BDH Sky Bet Dash Review: Fahey 4yo still to show his full hand...
A quiet enough weekend for us, with only Redvers pitching into battle for us (more on him in a moment). There were, however, a couple of races of interest for me as I look to increase the BDH squad in search of more under the radar profits. Before I give you the newest member of the squad let's first deal with Saturday's warrior...
Saturday’s BDH runners: Redvers
Ahh, Redvers... Redvers, Redvers, Redvers... what to do with Redvers...
First up was he drawn on the wrong side? After review of the race I would say no. Although the field split into 2 distinct groups I don't think any side had a huge advantage over the other, the way the field finished would back that up.
Did he meet trouble in-running? Personally I would say yes and it was just as he was hitting full stride. Hughes got the gaps alright, the horse started clicking through the gears alright, but at a vital moment 3rd placed finisher Loving Spirit decided to shift and park himself directly in Redvers lane (watch the replay, it's quite noticeable). The effect of this was that Hughes had to take a pull (albeit a small pull) and then restart his mounts forward momentum and challenge all over again...except there was no time to restart his forward momentum and challenge. There wasn't much in it but in a race of spit second actions and decisions it was probably enough. In fact I'm sure Hughes eased up a touch once he new his chance was gone (which is fair enough...to be fair!).
So does Redvers stay in the BDH squad? For now, yes he does. The 'problem' with Redvers is that his running style is always likely to cause him potential traffic issues, he comes from out the back and he comes late, that in itself brings potential traffic jams. Ideally his 5 length defeat will be enough to drop him a pound or 2 from the nice Mr Handicapper, although that may be a bit of wishful thinking from myself!
For now Redvers stays in the BDH troop.
Now time to add another warrior to our squad...
Race in focus: 3.30 York (27-07-2013): Sky Bet Dash – 6f, Class 2 Handicap (20 ran)
How the race played out…
Pace wise this race played out a bit on the strange side, especially with the front-running BOGART depositing his jockey on the turf (saddle slipped) at the 2 furlong pole. It seemed that the field formed a bit of a fragmented large group for most of the race although on closer inspection it was the middle to high numbers that had formed the sturdier group, with the low numbers having their own mini battle in a sub group just off the bulk of the field. BOGART was the main front runner of the pack and until his saddle incident he was the one that was pulling most of the field along. From the low numbers it was PRODIGALITY & FAST SHOT that attempted to stamp their authority on the contest although they never quite got the lead they wanted. The pace map tells us that it was those from middle to high that dominated the finish, even though they actually ended up drifting across the track in the final furlong and ending up fighting the finish out in the lanes of the low numbers. Regardless of this it still suggests there was an advantage following the BOGART side of the field (middle to high) rather than the PRODIGALITY/FAST SHOT side of the field (low).
It was a wee bit of a pace muddle in truth but we can still take positives and negatives from the outcome.
The end result…
Winner TROPICS sat in the middle of the pack and made his winning move in the final couple of furlongs. He has been progressing well this term and was probably still handily handicapped for this contest but I have a small suspicion that the next weight rise will be the one that anchor's him; he probably didn't have all that much in hand at the finish. Second placed SUMMERINTHECITY put in a fine shift and should be on a mark he can win, or at least get close, from; a bit of juice in the ground won't go amiss for him. KHUBALA did well to finish 3rd as he met trouble in-running at a vital time. There is every suggestion he is still on the up and would remain of some sort of interest. Fourth placed PRODIGALITY found himself a bit isolated and is probably better with cover, he is possibly just at the top of his handicap ceiling as well, with that in mind this was a solid run. TAROOQ was hampered slightly 2f out but I don't think he would have necessarily finished much closer than he did. He is clearly much better on the A/W than the turf (8 A/W wins compared to 1 turf win) but he is a massive 20lbs lower on turf than A/W and one feels there has to be a turf race in him off that mark somewhere. Things really didn't go to plan for 6th placed BACCARAT. He missed the break and was on the back hoof for most of the first 3 or 4 furlongs. Paul Hanagan did manage to coax him back into the contest but he was then hampered by the tumbling Amy Ryan (Bogart's jockey) and despite finishing like a train his mishaps pretty much cost him any better than 6th place. Despite everything it was still a noteworthy run and fully suggested there is still more than enough to come from his current mark.
BDH(s) to follow…
BACCARAT (6th) (R Fahey)
Quite simply things did not pan out for this improving 4yo. Stall 5 wasn't a great draw, as the pace map tells us, and the fact he missed the break just made it all the more difficult for him. Despite Hanagan working him back into the race he didn't really have that much to hook onto the back of so the fast finishing effort deserves marking up a touch, in my opinion anyway. The interference he suffered also put a rather big, Amy Ryan shaped, spanner in the works and in the end a 3.5L defeat was a pretty good result.
From a handicapping viewpoint there really does look like there is plenty more still to come from his mark of 94 and I can't believe for one minute that this is his limit. At a rough estimation we are probably looking at a 100 rated horse, at least.
It's hard to assess if it was the missed break or the generous early pace that left him floundering out the back (probably 75% break - 25% 6f pace) but I do feel a step back up to 7 furlong would not go amiss, there is plenty enough stamina there and he does already have form over the longer trip.
This would be the 2nd race in a row that he has been dealt a poor hand by the draw dealers, admittedly it was worse in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, and I really feel he is a potent weapon waiting to strike from a handy draw. With only 7 career starts to his name there still looks plenty more to come this son of Dutch Art.
Conditions – I'm looking for 7 furlongs as an ideal but 6 furlongs would be perfectly adequate. He seems to cope well with the Good & Good to Firm ground so hopefully it stays dry for a bit longer.
He is stacking up some decent form lines, is in form and his mark looks well within his range, he is an improving 4yo I'm very happy to add to our squad.
Baccarat now enters my Proform ‘Horse Watcher’ tool and I will post on the Blog when he is due to run next.
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Ben Aitken (BDH)