James Boyle’s Horses To Follow – Week Ten
Safe to say that I couldn’t have got things more wrong in the week gone by. Verrazano was a fairly confident selection in Saturday’s Coral Eclipse, with the step up in trip taken to bring about the improvement needed to see Aidan O’Brien’s charge gain a first top-level success on these shores. However, it wasn’t forthcoming and the horse was a massive disappointment, trailing home in last place, beaten a long way from the line.
Some will claim that he was a non-stayer, but they’d be wrong. For whatever reason, in what was a farce of a race anyway – Somewhat finishing third says it all – the colt never fired and Ryan Moore was very quick to blame the ground, with the pre-race showers loosening the top of it (The Fugue hated it as well). I am going to have to give up the ghost with this fellow at some point, but this wasn’t the real version of him. No chance.
Earlier on the same day, Ahtoug was my ante-post selection in the Coral Charge and although clearly not as bad as the above, he didn’t run to his true worth. There are no ground excuses with him, he just wasn’t firing either for whatever reason and might simply prefer the warmer climate out in Dubai. Horses are odd beasts.
The disappointment continued with the HTF representatives. Burano was ridden incorrectly once again in a big handicap, held up in rear and then meeting trouble when trying to pick up… again. It’s the story of his season in truth and I just hope and pray that connections quit being idiotic and ride the horse prominently over a mile, or else step him up to 1m 2f. It is getting on my nerves at this stage to keep losing cash on the same horse, but there’s a big race in him and I’m persisting for another while yet. It will eventually pay off… I hope.
Dominate lined up in an Epsom sprint handicap and wasn’t disgraced, keeping on over 6f to be little more than 3-lengths behind the winner. That track didn’t seem to overly favour him and the race wasn’t run to suit either, so there’s every season to expect better next time. Running Reef was the other we were cheering on and he ran all right to grab a place in a 6f handicap at Carlisle. A step up in trip is needed as he’s not a sprinter, nor was he ever expected to line up as one when I put him on the list! 7f is his real distance, nothing else.
None of that was too fun to write! Hopefully we’ll have a couple of winners in the upcoming week. Those entered are; Barnet Fair, Confessional, Dominate, Moviesta & Running Reef.
Horses To Follow – Week Ten:
Reedcutter (5th July) –
Makes a nice change to be adding an unexposed sort to the HTF list! Reedcutter clearly wasn’t expected to be much of a racehorse when he went through the ring as a yearling and came out the other side having been sold for 1,000gns, but James Toller has got the colt to win two races – a maiden & a handicap off 80 – and I suspect that there’s at least another victory in the locker waiting to come out. I backed him at the weekend in a 7f h’cap at Sandown as he was dropping a couple of furlongs in trip, something I expected to suit, but the fast ground made it a task too difficult and despite travelling really well (hit evens in-running), he couldn’t quicken when let down. The ground/trip combination got the better of him in my opinion and when upped in trip to a mile – back on a less speed-demanding surface, possibly – we’ll see a better performance. There’s one more handicap in him.
Showboating (5th July) –
I wouldn’t like to tally up the amount of money I’ve lost on Showboating down the years but hopefully that can be righted sometime soon. The 6-year-old gelding usually finishes his races off too late in the day and it was a similar story on Saturday at Leicester when he was a few lengths behind Forest Edge in fourth place. However, the pace, despite being a good one, didn’t really collapse as he would have wanted it to and if those up top aren’t stopping, this fellow will always find the line coming too soon. I would also put forward the argument that he’s a much better animal around a bend, which he obviously didn’t have at the weekend, and that being combined with fast underfoot conditions may have deadened him somewhat. It was a run suggesting he’s still in sound order at least and if the handicapper drops him a pound or two, he’ll be capable of popping up in a similar handicap soon.
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