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Showing posts from June, 2015

The Takarazuka Kinen preview

Stepping out into Japanese racing this weekend for one of the biggest races on the international calendar. Established in 1960, the 18-horse field for the 2,200-metre race is chosen largely by fan ballot like the year-ending Arima Kinen (the Grand Prix) at Nakayama in December. The top 10 vote-getters receive an automatic place in the field; 17 horses had been nominated before Vincennes pulled out.

From the top 10, only four are set to run this year - the race's two-time defending champion Gold Ship (first), Lachesis (third), Toho Jackal (seventh) and One and Only (eighth).

Once again, casting an eye over the cream of international racing is racecalling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke.

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Takarazuka Kinen
G1 2200m Turf 3yo+
Race 11 Hanshin (Japan) G1
290,860,000 Yen (approx £1.5m)
1540 local time, 0740 BST


Formguide
History and Trends
Japanracing Preview
Market

1 Shonan Pandora: Winner of one of Japan’s biggest 3YO Fillies events last year in the G1 Shu…

Irish Derby preview

It's Ireland's turn for the Flat classic, it's Derby Day at The Curragh!

Preview provided by international race-calling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke.

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150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
12f Turf €1,250,000 3yo Group 1
The Curragh
R7 1830 local, 0330 AEST


1 Carbon Dating (150/1) (Ireland): Five starts for no wins, and never within ten lengths of the winner. Didn’t run a horrible race at all at odds of 150/1 in the Derby at Epsom when finishing eighth. Prior to that he finished last in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas, third to Success Days in the Derrinstown and last of five in the Derby Trial at Epsom. Looks outclassed. A jumping career awaits.

2 Giovanni Canaletto (12/1) (Ireland): He’s always had a bit of hype this horse. Two runs as a 3YO include a closing second to subsequent G2 Ribblesdale Stakes winner Curvy in the G3 Gallinule Stakes and a fourth in the Derby (beaten ten lengths) behind two of today’s rivals in Jack Hobbs and Stor…

AFL Round 13 previews

More AFL action from Down Under, we move onto Round 13.

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AFL Round 13 Preview by aflratings.com.au via @aflratings

Only three of six favourites were successful in the AFL last week, here are our thoughts for Round 13.

Fremantle 10-1 v Collingwood 8-3

Fremantle were outstanding in the first half of the year with a 10-1 record, they are ranked first conceding 63.7pts per game and are on track for a top two finish that would guarantee a first-up home final. Interestingly the two worst results of the year for Freo were the two games leading up to the bye, a loss to Richmond in Perth & a narrow win against an injury-riddled Gold Coast team has many doubting their premiership credentials. Collingwood may have overachieved in a very good opening 11 games to their season, the Magpies find themselves once again at an 8-3 record and face a litmus test in the coming weeks. Collingwood are ranked no.1 for scoring in the AFL since Round 7 averaging 114.6pts p…

Diamond Jubilee Stakes preview

The final day of Royal Ascot is the big one for the sprinters. Just how good is this field? Has the Commonwealth Cup stripped some of the quality from it? Are the Aussie stars a class above or is it genuinely wide open? Returning to the blog after a bit of a hiatus is astute judge Dave Stevens, @davestevos.

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DIAMOND JUBILEE STAKES
GROUP 1, 6 FURLONGS
£525k
Part of the Global Sprint Series
1620 local, 0120 AEST


Some of the best six furlong horses on the planet on show in Saturday's feature race at Royal Ascot, and a fascinating contest with a case to be made for many of the contenders. This hasn't been a great race for favourites in recent years, with only three obliging in the last decade. Past winners include the likes of Slade Power, Starspangledbanner and the Aussie super mare Black Caviar, a truly impressive selection of horse. This year sees challengers from Ireland, the UK, Australia and the USA, and below is my preview of a race that no ra…

The Ribblesdale Stakes preview

Time for me to step up to the plate today at Royal Ascot, no other brave souls have stepped up (one big negative about consecutive days of racing, when do you get the time to bet, enjoy the racing and then research the following day?). My choice for the day is the fillies' race, it's an Oaks by another name, run at a track not originally designed for goats.

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The Ribblesdale
£160k, 1m4f
Group 2 for 3yo fillies
1540 local, 0040 AEST


Brandybend - nice Galileo filly for Marco Botti but 25lbs behind the favourite on official ratings. Several lengths behind Pamona last time at Newbury, perhaps unsuited by leading on that day but previous form only in maidens. No.

