re-cap…ah no luck in the Galway Plate sadly. Such a shame that Drumcliff came to grief but I believe he’s ok which is the main thing. (and the jockey walked away just fine) He’s taken it up some way out as he’d been keen enough but was starting to settle on the front end. He’d jumped well before coming down. I suspect he’s a stronger stayer than the winner and it would have been exciting as they turned for home, given they both appeared to have slipped the field. His earlier exertions may well have caught up with him come the latter stages but we will never know, which is always frustrating. Sub Lieutenant ran an ok race in 5th, the other poke may still be running. Maybe the ground received a bit too much rain through the day but I knew that was a possibility so won’t go looking for excuses. Clarcam…well I was nowhere near the winner which is always annoying. Horses winning like that in those sorts of races are what drives me to keep going, as I always think I should be finding them! Clearly I don’t land on that many but you don’t need to at the odds. Winners always make more sense after the race but there were a few things to hammer home in my head… it was Elliot/Gigginstown in a big handicap at a Festival. While his overall Galway Festival record is awful, his plate record was decent enough. They changed his headgear for the first time in an age, the blinkers replacing CP. I need to start assuming that any chaser with blinkers coming on may try and make all/race up there, regardless of how they’d been running before. In a race that lacked loads of pace on paper, his running style shouldn’t have been a surprise there. It was a great ride, he’s always jumped well and is classy on his day. He is only 8 after all but seems to have been around for an age. Anyway, I don’t like being that far away from considering a big winner, so work to do. On to Goodwood today… (Galway Hurdle tips are in the members’ post inc a 20/1 poke)
From the members’ post ‘Festival Tipping’ bank, now on +152 points for the year to date…
1.50 – Bathsheba Bay – 1 point win 7/1 (gen) UP (disappointing)
3.35 – Billesdon Brook -1 point win – 8/1 (gen) UP (hmm, a bit of a nothing run, looked like she may come with a challenge but flattened out a bit)
Bathsheba Bay… Hannon, who’s been in form this week so far, has won this race before and I thought this one could be a couple of points too big here, based on that last run. He ran against his elders at Sandown last time out, seemingly improving for the step up in trip and the application of the tongue tie for the first time. Hopefully he can take another step forward today. That race has worked out well enough already. They were all beaten by an unexposed Stoute horse. Alfarris was just in front of him and he won a decent handicap here earlier in the week. He has form at the track, having chased home Dee Ex Bee in a maiden at last year’s Festival. Hopefully Eagan can get him in a prominent position and doesn’t get stuck in a pocket. He may need winding up early based on the evidence of that last run but i’d like to think he will be thereabouts back against his own age group. That Sandown race was run in a decent time, and faster than the Listed race on the same card, so with any luck it’s the formline to focus on.
The dangers…well it’s a 3 year old handicap where most are open to improvement. I’ve had a saver on Communique WON 5/1>7/2 who does look very solid and ticks plenty of my meeting stats and through the card pointers in the members post. There could be more to come from him but the hope is the selection may have more in hand here.
Billesdon Brook… in this small field I thought 8s was a bit of an insult for this years 1000 guineas heroine. Maybe it wasn’t the strongest renewal but she did win it well and Laurens was in second – she’s since come out and won two Group 1s in France. The form is decent enough. She was poorly positioned at Ascot and did best of those that came from the back, doing all of her best work late. There is every chance that she could improve further for this first crack at 10f and I just thought out of all of them in this race, her price was wrong. We may be about to find out why I don’t play in Group races too often, but I was happy to roll the dice with this one. That Ascot race did come on the back of a hard effort at Newmarket and she will have been freshened up since.
The dangers…well it won’t be a total shock if any of the top 5 in the market win this, but I wouldn’t touch an AOB horse at the moment with a short price. She may well bolt up but there are murmurs of a bug affecting some of his yard, and they are performing 30% below market expectations in the last 14 days. Anyway, I didn’t think she looked overpriced to my dodgy group 1 eyes, so that’s that.
We shall see how well they both go. It would be good to nab a winner on the free post, but the overall tipping picture for the year is looking just fine (+219 points, mainly to 1 point win bets, across the board)
Best of luck with any bets,