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Preview 27 July 2008


2.50 Ascot Cisco Hong Kong Sprint Handicap (Heritage Handicap) Class 2 5F Good to firm firm in places

1. Oldjoesaid - Is one of a handful of runners that best form in the last 12 months have come in class 2 handicap and carries top weight in this decent handicap sprint as a result. From a yard that does well with sprinters and under the steering of Jimmy Fortune who is an eye-catching booking for this yard he has claims here today. His best effort to date came in a class 2 handicap at the back end of last season in a decent enough time at Catterick when narrowly failing to give weight away on good ground to a speedy type, and even though defeated that day showed that he has plenty of pace for a plenty quick enough five furlongs at this level. This is a stiffer ask then that day and with a strong pace highly likely he may find a few that are better handicapped to take him on with under this 7lbs higher mark for winning at Newbury on seasonal reappearance. Should be on the premises if running his race but looks slightly up against it here today despite not being overly exposed.

2. New Freedom - Don't know to much about this import who made a pleasing start in the Uk in the Wokingham over a furlong more at the royal meeting and he looks to have plenty of ability given how he hung that day and still managed to finish in the first ten home. They will be looking to win a handicap such as this in the coming months and is another that has genuine class 2 form to his name where he has put up his best effort to date, the handicapper have dropped him 1lb of the back of a poor effort last time on ground that may have been plenty soft enough and under the same quick conditions he could be the dark horse if coping with the drop down in trip to 5F in a strongly run charge to the line. Don't know much about the trainer but he has some decent form over this trip from his stint in Dubai and is Interesting.

3. Northern Fling - Tightly tied in with New Freedom on Wokingham form and may have been slightly unlucky to finish as far away as he did as that rival hampered him when hanging across the track and he may have surpassed the performance he put up when winning at Doncaster earlier in the season when he showed plenty of dash to win a class 2 event, that was his best performance to date and despite the 5lbs rise in the weights from that day he has proven to be still nicely handicapped with that performance at Royal Ascot. The run he did put up at Doncaster is among the strongest class 2 form coming into this race and the time was of genuine class 2 level, The 5lbs higher mark shouldn't be to hard to overcome when meet with similar conditions underfoot as it was that day and even though he went well over six furlongs on good to firm ground, he may find this strongly run five furlongs on quick ground with everything happening a little to fast for him.

4. Indian Trail - Another whose best form in the last 12 months has been in a class 2 handicap and Dandy Nichols has sent out a strong force for a race he won 2 years ago with Machinist. This horse bounced back to form last summer / Autumn with some very good efforts and it appeared that the sprint king had this horse back to what was his previous best form when winning the big sprint handicap on 2000 guineas day. The effort at Haydock last year over five furlongs on good racing ground was a fine effort and his best in the 12 months, however the biggest concern has to be that was last year and even though he find himself 2lbs lower then that mark when beating Judd Street he is yet to get to that level even though there was some signs at York when staying on behind his already flown stable mate Masta Plasta. He is very exposed and maybe this is a downwards curve for the sprinter now so 2lbs shy of his best in the last year may not be good enough even though it is 2lbs less then the York run as well.

5. Matsunosuke - No surprise to see all the horses with genuine class 2 handicap form in the last 12 months at the top of the handicap and this very exposed sprinter has had his sights very much higher this season after running a fine effort in a class 2 handicap at Doncaster behind Sunrise Safari. That performance was his best effort in the last 12 months due to his difficult tasks he has been set since running well in a group 3 sprint in which he was unfairly penalised. Still higher then that mark today he ran his first decent race last time when dropped into a class 3 handicap behind peace offering a race that doesn't look anything special and the time proves that. May need more lowering in the handicap and a turn around in the form to be considered here today for a exposed type.

6. Soharab - Comes here very much a sprinter in form and record a quick sprint time last time out at Newmarket in which he was placed quite well forward and burst through to land the spoils and the gamble. This horse is often gambled when a big run is expected and should be noted in market before dipping your toe in future. The five pounds higher mark may make life a little harder for him as he takes the step up into stronger company today and even though the ground and the pace of the race are very much in his favour I'm a little unsure how much more is to come from this horse that has ran very well at this track in the past. Lightly raced enough to maybe draw further improvement that has come from races over five furlongs he hails from a yard that have plenty of decent sprinters and Travis Block has a decent record on the horse (used to good effect last time out).

