Rich pickings for King with Asymmetric

Asymmetric showed a smart turn of foot to win the Unibet Richmond Stakes and cap a fine Goodwood meeting for Alan King.

Cheltenham Festival-winning trainer King – who sent out his first Group One winner earlier in the week when Trueshan landed the Goodwood Cup – saw Asymmetric gain compensation for his narrow second in the July Stakes at Newmarket.

As the Group Two field approached the furlong marker there was just enough room for the Martin Harley-ridden 11-4 favourite to squeeze between Khunan and Gis A Sub, and once in the clear he shot to the front.

The race was not over, however, as Super Sprint victor Gubbass was challenging widest of all, but the unlucky story of the race looked to be Norfolk winner Perfect Power.

Paul Hanagan dropped him out last in the early stages and everywhere he went he found the door closed, finishing full of running.

Asymmetric ultimately had half a length in hand of Khunan, with Gubbass a nose back in third and a neck and the same to Ebro River and Perfect Power.

King said: “I hoped and thought he would run very well today, but I wasn’t thinking he had to win this.

“He has an absolutely wonderful temperament, he’s horizontal, he’s so laid back.

Asymmetric leads them home
Asymmetric leads them home (John Walton/PA)

“He has a pretty lethal turn of foot when he does go, they looked to go pretty steady early and we always take a lead and then drop back and they probably weren’t going strong enough.

“Martin was very happy with him, he said he was always going to drop in and have one crack at him, which we’ve done.

“He’s not the biggest, I think he’s just that little bit sharper for the July Stakes.

“He does nothing at home, he eats and sleeps and you just have to give him the odd squeeze in a morning to make sure all is good.

“He does go on soft, but we’ve always said he’s a much better horse on top of the ground.”

On plans, King said: “He’s in the Gimcrack, he is entered in the Group One (Prix Morny) in France, we’ll see what the team want to do.”

Richard Hannon said of Gubbass: “It was another step forward, though I felt we were a little bit unlucky in running.

“He’s proving a Trojan for the owners and he’s pencilled in for either the Gimcrack or the Morny next.”

Of Khunan and Perfect Power, trainer Richard Fahey said: “Things didn’t go right for Perfect Power, but it was the opposite for Khunan, who got a lovely run up the rail and I think he’s a six-furlong horse.

“Perfect Power hasn’t had a hard race today, in fact I’ve never seen one with a lesser blow. He’ll go for the Morny in three weeks’ time. It will hopefully be better ground – the faster the better.”

For winning jockey Harley, meanwhile, Asymmetric’s success was a morale boost only hours after he had been handed a forthcoming suspension for previous whip offences.

At a British Horseracing Authority referral hearing, he was suspended for 18 days – six of them deferred for seven weeks – under the totting-up procedure following his ride on runner-up Third Kingdom at Newcastle on July 24.

Dazzling Derab upholds family tradition at Newmarket

Derab, a half-brother to the mighty Enable, blitzed the opposition when losing his maiden tag in the Betfair Novice Stakes at Newmarket.

Runner-up on his first two starts, the son of Sea The Stars made no mistake with a quality display that augurs well for the future.

John and Thady Gosden’s colt was always travelling easily over the Rowley Mile and when Martin Harley pressed the button, the response was immediate.

Derab (10-11 favourite) quickly put daylight between himself and his rivals to win by six and a half lengths from Fireworks.

Gosden senior said: “He has run very well. He ran very well at Ascot first time out, then we ran into a problem in the autumn.

“He came back and he was a bit fresh. We were very keen to settle him at Newbury and we were more interested in settling him than anything else.

“He was much more sensible today and has run a lovely race. He has grown up a lot.”

He added: “We will either keep him at a mile or go a mile and a quarter and look at options over those trips.

“I don’t know if he is one for the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot, as that is a bit of a way off. He has made big bounds now – he has always wanted to be in a hurry about life, but he is doing things in the correct rhythm now.”

