Tag Archives: mastercraftsmen

A winner at last!

After a long barren period, which had diminished the blogs profitability to under £70, at last we found a winner in the shape of 7.4 Amhjar – Hoorah.

I am determined to buld on that success.  First of all, this week is the York Ebor meeting which is excellent stuff.  I was dissapointed though to see that the sheer task of facing Sea the Stars has put so many quality horses off.  Only 5 are now due at post for tomorrows Juddmonte and I find this astonishing.  Prize money for 5th is £16,000, second pays a six figure sum, surely some more quality could come to oppose.

O’Brien saddles three of Sea the Stars opponenents and two look like pace makers.  I cannot see pacemakers helping – I suggested this tactic might get STS beaten in the Derby – read here – how wrong I was that day.  Over this ideal looking trip for STS, I am sure the horse will prefer a couple of pace setters in the five to make it a proper race.  I would have thought the better tactic would be to try and make the race tactical.  Maybe O’Brien has something like that in mind and we will see how he plays his cards tomorrow.  Everyone seems to think STS is unbeatable and that 3/1 Mastercraftsmen is probably not as good as Fame and Glory and Rip Van Winkle who STS has seen off so far.  This could also start to explain the lack of runners – Are there stud reputations at stake?  Seems unlikely to me but why not run decent types in a race like this? 

Monday racing often throws up some sorry looking contests and the best race today is on the all weather either at Kempton 3.30pm or Wolves at 3.15pm.  The Wolves race is more intruiging so here we go:

There is an odds on favourite here and I am going to oppose!  Prescription is currently trading at 1.79 and I think it is awful value.  The racing post tipster and journalist, Winstanley, thinks it is a maximum bet! 

Yes the horse looks the best on paper but odds on in a stronger race with more runners and pitfalls than last time, no thanks!  It is also drawn on the outside.  I have this as a 9/4 shot so the 8/11 must be strongly opposed in my view – This could be expensive – I also think a small lay of the place at 1.19 could be rewarding.

The market is 9/1 bar and the two I fancy out of the pack are Something and Mutamared. 

Something is something of an AW 7f specialist but comes from the sprint king stable of Nicholls.  He certainly knows what it takes to win this and I would expect a big run.  ou cannot overlook the fact that this horse is THREE FROM THREE on the all weather.  Very interesting at 10.5 / 2.6

Mutamared is an old hand at this at the age of nine and is a horse that has shown plenty of class in his day.   The horse has not shown as much form on turf this summer and he last few runs on all weather were not quite as good either so we have to go back to February for his last win which completed an impressive five timer.  His last run was his first time out for 8 weeks and he would have been entitled to it.  This is more competitive but my spidey senses are telling me that Kevin Ryan will have it ready and Neil Callan is one of my favourites.  Overpriced at 23 / 4.1.


The advice today is risky!  By offering the lay and betting on another in the same race I am doubling my liabilities with a big chance of backfiring.  I just cannot help it though – When you feel strongly that the price is wrong, you have to oppose and ‘bet like men’.

Advice: WIN MARKET –  Lay Prescription for £20 at 1.79 back Something at 10.5 and Mutamared at 23 with £8

PLACE MARKET – Lay Prescription for £35 at 1.2 back Something and Mutamared at 2.6 and 4.3 at £15 and £10 respectively.

Today Ade fancies Rocket Rob in the 6.35 at Windsor.  By this stage I could be stinging because my selections in an open field performed poorly and prescription hosed up!  So I shall have a tenner on too at 3.75.  It might be a loss mitigater but fingers crossed form is returning for the Major.

From the Curragh to Newmarket – Sunday Spirit Required

First of all it is hard to lose after picking the three horses from nine that will fill the places but that is what The Major achieved for the Irish 2000 Guineas!  To be fair Mastercraftsmen looked excellent and showed just how well Coolmores come on for the run.  O’Brien says he is Ascot  bound and it will be good to see him later in the season.

I like a conundrum in a race, I like it when I feel there is something to solve.  Essential to that process is a feeling that I can solve it.  The 1,000 guineas is not a race I feel I can.  The form lines are less certain than in the colts race from yesterday and with the gluepot ground another factor, I choose to steer clear.

So off to HQ and the 5.15 6f race.  Here is the market:

Jimmy Styles 4.6
Abraham Lincoln 5.8
Musaalem 7.2
Thebes 8.4
Everymanforhimself 8.8
Striking Spirit 11
Mac Gille Eoin 17.5
Orpenindeed 26
Ebraam 40
Silver Wind 17.5

Here is my thinking – Jimmy Styles is an odd favourite and one I would take on.  He was beaten on reappreance after a long injury by Striking Spirit who reopposes today on terms half a stone worth.  There is reason therefore to believe Jimmy will turn the form but I am not sure and at the prices Striking Spirit is exceptional value.

Thebes will make this an honest enough contest and will bowl along ion front although this honest but exposed type will be setting it up in my view.

Striking Spirit might look like sprint king Dandy Nicholls second string but I am not sure it is.  This yard often has a second string beat the first and while Abraham Lincoln the supposed first string carries the prefered jock and is shorter in the market, I think Spirit is just as entitled to have come on for the outing as Jimmy Styles and a 7lb penalty is not to rule him out.  Abraham has a G1 entry so was clearly fancied but I just don’t like the value.

The Haggas horse Musaalem has confidence behind it and leaving a poor end of season behind, you can make a case for it on its earlier runs.  Haggas is in terrific form and so could be a danger to all but I choose to think it will need this.