7. Orpsie Boy - Another horse whose best effort has come at class 2 level when showing he is as good as ever earlier in the season at Wolverhampton. Didn't show much at the end of June when well beaten and disappointing of a 4lbs higher handicap mark for that all weather win he has since had a absence and returns on the same mark as that Wolverhampton win over six furlongs. This is likely to be a much stronger run race then the Wolverhampton race in which he recorded a very catching time for a class 2 handicap and this stiffer 5F should equate to something close to those six furlongs. Won plenty of races 12 months ago on turf to dispel any concerns that he may be a all weather horse, he does now look a potential group sprinter on the all weather in comparison to turf and was just a well handicapped horse last term. Has form at this track over six furlongs in a low class race then this and may just struggle at this level of his current high mark based on the all weather performances of late.

8. Aegean Dancer - These colours have been going well lately and Brian Smart is always a sprinter to take note of in handicaps for sprinters I feel. Usually more blessed with the younger brigade these days he does have some older horses that can run really well on their day and this horse is one of those. His best effort in the last 12 months was over the minimum trip at Wolverhampton in a class 3 handicaps in which he put up a strong performance there and could well progress on that surface having had only a handful of runs. His turf form however has seemly tailed off since beating Ebraam at Dunstall park and having his turf mark raised up to 97, dropped 1lb now he is yet to show much sparkle this season over five furlongs and may find this stiffer five furlongs with a big strong pace beyond his stamina.

9. Beroliver - Another that has record his best effort in a class 2 event with a victory at this years Chester cup meeting and that performance when bouncing out and making all was a fairly decent effort, the time could have been better for the conditions they ran at and it was a case of a well judged ride from the front in which he was judged to perfection. This track and the shape of the race will be totally different to that victory and he is starting to look quite exposed as a handicapper these days now and the likely hood is that he won't last home at the pace he needs to go to win this race on a stiffer track that Chester. The run at York when in form was his best effort since that wins in May and even then it wasn't the most solid of handicaps from a time perspective.

10. Siren's Gift - Andrew Balding runners have to be of interest at this venue having won many handicaps down the years and this filly is long overdue a big run in a handicap such as this having shaped with so much promise in the earlier parts of last season. The narrow win in a class 4 in conditions stake race has been her only success in the last 12 months and rates as her best performance on the clock and in terms of performances at a certain level and she has seemly paid the price for that win and the proximity of her finishing position in a fairly average group 3 at Newbury where they went no real pace at all and finished in a heap. She has been knocking on the door of late and her most recent performance over course and distance was a very good time and effort on rain soft ground and with conditions more in her favour today she may have a slim chance of reversing the form of that last race even though a drop in class after shedding a few more lbs looks to be the most beneficial way to getting her to win again.

11. Fydoor - A winner of a class 2 event this season when just holding of the late charge of intrepid Jack who may have been slightly ring rusty when starting of his campaign and that could well have been the winning on the turf for this horse that is highly regarded as a all weather specialist. However his best effort in the last year came last time at Beverley of today's mark where he went very well under top weight to finish 2.25L behind the very consistent Evermanforhimself and strike up the band who meets on slightly better terms today. Tony Culhane returns to the saddle on this horse he had a good relationship with prior to the ban he entailed and William Haggas can do no wrong this season in races such as this so he is a interesting runner. The Visor is back on and he has gone well in this race in the past and a strong pace should see him go well over this less stiff five then Beverley.

12. Ebraam - A all weather horse in the main but surprisingly his best performance came at the July Meeting this year when he finished 3rd to Kay Two in a bunch finish this month and comes into this race today very much in form and of the same handicap mark. The race at Newmarket wasn't anything special and they did finish more or less in heap. The drop down in class after being outclassed at this level almost done the trick and would have installed some confidence in this horse that is well suited to quick ground and should enjoy this end to end gallop. However he does still look up against it on turf despite the change around in his form in the last week or so and maybe that piece of form wont stack up too strongly on the basis of this level and the rivals he meet here today.

