Northumberland Plate Betting Preview 2m Newcastle Saturday

Totalize

Brian Ellison’s Totalize ticks many boxes for Saturday’s Northumberland Plate.

It was very disappointing to see last week’s selection in the Wokingham Handicap, Huntsmans Close, having to be withdrawn after getting loose in the preliminaries. Trained to the minute, and judging from the dispirited look on his trainers face, I’m sure we would have got a good run for our money. However there will be plenty more days in the sun for Huntsmans Close, and his very able trainer Roger Charlton could very well land a large pot in the big one at Newcastle on Saturday, with his talented stayer Quest for More, to restore his spirits.

Twice a winner over 1m4f, and once over 2m (Ascot), he made a most encouraging reappearance when going down by a hd to Astronereus at Newmarket (3 May 1m4f) with the subsequent impressive Royal Ascot winner Arab Dawn, 11/2L back in third. He confirmed his progress when winning a Goodwood handicap ( 1m6f Gd) off a six pounds higher mark thirteen days later, beating Oasis Fantasy by 1/2L. He won comfortably at the Sussex track, so the 1lb turn around with the runner up should prove surmountable. While definitely going the right way I just wonder if 1m6f might prove his optimum trip as last years Ascot win over 2m was a hard fought affair in a slow time. However it was a brave win as he was carrying 10st and held on well. Certainly if he maintains his progress over Saturday’s trip he must have fair prospects of defying a rise of 8lbs and is considered.

Richard Fahey, trainer of last years winner, Angel Gabrial, is triple handed, with last years hero accompanied by two more Gabrials, King and Star. Having finished in close proximity to the gold cup winner, Trip to Paris, on two occasions this year, Gabrials king is perhaps the more interesting. Despite being trapped on the inner until approaching the final furlong, he was beaten a rapidly reducing 3 3/4L when receiving only 2lbs from Trip to Paris at Ripon on his reappearance. It was a case of more of the same in the Chester Cup twelve days later, when again Franny Norton couldn’t mount a challenge until too late and again finished three lengths behind the Gold Cup hero. He was slightly disappointing in his last race, a slowly run affair (Haydock 2m good May 23rd), where held up off a pedestrian pace, he kept on well to get within 6 1/2L of the winner Seamour. Set to meet the winner on 11lbs better terms on Saturday, and mindful of his form with the Gold Cup winner, he has to be on the shortlist.

Marco Botti’s 2014 Chester Cup winner, Suegioo, ran a fine race in last years renewal, when finishing second to Angel Gabrial, but hadn’t shown much in his four subsequent outings, until last time, when despite an awkward head carriage, he buckled down to the job in hand, and got to within 2 3/4L of Seamour at Haydock. He meets Seamour on 4lbs better terms on Saturday, and is also 6lbs better off with his conquerer, Angel Gabrial, in last years race, so looks quite well handicapped. A slight reservation would be his poor win to race ratio (2 from 22 starts), but in the hands of his very able handler, is seriously considered.

Eleven 4yo’s have won since 1985, but only one, Tominator, has been successful in the last seven years, so perhaps local man Brian Ellison’s best chance of landing this long sought after prize, lies not with his 4yo, and current favourite Seamour, but with one of his other three runners, and his 6yo Totalize ticks many boxes. Only seventh in the race last year, he meets Angel Gabrial on 3lbs better terms, but more importantly, looks as if he has been laid out for this. He had only the one run after this last year, (York August 20 2m) when ridden by a 7lb claimer he finished 8L behind the second horse that day, Quest for More, with whom ( excluding the claimers allowance), he is now 16lbs better off. He ran a great race on his reappearance, going down by 1 3/4L to his stablemate Seamour. Sure to come on a lot for the run and 5lbs better off with Seamour, in what is bound to be a Truely run race,his chance is obvious.

It has to be said that stepped up to 2m for the first time at Haydock, the very lightly raced Seamour’s performance was full of merit, and if continuing to progress at the trip, it will be no surprise to see him involved at the business end .

