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Saturday, February 17, 2007


Lingfield, Saturday, February 17, 2007

2.40pm, £25,000 Michael O’Donovan Memorial Handicap 1m 4f (AW)

GOING: Standard

for the best odds go to www.BritOdds.com

1) (3) (2)(1)(1)(3)/(6) MISSION TO MARS Pat Murphy 8-9-05 Steve Drowne
Five-time course and distance winner but showed little in two hurdle starts in the autumn after over two and a half years on the side-lines. Well beaten on his return to Lingfield in January. A shadow of his former self at the moement. BP=

2)(5) 01/3-(0) MUSTAJED Rod Millman 6-9-03 James Millman (5)
A winner over the distance at Bath on turf in 2005 and displayed decent ability on his sole start last year at Windsor. Never a factor when last of 11 on his Polytrack debut at Kempton two weeks ago and others are preferred. BP=

3) (9) (3)-(3)(3)(4)(5) ATLANTIC QUEST Venetia Williams 8-9-03 Amir Quinn (3)
A consistent individual who is handicapped up to his best over shorter distances. Stamina doubts make him one to avoid on his first attempt at 12 furlongs. BP=

4) (1) (1)(2)-(0)(5)(6) VALANCE Charles Egerton 7-9-03tb Seb Sanders
Course and distance winner in 2003. Well beaten over two miles here last time but dropped 2lb since and wasn’t beaten far by Sgt Schultz over the course and distance on February 5. Cannot be dismissed. BP=

5) (11) 0(1)(4)(2)-(2) QUINCE Jeff Pearce 4-9-01v Neil Callan
Stayed on when second to Sgt Schultz over the course and distance last time but would need a career best effort to win as he has gone up another 2lb. BP=

6) (13) 126-(0)(6) GENERAL KNOWLEDGE Brendan Powell 4-8-13t Hayley Turner
Stepping up to a mile and a half for the first time but little to recommend on two modest efforts at the course in January except for being dropped 5lb in the ratings. BP=

7) (7) (000(5)-(1) AWATUKI Alan Jarvis 4-8-12 Tom Queally
Decent effort when winning over 11 furlongs at Kempton on February 4. Both his career wins have come at that course. More needed here as he is up 3lb for neck victory last time. Also first time over 12 furlongs. BP =

8) (2) 41/ ECONOMIC Marco Botti 4-8-10 Oscar Urbina
Game in dead-heating for victory in a modest heavy ground Nottingham mile maiden in October, 2005 when with Godolphin. Hasn’t been seen in public since and on his first run on Polytrack and over this distance he is the dark horse - he could be well handicapped. BP=

9) (10) 3(4)5(6)-(0) DREAM CATCHER Roy Kvisla 4-8-10tv Eddie Ahern
Fourth in Swedish listed race last August but held by Awatuki on recent Kempton running. Makes little appeal even on 1lb lower rating. BP=

10) (16) 4(5)2(1)-(1) NAWOW Peter Cundell 7-8-09 Dane O’Neill
Hold-up performer who mixes all-weather racing with chasing and hurdling. Twice a winner at the course this winter over 12 and 13 furlongs. Defied a career high mark to scrape home last time and looks up against it off a 4lb higher mark but he will be suited by the strong pace almost guaranteed here. BP=

11)(6) 300-6-(1) DUNDRY Gary Moore 6-8-09p Brett Doyle
Took advantage of an attractive mark to win over 12 furlongs at Southwell last time. Broke his maiden over the course and distance here in 2004 off a mark 2lb higher than he races off here. In-form rider and stable make him a prime candidate. BP=

12) (14) 14(0)- FAVERSHAM Michael Wigham 4-8-08 Shane Kelly
First start since June and has since left Michael Jarvis’ yard. Has obviously had problems and is likely to need the run. BP=

13) (15) (2)(4)(3)-(1)(1) SGT SCHULTZ Stan Moore 4-8-07 John Egan
Took a long time to get a win on the board but is now bidding for a course and distance hat-trick after breaking his maiden here in January. Raised 4lb pound for his latest triumph so this will be more difficult. BP=

