Horse Antepost

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09 May 15 19:19
Date Joined: 04 Aug 06
| Topic/replies: 873 | Blogger: Madhu's blog
Well honest Marco Botti on ATR Video Features is definitely aiming Moohaarib at the Lockinge - Botti eyeing Lockinge shock - 8th May 2015

Newmarket trainer Marco Botti is planning a Newbury raid with the progressive Moohaarib who looks set to take his chance in the Lockinge Stakes.

This horse goes completely against the trends for this race but the way he won last time out, after I had backed him ante-post in the Lincoln, he looked massively on the up (up 13lb in ratings). I think he is going to run to 123 and wipe this lot out. Ladbrokes 25/1 will look way out of line come Monday (12pm, 11th May - Confirmation of entry stage). Will Karakontie run? Are Hannon’s lot up to it in 2015? Could Integral beat the colts? Can you see 6yo Custom Cut winning? Avg odds 21.29
Pause Switch to Standard View LOCKINGE STAKES
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Report Madhu May 14, 2015 11:00 PM BST
Harrycallaghan-  Arod is annoying me as think he is good but he just refuses to drop the bit...

They might just let him travel here and he may drop the bit?

I started to think Arod is out of line 28 on here and 25/1 with the bookies. That is if it is still faster than good come Saturday.I've just taken the 29.12 Av Odds on here.

Chapple-Hyam- 13 May
Arod is very well. It was a good comeback at Newmarket and obviously a mile is a new thing for him. We don’t really want to see any rain. “We are going to give it a go over a mile on Saturday and see what happens. He raced a bit keenly over further last season and so that is why we are giving it a go. “The Al Shaqab Lockinge Stakes is sure to be a tough race and there will be no hiding place. Arod is in the Queen Anne Stakes and the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, so Newbury will give us a pointer as to where we go with him this season.”
Report harry callaghan May 15, 2015 12:29 AM BST
the trouble with this madhu is can the guy training him sort him out and i'm afraid he is hopeless, which is a shame cause the horse just needs taming to progress to the top table

a hopeless task which is proving very expensive tbh
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 12:41 AM BST
I agree harry callaghan but the there is a Andrea Atzeni in the equation now and his positioning and handling could make all the difference and 25/1 is big when you look at the move in the Derby and based on his position in Juddmonte, much more was expected by the way he was ridden for a turn of foot he was disappointing. His run first time out might look much better in time/
Report harry callaghan May 15, 2015 12:52 AM BST
i don't disagree madhu but the trainer is horrible and when a horse is as keen as him i don't think he would drop the bit over 6 never mind a mile...don't listen to me as have done my doe on the creature... but on the off season the trainer has had every chance to make him a proper horse and he hasn't sorted him out so he will continue to be a cliff horse for me which is a shame because i think he is classy but now refuse to part with the money, also he won't want any cut in the ground imo
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 1:17 AM BST
I don’t think there will be any cut harry Callaghan. Moreover although he has At Talaq in his bottom line, closer up, he has Lear Fan (10.3f)  and he could only squeeze out 9/10f  in Far Lane and Singspiel (10.4f) only got 9f out of Dark Islander.
I think with Teofilo (IRE)  (10.6f) they were barking up the wrong tree trying to get a mile and a half and rushing him as he was quite a late foal(21Apr).
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 3:07 AM BST
I’ll put forward another thing or two that has passed my mind-

Qatar Racing/Al Shaqab Racing

They have had Osiala, Smaih and Moheet run in classics from the Hannon’s stable, moreover, they had Toronado and Olympic Glory last year alongside Night of Thunder and Toormore.
David Redvers, racing manager to owners Qatar Racing, said: "We were delighted with the run at Newmarket, he was beaten by a good horse that on the day just sneaked up on him. "He's a top-class horse and that was the first step back on the road. "At the moment, we are looking at running him next in either the Lockinge or the Diomed (Epsom). "If we think that he has a realistic chance of winning the Lockinge he will go for that as the race has great prize-money and it is a fair track which should suit him well."

What with them sponsoring it and hiking the prize money to £350,000 this year, I think he is cold stone certainty to get there in peak condition. They know the time of day. Peter Chapple-Hyam is olde school class. Respect.  Also, I think he did well for them in Caravan Rolls On. I think Moohaarib and Arod are two decent arrows if it stays fast.
Report layingisthewayforward May 15, 2015 9:13 AM BST
No mention of toomore on the thread.  Smallish e/w bet for me.
Report IrisDeBalme May 15, 2015 9:39 AM BST
At bigger odd 33/1 TOP NOTCH TONTO has a each way shout...

