Friday, August 31, 2007

Chester and Newton Abbot selections

Bauer has been discussed in a previous post and according to early tissue shows is put in as the 3/1 favourite for the 2.50 at Chester tomorrow. The race is no foregone conclusion; I'm concerned by the horse's tendency to race mid-division or off the pace as Chester is a sharp track that favours those racing prominently. Still, I'm sure jockey Eddie Ahern will be aware of the dangers - I see Bauer going close. Only six go to post in the Conditions Stakes at 4.00 with the York Gimcrack form represented by Imperial Mint and Nacho Libre. Imperial Mint is the top rated horse on official figures and gets the vote.

Over at Newton Abbot the Lord Mildmay Memorial Handicap Chase has added prize money of £35000. Many of the runners are fairly well exposed. Peter Bowen will have targetted this race for Iron Man and Tommy Spar; of these two I prefer the former who ran out when in the lead in the Galway Plate. Chilling Place would be dangerous if sorting out his jumping problems while bottom weight Kings Brook won this last year but has disappointed recently. I tend to prefer an up and coming chaser for this; I respect Iron Man but will take an each way chance with Paul Nicholls' Forest Green who is unexposed and 'could be anything' as the saying goes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ebor aftermath

It's that time of the year; the best of the Flat has passed and the anticipation of the forthcoming jumping season begins to kick in. Alan King's 140 strong yard has received a bit of press coverage recently; we can expect similar articles about the bigger National Hunt yards in the weeks ahead.

That's not to say that the Flat is over and done with. Recently I was asked by a friend of a friend about a horse from the Cumani stable called Bauer which had an entry in the Ebor. I looked at the bare form and didn't think it was up to Ebor standard but the exercise was academic anyway as the horse failed to make the cut. However the Cumani operation was covered in a recent Weekender 'Straight From The Stable' feature. The write up for Bauer was pretty positive actually, using phrases such as 'stayed on well [behind the winner who] set a course record', 'progressive last year', 'more improvement to come'. He's entered in a handicap at Chester over one mile five furlongs this Saturday and will certainly be worth a second look on the back of those Weekender comments.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Peeping Fawn to take on colts in the Arc?

Should Peeping Fawn run in the Arc and the ground come up soft, then we would all do well to keep in mind Johnny Murtagh's post race comments after her effortless victory in yesterday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks.

The filly, regularly described as having the constitution of a colt, is currently a best-priced 8/1 in the ante post market for the Arc which takes place in a little over six weeks' time on Sunday 7th October.

Julian Muscat concludes his report in The Times by saying 'She may well be the best horse in training.'

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Totesport Ebor

Peeping Fawn will be the star attraction at York tomorrow when taking on six opponents in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. She doesn't rate a bet as she's expected to start long odds on, but in my opinion she has been the outstanding horse this Flat season; I hope it proves a race to savour.

The Ebor, due off at 2.35, sees twenty runners racing over a distance of one mile six furlongs. Purple Moon has been hurdling with Nicky Richards and then returned to the Flat all the better for the experience; he's eight pounds well in on current handicap ratings and will be a popular choice. Paul Cole's Strategic Mount looks interesting but I'm not convinced he stays the distance at this level so a small wager on Scriptwriter, who has the benefit of a low draw, is advised in this competitive handicap.

Monday, August 20, 2007

York's Juddmonte International

Seven go to post for the Juddmonte at York tomorrow and there's not much to choose between the top three, Dylan Thomas, Authorized and Notnowcato. I'm sticking with last year's winner Notnowcato who did this blog a favour when winning the Eclipse a few weeks back at odds of 7/1. He certainly won't be sent off that price but Sir Michael Stoute's consistent and honest charge still offers value at around 3/1 and there's the added bonus of Ryan Moore in the saddle.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Bangor On Dee selections

Last night I started to look at obtaining value by opposing Turbo Linn in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury, only to discover she won't run as she's in season. So I decided to go to Bangor instead.

The betterbetcorbett Dee Hurdle (4.00) looks very competitive and strikingly similar to the totepsort Summer Hurdle run at Market Rasen a month ago, with Ellerslie Tom, Capitana, Norma Hill, Prince Ary and Dishdasha all taking their chance to reoppose. On the bare form of that race, which was run on soft / heavy ground, there's little to choose between Prince Ary, Ellerslie Tom and Dishdasha, with Ellerslie Tom looking unlucky to be collared close home. The going at Bangor is currently good to firm, good in places, but tomorrow's weather forecast doesn't look promising - will enough rain fall to affect the going? I take the view that Ellerslie Tom's last effort indicates he's back in form and, if the rains stay away, he will have a chance even though burdened with top weight.

