Sunday 10 June 2012

2:15 Folkestone (11th June) Free Horse Racing Tips

A Maiden Stakes over 5f on good to soft ground.

Five runners, three raced, four colts, one gelding.

Jamie Osborne has been quiet this season. He's normally a man you expect to have a good few two-year-olds on the go but that hasn't been the case with just a trio of horses racing. Hardy Red, a son of Mujadil, showed next to no ability on debut at Bath over 6f. This April foal made some progress mid race but faded as though needing the run. There is little doubt he was unfit. However, this 27,000gns yearling purchase had been on our radar, being entered to run in the Brocklesby. As it happened Deepest Blue contested that race, but I consider that initial entry significant. Osborne had clearly been working his magic when then this bay colt ran in a small field at Nottingham, dropping to 5f. Richard Hannon's Alhebayeb was strong in the betting being the first runner for Hamdan Al Maktoum and it certainly wasn't an easy win for the hot favourite. Hardy Red looked fit and ready, losing by a neck. I was struck by what a good-looking colt he is and a battling type, too. It is difficult to assess the merit of that form as the third, Snow Angel, had shown no more than an element of ability on debut. It could be the case that filly improved a good deal for her first start but to some extent it is difficult to equate. Hardy Red is a handsome colt, with speed and a willing attitude. I think he will win.

Smiling Shark is an interesting horse trained by Robert Cowell. By all accounts this colt had a lofty reputation when making his debut at Goodwood. His trainer has been quoted as saying this son of Johannesburg was above average and he was backed to go well. He was quite a cheap yearling at $10,000. He failed to show much promise on that initial start. A wide draw didn't help and horses should always be given a second chance because they often falter on debut. Cowell is a good judge of a horse and I would expect to see a bold show here. Most horses - if they have ability - show what they can achieve on their second start. A difficult horses to assess, even more so than Hardy Red. I would take a watching brief but if substantially backed it would give greater confidence.

Pippy has been in the public eye being owned by Wayne Rooney. However, the two races so far have been a media disaster with a no show when jumping in the deep end making his debut in the Lily Agnes and then quite well supported but failing at Carlisle. This son of Exceed And Excel is a fair-looking juvenile but he didn't take the bend on his second start, drifting to the far-side rail and ruining his chance. I can imagine Dascombe has been slightly embarrassed if not bemused by his running so far. In truth, you may as well forget/forgive these efforts because Pippy hasn't had a chance to show his worth. I suspect he will run his best race today and may even be value at speculative odds. It wouldn't surprise me if he is backed. Very difficult to imagine what he will achieve but a horse which has been supported on both starts to date and interesting for that point alone.

Of the debutantes, Joey's Destiny cost  £40,000 at the breeze-up sales. George Baker has had a few two-year-olds race this season but most have looked pretty limited. In addition, he doesn't feature a very good strike rate with debutantes. I would have to take a watching brief.

Royal Mizar is best watched.

Conclusion: A tricky race which looks out of Hardy Red, Smiling Shark & Pippy. On proven ability Hardy Red makes most appeal. He is a good-looking colt with plenty of pace and determined. I can see him running a big race although at relatively short odds it always pays to take care. The horse to beat but difficult to assess. Smiling Shark needs to improve a good deal. In fact, if it hadn't been for his trainer saying he is a talented juvenile he would slip by without much notice. Cowell has trained enough juveniles to know a decent horse and I would consider he knows best. The only blessing is that most two-year-olds show what they can achieve on their second start. However, I would have to take a watching brief. Pippy is interesting because he hasn't had any luck so far. He had next to no chance on debut at Chester and then hung baldly at Carlisle. He should run his race today and could well go off at speculative odds simply because punters are fed up with his hard luck story. He has been quite well supported on both starts and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him backed again. Perhaps worth a few quid in anticipation of a gamble. The others are best watched.