DAILY RACING DIGEST – FRIDAY

We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Friday, March 3, 2017.

cheltenham

Bet4Causes cut The New One to 14/1 for the Champion Hurdle after trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies gave a positive report on the nine-year-old, who will bid to land the race at the fourth time of asking. “It would be wonderful, the highlight of everything if he won and it’s time it happened for him,” the trainer said. “The handicapper tells us he’s always right and if you look at the ratings he should be right there. Himself and Yanworth are the two top-rated ones, and there’s 1lb between them. Cheltenham brings the best out of him and hopefully this is the year when everything falls right for him.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/twiston-davies-this-could-be-the-new-one-s-year/276755
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49482/nigel-twiston-davies-hopes-fortune-can-favour-the-new-one-in-champion-hurdl

Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Thursday


Limini (right) is now 7/1 with Bet4Causes, despite owner Rich Ricci appearing to have cooled on her chances of being supplemented for the  Champion Hurdle on Tuesday week. Ricci said: “Susannah (Ricci’s wife who co-owns Limini) and I have discussed it and if Limini had been originally entered, it would be a different matter, but to be supplementing, you really want to be doing that if you think you have a good chance of winning the race. Do you really want to be doing that and just finishing fourth? I’m going to talk to a few experts and see what they say. It’s a possibility but nothing has been decided.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/rich-ricci:-no-limini-decision/40368

bristol-de-mai


Nigel Twiston-Davies was left disappointed after Bristol De Mai (right) followed up his Peter Marsh Chase win at Haydock with a tame effort in defeat to Native River at Newbury. The trainer is becoming increasingly bullish over the grey’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup chance, however. He said: “We thought, ‘Oh dear, he’s not very good’, but we got him back and he was lame for the whole of the next week. He’s come back right now and if he stays sound, he’s very good and I’m very hopeful.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2993900/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-looking-forward-to-running-bristol-de-mai-in-the-cheltenham-gold-cup/


When Golden Jeffrey lines up in the Champion Bumper he will be leading Flat trainer Mark Johnston’s first runner at the Cheltenham Festival for almost 20 years. The four-year-old, owned and bred by Swiss-based Markus Graff, won at Ayr on Monday. Johnston said: “Markus Graff bred Golden Jeffrey and he was quite a backward horse early on. He has a small stud in Switzerland which he is trying to make commercial. There have not been any enquiries yet but, if there were, I am sure the owner would be keen to sell him.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4276396/Mark-Johnston-set-run-Golden-Jeffrey-Cheltenham.html


Nigel Twiston-DaviesSpeaking at his press day ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, Nigel Twiston-Davies (right) confirmed that Ballyandy will run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He said: “He has got plenty of speed. He won there this time last year, although it was over two miles with no hurdles. We are really looking forward to it and hopefully we will be able to take our revenge on Moon Racer (who beat him in the Supreme Trial in November).”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49488/nigel-twiston-davies-plumps-for-supreme-bid-with-ballyandy
https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2995410/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-updates-us-on-his-cheltenham-festival-team-including-betfair-hurdle-winner-ballyandy/


Eddie Lynam has announced the retirement of popular multiple Group 1-winning sprinter Sole Power. The 10-year-old had his last run when sixth in the Meydan Sprint two weeks ago. Lynam said: “We’ve decided to call it a day with him. He was a great horse, but time waits for no man and he’s been retired.” Sole Power won 12 of his 65 starts, was placed on a further 14 occasions and earned over £2m in prize-money. Lynam added: “He’ll have a few months at home to chill and then he’ll head over to Horse Park Stud, where a lot of our retired horses go. Putting him on the horsebox that one last time, that will be the saddest day.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49477/eddie-lynam-calls-time-on-decorated-career-of-sole-power
https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/five-time-group-1-winner-sole-power-retired/276726


Jockey George Baker remains in intensive care following his horror fall on the ice of St Moritz on Sunday. The Classic-winning rider suffered a severe concussion and was airlifted to a trauma hospital in Chur. His agent Guy Jewell said: “There’s nothing new to report, really. He’s still in intensive care and is much the same as he was a couple of days ago. He’s still resting and sleeping a lot.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49483/george-baker-continuing-recovery-in-intensive-care-after-st-moritz-fall


