brighton – Armiger; 1pt @ 40/1 William Hill (bog)
20:30 Kempton – West Leake; 2pts @ 16/1 William Hill (bog)
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22-05-2012, 10:24   #6
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Great write-ups Dr., the winners will come soon enough.

One question, what does (bog) mean?
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22-05-2012, 11:47   #7
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best odds guaranteed
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22-05-2012, 11:57   #8
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Just a word to the OP don't forget to update the log so people can quickly see if your picks are winning or losing (some peeps only like to update when they bag a 'chicken dinner' which is rather unfair)
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22-05-2012, 14:30   #9
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Just a word to the OP don't forget to update the log so people can quickly see if your picks are winning or losing (some peeps only like to update when they bag a 'chicken dinner' which is rather unfair)
Will do so after today's racing.
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24-05-2012, 08:58   #10
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Thread currently stands at -9pts before today's bets. Bit frustrating that couldn't start a bit better but Purification and West Leake have both run really well at big prices, so perhaps the first winner isn't so far away.

-------


Selections for Thursday from Goodwood and Haydock are posted below. Tuesday was a frustrating day, with two of the selections running not much of a race at all. White Diamond may pick up a race at some point, as she did shape that she might be effective at further. Armiger was pretty lifeless and a career away from racing looks to be his next calling, especially as he can hardly fall much further down the weights. West Leake was the “one that got away”. He finished 3rd but was inconvenienced by stumbling out of the stalls, alongside the fact that they didn’t go that quick up front. Those who were prominent were suited and West Leake did best of those held-up. He’s still on a workable mark but needs everything to go his way, so on Tuesday (at a price of 16’s), it was the right (value) call to back him but at a shorter price, unless a strong pace is absolutely guaranteed, then he’s probably worth avoiding.

CITRUS STAR (15:10) needs 7f, a good pace to aim at and quick ground, he gets all three today and although he’s a bit of a character, he should run really well off what looks an extremely lenient turf handicap mark. A winner over C&D in 2010 off 6lbs higher, he struggled for a while afterwards but slowly started getting it together again towards the end of last season, culminating in a victory off a rating of 92 on polytrack debut at Lingfield, winning with what looked like plenty in hand. He was far from disgraced next time out in a Conditions event and although he was beaten 43 lengths on seasonal reappearance, that effort was over a trip too sharp, ground too soft and ran in the wrong group, so it’s an effort worth completely writing off. He’ll strip fitter for that anyway and the handicapper has bizarrely dropped him 4lbs for it, which is very generous and he looks well-handicapped both on his recent all-weather form and his best turf exploits. Quick ground and 7f is paramount to his chance on turf and he gets both of those today, alongside a track he obviously handles and the assistance of William Buick, who is 2/7 for the Chris Wall stable, can only be viewed as a positive. The inclusion of the also well-handicapped Primaeval means that we get a decent price on Citrus Star today and he should go very well, especially given plenty is in his favour conditions wise. Although his attitude can sometimes be a problem, the price today warrants a bet and he’s a good couple of points overpriced in my book, calling for a standard win bet.

MARFORD MISSILE (15:30) has his first start at 7f here today but has the pedigree to stay the extra furlong and shaped that it would be within reach on his penultimate start. He won that day with plenty more in hand than the handicapper has given him credit for and if he does stay 7f, then he’s more than capable of taking this contest. The selection was sharp enough to win over 5f on debut, but his juvenile career didn’t go on for too long, finishing 2nd in the Lily Agnes at Chester in May 2011 being his final start of the season. Gelded in the meantime, he wasn’t seen for 10 months in public but made a winning reappearance at Kempton over 6f in March. Held-up in a slowly run, small-field contest, he did well to win and was hardly given a hard-time in doing so, looking to do the business with plenty more up his sleeve. Richard Kingscote reported after the race that he’d improve again for another furlong, a statement backed up by his pedigree (dam won at 1m2f, half-sibling to winners at 7f-1m2f) which gives more encouragement that he can stay today’s distance. Surprisingly he was kept to 6f at Chester last time out, where he stood no chance given the way the race played out. He was slowly away, clipped heels early on and looked ill at ease on the exceptionally testing ground, not a surprise given he had a decent level of form on a faster surface. Today he races over much more favourable conditions, given the quick ground and I think it all depends on whether he has the stamina for the trip. The way he won at Kempton suggested he would stay it and also that he has plenty up his sleeve in the handicapping department. I think he might be capable of running to a mark of 90 in the very near future and with Kieran Fallon on board a noteworthy booking (0/11 for the yard, but has been their jockey of choice for stable-star Brown Panther so is obviously highly thought of at Manor House Stables), Marford Missile looks set for a big run. I have him at around the 7/1 mark, so the current price look very appealing.

Bets
15:10 Goodwood – Citrus Star; 2pts @ 8/1 Bet365, Paddy Power, William Hill (bog)
15:30 Haydock – Marford Missile; 2pts @ 10/1 Bet365, BetVictor (bog)
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24-05-2012, 15:46   #11
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Laughable bad luck, especially Marford Missile who was pulled-up. Fallon looked down as soon as the race started and there must have been something wrong with the saddle, as it shouldn't have been that he didn't handle the bend (goes round Chester fine).

