What a great weekend of horse racing just gone culminating on the Sunday with latest running of the Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe this year at Chantilly.
Just the three winners from thirteen runners for Eyecatcher Pro subscribers in the past week at 5/1 (early priced advised at 8/1), 11/2 and 7/4 but more importantly another profit made and its all about profit in this game.
Right before I look at the weekend action and this weeks eyecatchers I thought I would give a quick mention too one of the micro systems that I gave you at the beginning of August which has continued to deliver since I informed you about it. It is an ‘eyecatching’ micro angle.
Owner: Al Shaqab Racing
Country: UK only
Group 1, Group 2 and Group 3 races only
23 wins 64 bets 36% +102.56 A/E 1.80 36 places 56% +121.20
With the last 10 form figures being 11211 31331
Saturday 1st October
There was some top class action at both Ascot and Newmarket, the latter course hosting the best race of the day in the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes for fillies and mares over 1m. Let’s take a look at the best performance from Newmarket and Ascot starting with the action from headquarters first:
The Initiative shown to put on card with all bar two of the races just for the fillies and mares really paid off as there were some competitive fields in the handicaps in addition to the Group 1 feature race.
Alice Springs who had shown a great turn of foot to win the Matron Stakes on her last start at Leopardstown continued her improvement to take the Sun Chariot Stakes as he stayed on to strongly for her seven rivals. This was the filly’s third Group 1 success of the year and it seems a long time ago since I put her up as an each way bet in the 1000 Guineas, a race in which she was 3rd. A credit to her trainer Aiden 0’Brien who did say after the Guineas that he felt she would get stronger and improve as the season went on. She will now head to the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita where she will surely take all the beating on what will presumably be quick ground. The disappointment of the race was the well fancied French raider Volta, who had finished 3rd in the French Oaks and was expected to give Alice Springs a race. Sadly for her supporters she didn’t handle the dip at all and had no chance after.
A couple of other performances caught my eye. Minwinmin trained by Gaye Kellaway was racing from 9lb out of the handicap in the 6f handicap. The three year old had won a Bath maiden on her previous start but despite being so far out of the weights in this race, her run must have thrilled connections. Despite a slow start from the stalls she was arguably finishing off best of all and was eventually beaten only 1 ¾ lengths in 5th at the finish. I am sure there are races to be won with her on an easier surface or maybe the all weather when her sights are set a bit lower.
The main one to take from the meeting for the future could be the Marcus Tregoning trained juvenile Red Royalist from the valuable sales race. Now the form of these types of races can be very misleading but the son of Royal Applause who had outrun his 50/1 odds when finishing 2nd on his racecourse debut in an Ascot maiden. He ran well enough again in this much more competitive race. Given his lack of experience this was a promising run for the future as he was staying on strongly at the finish to take 3rd.
The two best performances on the Ascot card came from Shalaa in the 6f Group 3 race and Librisa Breeze when winning the big field 7f Heritage Handicap.
Shalaa trained by John Gosden had been one of the top sprinting juveniles of 2015 but he had a setback with pelvic injury which meant he only made his belated seasonal reappearance here. A winner of the Group Middle Park Stakes when last seen did not have to carry a Group 1 penalty in this contest and was clear of his rivals on official ratings. The rain that fell before racing didn’t really play to his strengths. A bit fresh in the early stages which was to be expected given his 12 month absence from the track, his jockey Frankie Dettori bounced him out of the stalls and the colt made all the running to win a shady cosily at the line as Frankie was clearly keen not give his mount too hard a ride as he didn’t resort to using the whip. The Champion Sprint back over C&D latter in the month will be the horses next start as long as he come out of the race sound. He will be a strong contender on Champions Day but his supporters should heed the words of his trainer who was at pains after the race to say that “softer ground compromises a horse who is all about pure speed”.
Librisa Breeze could also be heading for the same race as Shalaa after his power packed finish to take the 7f handicap in good style. The Dean Ivory trained runner had been well backed ante post for the race and would have been a very unlucky loser as he was noted travelling very strongly behind a wall of horses and with nowhere to go two furlongs out fortunately for connections the gap appeared well inside the final furlong and the four year old produced a real burst of speed to take the race by ½ length under 9-9. He showed here that rain softened ground wasn’t a problem as he made it 2/3 at Ascot. A fast run 6f would really suit the gelding and although some may think the trainer is ‘tilting at windmills’ going for the sprint but he has done it before with some success. Ladbrokes are the stand out 14/1 which I have taken for the race to add to my earlier nibble on Brando. For those also looking to back him for the Champion Sprint should be aware that he also holds an entry in the Balmoral Handicap over a mile, on the same card, for which he is a general 5/1 or 6/1 favourite.
