Weekly Eyecatchers

Rex Imperator was a nice winner at Thirsk last week for the eyecatchers but sadly Bashiba could only finish 2nd at Haydock on Friday.

This week’s column is slightly shorter than normal as I have been doing a lot of preparation for this weeks July festival at Newmarket but there is sure to be a winner or two amongst them in the coming weeks.

Friday July 3rd


Slip Sliding Away – Peter Hedger – Didn’t get the best of runs a furlong out but once in the clear was staying on well at the finish to take 5th. The eight year old looks to be returning to form. Four of his five wins have come at Goodwood and all of them have been achieved at 6f. One to watch out for over 6f, in Class 4 handicap & below (0-12 above Class 4).

Munstead Pride – Andrew Balding – The three year old was having only 5th career start and his first run since the middle of May. He wasn’t the quickest away and was given too much to do by his jockey from the back of the field. I noted him staying on nicely to take 4th at the finish over 1m 6f. Well backed before the race he looks to be capable of better and can win a small handicap off his present mark.

Saturday July 4th


Disclosure – Les Eyre – Was a notable eyecatcher in this 5f sprint handicap. Despite a slow start he was staying on strongly to take 6th at the finish, beaten just 3 ¾ lengths. Off the same mark as when winning over a mile at Thirsk last August, he might be the most consistent of horses as his 3-28 strike rate shows but he is on a winning handicap mark and a return to Class 5 company will be ideal for the four year old. This was his best run since winning over an extended mile on the tapeta at Wolverhampton back in March.

Money Team – David Barron – In the same race as Disclosure, Money Team was another to catch my eye staying on well at the finish to finish a 2 ½ length 5th. He looks on a very winnable handicap mark now of 77, 3lb lower than when winning over 5f at Redcar last June. The four year old is well suited to quick going and 5f. His trainer hasn’t been in the best of form coming to the race, no winners in the past two weeks, but when the stable is back in the winning groove he is capable of landing another sprint handicap.


Munaaser – Sir Michael Stoute – Will have caught a few peoples attention when a fast finishing second to Basam in this valuable 1m handicap. He was a good second to GM Hopkins in the Silver Cambridgshire 1m 1f at Newmarket last September. Not shown that sort of form in two starts this season, indeed was well beaten in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot on his previous start. This was a much better run from the four year old. Entered in the Betfred Mile at Goodwood, he will go there with a big chance and a tilt at the Cambridgeshire could be on the agenda for later in the season. But the way he ran here and at York over a mile last season, as well as the Silver Cambridgeshire suggests he would be worth a go in a handicap over 1m 2f.

Eye Of The Storm – Amanda Perrett – Not an eyecatcher is the strictest sense more of a horse for a specific race for now. Formerly with Aiden O’Brien he put up his best performance when finishing third the 2m race on Champions Day in 2013. He had been expected to make an impact in the Cup races as four year old after that performance but despite winning a Group 3 at Leopardstown in August it was disappointing season for the horse. Sold to present connections in the spring, he made a good return over 1m 4f at Goodwood. The step back to 2m suited here and although it looked like he would win by a lot further than the eventual head margin, he looks better the bare form of the result. He looks like the sort of horse who doesn’t do much when hitting the front. The Goodwood Cup looks like it has been his seasonal target for his local trainer and he goes there with a very good chance on the evidence of this performance.

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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