Weekly Eyecatchers

Last week was a good week if you’re a follower of the notebook horses: Emjayem, which I put up in last weeks column, won at Yarmouth 3/1, on Friday Fractal won at 5/2. On Saturday there were three winners at Newbury: The Corsican won at 4/1, Steps at 11/4 and then to cap it all What About Carlo won at a tasty 11/1.

The win by David Simcock’s The Corsican once again underlined the power of putting horses into your trackers. This is what I wrote about the horse after it ran at Royal Ascot:

“Thrown into the deep end here against the likes of Free Eagle and The Grey Gatsby, the four year old was stepping up from Listed company to Group 1 class here. He was staying on well from off the pace and was only beaten 3 ¼ length at the finish. He is still on the upgrade and could well stay 1m 4f. There is definitely a Group race in this son of Galileo”.

Whilst on the subject of The Corsican I was impressed with the runner up Sky Hunter who ran a cracking prep race for his likely target race the Melbourne Cup. It was the five year olds first race since winning at Meydan in March so should come on well for the run. He is around 33/1 for the ‘Cup’ but being a son of Motivator he probably wouldn’t want the ground to be too quick come November.

Trainer Richard Fahey had a tremendous Ayr Western meeting and I have a couple of horses from his yard that ran better than their finishing positions suggest and can win races before the season is out.

Wednesday 16th September


Dizzey Heights – Stuart Kittow – The three year old daughter of Halling was only having her 6th career start in this class 5 handicap and once again showed that she seems a much better filly with plenty of give in the ground. Beaten only 1 ¼ lengths into second here she had also been a close up second at Salisbury in May also on soft going. She stayed on well at the finish here and a step back up in trip could be what the filly needs. There is a small handicap in here before the season is out most probably when there is plenty of ease in the going.

Thursday 17th September


Star Cracker – Jim Goldie – The three year old was having only his second start for his new trainer and dropped back to the minimum trip was staying on strongly inside the final furlong to beaten only 2 ¼ lengths into 5th. The gelding hasn’t won since his second start last year at Beverley and seemed to lose his way with his previous trainer. He can win a small handicap on the evidence of this run.

Friday 18th September


Arctic Feeling – Richard Fahey – The seven year old is a well handicapped horse being 3lb lower than when winning over 6f at Newcastle in April. After three previous starts over 5f the return to 6f suited him and he was staying on well at the finish to take 6th , beaten 3 ½ lengths in the Bronze Cup. Effective on most going, although 7 of his 8 turf wins have come on good ground or worse. Probably at his best when they go hard up front there is a sprint handicap in him before the season is out off his present mark and a drop back to Class 3 might be what he needs with 8 of his 10 wins coming in Class 3 or lower.

Latenightrequest – Richard Fahey – Was only having her third start of the season and was weak in the market in this 1m 2f handicap. Held up at the rear she didn’t get the best of runs on the rail three furlongs out and wasn’t knocked about when her jockey realised her chance had gone eventually finishing second last. The filly was beaten less than six lengths at the finish which wasn’t far given both the distance and ground wouldn’t have been her favour. She progressed well last autumn as a three year old and looks like she is being campaigned in similar way. Four from eight in September and October and four from eight when soft appears in the going description suggests that more ease in the ground in the better for her. A step up in trip beckons and she is a winnable mark being only 1lb higher than when winning at Doncaster last October.

Saturday 19th September


Jamaican Bolt – Geoff Oldroyd – The seven year old doesn’t win very often and his 4-31 career record is testimony to that. I had noted him staying on nicely over 6 ½ f on his previous start at Doncaster a week earlier. He got well behind here and could never get competitive on the good ground in the Silver Cup. A much better horse with juice in the ground he goes into the final weeks of the season fresher than most as this was only his second start since May. He has plenty of ability and now runs off the same mark as when winning at Doncaster last October. Will hopefully be dropped a 1lb or two more after this run and can win another handicap when he encounters softer going.


Bateel – David Simcock – More of an eyecatcher for next year! The Dubawi filly came into the race looking for the hatrick and duely made it three from three career starts with a performance that marks her down as a future middle distance Group filly. Given a quiet ride at the back by jockey Jamie Spencer she made headway two furlongs out and went to the front at the furlong mark. The three year old soon went clear and won far more easily than the official 2 ¾ length margin suggests. She clearly likes plenty of give in the ground, two of her wins have been on soft going, and the good to soft going was the quickest she had faced so far. Clearly on the upgrade she does have an entry in the valuable three year old handicap on first day of the Future Champion’s Festival at Newmarket. She will get a penalty for this win but must have a great chance if the there is plenty of give in the ground as she handles the C&D. It will be interesting to see if she goes for that race or is put away for next year? Whatever happens she is one filly you want to get in your notebook for next year.

In the next month or so there are going to be plenty of high quality two year old races and I will be keeping a close eye on them looking to add horses for the notebook.

Good luck with your betting this week and as ever if you have any questions or comments leave a message and I will reply to them in next week’s article.

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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