Venetia WilliamsAidan Coleman recorded his second successive century of winners when guiding Marcilhac to victory in the Forbra Gold Cup at Ludlow for Venetia Williams (tight) – one of a quartet of winners on the day for the Herefordshire trainer. Coleman notched 129 winners last season and he said: “The goal at the start of year was to get somewhere near 100 winners, to get that and hopefully add to it would be great.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/coleman-reaches-100-winners/40300
http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49491/ton-up-for-aidan-coleman-at-ludlow


David PipeDavid Pipe (right)is still mulling over a possible Champion Hurdle tilt with Moon Racer. The eight-year-old, not seen since making it two from two over hurdles at the Open Meeting at Cheltenham in November, also holds an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Pipe said: “He’s proved on the track that he’s a very good horse and we thought at the time that it was worth entering him in the Champion Hurdle. He’ll be left in that and the Supreme at the five-day stage and we’ll make a decision after that.”
Source: https://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/late-call-on-moon-racer-target/40160


Winner of a Grade 3 handicap at Cheltenham last time, Foxtail Hill has been earmarked by Nigel Twiston-Davies as his ace in the Cheltenham Festival pack. He runs in the Close Brothers’ Handicap Chase and the trainer said: “I think Foxtail Hill is probably our best chance. It is just the way the race turns out, as there is only three or four pounds between the lot of them. He is nearly a JLT horse, but why go for that when you have got a lower-class race? He was very impressive there last time and he managed to stay inside the rating band of 0-140.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2995410/cheltenham-festival-2017-nigel-twiston-davies-updates-us-on-his-cheltenham-festival-team-including-betfair-hurdle-winner-ballyandy/


London trainer Andrew Reid has not renewed his licence after sending out one winner from 39 runners last season. The gallop at his Mill Hill yard needs to be replaced and he explained: “Being on London clay, we weren’t going to do that until the summer. I had never had injuries, but I was starting to get them, and the only explanation was the gallop. I sold a lot of horses and wouldn’t think I’ll have runners this year, but it depends on when we can start work on the gallop.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/lawyer-reid-calls-time-on-training-career-with-no-runners-this-year/276780

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Friday, March 3, 2017

DONCASTER: 1.50 Generous Day, 2.20 Wenyerreadyfreddie, 2.50 Tiquer, 3.25 Taweyla (nb), 4.00 Copper Kay, 4.30 Apterix, 5.05 The Wise One

LINGFIELD: 2.00 Remember Me, 2.30 HAVELOCK (NAP), 3.05 Black Dave, 3.40 Intransigent, 4.10 Mullarkey, 4.45 Ulysses

NEWBURY: 2.10 Alcanar, 2.40 Le Breuil, 3.15 Red Devil Star, 3.50 Millanisi Boy, 4.20 Reilly’s Minor, 4.55 Bally Gilbert, 5.25 Athgate Rosalie

NEWCASTLE: 5.15 Persun, 5.45 Fiendish, 6.15 Poet’s Reward, 6.45 Bastia, 7.15 Kinloch Pride, 7.45 Mr Andros

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

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Future Champions Day Preview – Newmarket – Oct 17, 2014

NewmarketMany have still to be convinced that Champions Day works in practice. Newmarket’s executive will smile and nod approvingly, yet moving Future Champions Day to a Friday is unlikely to provide the platform its status warrants.

We don’t necessarily have a problem with the Middle Park Stakes and the Dewhurst being run on the same afternoon, sandwiched either side of the Fillies’ Mile, which has moved from Ascot. Some do, however, and we understand that argument.

Yet we do have a problem with the fixture being run on a Friday, rather than having a Saturday spotlight.

Champions Day, which takes place at Ascot on Saturday, could well end up looking like the streets after the Lord Mayor’s Show. With the ground likely to be heavy and several big guns bypassing the Ascot meeting, the time has come to pose the (rhetorical) question: should this meeting be brought forward in the calendar? These are mere talking points for another time.

Instead, let’s focus on the positives and take a look at Friday’s card at Newmarket.

FUTURE CHAMPIONS DAY – Newmarket (Friday, October 17)

This is far and away the biggest two-year-old race day in Europe and, with over £1.2 million in prize-money, it is Newmarket Racecourses’ most valuable card.
The four juvenile Pattern Races include an unprecedented three Group 1 contests – the Dewhurst Stakes, the Middle Park Stakes and the Fillies’ Mile.

