GG tipster Andrew Mount reveals his list of eyecatchers from the past week’s action, including the runner who caught his eye in the Goffs Million at the weekend.
BUGS MORAN (second, 2m4f handicap hurdle, Listowel, Saturday, September 23rd)
BUGS MORAN was narrowly denied at Galway last month on his return from a 464-day break and the 7-2 favourite was again just touched off in the M.J. Carroll ARRO Handicap Hurdle at Listowel last Saturday. Noel Meade’s six-year-old raced on the inside rail – probably not the place to be – and Jack Kennedy had to wait for an out, allowing winner Gold Speed to get first run. His sole success came over a stiff 3m and a step back up in trip will suit.
CITY HOUSE (second, 6f novice stakes, Wolverhampton, Monday, September 25th)
The betting for the 6f Free Tips Daily attheraces.com Novice Stakes revolved around Saeed Bin Suroor’s 11-8 favourite NEZEEH and the Crisford’s PEN PORTRAIT (6-4). However, the eyecatcher from the race was James Fanshawe’s all-weather debutant CITY HOUSE who arrived late to finish three-quarters of a length behind Pen Portrait in second place. Poorly drawn in stall 10, the 9-1 shot missed a beat at the start and was held up in rear by Robert Havlin. The son of Night Of Thunder was still in ninth place on turning in and looked to be going nowhere with a furlong and a half to run. However, the penny finally dropped, and he stayed on out wide to finish with a flourish. This was a big step up on July’s Ascot run (last of 11) behind Al Musmak and he looks sure to break his duck in the very near future.
DERWENT BOY (second, 6f apprentice handicap, Pontefract, Thursday, September 21st)
The front-runners on the inside rail weren’t lasting home at Pontefract’s meeting last Thursday and DERWENT BOY’s neck second in the 6f Solutions 4 Cleaning Apprentice Handicap can be upgraded. Julie Camacho’s three-year-old, wearing a visor for the first time, made the running on the inside rail before getting headed close home by Havana Pursuit, who plotted a wider course.
FAMOSO (fifth, 2m handicap chase, Warwick, Monday, September 25th)
FAMOSO broke his duck at Stratford last month and was sent off at 7-1 for the 2m Weatherbys nhstallions.co.uk Handicap Chase when bidding to double his career tally at Warwick on Monday. Held up in rear on a track rarely kind to such tactics, Stan Sheppard rushed him up on the outside three furlongs out, but the effort took his toll, and he weakened approaching the last fence, coming home just over 11 lengths behind the winner in fifth. This was a useful effort in the circumstances and a return to Stratford will suit.
FLYING BAY (fifth, 7f maiden, Curragh, Sunday, September 24th)
Overnight mover FLYING BAY drifted out to 16-1 on race day morning but the second wave of support arrived, and Andrew Kinirons’ newcomer was sent off at just 9-2 for the 7f Pat “The Duke” Leavy Irish EBF Maiden. He raced in touch with the leaders and briefly looked threatening but became outpaced approaching two out and weakened into a modest fifth in the final furlong. This experience won’t have been wasted on the son of New Bay and this Irish 2,000 Guineas entry will be of interest next time.
GO SIOUX ME (won, 7f maiden, Down Royal, Monday, September 25th)
GO SIOUX ME had caught the eye when a tenderly-handled 22-1 third of four at Naas in July and got off the mark when 7-2 for the 7f Madro Excepcional Maiden. He won well from the front – tactics that were far from easy to pull off because of the headwind – and can follow up.
MY MATE ALFIE (third, 7f Sales Race, Curragh, Saturday, September 23rd)
MY MATE ALFIE had no answer to the hugely impressive One Look in the Goffs Million but the 8-1 shot picked up over 117,000euros for his third of 23, just a neck behind runner-up Cherry Blossom, the even-money favourite. A winner on good ground at Down Royal in July, the son of Dark Angel coped well with the yielding to soft going but could have more to offer on a quicker surface.
QUEENIE ST CLAIR (ninth, 7f handicap, Down Royal, Monday, September 25th)
QUEENIE ST CLAIR lost her prominent early position in the same race as Wild Mountain (see below) and was caught on heels as front-runner QUEENIE ST CLAIR weakened quickly. She looked to be coming again but met further trouble on the inside rail and was allowed to coast home in her own time. Noel Meade’s three-year-old is an eight-race maiden but has placed in three of her five handicap outings and should find a small race on turf.
VALKYRIAN (won, 1m fillies’ handicap, Leicester, Monday, September 25th)
VALKYRIAN, only seventh of ten at Wolverhampton earlier this month, drifted from 9-1 out to 12-1 for the 1m SAS Logistics Fillies’ Handicap at Leicester on Monday but laughed at her 13 rivals, scoring by an easy three lengths. A big field/strong pace would seem to be the key to Jamie Osborne’s three-year-old, this win taking her record for her current yard in fields of 12 or more runners to 1041 (2-4), with the ‘duck egg’ by five lengths after repeatedly finding trouble and the fourth place by two and a half lengths when a 14-1 chance.
WILD MOUNTAIN (fourth, 7f handicap, Down Royal, Monday, September 25th)
The headwind in the straight made life difficult for front-runners at Down Royal on Monday and WILD MOUTNAIN deserves credit for his 80-1 fourth in the 7f Molson Coors Beverage Company Handicap. The four-year-old was beaten by more than seven lengths but pressed the early pace and the other front-runner dropped away to finish a long last. His sole win came on Polytrack at Kempton for the Paul Cole yard, and he could pop up at a nice price at Dundalk this winter.
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