Sunday October 2nd
I will conclude this week’s column with a look at Arc Day. It was clear after the first couple of races that there was a pace bias at the track as it was difficult for horses held up to make any ground in what is a fairly short straight at Chantilly
Found who I had backed for last years Arc, never got any sort of run in last years race and who this season had finished 2nd in five Group 1 races, including last time out in the Irish Champion Stakes, was finally rewarded for her consistency by taking the latest renewal of the Prix de l’ Arc de Triomphe. Given a great ride by Ryan Moore he always had the filly in the right place and once she took up the running two furlongs from home she kicked clear and never looked like she would be caught. Highland Reel and Order of St George chased her home for 2nd & 3rd to help pull off a remarkable 123 for the Aiden O’Brien stable. Any horse at the back or coming out wide never had no chance with the way the track was racing so supporters of the Japanese raider Makahiti and New Bay really never got runs for their money.
The Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac for juvenile fillies over a mile looked competitive race on paper and so it turned out to be. But the winner came back over the channel with the Charlie Appleby filly Wuheida battling on well to the line and on the evidence of this win will be a leading contender for Godolphin for next years Oaks. There were a couple of performances that can be marked up. Senga was finishing best of those held up and did well to get 4th. The Pascal Bary filly was only having her 2nd career start and very much up in grade in the race but she has a good pedigree and should make up into a decent three year old. The unlucky horse of the race was the favourite the Jean- Claude Rouget trained filly Toulifaut. She had a terrible passage through the race, not getting run two furlongs out and then stumbled when going for a narrow gap at the furlong mark. Any chance she had ended at that point and she was allowed to come home in her own time in 8th. Clearly a top class filly the daughter of Frankel can make up into a good three year old. Both fillies showed they could handle quick ground and I will be interesting to see if they go for the Breeders Cup.
Mecca’s Angel put up a brave performance but on ground that was probably a shade to quick, she couldn’t hold off late challenges from the Sir Mark Prescott trained winner Marsha and the Aiden O’Brien trained runner up Washington DC and had to settle for a gallant 3rd in the Prix De L’Abbaye. This will probably have been her last race before heading for the paddocks. The winner is also done for the season but will stay in training as a four year old whilst Washington DC who likes quick ground will be heading over for the Breeders Cup Turf Sprint.
Limato capped off a good day for the British & Irish raider with a fairly comprehensive win in the 7f Group 1 Prix Foret. The gelding was given a great ride, by the underrated Harry Bentley, always travelling well up with the pace as you needed to be on the day once his jockey asked him to quicken up he was never going to be caught by his ten rivals. He made up for an unlucky run in last years race when also a well fancied favourite. The Breeders Cup is next on the agenda and if trainer Henry Candy gets his way he will be stepping up a furlong and going for the Breeders Cup mile rather than dropping down a furlong to the sprint. Of those further down field the three year old Attendu’s performance can be slightly marked up, as he had no real chance from his racing position but was noted staying on well to take 5th at the finish. With a better position he would probably have finished in the places. He looks worth another go at a mile; given his half sister was a double Group 2 winner at that distance. Maybe connections will also consider going for the Breeders Cup mile?
This Weeks Eyecatchers
Just the one this week but I will be adding another tracker horse who has dropped down to a winning mark and will be winning shortly exclusively for Pro subscribers.
Saturday 1st October
Remarkable – John Gosden – The three year old was sent off only 6/1 for the race won by Librisa Breeze. Was only having his 5th career start here and had been gelded since his last run when a good 5th in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at the Royal Meeting. A winner at Southwell (7f) and Doncaster (6f) in the spring before putting up an eyecatching run in a 6f listed race at Newbury. With the easing of the ground the market clearly expected a big run from the son of Pivotal. He was making some headway when not getting a clear run two furlongs out and any chance he had at that point went. Has an entry in the Balmoral Handicap over a mile but I would like to see him dropped back to 6f for his next run as I think a sprint trip on soft ground will be see him back to his best.
All that’s left now is to wish you a profitable weeks betting and don’t forget there are a couple of cracking days racing at Newmarket on Friday and Saturday.