Dishdasha has been pulled up at Newton Abbot since but Nicky Henderson's Capitana ran well for a long way on the unsuitable ground at Market Rasen. The tissue price for this mare is 10/1 which looks fair each way value provided the going doesn't deteriorate. Norma Hill is a risky proposition at the best of times and not easy to catch right; however she possesses plenty of speed on faster ground, has won over course and distance and could provide some each way value for the more adventurous amongst you.

I take Mud Monkey to open his account in the first (2.15) whilst over at Market Rasen's evening meeting Vaughan will be fancied to win the novice chase at 7.10.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Free tickets to the races

Thanks to a couple of my colleagues for pointing out that John Smith's are currently running a BOGOF offer to selected race meetings between now and December; an impressive total of thirty nine racecourses are taking part in the promotion. In order to claim tickets, you are required to fill in a questionnaire but this looks a decent offer to me. In fact, forget trying to pick winners, try this little money making idea instead...

1. Identify local race meeting participating in John Smith's promotion
2. Arrange a trip to that meeting for friends / colleagues
3. Purchase the tickets
4. Sell tickets to unsuspecting friends / colleagues at face value
5. Enjoy proceeds.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Twenty years on...

I'm well aware there has been a dearth of postings on this blog recently. The reason, you see, is that Mrs Tips and I have just celebrated twenty years of marriage. Perhaps I should rephrase that slightly; Mrs Tips celebrated and I cast my mind back to a time when I used to enjoy life. Only kidding.

Nowadays, you see, dear reader, I have to be very careful what I write in this forum as Mrs Tips has taken to reading these pages, furtively, on a regular basis.

As a present, I'd considered sending Mrs T. an offering from Arena Flowers, my especially selected 'emergency flowers' web site. Like a lot of blokes, I'm not particularly good at flowers (or picking winners for that matter, as I'm sure you'll have noticed) but I am cute enough to realise that, on occasions, an 'emergency flowers' site is worth its weight in gold, particularly when you've committed a minor indiscretion or forgotten dear old Aunt Nance's ninetieth birthday.

In the end we went for a slap-up meal instead.

Today's tip - bookmark the Arena Flowers site, just in case...

Monday, August 06, 2007

Zidane stars in Holt horror show

I've total respect for Channel 4 race reader Simon Holt but on Saturday afternoon, as the horses flashed past the post in the Stewards' Cup, he called Borderlescott the winner. The result of the official photo showed that in actual fact Zidane had collected the spoils by the shortest of short heads right on the line, with Borderlescott finishing second.

For a few moments the rest of the Channel 4 team seemed shocked, unable to comprehend what had happened. To be honest, I half expected the official result to be corrected, as had been the case with Jane Stickels over a year ago at Lingfield. Of course, Zidane had won fair and square.

Don't beat yourself up over it, Simon; you're still the best in the business.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Glorious Goodwood

OK, I confess. This week I've been bunking off. I haven't done my homework and I haven't followed 'Glorious Goodwood' very closely at all. It's naughty, I know, but there you go. At least I'm being honest with you.

I've just picked up The Weekender and had a quick look at the Nassau Stakes. It looks 'trappy'. Trappy is a term that's used by pundits who are far more established than me; it's a euphemism for 'don't touch this race with a bargepole'. So I'm passing on the Nassau. Peeping Fawn, the top rated horse, is tempting but her action when winning last time at The Curragh looked very rounded and I'm not certain she'll handle the better ground or the course, so I'm passing on the Nassau.

If the Nassau looked trappy, the Stewards' Cup looks positively impossible. As I haven't done the homework, let me share with you how I approached the race. Protector did this blog a favour when absolutely hacking up at Newcastle a few weeks ago. I quietly fancied Protector for this race but in between times Protector was himself easily beaten at Hamilton by Richard Fahey's Knot In Wood.

Knot In Wood goes into tomorrow's race with a number of plus points. He's 6lbs well in following the Hamilton victory as the weights had already been declared; his trainer says he's his best chance in the race and he should handle the ground; he carries less than nine stones and, thought crucial in many quarters, he's been given a high draw. That's an awful lot of plus points. On the downside, there are twenty seven others running in this annual cavalry charge over six furlongs and all the plus points appear to have been recognised by the bookmakers who have priced him at 8/1. So, the question is, does 8/1 Knot In Wood look value to you? It doesn't to me, so I'll maintain a watching brief.