Friday, July 02, 2010

A day at the Haydock races

You'd think they'd have learnt by now...

Some colleagues go to the Haydock races tomorrow for a stag do and they've asked for some tips. First one I gave was don't get married; after that, I told them this.

The main event at 2.50 is the Lancashire Oaks which will be run over one and a half miles. Last year's winner Barshiba heads the market and looks sure to run her race but no mare / filly has won this more than once. Having said that Barshiba is as tough as old boots, has her own way of doing things and ran a fine race at Royal Ascot to finish third behind Harbinger and Duncan. Prior to that she had finished fourth behind three of tomorrow's opponents, Les Fazzani, Polly's Mark and Roshiba over this course and distance on good to soft ground. Should enough rain arrive before the off, Les Fazzani would make plenty of appeal to confirm form with the favourite while Polly's Mark reopposes Kevin Ryan's charge on three pounds worse terms for a head defeat. You'd expect improvement on the first run from Sir Michael Stoute's Rosika who will be better suited by decent ground but has enough to find on official ratings; Coral go 12/1 this evening which may make some each-way appeal. The same firm go 16/1 Barry Hills' Champagnelifestyle. This three-year-old was the subject of some bullish comments before the Epsom Oaks but she looked to fade in the final furlong; connections were puzzled by that run but report her in good form, although they think a drop of rain would help the cause. They clearly think plenty of this one, summarised by this quote after Epsom:

'We still believe we have a talented filly and there will be another day for her.'

Champagnelifestyle each-way is the suggestion at 16/1. A couple of stats - three favourites have won in the last ten years while the winner has come from the first three in the betting eight times over the same period.

As usual, the Old Newton Cup (3.25) looks devilishly difficult. I used the following to narrow the field a little... Nine of the last ten winners carried more than 8st 7lbs but only three have carried more than 9st; in the past decade all winners have been aged four or five. Last year Red Merlin took the spoils and he tries again tomorrow but I'll take a small each-way interest in another red, Red Cadeaux. He was priced up at 14/1 earlier today but this evening is just 11/1, so somebody must be backing him. Recent stable form would be a very real worry.

Berling will be a short-price to take the opener but I told the future groom to take a chance with Anhar (15/2 Stan James); if nothing else, he'll have something to remember his carefree days by...

Over at Sandown the Eclipse doesn't look quite up to scratch this year and, judging by the offers of reduced priced tickets I've received this past week, others are of the same opinion. Six are set to face the starter in what could well develop into a tactical affair. On ratings Twice Over is the one to beat while Dar Re Mi bids to become the first filly / mare to win in eighteen years. Connections will hope Zacinto can fulfil his potential with this step up to ten furlongs while Marcus Tregoning wants the rain to stay away in the hope Mawatheeq can come on for his seasonal debut following a spell on the sidelines through injury. Mawatheeq (6/1) is the interesting one but I'll watch from the sidelines.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The forecast rain didn't arrive at Haydock leading to seventeen withdrawals across the card on account of the firm ground.

Connections might have done punters a favour had they withdrawn Champagnelifestyle (10/1) as she sweated freely in the preliminaries, raced at the back to the home turn and then stayed there up the home straight. A disappointing effort - jock Michael Hills stopped pushing around the furlong marker but at no point did she ever look as though she was going to get competitive. The game one-eyed mare Barshiba (7/2) took the honours, racing from the front and repelling all challengers.

Red Cadeaux was withdrawn from the Old Newton Cup (won by Dangerous Midge, 17/2) but the groom-to-be was pleased enough with the selection in the opener - Anhar took the spoils at the rather tasty price of 10/1; Berling (2/5f) finished out of the places in fourth, fading in the final furlong.

Twice Over won the Eclipse at Sandown for trainer Henry Cecil - selection Mawatheeq was withdrawn at the start after obstinately refusing to go into the stalls.