This blog post is mainly for my mate Howard who is off to Newcastle races on Saturday night for his stag do. Feel free to have a punt on my selections however. Give Howard a follow on Twitter @HRMSWFC. He’s a Sheffield Wednesday fan and gives some good banter, be warned though, he can be a grumpy git and he has got tiny hands!
The ground as I type the blog is good, good to soft in places yet with more rain forecast it could turn soft. These selections are based on horses winning on soft ground. I will put up a couple in each race if appropriate and my suggestions are each way unless stated. Prices courtesy of Bet 365 on Friday evening,
1815 – Nestle Confectionary Fawdon Handicap 1m3f
A few of these horses have decent form but have not done the distance. One that has won on soft ground and good to soft at a mile and 9f is MANGHAM (16-1) (unplaced) and he has also been placed at 1m2f too. HAKUNA MATATA (6-1) (2nd) has run here at 1m2f and been placed and has also run well on soft ground and won on heavy.
1845 – Toffee Crisp Maiden Auction Stakes
It is always challenging to pick a winner in these races as alot of them are unknown quantities. One might run a stormer on their racecourse debut, yet they may also run stinkers too. GOLD BEAU (WIN 5-1) (NR) ran a creditable fourth behind some smart horses ( Annunciation and Euxton Hall ) at Haydock last time on good to soft. That should have put him in good stead for this. Another each way shout for my trainer to follow Declan Carroll’s horse JOMARI (25-1) (unplaced) his horses tend to come on for a run.
1915 – Lighthouse Project Handicap
A really competitive handicap with a good few in with a shout. Preference is for CHOOKIE AVON (12-1) (unplaced) who has won over 7f four times. Including a win at Newcastle on soft ground. REASON TO BELIEVE (16-1) (unplaced) won over 7f here at Newcastle on soft ground in September with blinkers on, he has them on again today for the first time since that win.
1945 – Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles Handicap
The top two have obvious chances on form but neither of them have won on the ground, BILIDN (9/4) (WON) though has been raised 10lbs after his last win here, they don’t get raised that much without them being a decent proposition. However, preference is for DAN’S HEIR (WIN 16-1) (unplaced) who has won over the distance twice and over further and has also placed four times on all types of ground including soft. Had it all set up for him last time at Catterick, but something wasn’t right, chance to redeem himself here.
2015 – Blue Riband Handicap
BROCKFIELD (7-2) (unplaced) sets the standard here but is at a career high mark has been placed seven times over the distance on varying ground. Has also won over the distance and on soft ground. However, RETREAT CONTENT (10-1) (3rd) is 2lb lower in the handicap than his last win and a step back up to this distance will help. Has won over this distance on good to soft and has been placed twice.
2045 – Action for Children Maiden Stakes
Again, as earlier these races can throw up any type of winner, so caution prevails. RIGHT TO RULE (6-5) (WON) has ran creitable so far and is the pick of the ones with a run finishing second over 12f on his first run on soft ground and the Haggas yard has been flying of late. NEW DRAMA (4-1) (3rd) is well bred and has a family of winners and may well be a good thing first time out, a chance is taken with this one.
2115 – Breakaway Handicap
PHOENIX CLUBS (NR) and LEXINGTON SPIRIT (NR) are the only two to have won over 5f, and soft ground didn’t seem to suit Lexington last time, so I’m willing to discount him. PHOENIX CLUBS (5-1) has also been placed 4 times over 5f including two good runs this season on good to soft. If the ground is really soft then you have to give CELESTIAL DAWN (14-1) (2nd) a sniff, the softer the better for her. Preference is for PHOENIX CLUBS though.
So, there you have my first ever in depth selections at a meeting. Remember these are just my selections on what I think will win I am by no means an expert. I just hope a few come in for my mate Howard. Have a great weekend pal!