Middle Park Stakes (6f)

Historically used as a stepping stone to the 2,000 Guineas the following year, since World War II, six winners of the Middle Park Stakes have gone on to glory in the one-mile colts’ Classic: Nearula (1952-53), Our Babu (1954-55), Right Tack (1968-69), Brigadier Gerard (1970-71), Known Fact (1979-80) and Rodrigo De Triano (1991-92).

A market leader has won this in the last nine alternate years and a market leader has been successful in 10 of the last 25 renewals. This is a positive stat for Ivawood, who is one of seven colts entered.

ivawood
Ivawood: Undefeated

The Zebedee colt is unbeaten in three starts, the last two at Group 2 level. He was very impressive in winning by five lengths over this trip at Goodwood last time and there is a strong chance he will improve over further in due course. All three starts have come on good ground or quicker and the only question is whether he will handle the likely soft ground.

The Richard Hannon-trained Ivawood is rated at least 7lb superior than his six rivals, who include Muhaarar, who won the Gimcrack at York, beating Jungle Cat by a nose. For context, Ivawood has beaten useful yardstick Jungle Cat twice (by two-and-three-quarter lengths and five lengths).

Dewhurst Stakes (7f)

The Dewhurst Stakes is often used as a stepping stone for the 2,000 Guineas and the Epsom Derby the following year. Dawn Approach, Frankel and Rock Of Gibraltar managed to win the Dewhurst and 2,000 Guineas a year later. They are among nine horses to do the double since the Second Word War. New Approach, Sir Percy, Dr Devious and Generous are among 10 horses since 1945 to have won the Dewhurst en route to Epsom Derby glory.

Richard Hannon Junior
Big chance: Richard Hannon Jnr

No less than 14 of the last 23 renewals were won by a horse at the top of the betting market and it appears as though the Hannon yard again have the likely market leader in Estidhkaar, who has justified favouritism on his last three starts, latterly when taking Doncaster’s Group 2 Champagne Stakes under a penalty.

He has winning form on soft ground and while he can race keenly, the Dark Angel colt well handle the conditions better than his six rivals.

Maftool, who won a Group 3 over course and distance last time, and Smuggler’s Cove, who was visually impressive when taking a Listed AW race at Dundalk on his last run, appear the biggest dangers.

Fillies’ Mile (1m)

Established in 1973 and originally held at Ascot before being transferred to Newmarket in 2011, the Fillies’ mile has been a good race for punters recently. No fewer than four of the last six market leaders have obliged.

Godolphin landed this three times in the last four years and they hold another strong hand, likely to saddle three of the seven runners. Lucida, who won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over 7f at Newmarket last month, heads the trio. While she won cosily last time, she raced a little lazily and this trip should suit her. Jockey Kevin Manning says: “She is a very relaxed filly and she has a good turn of foot. She is definitely improving and will get a mile next year no problem.”

Trainer Jim Bolger thinks she is comparable to Finsceal Beo, whom he trained to win the 1,000 Guineas in 2006. He said: “I thought before (she ran at Newmarket) that this filly had a little more toe that Finsceal Beo but possibly not. I don’t think there is a lot between the two.”

Eddie Lynam
Stamina: Eddie Lynam trains Agnes Stewart

The Eddie Lynam-trained Agnes Stewart, who took the 1m May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last time, is viewed as more of an Oaks prospect rather than a Guineas filly. It did not look a particularly strong renewal and Marsh Hawk, trained by Richard Hannon, may be the biggest danger.

Like Agnes Stewart, Marsh Hawk has been supplemented for this race at a cost of £20,000. The Invincible Spirit filly has won two of her three starts with cut in the ground and Hannon says: “She has been very well since she won at Newbury and will love the soft ground.

“She only canters at home and does not take a lot of work so it is difficult to compare her to our other top fillies. I was a bit surprised when she won by so far [seven lengths] at Newmarket on her debut but she is obviously a very good filly.”

Selections:

1:50 Fruity; 2:25 Strath Burn; 2:55 Ivawood; 3:25 Agnes Stewart; 4:00 Estidhkaar; 4:35 Brazos; 5:10 Code Of Honour

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