Weekly Eyecatchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Well another Bank Holiday is over and for England & Wales the next one isn’t till the end of August. Still there is a whole load of top class horse racing to look forward to in the coming weeks with the Oaks and of course the Derby at Epsom this weekend and Royal Ascot in the middle of the month.

This week’s article is shorter than normal as I haven’t done my usual weekend review which will return for next week. However, before I look at this week’s tracker horses I thought I would have a quick look at some of the trends for the Oaks and Derby to see if they might pinpoint the winner of either race.

Epsom Derby Trends

I have had a look at the last ten years trends for the Derby and there are a few strong trends for us to get our teeth into.

It’s the most open Derby in years as evidenced by the ante post betting for the race which has Wings of Desire and US Army Ranger vying for favouritism at around 4/1. Not only is it the most open of Derby’s in terms of form but it’s a long time since the race has seen so many runners who on pedigree can win the race!

There are five key trends:

10/10 winners posted a Racing Post Rating of 112+ on their last start.

10/10 winners had raced 1 or 2 times that season

10/10 winners finished in the first three on all their seasonal starts

10/10 winners had one 50% of their career starts

10/10 winners had run in the last 35 days.

Trends Verdict – Looking beyond the market leaders for the moment. Massaat brings the best form to the table on his 2nd in the 2000 Guineas but he looks a doubtful stayer on pedigree.

Dermot Weld has Harzand who won the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes back in April at Leopardstown, That race was run on heavy ground, as was his maiden win at Cork. A big colt he has plenty of scope for progress but will he handle the track? After his latest win jockey Pat Smullen saw him as more of an Irish Derby horse or even a St Leger contender. Will probably need plenty of rain this week this week to be a win contender?

The horse that ticks all the above trends is the French trained Cloth Of Stars who has now been supplemented for the race by trainer Andre Fabre, who won the Derby with Pour Moi in 2011. Cloth of Stars won the same trial race as the Pour Moi, although trainer Andre Fabre has said they are different types of horse. Could this be Godolphin’s first Derby winner? We will know come Saturday evening but he has the right sort of profile for a Derby winner.

This Weeks Eyecatchers

There are three notebook horses this week but I will also be adding an extra couple to the software for Eyecatcher Pro subscribers.

Thursday May 26th


Postbag – Henry Candy – The four year old was having her first run since a disappointing favourite in a C&D handicap last September. The ground was too testing for the filly that day so that run can be excused. Was making her seasonal reappearance here and ran like the race would do her good. Was still in contention at the furlong point but faded inside the final furlong. A winner of her maiden at Leicester in April of last year, beating the useful filly Journey in the process, she had looked a progressive filly last year up until her final start and there was enough encouragement in her performance to suggest there are races in her, especially when her trainer Henry Candy gets into winning form.

Friday May 27th


Flyboy – David O’Meara – The three year old had showed promise in his three maiden starts and was making his handicap debut in this mile handicap. Unfancied in the market before the race, going off a 16/1 chance. Drawn out wide, jockey Danny Tudhope had to drop the horse in, but the horse made his effort out wide in the straight and came with a strong run inside the final furlong to get up on the line. The margin of this victory should mean the handicapper won’t put the horse up too much. In the right hands, there should be more progression in this half brother to Earth Drummer who he can go onto win more races this season.

Saturday May 28th


Best Of Times – Saeed Bin Suroor – The four year old was having his first start for almost 12 months here. Had injured himself after finishing 2nd to subsequent Derby 3rd Storm The Stars at Goodwood. A winner of a listed race at Newmarket over 1m 2f on his previous start he seemed on a fair mark for his handicap debut. The son of Dubawi was badly drawn and didn’t get the best of starts either. He also didn’t get a clear run a furlong out or inside the final furlong. In the circumstances to be beaten less than 5 lengths at the finish was an excellent performance. Today’s mile trip would have been on the short side for the colt, who will hopefully come out of the race sound. Entries in the Prince of Wales Stakes and the Coral Eclipse show he is highly regarded by connections and can go on to win more races.

All that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks betting and I hope you can find the Derby winner!

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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