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Showing posts from March, 2015

Dubai World Cup preview

The richest race in the world, the US$10m Dubai World Cup returns to dirt this year which rules out most horses from Europe unfortunately. Still, if they want to have a couple of American horses in the big race, they've achieved their goal...

With the preview, it's Mitchell Fenton, @mitchfenton88.

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Dubai World Cup
21:00 LOCAL 1700GMT
G1 2000M Dirt
US$10,000,000

PRINCE BISHOP (IRE)

Ran ninth beaten over 10L behind African Story in this race last year when coming off a dominant Al Maktoum win in the lead up. This campaign he’s had two Meydan runs and finished second on both occasions beaten narrowly. Both times he ran home hard to just miss out on the major prize. Will settle back but be running on hard late and is a definite winning chance in the race.

HOKKO TARUMAE (JPN)

Dual Gr1 winner in his native Japan, he finished 16th and last in this race last year but returns on the dirt surface for another go. Comes here on the back of two consecutive wins s…

Golden Shaheen preview

It's Dubai World Cup weekend when the world racing spotlight turns to the obscenely rich and the delights of Meydan racecourse. Taking on the feature sprint race is international racing aficionado Calum Swan, @calumswanlaw.

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Dubai Golden Shaheen
G1 1200m Dirt
1505 GMT

Big Macher- Californian sprinter who climbed the ranks from Maiden Claiming level to G1 winner when besting Goldenscents in the Bing Crosby at Del Mar. Hasn't been able to replicate that level of form since and was below par when only fifth in a G2 when last sighted. Will need to run right up to his best form in order to strike here

Cool Cowboy- Former US speedball who was four from four on Dirt over 1200 metres when based stateside. He lost his unbeaten record over the distance when only 4th on his debut for Watson in the Mahab Al Shimaal, but he travelled really well before tiring late on. His trainer was on record as saying he was a week or two behind schedule for that assignment and improv…

The BMW preview

Sydney's autumn carnival kicks on. The CHampionships don't officially start until next week but there are still Group 1 races at Rosehill to be run. Taking on the richest WFA 2400m race in the country is regular contributor Mitch Fenton, @mitchfenton88, from UBET.

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The BMW
Rosehill, G1, WFA 2400m
1630 local time, 0530 GMTOdds Comparison
Form guide

At time of preview the Rosehill Gardens track was rated a Heavy (8) surface. Our Sydney track expert expects it to dry up somewhat but still be rain-affected come Saturday so I’ve based my preview off a Slow (5) track.

1.PROTECTIONIST (GER)

A brilliant 4L Melbourne Cup winner back last November - coming from as far back as 18th in the run to demoralise his opposition. His closing sectionals in the race were:

600m – 34.52
400m – 22.70
200m – 11.68

Those type of sectionals at the end of two miles are unheard of, in-fact his closing 200m sectional of 11.68 was the second fastest ever recorded in a Melbourne Cup…

Golden Slipper preview

It's Slipper Day in Sydney, the best day of racing of the year north of the Murray with five Group 1s. Just such a shame that they'll only get about 1/4 of the crowd which turn up to Derby Day at Flemington.... #verysydney

Taking on the 2yo Championship of the World (well, the richest 2yo race anyway), is regular contributor Mitchell Fenton, @mitchfenton88, from UBET.

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Tooheys New Golden Slipper
Rosehill Gardens, 1200m
Group 1, $3.5m, 2yo
1630 local time, 0530 GMT

Formguide

Odds Comparison

The big feature for the 2yos and the $3.5 million prize pool sees it maintain its status as the world’s single richest two-year old race.

Here’s an in-depth runner-by-runner look at the race.

1.VANCOUVER
Star Medaglia D’Oro colt trained by the two-year old genius Gai Waterhouse. He has a perfect record of three from three.

He won the Breeders' Plate on debut back in the Spring by leading all the way beating the highly-fancied Team Hawkes runner Saboog, wh…

Alister Clark Stakes preview

Melbourne's autumn carnival winds down as the attention moves north of the Murray, but Moonee Valley still has a couple of feature races under the Friday night lights before the clocks go back.

This week it's the Alister Clark Stakes for 3yos, a race which launched the career of the mighty Vo Rogue all those years ago... Sharing their shrewd analysis is the team from Premium Racing Services

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Alister Clark Stakes
Moonee Valley
Friday March 20
Race 6 - 9:15PM
G2 3YO, 2040m

PRS Speed Map



Expecting that, having drawn the closest barrier to the rail that No.5 MASTER RESET crosses and leads the field with No.13 MAASTRICHT and No.10 GENERAL JAMES coming across and sitting behind him. The speed outside that trio is reduced, likely enabling this trio to slow the tempo down mid race.