Selection: Totalize

E.W. : Gabrials King

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Wokingham Handicap Betting Tips Royal Ascot 6f Saturday

Roger Charlton

Roger Charlton’s Huntsmans Close satisfies many of the criteria. This 5yo Elusive Quality gelding ran a blinder on his reappearance at Newmarket seven weeks ago.

Unfortunately our selection for The Kings Stand, Meccas Angel was withdrawn because of the fast ground, but our E.W. Suggestion, Muthmir, ran a fine race, to get within a head and a neck of the winner. Let’s hope that we can improve on this in Saturday’s cavalry charge, otherwise known as the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot. Invariably run at a cracking pace ( often won in a faster time than the preceding Group1 Diamond Stakes), it takes an animal of serious potential to collect. Four or five year olds have the best recent record, winning thirteen of the last fifteen renewals. Two six year olds have obliged, Baltic King,(2006) and Dandy Boy (2012). Weight is no bar to success as six of the last ten winners have carried 9st 2lbs or more. Indeed Baltic King humped 9st 10lbs to win in 2006 four days after finishing sixth in the Kings Stand. Good recent form has been shown by nine of the last ten winners, the exception being Laddies Poker, who won landing a gamble, on his reappearance.

Roger Charlton’s Huntsmans Close satisfies many of the criteria. This 5yo Elusive Quality gelding ran a blinder on his reappearance at Newmarket seven weeks ago. Running off a mark of 94 he went down by a short head to Eastern Impact in a class2 handicap (6f Gd-fm) recording an eye catching time figure. A winner of his previous race ( Ayr 6f Gd-fm Sep14) of a mark of 87 he has clearly progressed over the winter, and must have serious prospects of defying his new rating of 98 on Saturday. One for the short list!

The French trained 6yo Robert le Diable, has been runner up in his last three races, two of them at group level. He went down by 2L to the speedy Meccas Angel over 5f in a group3 at Longchamp on May10 (Gd-sft) and three weeks later at the same venue, again in a group3, was beaten a sh hd on good ground. An ability to get 7f is a definite plus in big 6f Ascot handicaps so it would be no surprise to see this classy Gallic challenger involved at the business end at the weekend.

Mike Murphy’s 5yo gelding, Discussion to Follow, if the forecast is correct, should have a lot going for him on Saturday. Probably better suited by 6f, he won here over 5f on fast ground last July. He ran far too freely on his reappearance at Newmarket (May30 6f gd-fm) and faded into sixth place, but a reproduction of his form at the Curragh last September would bring him into the picture. He finished 3L behind Watchable, and now meets him on 9lbs better terms. He also meets his Goodwood conqueror, Intrinsic, on 5lbs better terms, and this lightly raced animal is beginning to look well handicapped, and could well have something to say at the finish.

Watchable himself, particularly in the light of Goldreams win in Tuesday’s King Stand, is likely to prove a danger to all. He ran a great race on his reappearance, going down by 1/2L to the top class Astaire, in a 6f Group3 at Newmarket and again ran well when finishing 3L behind Goldream over an inadequate 5f in another Group3 at headquarters sixteen days later. He has been placed on both course appearances, handles fast ground, and in the hands of his hugely talented trainer has an awful lot going for him at the weekend.

Niall Moran’s 5yo Dark Angel entire, Don’t Bother Me is of interest. He ran well in this last year, when a running on seventh, he was beaten less than four lengths off a mark of 98. He put up another fine performance on the track over seven furlongs six weeks later, again off 98, going down by 1L to Heavy Metal, with Watchable rated 103 a neck back in third. As he meets the O’Meara runner on 4lbs better terms he does look well handicapped. However he has to show that he can run to the same level over 6f, and unless there is plenty of rain it seems doubtful.

Selection: Huntsmans Close.

E.W: Watchable.

Kings Stand Stakes Betting Tips Group1 5f Royal Ascot Tuesday

Meccas Angel

Michael Dod’s 4yo Dark Angel filly, Meccas Angel continues to impress. Winner of seven of her twelve starts, she had her first run at Group level, last September, (Group3 Newbury soft) and made it a winning one, readily beating the useful Justice Day by 2 1/2L.

