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Patriotic stupidity ahead of the Breeders Cup plus two horses to follow – what more can a punter want?

Big CasinoThose of you who listened to our podcast last week will have noted how fearful we were about the going at the weekend, and we were sadly proved correct as I swear all the winners were doing the front crawl while those I backed settled for doggy paddle?  Not a good time of year to be backing the gee gees I am sorry to say with all the end of season maidens and the fitness issues surrounding the jumpers but this weekend the Breeders Cup ride to the rescue as far as I am concerned, but more of that a little later.

Before then we need to add to the horses to follow list with a detailed explanation to start with, reduced the following week so Ron doesn’t have a go at me about my word count? Those with very long memories will remember I started with a bang with a 33/1 winner via my first article (never lived up to that since!), with a horse called Big Casino trained by Keiran Burke who I popped down and saw at his yard, though he failed to add to that win in a novice and a maiden hurdle, placing in both. Since moved to Nigel Twiston-Davies for reasons unknown (I cant take sides, I like them both), he reappeared on Wednesday past at Carlisle when he won a small handicap with any amount in hand and looks worth following as long as his sights are kept comparatively low. I do know they think he will be even better once he goes chasing so don’t let that aspect bother you if he changes codes, and although Cheltenham is highly unlikely, little fish taste sweet as a famous trainer now long gone once said.

Another trainer I have a lot of time for trains down near me in Sussex in the shape of hard working ex jockey Gary Moore, and although a little more obvious, Sire De Grugy looks to be in for a good season. After the summer off (six months, almost to the day), I let him run unbacked on his return at Chepstow where I felt sure he would be sent off at a short price to dominate his lesser opponents, handicap or not. To my embarrassment he went off at 7/2 (giveaway of the year I wonder?), third favourite of six, yet won by eleven lengths despite clouting the last! What price he will be next time out is anybody’s guess but the implication to me is that he badly needed the run, yet still won as he pleased, suggesting next time out he should be even better and will hopefully go in again?

Looking ahead, I accurately predicted a bloody nose for the British and Irish challengers at the Arc meeting, but can we do any better in the U S of A this weekend I wonder? We have had plenty of success in the past (I have even backed some of them), but generally speaking we flatter to deceive with the long journey, change of weather, long season, and track type all making life that bit more difficult but will 2013 be any different? First things first – the excuses lol – trying to compare American form to Argentinian form to Brazilin form to European form is as close to impossible as it gets, so we may be better looking for consistency at a higher class if we want to have any chance of success.

On Friday one horse looks worthy of consideration when Marco Botti sends the currently unbeaten Al Thakira over for the Juvenile Fillies turf. One thing has shown up over the years in a weakness on the grass as opposed to the dirt for the local team, and as she won the Group Two Rockfel Stakes with plenty in hand, she looks to have an excellent each way chance and I will be trying to take local prices as I doubt they have heard of the horse or her trainer? Old men like me remember backing British winners in e Breeders Cup Turf and this year I love the each way chances of Magician for Aiden O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore.  A purple-bred son of legendary sire Galileo out of a Mozart mare, he won the Dee Stakes at Chester showing a classy turn of foot before surprisingly dropping back to a mile where he did not get the rub of the green before being allowed home in his own time. Off the track since mid June he arrives here fresher than most, and on breeding alone could be even better over this mile and a half – I certainly think the 13/2 is over generous and will be backing him each way at that price or bigger as soon as the opportunity arises. Lastly, and at the risk of looking like a one trick pony, does anyone else think Declaration Of War is overpriced at 9/1 for the Breeders Cup Classic – IF he handles the dirt of course? His win in the Juddmonte International looks better form every time I look at it, and although the horse himself has never really caught my imagination, he does look over priced with his perfect draw in the five stall, and I am not sure I will be able to resist a little each way, daft as it may seem.

Selections this week – all each way for a change

Al Thakira – Santa Anita Friday

Magician – Santa Anita Saturday

Declaration of War – Santa Anita Saturday

Horses to follow:

New look shaken up horses to follow list!


Champagne Fever – on target at home for the Arkle Chase, held in the highest regard and schooling well for Willie Mullins, likely to have Ruby Walsh in the saddle, what more can a punter ask for?

***No current entries***

Sire De Grugy – won as he pleased on his return and sure to improve considerably for the race for Sussex trainer and ex jockey Gary Moore.

***No current entries***

Big Casino – now with Nigel Twiston-Davies and looks well handicapped over hurdles – will be even better long term over fences.

***Entered Ascot Saturday and Carlisle Sunday***


Mutakayyef – trained by William Haggas I had a quandary this week – do I or don’t I back the son of Sea The Stars? As with all the stable juveniles he was a shoe in to improve for the run but he is spoken of in glowing terms by gallop watchers in Newmarket. Fact is he ran as expected – slowly away, green as grass, and hampered as well, he will learn plenty from the experience and can be ignored at your peril.

***No current entries***

Freemason – a once raced juvenile owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Harbinger (a posh syndicate), he cost a whopping 150,000 Guineas so ought to be half decent – word is he is all that and more, so one to stay on the right side of.

***No current entries (unless you include the 2014 Derby!***

Idea – once raced two year old trained by Sir Michael Stoute and said to be flying on the gallops. Won after a poor run at Windsor when last seen looking as green as grass and very much one to keep on the right side of – originally nominated by a post racing reader!

***No current entries***

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