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Thursday, 7 June 2012

2:00 Catterick (8th June) Free Horse Racing Tips

Laurie Pace
An EBF Maiden Stakes over 5f on *good to soft ground. A mix of colts, fillies, form horses & debutantes. A couple of very speedy types.

*Note: Ground has changed to good to soft which may be a negative to Lady Poppy, especially if becoming more testing.

A maiden stake but in many ways this resembles a maiden auction. Catterick often favours juveniles with an abundance of pace, especially from a low draw.

One horse who fits that bill is Lady Poppy. George Moore is a talented trainer and he must have thought something of this daughter of Kyllachy to race her in the Brocklesby. After showing pace she finished seventh. She was quite fancied when running on soft ground at Ripon but disappointed to the extreme. It could well be the case she simply went too fast for the conditions and stopped - fast. However, this £26,000 yearling purchase showed she had pace to burn when leaving all but Satsuma trailing over course and distance. I was surprised how fast she went but still plugged on with determination. Catterick suits her running style and it could take a decent juvenile to beat her. However, it might pay to take care because bar the winner it may have been a weak race. The third, Denbigh Raur, had been entered for a selling race and showed no ability next start. While Annie Gogh didn't run her race, being badly hampered in the early stages. In addition, Lady Poppy is not the most attractive of juveniles: leggy if not a little weak. I have little doubt McDonald will blaze a trail and I can see her having this field in trouble after a couple of furlongs or looking in horror as she grinds to a halt in the final furlong. Definitely an all or nothing bet and ideally a bet to lay in-running.

A colt with a similar speedy profile is Crystal Cove. This wide draw doesn't look a positive and it will be interesting to see whether Easterby has given instructions to sit off the pace or stride to the front. This grey colt is bred to be fast but on all evidence he struggles to get the 5f and by all accounts a short runner. It didn't help his cause trying to beat Surely Speightful at Musselburgh because that would be a stiff test for many a horse and it may have made this son of Dubawi look a shadow of himself. It isn't beyond the realms he could get this trip although there is something of a question mark about that point. With Lady Poppy most likely to blaze away it could be a recipe for another poor show if cranking up the pace. Best watched unless huge odds and then laid in-running, if possible.

Of the other form horses, Cymeriad finished second in a poor race at Wolverhampton. I missed that race but Michael Easterby's daughter of Choisir - a home bred - was quite fancied in the betting and seemed to run on with promise after a slow start. Improvement is needed but it is encouraging that connections had her entered for the Hilary Needler, which could indicate more is expected. A difficult horse to assess but one to respect considering the stable have a few handy two-year-olds at home. 

Mazeppa was sent off an 80/1 poke when finishing third behind Party Royal. Beyond the winner, the opposition look quite modest, which tempers enthusiasm. Also, this drop down to the minimum distance may see this son of Byron outpaced. Keith Dalgleish knows his horses and if backed it would bring hope but a juvenile I would prefer to watch.

Panama Cat is worth a second glance after unseating Jamie Spencer on debut at Beverley. In fairness, that was an unfortunate happening and it could put a few people off the scent of a potentially fair juvenile. Elite Racing Club have owned plenty of talented two-year-olds and the mare of this youngster just failed to win on debut. To start favourite for that race suggests this bay filly has ability and it wouldn't be a surprise to see her backed. One to keep on the right side. 

The debutantes will need to be pretty forward and alert to keep on the heels of a number of fit, experienced & speedy opponents. 

*Clean Blow was entered to run earlier in the week but was withdrawn. This filly was quite well backed for that start and I would imagine the money will come again. The David Brown - John Fretwell partnership can be a potent force. If priced 13/2 & less has fair win and place claims. However, from a relatively high draw she will need to be fit and ready. Unless heavily backed I would take a watching brief.

Conclusion: In ways a trick race. There will be plenty of pace which makes this quite an intriguing contest. This course favours pace and a low draw can give a healthy advantage. This will probably be the best opportunity for Lady Poppy and but she looks an all-or-nothing type of horse. McDonald will blaze a trail and - if betting - I would lay in-running. The form of that last run is difficult to assess. I would feel more confident if she had a bit of strength about her but she is a weak, leggy filly. However, I couldn't help but be impressed by her pace and liking for this course. Worth a chance at fair odds although you may be holding your breath in the final furlong. Crystal Cove may fancy a burn-up but it is a gamble whether he will last to the line. Cymeriad needs to improve but may have a chance if fancied in the betting. I would give Panama Cat a second chance. It would be no surprise to see her backed and run a big race. Of the debutantes Clean Blow is another likely to be fancied in the betting but will need to be pretty switched on. A watching brief unless starting favourite.


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