13. Strike up the Band - Has been knocking on the door for some time now and was only narrowly denied last time by a rapidly improving opponent and could well gain compensation today for Dandy Nichols and co in this more valuable handicap. Maybe given a slightly easy time on the front end in a small field may have helped this horse who was ridden by Frank Dettori to a tee, and I can't imagine that this was the target for the horse given the booking last time and how it ran trying its heart out all the way to the line. The time of that sprint over this course and distance was very good and the winner is likely to be in pattern races from now on so there is reason to believe he has a strong chance at the weights today with this former smart listed sprinter having tumbled down the weights. Only 1lb higher today and with Aiden Nichols on board he could finally win again. The biggest concern has to be the conditions underfoot today as he showed plenty of dash with cut underfoot and has failed to dictate on Quick ground in the past in big fields.

14. Tabaret - Looks to have finally overcome the hard tasks of when heavily rated for listed win as a youngster and is up against at the weights with strike up the band based on the form that they achieved at that young age. It is no surprise to have seen both end up in handicaps to earn their keeps and this is by far more this horse level if not the Nichols horse as well. Improved on his Redcar win over six furlongs with a solid performance at Sandown where he was helped the high draw to chase home Crimson Fern who has confirmed the form with Strike up the Band since and the time of that race was good with Strike up the Band setting fast fractions to try and overcome the negative draw. Its to be seen if that form will hold up between the runners in this race today and on a more evenly based galloping track he may just struggle to last it out pace wise to land the spoils in this race despite staying further then five furlongs. Ground should suit and a fairly decent effort is expected of the same handicap weight as that Sandown run.

15. Cake - Brings Listed form in to this race as her best recent form for Richard Hannon and Patrick Hills who offsets a further 3lbs of the back of this horse that gains further enhancements at the weights being a 3yo taking on her elders. Whether she can stay clam being surrounded by colts and geldings of the older variety is to be seen but she has been dropped in the handicap by 5lbs since putting a ok performance up behind the winner of this last year at Kempton in the Achilles Stakes . That performance was her best effort in the last 12 months having been set some stiff tasks by connections since her two year old days and she may still be in the grip of the handicapper here against her elders having shown considerably little. She has shown up well on the all weather on both starts and it maybe that she is better suited to that surface then turf after showing little last time in Handicap Company of this current mark (Sharp track should have suited).

16. Northern Empire - Best form in the last few runs came at Epsom in which he was a also run not beaten that far and maybe flattered by the finishing position in that handicap where I felt a few runners didn't give their best showing. He has form further back in the year that he is better judged on and that has to be his win at Kempton earlier in the season of a 6lbs lower mark on the all weather and the handicapper who has taken a dim view of his all weather form has left him with no option but to test handicaps such as this as he started of his turf campaign off 94 a 9lb higher mark then the victory recorded on his favoured surface. Starting to drop down the weights again he needs to shed a few more pounds before being given a easier test of stamina having done all his winning on sharper 5F and there will be no hiding places for him today in a race with a strong pace.

17. Holbeck Ghyll - Winner of the Epsom Dash and proved that day he is one of the paces sprinters in training in that handicap having knocked on the door in previous years and even though it was a top handicap I don't rate the form of that race to strongly and he is better judged on the fine effort he put up at Kempton when beating a decent sprinter over six furlongs that day, proving that he has stamina as well as pace to win over sprint trips. He should see out this charge over five furlongs with the strong pace involved across the field and even though he is 11lbs higher then when winning at Kempton (very much a good thing) he has proven to hold his form with in this level and that time in the class 4 handicap at Kempton was a hot one and he is better on Turf. Interesting jockey booking offsetting the penalty from the Dash.

18. Invincible Force - Can be very much hit and miss and looked set to have a profitable campaign when flashing home over five furlongs at Wolverhampton back in November behind the useful Chief Editor and then missed the break next time out when disappointing behind Aegean Dancer over the same course and distance next time out. Has taken his time to re-find his feet this season with a no goer at the Chester Cup meeting and then a improved effort over five furlongs at his favoured Haydock track behind Fydoor. The most recent effort when trying to run the finish out of his rivals in testing ground was his best effort for some time and he is coming into some sort of form with that effort stacking up well and very much looking like a well handicapped horse to strike with in the remaining months of the flat campaign. Quick ground suits but running style in a big field may see him going quicker then he would like in this field.

