Thursday 20th August

Good morning all,

First part of our ante-post e/w double got in the places yesterday (don’t forget, as we were ante-post we get three places – if your bookmaker tells you any different, they’re trying it on) and with the price on Mecca’s Angel collapsing, it leaves us in a very good position for Friday.

Those of you who took the offer of 6 places with Hills would have got paid on Shore Step as well yesterday, b ut as we said, sadly we couldn’t put it up as not everyone would have received the offer. Silvery Moon ensured no damage was done yesterday and we go into today with a bit of confidence.


2.30 York – 1pt win Easton Angel (general 9-2, use Bet365 as it will generate a free bet on the 3.05 if a winner)

5.35 Chepstow – 1pt win Awaywiththegreys (5-1 Skybet, 9-2 acceptable but no lower)

2pts staked


3.55 – 1m Handicap (class 6)

Weak, even for a 0-55 event, and many will look towards last time out winners Zeteah and Roxy Lane for the winner. The former,from a yard in tremendous form, won well at Salisbury but that was on much quicker ground than he will encounter today. He may well get away with the ground but that’s far from guaranteed and he’s short enough in the betting.

Similar comments apply to Roxy Lane too, and all her best form comes on a sound surface too. If Hess two fail to fire today, it leaves this contest wide open.

You’d want a massive price, but perhaps Ede’s The Business took a small step back in the right direction when 6th to Zaria over this C&D last time out. For a 66-1 shot she was far from disgraced in finishing fifth, sticking on well enough and this soft surface shouldn’t be an issue. She had no chance on her previous two starts when amateur ridden but had again outrun her 100-1 odds before that at Lingfield and the overriding impression is that there’s a modicum of ability there. She wouldn’t be one to go silly on, given her overall poor profile, but perhaps she can get in the frame at a big price today.

5.35 – 1m4f Handicap (class 4)

There are a couple of potential improvers in the field, namely High Admiral and Borak, but both need to bounce back from mediocre efforts last time out. In the case of High Admiral, it’s possible his poor effort could have been due to a second run back after a break, but equally that was on soft ground and that could be as much to blame. Borak has no qualms on the ground front but needs to prove he stays this far, so maybe AWAYWITHTHEGREYS can get back on the winning track, with plenty in his favour.

Better known for his exploits in the National Hunt field, he didn’t get the credit he deserved for beating Murgan and Black Key (a 14l winner since) at Haydock due to his 50-1 price tag, but there was no fluke about it and he ran as well at Pontefract next time up, leading two furlongs out but finding the 2m2f trip too far and weakening out of it in the final furlong. Dropping back to a mile and a half looks a smart move, as does the booking of the excellent Tom Marquand. Throw in the form of the yard (last 4 runners – 1211) and he looks a solid selection.


2.30 – Lowther Stakes (Group 2)

A good renewal of the Lowther, and morning favourite Lumiere will be well supported to follow up her impressive debut win at Newmarket. The dogs had been barking her name well before that debut, resulting in her going off a short 6-5 favourite, but she was most impressive in the race, making all and quickening right away for an easy 6l victory.

It’s worth bearing. In mind she was clearly ready for that event and there may not be as much improvement as people think likely. Her dam, Screen Star (also trained by Johnston) won easily first time up at Redcar but was never seen again afterwards, raising a small question. Plus, she will face slower conditions today and morning quotes of 6-4 do little to get the punting juices flowing.

The one who has tempted me is Michael Dods’s runner, Easton Angel, who was a debut winner on soft and who hasn’t had the credit she deserves for a huge run in the Queen Mary, winning ‘her’ race easily and then picking up again when she belatedly caught sight of Acapulco in the last furlong. In my opinion, she is closer to Wes Ward’s monster than the form suggests, and can be forgiven a lesser effort in the Duchess of Cambridge when scuppered by circumstance having travelled best. The return to five furlongs will suit, and although she can be considered an unlikely runner, the fact that she’s part owned by Al Shaqab Racing means it’s not impossible that she’ll be rerouted from the Lowther. If she does go for the juvenile race, she may still represent value as she’ll probably meet at least a couple of those who finished in front of her at Newmarket. My personal belief is that she will prove best at the minimum trip, but she’s a special talent, and I’ll be backing her today.

7.10 – 1m4f Handicap

We made mention of Baileys Concerto when he was entered up to run at Carlisle a couple of weeks ago, given he’d shown some promise on his second Flat start for the yard and looked well handicapped, but part of the reason for putting him up there was the return to Carlisle, a track that would have suited as it places plenty of demands on stamina, which is very much his long suit. Hamilton too places similar demands on stamina but the question today is whether soft ground will suit – on everything we know, he seems to need good ground to show his best. as such, no bet today but he’s still one we are interested in for the future.


5.15 – 2m Handicap Hurdle

I was expecting the ground to be a lot slower at Stratford today, given I was just down the road at Worcester yesterday and it did nothing but rain from 2pm to 8pm, so I’m a little suspicious of the “good to firm” forecast that’s been given. Bearing that in mind, I can’t put Grams And Ounces up as a selection at present as he needs a bit of cut to show his best, but he definitely took a step back in the right direction at Uttoxeter (would have gone closer still but for mistakes at the last two) and he’s looking very well handicapped now. Keep an eye on the ground – good would be fine, but no quicker.


David & Rory

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