Since its inception in 1860, seven horses, including the great Diadem, (1919, 1920) have won The Kings Stand in consecutive years, but none have managed to bring up the hat trick, a situation that fantastic 8yo gelding Sole Power, is going to try to correct on Tuesday. Already the winner of an eye watering, near £2,000,000 he is as short as 4/1 to achieve his third successive victory in this historic sprint. He disappointed last time out, finishing 6th, 5l behind Mustajeeb at the Curragh (6f gd-soft May23rd) but is easily forgiven, as he has never won beyond 5f in any of his 48 races. Tuesday’s race is tailor made for this “hold up” horse and a reproduction of his win in the Group1 at Meydan in March this year, would certainly see him involved at the very least, at the business end on Tuesday. One for the short list!

Mind you, as the very open betting indicates, this is no one horse affair, and there are plenty need considering, not least William Haggas’s rapidly improving 5yo gelding, Muthmir. Having put up an astonishing performance to win the Portland Handicap at Doncaster last September with his head in his chest, considering he nearly came down exiting the stalls, he was put away for the season. He reappeared in a Group2 over 6f at York on May13th, where he acquitted himself well, finishing 5th, less than 1L behind the winner, Glass Office. He confirmed his progress when taking a Group2 over 5f (Gd-Sft) at Chantilly eighteen days later. Some were not totally convinced by his performance here, but to this observer he won cleverly, and as the runner up, Catcall, had been a slightly unlucky second in the 2013 Prix De L’Abbe, the form looks solid. Given better ground at Ascot,it will be hard to keep this rapidly improving sprinter out of the money.

The Australian 4yo, Brazen Beau, won a Group2 sprint over 6f last October, and progressed to Group1 level when winning at Flemington, again over 6f, twenty seven days later. Reverting to 5f four months later, again at Group1 level, he was beaten 2 1/2L. Last time out he won a Grade1 handicap readily, at 6f. Coming all the way from Australia, connections clearly fancy their chances, but I wonder if Tuesday’s test will prove just too sharp as he does seem to be better at six furlongs.

Unlike her Australian compatriot, the 6yo mare Shamal Wind, seems particularly well suited by Tuesday’s trip. She has won five times over the distance, and was quite impressive last time when winning a Grade1 handicap over an extended five at Caulfield. However this Dubawi mare has never won at Group level, and despite that last impressive win she might just come up short in this company.

Michael Dod’s 4yo Dark Angel filly, Meccas Angel continues to impress. Winner of seven of her twelve starts, she had her first run at Group level, last September, (Group3 Newbury soft) and made it a winning one, readily beating the useful Justice Day by 2 1/2L. Not seen again until May10th (Longchamp 5f Group3 Gd-Sft) she again disposed of a decent field in a very good time. Clearly a very progressive and consistent filly, who likes to get her toe in, so particularly if there is rain, although she acts perfectly well on good ground, she is going to pose a serious threat to all.

Charlie Appelby’s 4yo Invincible Spirit gelding Pretend, was very disappointing when trailing in second last at Windsor on June1st. However it was his first run for two months, and his very able trainer blamed the fast ground. He certainly looked a very talented and speedy performer when winning his two previous races over 5 and 6 furlongs at Lingfield. They were both highly competitive affairs, and as many animals who handle Lingfields A.W. Surface, adapt well to Ascots 5f course, he is by no means passed over.

Fourteen 3yo’s have won since 1974, so the two fillies Tiggy Wiggy, and Anthem Alexander are worth a second look. Tiggy Wiggy had the best of their last two meetings, both over 6f, but Anthem Alexander did come out on top at last years Royal meeting, over 5f. While the Hannon filly failed to stay in the 1000gns, Sole Powers stablemate has been kept to sprinting, and won on her reappearance at Naas on June 1st. Anthem Alexander certainly adds another dimension to Edward Lynam’s challenge, and it would be no great surprise to see this course and distance winner involved.

Selection: Meccas Angel.

E.W. : Muthmir.

2015 Epsom Derby Betting Tips

2015 Epsom Derby Betting Tips

Ryan Moore partners the Galileo colt Giovanni Canaletto, and if he won he would be giving his sire a record equalling fourth win in the race.