Curvy - impressive formline, beating the colts last time at The Curragh, including Coolmore first pick for the Derby, Giovanni Canaletto. Ryan Moore jumps on board (beaten by her last time so must have been impressed) and rides for David Wachman rather than the usual O'Brien runners within the same …

AFL Round 12 previews

Not only are we amidst the bye rounds, but the AFL has decided to start playing matches on Thursday night in the middle of winter, while I'm focused on Royal Ascot! So apologies for missing the first game of the round which has just gotten underway.

Once again, previews provided by the smart chaps at @AFLRatings.

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AFL Round 12 Preview by aflratings.com.au via @AFLRatings

Last week five favourites were successful from six games in the AFL, here are our thoughts for Round 12.

Adelaide 6-4 v Hawthorn 6-4

The Crows opened the 2015 AFL home & away season 3-0, since then a 3-4 record has them precariously located inside the top 8. Adelaide has won only one game vs a team currently residing in the top 8 (R2 Collingwood), they have scored 80.0pts per game between Rounds 8-10 and are 0-3 when starting as underdog this season. If you get the sense our thoughts here are swayed towards selecting Hawthorn then you are correct, the Hawks are the no.1 scoring team…

Prince of Wales's Stakes preview

Nursing a sore head and still bemoaning Medicean Man being beaten a nose in the King's Stand Stakes yesterday, it's time for me to post some more Royal Ascot action. Day One was fantastic, and the rest of the week ain't bad either.

Today's feature is the Prince of Wales's Stakes, a race which bizarrely wasn't run between 1940-1967 because there was no male heir to the throne (so?). With the preview, it's international race-calling prodigy Luke Humphreys, @WorldRacingLuke.

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Prince of Wales's Stakes
G1 1m2f
£525,000
1620 local, 0120 AEST


1 California Chrome (United States of America):
Very unfortunate that he doesn’t take his place due to a foot abscess. Horrible luck. Non-Runner.

2 Cannock Chase (8/1) (United Kingdom):
Has his fair share of ability and won the G3 Tercentenary Stakes at the meeting last year. However in his two runs this year he was third, to rival Western Hymn, in the G3 Gordon Richards Stakes and only second…

Windsor Castle Stakes preview

Ending day one is the Windsor Castle Stakes, a Listed race for the juveniles. It mightn't be as classy as the Coventry or the Norfolk, but it still says Royal Ascot winner in the history books and it doesn't make it any easier to win or find the winner!

Stepping up to the challenge is astute racing punter James Moore, @jamesracing1. It's his first appearance on the blog and you can read more of his work on his site.

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Windsor Castle Stakes
Listed, 5f for 2yo
£60k
1735 local (0235 AEST)


1. Aragon Knight - Looks to be running for the 'Owner's Badges', second in an easy ground Salisbury maiden last time out, nothing to encourage support.

2. Archimedes - Flopped on easy ground when short priced favourite for fair Lingfield maiden on second start, bounced back on faster ground to win ordinary Bath maiden in a moderate time. Plenty to find, despite a potentially good draw.

3. Ard San Aer - Has run in two good maidens (winning the second of them), b…

Queen Anne Stakes preview

Here we go, it's Royal Ascot! What a meeting ahead, international raiders galore from Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, the United States and of course, the rest of Europe. As always, the meeting gets off to a bang with one of the highlights of the week, the Queen Anne Stakes. Those in Asia (and much of Australia) won't hear of Able Friend getting beaten, the French love Solow and then there are the locals who believe Night of Thunder doesn't get the credit he is due (understandable given the recently-departed shadows of Frankel and Kingman).

Padding up for the home team is Ian Mallard, @ianmallard.

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Queen Anne Stakes
Royal Ascot 1430 (2330 AEST)
Straight Mile, Group 1
£375k

The usual curtain-raiser to the meeting gets us underway with what is a gateway to the breeding sheds if past winners are to go by. To say the race has an illustrious role of honour is an understatement, in fact it now looks like a stallion's "Who's Who"! Barath…

AFL Round 11 preview

With the mighty Richmond ON FIRE at the moment, unfortunately we enter the bye rounds where every side will get a week off sometime over the next three weeks. That leaves only six matches to profit from this weekend.

As always, with the previews, it's the sharp blokes from @AFLRatings.

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AFL Round 11 Preview by aflratings.com.au via @AFLRatings

Last week 7 favourites were successful from 9 games in the AFL, here are our thoughts for Round 11 with only 6 games on tap.