Obviously the more rain the better...
Report harry callaghan May 15, 2015 5:48 PM BST
fair comments madhu but this comment interested the most and this is where i am at with the horse

"At the moment, we are looking at running him next in either the Lockinge or the Diomed (Epsom).

the diomed is just a group 3 and maybe this is just his level? listen like i say i have paid dearly following him, maybe the drop back will suit but just maybe he isn't as good as i thought he'd be and he certainly never will be, if he doesn't learn to drop the bit
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 7:23 PM BST
My problem with him also is I’m not sure about the draw and pace. I think I caught a bit of TV talk about the first nine home being drawn low and coming up the centre in the 7f maiden race on the straight course today but I’m not sure, as I think the best horses for speed and highest rated were over there so it might be a bit deceiving?

With 18 runners and 2 endings of the starting stalls they will probably be in 2 groups again- centre and stands side.

Down the centre I am sure Custom Cut and Integral will want to slow it down a bit in front quicken 2 out. Night of Thunder would be better off a fast pace. There will be good horses to pass. I think that might suit Arod if he tracks the pace and settles better over a mile, and then quickens 2 and half out. I just hope he will be hard to pass that side.

Down the stands side I can see Toormore back to being a pacer rather than taking a chance he pulls again, like in the 2000 Guineas. Yuften improved from the front in the PJP and William Haggas has entered him in the Eclipse (same cross as Ektihaam who got 12f ). I hope he front runs and there is more of a stronger pace stands side for Moohaarib.
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 7:32 PM BST
Also interesting Lads cut Arod from 25/1 to 16's and he is looking blue on Oddschecker just like Moohaarib. In contrast to Night of Thunder looking red out to 11/4?
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 8:04 PM BST
Forget that about the stalls and draw as just seen the Russian Rhythm race in 2004 when they had 15 runners, the stalls were on the far side! Who knows where the stalls will be?
Report Madhu May 15, 2015 8:13 PM BST
No my search actually led to a Korean commentary of the 1000Guineas 2003. So forget that as well. Will keep searching.
Report sintonian May 15, 2015 9:08 PM BST
Biggest field I can remember with 18 running, has to be due to increased prize money. Just hope best horse wins and no had luck stories. Sticking with the favourite here.
Report breadnbutter May 15, 2015 10:15 PM BST
18 runner group 1 ....your avin a larf LaughLaughLaugh
Report dunlaying May 15, 2015 10:46 PM BST
Night Of Thunder for me and I have thrown a few coppers e/w at Master Carpenter.
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 3:46 AM BST
well after a good drink i am still struggling with an angle betting wise in the race...lots can win and it really is an open betting much as i think night of thunder is the stand out and i believe is well drawn, he is tough to play at the price we are getting, i still believe he will win if running to his maximum and the race will be run to suit him but i just haven't got him as far clear as the betting suggests he should be, i will have a couple of sheckles saver but on this occasion i have to play the good filly as think she is really good and the ground should be fine...hors de comabat is a horse i think is far better than he has shown and see him running a major race here but maybe just a place play is the angle with him although we have to have a couple of pounds of the 28's

tough stuff so good luck if you have a serious bet in an open betting heat imo
Report Howellsy May 16, 2015 8:01 AM BST
Night of Thunder 11-4 =26.67%
Integral 11-2 = 15.39%
Total  = 42.06%
That's an 11-8 bet on proven group 1 form prevailing. They are both straight track, good ground milers. Take any ten of their rivals out, and they'd be much shorter. The big field is leading to muddled thinking about horses like Custom Cut etc.
I have no idea who will win but over time 11-8 on group 1 form will do fine for me.
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 9:35 AM BST
Integral is a standout for me, on her best form with the allowance I have her 5lbs clear of her nearest rival, Night of Thunder. There's always a risk backing a horse first time out as it has to be taken on trust that it retains its old ability but at least we know this is a target rather than a pipe opener so Stoute must think she's ready.

As for Night of Thunder, in my view his subsequent runs after the Guineas were never as good, so the question is whether he can return to that early season form of last year's Guineas. I don't know the answer to that but even if he can I believe he needs to improve again. The rest will need to improve even more.

If Integral retains her ability from last year and Stoute has her primed I think she's going to be very hard to beat and at these odds I'm having a decent bet.
Report metro john May 16, 2015 9:47 AM BST
So disappointing Karakontie not hereSad, I am left with Night Of Thunder a horse I just don't like, Yuften is interesting for a place at a much bigger price.
Report Benjy May 16, 2015 10:38 AM BST
Very competitive this. Mooharib and Aljamaaheer were going to be my two but a bit worried about the rain. Confused
Report unclepuncle May 16, 2015 10:41 AM BST
'Bigger the field, the bigger the certainty' - If Night Of Thunder is fit then he should surely beat these and 3/1 is a fair price. Integral is a very good GP1 filly but it's hard to judge her based on beating her own sex - she was thrashed in the QEII, admittedly on horrible ground.  She was especially impressive at Royal Ascot last year so a straight flattish mile on G/F might be her best conditions so she is feared but I can't bring myself to back her.