By this time of the night, it will be established whether or not there is a noticeable bias, so play close attention to that as it is a challenge to predict what (if any) bias wi…

Albert Bartlett preview

The last of the G1 Novice Hurdles is the Albert Bartlett, a gruelling three mile test which has thrown up the likes of Wichita Lineman, Bobs Worth and At Fishers Cross in recent years. It's a race that's worth looking at in depth - while there have been four successful favourites under 2/1 in the last decade, there have also been a couple of 33/1 shots claiming victory.

My turn to have a crack at this one, certainly an intriguing contest, even more so by a decent drop of rain overnight.

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Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle
3m New Course, Grade 1
£120,000
1440GMT
Willie Mullins brought a ridiculously strong team to Cheltenham particularly in novice hurdle ranks but was denied in the Neptune by another Irish runner in Windsor Park. This time Willie has five horses in his armoury, and all of them have multiple recent wins.

In racecard order:

Arbre Vie
Lightly-raced French import with only five starts to date, and just two for the Mullins camp. Hard to li…

County Hurdle preview

Amongst the set weight championship races, there are some cracking handicap races during the Festival and the County Hurdle is always near the top of that list. Get out the darts or just listen to the shrewd advice of Adam Webb, @adamwebb121, on the back of tipping the first three in the World Hurdle yesterday.

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Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle
2m1f Handicap, Grade 3, £80,000
1405 GMT

Thank you for all the congratulatory tweets after today’s result. Whilst it didn’t go the way planned, at least the top three I could make a case for finished in the placings. Congratulations to both Gavin Sheehan and Warren Greatrex for their debut wins at the Festival and what a way to do it!

This preview won’t be as long but the County Hurdle is always a minefield with so many potentially well handicapped horses who have been laid out for the race. Ireland head the market with several contenders including Quick Jack who has probably had this race in mind since he fin…

Newmarket Handicap preview

Just a few hours after the hustle and bustle of Cheltenham has ended (although a few of the night clubs will still be cranking!), the spotlight heads back south of the equator to Flemington and Super Saturday. Australia once again has an outstanding generation of sprinters and we may see a couple of these head to Royal Ascot in June.

After tasting success last week with Hallowed Crown, Mitch Fenton, @mitchfenton88 returns to the chair to preview the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap, a race steeped in tradition.

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Lexus Newmarket Handicap
$1 million. 1200m. Group 1.
1550 local time, 0450 GMT

1. LANKAN RUPEE (58.5KG)
Bounced back to his brilliant best first up in the Lightning thrashing Brazen Beau and the undefeated ‘boom horse’ Deep Field, with arrogant ease. Has been weighted with 58.5kg, which has only been carried to victory once in the past 50 + years. (Hay List – 2013). He was beaten fair and square into third by Terravista and Chautauqua in the Gr1 Darley Classic a…

Triumph Hurdle preview

The final day of the Festival kicks off with the juvenile feature, the Triumph. In theory the raw, developing hurdlers should be prone to dealing a surprise or two but those at the pointy end of the market have a very good record in recent years.

After success with Moon Racer in the Champion Bumper, it's the return of Harriet Fuller, @HattieLFuller, to the tipping podium.

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Triumph Hurdle
2m 1f New Course
£120,000 Grade 1 for 4yos
1330 GMT

The Triumph Hurdle betting is dominated by Nicky Henderson with his three runners, Peace and Co (11/4), Hargam (11/2), and Top Notch (8/1). Of these three I would give the latter the best chance tomorrow, but not as good a chance as two of Alan King’s horses.

Peace and Co has done nothing wrong, since his impressive British debut at Doncaster he then went on to win a better race at Cheltenham, confirming his promise. Peace and Co looks every bit a chaser in the making, anything he does this year will be a bonus. Whether…

Cheltenham Gold Cup preview

The feature of the final day, if not the whole Cheltenham Festival, is the Gold Cup. This year's cast isn't rated to be the strongest of all time but it certainly isn't a race where finding the winner is a simple task. And that's before the rain arrived!

In the hotseat for the blue riband event is Chris Day, @chrisday100.

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Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
3m 2.5f New Course, Grade 1
Track GOOD at time of posting but significant rain forecast

What a festival it's been but for many the best is yet to come. We've had the point and fire victories of Mullins' big guns earlier in the week and the fight back of Paul Nicholls with Graded and handicap victories demonstrating just why many of us consider him to be the best trainer and placer of horses we've ever seen.

As we go into the final day the highlight is undoubtedly the Gold Cup, a race which retains the open look it has had since the days when Kauto Star, Denman and Imperial Comman…

World Hurdle preview

The staying hurdler trophy of the week is the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. Maybe not quite as sexy as the Champion Hurdle, but a field of 17 and 11/2 the field in a Grade 1 race is a beautiful and rare thing.

Tasked with the preview for this appealing engagement is Adam Webb, @adamwebb121.

