31 Jul 2020

Galway Guinness Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)

An exciting week for the ENIGMA Syndicates at Goodwood - we have a stake in Ventura Diamond who runs today in the fillies' novice and the fast improving Lexington Dash will get his ground tomorrow in the Stewards' Cup.

However, this week across the water it's also the one and only Galway Festival. An empty Galway almost feels like a sin, but the racing is brilliant as ever.

Today it's the turn of the Guinness Handicap where lightly weighted improvers are your first port of call these days and RECENT REVELATIONS ticks a lot of boxes.

A staying on 4th in the Fred Winter back in March, I think he's a horse who despite his breeding will relish the step up in trip today. He was always too slow for the flat and it seems the dam's staying German genes are coming through.

He tried 2m4fl recently and got outpaced when they quickened up but then stayed on nicely - they didn't go a great pace to be fair, but in the grander scheme of things he comes across as being readied for a tilt at a nice pot.

He’s a galloper and super-interesting in this off his light weight, trying a trip in a valuable handicap for Gordon Elliott.

Davy would be on board, but he can't do the weight but they've booked an excellent sub.

Recent Revelations has won on soft and his career best at Cheltenham was on soft too.

He goes right-handed, fit, proven ability in good form, likely to appreciate trip and ground. He looks set for a big tilt.

6.15 Galway, Recent Revelations 1.75pt win, 0.75pt 4 places BSP

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18 Jul 2020

John Smith's Cup (Heritage Handicap)

A big weekend for the ENIGMA SYNDICATES - we we have a stake in Ventura Tormenta who goes for the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin on Sunday at Chantilly. Not too shabby £250 a share.

Meanwhile, it's on to York where it feels great to be back for a top handicap like the John Smith's Cup.

There's a very good angle into this race; concentrate on feasibly treated horses who have previously been given a shot in Group 2 or 3 company.

Since 2014, such horses are 4 wins and 3 placed from 27. That's the winner every year since 2014, in all but 2 years. 

If we concentrate on runners aged 4 to 7yo who have won at least 1 handicap before (ie shown they can), that trims the sample down to 4 win 3 placed from 22: +28pts SP win only or +37.50 EW. The BSP win only +47.59 pts.

Moreover, there's only been 1 year since 2014 when at least 1 qualifier didn't win or make the frame.

This year’s shortlist: Fifth Position, Pivoine, Certain Lad.

I've not backed Fifth Position as the track is drying up towards good to firm and he ideally needs a bit of cushion. That could be a mistake if it's loose on top but hopefully not.

Mr Channon sends CERTAIN LAD who arrives here via Epsom and a run that looked purely for conditioning (in fact I'm sure of it). Certain Lad is a different horse on flat tracks so last time out his trainer couldn't have picked a venue where he would be less likely to perform.

There's no doubt in my mind this is the real target, and this is a horse who has lots of ability and was in career best form over the winter. 

The 7lb claimer puts him on a very dangerous net weught and he's not a complicated ride - he loves to run on and they can just come with a wet sail up the straight in a race which looks sure to be strongly run.

PIVOINE won this last year and is a York specialist. He won't mind how much it dries out and will have been trained for this. He's 2lbs higher than last year, but that's far from insurmountable and he's reportedly in great nick at home.

2.30 York, Certain Lad 1pt win BSP, 1pt 4 places BSP  ** 2nd at 12.29 BSP for the place - but so close to landing 102.47 BSP for the win - the market couldn't read the tea leaves **

2.30 York, Pivoine 1pt win BSP, 1pt 4 places BSP

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York racecourse - Knavesmire


11 Jul 2020

B365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap)

A very exciting day for us, as the ENIGMA Syndicates have a stake in Ventura Tormenta who takes his chance in the Superlative Stakes today, provided the ground dries up to somewhere around goodish. We think he'll appreciate the extra furlong.

These are the days we dream about. Through ENIGMA, his owners paid just £251 per share. 

The Bunbury Cup

I've been looking at CARDSHARP all week. He has a really good course record, 7fl is his trip and he's sure to go off a nice price.

The selection won a Group 2 here as a juvenile and was only beaten 1 length in this race as a 3-y-o, carrying 8lbs more. He's still only 5-y-o now and has worked down to a very attractive mark.

Poor recent form means nothing for an older Johnson handicapper. Cardsharp's form was poor coming into the race 2 years ago when he 4th and there were clear signs of revival early season this year. 

There is more than a whiff of him being lined up by Mark Johnston today. James Doyle rode all his past good races here and he's back on board today. 

Cardsharp has won on good and gd-sft before. I also tend to like stalls 10+ in this race, and the other Johnston runners are drawn low. 

It will be no surprise at all if he heavily outruns his price today, which is somewhere up around 22's.

4.10 Newmarket, Cardsharp 1.25pt win BSP, 1.25pt 5 places BSP

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4 Jul 2020

Investec Derby (Group 1)

Great to be back with the blog after a very good week at Ascot.

My Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA forum has operated at 70% return on investment since racing resumed behind closed doors - and hopefully, you took advantage of our confident tip for the St James Palace.

Today we move on to the Derby and I think this shapes like a day to respect the Ballydoyle improvers.

In the modern era, Coolmore rule the Derby in terms of profit potential. When they don't win they hit the frame, including some very lumpy prices.

Their slow-maturing runners with just a single pipe-opener prep often take a big step forward on the day and confound the market.

So, I focus on Ballydoyle runners with 1 prep run who were ridden by Heffernan, Moore or (while riding), Joseph O'Brien.

Jockeys for the big day itself must be Irish-based or Ryan Moore.

If you followed that criteria in the modern era (since 2012), staked 1pt EW at SP:

7 win or placed from 11 qualifiers (incl 4 wins) +53.50 pts profit.

Mogul is the sole qualifier this year. The full brother of Japan, Mogul ran a quietly taking prep (rather like Japan himself) and this very much looks the long-range plan. I backed Japan last year - he really should have won, was much the best horse in the race and soon made up for it.

I think Mogul will be extremely hard to keep out of the frame today and if he progresses as expected will be firmly in the mix.

4.55 Epsom, Mogul 1pt win BSP, 1.5pt 4 places BSP

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20 Jun 2020

St James's Palace Stakes (Group 1)

Despite the tricky feeling going into Ascot it's been a very good week so far for me. My Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA forum has landed a nice profit every day bar one, and I think we have a very good chance of keeping it going today.

Pinatubo did not look the scopiest last season and unless he was undercooked going into the Guineas (unlikely), that came to haunt him at Newmarket tackling the extra furlong. 

Connections have little option but to come here - by waiting they risk falling further behind - but Pinatubo definitely has a question to answer as these classy slower maturing 3-y-o types come on stream.

On paper Wichita is the one to beat today, but he has a very interesting opponent representing top connections in PALACE PIER and you can see the two of them settling down to fight it out.

John Gosden made a canny move in swerving Newmarket and a has a fresh well-prepared horse coming into this. It's also always a significant sign when he moves a horse heavily up in class to Group 1 company.

Palace Pier cost 600,000 GNS at Tatts Book 1, is bred to be a serious horse and I think Mr Gosden knows he has a very good one on his hands.

The Gosden team are also in outstanding form and there's no one better on the round course than Frankie. It's usually the case he gets first run on Ryan Moore in their Ascot battles, which always gives him a fighting chance. Looks a cracking contest.

3pm Ascot, Palace Pier 1pt win BSP & 1pt 2 places BSP  ** WON 7.78 BSP ( & 3.46 place BSP)...great prices! **

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