The rest of them are much of a muchness and if the big two fail to fire anything could happen. I backed Trade Storm this morning @ 44 but he is now a non runner, so have gone for Captain Cat @ 30 instead. He's a total dog but the big field should help him travel into the race - what he finds is anyones guess. I'll put an 'in running' lay bet up at 6/1 to try to cover my stake.
Report sintonian May 16, 2015 11:59 AM BST
I'd ignore Integral's last run as they were in two minds about running so soon after the Sun Chariot.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 12:04 PM BST
Greened out on Arod as no confidence behind him today. So Moohaarib only for me now. Good luck everyone.
Report Benjy May 16, 2015 12:54 PM BST
Appreciate it's not the Lockinge but Izzthatright is surely too big in the 2.35 even with the penalty. The worry is that he's traveled and settled alright from the middle east but at 25/1 that's more than built in imo.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 1:43 PM BST
Ground faster as the day went on yesterday and possibly good but firmer so says Mr Osgood a while ago on RUK and time fair in the first race but we'll know more come 2.40 after the Listed race over 6f.
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 1:55 PM BST
well i was looking at the draw from the big mile handicap earlier in the season when they came centre and low numbers dominated but not sure whether they may come centre to stands side today so just wonder how much this will be against night of thunder drawn right out on the flank, the only thing in his favour appears to be the speed that is that side with the free goer arod likely to be up there along with custom cut but will they be sitting ducks to the closers, will be interesting where tudhope goes
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 2:01 PM BST
They may go in 2 groups if there is two spare with end of starting stalls? I still think Yuften and Toormore will be much pacier on the stands side group if that happens.
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 2:48 PM BST
yep you don't wanna be high
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 3:13 PM BST
No harry, I'm thinking 2 groups and better pace stands side for those drawn high?
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 3:21 PM BST
Mind you Moohaarib is only 3 away from Integral if she runs prominantly, so 12 might not be that bad if they come up the centre?
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 3:32 PM BST
think your alright in 12 but i wouldn't want to be any higher myself and tbh i'm just having a bet on hors to place and the good filly who was a nice juicy price earlier i think you might get a couple of stragglers high but the rest will come down the centre...just seems like a swamp stands side to me
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 3:55 PM BST
well done sint and others small stuff for me but a good thread
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:00 PM BST
Well done sint and Howellsy for keeping it simple, and other NOT backers. Disappointing for me that Integral couldn't even stay on for the place but think she could do better for the run.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 4:03 PM BST
I think Toormore has run a cracker from the draw. With Moohaarib obviously class made the difference but it may also be the case of goes on it once but not again. Thought had a decent bet at 20+. As for Arod this is a vast improvement but not good enough. Night of Thunder worthy winner on all accounts. Well done his backers.
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 4:12 PM BST
arod ran well at last some progress

gunna be a very tight year for milers this year, they do look an average bunch as do the 3 year olds...lots of tight betting heats
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 4:17 PM BST
I think with discussion we can get an edge harry callaghan. Been a pleasure this blog.
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:21 PM BST
Agreed harry, not outstanding form and I'd say NOT hasn't really improved from last year, not that he needed to today for his backers. Some might see him capable of better but I'd be wanting to take him on in future at a short price, similar to Toronado last year after his first time out win. I'm not normally one for following horses over a cliff but even though Integral was beaten fair and square today I'll be giving her one more chance next time to overturn this form, as I'm reluctant to downgrade her just yet and it wouldn't be the first time one has been left slightly undercooked first time out.
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 4:34 PM BST
indeed madhu always edges just wish i'd stuck with my first thoughts and kept it simple, however i did think the ground had got plenty fast enough for the winner, so fair play to him for knuckling down, the draw was advantageous imo though...integral ran a good race figgis its a shame she jumped so well and was forced to be right on the speed, she payed for that late on imo i'd say the windsor forest is hers for the taking because although she was bet late on i'd put that down to moore rather than a gamble, she was very weak in the betting before moores 4 fold so like you say she is likely to progress from this

i dare not have an aftertime but the winner winning isn't a complete disaster for me placed a double a few weeks ago so there is hope, we just have to pray on the derby winner!!!!Grineasy
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:44 PM BST
I hope they send her for the Queen Anne rather than the Windsor Forest as I still believe she could be good enough and there will be little value in the WF. I reckon Stoute would've had the Queen Anne in mind before today's race so if he does send her there I'd take confidence that he believes she can do better.
Report roadrunner46 May 16, 2015 4:45 PM BST
this was a good result for the form book, outstanding form from last year, has proven its worth today.
kingman was one of the special highlights last year and horse of the year, and NOT beat that one. integral
has only won group 1 fillies and mares races.
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:46 PM BST
Yes, maybe you could've put forward that view before the race?
Report roadrunner46 May 16, 2015 4:51 PM BST
you dont listen to others views anyway! you have got your own ratings. ask any form reader which horse had the best form in that race and they will all tell you the same.  if i put that view up before the race, wouldnt of made an iota of difference to you.
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:53 PM BST
You're right, it wouldn't have made any difference to my bets, but it might've made you look something more than an aftertime merchant.
Report roadrunner46 May 16, 2015 4:55 PM BST
yeah yeah, doesnt make me look a fool like you and your ratingsWink
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 4:58 PM BST
Yes, again you're right, being wise after the event makes you look very clever indeed.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 4:58 PM BST
We all knew NOT had the best form but it was whether he would turn up in it. Pure class, another wise head-nodder after the event club member. PRAT.
Report roadrunner46 May 16, 2015 5:00 PM BST
can i have your updated rating on TREVE pleaseLaugh
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 5:24 PM BST
In fairness to NOT the time was surprisingly slow given the size of the field, leading to a bunched finish with some moderate runners like Cable Bay finishing close up, so it isn't conclusive whether he has improved or not, he may show more in a truer run race. However, he's probably going to be priced up fairly short next time so I'd still be looking to oppose him.
Report unclepuncle May 16, 2015 5:57 PM BST
NOT is still 6/1 for the Queen Anne with the two horses ahead of him in the betting being far eastern types who won't know whats hit them when they meet Ascots straight mile.Shocked

