19 May 2018

Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes (Group 1)

The Lockinge is a race most often won by well supported 4 or 5-y-o's with Group 1 winning form.

If we combine this simple criteria and focus on the first 4 in the betting:

Since 1998, 11 wins from 19 qualifiers, + 23.57 points level stake profit at SP. As big race stats go, it's a compelling one and this year there is just one qualifier.

The layers fancy Limato, but Ballydoyle are drawn to dominate and force the pace to ensure this mile is run at a furious gallop and I expect RHODODENDRON to be tough to beat.

A filly with the speed to win over a mile in a Group 1 on good-firm at Newmarket (still her career best RPR), also 2nd in a Guineas on similar going but stays 10fl strongly. She will be staying on best of all from her convenient draw right behind the pace.

She's had a prep, it's the logical race, the yard are flying, the draw has been kind (less so Limato, while Addeybb looks completely isolated), and she has pacemakers ahead of her.

The only doubt is whether the fire still burns as bright, but she has won Group 1's for two seasons running, which suggests she will be as game as ever.

They will turn this into a real test and her extra stamina will be key.

Good luck today,

3.40 Newbury, Rhododendron 2 points win 7/2 various

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at:

** Feedback: the race unfolded very much as expected for a memorable win **

Al Shaqab Lockinge day at Newbury racecourse


12 May 2018

Totescoop6 Victoria Cup (Heritage Handicap)

In a race like this it’s easy to get caught up with experienced runners who have dropped a few pounds, but the most successful group (by far) are improving 4 or 5yo’s with a recent run.

There are a few other filters I run the field past to create a short-list (you have to be an ENIGMA member to access that bit), however the candidate who comes out best on my trends this year is Saeed Bin Suroor’s SILENT ATTACK, ridden by SDS. 

He also comes out top on Timeform ratings and was a big eye-catcher last time out, not least for the impressive sectionals. He’s obviously gone up the handicap, but winners of this race (tending to be progressive), are invariably rated a good bit higher than their last winning mark. 

It’s probably more a case of whether he takes to Ascot, but being all-weather proven, there’s a good chance he will. 

Another potential improver is GILGAMESH from George Scott, who continued to enhance his reputation with a fine winner at Chester this week. Gilgamesh didn’t enjoy the ground at Newbury, and also ran too fresh. 

That race though was always just a prep for this, and the drop back to 7lb will suit as will the fast conditions. He’s another lightly raced all-weather performer who is sure to prove progressive this year and looks well worth a crack at Ascot handicaps. 

Looking at my pace chart I think middle to high is the place to be this year (as it often seems to be), and both are nicely drawn among the predicted pace.

Good luck today, 

Silent Attack, 1pt win 15/2 generally 
Gilgamesh, 1pt EW 22/1 5x1/5 various 

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.KEYRACINGNEWS.COM/FORUM-RESULTS

** Feedback: Silent Attack was disappointing, however Gilgamesh was a big eye-catcher and could do no more than win his side of the draw - compensation may await in the Hunt Cup **

Progressive Silent Attack, a strong trends pick for Saeed Bin Suroor in the 2018 Victoria Cup