Friday, May 15, 2009

Newbury on Saturday

The Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes run over a mile is the highlight on tomorrow's Newbury card. Most tipsters have put up Paco Boy who proved he stayed the trip when winning with something in hand at Sandown last time out. That day Dream Eater and Virtual finished second and third and are on six pounds worse terms here. The underfoot conditions will suit Paco Boy but could stretch his suspect stamina while Dream Eater may be better on better ground. On handicap ratings Paco Boy is well ahead of his rivals but this evening his price is drifting on the back of the stamina worries. I've decided to look for something bigger each-way and the two that have caught my eye are the Peter Chapple-Hyam pair, Tariq and Winker Watson. Last July Winker Watson was beaten less than four lengths by Henrythenavigator in the Sussex at Goodwood, with Tariq a further six lengths behind that day. The fact that Winker is priced up at 40/1 for tomorrow's race tells you things haven't gone to plan since. Andrew 'Bert' Black owns a share and reported on his blog that Winker has worked well on the gallops; having said that, the horse disappointed badly at Warwick last time out for no apparent reason. Subsequently I heard Chapple-Hyam saying the horse had a mind of his own these days; he was considering blinkers (not applied tomorrow), and if they didn't work, scissors. This quote was taken from the trainer's web site earlier today: "I'm just hoping that Winker can reproduce his home work at the track. He has been working well." Stablemate Tariq is priced around the 16/1 mark and was third in this last year, three quarters of a length and a neck behind Creachadoir and Phoenix Tower; of this charge the trainer states: "Tariq has really started to come to himself in the last week or so and I am happy with him. He won’t mind the rain that Newbury has had." I haven't given up on Winker Watson - 40/1 would look silly if the horse put his best foot forward - but the percentage call has to be an each-way interest in Tariq. Twice Over has received treatment for a corn on his foot and connections will make a final decision on his participation on Saturday morning.

Geordieland has been re-routed to the Aon Stakes (2.05) after missing the Yorkshire Cup earlier today on account of the going. There must a fair chance he'll miss this as well if significant rain falls overnight. I'm tempted to take a chance on an old favourite of mine, Yellowstone, on his first appearance for the Paul Cole yard. He's the Racing Post top-rated, will handle the ground although obviously I'm taking fitness on trust.

For those who can't bear the thought of watching the Eurovision Song Contest, Uttoxeter offers alternative entertainment with its 'James Bond Evening' (whatever that might entail). Prowling through the runners for an appropriate bet I considered Doctor Foxtrot, Stayclosetome, Midnight Diamond, Classic Chic and Sapphire Night but in the end had to go for Great Hero in the finale.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A thrilling finish in the Lockinge with Virtual (6/1) beating Alexandros (16/1) a nose. Like many I suspect, I initially thought Alexandros had won; Dettori dropped his whip well inside the final furlong on the eventual runner-up - that just may have made the difference. Tariq (33/1) was friendless in the market and held up out the back for much of the race. Spencer made his move two out but the selection looked somewhat one-paced behind the principals and finished sixth. On balance I suppose connections will be reasonably satisfied with this, his first run of the season. The same cannot be said for Winker Watson who ran a bit of a stinker. He raced prominently for the first five furlongs or so but, when asked for his effort, faded very quickly; he was eased in the final furlong and came home last. I wonder what the plan is now...
Those with fears about Paco Boy's stamina had those fears confirmed. The 11/8 favourite came to win his race at the furlong pole but the challenge flattened out in the race to the line on the soft ground - he failed to make a place, finishing fourth.
A disappointing effort from Yellowstone (9/2) who started towards the rear and, asked for his effort two from home, remained at the rear, finishing a well-beaten sixth. This was contested by Tastahil (9/2) and All The Aces (9/4f) with the former prevailing by half a length - a gutsy performance from the winner who led all the way. Beforehand I wasn't certain he'd stay this trip but quite clearly he does - connections said afterwards he would stay two miles and is quoted by some layers for the Ascot Gold Cup. He is likely to take part only if the ground is good or softer.