Looks a cracking e/w bet to me.
Report unclepuncle May 16, 2015 5:59 PM BST
Edot - Solow is a French trained horse.Cry
Report sintonian May 16, 2015 6:17 PM BST
cheers Harry/Figgis. A much needed winner tbf, been in dire form!

Just going on pre-race comments from connections only, then you would have to think Toormore has a good chance of reversing the form at Ascot. Described by Hughes as a bigger,stronger horse than NOT and needing the run more. However, NOT is a rock solid performer and always runs to 120 or thereabouts which is going to put him in with a chance of winning the mile races.

6/1 for the Queen Anne does not really appeal only because there are two exceptional looking horses at the head of the market and, provided they both get there, then it would be quite a surprise if both of them underperformed. If all 3 run, plus a few more like Toormore then I cannot see NOT being shorter than the price he is currently (on Good ground)
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 6:34 PM BST
I won't pretend to have a handle on Able Friend, apart from seeing the obvious that he's pretty good. He is a 6yo though now and from experience I'd say generally horses start to lose a touch of speed at that age. I guess it depends on how good he was to begin with. Solow is another that is difficult to pin down, he had some decent form last year but you wouldn't say he was quite a top notcher. I've argued before that some horses do improve at the age of 5 but the fact is most don't. The question is whether he has really improved or will he turn out to be another impressive Dubai winner that doesn't look quite as good back on European turf? Win or lose I couldn't be backing either of those two at the prices with the doubts mentioned and therefore it's true that NOT wouldn't look too short at the current price. It could look a different market nearer the day though so I'll be waiting to see.
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 6:39 PM BST
Scrap that, Able Friend is a 5yo so no problem on that score.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 6:40 PM BST
I would agree Figgis on the top 2 in the betting- I would take them on over here at Royal Ascot on the straight mile. I only wish I could of grabbed the 16/1 on Toormore as I think he had it all to do from his draw. Given fast ground I'd think he could turn it around now he is back to making the pace.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 6:46 PM BST
Fortunately I have just Toormore for the QA just now on the Betfair Sportsbook at 16/1. Wow that is out of line.
Report Madhu May 16, 2015 6:47 PM BST
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 6:49 PM BST
Apologies, for some reason Raceform results have him down as a 6yo this year. Looking for possible negatives, he has had a fairly busy time going into Ascot, although I have no idea how much his racing has taken out of him. I think we're all aware of the advantage Wink Aussie sprinters have over ours, but apparently it is less beneficial over distances further than sprints.
Report sintonian May 16, 2015 6:51 PM BST
Agree re your points on Solow Figgis, it does seem he's come from nowhere, he was raced over 2 miles at one stage! But for a 5yo he is relatively lightly raced, 13 runs, and 8 of them have been wins. I think it's a case of maturity and the trainer Freddie Head working out what's best for the horse. He looks the real deal now and if he were trained by anyone else i'd probably be suspicious too but if Freddie Head says he's the nuts then i'd trust it tbh. Excited
Report harry callaghan May 16, 2015 7:42 PM BST
really do think we are talking of a poor race today and lots of horses hold the race down...i'll be interested to see NOT back up on fast ground again and the horse i would want to see back up is toormore who i had down as a turning into a rat last season but is clearly a much better horse now...he may just surprise me this season but will need to see him again before i bet him, he has got a good record fresh and i need to see him back up but he may do

i won't be over complicating the queen anne as had solow down as a massive improver with racing before dubai so am really happy to play him again but will wait till day as race could end up another big field with so many average friend is a proper horse, so it will be interesting to see how he travels
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 8:26 PM BST
It's possible given how the race was run that one or two runners weren't able to show their real superiority (not that it was an excuse for my bet as she was in the right place) but I'm sure there are a few that were flattered to finish so close.
Report Fashion Fever May 16, 2015 9:00 PM BST
Figgis 16 May 15 09:35 
Integral is a standout for me, on her best form with the allowance I have her 5lbs clear of her nearest rival, Night of Thunder. There's always a risk backing a horse first time out as it has to be taken on trust that it retains its old ability but at least we know this is a target rather than a pipe opener so Stoute must think she's ready.