Citrus Star was stopped in his run but it didn't matter in the end, as the winner proved he was well-handicapped compared to his AW rating in fine style. A bit disappointing but one of those things. They'll be other days for this one around here, especially when the ground is rattling fast and isn't one to completely give up on.

-13pts for the thread.
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28-05-2012, 08:59   #12
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Keeping this one brief as I have an exam in the afternoon.

KUANYAO (19:10) hasn’t won since 2010 when he racked up a six-timer over a period of 11 months. That of course led to his rating shooting up to a career high of 93 at the beginning of the 2011 season. He wasn’t seen to best effect last year but did show some glimpses of promise on occasions, and was often not knocked about or raced out of his favoured position. He’ll be all the better for his seasonal reappearance and back down to 1lb lower than his last winning mark, he could well cause a surprise here. He’s equally effective over either 6f-7f and preferably he likes to lead, although his last victory came when unable to dominate, so it’s not paramount to his chances. That being said, his efforts in 2011 were mainly poor ones, often due to the fact he was hardly ever asked to front-run and the one occasion in which he was able to, he ran the best race of his season, only headed in the last 100 yards and still looking a threat from his revised handicap mark. Two poor efforts followed but he raced in midfield in both of them and in the latter, he was hampered when asked to make his challenge and wasn’t persevered with. That similar comment can be attributed to his seasonal reappearance in a much more competitive race than this. Kuanyao was able to race towards the front, but he looked in need of the outing and Chris Catlin’s lack of effort in the saddle indicated that they were expecting this one to improve for the run. Peter Makin has subsequently had a sprint handicapper winner, getting him off the cold-list alongside a placed effort in a maiden race, so the stable could well be running into some form. Albeit drawn possibly poorly in stall 13 today, I’m expecting much better. Firstly, he’s 3lb lower than that reappearance effort, a run he’ll have probably needed. The booking of Tom Queally is a positive for the yard, having a record of 4/20 and conditions today won’t be a problem, as the selection is more than capable of handling quick ground over 6f. If he’s allowed to stride on, then it could well be he’s difficult to peg back off an extremely workable rating of 83. This is a race he’d need to win to take up entries in bigger handicaps later in the year and although the presence of West Coast Dream in stall 15 could mean they cut each other’s throats in front, a 33/1 shot is hardly going to be bombproof and he’s well worth taking a chance on. He should be closer to the 12’s mark in my book and worthy of a standard sized bet.

Bets
19:10 Windsor – Kuanyao; 2pts @ 33/1 Bet365, BetVictor, Betfred (bog)
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31-05-2012, 01:50   #13
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Just one selection for today, coming from Sandown. Monday was the last day of posting and it was a strangely familiar scenario, with Kuanyao drifting markedly in the betting and not really landing much of a blow. That’s how the bare form reads, but in truth it was a positive effort in a sense that I’m convinced he’s been set up for a gamble and it’ll just be getting it right for the day he’s “off”. Tom Queally stopped riding on him when he held every chance and took a pull, and by the time he restarted his effort the race was gone. He wouldn’t have won but might have finished in the places and it’s disappointing that the stewards decided not to have another look at it. That’s racing unfortunately. He’ll be of serious interest when able to lead in a lower grade. Thursday’s racing is high quality, especially with the races from Sandown giving us clues for Royal Ascot which isn’t far away now but I’ve preferred to take a watching brief on those contests. Selection can be found below. Monthly stats will be updated on Friday, which unless today’s selection wins, won’t make for particularly nice reading!

Apologies for posting this up at this time too, I don’t like doing it but not much choice this morning.

A 17 runner handicap isn’t always the best place to find a solid bet, but HEIGHT OF SUMMER (18:15) shaped nicely on seasonal reappearance last time and with the good pace and stiffer track likely to suit today, she’s overpriced at her current double figure price. Lightly-raced with only 7 starts to date, her best form has come on polytrack but she’s hardly had much of a chance on turf away from slow ground or competitive maidens, so she’s unexposed on grass in that respect. Her sole victory came over this trip at Kempton back in August off a 1lb lower mark, a win where she was value for more especially as they didn’t go quick early on and she had to make plenty of ground up from the rear. She shaped as if she’d get further but her subsequent two starts were disappointing, with slower ground at Goodwood likely to blame before a fairly lifeless effort back at Kempton over 1m4f. Those two efforts were last year and her seasonal reappearance two weeks ago was very encouraging. Held-up, she was ridden hands and heels throughout and stayed on nicely. It was a promising effort especially coming from a yard that often leaves plenty to work with for those making a seasonal debut and she should have come on for that run quite significantly. The stiffer finish at Sandown today will help, given she might need a test at this 1m2f trip and the likely decent pace, with 17 runners and three usual pacesetters, should lead to them going at least a decent clip, an obvious benefit. Height Of Summer is obviously handicapped to go close off a rating of 70; given she won off 69 last year and although the Chris Wall yard are struggling for winners of late, his horses aren’t running badly in the main and I’m not overly concerned on that front. She’ll need to find the gaps in a big-field like this but at a price of 14/1; I’m willing to take the chance that they’ll come. She’ll probably need significant rain to stay away but it’s forecast to do so and given she’s unexposed on fast turf and easily looks capable of improving past her current mark, she is worthy of the usual stakes.

