Weekly Eyecatchers – Horse Racing

horse racing

Plenty of racing this weekend but not much in the way of big races but on the other side of the Irish Sea, it was Irish Derby this weekend at the Curragh. I will have a brief look at the action from the Curragh later.

Given the lack of top quality action in Britain I thought this was the ideal opportunity to look at how last weeks tracker horses fared and why I didn’t back a couple of last week’s qualifiers. When time allows I will also do the same in future columns.

Just the three tracker horses on a quiet week but I have added a couple more horse’s for Eyecatcher Pro subscribers, including a filly that is working her way into form and has a handicap in her in the coming weeks.

Harzand Show Guts and Class to Win Irish Derby

Harzand did it again by adding the Irish Derby to his Epsom Derby success. Granted the rain that fell last week meant he didn’t have to face quick going. He might not have been the best Derby winner of all time but there is no denying he is the best three old middle distance colt in Europe and also he must be one of the toughest Derby winners in many years. He’s not flashy but he does enough to get the job done. Once again it was his will to win and battling attitude that won him the day. The second home Idaho who had finished 3rd at Epsom was travelling better than Harzand two furlongs out and it looked like he would go past the Dermot Weld horse but Harzand is made of sterner stuff and he asserted close home. I would love to see the colt come over the St Leger but now it looks like he will go for the Arc and with rain softened ground he would have as good a chance of winning.

Minding Just Oozes Class in Pretty Polly

I said after the Oaks that Minding was the best three year old filly that we have had the privilege of seeing in many a year. Granted she did what she had to do here in beating the four year old, 106 rated, Bocca Baciata and was 1/5 favourite. Once again we saw her really good turn of foot in action as she breezed to the front to take the lead inside the final furlong and win by an easy 4 ½ lengths with another 5 lengths back to the third. It’s increasingly looking like we will see her run at Glorious Goodwood in the Nassau Stakes which will great for race goers at that meeting.

Look Back on Last Weeks Eyecatcher Results

Recent correspondence with a subscriber made me think that it was time to clarify my position regarding eyecatchers on the grass now racing on the all weather. I am bit wary of Newcastle’s Tapeta surface so I will not now be backing any eyecatchers running at that track in the short term. As a rule of thumb, I tend not to bet on horses during midsummer who have caught my eye on turf but are now running on the synthetics and there would have to be a really compelling price reason for me to do so.

Thursday 23rd June

Green Door – Was a good winner at Newmarket on Thursday. I was slightly concerned about the rain softened ground but he won in good style at the finish. I managed to get 5/1 about him on the day and he went off 4/1 at the off.

Mediciman – Was a non runner due to the soft going at Newmarket.

Friday 24th June

There were three qualifiers on Friday on the tapeta at Newcastle but I didn’t back two of them Bogart, who was having his first run on the all weather, and I just wasn’t convinced about Red Baron on the new surface. I did have a bet on the Richard Fahey trained Patrick who wasn’t helped by a slow start but was well beaten. I am beginning to lose patience with him.

The Major General – Was returning quickly after his good run at Royal Ascot. The 1m 2f was probably a bit short for him and return to further will suit but this was still a decent weight carrying performance under 9-9.

Saturday 25th June

I wish I had followed my initial thought about caution on the betting front for betting at Newcastle till I have a decent handles on the surface but instead I had three bets on the Newcastle card:

Mr Lupton – Looked worth ago in Group company after his win at York handicap win but he wasn’t well drawn and had to settle for 5th at the finish. He looks the sort who will always be seen at his best in big fields!

George Bowen – Ran flat form and he has won on the Tapeta at Wolverhampton so the surface shouldn’t have really been the reason for his disappointing run here.

Mountain Rescue – A winner for the eyecatchers on his previous start at Leicester, he was well backed into 2nd favourite here but wasn’t suited by a three horse pace dual in the early stages of the race and paid for it at the finish. I think there are still races in the horse off his present mark but he will probably need the race run to suit.

Kickboxer – Was expected to step up on his seasonal reappearance at Newbury but he ran flat. Handles ease in the ground but maybe the ground was just too soft for him at Windsor. I have him down as possible for the Ayr Gold Cup which has been the trainers target, whilst this run has tempered my enthusiasm for his chances in that race I wouldn’t give up on him just yet.

Meshardal – I was very confident in the six year olds chances to reach the places and backed him at 12/1 to do so. Sadly was hampered a furlong out when making his effort and wasn’t; knocked about by his jockey when his chance had gone. Despite finishing 10th here he was only beaten 3 ¼ lengths at the finish. Without been hampered he would surely have reached the places. On a winnable mark and not one to give up on yet! In fact he wasn’t already an eyecatcher he would have been one after this run.

This Weeks Eyecatchers

It’s been a tough month for many tipsters but if you have been a subscriber to the Eyecatcher Pro software then you would have made a healthy profit once again this month.

Wednesday 22nd June


Sindarban – Keith Dalgleish – The five year old, had won a maiden at Hamilton over 1m 1f on his first run for the trainer in the middle of May. On breeding the step up to 1m 3f should have suited the horse and so it proved. He wasn’t the quickest away from the stalls and didn’t get the best of runs when making his effort two furlongs out. Given what he had to overcome his 1 ¼ length win, in the Cumberland Plate, underestimates his victory. He could now head for the Old Newton’s Cup at Haydock and the extra furlong he goes there will be in his favour. Still lightly raced on the flat 2/5 both wins coming on good to firm so I would be interested in the horse when gets quick going.

Thursday 23rd June


Squire – Michael Attwater – Would have been suited by the return to 1m 2f but he wasn’t helped by the rain that fell before post time. Both the five year olds career wins have come on good or quicker ground. He might be a little high in the handicap and need to drop a few pounds in the weights but if he gets a decent pace to chase he could land a handicap this summer when he gets his ground. Worth mentioning both his career wins have come when running 16 to 30 days since his last start.

Saturday 25th June


Flying Fairies – Joseph G Murphy – I don’t often look for eyecatchers over in Ireland but on a fairly quiet week for tracker horses I have dipped my toes in to the Irish handicap scene once again. The three year old was only having her 7th career start. On her previous run the filly had showed a really nice turn of foot to win her maiden at Fairyhouse over 7f. Was upped in class for this 7f valuable handicap but wasn’t disgraced when finishing nicely into 4th, beaten just under 5 lengths at the line. The filly had looked to be on a reasonable mark of 80 for her handicap debut and her performance puts her on a workable mark. The turn off foot she showed at Fairyhouse will be useful in future race as would quicker ground than she raced on here. There is another handicap in here sooner rather later.

That’s it for now, and now all that’s left is to wish you a profitable weeks betting.

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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