Day 4 of the Royal Ascot meeting saw us record a third successive day of profit, with Art Power winning the opener impressively, and Golden Horde landing the feature Commonwealth Cup in fine style. That left us +3.48pts on the day, and +20.47pts over the past three days. Fingers crossed we can keep the P/L increasing on Day 5, which features three Group 1 races; the Coronation Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, and Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Best of luck if you’re getting involved, and be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day, and where I will share links to any future articles. Before we get into the selections, thanks for all your support so far this week – let’s hope we can end on a high!Continue reading “Royal Ascot 2020 – Day Five”
Despite the uncertain times we have been living in recently, Royal Ascot will be the first major Festival to take place this week since lock-down restrictions were eased. It clearly won’t be Royal Ascot as we know it, with racing taking place behind closed doors, and no Royals in sight. As I said yesterday however, that’s a small price to pay to get racing back underway. Day 1 was a mixed day for the page with Frankly Darling winning at short odds, but fingers crossed we can be rewarded with a few more winners on Wednesday. Best of luck if you’re getting involved, and be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day, including a link to the Day 3 Preview once it goes live!Continue reading “Royal Ascot 2020 – Day Two”
Despite the uncertain times we have been living in recently, Royal Ascot will be the first major Festival to take place this week since lock-down restrictions were eased. It clearly won’t be Royal Ascot as we know it, with racing taking place behind closed doors, and no Royals in sight. That’s a small price to pay to get racing back underway however, and I can’t wait for the action to get started. I’ll be the first to admit that it hasn’t been the best of starts to the season for this page, but many hours of hard work have gone into this Preview, so fingers crossed we can be rewarded with a few winners. Best of luck if you’re getting involved, and be sure to give me a follow on Twitter @JakePriceRacing for updates throughout the day, including a link to the Day 2 Preview once it goes live!Continue reading “Royal Ascot 2020 – Day One”
13:50 – Palace House Stakes (Group 3) 3yo+ – 5f
With no Horse rated higher than 109, on paper this looks quite a weak renewal of the Palace House Stakes. That leaves us with a fairly open contest, in which I like the chances of Clive Cox’s Shades Of Blue. This Filly had a successful three-year-old season overall, starting off with a good third behind two subsequent Listed winners in a 6f Novice Fillies’ Stakes at Doncaster in April. Shades Of Blue added black type to her own CV when finishing second in the Listed Westow Stakes at York on her next start, splitting the very useful pair of Garrus (108) and Soldier’s Call (112) – the latter of which ran a cracker on his next start when 3rd to Blue Point and Battaash in the Group 1 King’s Stand. With two top runs under her belt, Shades Of Blue travelled over to Maisons-Laffitte in France for her next start, winning the Listed Prix Hampton over 5f, staying on gamely under Hollie Doyle to win by a short-head.Continue reading “Newmarket – 2000 Guineas Day 2020”
14:25 – Abernant Stakes (Group 3) 3yo+ – 6f
This doesn’t look like a great renewal of the Abernant Stakes on paper, with the old boy Brando installed as a general 11/8 favourite. At that sort of price, I can happily leave him alone and appreciate this lad winning the race for a third time – but there seems like a good opportunity to at least pick up place money at a big price, with many of the remainder looking pretty uninspiring.Continue reading “Newmarket – Coronation Cup Day 2020”
We’ve had to overcome some obstacles in the build up the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, but we are racing, and it promises to be another exhilarating week of National Hunt action! Day 1 will get underway at 13:30 on Tuesday with the famous Cheltenham roar, and there really is no better curtain raiser in sport. The first day is traditionally my favourite of the four, with the feature Grade 1 Champion Hurdle taking center stage. It’s been well documented that this year’s renewal isn’t the strongest, and that notion is perhaps backed up by a field of 17 lining up, by far the largest entry in the last decade. Although coming into the race there doesn’t look to be a star, I do believe one will emerge – similarly to Buveur D’Air in 2017. Elsewhere on the card we have two further Grade 1s for two-mile Novice Hurdlers (Supreme) and two-mile Novice Chasers (Arkle), both packed with young improving Horses. To add further spice to proceedings, we’re also treated to a brilliant renewal of the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle, with the unbeaten Honeysuckle taking on superstar Mare Benie Des Dieux. It’s safe to say that I cannot wait to get to Prestbury Park!