As for Night of Thunder, in my view his subsequent runs after the Guineas were never as good, so the question is whether he can return to that early season form of last year's Guineas. I don't know the answer to that but even if he can I believe he needs to improve again. The rest will need to improve even more.

If Integral retains her ability from last year and Stoute has her primed I think she's going to be very hard to beat and at these odds I'm having a decent bet.

were you out on QE11 Day, ?

shouldve won half the track
Report Figgis May 16, 2015 9:10 PM BST
On the QE2 thread I actually said it was a poor ride and he should've won, however I still would've had it as poorer than his Guineas win.
Report HKAccie May 17, 2015 12:16 AM BST
Figis - AF will be 6 on 1st August so almost right. He only ran 3 times as a 3yo and had 8 races last season his only defeat at G1 level was 2nd to variety club when he was probably a little ott. This season he's hardly been tested as he keep beating the same horses, Solow was entered for the champs mile but they didn't fancy taking him on at Sha Tin. He's 90% certain to travel over but he's also not flying direct as there's no flight available so that's something else to consider. I personally think the straight mile will suit him better than going around a bend as he's a massive beast of a horse. I hope the AF that won in December turns up at Ascot as he'll be very very hard to beat if he does, though this again will be race 8 for the season...though this year he hasn't had 2 hard raced against designs on Rome over 9 & 10f. Fingers crossed they all turn up.
Report Figgis May 17, 2015 1:15 AM BST
HKAccie, ah right, I did wonder if it was something to do with some kind of different birthday standardisation over there but don't know much about it, thanks for the info.
Report HKAccie May 17, 2015 5:43 AM BST
This may help if you want to look at his runs
Report metro john May 17, 2015 9:13 AM BST

May 16, 2015 -- 12:34PM, Figgis wrote:

I won't pretend to have a handle on Able Friend, apart from seeing the obvious that he's pretty good. He is a 6yo though now and from experience I'd say generally horses start to lose a touch of speed at that age. I guess it depends on how good he was to begin with. Solow is another that is difficult to pin down, he had some decent form last year but you wouldn't say he was quite a top notcher. I've argued before that some horses do improve at the age of 5 but the fact is most don't. The question is whether he has really improved or will he turn out to be another impressive Dubai winner that doesn't look quite as good back on European turf? Win or lose I couldn't be backing either of those two at the prices with the doubts mentioned and therefore it's true that NOT wouldn't look too short at the current price. It could look a different market nearer the day though so I'll be waiting to see.

Good morning figgis, I have Able friend well up their on ratings, It may seem silly but I am not sure I trust them because a lot of blinkered/headgear worn in the race? We all have are own biasesHappy

Report HKAccie May 17, 2015 9:46 AM BST
Figgis - there is a line of form through Captain Cat, AF beat him by 10.25 lengths in December, NOT beat him by 6 lengths, different tracks and levels of fitness etc but AF wasn't really extended to win in December.
Report metro john May 17, 2015 9:54 AM BST
Hi HK Accie, is NOT genuine will he perform the same twice?
Report metro john May 17, 2015 9:57 AM BST
Another thought but these eastern raiders do seem too under achieve on the European turf? hope for the layers yet.
Report Benjy May 17, 2015 9:59 AM BST
WD winners.

Looks a very fair price now Silly
Report HKAccie May 17, 2015 10:15 AM BST
No idea Metro, you'd have to think NOT is consistent, just got beaten by good horses last year. Just think all things being equal AF would beat him, as to the French horse that's different as he did look very good in Dubai, interesting to see how the international handicappers rate yesterday to see how close they rate it to AF. The trouble is how often things are equal....

Pretty sure HK hasn't had that many runners in Europe let alone Ascot as they usually have no incentive as prize money isn't a carrot, Little Bridge won the King's Stand in 2012 and there was Cape Of Good Hope in 2005 but think there haven't been many other runners - usually as its at the end of the HK season and the good horses are aimed at local and other APAC races, just this time Moore thinks he's got one to really have a dart with that and AF has hardly been tested in HK so the only way to see how good he really is will be to take on the best away from home as they won't travel to HK, even in December and that mile race is worth almost 2 million quid.
Report Madhu May 17, 2015 2:37 PM BST
Able Friend

December Hong Kong Mile (Group 1)- Gold Fun (2nd) (-4 1/2l) very consistent but he has not won over a mile since 2013 as a 4yo, since the HKM it could be argued he is better now ( form with Dundonnell Peniaphobia and Aerovelocity)  at less than a mile.  The Japanese Grand Prix Boss (3rd) was not what you could call unbeatable in Japan previously. World Ace (4th) 5l behind in 4th has been beaten twice in Australia by the same distance. Glorious Days (5th) just makes up the numbers. Tie that in with Trade Storm (7th) (-6 1/2l) annihilated by Solow in Dubai, and beaten by Lasix pumped upKarakontie (-2l), and Custom Cut(-1/2l) either side of winning tin pot Grade 1 in Woodbine, I’m willing to take him on over a straight mile at Ascot.

