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Saturday, 9 July 2011

Getting Moore for your Money

Saturday 9th July sees a fixture nightmare for British horseracing with quality meetings at 4 different venues. The pileup has been caused by Newmarket's insistence on staging the Group 1 July Cup on a Saturday, unfortunately that means a clash with Ascot which stages the Group 2 Summer Mile, Chester with some good fare including a highly competitive Listed 7 furlong contest and one of York racecourse's biggest days the John Smith's raceday. The scheduling has been criticised by owners, trainers & jockeys alike including drawing strong criticism from Frankie Dettori - we fully concur but that shouldn't deter us from our aim of finding value from the day.

We start off in York's big race the John Smith's handicap over 10 furlongs and there is strong recent form and potential improvers in the field. The form of Beachfire, Lost In The Moment and Pekan Star ties together nicely and all three would have chances although the lightly raced Pekan Star seems to have the most progressive profile plus being trained by the in form Roger Varian (33% strike rate in last fortnight) doesn't harm his chances any. However odds of 4/1 suggest his chances haven't gone unnoticed and it should be noted that to value is often found by going against the weight of opinion.

To win these top heritage handicaps you often need a horse that has the potential to run in and win Group races and last year's winner Wigmore Hall proved this with a valuable win in Dubai, the horse drawn beside Pekan Star in stall 8 is Sir Michael Stoute's Modun and I think this could be the oft mentioned 'Group horse in a handicap'. Modun gave a horse called Udaba weight and a beating at Newbury in April over the same distance, Udabaa subsequently won a handicap by 6 lengths off a mark of 83 and then ran creditably and finished third in a Newmarket handicap off of 92. Modun ran poorly at Royal Ascot but had excuses, Stoute's team were struggling badly for winners plus the step up to a mile and a half plus soft ground didn't play to the horse's strengths. The stable form has returned with 2 winners at Newmarket yesterday and Ryan Moore should be able to get the horse settled off a likely strong pace and we fully expect to see him deliver his mount with a winning run around 2 furlongs out. William Hill are offering best prices on nearly every horse in the race so take advantage of the 9/1 available.

Elsewhere at Newmarket we see the final British leg of the Global Sprint challenge in the 6 furlong Darley July Cup. Godolphin's Delegator has been strongly fancied for the top 6 furlong races since an impressive winning return in the Duke of York stakes but missed out at Royal Ascot due to unsuitably soft ground. Its now been nearly 2 months since its last run but can clearly go well fresh, however the horses behind that day are much bigger prices here and I can see his price drifting during the day. The horse I like is Bated Breath, a colt of huge potential, that ran a good race to finish 5th in the Golden Jubilee on ground much too soft for his liking. Bated Breath had beaten the winner Society Rock earlier in the season and can prove connections belief in him today with a big win - as big as 11/1 is available on Betfair.


3.15 York - Modun 9/1 at William Hill
3.35 Newmarket - Bated Breath 11/1 on Betfair plus 11/4 for a place (top 3)

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