Weekly Eyecatchers

In this weeks notebook I have concentrated on horses that have run in some of last weeks big handicaps.

Thursday 28th May

Sandown – Master The World (David Elsworth)

In a race where it paid to be up with the pace the four year old did best of those held up. Wearing blinkers for the first time and well backed into favourite before the race, he stayed on well to take 4th at the finish. A winner of a valuable big field handicap at York last August, he is well suited by a mile and good ground and he still looks like he has another decent handicap in him this season.

Friday 29th May

Newmarket – Peterhof (Sir Micheal Stoute)

The three year old had caught my eye with his running on third over 1m 3f at Newbury last time out. The drop in trip by furlong and the quicker ground shouldn’t have been an issue for him but the hold up tactics were in a race, where the steady early gallop was always going to make it difficult to make ground up from behind. It was only his third start so there should be a bit more improvement in him. He got outpaced here inside the final furlong and would need a really good pace to chase at this trip. The step up to a 1m 4f should also be well within his compass. Not one to give up on yet but I wouldn’t want to be taking too short a price on him!

Saturday 30th May

Chester – Baraweez (Brian Ellison)

Was well backed before the off but he was caught out deep on the track early in the race before being dropped in. He didn’t get the best of runs after the final bend, once in the clear he stayed on well inside the final furlong but was never going to get there. He has to be produced late as he doesn’t do much when he hits the front and is well suited to big field. A stiff 7f or 8f is ideal for him and he is the sort to win another decent handicap sooner rather than later. A winner last year at Leopardstown and Galway, it will be interesting to see if he sent back to Galway for the festival later in the summer.

Newmarket – Ray Ward (David Simcock)

For a horse who has lots of stamina and whose best form last year came in races over two mile plus this was a really good seasonal reappearance run over an inadequate 1m 2f. Not surprisingly he was readily outpaced at the three furlong mark, when the race began in earnest but was staying on really nicely under a fairly tender ride to take 7th, only beaten about four lengths at the finish. The big marathon handicap at Royal Ascot, where he was unlucky in running last year and the Goodwood stayer’s handicap, where he was second look ideal summer targets again and I will be backing him in those races if he goes to the post.

York – Kimberella (David Nicholls)

Bounced back to form after three below par efforts this season and showed last years improved form for the yard can be maintained this season. The five year old won at Ripon and Chester last season and is only a 1lb higher than for that easy Chester win. He has plenty of pace and is clearly suited by an easy 6f on good or better ground. I will be surprised if he can’t land another good sprint handicap when he gets his optimum conditions. Give his trainers record in Goodwood sprint handicaps I wouldn’t be surprised to see him being targeted at the Stewards Cup or the consolation race at Glorious Goodwood.

Spectator (Andrew Balding)

Full brother to stable star Passing Glance he has plenty of stamina and he was a notable improver last year with two of his three wins coming over 1m 6f. He came on for his seasonal reappearance at Salisbury with a good 3rd here over 1m 4f on good ground. He won on good to firm last summer but arguably his best performance came on very soft ground at Doncaster last October. After that Doncaster win his jockey David Probert said in the Racing Post “He relished the conditions” which seems to confirm that! Only a four year old he looks capable of more progression this year, when he gets plenty of juice in the ground and an extra two furlongs to race.

Cartier (David Simcock)

The three year old filly was having her first run back since winning a one mile Kempton maiden back in December. She came with a promising run two furlongs out, looking like she would finish much closer than she did at the finish, before fading inside the final furlong. The distance of the race shouldn’t have been an issue as she is bred to appreciate today’s trip and her trainer had indicated that she should get 1m 4f in time. This was only her 4th career start and she was probably just in the need of the race. With this race under her belt there should be handicap in her and she does look a ‘work in progress’ filly.

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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