Comparison with line of form through Captain Cat -10.25 lengths in December behind Able Friend and -6l behind Night of Thunder yesterday is incomparable.IMO. Headgear on in Honk Kong- cheek pieces first time (rather than a hood -17l or blinkers -16 1/2l which he has worn before)? When he finished last after that Dubai never happened. Roger Chartlton is on record - wrong decision running in Hong Kong, he ran no sort of race for no apparent reason. His previous race was good as given too much to do behind Sloane Avenue (112) Cladocera (111) (well behind Solow) Group 2 performers in Dubai. Captain Cat is playing for places in Group 1’s over here, although arguably his finest performance came when he was fifth, beaten only four lengths, in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot at the end of the season (-3 1/2l and 3 l behind Night of Thunder and Toormore) when he travelled easily over good horses but couldn't quicken on the heavy ground. He was poorly drawn on Saturday in 14. IMO.

I would not be worrying about Able Friend as much as Solow. Freddie Head does not see many geese as swans. By June he won’t have been beaten for 2 years other than over 1m 7 1/2f  in Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (Head said the horse fooled him at first) but his Dubai form is suspect with US turf horse Mshawish just behind The Great Gatsby,  and Euro Charline (Beverly D?) and Earnshaw close up to the grey. Would question TGG form there.

The key here is Freddie Head, like sintonian argues, and in agreement with harry callaghan's view on improvement, and what’s in his head over the difference between Charm Spirit and Solow. Freddie Head on Charm spirit- “I think he is as good as the best milers I've trained. He is a real fighter and warrior. He's a champion.” After the QE11 where Night of Thunder and Toormore were unlucky.On Solow: "He's a great horse and is improving all the time. "I knew he was very well but this was his biggest test. "He showed what a good horse he is. He's amongst the best I've trained."

Me personally I’m a Toormore fan now on Saturdays run from a poor draw and back to a pacer. Tim Palin, racing manager for Toormore's owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "He's a big horse, but has filled out nicely and grown over the winter. The problem he had at three was he was a bit weak. "Richard said he was a bit gassy, but I'm not using that as an excuse and we're delighted he's run with credit in a Group 1." Richard Hannon- Night Of Thunder- "He has been off a long time, and, having looked as if he was going to win a length, he got tired, and Toormore got within a neck. There was only half a length between the pair in last year's QEII at Ascot, and they are both proven Group 1 horses. I am happy that Betfair Sportsbook was out of line on Toormore after the Lockinge for some time (10Am Sunday going by Oddschecker) and allowed me 16/1 for the QueenAnne.
Report Figgis May 17, 2015 3:06 PM BST
I think that quote from Head proves even he can get a bit over enthusiastic about his own runners. Charm Spirit as good as Goldikova and Moonlight Cloud? Not in my book.
Report Madhu May 17, 2015 3:13 PM BST
Same could be said of Moore and comparisons with Viva Pataca.
Report Madhu May 17, 2015 3:20 PM BST
Hannon said: "We’ve been lucky enough to win the Queen Anne with three of the best horses we’ve had in Paco Boy, Canford Cliffs and Toronado."Night Of Thunder and Toormore would both be right up there with that trio, and they have earned the chance to have a crack at Solow and Able Friend.

"Solow looked awesome when destroying a top-class field in the Dubai Turf at Meydan, while Able Friend is a superstar in Hong Kong and has shown that he is virtually unbeatable at Sha Tin.

"We have improved the quality of our squad these last few years, and the chance to show just how far we have come by beating the top horses from abroad is what really excites me."
Report HKAccie May 17, 2015 4:12 PM BST
I won't be getting involved until AF gets on the plane, still a 10% chance he won't make it. If AF does get beaten it would be good to see whatever beats him go to Sha tin in December for a re-match. Moore hasn't said he's unbeatable just that this will be his toughest task yet, he's now got to prove he is the best and not just rely on his rating, which is what we all want to see.
Report metro john May 17, 2015 5:22 PM BST
Could not have Toormore on my mind, could not beat glory awaits?
Report MrDinos May 17, 2015 6:05 PM BST
Bit of a late gatecrasher on this one but I wasn't impressed with the Lockinge yesterday and I don't think connections of Able Friend will be too worried about NOT or Toormore. I will be surprised if the winner of the Queen Anne comes from this race.

Able Friend's form was advertised today, Dan Excel won the big G1 in Singapore beating Military Attack (solid and consistent G1 horse) by 1/2 length. Able Friend breezed past Dan Excel on the bridle and won without the Magic Man moving a muscle in his previous race (Champions Mile). I think the form from Hong Kong has a more solid look to it than Solow's win in Dubai and yesterday's Lockinge.