19. Elharmi - Bounced back to form at Goodwood when holding on for a cosy success over Safari Mischief at Goodwood on Quick ground and very much needs it quick underfoot so the conditions should be very much his liking for this race over five furlongs today. His ability to stay further then five furlongs is the major concern as they are sure to go fast in front in this race and he often lays out prominent to the pace so his stamina may just edge away in the final furlong here today. The all weather run behind Little Edward was a good effort and it could be that performance is his best to draw on and it could see him improve further given the speed of the Lingfield track should suit his action. Not the biggest of horses he has struggled in true gallops on turf and even though his action skips of this fast surface he may be in the grip of the handicapper again at Class 2 level with the all weather likely to pay the bills in the more prominent future.

20. Safari Mischief - Reversed the form with Elharmi at Lingfield from their most recent Goodwood run and will be looking to confirm that form as they pair up against each other again today and the Epsom run behind HolBeck Ghyll gives us further clues as to how he ranks up against the best of these so we should know where we stand with this horse in terms of chances in this handicap today. His best performance on the book was his effort in class 4 handicaps off a 9lbs lower mark then he is running off today but he has shown enough form since to suggest he has progressed from this level. The run behind Matsunosuke where he was top weight despite carrying less because of the claim of the jockey. That was solid looking handicap form and would have finished closer with amore-experienced jockey on top. Has improved since that day and only lightly raced for a sprinter, the run last time at Lingfield after the Epsom run shows that he is still in form and capable of his current mark.

21. Golden Dixie - Been a while since he put up his best performance in the last twelve months when finishing ahead of a progressive sprinter at Goodwood back in August last year and now finds himself below that mark by 3lbs but with another year under his belt and this flag flyer for the Ron Harris in the last few seasons for a yard that does well with these types of sprinters. A quick five furlong dash at his age may be just beyond him these days and that was proven by the sharp six furlongs at Warwick where he never really threatened to land the race despite having the in side of the track to race against, he couldn't muster enough early speed or a kick in the finish to land a blow and even though more suited today to this track he will be staying on to late and may need lowering in grade to get his winning sequence back.

22. The Tatling - hails from a yard that have seemly forgotten how to train winners and it would be good to see the old boy who has brought Milton Bradley so much joy return the trainer to the spot light as a trainer. Has gone well at this track in the past he is 13lbs lower then his best effort in the last twelve months where he ran well behind Koster in a class 2 event and the fact he is lowly weighted in a similar type of race just shows the regression of this old boy. That race was in a big field over six furlong under similar conditions as today so the return to form over five in a dash to the line may just see him tapped for toe even though he has been as effective over five as he is over six furlongs, more recent form has shown that he retains some ability to be able to win of this mark and over five furlongs, but in a ultra competitive race he may find others holding their form better and a weaker affair in a class 2 event may be when to strike.

23. Tom's Laughter - Is quite exposed for a 4yo sprinter and is the 2nd string of the Ron Harris Pair it would seem on jockey bookings. The class 4 effort he put up at Warwick over a sharp six furlongs give him some sort of chance at this higher level if coping with the drop in trip to five on a stiffer track, and he shouldn't be to troubled by the pace they are likely to go early on. The new rating is 2lbs higher for that 1L defeat by Peter'S Island and he needs to improve to win of this higher mark which is quite hard to see as he already looks exposed enough to do himself justice at this higher level. May show up well for long enough to claim a outside chance of a place but overall he looks up against it.

24. Little Pete - has been in solid form this season and ran well at Chester last time out when staying on to finish 3rd and a return to his favoured quick ground should suit him over this five furlongs, his best run was at Haydock in a lower class handicap and that was done in a good time and no surprise to see he has helded his own in tougher races since going up in the weights that sees him running of a six pounds higher mark. He has been held in handicaps since that day with some consistent performances with things in his favour and may need to step up on that performance to win this handicap today. He is still open to improvement as he takes on his elders for the second time having finished behind Bo Mcginity at Chester a track that may have suited his rival more and is better weighted with that rival for this race today and from a yard that always does well at this track, has a outside chance if further progression.

