Venturous seeking another victory in Newcastle conditions heat

Venturous bids to secure a fourth victory from his last five starts in the Betway Conditions Stakes at Newcastle on Tuesday.

After impressing on heavy ground at Doncaster in late October, David Barron’s charge followed up over this course and distance a few weeks later, before coming up short when bidding for a hat-trick at Wolverhampton.

However, he bounced back to winning ways at Dunstall Park last month and will be well fancied to add to his tally in this All-Weather Championships Fast-Track Qualifier.

Barron said: “The horse is in good fettle. We’re limited as to where we can go with him now and this was the obvious race to go for, so we’ll hope for the best.

“At this stage there isn’t a plan. He’s done very well. This is obviously a qualifier for the sprint at Lingfield on Good Friday, which is over six furlongs, and he’s arguably better at five.

“That being said, we are in a position with him now where, at his age (eight), and he looks to be in the form of his life, that if he’s fit and well at the time we’d probably run him (at Lingfield).”

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Venturous is the highest-rated of seven declared runners. His rivals include the Stuart Williams-trained pair of Tawny Port and Royal Birth, David Griffiths’ veteran Ornate and Exalted Angel from Karl Burke’s yard, who has finished behind Venturous on his last two outings.

“Exalted Angel is in great order and I am looking forward to seeing him run,” said Burke.

“He has been a bit tardy out of the stalls on his last couple of starts, which has left him with ground to make up. I think he would have definitely beaten Venturous at Newcastle had he jumped on terms.

“If he jumps reasonably well on Tuesday and is able to track the leaders, he will run a big race. He is a nice horse on the upgrade.”

A place on All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday is also up for grabs in the Bombardier Conditions Stakes, in which Burke is represented by Born To Be Alive.

Twice a runner-up at Listed level, the seven-year-old returned from a 896-day absence to finish second at Wolverhampton on Boxing Day.

“Born To Be Alive is obviously coming back after an injury. He ran well at Wolverhampton, albeit in a messy race after Mick Appleby’s horse (Big Country) came down,” Burke added.

“He came to win his race and just blew up really, so he will definitely come on fitness-wise, and we have always felt that he is better over a mile rather than a bit further.

“It looks a tough race, but he deserves a crack at it.”

Ummalnar is a major contender for William Haggas and Tom Marquand following a six-length romp in a Listed event at Dundalk in November.

Haggas said: “Ummalnar has been fine since her win in Ireland. This race fits in well in preparation for Dubai at the end of the month – she is heading out there for the Cape Verdi on January 28.

“Beyond that, I would say it is very possible that she will come back here to run on the all-weather.”

Group Two winner Vintager represents Simon and Ed Crisford, after making a winning debut for his new connections at Chantilly last month.

Count Of Amazonia (Marco Botti) and Bless Him (David Simcock) are the other hopefuls.

Racing Insights, 4th November 2020

The highlighted Finoah found one too good for him at Redcar this afternoon and I'm writing this piece ahead of the Newcastle race, so that's all I can report on right now, as I'm now looking forward to Wednesday, where the feature of the day is the excellent Trainer Statistics report, a veritable mine of information, whilst the daily free races are as follows...

  • 12.40 Nottingham
  • 2.05 Dundalk
  • 3.00 Lingfield
  • 5.50 Kempton
  • 7.50 Kempton

And as I like the Trainer Statistics report so much, I'll using that as the base for my piece today, focusing on course 1 year handicap form, where Team Crisford stand out as follows...

Five wins from sixteen with two further places is good work, and an IV figure of 3.24 is excellent. The team are very profitable to follow in such contests, so let's look at their two runners for tomorrow...

In the 6.50 race, Roulston Scar is a 4 yr old gelding returning from an unplaced finish 25 days ago to race here in a 9-runner, Class 2, 3yo+ Handicap over 6f worth £12291, whilst the 7.20 race features Myseven, a 3 yr old filly who was also unplaced last time out (28 days ago) and she now tackles a 6-runner, Class 3, 3yo+ Handicap over 1m4f for a top prize of just over £7,000.

