Weekly Eye-Catchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Hi all,

A bit of a bumper edition this week so I will apologise for the length.  We’ve got five eyecatchers from last weeks horse racing and right at the end a quick look at some of the key trends for Saturday’s big race the Wetherby’s Super Sprint at Newbury.

Let’s begin with a look back to Saturday’s action.

Did we just see next years Derby winner?

The Aiden O’Brien trained Gustav Klimt over come plenty of problems in running to win the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday and looks set to be his trainer’s number one juvenile with a race like the Dewhurst on the radar for later in the season. Predictably he was made ante post favourite for next years 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Of more interest, as far as the future is concerned, was the performance of another O’Brien trained two year old, The Pentagon, in winning a Curragh maiden. Like Gustav Klimt another son of Galileo, he improved plenty on his racecourse debut when 6th over C&D on soft ground. The quick surface here was very much in his favour. He was soon in the lead and from halfway just poured on the pressure to leave his twelve rivals toiling behind. His final winning margin over the runner up was a 8 ½ lengths at the line but if his jockey had wanted, she could easily have put a dozen or more lengths between the colt and the rest of the field. He didn’t even go off favourite and on jockey bookings had looked the O’Brien second string. On breeding, he should make a better three year old and improve for middle distances. His dam won over 1m 4f and was a Group 1 winner at a 1m 2f in France and his half brother Vadamar, was a Group 2 winner over 1m , also won over 1m 6f in France.

Where is all this leading? Well I, have to confess I have had a small nibble on him for next years Derby at 25/1 and he now the ante post favourite 14/1 with Bet365 for that race but he can still be backed at 20s with Betfair Sportsbook for those interested. I don’t normally bet ante post so far ahead but I just couldn’t resist on this occasion.

This Weeks Eyecatcher’s

There are five horses that should be added to your trackers this week.

Thursday 13th June


King Of Rooks – Henry Spiller – A just below top class juvenile when trained by Richard Hannon, was 3rd in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, going off 11/8 favourite for that race and then was even shorter in the betting for the Group 2 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood on his next start but had to settle for a close up 2nd on that occasion. His three year old season was a right off and indeed he didn’t beat a rival on his last three runs of 2016. Has since been gelded and moved to his new trainer. He was making his seasonal reappearance/stable debut in this 5f Class 2 handicap. Going off at odds of 50/1 he very much caught the eye with his 2 ¾ length, 8th here. He didn’t get the clearest of runs when trying to come between horses in the final furlong but was keeping on well to the line. Connections can be very pleased with this run and a mark of 95, which won’t go up after this run looks more than workable. And IO am sure he can be placed to win a handicap sooner rather than latter. He is equally effective at 5f or 6f, and was at his best on a sound surface as a two year old.

Friday 14th June


War Glory – Richard Hannon – Those horses racing towards the stands side were very much at an advantage in the Silver Bunbury so the performance of War Glory who raced down the middle of track to finis 5th can be marked up. Had run well at York on his last start, although both the four year olds career wins have come on the all weather, and showed again that a sound surface on turf is fine for him. He doesn’t have any problems with big fields or a straight 7f and s strongly run race at that distance or 1m look ideal for gelding. Had not to think there is handicap on grass in him off a mark of 91.

Falcon Eye – Charlie Appleby – This half brother to the trainer’s Outstrip, who won the Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf was making his racecourse debut here and was sent off the 11/4 joint favourite. Plenty was expected from this son of Dubawi on his first start but sadly he never really looked like he would reward his supporters. He ran well for 5f but faded out of contention at the furlong mark to eventually finish 6th of 11. Should come on for the experience and can win races given the market confidence before the race.


Move In Time – David O’Meara – The 9 year old may never recapture his high class best. Won the 2014 Group 1 Prix de L’ Abbaye at Longchamp and was as good as ever in 2015 finishing a ¾ length 3rd behind Muthmir in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood, before going on the win a Group 3 back at Longchamp. Was never really at his best in 2016 and hadn’t shown much on three starts this season either but this has all meant he has subsequently dropped down the weights to a mark of just 94. This run in a Class 3 5f handicap was a real step in the right direction for the gelding. Only beaten 1 ¾ lengths into 5th at the line. He was travelling noticeably well in behind horses two furlongs out but couldn’t find a gap and he also met trouble in running inside the final furlong before finishing off his race as well any of those who finished in front of him. With a clear passage he could well have won the race. Best suited by good or quicker ground and a strongly run 5f. If he can build on this there is a sprint handicap in him when all the cards fall right.

Saturday 15th June


Tony Curtis – Richard Hannon – Didn’t look the best handicapped horse coming into the Bunbury Cup and had finished last on his seasonal reappearance at Goodwood, albeit in Listed company, back in May. This was a much better performance by the four year old when finishing 4th in this valuable handicap, being beaten just 1 ½ lengths at the line. A winner twice as a juvenile he found life tougher at three although he wasn’t beaten far into 5th in a mile Group 3 at ‘Glorious’ Goodwood. He might well have won that day with a clear run inside the final furlong. Both his career wins have come on good or quicker ground and in July/August so we are in the geldings time of year. This run showed he can be competitive in these big field handicaps of his present mark. A step back up to a mile can suit and maybe connections are once again aiming him for Goodwood again, with a possible tilt at the Betfred Mile for which is a generally priced 25/1 in the ante post betting market.

Big Race Preview: Wetherby’s Super Sprint – Newbury – Saturday 22nd June

The weekend’s big race is the Wetherby’s Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday. The race was first run in 1991 and is for two year olds and is run over a distance of 5f. The weight carried by a horse in the Weatherly’s Super Sprint is determined by its sale price, with one pound deducted for each £5,000 below the maximum value of £63,000. There are also penalties to be carried, a winner of a Class 2 race 3lb, of a listed race 5lb and a Group race 8lb. There is a guaranteed £250,000 prize fund on so not surprising with the money on offer the race usually attracts a big field of juveniles.

The last 9 renewals of the race have attracted a total of 207 runners but plenty of them have no chance. For those interested in the likely profile of the winner here are a few pointers that you can use to shortlist contenders for the race:

Odds SP: 28/1 & under – 9 winners from 109 runners 26 placed (Those above 28/1 are 0 wins from 98 runners 1 placed)

Career Wins: 1+ – 9 winners from 159 runners 26 placed (Maidens are 0 wins from 49 runners 1 placed)

Distance Wins: 1+ – 9 winners from 129 runners 23 placed – (Non Distance winners are 0 wins from 78 runners 4 placed)

Notable Trainer Records:

Richard Fahey – 2 winners from 11 runners +24 4 placed
Johnny Portman – 1 winner from 1 runner +4.5
Richard Hannon – 1 winner from 6 runners -2.5 2 placed (His father was 1 winner from 10 runners -7 3 placed)
Andrew Balding – 1 winner from 1 runner +25
William Haggas – 1 winner from 3 runners +18
Tim Easterby – 1 winner from 5 runners +0.5
Kevin Ryan – 0 wins from 10 runners -10 5 placed + 3.8

All that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks 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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