Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Before looking at this week’s tracker horses I will have a brief look at last week’s Derby & Oaks Trials at York’s Dante Festival and a couple of performances from Saturday’s Newbury card.

Wings of Desire one my recent horses to follow followed up his easy win in a Wolverhampton by taking the Dante Stakes in some style at a tasty 9/1. Make no mistake this is a rapidly improving colt and Frankie Dettori’s decision to opt for the colt over Foundation proved to be a correct one. The drop back in trip didn’t inconvenience the horse but he will be suited by the return to the Derby trip and he looks a very well balanced horse who should be suited by the undulations that he will face at Epsom. Will have to be supplemented for the Derby, just like last years winner Golden Horn, but this seems almost certain. A worthy favourite for the big race next month for me! One word of warning though his siblings Eagle Top and The Lark were and are quirky types but the colt hasn’t shown the same traits as them as yet. His win did, however, ‘muddy’ the Derby waters even more!

On the Wednesday Wings of Desire trainer John Gosden won the Musidora Stakes with the improving filly So Mi Dar. She followed up her win in the Epsom Derby Trial at Epsom last month with a very authoritative win here. The form of her Epsom win has been working out well and the horse she beat into second Fireglow here bought 1000 Guineas form in to the race, where she had been beaten 4 ½ lengths by Minding. The Dubawi filly showed she was still on the upgrade with a 4 length win over Fireglow and in all honesty she could have won by an even greater margin. The Oaks looks set to be a cracker, as there doesn’t seem to be much between Minding and So Mi Dar on the form book especially given the latter has track form and should improve further with the extra distance of the race. Worth noting if you like So Mi Dar that the Musidora hasn’t been the best of trials for the Oaks with only one winner coming out of the race in the past 19 years.

On Saturday two performances stood out for the future. In the Group 1 Locking Stakes Belardo came from the rear to win the race with a powerful run. He will head to Ascot for the Queen Anne but he does like some ease the ground and if he got it at the Royal meeting he would have a good chance of supplementing this win. The one to take out of the race for the future was the run of the 3rd Endless Drama who was only beaten 1 ¼ lengths at the line. The Ger Lyons trained runner hadn’t been seen since running Gleneagles to ¾ length in last years Irish 2000 Guineas. A really big horse, which has done well from three to four and given his size he should improve for this run. The race probably wasn’t run to suit him as there was a modest early gallop and it turned into a bit of sprint. After the race his trainer nominated the one mile Queen Anne as his next race but also said the horse “Won’t go on extremes and wouldn’t run if there is firm in the description. You’d like to think something like the Irish Champion Stakes later in the season would suit him”. There is more as he has only had five career starts and does look like a horse who will appreciate a step up to 1m 2f sometime this season.

The performance of the weekend came from the Roger Charlton trained Imperial Aviator in the London Gold Cup a race which in the last ten years has produced Group winners such as Al Kazeem, Cannock Chase and last years winner Time Test and also a future Melbourne Cup winner in Green Moon. This years winner could well be up to that level. Trainer made it 3/3 in the race. The horse had stepped up on three all weather maidens at the end of last year with a battling win over the Friday’s impressive winner Ulysses by ½ length at Leicester on good to soft. The first two pulled well clear of the rest that day and a mark of 85 on his handicap debut looked workable and proved to be more than workable as the son of Paco Boy won by an easy looking 4 ½ lengths, which could have been much further if given a harder ride. Who knows whether he is as good last years winner Time Test but he is clearly an improving colt. The Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot which was won by the trainers Time Test and now looks set to be his next race.

This Weeks Eyecatchers

There are four notebook horses this week but I will also be adding another three tracker horses to the software for Eyecatcher Pro subscribers.

Wednesday May 11th


Bogart – Kevin Ryan – Trainer had been very positive about the seven year old in his Racing Post Stable Tour saying “since we brought him back in this year he’s moved better than he has since he was a two year old”. Hasn’t won since August 2013 and is now 9lb lower than for that win at York. Was sent off only 8/1 but the track bias was against any horses drawn in double digit stalls and this run can be forgiven. There is a decent 6f sprint handicap in the horse off his present mark when he gets a semi decent draw and also gets his ground good or quicker.

Abe Lincoln – Jeremy Noseda – A winner on his two year old debut at Kempton, had been hampered when making his effort a furlong out at Lingfield on his last start at the beginning of March. Making his turf debut here he didn’t get the best of runs in this 7f handicap when making headway from the rear and by the time the colt had got in the clear the placed horses had gone. Still this was an eyecatching run as he was staying on strongly to the line to be a 4 ¾ length 5th at the line. Well backed before the race he clearly liked the drying ground and given the market support there is surely a nice pot in this son of Discreet Cat.

Thursday May 12th

Oracolo – David Simcock – The four year old looked progressive last year when winning twice over a mile on good to firm at Doncaster. Slightly disappointed when 7th at Newmarket back in July but it was found that he had injured himself in that race. The son of Cape Cross had run a race full of promise at Wolverhampton on his first start back since his injury at the end of April and built on it here in this mile handicap. He was 3lb out of the handicap here but didn’t get the best of runs a furlong out when making his effort and did well to get within 3 lengths of the winner. He looks to be back to his best and is capable of progressing further this year and there should be more races at around a mile in the horse. Likes quick going so could well be aimed at races like the Hunt Cup.

Friday May 13th


Kickboxer – Saeed Bin Suroor – Was having his first start since last years Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot. Was never really involved in the race but was keeping on in encouraging style in the final furlong. Showed here that the ability still remains. Was an expensive buy for Godolphin and the end of his three year old career. Shaped well on his first two starts for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor but disappointed when last seen in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot on good to firm, only 12/1 for that race. The Wokingham could well be a mid season target again but there would need to be juice in the ground if he was to feature prominently there. One to keep onside when he gets his ground as he is a better horse with some give in the ground and he could be the right sort for a sprint handicap in the Autumn, like the Ayr Gold Cup.

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.
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