Hotham Does The Business

Today’s Selection

Ayr 2.55


AYR 2.55 – HBG PROPERTIES HANDICAP (CLASS 4) (3yo+, 0-85) 5f

5/1 Highland Warrior, 11/2 Prince Namid, 6/1 Ice Planet, 7/1 Regal Royale, 9/1 Killer Class,
11/1 Divine Spirit, High Curragh, The Bear, 12/1 Charles Parnell, Hotham, Sandwith, 16/1 John Keats, The Nifty Fox.

This is a 5f sprint handicap for horses rated 0-82 with 20 past renewals of this race. Tougher than it usually is as all horses are experienced enough and have ran enough this year and none have absences. In a race that’s been full of shocks in the past and we don’t have any big negatives today. I would oppose all horses that had ran in Group races before like THE BEAR as all 40 that tried lost. I would take out the horses dropping from 7f or more like CHARLES PARNELL as none won. I would take out all horses that hadn’t won at the distance before like JOHN KEATS. It’s further complicated by the fact many ran in last year’s race. I think I would rather have a horse that ran within the last 2 weeks. The last 4 winners of this race all ran within the previous 7 days. In the last 20 renewals horses with 13 + career runs that didn’t race within a month had a 4-174 record which isn’t very good. I oppose HIGHLAND WARRIOR who was 4th in this last year. He’s the oldest horse yet has the longest absence. There has been 248 of these handicaps in September at all tracks. Look at horses aged 9 or more that didn’t run within 15 days and you find a 1-71 record. That shows HIGHLAND WARRIOR has a tough task. He has done very well to win 2 selling races and a 0-74 but this is tougher and his absence and age is a concern and I feel he will stop winning now and I have to oppose him today.

SANDWITH and HIGH CURRAGH are also exposed horses that haven’t ran within 2 weeks. SANDWITH won’t want the ground as bad as this and all his winning form is on better ground and he is 7lbs higher than his best previous win. You can also argue HIGH CURRAGH wants better ground and there has to be a doubt as to whether he wants 5f especially on this ground. DIVINE SPIRIT is another horse that hasn’t had a very recent race. He had a very recent run before winning this race last year and was on a roll then. Now he comes here without a recent run and off the back of a well beaten run last time much as the draw hurt him. I don’t think he is safe. I don’t want a horse that was beaten so badly as THE NIFTY FOX and I dislike his draw. You can also argue that he wants a smaller field as he is 0-26 in fields of 10 or more runners. It will be interesting to see if the only 3 year old KILLER CLASS runs after running yesterday. He was a bit unlucky yesterday but it was only a 0-68 and this is a 0-82. If you look at 3yo’s in this race they are not brilliant. In fact with 13 or more career starts they are 0-75 and that’s a worry. In 248 other races we know when 3 year olds have 21 or more runs they are 0-104 and although KILLER CLASS doesn’t fail that with 19 runs he is close and I looked at the 248 races for 3 year olds that had a very recent run within 4 days. They had a 0-18 record. Overall I would want to oppose him much as last day runners should never be taken lightly and it is an advantage. KILLER CLASS isn’t for me though.

ICE PLANET is about to win as he is so well handicapped but as he showed at Chester he really wants 6f and he may not get away with it here. This 5f is sharper than the 5f at Chester by almost 1 second and that won’t help him. He should be outpaced. He should be the fastest finisher. Quite whether he can finish well enough to win this is one of the more interesting issues in the race. My gut feeling is he will not be able to do that and he does look the stable second string behind PRINCE NAMID.

PRINCE NAMID last won 28 months ago and has lost all 28 times since then but he is well handicapped and will love conditions. Dandy Nicholls has just bought this horse in July. You have to argue it’s a serious upgrade in stable. He ran him 2 days ago where he must have needed the race after a 73 day absence. He ran well to be 3rd and I don’t doubt that Dandy Nicholls is a far better trainer for this horse but I have two worries. You can look at his recent form in two ways. Firstly will he bounce? He ran very well after a long absence and comes out very quickly and he must be a prime candidate to bounce.

The other side of that coin is whether two runs in almost 3 months is enough to guarantee
fitness on heavy ground over 5f. I would be very worried about that.

REGAL ROYALE is in flying form and at the top of his game. He likes the conditions but he is probably now at the limit of his ability. I would argue Metaphorically that whilst the water isn’t over his head in a race like this its “At his head” and in a 0-82 in a race like this he could possibly drown. I think he is a horse form Class 4 tracks and this could just be a bit above his pay grade.



HOTHAM ran well last time on soft ground and on that run has to be given a massive chance. Whilst all his wins have come on faster ground he has plenty of soft ground form. He doesn’t seem to stay 6f on soft but he does handle soft ground at 5f. Bottom line he caught the eye last time at Doncaster staying on very late in a far better race than this 9 days ago. That’s makes him statistically perfect. That Doncaster race is a good trial race for this and it was soft that day and in another few yards he could have placed. On that form he must have an outstanding chance in this.

Posted under Past Horse Betting Tips

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