Advice: Striking Spirit Win 11 £5 Place 3.2 £5 – Good luck

The Curragh – First Irish Classic 2,000 Guineas

3.45 Curragh – Irish 2,000 Guineas

This race would be much easier to work on if the ground was so stinkingly sticky which throws up a number of unknown factors into the equation.

Looking at this last night I was tempted into just focussing on proven ground horses and I had the market priced differently to the major bookmakers.  This morning it was shaped more how I priced it with Mastercraftsmen as favourite.  Sadly, my money was not down!

I was attracted to Drumbeat and Mastercraftsmen who certainly have proven form on this type of surface.  The former is the pricewise horse and seemed decent value at 12/, 11/1 guaranteed with skybet  until 9am.

Here is the current market (1.50pm)

Mastercraftsman 2.8
Delegator 4.3
Rayeni 5.4
Drumbeat 13
Recharge 14.5
Soul City 17.5
Fergus Mciver 38
Hail Caesar 95
Viceroy Of India 400

Certainly the usual Pricewise crash has not happened and in a sense it does not surpise me.  Drumbeat looks the second string of four for Coolmore and whilst it is not unusual for them to have the supposed first horse beaten by a stablemate, I would be surprised if they would do it today at the Curragh and manage to leave the money behind.  Certainly Drumbeats second to Fame and Glory is decent enough form but at the crunch, does he have the class?

Delegator is a mixed message horse.  Hard to intepret whether his second to See the Stars in the English Guineas is as good as the form book suggests.  I think he had to come off the bridle earlier than Jamie Spencer would have liked and on the day that made him an easy target for Sea the Stars – He is entitled to be better today but is he going to handle the super sticky surface. The dam says yes, the sire says no!  Who knows, probably in terms of potential, Delegator is probably the most exciting prospect but I am not sure he will shine.  The flip flop with Mastercraftsmen says a lot, again I would be surprised if the confidence was rock solid if they were prepared to leave their money behind on this one.. good but not solid enough.

Mastercraftsmen was the one for me last night – At the price, sadly I hesitated and it has gone.  Frankly he has won it dire conditions over course and distance and I am confident he will finish in front of Delegator which on most form lines is enough to win it.  Coolmore have taken the race 4 out of the last ten runnings and out of their embarrasment of riches, it is telling they rely on Mastercraftsmen.

Viceroy of India is a pacemaker and I hope that Coolmore avoid any moer controversy as he gets out of the way two furlongs from home.

Recharge has no proven ground form and the trainer has shown a bit iof reservation about conditions and I choose to overlook.

Rayeni is more of a threat to Mastercraftsmen than Delegator is my view.  5.4 is not a bad price for a horse that enjoys a bit of a mud battle as shown in his 2yo season runs.  Mick Kinane is as proven a jockey as required for these occassions and I can see him adding to the English version (making it a trainer and jockey guineas double) with his booked ride today.  Less exposed than most, a danger to all…

Soul City for me is an intruiging runner.  Having beaten Gan Ahmras and Intense Focus, this is no mug horse.  The ground looks less of a concern as he has acted on it before and he has plenty of experience.  He is well travelled and experience.

The three in the mix for the Major are Mastercraftsmen, Reyani and Soul City.  I think the market hasgot the pricing about right which makes it tough to call it.  However, the eyecacther for me is Rayeni.  Unexposed, unbeaten.. interesting.  Mastercraftsmen has to possibly improve although ground no concern, Delegator has ground questions……… load your weapons

Advice Rayeni £20 win 5.5 – Best of luck

Ouch – Quevega was not the best of the three!

Let’s start with the 2,000 guineas.  I do enjoy the first classic of the season the most.  Watching George Washington win this a few years back was a fantastic experience for me, probably his best performance, the turn of foot was explosive. 

This renewal doesn’t throw up an obvious superstar.  Coolmores superb record in the race cannot be overlooked and therefore Mastercraftsman and Rip van Winkle are of obvious interest.  I have them both backed ante-post which on reflection was like printing money as they inevitably shorten up.. wish I had printed more of it!

RVW suffered a stone bruise recently but that hasn’t put off J Murtagh from taking the ride, could this be the finger from Coolmore identifying the better runner.  They usually know their best runner but not always and so money for either on the day would be significant in my eyes.

Mastercraftsmen will get the top ground surface he likes and Pats Smullen is equal in my eyes to Johnny Murtagh.

Both have clear chances but the selection comes from another Irish Raider, John Oxx.  Sea the Stars is a well bred horse who must rate as a great price for the Derby at this stage (will probably be better at the distance).  However, the trainer is shrewd enough and with pace assured and always does well when straying into big English races.

Punchestown Four Year Old Hurdle 2.55 Grade One

Put simply Mourad looks by some margin the best of these.  With Willie and Walsh both on fire this week, this one looks good for some profit making.

4/6 doesn’t put me off.


To make a change, a football fixture is selected.

The horror show (Sorry Latics and Bolton fans) is at the JJB where two teams with nothing to play for meet Wigan v Bolton.  Wigan are the leagues lowest scorers, neither team do well in North West derbies.  Uninspiring stuff.  0-0, 1-0, 0-0 HT, Less than 2 goals…. take your pick.


Back Sea the Stars win £5 13 and place £5 4.4

Back Mourad Win £30

Back 0-0 10, 1-0 8.8, 0-0 HT 2.9 and less than 2 goals 3.5 all with £3.