Bets
18:15 Sandown – Height Of Summer; 2pts @ 14/1 Bet365, BetVictor (bog)
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02-06-2012, 08:45   #14
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Three selections for Saturday’s action, coming from Catterick, Epsom and Beverley. Height Of Summer was the last selection of the month and ran very poorly. She just doesn’t seem to handle turf at all and looked all at sea on the track. She might be worth a go back on polytrack. Statistics for May will be posted tomorrow, as it’ll be a quiet day on the betting front. (-17pts for the thread).

Although CROWN CHOICE (15:20) is drawn in stall 14, it isn’t as big a disadvantage over 7f here at Catterick as it would be over 6f and back to his preferred ground, on a good mark, down in grade and for a stable among the winners, he has every chance of recording his first success since May 2011. That was when he was trained by Walter Swinburn and was over 6f at Goodwood, but he’s equally effective over 7f and this sharp track shouldn’t inconvenience at all. Decent ground is paramount to his chances and he hasn’t faced that on his past two starts, but ran with credit in a very competitive Conditions Stakes on soft ground on his penultimate outing which suggested that the ability still remained and he could be competitive from a rating within the 90’s. His last start at Pontefract should be completely written off, running on soft ground on the wrong part of the track. Fortunately, the handicapper has dropped him 3lbs and this allows him to get into this 0-90 contest off a rating of 88. His last victory came off a mark of 94 and he’s well-handicapped on that basis, alongside the fact he’s shown form to suggest he’d be up to running to a rating close to 100 over this trip in handicaps (Bunbury Cup effort last summer). With ideal conditions over a track he should handle, he’s a horse to follow for the time being and although drawn wide, they have plenty of time to sort themselves out over 7f here and hopefully he’ll be able to get cover. He’s better than this mark and he’s worth following when encountering better ground until he wins, and is worthy of the usual stakes at this sort of price, as I have him at around a 10/1 chance.

This 1m4f handicap following The Derby is a remarkable race for a Class 2 contest as it’s a very poor race, with many of the runners coming with question marks against them. SPANISH DUKE (16:50) is one such runner but his preference for Epsom will obviously stand him in good stead and I think he has decent prospects of staying this 1m4f trip if he settles even remotely well and although this isn’t guaranteed, I still think he’s better than a mark of 97 when running around Epsom. He’s a quirky character that likes idiosyncratic tracks, having won both here at Epsom and at Brighton, the former coming in ridiculously easy fashion, looking like a Group horse in a handicap. That was off a mark of 95 and over 1m2f and today’s trip is a bit of a question mark, his only ever effort at this distance was only very moderate. That being said, it did take place in 2010 and his pedigree suggests that this trip is worth another go. Things didn’t go right for him after his Epsom victory and his only other creditable effort came back at this track, where he ran OK in a muddling Conditions event. It shows that he really does need to run here to show his best, and if showing that today he could hack up, even accounting for going 2f up in trip. This is a really weak contest and although Spanish Duke comes with his quirks, and his tendency to be keen early on won’t do him any favours over this longer trip, his admiration of Epsom alongside running off what looks a good mark, for a yard who seem to be starting to hit top gear this year, means he’s worthy of support until the 8/1 mark.

Backing a horse who is a 21 race maiden isn’t the smartest of strategies long-term, but EENY MAC (17:40) has put up some very creditable efforts around Beverley and goes well fresh, so looks value at this big price with stronger handling likely to help. He’d at one point looked to be going absolutely nowhere and was rated as low as 43 at one stage. However, some fair efforts last season in plating company (actually stronger races than this handicap) saw him come back to a proper handicap rating and this mark of 50 doesn’t look insurmountable. All his best turf form has come on stiff tracks, placing over 7f-1m at Beverley and over 7f at Newcastle. A replication of those efforts would put him in the mix, especially with the talented Julie Burke taking over from an inexperienced 7lb claimer. She’s still able to claim 3lbs and is good value for it, and although Eeny Mac’s fitness has to be taken on trust, the Neville Bycroft yard have had a winner and a second from their last four runners and the selection finished in the places on seasonal reappearance at Southwell last season. Perhaps only another placed finish beckons but at this price, he’s worthy of a small win bet especially as he doesn’t seem soft in a finish or anything of that ilk.

Bets
15:20 Catterick – Crown Choice; 2pts @ 18/1 Bet365 (bog)
16:50 Epsom – Spanish Duke; 2pts @ 10/1 Bet365, Betfred (bog)
17:40 Beverley – Eeny Mac; 1pt @ 28/1 BetVictor (bog)
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02-06-2012, 17:49   #15
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17:40 Beverley – Eeny Mac; 1pt @ 28/1 BetVictor (bog)
Congrats on the first win for the log ... and a nice one it was too!
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