Weekly Eyecatchers

(Last Updated On: June 30, 2015)

If you have been following these eyecatchers you will have had a couple of nice winners over the weekend with Master The World 4/1 winning at Newmarket on Saturday and Diamondsandrubies 8/1, winning the big Group 1 race at the Curragh on Sunday and bigger prices were available in the morning for both horses! It looks like we will have runner at Thirsk on Wednesday with Rex Imperator entered in the 6f Handicap.

This weeks article contains a couple of winners, now am not normally one to put up last time out winners as horses for your trackers but in these cases I am happy to make an exception as they sill look progressive and capable of winning more nice pots this season.

Monday June 22nd


Mullionheir – John Best – Clearly continues to thrive and the return to 6f paid off here. Quick away, he dug in and found plenty for pressure inside the final furlong to make it four wins from his last five starts. After the race his jockey said in the Racing Post that the horse is “a big horse who isn’t going to reach his potential until later in the season. He was still a bit green in front but he’s a progressive horse who will do better when he gets more cover”. There could be a nice big field sprint handicap in a horse that is still on the upgrade and appreciates good going.

Wednesday June 24th

Border Bandit – Tracy Waggott – The seven year old finished one place better than he did in the race last year when staying on to take 5th. This run can be marked up as he finished best of those held up in a slowly run race. He is running off the same mark as when winning last July at Ripon and last year went on to win his next two starts after his Carlisle run. He is 3-6 in July and interestingly jockey Robert Winston is 4-9 when riding the horse. I am sure he can be placed to advantage around tracks like Beverley, Ripon or Pontefract in the coming weeks.

Thursday June 25th

Stunned – Robert Cowell – The four year old son of Shamardal only joined ‘Sprint King’ Robert Cowell in April. After four runs on the all weather at Chelmsford, including a maiden win on his stable debut, he was having his first run on the turf in this country. Well backed in the morning of the race he shaped like a horse who can win on the turf when 6th in this Class 2 five furlong handicap. He was making his effort when not getting a clear run at the furlong mark. He stayed on well at the finish and wasn’t given the hardest of races by his jockey. His shrewd trainer can place him to advantage in a sprint handicap soon I am sure.

Saturday June 27th


Billyoakes – David Barron – A winner over five and six furlongs last year, the three year old was trying seven for the first time and seemed to get the trip well enough here. This was only his 3rd start for his new stable and given the quiet spell they are going through this was a very encouraging run. Held up at the back he was running on nicely to take 4th at the finish. When his trainer is back in form he can win a handicap or two.


Bushcraft – Ed Walker – The four year old has returned this season after nearly 21 months off the track with three wins at 6f and put up his best performance here when winning finishing powerfully to take this Class 2 handicap. After the race his trainer indicated that the Bunbury Cup would be his next target and he must go there with a major chance and could find further improvement over that trip. Major Jack who has been a previous eyecatcher for me was a bit unlucky again but keep him in your trackers as a big field handicap is on reach when all the cards fall right for him.

Oasis Fantasy – Ed Dunlop – Had only been beaten ½ length by Quest for More at Goodwood but never had any real chance from his high draw here and was never put into the race. Weak in the market, he only finished 12th but wasn’t given a hard time by his jockey when he realised he had no chance. He is one of those sort of horses that can lure punters in with his finishing style, but he is suited by a big field so maybe his trainer will aim him at something like the 1m 6f Ebor Handicap at York.


Huntsman’s Close – Roger Charlton – The five year old had bolted and got rid of his jockey before the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot, seven days earlier and had to be withdrawn. No problems this time as he came from the back to take the lead well inside the final furlong. The harder they go, the better he is as he likes to come off a fast pace. Well suited by good quick going and he is clearly at his best in a big field, as he also showed when winning the Ayr Silver Cup last September. He is being aimed at the Stewards Cup and with a good draw will be the one to beat!

Sunday June 28th


Ribbons – James Fanshawe – Diamondsandrubies is worth keeping in your trackers after her game win in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes, as she also stays 1m 4f as she showed in the Oaks. In what was a great finish she just held off Legatissimo and Ribbons. It was Ribbons that really caught my eye here. The five year old mare, a winner of a Group 1 race at Deauville last August on very soft ground, returned to form after a decent seasonal reappearance in York in May with a strong finishing third. The ground would have been plenty quick enough for her as she is better with more cut in the ground. Her stable is back in form now and the mare who is 2-2 at Goodwood might well be aimed at the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Her chances there would be enhanced by some juice in the ground. Whether she goes there or not she is capable of winning another good race around this trip when she gets her ground so maybe another trip to France could be on the agenda.

John Burke

I have a MA in International Politics and having spent a number of years working in political campaigning but I eventually I realised that politics was not the world where I wanted to work I had been interested in horse racing since the late 1980s but in the early years I was merely just betting and watching racing like most people as a bit of fun and a hobby, then the hobby becomes a passion and that’s what happened to me with horse racing. I soon realised that to make money from my hobby I had to learn as much as I could about the sport and betting in general. The whole process took time but after a number of successful years of betting, I decided in 2011 to take the plunge, gave up my full time day job and decided to bet on horse racing as a part time business and I haven’t looked back since. I like to specialise in the better class of races and I love to solve the puzzles posed by big field handicaps the latter races often provide punters with great value betting opportunities. Whilst most of my time is spent reviewing previous races I like to keep things as simple as possible as even the biggest field handicaps can usually be pruned down to half a dozen strong contenders with the right sort of approach.

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