Aerovelocity won the Krisflyer G1 Sprint at Singapore today as well, before that he won the Hong Kong Sprint G1 and then the Takamatsunomiya Kinen Sprint G1 in Japan (first non Japanese winner). Back in October Able Friend gave Aerovelocity nearly a stone in weight and finished 1 length behind him in a 6F G2 handicap which was AF's first race of the HK 2014/15 season. Able Friend is a very special horse, he wasn't at peak fitness that day and it was just a warm up race... what he would do to a now multiple winning international G1 sprinter off level weights over 6F is a scary thought and that's not AF's optimum trip either!
Report unclepuncle May 17, 2015 7:38 PM BST
Well I've backed NOT e/w @ 6/1. I don't rate him as a really top notcher but his two main rivals form claims are in a diffrent hemisphere. I never rate Dubai form back in Europe (just look at some of the Godolphin horses that have won the World Cup), and while Able Friend is a beast in Hong Kong and would probably thrash NOT at Sha Tin I do worry about the travelling and different track etc.

While the Lockinge form was uninspiring I felt NOT clearly went through the race as the best horse and never looked like not winning. Given he came on a bundle for his first run last year and also held his form very well and looks very uncomplicated in terms of track and ground I can't have him out of the places.
Report Madhu May 17, 2015 7:56 PM BST
I suppose it comes down to the topsy turvy world of Southern Hemisphere and Northern Hemisphere horses. I’m not crabbing his wonder horse status in Hong Kong but he’s no Frankel or Black Cavier to me. The question is after 7 races (from Oct 2014 to May 2012 as a 5yo in the 2014/2015 season) and a trial race at the start of June, all at Sha Tin: will he be able to travel 6000 miles and run to 120+ on his first trip out of the country and on a straight course like Ascot. As to a rematch if Able Friend gets beaten why would those who beat him want to travel to Hong Kong in December for £1m rematch instead of going to the Breeders’ Cup Mile in Keenland in October for £700,000 and be pumped up with Lasix, and in the hope Wise Dan doesn’t turn up. Don’t make sense to me?

It is easy to knock the Lockinge form ( and Toormore’s form in Turkey) but I think we have two English trained top class 4yo horses that have a whole season of improvement ahead of them with the European championship mile races in June til August. Hughsie and Hannon’s, and Palin’s talk on Toormore lead you to think there is much more to come. BV and PP’s 12/1 and Sky’s 6/1 on Night of Thunder is disrespectful and I hope they are kin mugged for it. I wouldn’t be backing against Hannon’s two now and both Able Friend and Solow are allowing good prices in the Queen Anne. All bo locks if Solow is a Goldikova though. IMO
Report sintonian May 17, 2015 8:14 PM BST
metro john 17 May 15 09:54 Joined: 02 Jan 07 | Topic/replies: 19,305 | Blogger: metro john's blog
Hi HK Accie, is NOT genuine will he perform the same twice?

I seriously cannot believe this question is being asked. Look at all his form. He was unlucky in his last two starts prior to the Lockinge. He's a solid Group 1 miler, but no superstar. Last year he kept running into a superstar, Kingman.

If either one of Solow or AF are as good as they look, then they'll beat him. But his ability and attitude is not in question really.
Report HKAccie May 18, 2015 11:06 AM BST
Madhu - why do you think a straight mile will inconvenience AF? He's a 1300b horse so he's massive so think going in a straight line will be easier for him then going around a bend. I'm still not convinced he'll turn up either so all of this discussion may be moot. The turning up at Sha Tin to face him is a pipe dream, unfortunately he's got to turn up in Europe to prove his rating isn't false......Solow bottled it in May so hardly likely to turn up in December.

Why is 6-1 NOT disrespectful - how would you price it up with regards to AF and Solow, I presume they are doing it on their Intl ratings as that's all there is to go on at the moment? Once we know AF is on the plane I'll happily back him if you put up a decent price as you're so convinced he isn't that good I assume you'll be happy to take my money.

Anyway, it's going to be a cracking race if they all turn up and run to their ability, hopefully they get good ground too.
Report Madhu May 18, 2015 2:28 PM BST
Respectfully HKAccie.

I am just saying Able Friend cannot be compared to other wonder horses just yet and I am ‘Moore’ worried about ‘Head’, and that travelling over here at the end of his season suggests to me there is value to be had elsewhere.

As for Solow  ‘bottled it in May’ not turning up in Champions Mile (Group 1) for £650,000, he had just won nigh on £2.5m travelling all the way to Dubai. That’s all based on Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges post-race casual chat with Wertheimer brothers and WEB thereafter stating they dismissed thoughts solely because Able Friend ‘seemed’ an insurmountable barrier and going to Hong Kong it would be advantageous to Able Friend and was seen as a waste of time. I believe moneywise and breeding wise for their homebred  it would have been a waste of time, since from 2003 when it was given Group 1 status and before, the Queen Anne Stakes has been a stallion making race. Xtension CM winner (2011 and 2012) 2015 stud fee: Eur 5,000 says it all.

