A fascinating race.
6f (6f1y) British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes (GBB Race) (Class 5) (2yo)
As always, you may wish to let the betting settle before getting stuck in. Unless, you have an inkling your selection is going to be backed.
That’s the gamble.
Horse racing is so much more than just knowing the horses, it’s all about using your knowledge and skills to find value. Without value you may as well forget about betting. And so often, the best bets are as much about circumstance as being the best tipster since sliced bread.
All these aspects are so simple to understand but so often ignored because punters don’t think or too naive.
I say these things to help rather than criticise.
This race looks out of five horses. However, keep an eye on the betting as it might detail strength or a weak link.
I will take a look at the main contenders, which, unsurprisingly, deals with those horses at the top of the market.
It’s worth noting on this turning course that a wide draw can be a problem. It isn’t a fact but you need to take these things into consideration. For example, Jamie Osborne’s Wrought Iron is drawn in stall nine (9). This son of Dark Angle is a very good-looking colt who is a capable two-year-old. He ran in a competitive on debut as Ascot but was outclassed but mostly paid the price for his inexperience. He showed good pace second time out at Newmarket when ridden by Saffie Osborne who took off a valuable 7lb. He showed good speed before tiring in the closing stages. That was pretty hot race and this race could be a little less competitive. In addition, this slightly less demanding course should be a positive. I suspect this race will take four or five seconds less time to run than Newmarket.
With the two favourites being so strong in the market there is a chance this horse may drift in the betting on the exchanges (if not with bookmakers). However, the draw is a concern. This is where betting is like a double gamble and why you often need a big price to offer some protection to the situation. Because Nicola Curry can take one of two choices: either sit in behind or fly out of the stalls and try to get to the rail or as near to it as possible. If she takes the latter choice (it will be Osborn’e decision) and fails, and pushed wide, running three or four deep, it’s almost mission impossible. That’s a worry. However, I do like the chances of Wrought Iron who could well hold each-way claims. Clearly, the bigger the price the better. Value is the key to any good bet.
Not to say Wrought Iron is the best bet here but we are looking for a price (value) and assessing the opposition for pros and cons.
That’s the thing about gambling.
A bet can be good and bad depending on all manner of variables. That’s why, so often, to give a tip in advance of the start time is not the best idea. I know so many people do so but I’m telling you things can change quickly. I’ve bet on horses a minute before the start of the race which five minutes before hadn’t even registered.
Richard Hannon’s Night Arc is one of those horses which I’m struggling to assess. It seemed a half decent debut at Leicester, although a small field which can be misleading. Then a dismal performance next time out at Ascot on testing going. That was a competitive Class 3 race and the form will hold up. Not that Night Arc ran his race. It was too bad to be true and I would draw a line through that disappointment. He steps up to 6f after taking a good couple of weeks off course. A nice looking horse. Pat Dobbs is likely to make the most of the low draw and sit handy. Hannon has been giving many and varied two-year-olds significant entries but this colt hasn’t seen any yet which may be a slight negative. From my information, much better was expected at Ascot and that disappointment is sure to result in a much bigger price here. The low draw is a positive a luxury Wrought Iron doesn’t have which should be factored into the betting.
At the top of the market we have a couple of horses which re-oppose after showing some ability at Bath when racing over 5f.
That was a hot race with Clive Cox’s Instinctive Move running out a decent winner and all the rage in the betting. There is little doubt they went there expecting a big run and I’m sure that son of Showcasing is one of the best juvenile in the stable.
However, we are interested in Poderoso and Dayem, respectively.
Both two-year-olds have things going for them. I’m pretty sure connections will be heading here with hopes of tasting victory.
Poderoso is a decent horse for Charles Hills and Amo Racing Ltd. This owner has been splashing the cash this season with a host of talented two-year-olds with umpteen trainers. This son of Kodiac out of a listed placed mare cost 225,000 guineas at the yearling sales. He was fancied to go well on debut at Newbury and did little wrong that day when finishing third and losing by just under one length. The form of that race has worked out well.
To be fair, Poderoso was allowed to drift markedly in the betting at Bath and at one point was about 5/1 on the betting exchanges. That was a fantastic price. If he hadn’t bumped into such a smart horse as Cox’s Instinctive Movement it would have been a facile victory. He did little wrong, was given a lovely ride, and went from the front, gained a good lead and simply overhauled in the closing stages. Make no mistake, this horse has a fair level of ability and from a low draw is likely to lead. He could well hold a decent advantage coming into the final furlong. It could be a slight concern he’s stepping up to six furlongs. It may be no problem at all but any changes bring uncertainty. We have to make an assessment and assumption. I think Poderoso will run a big race and if a drifter in the betting could be a hard nut to crack. I can’t imagine him drifting to each-way prices, but if he did it would be a good bet.
In truth, many punters will be looking at Eve Johnson-Houghton’s Dayem to reverse the form, stepping up a furlong and returning with valuable experience. KHK Racing Ltd have some nice horses in their ownership and this son of Acclamation ran a fine race on debut. He was fancied in the betting but inexperience proved costly against the likes of Poderoso, Raging & Fair And Square. This attractive colt was given time to find his feet and given a considerate ride. I expected a bold show and he didn’t disappoint when closing on the two leaders in the final furlong. He was just getting going and reason why many punters are likely to fancy Dayem to reserve the form with Poderoso over this extra furlong. He may well do just that. There’s always a chance he will be similarly slow to gather pace and a turning track can be quite hard work for a horse in ways. I would expect him to run on well in the closing stages but could well be much bigger odds in running if trailing the likes of Poderoso at the halfway mark. This is what I mean about using your knowledge and insight to bet wisely. If you fancy his to win but fear he could be outpaced in the early stages or a bigger price in running then this may be the best bet. I expect Dayem to run well here but whether I would want to jump in a short odds is another thing. However, I do think connections rate this horse and like most juveniles they are often primed to go well on their second start.
I would give Archie Watson’s Bicep some hope if fancied in the betting as they are usually sharp and often lead. The stable haven’t been in such sparkling form as previous years.
Conclusion: This is an in depth assessment, which some readers will enjoy while other will most likely hate. This race looks out of these horses. The betting will tell the story for most and help with assessment. It’s a competitive race. I wouldn’t be taking short odds and thinking it will be easy. I can see Poderoso leading and giving it a good go from the front. If touching each-way prices would be a good bet but very unlikley. I would have slight concerns about him getting the six furlongs as well as five. I like a horse to finish a race although he may well hold a big advantage and be able to coast to the line. I would be looking to bet on Dayem in running as I think that’s where you will get the best odds. Definitely a horse with a chance. It’s a race where you can go with the two favourotes, or, perhaps, has an each-way punt on something with a touch of value. Night Arc may be the dark horse here and that last disappointment may hide a decent juvenile. From stall one you can’t ask for a better draw and I wouldn’t knock anyone having an each-way punt at double-figure odds. It would be a positive if backed. I think Wrought Iron could go well. However, much is dependent on his start and whether he can get to the rail or sit in behind. Both are satisfactory options. If attempting to get to the rail and failing, running three or four wide, it would be a disaster. That is the gamble. In many ways it is a double gamble. I can see Wrought Iron getting to the front, most likely behind Poderoso, and running a decent race at big odds.
Author: Jason Coote