Weekly Eye-catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Horse Racing’s Flat Season Staggers to A Finish!

Well, the flat turf season continues to stagger on until its final finish at Doncaster in less than two weeks. I think Racing Post Trophy Day at Doncaster should be in the end of the season. I know some will cry “what about the November Handicap?” Well move it to this meeting and rename it the October Handicap. I know the traditionalist won’t like it but the official flat season now ends on Champion’s Day and in all truth the remaining action on the turf between now and the final Doncaster meeting is pretty mediocre stuff. You could have a really good two or even three-day meeting, maybe even in turn it into the Doncaster Octoberfest, by combining the two meetings and you could even have the Champion Jockey crowned back at Doncaster. Let the turf season end at Doncaster at the end of October with a bit of a ‘bang’ rather than ‘fizzle’ away like a damp firework at the beginning of November.

Andrea Atzeni’s Fabulous Four Timer

Racing Post Trophy Day at Doncaster on Saturday, with the final Group 1 of the British turf season, this year’s race was won by the William Haggas trained Rivet who was well suited to a return to a galloping track after not handling Newmarket’s ‘Dip’ on his last run in the Dewhurst Stakes. He was a worthy winner of the race, seeing off the favourite Yucatan fairly comfortably at the finish. It didn’t look the strongest of renewals on paper and nothing from the race refuted that thought. Although the second home Yucatan could be interesting over 1m 4f next year on quick ground.

The race was notable for jockey Andrea Atzeni winning the race for the 4th successive year, a pretty notable achievement especially as he has ridden his winners for four different trainers. If there is a better jockey at Doncaster than Atzeni can you let me know?

Race goers were treated to another good ride from Champion Apprentice Josephine Gordon, who rode the Hugo Palmer trained To Be Wild to a good win at odds of 6/1 which I am sure will have delighted Eyecatcher Pro subscribers.

A fairly quiet week for the service with few runners on the flat now and the jumps horses just starting to be added to the tracker. Dry conditions, around many parts of the country, is keeping the ground on the ‘quickish’ side, and some of the jumps tracks really need rain, if the weather forecast is correct they are going to have to wait a bit longer for some as this week looks fairly dry.

This Week’s Eyecatchers

Three for your trackers this week but I will be adding a further five horses exclusively for Pro subscribers as part of my Ten to Follow over the winter, with the final two being added next week.

Two of this weeks tracker horses are juveniles who look set for good three-year-old careers and the final one is from Cheltenham’s Showcase Meeting.

Wednesday October 19th


Paradise Lake – Sir Michael Stoute – Making his racecourse debut here in this 7f maiden. The juvenile had looked the pick of the paddock before the race. He is a colt with plenty of size and scope about him, a 300.000 Gns purchase as a yearling he is from a good family and looks set for a good three-year-old career. His inexperience showed in the race and he was allowed to come home in own time under a quiet ride by the Ryan Moore to finish 8th. The experience will have done him good and he will leave this form well behind next year!

Friday October 21st


Mirage Dancer – Sir Michael Stoute – The trainer looks to have a nice bunch of two-year-olds and he can look forward to next season. Sir Michael often introduces a nice two-year-old over 7f in October and I think he has a really good one on his hands for 2017. The son of Frankel was well backed before the race to make a winning debut and although it looked for a long way that he wouldn’t the colt showed a good attitude off the bridle to get up in the final few yards. From a top class family, a half brother to Radiator and Forge who both were 100+ rated for the trainer. This one could easily be the best of his mare’s offspring, I think he is a really top-class colt in the making and one were likely to hear a lot about next year!

Saturday October 22nd


For Good Measure – Philip Hobbs – The five-year-old looks very much a chaser in the making and given he is a half brother to Balthazar King that should be the sphere that he makes his name. The King’s Theatre gelding is now 2 wins from 10 runs 5 places over hurdles after just being beaten a short head by his lesser fancied, in the market. stablemate Golden Doyen in this Pertemps Series qualifier over 3m. Both last year’s hurdle wins came over shorter on heavy ground but he showed here that he stays three miles well and is very effective on quicker ground Can still win races over hurdles and it will be interesting if connections target the final of the series at next year’s Cheltenham Festival with him or go over fences.

Next week as a bit of a bonus I will be looking at one my favourite races of the year the Melbourne Cup and hopefully identifying a couple of horses that look set to run well in the “race that stops a nation” Until then here’s wishing you a profitable week’s betting.

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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