15 Jun 2019

Pavers Foundation Sprint Handicap (Class 2)

I’ve barely noticed the weather this week as I’ve been sifting through research ahead of Royal Ascot, but bobbed up to take a good look at this handicap, which is one I always enjoy as it has a history of landing excellent prices – 6 at double figures in the last 10 years, and 3 of those at 20/1+

The reason is simple, it’s a 3yo only race, wide open to improvers – whereas the market tends to run short of inspiration and overbet form in the book. While soft ground helps to keep Arab-owned hotpots away and maintain a nice open affair.

The fact that neither Moore or Doyle are riding for Haggas today suggests Victory Day is not necessarily a good thing. Doyle can do the weight and is riding for Haggas earlier on the card but appears to not have wanted it.

Moreover, Danny Tudhope surely had the choice of Victory Day and SECRET VENTURE and rides the latter (having ridden both last time out). I don’t lay horses by inclination, but if I did I’d be laying Victory Day.

Secret Venture was unsuited by the ground on reappearance and lost a shoe. He’s a lightly raced improver for a top northern sprint yard and should appreciate the conditions. He looks well drawn too, but more of that later.

Perhaps less obvious is another runner from the Kevin Ryan yard, YOUSINI. It’s worth watching his last run at Newmarket where he travelled into the race like a proper horse until flashing his tail and backing out. It’s a fine line with him – he really wants some juice but can cope with goodish ground if it’s loose on top (but didn’t that day.)

He’s by Siyouni and has always wanted some ease, but last summer that was impossible to find and by autumn he needed wind surgery, so was put away. We have a share in him via the ENIGMA Racing Syndicates, so we’re aware of all this. Finally, he has it all in place today. 

Yousini is in very good form at home and if he disappoints it will only be that his suspect wind has come to haunt him (which I don't think it will.) The yard think he’ll run a big race and I’m pretty hopeful too.

As regards draw, I looked back over the last 17 class 2 sprint handicaps run at York (ie since 2016), run on gd-sft or wetter, and every winner was drawn 1-11. Both the above are drawn low and looking at the stats that certainly doesn’t feel like a negative.

Royal Ascot

I will try and post the odd thing here during the Royal meeting – however if you’d like to follow me bet for bet (which historically is a productive thing to do), it's good moment to join the ENIGMA Forum, where you can subscribe to my Key Racing Gold thread to receive an email with each bet.

Good luck!

3.35 York, Secret Venture 1pt EW 14/1, 5x1/5
3.35 York, Yousini 1pt EW 33/1 5x1/5

** Secret Venture disappointing, Yousini 5th to collect excellent place money - Victory Day beaten for lay bettors (but only just!) **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

The Knavesmire, Ascot of the North


1 Jun 2019

Derby Day 2019

I chipped in the Oaks winner yesterday for my Key Racing Gold thread which is having another excellent month on the ENIGMA FORUM and I think there’s every chance I can complete the double as we eye up the boys’ event.

With Sir Dragonet in 13 and Telecaster drawn 2, the Frankie factor looks to be at play in the Derby market with the well-drawn Circus Maximus an EW compromise bet, Dettori riding for Ballydoyle.

Circus Maximus is a decent trends match. You are looking for unexposed, improving runners (2 to 5 career starts), top-3 last time out with a prep at Chester, Leopardstown, Newmarket or York.
The kicker is they need to be drawn in stalls 4 and 15. Lower than 4 and you need a lot of luck to overcome traffic problems. Above stall 11 it becomes tricky, but if you have the class to inhale your peers, you usually get the bonus of a clear run.

The qualifiers this year are: SIR DRAGONET and Circus Maximus. After Frankie’s performance yesterday Circus Maximus has attracted support (he looks a frame chance), but it’s questionable whether he has the brilliance to win.

But then again few horses in this field have firmly hinted at the combo of brilliance and stamina that marks out a really good one. Only two appeal as having such potential, Sir Dragonet and Telecaster, and I'd rather be drawn in 13 than 2. It's not the biggest Derby field, stall 13 isn't a disaster for a horse with class, but Telecaster will certainly need luck in running.

The Dash

As you know, we are also active with a very successful racehorse share scheme. Amazingly, we have a stake in 2 runners today at the Derby meeting (a thrill in itself), and at least one of them deserves a mention.

HAROME is a fast horse who likes to lead and the Epsom Dash has long been the race they’ve had in mind. He also loves fast ground and arrives here cherry-ripe on a nice mark from a decent draw.

Roger Fell is an excellent trainer. He was David O’Meara’s landlord and assistant in his ‘magic period’ and Fell now trains in his own right from the same premises with much the same result. In short, Harome is in very good hands.

His recent run at York put the finishing touches to his fitness, whilst running an eye-catching race from the wrong side of the draw. ENIGMA FORUM members took 25/1 EW midweek, but he’s still very backable and we’d like to think can be bang there.

3.45 Epsom, Harome 1pt EW 16/1, 5x1/5 various
4.30 Epsom, Sir Dragonet 2pt win 3/1 various

** Harome blew the start and finished like a train from dead last into 6th - so frustrating, would surely have gone very close. Sir Dragonet, ultimately, not good enough **

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.ENIGMARACING.NET/RACING-FORUM

The Investec Derby Stakes 2019 Group 1