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Bond Chairman seeks Listed breakthrough at Newbury

Bryan Smart’s Bond Chairman bids to make it third time lucky at Listed level in the Ire Incentive, It Pays To Buy Irish Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury.

Bond Chairman was fourth of 27 in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot last month – a performance which persuaded Smart a move up to this trip of six furlongs may be in order.

The Kodiac colt, a winning debutant at Musselburgh in April, had to settle for a near five-length fifth in Sandown’s National Stakes on his second career start.

But his North Yorkshire trainer saw enough when he significantly outran odds of 66-1 at Ascot to have high hopes of a big run on Friday.

“He looks in good form, we’re very happy with him,” said Smart.

“After his Ascot run, we thought it looked like he should get six (furlongs), so I’m hoping he’ll run a big race for us tomorrow.

“You don’t know until you run them, do you? You think they’ll get it but they don’t always, but that’s the thing – if you don’t run them you won’t know.

“We’ll have to do it at some stage of the season, so we’re going to go tomorrow and see how we go.”

Clive Cox’s Caturra will also line up, in a field of nine, having last been seen at the Royal meeting – over this trip when seventh in the Group Two Coventry Stakes.

“He ran very respectably in the Coventry,” said Cox.

“He’s a really nice colt, and this looks like a positive way forward at this moment in time.

“He’s a colt we’ve always liked, and I feel he’s progressing and becoming more confident.”

Martyn Meade’s Detail has just one previous run under his belt, a winning debut at Newmarket in late June.

The gelding was slowly away but led late on to prevail by a neck.

Manton trainer Meade said: “I was really pleased with the way he won at Newmarket – he missed the break and was pretty green on his first time out, but he managed to weave his way through the entire field and won quite well.

“I thought we might as well double-jump him (in grade) and put him in at the deep end to see how good he is.

“Obviously it’s a huge step up – but on that run it’s difficult to assess just how good he is, because he had such a disadvantage to start with.

“If that was as bad as I thought, then he’s got to have a good chance tomorrow.”

Richard Hannon is represented by Goldilocks, a course-and-distance winner last time in a fillies’ novice.

Andrew Balding’s Frankella seeks her second career success after showing some of the ability of her stately parentage when victorious in a Newmarket maiden last week.

Ian Williams’ Oneforthegutter and Charlie Hills’ Orazio both put the credentials of their winning debuts on the line – while Robert Cowell’s Little Earl bids for a second victory in six starts.

Smart mulling York return for Project Dante

Bryan Smart has York’s Ebor meeting in mind for Project Dante following the two-year-old’s fine performance at Royal Ascot.

The Group Two Gimcrack Stakes and possibly the Nunthorpe, a Group One against older horses, are the two races Smart is likely to consider for his exciting youngster at the showpiece Festival in August.

Project Dante went close to snatching victory in the Norfolk Stakes on Thursday after being denied a clear run, beaten only a head and a nose in third place in the Group Two contest over five furlongs won by Perfect Power.

“Firstly I just want to get him over Royal Ascot,” said Smart.

“To go to Royal Ascot, I normally like to get two runs into them, and he only had the one. He will improve again for education.

“He’ll be entered in most of the smart races. We will definitely look at the Gimcrack. He’ll be entered in that, and I might give him an entry in the Nunthorpe.

“I think he’ll get six, and he could be a better horse over that trip, but we’ll just play it by ear. When you’ve got a nice horse like him, you just want to take your time and let the horse do the talking.”

Smart reports Project Dante, who made a successful debut at York last month, to have taken Royal Ascot remarkably well.

“He’s come out of the race like an absolute raging bull,” said the North Yorkshire trainer.

“He’s as fresh as paint. He was out in his pen in the sunshine having a pick of grass with his mate (Bond Chairman) at the side of him.”

Smart, who won the Nunthorpe with 40-1 outsider Alpha Delphini three years ago, reflected with pride rather than anguish at Project Dante’s Norfolk near miss.

“He ran a great race,” he said.

“That’s how it happens, that’s racing. You take the rough with the smooth. He finished really well.

“Me and (jockey) Graham (Lee) discussed it beforehand. We felt we had a good draw (16), but I said before he went out that it could be a bad draw if they all went across – and they did.

“He’s obviously a very good horse, and I’m very proud of him.”

Stat of the Day, 6th June 2020

Friday's pick was...

2.05 Lingfield : Corvair @ 7/2 BOG 8th at 10/3 (Chased leaders, ridden 2f out, faded inside final 100 yards)

Saturday's pick runs in the...

4.30 Newcastle :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Currently, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Astrozone @ 9/1 or 17/2 BOG

...in a 12-runner, Class 5, A/W handicap for 3yo over 5f on Tapeta worth £3,493 to the winner...

Why?...

Saturday is generally a pretty tough day for us guys who stick our necks out each morning and publicly suggest a horse is worth a second look. Today is probably tougher still with the obvious lack of recent form/data to go on.

With that in mind, I've opted to seek one with a chance at a decent price, which won't upset me if it doesn't win. I'll keep the stats fairly simple and I'll also graphically (not up to Matt's standard, mind) demonstrate why I think we could have a chance.

Astrozone is a 3 yr old filly who has made the frame in each of her last six runs, all at this class (5) and trip (5f) and has proved versatile regarding going/surface. She was a winner two starts ago (runner-up LTO) off a mark of 66 and is eased a pound today back to an OR of 65.

She is trained by Bryan Smart whose modest figures since the start of 2017 of...

...are dramatically improved to...

...when looking at his sub-12/1 handicappers here at Newcastle with an Impact Value of 2.12. These 54 runners, when assessed against today's conditions are...

  • 11 from 48 (22.9%) for 36.4pts (+75.9%) at Classes 4 to 6
  • 6 from 24 (25%) for 11.92pts (+49.7%) after finishing 2nd to 4th LTO
  • 5 from 20 (25%) for 25.6pts (+127.7%) off a mark of 56-65
  • and 3 from 7 (42.9%) for 24.31pts (+347.3%) after a 3 to 6 month layoff

She's drawn in stall 9 which seems to be smack bang in the middle of the where the pace is expected to be

in a contest where being drawn high also seems favourable as shown in the pace/draw heat map

There's enough there in the data/graphics to suggest we should at least get a good run for our money at a nice price...

...hence me going for...a 1pt win bet on Astrozone @ 9/1 or 17/2 BOG as was offered by Bet365 and 888Sport/Hills respectively at 8.15am Saturday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting...

...click here for the betting on the 4.30 Newcastle

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!