So, both race in 3yo+ handicaps a similar length of time after an unplaced effort and both will be ridden by William Buick. A closer look at the Crisford's recent 5/16 record shows that they are 15 from 51 (29.4% SR) in handicaps here with horses sent off at odds ranging from Evens to 12/1 since the start of 2017, so they've done consistently well and those 51 runners include the following data relevant to both runners here...

  • 8 wins from 29 (27.6%) after an unplaced effort LTO
  • 7 wins from 22 (31.8%) after a break of 16 to 30 days
  • and 1 win from 4 (25%) under jockey William Buick 

As for Class, sex, age and race length, those runners are...

  • 4 from 14 (28.6%, Myseven) at Class 3, but 0 from 2 at Class 2 (Roulston Scar)
  • 10 from 31 (32.3%, RS) from males and 5 from 20 (25%. M7) from females
  • 12 from 37 (32.4%, M7) from 3 yr olds and 1 from 9 (11.1%, RS) from 4 yr olds
  • 3 from 7 (42.9%, M7) over 1m4f and 4 from 10 (40%, RS) over 6f

Nothing massively conclusive there, but on pure data alone, the filly Myseven edges it. Time now, to look at them in more detail starting with Roulston Scar in the 6.50 race...

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The racecard tells us today's jockey William Buick is in decent nick and has a good record at the venue, that our runner has two wins and a place from his last five outings and will run off a mark of 104 today. He has no speed rating, as this is his All-Weather debut and that also affects his T/L/D  numbers, as he has no winning A/W mark to compare, but he did win off 102 two starts ago in another Class 2, 6f handicap when William Buick steered him home despite if being his first run in 359 days.

He's 4 from 7 at this trip in handicaps and is 4 from 5 in 7-10 runner contests. He looks reasonably well drawn here in stall 3 as he does like to get on with it early, but may find some competition for the lead from inside.

He won on his seasonal reappearance (359 days off track), but a combination of Soft ground and only a short 13 day rest probably contributed to him finishing last of 21, some 27 lengths off the pace in the Coral Sprint Trophy at York next/last time out.

No previous A/W run does complicate the issue somewhat, but I'm initially happy to ignore that last run. He won off a long break, back in April 2019, lost second time out then before winning his third start of that campaign, so I'm hopeful he could repeat that feat.

And now to the 7.20 race and Myseven...

Two wins from her last three starts is encouraging, the latest of which was a course and distance success in mid-September. She's 6lb higher than that win and now runs off a mark of 81, which looked too much at Nottingham last time out, although that was over 1m6f and on soft ground, so this looks an easier task on paper at least.

It's hard to really assess what suits her best after just five starts, but she clearly looks better at 1m3.5f/1m4f, where both career wins have come. The pace/draw angle is very interesting here and leaves plenty open to interpretation. The data/stats say they'll all want to hang back, but somebody has to lead. We could get a slow tactical affair, where the race will be taken by a "finisher" or one of the six might just take it on and hope to tough it out.

With that in mind, it might be of interest to read the summary of her two wins, firstly over 1m3.5f at Lingfield "...always prominent, led early, headed over 8f out, pushed along for effort 3f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, stayed on well...", whilst for her C&D win two starts ago "...raced keenly tracking leaders, pushed along in close 2nd 2f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, pressed briefly inside final furlong, stayed on well and drew away final 100 yards..." , suggesting she might well step forward to try and nick this from the front.

If she responds to the switch back to the A/W, then she could well have a major say here.


Of the two Crisford/Buick hopefuls here, I do like the filly Myseven slightly more than Roulston Scar. Both will look to bounce back from poor runs in tough conditions on grass, but I think the filly's race is marginally less competitive overall and has fewer runners to contend with.

I can certainly see Myseven making the frame, but much will depend on the favourite Crown Power and how she handles the switch to handicaps. She might not be too badly treated off a mark of 85 after a comfortable win here last time out and as the runner-up and fourth placed horses have both won since (off admittedly much lower marks). Price-wise, I had Myseven as a 3/1 shot behind the favourite, so the market is pretty much in agreement.

Roulston Scar, on the other, hand presents a dilemma, I've got him finishing mid-division at around a 6/1 chance due to a lack of A/W action, but I think he's better than that. He does need to bounce back from a bad defeat at York, but as I said earlier, there were plenty of mitigating circumstances at play. If he runs as well as he was doing pre-York and he handles the surface, then he could quite easily make the frame. In fact he could actually go on and win it, but the ifs and buts prevent me from backing him on this occasion.


