Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday night ramblings

There's a decent enough card at Stratford tomorrow evening but I imagine the attendance is likely to suffer as Manchester United play Barcelona in the Champions League final at Wembley. The going at the Warwickshire track is described as good, good to firm in places, with 18mm of rain falling on Thursday. 11 go for The Gambling Prince Trophy at 7.20; a case can be made for most of them. Invisible Man pipped Swing Bill a neck at Worcester ten days ago with Commemoration Day another ten and a half lengths back in fifth; the winner that day may well struggle to confirm placings on the revised ratings. Two Welsh handlers in good form are Rebecca Curtis and Peter Bowen; the former trains The Jigsaw Man but I'm tempted to take an each-way chance with Bowen's Sunday City (16/1 in tonight's tissue). This one isn't easy to catch right and isn't certain to give his running but he retains some ability having won the Macer Gifford Handicap Chase at Huntingdon last autumn and appeared somewhat unlucky when slipping up at Ludlow on his penultimate run.

Another Welsh handler in form Tim Vaughan (25% strike rate in past fortnight) saddles The Ferbane Man in the Warwickshire Hunt Handicap Chase at 7.55. This one is a trier and a stayer but in a stable tour article last October the handler said 'He loves bottomless ground and grinds the opposition down.' With the going on the quick side I'll watch from the sideleines.

The booking of  McCoy for Amercian Art in the opener catches my eye. The champ has ridden Rebecca Curtis' well-regarded gelding Praxiteles before. I'll check the price before deciding whether to bet.

I'm sure Sir Alex Ferguson would welcome any diversion from the pressures of the build-up to a Champions League final but his two runners at Sandown last night failed to oblige. Pausanias finished fourth in a listed stakes while the somewhat inappropriately named Magic City could only finish third despite being sent off 10/11 favourite in another listed event. The irony is Magic City was beaten by Pyman's Theory, part-owned by Michael Owen. After pulling a stunt like that, I'd expect Owen to be leaving Old Trafford during the close season. Blue Bajan, a former Swinton Handicap Hurdle winner, took the two mile Henry II Stakes.

Following on from that prompt, horses with jumps form racing over a distance of more than one and a half miles on the Flat tomorrow include Cotillon, My Arch, La Estrella and Kayef in Haydock's opener; of these, Cotillon and Michael Scudamore's Kayef are of interest. The latter has a Sandown juvenile hurdle to his name and finished down the field in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival. The colt doesn't look the easiest of rides but ran well to finish a close-up fourth at Ascot the last time, priced 33/1. Coral bet 16/1 for tomorrow's race.

In Catterick's 4.05 Micky Hammond's Heart Of  Dubai won over course and distance the last time but isn't guaranteed to reproduce that effort while mare Madamlily looks to have a tough enough task giving weight to all her rivals.

Newmarket's finale includes Veiled, Gifted Leader and Blue Spartan. Nicky Henderson has booked Kieren Fallon for Veiled. Gifted Leader has won a Stratford Class 3 hurdle; rated 130 over hurdles, the gelding goes off a mark of 77 here and would be of some interest for each-way punters if priced up at 16/1 (as in tonight's tissue). The grey Blue Spartan looks sure to appreciate this trip.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Sunday City (12/1) ran better than his finishing position of eighth might suggest, leading from the fifth until surrendering the inititative two from home; he weakened markedly after the last with the spoils going to Nicholls' top-weight Rebel Du Maquis (10/1) - he looks one for the notebook.

I wasn't tempted by even money American Art; in the event Praxiteles (8/1) took the spoils which just goes to show even champion jockey Tony McCoy doesn't always call it right...

Decent enough results on the Flat for anyone brave enough to follow the jumpers highlighted - Kayef (12/1) finished second in the Haydock opener while Veiled (9/2jf) beat Gifted Leader (14/1) in the Newmarket finale. I know I shouldn't comment but I'm going to anyway - the Exacta paid 72.70...