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.
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)