Unfortunately, our selection for last week’s Achilles Stakes at Haydock, Muthmir, dodged the meeting and went to Chantilly instead, where He won a 5f highly competitive Group 2 beating last years Prix De L’Abbe runner up, Catcall, emphasising yet again what a progressive sprinter He is. Definitley one to bear in mind for the Kings Stand Stakes at the Royal Meeting. However Saturday sees the 235th renewal of the world’s greatest classic, so let’s hope our selection(s) at least make it to the start this week.

Aidan O’Brien is trying to win his fourth Derby in a row, and perhaps even more astonishingly equal his great namesake, Vincent O’Brien’s record of six victories. If He does it won’t be with his English and Irish 2000gns winner Gleneagles, as he has been withdrawn. However he has three left in, Hans Holbein, Giovanni Canaletto, and Kilimanjaro, and I suppose any of the three could prove to be a super sub. If the Montjeu colt Hans Holbein wins, he would be giving his sire a record breaking fifth win in the race. Interestingly He was a very late foal, and surprisingly He was still two weeks short of His third birthday when winning the Chester Vase (1m4 1/2f soft) on May 7th. (He beat the second horse home that day, Storm the Stars, rather more easily than market leader Golden Horn managed on his debut at Nottingham last October.) Bred on very similar lines to Irish Derby, and Gold Gup winner, Fame and Glory, stamina is not going to be an issue, and it is not difficult to imagine him under Seamie Heffernan making Saturday’s renewal a real staying test. Certainly if it comes up soft he would have to be on the short list.

Ryan Moore partners the Galileo colt Giovanni Canaletto, and if he won he would be giving his sire a record equalling fourth win in the race. As a full brother to the 2013 winner Ruler of The World, he is certainly bred for the job, and indeed demonstrated his need for a trip in his last race, the 1m2f Gallinule stakes at the Curragh. It took him some time to get going, but was putting in his best work at the finish. With most of the O’Brien horses needing a run, this was quite a smart performance, so with Moore up and a further 2f to travel he is one to fear at the weekend.

John Gosden’s son of Cape Cross, Golden Horn, has been all the rage since winning the Dante Stakes at York from his stablemate, Jack Hobbs, and Andrew Balding’s Elm Park. Clearly the best horse on the day, some, considering his pedigree, have doubts about his ability to reproduce the performance over another 1 1/2f at Epsom. His sire was an out and out miler, and despite having got the Derby winner Sea the Stars, and the Oaks winner Ouija Board, not all his offspring stay middle distances. On the distaff his dam Fleche D’or, is an unraced daughter of miler Dubai Destination, and while her first foal, Eastern Belle, is a listed race winner over 1m2f, she is by a grade 1 winner over 1m4f. The jury remains out on his stamina credentials, but to this observer he certainly wasn’t stopping at York.

Having won the Group1 Racing Post Trophy, from which four Derby winners have come since 2002, Andrew Balding’s Phoenix Reach colt Elm Park, must be considered. Not bred in the purple, his sire was a multiple Group1 winner over 1m4f who does transmit stamina to many of his offspring, but until Elm Park came along had never produced a group winner. His dam Lady Brona was an 80 rated miler, and is a half sister to the fairly useful staying hurdler Tweedledrum. Hardly the pedigree of a potential Derby winner, you might say, but his racecourse performances speak for themselves. Winning his first attempt at Group2 level (Newmarket 1m gd/fm) at the end of September, he readily took the Group1 Racing Post Trophy four weeks later. He was withdrawn from the 2000gns because of the firm ground, and instead made his seasonal debut in the Dante Stakes, where he ran far too freely, took it up 3f from home, and faded in the last 150yds. We can expect a much improved performance from this very solid colt at the weekend, and it would be no surprise to see him involved at the business end.

Dermot Weld’s Shamardal colt Zawraq has won his only two races, and if making it to the start, (had a set back in training) is considered. Beautifully bred on the distaff, there are few stamina doubts, but his now 13yo sire has yet to make an impression in either of the Epsom classics. However this rapidly improving colt, with his very amenable temperament, who should handle the preliminaries well, must have serious prospects of adding to the hugely impressive C.V. of the master of Rosewall House.

Selection: Giovanni Canaletto.

E.W. : Elm Park.