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Wednesday, 10 October 2018

2.40 York, Friday, October 12

Notwithstanding any allowances, in the Racebets Money Back 2nd 3rd 4th Handicap (2.40) at York on Friday, Mikmak finished 10 lengths behind Waarif on their most recent meeting at Ayr last month, but only a neck behind the same horse, on 2lb worse terms, on their previous meeting at Ripon in August. In between times, Tim Easterby’s 5-year-old finished only sixth of nine, when favourite, in the Ripon Rowels Handicap, but was yet to be asked for an effort when hampered with two furlongs to run and is probably best forgiven that effort.

Rain is forecast in North Yorkshire on Thursday and Friday but, with the going on the Knavesmire currently good, Mikmak will almost certainly encounter faster underfoot conditions then he did at Ayr. If so, in receipt of 13lb, he looks extraordinarily well handicapped with Waarif this time around and, although still 7lb higher in the weights than when last winning, at Thirsk in August, may not be prohibitively encumbered just yet.

Three wins from 28 starts on turf – albeit two of which have come in ten starts since joining Tim Easterby from William Muir last April – is hardly prolific, but the Makfi gelding is fairly consistent and has winning form on good, good to soft and heavy going, so should give us a run for our money whatever the weather between now and Friday afternoon. At 20/1, or thereabouts, in the ante post lists, Mikmak looks worth a sporting wager.

Selection: York 2.40 Mikmak to win 16/1

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Music To My Ears!

Dust off the Vinyls out of the garage, I'm looking for my horse to glide to a sophisticated win!

Thursday, 27 September 2018

3.40 Newmarket, Saturday, September 29

In terms of competition, horse races don’t come much ‘deeper’ than the first leg of the traditional “Autumn Double”, the Cambridgeshire Handicap (3.40) at Newmarket on Saturday. The race, which has a safety limit of 35, typically features a perplexing mixture of dyed-in-the-wool handicappers and progressive, unexposed three-year-olds, not to mention the odd out-and-out ‘plot’ horse, so winners at 50/1, 40/1, 25/1, 16/1 and 14/1 (three times) in the last ten years come as no great surprise.

One that we hope can follow in their footsteps, though, is Stuart Williams’ four-year-old Via Serendipity, who has been a model of consistency this season and fully deserves to win a valuable prize. That said, the Invincible Spirit gelding has failed to trouble the judge just once – and, on that occasion, finished fifth of 27, beaten just 1¼ lengths, in the Victoria Cup at Ascot – in six starts this season, winning at Sandown in June and at Ascot last month.

Both wins came over a mile but, while he has yet to run over further, Via Serendipity shapes as though an extra furlong is well within his compass and may, indeed, bring about further improvement. A 3lb rise in the weights for winning the Shergar Cup Mile at Ascot last time looks entirely fair and, with winning form on good to firm and good going, he should have underfoot conditions to his liking on the Rowley Mile. Gerald Mosse, who has an 8-44 (18%) strike rate on the course, for a massive 100.25 points level stakes profit, is an interesting jockey booking.

At 25/1 in the ante post price lists, Via Serendipity looks worth a speculative wager and, with leading bookmakers likely to bet on five, six or seven places on the day, even makes some appeal for a little each-way ‘tickle’.

Selection: Newmarket 3.40 Via Serendipity to win   2-1

Sunday, 23 September 2018

3.20 Beverley, Tuesday, September 25

In the Colin McGurran @ Beverley Racecourse Handicap (3.20) at the East Yorkshire course on Monday, Twin Appeal can race off his lowest handicap mark since winning a similar 0-75 contest at Newcastle four years ago and may be capable of ending a losing run that stretches back to Wolverhampton last December. The Oratorio gelding joined Karen Tutty from David Barron in August and, after two creditable efforts in defeat in 0-80 contests at Thirsk and York, respectively, could be ready to open his account for his new yard.

He has yet to win on going officially described as softer than ‘good to soft’, but has run well enough, in limited attempts, on ‘soft’ and ‘heavy’ going to suggest that he’s not unduly inconvenienced by testing underfoot conditions. His latest win, of any description, came in a 0-85 handicap, over 7 furlongs, on the Tapeta surface at Wolverhampton, off a handicap mark of 83, last December and his latest win on grass came in a 0-95 handicap, again over 7 furlongs, at Musselburgh, off a handicap mark of 89, the previous April. Either piece of form makes his current handicap mark of 74 look extraordinarily lenient, if he retains at least a fraction of his ability, and fitness-wise, he should be spot on after two recent ‘sighters’ for new connections. Gemma Tutty, who’s ridden him on both occasions, takes off a useful 3lb, which only adds to his appeal in a moderate contest.

Selection: Beverley 3.20 Twin Appeal to win 16/1