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Ladbrokes World Hurdle
Three miles, Grade 1
1520 GMT

The picture of the 2015 Ladbrokes World Hurdle has been an unclear one for the majority of the season with many twists and turns regarding potential leading contenders, some of whom have fallen by the wayside. Firstly More Of That, last year’s impressive winner who looked to have the world at his feet. We saw him at Newbury’s Hennessy meeting in the Long Distance Hurdle where he looked on paddock appearance to be carrying some condition.

On unfavourable testing ground, he struggled home when third behind Medinas and Cole Harden. Trainer Jonjo O’Neill was quick to suggest he needed a wind operation but ever since, the vibes comi…

Ryanair Chase preview

Day three of the Festival and it's usually one of those days which just feels it is stretched further than it needs to be, a remnant of the expansion from three days to four a decade ago. But the two features this year make up for that. And after the rather disappointing Queen Mother Champion Chase today, perhaps it's for the better that we can erase that memory swiftly by travelling five furlongs further.

Prolific contributor Chris Day, @chrisday100, analyses the big chase of the day, the Ryanair.

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Ryanair Chase
2m5f New course, Grade 1
1440 GMT

The Ryanair Chase is one of Cheltenham’s newest Grade 1s and, despite its detractors, regularly throws up one of the most competitive fields of the week.

Favourite for this year’s contest has long been Don Cossack, unbeaten all season and clear on ratings for the race sponsors. Always held in the highest regard by connections, he appears to be fulfilling his promise and has earned the right to being joll…

Champion Bumper preview

Wednesday's card concludes with the Champion Bumper, a Marmite sort of race that doesn't take everyone's fancy. It still has to be won though, and the bookies will have the satchels open, so let's see what Harriet Fuller, @hattielfuller has found with her magnifying glass...

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Champion Bumper
Two miles, Grade 1 National Hunt Flat
1715 Wednesday

I find myself in an extremely unusual situation this year, as not only do I have a couple of strong fancies for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but I am also looking forward to it.

Normally, when looking through the cards, by the time I stumble upon the bumper I pour myself a large whiskey and put my head in my hands. It is a lottery, last year's winner Silver Concorde I didn’t even give a second look.

But this year is different and there are two horses (maybe three) that I am looking forward to see. And who knows, I could even find the horse that will end the Irish dominance in the race after t…

RSA Chase preview

Second up on Wednesday is the RSA Chase, for novice chasers over three miles. There's a bit of a boom over the favourite here, and after endless debate over which race he should run in, he lines up here in the classier race.

Making his debut on the blog is aspiring Irish writer, Robbie Fahy, @rfahy00. Welcome aboard!

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RSA Chase
3m 110y, Grade 1 Novices' Chase

The RSA has been quite an open race over the last number of seasons. Three of the last five winners have been double digit odds in the market (12/1, 10/1, 16/1) and you have to go back to 2009 (Cooldine) to see the last time a favourite has triumphed in the Novices race.

Winning this race requires many things, accurate jumping, a good traveller and most of all, the hardest thing to find in a novice, a stout stayer. That trick usually does not develop until the later years but with a good quality renewal, it is certain that the winner will need to get every yard of the 3 miles 110 yard contest.

Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle preview

Wednesday's Cheltenham card opens with the Neptune for novice hurdlers, over a slightly longer distance than Tuesday's opener. Once again, it's over to Chris Day, @chrisday100 for his preview.

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Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle
2m5f, Grade 1

The traditional curtain raise on Queen Mother Champion Chase day is The Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle, run over 2 miles 5 furlongs and often considered a better trial for next year’s Champion Hurdle than the Supreme, run over two miles on Tuesday.

This year’s betting is headed by two Willie Mullins’ runners (bet you didn’t expect that), both with very different backgrounds.

Nicholls Canyon, ridden by Ruby Walsh, is an ex-flat horse who rose to a rating of 104 for John Gosden before being bought by Graham Wylie and has won three of his four completed starts over hurdles, only unseating when favourite for a Leopardstown Grade 1 over Christmas. His last run was quite impressive…

Supreme Novices' Hurdle preview

The traditional Festival opener, the race the bookies are falling over themselves trying to give the best customer offer to hook you in for the entire week. So it's not just about finding the winner, it's about finding the best offer - provided you are in the UK or Ireland where you can take advantage of them - bit harder from Australia.

As part of the excitement of arriving early at Cheltenham, it's my turn to preview the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. Tune in at 1330GMT to listen to the roar as the tapes go up on the first race.

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Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Grade 1 Hurdle, 2m 1/2 f
1330 GMT

For weeks this race has all been about the Willie Mullins-trained favourite Douvan. Does he provide the bulletproof start to the Festival for punters, or are there chinks in his armour? This is a race for young, rising hurdlers, so the form isn't completely exposed. Form versus potential, the eternal punters' conundrum...

In saddlecloth order:

Alvisio …