James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Nineteen
No HTF winners in the past week, sadly, but there should have been one as Redvers somehow managed to get himself beaten in a big Ascot handicap on Saturday. Under Ted Durcan, he travelled well throughout, hit the front a furlong from home and looked to have it easily sewn up afterwards. However, he got lonely in-front, idled/pulled himself up and got caught on the line to finish a head-second (done at 1.01 in-running).
Fort Bastion ran in the same race as the above and performed excellently, finishing in a half-length fourth of the seventeen to land each-way money for those who are that way inclined (SP of 20/1, so there may have been a few!). He was wearing first-time blinkers there, which seemed to help, and if they continue to work so well then he’ll be of interest again in some decent handicaps. The handicapper, however, may hit him a bit.
Others to line up included Confessional, Monsieur Chevalier and Moviesta. The first mentioned went off as a well-backed favourite in a decent Haydock handicap but could never land a blow, whilst the second finished in mid-division when contesting the valuable London Mile Final at Kempton. Both can be persisted with for a while, but Moviesta comes off the list after flopping (had a tough task over 6f) in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
The mid-week columns went all right with Music Master finishing third in the Sprint Cup at Haydock and Ocean Tempest running a decent race in the Superior Mile at the same track. Neither were up to it, but weren’t disgraced. Our Kempton racecard preview last Wednesday went well enough with two winners from the five runners, Thane Of Cawdor & Barnmore coming up trumps to land plenty of market support (7/1 > 11/4 & 6/1 > 9/2). There will be more similarly-framed All-Weather preview columns in the upcoming weeks and months.
HTF representatives with entries this week coming; Boomerang Bob, Burano, Confessional, Dark Castle, Jamaican Bolt, Magic Hurricane, Mezzotint, Mount Logan, & Stomachion.
Horses To Follow – Week Nineteen:
Novirak (6th September) –
Novirak, one would assume, has had his problems, that backed up by the fact that he has only had six outings in the last couple of years. Two of those have come this term, firstly at Newbury last month and then again at Haydock on Saturday, and on each occasion he has performed as well as he ever had done previously. I thought there was definite promise at the weekend when James Fanshawe’s 6-year-old lined up in the valuable Old Borough Cup over 1m 6f, a trip that looked likely to stretch him in times gone by. Despite that, he ran a cracker, running on well at the finish into a highly creditable fourth place, less than 3-lengths an improving sort who always promised to win good races. The form appears to be strong enough and I don’t think that we’ve got to see the very best of Novirak just yet, so he might be worth taking forward. It’s also possible that he’ll come on for that run and it’s unlikely that he’d be inconvenienced by the rain coming out and the ground softening underfoot. Anyway, I’ll keep him on side for a run or two and expect an even better effort NTO.
Secret Witness (6th September) –
There’s no doubting that Secret Witness is vulnerable to a progressive sort these days, but he’s still capable of producing some good runs and shaped well when tenth in a big field handicap at Ascot on Saturday. It all seemed to be happening a little quick there, with the 8-year-old coming under pressure towards the rear sooner than you’d hope, but he wasn’t stopping at the line and being beaten just 4-lengths is hardly a disgrace. The fact that his finishing position goes down as a duck-egg will do no harm when it comes to his next time out price and off a rating of around 89, he’s certainly weighted to be going close in something. He’s now 3lbs lower than when beaten just a neck in a valuable handicap over 5f at York earlier in the season and 9lbs below the mark he went close to winning the Portland off at this stage of last season. It’s possible that he’ll be reaching boiling point before too long and with two good recent runs under his belt, it may even be this week. He has three engagements at Doncaster and I’m likely to be tempted into backing him in one of those.
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