A Star Above delighted trainer William Haggas
A Star Above delighted trainer William Haggas (Mike Egerton/PA)

A Star Above reaped the benefit of a good comeback run to take the Betfair Weighed-In Podcast Handicap.

Fourth at Doncaster last month after being off the track for 231 days, the William Haggas-trained four-year-old scooted clear over a furlong out and was not hard pressed to score by a length and three-quarters from To Be Wild.

Haggas said: “It was a good staying performance. He got quite tired first time out but he stayed well today. I think there is a nice staying race in him.

“He ran in the Melrose up at York last year, but he wasn’t quite up to that. He is a nice stayer that is very genuine. I think he will get further than a mile and three quarters, but I’m not sure there is a need to go further.”

Turntable in winning action under Callum Shepherd
Turntable in winning action under Callum Shepherd (Mike Egerton/PA)

Turntable (11-2) built on his encouraging seasonal debut to land the Back And Lay On Betfair Exchange Handicap for Chris Wall.

The five-year-old was too good for Jean Baptiste in the closing stages and went on to win by a length and a half in the hands of Callum Shepherd.

Master The Stars was awarded the Betfair Exchange Handicap in the stewards’ room after finishing second past the post.

Good Birthday crossed the line in front by a short head but the placings were reversed following an inquiry.

Master The Stars (7-1), ridden by 5lb claimer Mark Crehan, was winning for the first time since July.

Good Birthday’s jockey Silvestre de Sousa was banned for two days for careless riding.

Stat of the Day, 23rd July 2020

Wednesday's pick was...

4.50 Yarmouth : Dashing Roger @ 7/1 BOG WON at 6/1 (Chased leaders, went 2nd over 3f out, led 2f out, hard pressed final furlong, edged slightly left, held on well )

Thursday's pick runs in the...

5.35 Pontefract :

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.


Squelch @ 7/2 BOG a 9-runner, Class 4 Flat handicap for 3yo+ over 1m4f on Good to Firm ground worth £4,690 to the winner...


From the racecard, we see...

...a horse in good nick (seeks hat-trick today) hailing from an in-form yard and with a decent enough draw for her usual running style. Those of you using the cards regularly will already know the above, so I won't dwell on that.

This 4 yr old filly was a winner at this trip on similarly good to firm last out, so we know she gets the distance and going and her win two starts ago was at this grade, so that's hopefully another boxed ticked.

Her trainer Rae Guest seems to do well at getting horses to clock up back to back wins, as Squelch did in June and since the start of 2017, his sub-10/1 handicappers who were LTO winners have gone on to win 15 of 48 (31.25% SR) for 23.3pts (+48.5% ROI), including...

  • 13/42 (31%) for 19.8pts (+47.2%) with female runners
  • 13/41 (31.7%) for 25.79pts (+62.9%) with 3/4 yr olds
  • 13/34 (38.2%) for 26.87pts (+79%) with those last seen 1-25 days earlier
  • 8/26 (30.8%) for 9.42pts (+36.2%) on the Flat
  • 8/25 (32%) for 10.42pts (+41.7%) during May to August
  • 4/12 (33.33%) for 1.54pts (+12.8%) at Class 4
  • and 2/5 (40%) for 12.28pts (+245.6%) for today's jockey, Martin Harley...

...whilst 3-4 yr old females at 1-25 dslr are 10 from 25 (40% SR) for 25.81pts (+103.25% ROI), including 4 winners from 6 since the resumption of racing last month... us... a 1pt win bet on Squelch @ 7/2 BOG as was widely available at 7.30am Thursday with bigger offered in places, but as always please check your BOG status (*most are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race... here for the betting on the 5.35 Pontefract

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!

P.P.S. Please note I left for Greece on Monday lunchtime (20/07) for two weeks to look at some hotels for my travel agency business and get some R&R, so whilst I'll still be posting each day (except 04/08 when cover has been arranged), the timings may well be different.