Port Adelaide 5-5 v Geelong 5-5

With two consecutive wins Port Adelaide are back in the mix for a finals spot in 2015, they have had one of the more difficult draws to begin the season. The Power have averaged 107.5pts in their last two games albeit against the Western Bulldogs & Melbourne and have cleared their betting Line comfortably in both games, Geelong have struggled with a 2-6 record in travel games dating back to the beginning of the 2014 home & away season. The Cats gener…

Coronation Cup

Some Derby Days around the world are packed full of premium quality racing, others leave the focus on the big race with a weaker undercard. Epsom sits somewhere in the middle, with the undercard topped by the Coronation Cup, which has previously been run on the Friday.

Preview again by William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV.

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Investec Coronation Cup
1m4f Group 1 WFA
£375,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


Ayrad: Midfield in the Prix Du Jockey Club last year and then well beaten in conditions contest here before Listed third. Well beaten when stepping up in class the last twice we’ve seen him and took advantage of a very good opportunity to land Goodwood Listed event latest but over matched here.

Flintshire: Top class bridesmaid last year, second in this on her seasonal return before fourth in Grand Prix De Saint-Cloud, second in Prix Foy, Arc De Triomphe, and Breeders’ Cup Turf before then getting deserved Group 1 in Hong Kong Vase (helped by being well placed in slowly run race).…

The Derby

It's time to put on make up, it's time to light the lights....it's DERBY DAY! Shame it's run at a goat track, but apparently that's explained away as a 'true test' of a horse.

Step forward William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV to preview the big race.

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Investec Derby
£1,325,000 Group 1
1m4f for 3yo breeding prospects (no geldings)
1630 local 0130 AEST


Advice: 1 pt win Jack Hobbs (5/1 Paddy Power, Stan James), 3 pts John Gosden to win Derby (evs Betfred)
Already Advised: 1 pt each/way Epicuris (33/1 Boylesports)
Ante Post: 1 pt each/way Elm Park (10/1 general), 1 pt each/way Hans Holbein (14/1 general), Ladbrokes St Leger


Best of Times: Didn’t take to soft ground on debut as a juvenile but shaped as stayer of promise on two other occasions and nothing not to like about his return when defying greenness to take the Newmarket Stakes on return. Sent off favourite for the Cocked Hat Stakes afterwards and while he lost no caste in defeat to Storm Th…

Investec Dash preview

Fast and furious, that's the Investec Dash down a 5f track which certainly could not be described as flat! William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV, again with the preview.

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Investec Corporate Banking 'Dash'
Class 2 Heritage Handicap
5f £100k 1545 local 0045 AEST


A wonderful sight down one of the fastest 5 furlongs in the world, this comes with the usual wealth warning as every one of the 20 runners can be considered in some fashion. Monsieur Joe leaps off the page, having improved with every run since comeback back to the UK from the UAE, with his fourth at the Ebor meeting, third at Ripon and then victory in another fiercely contested sprint handicap. His ability to come from the rear at York, a sharp flat track which created a similar test in speed terms to Epsom, gives great encouragement for similar tactics to be tried here – for all that he can race prominently, as showed when third at Ripon when he ran keen early. A draw of 7 may lead to him needing t…

Woodcote Stakes preview

Next up, it's the traditional 2yo race, the Woodcote Stakes. Preview again by William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV.

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Investec Woodcote Stakes
Listed 2yo 6f
1435 local 2335 AEST


The Hannons have taken the last two renewals of this and with their 2 year old hand here Nelspurit must be respected, for all that he made hard work of landing his maiden at odds-on at Goodwood. That day he looked as if he’d appreciate a step back up in trip – he made his debut over 6f at Newbury – but the maiden that he landed was decent enough for the grade (it was a class 6) and he should be up to going close. It should also be noted that his yard has a line through nearly every runner in this race

Buratino has the strongest form on paper courtesy of his National Stakes second, while there’s plenty to like about the attitude that he showed when a winner at Newmarket in a Novice Stakes, having previously been well behind Coventry Stakes contender Log Out Island. He may have less to offer than …

The Belmont Stakes preview

The American racing industry and sports media have got their wish again - a Belmont Stakes with a live shot at the Triple Crown. It's incredible just how little media US racing gets the rest of the year and how big the hype is by Belmont Stakes day.

After a successful Derby preview, we've brought back @brettfromPV for his insight into the grand finale.

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Belmont Stakes
1.5miles G1 Dirt
1850 local 2350 BST 0850 AEST


As American Pharoah attempts to become the 12th horse to win the American Triple Crown and the first since 1978 to do so, the feat has become as much about failure as success. Since Affirmed galloped to victory at Belmont in 1978 13 have tried and 13 have failed. Given that five horses in that time frame have won two legs of the Triple Crown but not been alive going into the Belmont perhaps it’s more accurate to say that there have been 18 near misses. It also confirms the fact that the Triple Crown is so difficult to complete. The question is w…