Dance hoping Mill Reef rivals feel the Rhythm

John Dance has more reason than most to be excited ahead of the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

The owner of the top-class racemare Laurens will not only see his colours carried by the hugely-promising Rhythm Master in the Group Two contest, but he also bred another leading contender in the unbeaten Bahrain Pride.

The Richard Fahey-trained Rhythm Master was a 16-1 winner on his debut at Haydock, but proved that performance was no fluke by finishing an excellent third behind a couple of Royal Ascot winners in Campanelle and Nando Parrado in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville last month.

Dance said: “We’ve been delighted with Rhythm Master and I’m very much looking forward to the race on Saturday.

“I can’t say Richard was surprised to see him win at Haydock, but it wasn’t until after the race that I fully cottoned on. Looking back now he’d made some comments beforehand that suggested he thought he was pretty good, but it didn’t really register with me.

“He won really nicely and the form worked out quite well, which is why Richard decided to pitch him in the Group One at Deauville.

“He was very green, particularly in the preliminaries. I don’t think he could believe he could see thousands of people, as there was obviously no crowd at Haydock – it was very much like the first day at school for him.

“I think the soft ground was a bit of a a shock as well, so for him to run as well as he did was very encouraging and also left the impression that there’s hopefully more to come.”

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A son of Kodiac out of Life Of Pi, Bahrain Pride was bred by Dance’s Salcey Forest Stud before being sold at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale for 125,000 guineas. He was subsequently bought at the breeze-ups in June of this year by owners KHK Racing Ltd for 300,000 guineas.

A winner on his racecourse debut at Windsor in mid-August, he successfully graduated to Listed class with victory in the Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy a fortnight later.

Dance added: “I really hope he finishes second, for obvious reasons.

“If he finishes in front of us, he better win!”

Bahrain Pride is two from two for the Crisford team
Bahrain Pride is two from two for the Crisford team (Tim Goode/PA)

Ed Crisford expects Bahrain Pride to put up a staunch defence of his unbeaten record.

Crisford, who trains the juvenile in partnership with his father Simon, said: “This has been the plan for him since Ripon. He’s in great form and deserves a crack at a Group Two.

“It does look a very strong race – a Group Two is always going to be tough. But our fellow has done nothing wrong, I think he’s improving with racing and he deserves a crack at a higher grade now.

“This looks a very good option for him.”

Andrew Balding’s Fivethousandtoone was runner-up to Bahrain Pride at Windsor and renews rivalry off the back of a dominant display at Newcastle a little over a fortnight ago.

“Fivethousandtoone won well at Newcastle and took the step forward we hoped he would after finishing second at Windsor,” said Balding.

“He is a horse that I think a lot of, but this is a competitive race in a much tougher grade.

“He has looked very good at home and his work has been impressive. Hopefully he can step forward again.”

The highest-rated runner is the Archie Watson-trained Devilwala. The Haydock novice winner was last seen filling the runner-up spot behind Minzaal in the Gimcrack Stakes at York.

His jockey Rossa Ryan is confident he can make his presence felt, saying: “It was a very good performance in the Gimcrack considering he was the only horse in the race going into it on the back of one run.

Devilwala (purple)chases home Minzaal at York
Devilwala (purple)chases home Minzaal at York (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

“He has come on again. I sat on him last week and he felt very good.

“The drying ground should be a big help to him as he wasn’t a massive fan of the soft ground at York.

“It won’t be a pushover as it is a Mill Reef, but I do think he is overpriced on what he has done in what I think was a very good Gimcrack.

“I would like to think there is still much more to come from this horse.”

Line Of Departure completed a hat-trick for Roger Varian in a valuable sales race at Doncaster last week and is swiftly stepped up to Pattern class, while Mick Channon will be hoping his Group Three winner Cairn Gorm can bounce back from a below-par effort in the Morny.

Alkumait (Marcus Tregoning) and First Edition (Clive Cox) complete the field.

QEII target on Champions Day for Century Dream

Ed Crisford is keeping his fingers crossed for soft ground on Qipco British Champions Day at Ascot to give Century Dream the best possible chance of bouncing back from a slightly underwhelming performance in Ireland on Saturday.

