A week full of eyecatchers despite field seemingly getting smaller by the day. Will there be any other ‘match’ races like the last at Wolverhampton yesterday evening? I wouldn’t bet against it. The sooner the turf comes around the better. Then at least I can start to moan about wrong going descriptions and overwatered ground. I’ve outlined four that caught my eye to add into your trackers/notebooks.
Monday 24th January.
15:00 Southwell- The inside rail during the early stages of races and the far rail in the closing stages at Southwell were not the place to be on the fibresand. Despite the switch to tapeta that bias still firmly seems to be in play. I was surprised to see Global Acclaim switched from a favourable draw in 9 all the way down towards the ‘dead’ inside rail. She travelled along the worst of the surface throughout the back straight into the home bend. Still going well in rear, her chance was further compromised by trying to quicken up on the slowest part of the track and into a quickening pace due to the steady nature of the early gallop. Going best 2f from home, she kept on doggedly all the way through the line. To my eye she was a good deal better than the finishing position and has returned from a 103 day break in decent nick. Already a winner over 7f I think she can get away with this trip with a slightly handier sit, no doubt there are more races to be won with her off a mark in the high 70s.
18:00 Wolverhampton- I mentioned in a previous post that offspring of Cape Dollar have built up a really good record on synthetic surfaces and seemingly underperform when on turf. This is backed up by the fact her progeny has had a solitary win on the turf to date from 105 runs. My Dubawi has had four starts to date on turf, travelling well on all four occasions and then folding like a cheap suit each time. If there’s any in running players reading then he’s likely one that will trade significantly shorter than his BFSP, even more so given the he’s likely to be ridden from the front. On his four turf starts he’s hit 1.29. 3.80, 2.62 and 1.25 finishing out of the frame on all four occasions. Back to the run in question, My Dubawi very much had the run of the race here, sitting up with a steady gallop and quickening up in impressive fashion to win going away by nearly 3 lengths. Not many in this contest looked well handicapped going into the race and I’m really not sure what he has beaten. More style over substance I feel. The Dubawi gelding has subsequently been hit with a 8lb rise in the weights. Clearly this will make life tougher. I’m hoping that they keep him on the go during the all-weather season, he can rack up another win and then be opposed at a shortish price when back on turf. It may well have been that his underwhelming efforts on turf were down to a physical issue that has since been rectified, but for now I’m happy to say I feel he’ll be one to oppose strongly.
18:30 Wolverhampton- A steadily run 9.5f novice and the one I want to take from the race is Gargle. I’ve had my eye on all of her qualifying runs for a handicap mark. All three races to date patently haven’t been run to suit her. She ended up towards the rear of mid division here, went well enough until shaken up briefly just before the three pole and kept on down the straight for a less than vigorous hands and heels ride. Some late gains made into a quickening pace (111.1% race finishing speed), the way the novices’ she has contested have been run have almost certainly helped hide her true ability under a bushel. Gravitation, her dam, was a stayer. She won the Lillie Langtry in 2008. The progeny she has had hit the track seem to have no trouble with 10f. Despite being out of a sprinter in Bated Breath, I’m adamant that it’ll be the dam side of her page that Gargle takes from. The handicapper has given her a mark of 60 which looks fine at this stage, she’ll prove well handicapped when in a race that it run at an even tempo. Physically she’ll strengthen up given a bit of time, having three spins in just over a month has laid the foundations for what could be a decent 2022 season at a lowly level.
Saturday 29th January.
17:00 Kempton- Four and a half length novice winners wouldn’t normally be ones for the notebook, but I feel the handicapper has let Nobel Order in lightly with an opening mark of 87. Drawn wide in 12, Probert sensibly opted to sit out wide before slotting across before the bend. Sitting on the heels of the leader, he came into the straight in second. Still green initially off the bridle, he was merely shaken up to power clear at the furlong pole. Easily putting daylight between himself and his rivals. He wasn’t hard pressed to do this and still looked a shade green at various points of the race. The time clocked was smart and tells me he’s already a chunk ahead of his opening mark. I have no doubt at all that he will be at least Listed class in time. The grinding nature of his win suggests to me that he’ll be better suited by turf. The Esher Cup at Sandown was the race that immediately sprung to mind when I saw his mark of 87. A stiff uphill finish will suit down to the ground. No doubt he’ll come up against a plethora of well treated horses in that race but I could see the market underestimating him because it is ‘only’ all weather form. As a whole I feel this will be an all-weather novice to follow throughout the coming weeks and months. Nobel Orders’ dam Zibelina was a Group 3 winner, she’s already produced Royal Fleet who has been Group 2 placed at Meydan and Royal Crusade who won a Group 3 as a three year old. A gorgeous, fine stamp of a colt is Nobel Order and physically the type to flourish well into his three year old season.
I mentioned above that I feel that Global Acclaim is a well treated filly. Evidently much better than the bare result last time out, for the reasons given above. I like her draw in one today and suspect she’ll be ridden slightly handier than she was on her reappearance at Southwell. With Love Dreams, Enduring and Lough Cutra likely to force the pace, there should be a decent gallop on the cards and bring her stamina into play. There’s not many in today’s field that appear particularly well handicapped and at the current odds she’s overpriced.
1pt win @ 12/1 General
At the end of the day, everything comes down to price so feel free to give me a nudge on Twitter if any of these are running and you want to know if I’m pressing blue, pink or sitting on the fence.
Thoughts, comments, likes, retweets and feedback are all greatly appreciated as always.