In the first of a new weekly series, Andrew Watson of Cleeve Racing marks our card with his Eye Catchers from the previous week's racing. This week's trio are below.
William Hill Ayr Bronze Cup (Handicap) - 20th September, 2013
This was a pretty impressive run for a three year old to finish third in the Ayr Bronze Cup, only beaten just over half a length by the winner. This was also his first attempt in a class 2 against older horses, so perhaps he needs a fast pace to bring out the best in him. I should also mention his young jockey George Chaloner who has impressed me a lot this season. He has a very calm approach and seems to bring out improvement in his mounts no matter what type of race he is riding in.
He does not have any current entries, but I would keep an eye on him especially if teamed with young Chaloner again in the next month or so. He is one to follow in the big sprints next season and will probably end up in the Ayr Gold Cup next season if he continues to improve.
Another thing to note is that he is only an April foal, so is still very young for a three year old, which makes his performance even more noteworthy.
Dubai Duty Free Handicap - Newbury 21st September
I had selected Saxo Jack on the basis that he was improving race by race and most of the other runners had questions marks over distance, form and going. He ultimately ended up as a losing bet despite being visibly the best horse in the race.
His young jockey was sitting pretty much still as a statue for most of the race, whilst waiting for a gap to open, and if he had waited a bit longer it probably would have done. But Gary Carroll decided to move Saxo Jack away from the rail but he ran into a wall of horses each time he tried to make a move. When the gap actually arrived there were about 7 lengths to make up in less than three hundred yards. Saxo Jack then appeared to sprout wings as he flew home going down by about a length and a half.
This type of result is very frustrating as a tipster (and of course for all of us as punter)s, but at least we have confirmation that Saxo Jack is good enough to win at this level, and probably if stepped up to listed level.
He does hold an entry at Dundalk on 4th October in a Group 3, and it would not surprise me to see him win that given a clear run. If you spot a horse which can sow the acceleration at the end of a middle distance race like Saxo Jack showed on Saturday, they are always worth following.
William Hill Ayr Silver Cup (Handicap) - 21st September, 2013
I put up Sir Reginald when he won a week ago at Doncaster, a performance that confirmed he was improving and needed a bit of cut in the ground. Richard Fahey confirmed this in an interview when he pointed out that foot problems had accounted for Sir Reginald’s previous poor showings on faster surfaces.
I thought that he would not have a problem dropping back to 6 furlongs, and would relish the going at Ayr so tipped him again to take the Silver Cup. About one furlong to go I was pretty sure that we had a winner at a decent price in the bag, as Sir Reginald was absolutely cruising. Unfortunately when he hit the front there were no other finishers in his group and he stopped, only running on when the horses on the stands rails passed him.
Hopefully Richard Fahey will now give instructions to hold the horse up and give him plenty of cover until the final furlong. If that is done and there is cut in the ground (anything with the word soft) over 6 or even 7 furlongs, then he can win another of these big field handicaps. Next time out we should be able to get a decent price after he finished out of the frame here.
He is entered in a Heritage Handicap at Ascot on 5th October so perhaps he will make a nice double with Saxo Jack who is also entered up that weekend!!
Cleeve Racing is an established racing advisory service run by professional bettor, Andrew Watson. Cleeve is consistently top of the Racing-Index tipster proofing charts, and always seeks value at 'working man's prices'. Find out more about Andrew and Cleeve Racing here.