Having run out an impressive winner of the Celebration Mile at Goodwood last month, the six-year-old was the market leader to double his Group Two tally in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown.

However, having cut out much of the running under William Buick, Century Dream weakened into fifth place as fellow British raider Safe Voyage emerged triumphant.

Crisford, who trains Century Dream in partnership with his father, Simon, said: “I think the ground was a bit quick at Leopardstown and they went strong enough up front.

“The ground was probably a bit quick for him, but he’s come back fine and I think we’ll just head to the QEII on hopefully softer ground.”

The following afternoon A’Ali was sent off favourite to grab Group One glory in the Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh, where he landed the Sapphire Stakes in July.

A'Ali failed to fire in the Flying Five
A’Ali failed to fire in the Flying Five (Dan Abraham/PA)

But all plans are on hold for the son of Society Rock after he trailed home last of 14 runners.

“He was disappointing – he looked a bit flat and a bit lethargic,” Crisford said.

“We’ll just see how he is this week before we make any further plans, I think. When they run too bad to be true, we need to put the horse first and see how he comes out of it.”

Bahrain Pride part of smart 12-strong entry for Mill Reef Stakes

Bahrain Pride is one of 12 contenders for the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s colt is unbeaten in two starts to date, having followed up a debut victory at Windsor with a Listed triumph in the EBF Ripon Champion Two Yrs Old Trophy.

The Kodiac colt looks set for a step up to Group Two class this weekend – and could be joined by stablemate Legal Attack, who won on his only previous appearance at Newmarket.

Mick Channon could saddle Group Three winner Cairn Gorm, who lost his unbeaten record when finishing down the field in last month’s Prix Morny at Deauville.

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Jack Channon, assistant to his father, said: “The horse is in great form and has been training well since his last run at Deauville.

“He lost the race in the stalls in the Prix Morny, but we have put a line through it and are still confident he is a high-class horse.

“He will do his final piece of work on Wednesday and we will decide whether he will go to the Mill Reef on Saturday or head straight to the Middle Park. Wherever he goes, we’re confident of a big run.”

The highest-rated horse in the field is Archie Watson’s Devilwala, with the Haydock winner having found only Minzaal too strong in the Gimcrack Stakes at York on his second start.

Marcus Tregoning’s Goodwood scorer Alkumait, Clive Cox’s Sandown winner First Edition, the Richard Fahey-trained Prix Morny third Rhythm Master and Roger Varian’s recent Doncaster sales race winner Line Of Departure also feature.

Eleven sprinters are in contention for the Group Three Dubai International Airport World Trophy.

Familiar names in the mix for the five-furlong contest include Equilateral – not beaten far into sixth place in Sunday’s Flying Five at the Curragh – Tis Marvellous, Moss Gill and Lazuli.

Addeybb is the potential star attraction in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup – formerly The Arc Trial.

A dual Group One winner in Australia earlier in the year, the Pivotal gelding was last seen chasing home Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Should he step up to a mile and three furlongs this weekend, he could be taken on by Mark Johnston’s Elarqam, Andrew Balding’s Fox Chairman and Roger Charlton’s Extra Elusive.

The latter would be bidding for a third straight win at Group Three level following recent strikes in the Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock and the Winter Hill at Windsor.

Stat of the Day, 5th June 2020

Thursday's pick was...

5.05 Newcastle : Buniann @ 5/1 BOG 3rd at 11/4 (Chased leaders, driven and effort over 1f out, every chance inside final furlong, kept on but failed narrowly) A nice run, but he just couldn't get his head in front. Smashed the SP up, though.

Friday's pick runs in the...

2.05 Lingfield :

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.


Corvair @ 7/2 BOG

Your first 30 days for just £1 an 11-runner, Class 3, A/W handicap for 3yo over 7f on Polytrack worth £6,728 to the winner...


Like yesterday's possibly unlucky runner, I'll break today's analysis down into horse, trainer and jockey. I don't always do it this way, I do often mix it up with some less than obvious angles!

But let's start with the horse himself, a 3 yr old Colt making his sixth start after finishing 22111 in his previous runs, all on the All-Weather, including of particular interest today...

