Time for my weekly look back at the past seven days of racing as I search for a few more ‘NTF Eyecatchers’ to add to the squad. By the way I’ve created a handy ‘snap shot’ page of the eyecatchers so you can see them all together, you can grab that here or by clicking on the ‘eyecatchers’ tab in the main menu above.
Last week probably wasn’t the greatest week of racing we’ve ever seen, topped off by the love it or hate it (mainly hate it I suspect!) Shergar Cup at Ascot.
I’ve got my own ideas about the Shergar Cup (of which I won’t go into detail on here, I’ve got places to be this afternoon!!) but how about this… if we are determined to treat female riders as equals in this country (and by that I mean not adopting the approach of the French and other countries by giving female riders a claim) then surely there shouldn’t be a female team? Also why are none of the female jockey’s in the other teams? It’s a sport (in this country at least, I can’t vouch for other territories) where we are constantly being told that males and females are equals, so why would someone like Haley Turner not be included in the GB & Ireland team? Or Jamie Kah in the Rest of the World team? I mean there isn’t ‘officially’ a ‘boys’ team, albeit all the other teams bar the girls team are actually ‘boys’ teams?!? If this country wants to break down the gender barriers then scrap the girls team and have Hayley Turner captaining the UK & Ireland team, stick Jamie Kah in the Rest of the World team, etc… replace the girls team with an Australia team or something…
Anyway, that’s more than I intended to say about the Shergar Cup so on with the NTF Eyecatchers for the week 4th – 10th of August…
2nd in the C6 Peter Bell Memorial Handicap (Thirsk – 09-08-19)
Defeat for the 3yo here was potentially just a case of being caught on the wrong side of the Thirsk draw. The field settled into two distinct groups here, with the winner – Jill Rose – racing down the near side and GRIMSDYKE tracking along in the group down the centre. The 1st, 3rd & 4th all raced in the near side group with Grimsdyke the only runner from the centre group able to punctuate the dominance of the near side at the finish.
It was clear from the halfway mark that the near side had a serious advantage in this and it’s to Grimsdyke’s credit that he was able to make some sort of race of it, until his jockey Duran Fentiman realised it was a futile task and eased off his mount (wisely) in the final 50 yards or so.
The way the 3yo steamed clear of the rivals on his side of the draw was a strong indicator that he’s still a good deal ahead of the handicapper and given a kinder draw I feel he would have won this race quite comfortably.
The form of Grimsdyke’s win at Redcar two starts back has already started to work out well, with the fourth horse that day – Dubai Elegance – winning next time out at a higher grade at Doncaster and the horse Dubai Elegance beat that day – Springwood Drive – also winning next time. A couple of pointers there that Grimsdyke himself has plenty more to offer from his current mark of OR 51.
I’ve no doubt Tim Easterby will find more suitable openings for this progressive youngster, especially with the current soft-ish conditions likely to favour the horse.
2nd in the G3 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes (Haydock 10-08-19)
Trying to beat Addeybb on testing ground when he’s favoured by the weights is pretty much an impossible task, as the field of the 2019 Rose Of Lancaster Stakes found out on Saturday at Haydock.
James Fanshawe’s 3yo gave it a good crack though and he comes out of the race with plenty credit after his 2.25L 2nd in the valuable contest.
The three year old has in fact run with plenty credit in recent starts, despite failing to score on his three starts since moving out of novice company. He probably didn’t stay the 1m4f trip in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot but he was running a sound race until the fuel tank hit empty and his two starts since then, down in trip and in grade, have both shown signs that he’s a youngster still on the up and with more to offer.
The form of both his novice victories from earlier in the season – at Nottingham & Sandown – have both worked out well since, without suggesting he’s a G1 star in waiting, and I’d expect James Fanshawe to place his charge sensibly in coming starts with a view to getting him back in the winners enclosure.
This week’s eyecatchers will be operating at widely different class levels but I’d be hopeful of both managing to hit the mark again before too long.
Before I leave you today I just want to point you in the direction of my good pal Tony McCormick, who runs the Irish Big Race Trends site.
We recently put our heads together to compile a list of ‘Unexposed Handicappers’ that we feel should be worth keeping on the radar between now and seasons end. Three have run already, with one winning, one bombing out and one getting beat on the nod!
Grab the list on this link…
Cheers – Ben (NTF)
I was struggling to find a ‘theme tune’ for any of the eyecatchers this week but I settled on the following ‘masterpiece’ by the KLF (kind of the KLF) for Grimsdyke…