25. Total Impact - ran well behind Tarabet at Redcar two runs back and still kept on with credit in the mud last time at York as that ground would have blunted his speed and its to be seen how he comes out of that race with his chances today in mind and a return to quick ground, His best effort looks to have been recorded at Doncaster in a pretty poor class 5 handicap in which he came through to take the spoils in the final furlong from some pretty consistent performers at that level and clearly enjoys quick ground over five furlongs and the time that day for class of race was very quick so its no surprise to have seen him gone well despite the 8lbs rise that has seen him get in at the foot of the weights in what will be his toughest task to date. Whether he has enough about him to improve further to win a race he will need to set a new personal best is doubtful and a easier class 2 will maybe be when he is ready to strike.

26. Fantasy Explorer - Hayley Turner comes in for this ride to do the low weight on a horse that has promised so much but yet to deliver and could well be on track to give the Portland handicap a go towards the end of the season a race that launched fantasy Believer to win several big handicaps for the same connections and the best effort that was ran in a class 3 handicap at Haydock was quite a slow sprint and this stronger guaranteed dash may not totally suit the horse as he has failed to give his best under a very strong gallop. Finds himself 1lb lower then when staying on to finish 2nd to Dandy Nichols sprinter and in several five furlong sprints he has finished mid pack and failed to live with the pace. A six-furlong sprint may be where they go next where he can be wound up as he isn't the most exposed of sprinters for his age.

27. Dig Deep - Hasn't been in the best form since winning at this track and also going well in this race 12 months ago and best performance since that race has come at Pontefracht of a low mark of 79 in which he is still 4lbs higher then for this race today. He is potentially better then he has shown so far this season and this could well have been the target for a yard that place their horses well and John Quinn will be looking to get the best out of the horse under Jamie Kyne who could make him a feather weight at the foot of the weight (if able to do 7 Stone 7lbs) and a strong gallop on this track should be ideal for the horse who has much in favour. Hasn't had rattling ground in his last 3 runs but did catch a few eyes in the Gosforth Park Handicap and wouldn't be a surprise to see him go in here.

28. Bo Mcginity - Completes the field for a trainer that is simply flying at Present and this horse that really enjoys the fibre sand at Southwell where he recorded a very good time and effort in a class 4 handicap over five furlongs. Is very exposed as a handicapper in general and is only 3lbs higher then that mark for this handicap as he won at Chester a few runs back of a mark of 80 on turf and has proven time and time again he is consistent when dropped in level to around the 80 mark and this is looking like a very hot handicap in which for a exposed handicapper is slightly against him over a stiffer five furlongs and even though lowly weighted he should find a horse who has to much class for him.

Tissue Price - Fyodor 9/1, Dig Deep, Strike up the Band 10/1, Invincible Force, Sohareb, New Freedom 12/1, Holbeck Ghyll, Little Pete 14/1, Northern Fling, Siren's Gift, Tabaret, Safari Mischief 16/1, Oldjoesaid, Total Impact 20/1, Ebraam, Golden Dixie, Cake 25/1, Aegean Dancer, Fantasy Explorer, Tom's Laughter 28/1, Indian Trail, The Tatling, Orpsie Boy 33/1, Bertoliver, Elharmi 40/1, Northern Empire, Bo Mcginity 50/1, Matsunosuke 66/1.

Verdict - Fyodor should go well for the inform Haggas Yard after winning at Haydock over five furlongs on quick ground from a subsequent Group 3 winner intrepid jack and the strong pace should be no problem for this horse who stays the trip, it is a very open field and with the Mile handicap yesterday suggesting it was a fair drawn race as they spread out over the track to make their challenges the middle of the track should be no problem for this horse. The pace seems to be drawn middle to high with Invincible force and Bertoliver looking to take them along and that will Leave the highly drawn Strike up the Band to maybe get a easy time along the far rail and could see Dig Deep come through like Laa Rayb did yesterday in the mile race. New Freedom is the dark horse.

Advised bets - Fyodor 2pts win @ 16-1 (BF20's) + Dig Deep 1pt win @ 16-1 (BF22's)

Well Chief