  • 3 wins and a place from 4 going left handed
  • 2 wins and a place from 3 over 7 furlongs
  • 2 from 2 as a 3 yr old
  • 2 from 2 in handicaps
  • 2 from 2 here at Lingfield
  • 1 from 1 at Class 3
  • and 1 from 1 over course and distance

All of which makes me happy enough to move on to our trainer, Simon Crisford (now sharing his licence with son Ed) whose horses I keep an eye out for in handicaps on the Polytrack here at Lingfield, especially those at the sharp end of the market, as at odds shorter than 5/1, they are 19 from 50 (38% SR) for 19.3pts (+38.6% ROI), with the following filters of relevance today...

  • 15/27 (55.6%) for 31.8pts (+117.7%) after April each year
  • 13/29 (44.8%) for 18.2pts (+62.6%) with male runners
  • 10/27 (37%) for 14.3pts (+52.9%) in handicaps
  • 10/26 (38.5%) for 10.5pts (+40.5%) with 3 yr olds
  • 4/7 (57.1%) for 8.3pts (+118.5%) with LTO winners
  • 3/9 (33.3%) for 2.27pts (+25.3%) over this 7f course and distance
  • and 2/6 (33.3%) for 3.79pts (+63.2%) with runners rested for 3-6 months

The Crisford sub-5/1 male handicappers are 5 from 6 (83.3% SR) for 18.8pts (+313.3% ROI) during May to December, including 3 from 4 (75%) for 11.28pts (+282.1%) as 3 yr olds.

Corvair is Simon (& Ed's, of course) sole runner at this venue today, although they do send one to HQ and the yard has a good record when sending just one runner to a track, especially in handicaps, as such runners are 62 from 267 (23.2% SR) for 72.6pts (+27.2% ROI) backed blindly since the start of 2017.

Blindly backing an angle with so many runners isn't my thing, of course, so let's see if we can find some logical/profitable filters/angles, shall we? Such as...

  • 54/217 (24.9%) for 92.1pts (+42.5%) sent off at 5/4 to 10/1
  • 53/206 (25.7%) for 90.7pts (+44%) within 130 miles of base
  • 44/156 (28.2%) for 80pts (+51.3%) in races worth less than £8k
  • 40/156 (25.6%) for 68.8pts (+44.1%) with 3 yr olds
  • 21/72 (29.2%) for 55.8pts (+77.5%) in 3yo races
  • 21/59 (35.6%) for 68.2pts (+115.6%) in June/July
  • 6/15 (40%) for 25.3pts (+168.6%) with Oisin Murphy in the saddle (more on him very shortly)
  • and 5/9 (55.6%) for 30.2pts (+336%) with runners unraced for 3-5 months

And the Crisford solo travellers sent less than 130 miles from home to compete for less than £8k in a 3yo handicap at odds of 5/4 to 10/1 are 14/31 (45.2% SR) for 60.8pts (+196.2% ROI), including 10 winners from 15 (66.6%) for 49.1pts (+327.2%) during June to September!

And finally (!) for today, the jockey, as you've probably guessed from above is the excellent Oisin Murphy, who (a) I thought might have been at Newmarket today and (b) has been riding really well this week making the frame 13 times from 24 (54.2%) including picking up three winners.

But it's his relationship with team Crisford that is of particular note here, because Oisin is 7 from 25 (28% SR) for 17.7pts (+70.8% ROI) on the yard's handicappers to date, a good number of winners from not many rides and at backable prices, including...

  • 6/18 (33.3%) for 19.6pts (+108.8%) on male runners
  • 6/16 (37.5%) for 24.3pts (+151.8%) on 3 yr olds
  • 6/15 (40%) for 25.3pts (+168.6%) in races worth £4k to £10.5k
  • and 3/10 (30%) for 7.92pts (+79.2%) at Class 3

...whilst combining the above tells us that Oisin Murphy is 5 from 6 (83.3% SR) for 29.2pts (+486.7% ROI) on the Crisford 3 yr old male handicappers in races worth £4k to £10.5k, including 2 from 3 for 9.82pts at Class 3...

...pointing to...a 1pt win bet on Corvair @ 7/2 BOG as was widely available at 8.00am Friday, but as always please check your BOG status. To see what your preferred bookie is quoting... here for the betting on the 2.05 Lingfield

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


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!