Weekly Eyecatchers

As I mentioned in last weeks column this week I am concentrating on the lesser class of races this week and I am pleased to offer a half a dozen horses for your trackers than ran at last weeks “minor” meetings. I do however finish off with a non handicapper who won impressively in Listed company at Newbury on Saturday.

All the horses below are worth backing on their next three starts and I personally stop at a winner with this level of horse.

Monday July 13th


Big Storm Coming – Ruth Carr – The five year old has yet to win since switching to Ruth Carr last August but on the evidence of this run a win shouldn’t be far away. This was his best run of 2015 and his first go at 1m 2f. He was only beaten 1 ¾ lengths in to 5th and didn’t get the clearest of runs inside the final furlong. Off the same handicap mark as his last win he is on a winnable mark. A winner last year twice at Newcastle over 7f & 1m, this run opens up further options for him at a longer trip but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him return to a mile next time either.

Tuesday July 14th


Bogardus – Patrick Holmes – Was having his 4th start for new trainer since his move from Ireland this year. A winner twice last year this was his best run so far for Patrick Holmes and he was beaten only 2 lengths into 5th at the finish. He seems to be gradually finding his form, and he is now 5lb lower than when winning at Gowran Park last September. Both his wins have come on good or good to firm going and he night appreciate a slight drop in trip back to a 1m 2f. He should be placed to win in the coming weeks!

Wednesday July 15th


Secret Look – Ed McMahon – The five year old hasn’t yet found his best form so far in three starts, maybe feeling the effects of a couple of hard races last year, but there is no doubting he is becoming a well handicapped horse, 6lb lower than when last winning at Newmarket in August 2013 and when finishing second at Pontefract last year. Beaten just under 6 lengths here, he was always in the rear but was closing at the finish. A stiffer track at this trip will suit and his trainer hasn’t had the best of seasons but this run hinted that he maybe coming to hand!

Thursday July 16th


Spray Tan – Tony Carroll – Last won on the turf last July and is running off a 3lb lower mark now. Got going too late here but was staying on well to take 3rd at the finish. All the mares’ best runs on turf have come at 5f at Bath and Chepstow, three wins at the Bath and two good placed efforts at the latter track this season. A Class 6 handicap over the minimum trip at either track can come her way as long as the ground is on the quick side.

Friday July 17th


Syrian Pearl – Chris Wall – The four year old was a progressive sort on the all weather and turf last summer and although she hasn’t managed to get her head in front so far this season but she has run two good races on her last two starts at Newmarket. Held up here, she wasn’t suited by the way the race was run but still did best of those coming from behind, despite making her effort widest of the all the field. Not given a hard ride at the finish and this is her trainer’s time of year. This genuine filly can be placed to advantage in the next month but its worth noting her trainer has said she prefers genuinely good ground and not too firm.

Saturday July 18th


Intilaaq – Roger Varian – The son of Dynaformer was third at Ascot on his only start as two year old and was very visually impressive when making all and staying on too strongly for his rivals to win a mile maiden at Newbury by an easy 8 lengths back in April. He was then pitched into the 2000 Guineas on his next start. That race, in hindsight, came too early in his career and after being given a good break and he returned to action here over 1m 2f. After Mustadeem went clear setting an unsustainable pace and it was left to Intilaaq and Consort to fight out the finish with the Varian horse coming home too strongly for his market rival. Intilaaq beat Consort by almost as far as Gleneagles had at Royal Ascot. He was very well backed before the off and looked very well in the paddock. He next heads for a Group 3 at Haydock and will be odds on there if he gets good ground! Given this was only his 4th career start he is open to plenty more improvement and looks capable of competing at Group 1 level before the season is out. One worth following for the rest of the season and he should stay a 1m 4f!

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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