14 (8) (0)(1)(2)-(4)(6) TURNER’S TOUCH Gary Moore 5-8-06p Jemma Marshall (7)
Enjoys a 6lb turnaround in the weights with Nawow for a head defeat over the course and distance in December. Appears to be trainer’s second string on jockey bookings but has an each-way claim. BP=

15 (12) 12405- SADLER’S STAR Brendan Powell 4-8-05 Fergus Sweeney
Finished down the field in the German Derby and showed little when beaten a long way in a Newbury novice hurdle in December. This is likely to be more his scene although he is not certain to relish the artificial surface. Best watched. BP

16 (4) 0/1(0)(8)- JIDAAR Peter Hiatt 4-8-04 Chris Catlin
Nothing to recommend him in two starts for current yard since leaving Mark Johnston last year. Others have better prospects.

This is a competitive handicap but the value is with DUNDRY each-way as he from a stable in form.

CODEBREAKER - formerly in the Racing Post Weekender - posted every Friday


2.00pm, Haydock Park, Saturday, February 17, 2007

Past Trends

There has been only one Irish-trained winner in the race's history

Only two of the past 17 winners carried 11st 7lb or more to victory

15 of the past 17 winners were aged between seven and 10

12 of the past 16 winners to have raced that season had already won a race prior to Haydock

Horses priced bigger than 10/1 are to be avoided

Only one mare has been successful since the inaugural running in 1968

The Red Square Vodka Gold Cup often provides pointers to some of the season's top staying races, such as the John Smith’s Grand National, Scottish National and Cheltenham Gold Cup and, with £125,000 on offer, it is a very valuable and prestigious contest in its own right.

This year's renewal sees 16 runners go to post and Codebreaker will try to unravel the clues to reveal the likely winner.

Irish-trained horses have a bad record in the race, with the Pat Fahy-trained Nuaffe in 1995 the only successful raider from the Emerald Isle since the race was inaugurated in 1968.

Francis Flood sends G V A Ireland across the Irish Sea this year and he is immediately knocked out of the reckoning.

Additionally, no French raider has ever triumphed in the contest, so we also say goodbye to the Francois Doumen-trained Kelami.

Since 1988, only two of the 17 winners carried 11st 7lb or more to victory. Both Sir Rembrandt (11st 9lb) and Cornish Rebel (11st 7lb) will do well to defy their welter burdens, even with talented conditionals’ Daryl Jacob and Liam Heard taking off 3lb. This pair are therefore discounted.

In addition, only two of the last 11 winners scored with more than 11st on their backs. For this reason, we wave farewell to Wild Cane Ridge (11st 6lb), Kandjar D’Allier (11st 2lb) and Bewleys Berry (11st 1lb).

In the past 17 renewals, 15 victors were aged between seven and 10. The exceptions were Forest Gunner, who took the prize as an 11-year-old in 2005, and the Haydock specialist Twin Oaks who was the same age when triumphant in 1991.

This means that 11-year-old Philson Run is overlooked on his first run of the season.

Of the 16 winners who had raced that season, 12 managed to win a race prior to securing victory in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup. Mon Mome and L’Aventure are both yet to taste success this season and are knocked out of calculations as a result.

The longest-priced winner of the race was Party Politics who landed the odds at 16/1 in 1993. Along with last year’s hero Ossmoses, who scored at 14/1, he is one of only four successful horses who were priced bigger than10/1.

Leading Man, who disappointed at Haydock last time out, is available at 14/1 and upwards and therefore disappears from the list.

It is apparent that 15 of the last 17 winners had not run more than six times previously that season. The well-fancied Kilbeggan Blade has run seven times since May last year and he falls by the wayside.

Only one mare has ever been successful in the Red Square Vodka Gold Cup - Young Ash Leaf back in 1972 - which does not bode well for the chances of Heltornic. She is also a novice and may lack the experience for a race of this nature.

Continuing with the novice theme, only one from those ranks has triumphed in the last 17 runnings - Frantic Tan in 2001 - so Cloudy Lane is omitted also.

Codebreaker now has a straight choice between The Outlier, who landed the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in January, and Naunton Brook, third to Ladalko in the Classic Chase at Warwick last month.

Preference is for THE OUTLIER who comes into the race in winning form and is possibly on the upgrade, plus nine-year-olds have taken three of the last five renewals.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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