Regarding the 6/1 being disrespectful, I meant as a good 2000 Guineas and the only horse to beat Kingman after nearly throwing his advantage away in the closing stages and given his championship mile form stands up well, the price is IMO out of line considering he will be on home soil and granted the Hannon’s history in the race the past 6 years. That is if you fancy Night of Thunder. On the straight mile not being an inconvenience to Able Friend you may be right but you may be wrong but both of Hannon’s have bags of straight mile form. As for me laying Able Friend for you personally, I am a backer and am in the Toormore camp as stated and I certainly hope that I have not come across as positing he is no good. It’s just my attempt to crab his form and likeliness of winning in the Northern Hemisphere. Plus I also would love to see the animal here in June on good ground as well, and I wish you all the luck if he comes over. Kindest regards.
Report HKAccie May 18, 2015 3:26 PM BST
Hi Madhu - think Xtension has been the only winner with his nuts that is retired so not much to judge against. He did beat Presvis, Cityscape and African Story - think Cityscape was a fair yardstick for G1 so you could say it's a merited g1 race. Though Xtension did only win 2 races in HK! I'm usually all for the European horses and always want them to come here to run especially when there are Aussie horses running  but I just feel AF is different to anything I've seen in HK before (only 7 years here) and think he'll win all things being equal - perhaps I'm just a crap judge (highly likely) and he just looks better than he actually is.
Report Madhu May 18, 2015 4:52 PM BST
Oh HKAccie you made tears come out of my eyes! Poor Xtension. And he did beat them just after Meydan which says something against my argument. Able Friend does look incredible and I will have egg on my face and loss of shekels  but he does make the market attractive from an ante-post view considering he may not bother to turn up. At least Hannon’s are fairly sure to be at Royal Ascot in that respect.
Report Figgis May 18, 2015 5:39 PM BST
In view of my remark earlier about the advantage Wink Aussie sprinters have had, Able Friend looks physically very imposing, which is even more interesting given that he didn't appear on a racecourse until late in his 3yo career. Does anyone know the reason why he made such a late appearance before being sold to race in HK?
Report Madhu May 18, 2015 6:34 PM BST
HKAccie if you can look at the ATR video features:-

Moore relies on Able Friend - 15th May 2015
We get the latest from Able Friend's trainer John Moore who fills us in on the logistics of his Royal Ascot mission.

Am starting to quake in my boots now!
Report metro john May 18, 2015 9:13 PM BST
It's as great race , I prefer Solow over Able freind, and I think this race would have suited Chrome better but thats just speculation.
Report HKAccie May 18, 2015 10:46 PM BST
It's all speculation Metro - it's why we love it! I like NOT, he started a good weekend for me in the G1 races around the globe but from what my eyes have seen I think AF on his day, is better - but beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and love is blind and all that jazz!!! It may also be that AF is a better price than he's ever been!! Though the UK bookies did price him incorrectly back in Dec when he was 11-10 I think for the intl mile so perhaps they continue to underestimate him?
Report The Big O May 19, 2015 3:16 AM BST
Figgis, as the HK Derby is for four-year-olds they took their time with him in Australia before sending him up. He didn't get sold to HK, he was always headed that way, and the Derby there is the race that every HK owner wants first and foremost.

And that advantage you speak of is the sunshine. :)
Report HKAccie May 19, 2015 3:25 AM BST
Think he also took time to fill out
Report Figgis May 19, 2015 12:42 PM BST
The Big O, yes that sunshine certainly helped Marion Jones blossom a few years ago Wink
Report The Big O May 20, 2015 3:08 AM BST
Hahaha. Will say, testing in Hong Kong, like so many aspects of their racing, is miles ahead of the rest of the world.
Report Figgis May 20, 2015 11:13 AM BST
Totally agree, they can teach us all a lesson, wasn't suggesting the horse is getting a helping hand now, it was more his early days I was curious about.
Report Figgis June 5, 2015 3:07 PM BST
It could be argued Cable Bay gave a solid look to the Lockinge form by winning at Haydock last Saturday but that was a very weak Gp3. Arod gets the chance to provide more substance to the form today but at the price against a few of these I make him a lay.
Report Figgis June 5, 2015 3:13 PM BST
That was reasonably impressive from Arod, maybe that Lockinge form is better than I'd credited it.
Report harry callaghan June 5, 2015 3:20 PM BST
lets be honest though figgis he had every right to beat these horses and the hannon horse has pulled up lame
Report Figgis June 5, 2015 3:25 PM BST
Yes, harry, tbh that's the view I'm taking but will keep an open mind. I was toying between backing Shifting Power and laying Arod for the same outlay and I agree that with that horse out of the way it didn't take as much winning.
Report harry callaghan June 5, 2015 3:29 PM BST
+ he was getting 5lbs from the second, he looks an improving group horse arod but he will be tricky to place if they decide to step him up again, personally i think they should lower there sights until he properly drops the bit, he is still a very keen horse but can still improve admittedly at a slightly lower group level
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