2m½f Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Wednesday 11th March 2020
The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (better known as the Fred Winter) is run over two-miles on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, and is the last Hurdles race of the week ran on the Old Course. The race is for four-year-old Horses only, and serves the purpose of taking lower rated Horses out of the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle. Despite some seemingly less talented Juveniles running in the race, it is usually extremely competitive due to the nature of improving young Horses. The race has been won by some nice types in the past, with the likes of Sanctuaire, Diego Du Charmil and more recently Band Of Outlaws victorious. French recruits have an extremely good record in the race, but the last two winners have come off the Flat – including Joseph O’Brien’s 8/1 winner for this blog last year.
2m4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) – Tuesday 10th March 2020
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is always an intriguing race, aimed at Novice Chasers who aren’t quite yet up to Grade 1 standard. The rating band was changed in 2018 from a 0-140 to a 0-145, attracting a highly competitive field with just 7lbs between the top and bottom weights in 2019, and 8lbs in 2018 (excluding any claims). The race was extremely kind to my selections twelve months ago, with leading fancy A Plus Tard bolting up, and my second selection Tower Bridge following him home. The performance of A Plus Tard from a rating of 144 was that of an incredibly well Handicapped Horse, which has since been proven by him landing a Grade 1 at Leopardstown and earning a mark of 165. A similar story applies to 2018 winner Mister Whitaker, who won the Grade 2 Silver Trophy Handicap in April from a mark of 149 (12lbs higher than when winning this contest). This highlights the type of Horse required to win the race however, as essentially the weights are now irrelevant; Horses who wish to participate will need a mark of 140 to guarantee themselves a run, but obviously cannot be rated higher than 145. Whilst it is no longer an issue winning the race off top-weight, it will inevitably require a Horse who is ahead of the assessor.
With so much fantastic racing going on over the next couple of days, I’ve decided to split my thoughts into two articles – one covering Thursday and Friday, and one covering Saturday as usual. This week sees the beginning of Newmarket’s July Festival, culminating in ‘Super Saturday’ with other big meetings at York and Ascot. I have some strong selections across the three days, with Day 1 and 2 the focus here. Be sure to check back on Friday for all my Saturday selections, and follow me on twitter @JakePriceRacing for any further fancies. Good luck!
Ante-Post Preview #6 – 27/02/2019
2m4f Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase (Listed) – Tuesday 12th March 2019
The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is run over two-and-a-half-miles and is limited to Novice Chasers rated 145 or below. This rating band changed from 0-140 last season, and in result we now have an extremely competitive handicap. Last season the bottom weight ran from a mark of 137, and this year we look set for another tightly matched field. Mister Whitaker won from that bottom weight in 2018, but the nature of the race means that the top weights won’t have as difficult a task as they may have in a traditional handicap – we could see as little as 5lbs between the field this year.
It’s that time of year again – the National Hunt season is about to kick-off proper at Chepstow this weekend, meaning we sadly have to say good-bye to one of my favourite racecourses in Newton Abbot – until the spring at least! Their finale fixture is always a belter, last year producing the likes of Black Corton and Maria’s Benefit, who both went on to record Graded success thereafter. This year we are treated to another brilliant card, with over £100,000 worth of prize money up for grabs. Headlined by the Class 2 Intermediate Chase, Cheltenham Festival third Benatar is the stand-out entry and it will be fascinating to see how he does on his seasonal return. I will be at Newton Abbot tomorrow live tweeting the event, so be sure to follow me on twitter @JakePriceTips if you don’t already. If you want to read more from me, you can check out my National Hunt Horses to Follow 2018/19 here.
Market Rasen plays host to the highlight of Summer National Hunt Racing on Saturday, where the ITV cameras will be showing the Listed Summer Handicap Hurdle, and the Listed Summer Plate Handicap Chase. Last year the Hurdle was won by John Constable (150), whilst the Plate went to Paul Nicholls’ beautiful grey Alcala (147). I actually tipped up both of these winners 12 months ago, so the pressure is on to repeat the feat this time around!