Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

It was certainly the case of famine rather than feast on the horse racing front last week. The action won’t live long in the memory. That said a bit of famine can give you the hunger for more top class betting action and for the rest of the month it’s going to be non-stop racing. It all starts this weekend with Irish Champions Weekend, Doncaster’s St Léger meeting follows next week, with Ayr’s Western Meeting ‘hot on its heels’, the following week and it all concludes at the end of the month with the Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting.

Autumn has arrived and it’s time to start culling some of the underperformers in my tracker and also that period in the season where the number of flat trackers horses starts to slow down and the all-weather and indeed National Hunt horses start to appear in it. It’s hard to believe that Cheltenham’s first meeting of the new season starts next month.

This week’s article doesn’t contain all I would have liked, as my Mother-in-Law, who has just been moved into an end of life nursing care home and her condition has worsened. Given the situation, I will be only providing just last weeks eyecatchers and the one micro angle (published, tomorrow 6th September) that I managed to complete before events took over, so to speak.

This Weeks Eyecatcher’s

There are four eyecatcher’s for your trackers this week, two from the same Sandown race and one that would be an interesting runner in the big 7f handicap at Leopardstown this coming Saturday.

Sunday 27th August


Katiymann – Michael Halford – The five-year-old wasn’t suited by the pace of the race in the Irish Cambridgeshire and not many got into from behind. He was making some headway two furlongs out when he was caught behind horses and had to be switched to make his effort. No horse was finishing as powerfully as the gelding to grab 5th on the line. A winner over a mile at Leopardstown back in April. He is entered for the 7f handicap at that track on Saturday and he would be a contender if he gets into the race. Drop in trip wouldn’t inconvenience him as long as he gets a strong gallop to chase and of course luck with the draw. There are also a couple of 1m handicaps at the Curragh for him in the next month.

Wednesday 30th August


Under Control – William Haggas – The three-year-old did well given his size to win twice as a juvenile. He hadn’t been seen since winning a nursery handicap at Chelmsford in September 2016 when racing in this Class 4 mile handicap at Kempton. This run proved he had trained on and the gelding made pleasing late headway to finish 3rd. He should stay 1m 2f on breeding, his dam won over 1m 4f for the trainer. Can make up for lost time and should be able to land a decent handicap on the all-weather in the coming weeks.

Thursday 31st August


Wor Lass – Donald Whillans – Might be a nine-year-old but she showed in this 1m 4f handicap that she hasn’t lost any enthusiasm for her racing and there looks like there is another race in the mare before the season is out. Her last win came in September 2016 and she can now race off that last winning mark. Given the 1m 4 ½ f of this race would be short of her best 0 wins from 12 runs 3 placed over 1m 4 ½ f or less this was a good run as she stayed on well to be beaten less than a length into 2nd. Her optimum conditions are class 5 or 6 handicaps, with field sizes 8 or less. Under such criteria, her career record is 9 wins from 14 runs 64% +31.25 11 placed 79%. There is a modest handicap over 1m 5f + in her before the season is out, maybe back here at Musselburgh where she is 2 wins from 3 runs or Ayr 3 wins from 5 runs under her optimum conditions.

Friday 1st September


The first division of the 7f maiden at Sandown and there should be a few winners come out of the race. This race gave me a couple for the tracker, both newcomers who can win races on the evidence of their promising performances here.

History Writer – David Menuisier – Wasn’t the best away but stayed on nicely to finish 3rd in a race where the first & second had race experience on their side and were more handily positioned. The son of Canford Cliffs will improve for the run and will be suited by a mile on the evidence of this run. Can win races!

Emaraaty – John Gosden – The colt will have gone into plenty of notebooks after his 4th placing here. Like History Writer he was slow away but he travelled sweetly through the race but didn’t get the best of runs on two occasions in the closing stages. Wasn’t knocked about and will come on plenty for this run.

The son of Dubawi cost 2.6 million gns at the sales and has the pedigree of a Group 1 horse as a three-year-old. His dam was a Group 1 winner at 1m 2f and his half sister’s Izzi Top was a twice winning Group 1 filly at 1m 2f & Jazzi Top was a Group 2 winner at 1m 2f and was 2nd in a Group 1 at Longchamp as a three-year-old. Both fillies got better with distance and racing. He looks a good three-year-old in the making at 1m 2f+ and given his sire’s stock do better when stepped up to middle distances he could very well prove best at 1m 4f. An expensive price tag at the sales doesn’t mean he will prove to be a success on the track but on the evidence of this run, he should be able to win races. Next year will show whether this 2.6 million investment was a good one or a costly one. I think it could well be the former rather than the latter.

All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable week’s punting.


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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