James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Thirteen
An all right sort of week to report, but not a mind-blowing one! Taghrooda was the best winner, justifying her selection in the King George by powering home to score by 3-lengths in a field full of classy middle-distance performers. I thought that she’d win given the age and sex allowances that she was in receipt of, but sure as hell wasn’t expecting such a dominating performance. The sporting nature of her connections’ decision to run her in this instead of the Irish Oaks (which would have been an easy task) paid off in grand style and it’d be interesting to see how she’d go if we had a good ground (soft wouldn’t suit) Arc at the end of the term.
Maid In Rio was the other winner and she drifted to a bonus price of 5/2 before the off. Given her madly progressive ways, she was always likely to have a huge chance if truly staying the 2-mile trip (first attempt). That she did, scooting miles clear of the others to win by a mammoth 9-lengths and to say that she was impressive would be a massive understatement. Plenty went right in-running as she got to dictate her own pace, but you’ll rarely see such an easy winner of a valuable handicap and there’s little doubt that she’ll be hunting black-type in the coming months. Connections may well turn her out again quickly under a penalty at Goodwood this week and based on how she’s handling her races this season, she will be hard beaten.
The HTF representatives didn’t fare so well. Joe Eile flopped completely at Newcastle and although I should probably give up on my dreams of backing him on a going day, I’ll persist for another while as he hasn’t been on the list for long. Reedcutter ran at Lingfield and was really well supported, more than halving in price throughout the day. However, the track wasn’t riding to favour him and he bombed out completely, so the money went astray. I’m giving him another chance as there was enough against him to suggest that he should be forgiven, for all that it was a beyond brutal effort. Running Reef was below-par and he’s now removed from the list, as is Showboating after his no-show at Newcastle, whilst the Hugo Plamer trained Short Squeeze performed creditably off top-weight in a hot York handicap. The 7f trip may not have suited entirely and he’s one to remain on our side for the moment. Last up, but not least, came Barnet Fair (backed from 8’s into 9/2) and he was a frustrating second over his favourite C&D at Ascot. To see him beaten by Racy (woof) is sickening!
For the upcoming week, those with entries include; Barnet Fair, Boomerang Bob, Burano, Confessional, Moviesta & Polski Max. Hopefully there’ll be a winner or six somewhere.
Horses To Follow – Week Thirteen:
Magic Hurricane (29th July) –
I’m lucky this isn’t called the eye-catcher column anymore as Magic Hurricane wouldn’t exactly fit into that category given his performance on day one at Glorious Goodwood. The completely unexposed 4-year-old was sent off as the 13/2 favourite for a hot handicap and was clearly fancied to go a couple of places better than his third in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock previously, that despite dropping from 1m 4f to 1m 2f. Given the way he frequently travels (it’s impressive), I thought that the drop in trip would be perfect but what I wasn’t anticipating was the ground and track proving completely unsuitable. For the most part, he moved fine, but when let down the response wasn’t great and he started lugging to his right and leaning on top of another runner. That would help to indicate that he was feeling something and more so than the trip, I’m marking it down as the fast ground ruining him. He’s a lot better than the form would suggest, as his Haydock spin shows, and there’s a nice race for him to win once he’s back on a flatter venue with plenty more ease underfoot.
Redvers (26th July) –
Some may think that it’s odd to suggest that the International Handicap’s sixteenth placed horse is one to take forward and keep on side, but he is in my book and could pop up in a decent race before the season’s out. Ed Vaughan’s 6-year-old hasn’t stood much racing this term for a variety of racing (ground and getting balloted out) but the lack of any spins around may do no harm as he’ll be a fresh horse whilst others have gone over the top and he was better than the bare finishing position suggested on Saturday. For one, he was too far back in a race that didn’t pan out to suit him and, two, he shaped as if in need of the outing, travelling well enough before fading badly inside the last furlong or so. If he does improve for it and is found a race soon, he’ll be of interest to me and the handicapper has dropped him 1lb to 96, which is just 1lb above his last success; that was gained when getting the better of 2014 Victoria Cup winner Gabriel’s Lad in a valuable handicap at Ascot last September and is solid form given what the then 99-rated runner-up has done since.
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