8th September 2017
We head to Haydock for our target race this weekend….
A field of 13 goes to post for the 32 Red Be Friendly Handicap (3.00) over the fast 5f….
It might not be quite so fast tomorrow though. Plenty of rain is forecast to fall today and tomorrow.
The ground at the track is soft now and could well be heavy by the time off-time comes around….
Holmeswood is the right favourite for the race. Lightly-raced, improving and on a sustained run of good form, Michael Dods will be expecting a big run from his 3yo….
I get that. But with 3 wins from his last 3 runs, this horse has sprinted up the ratings from 82 to tomorrow’s mark of 97 and the handicapper might have his measure with the latest rise.
It’s getting harder for him all the time. He likes a bit of cut, but he’s short enough for me at no better than 5s in the early market.
Midnight Malibu is another one I was looking at for this earlier in the week….
Tim Easterby’s in-form filly won at Epsom last time and has been going well and has produced some decent performance in defeat this term….
All that said I wonder about tomorrow’s ground where she’s concerned. All her career wins have come on a sound surface….
We’ll get to my selection for tomorrow’s race in a moment. First a word on a couple more bets I’m having tomorrow….
Haydock boasts tomorrow’s feature race in the shape of the G1 Sprint Cup Stakes….
The ground looks like it’s going to play a big part in the outcome and I’m nailing my colors to the mast of a real slugger at what could turn out to be a very generous price….
Meanwhile, the Cunard Handicap at Ascot sees a field of 20 got at it up the 7f straight. You could make a case for plenty of these, but I’ve gone two-against-the-field with progressive horses well-set to improve again off current ratings….
You can get immediate access to these extra bets on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
The one I fancy backing in tomorrow’s 32 Red Be Friendly Handicap atHaydock(3.00) is David O’Meara’s ALEEF at 14s….
O’Meara’s been patient with this one and we’ve only seen him run competitively on the track once since July 2016….
That run came just a few days ago at Ripon where the horse put in a shocker – finishing last of the 9 runners and beaten 11.5 lengths – having been sent off race favourite….
Apparently, he got upset in the stalls, missed the break, got bumped about when he did get on the track and then didn’t take to the Ripon track.
In other words, whatever could have gone wrong did go wrong….
There was clearly some expectation behind the horse. And the fact that O’Meara has turned the colt around so quickly suggests the poor performance was not a result of some ongoing physical issue or injury….
I am mindful that prior to the Ripon race O’Meara had booked Ryan Moore to ride the horse at Epsom in the race Midnight Malibu won on 28th August.
The horse was fancied enough for that race too but unseated Ryan Moore on the way down to the start, got loose – and had to be withdrawn….
This time up O’Meara has secured the service of another top jockey in Jim Crowley and the price is attractive enough to me about a horse that is clearly considered ready to do something at home but has had a couple of mishaps….
At 14s generally, I’m prepared to take a chance on this 4yo proving at the third time of asking that a mark of 93 still leaves margin for improvement. His yard is in better from now than most of the others heading into tomorrow’s race….
ALEEF @ 14s (Generally)
Standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3. If you want to play for the place money, don’t let me put you off backing the horse each way….
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.
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