Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 18th 2015 Contents Drive On is strongly-fancied to land the
11-runner aged handicap over seven fur-
longs of Kempton polytrack tonight, under
talented 7lbs apprentice Aaron Jones who
is close having the full allowance reduced.
Jones, attached to Newmarket trainer
Stuart Williams, has impressed consistently,
no more so than when successful aboard
Drive On over course and distance in January,
when Aaron comfortably steered the Tagula
gelding to a neck victory.
After that one was moved to suggest read-
ers back every mount of Jones in handicaps
and, not surprisingly, those that followed
that advice are well ahead with their punt-
Thirtypointstothree, one of several win-
ners, was 14/1 and Bookmaker was another
Down the years I ve given out this system
sparingly; early systemites were Pat Eddery,
Kevin Darley, Walter Swinburn, Ray
Cochrane and we were taken by the exploits
of an Italian-born apprentice, Lianfranco
Obviously Aaron has a long way to go
but, apparently, works hard, is totally ded-
icated and this year might just be the surprise
package for an apprentice championship,
given sufficient support.
Since the aforementioned success four-
year-old Drive On has been narrowly beaten
into third over course and distance; trainer
Eve Johnson Houghton then booked Joe
Fanning last month but a mile was just too
far; the time-handicap mark indicates thus.
No cert by any means, sprint handicaps
are always fiercely-competitive on all-weath-
er tracks, and you never know which way
the dice will fall, but Drive On has been in
tremendous form this past fortnight, thriv-
ing, and justifies a serious each-way bet
with three places available.
Also over this trip Arc Cara has his third
run in the Maiden Stakes and despite being
drawn nine (of ten!) must not be missed.
This third run qualifies a thoroughbred
for handicaps, it s subject to mis-use but
trainer Ralph Beckett is above that sort of
thing and he ll be sincerely hoping to give
Richard Kingscote that much-awaited first
success since suffering dreadful injuries in
a Wolverhampton debacle last year.
Once-raced Soul Searcher should win the
other Maiden Stakes, over 12 furlongs, by
6.15 Arc Cara
6.45 Soul Searcher
8.45 Drive On
Drive On at Kempton
Golden run gives Coneygree top rank
The changing nature of racing means Roger
Varian won t be employing a stable jockey to
replace Andrea Atzeni.
The Newmarket handler will arrange his riding
arrangements this season using a pool of riders as
opposed to having a formal number one.
Varian has opted to go down that route following
the departure of Andrea Atzeni to Qatar Racing at
the end of last season.
Varian said: "The jockey scene has changed over
the last few years. It is hard to implement [the use
of] a stable jockey with the racing stacking up at
weekends - they can only ride in one place.
"Stables can t compete with private owners offer-
ing retainers. Having a stable jockey which all the
owners are happy to use is very hard to find.
"We will try and build relationships with a few
jockeys this year to get a bit of regularity.
"Andrea will still ride for us, but we can t build
plans around him so we will use the likes of Graham
Lee and Freddie Tylicki. Quite how it plays out we
will see, but we have got to make sure we are super-
Meamwhile, Varian has warned that leading Bet-
way Lincoln hope Mindurownbusiness could side-
step the race for All-Weather Championships Finals
Day at Lingfield on Good Friday.
Although yet to make a decision, the Newmarket
handler is contemplating keeping the four-year-
old back for the one-mile championship race on
April 3 as opposed to running him at Doncaster on
the opening day of the turf season on March 28.
Since joining Varian, the son of Cape Cross has
won two of his three starts, most recently when
claiming the Ladbrokes Lincoln Trial at Wolver-
hampton earlier this month.
Varian said: "Mindurownbusiness is in the Lin-
coln, but he has also qualified for the mile cham-
pionship race on Good Friday at Lingfield.
"I am not committed which way he goes to be
honest. If he runs in the Lincoln he would be 6lb
well in on paper, but he has put in two good per-
formances on the all-weather in his last two runs
and there is a temptation to stay there. Both races
However, the Kremlin House Stables handler
could have his mind made up for him as to which
route he takes by the weather.
Varian said: "The ground might play a part, as
he doesn t want soft ground. If it stays dry then
the Lincoln is a possibility, but if the rains come
next week he is unlikely to run in the Lincoln."
One more run for Sire De Grugy
Sire De Grugy will make just one more appearance
this season at either Aintree, Punchestown or
Sandown after losing his crown in last week s Queen
Mother Champion Chase.
The undoubted star of the two-mile division last
season, Sire De Grugy missed the bulk of the current
campaign through injury and disappointed on his
return to action in last month s Game Spirit Chase
However, after getting back on track with an
excellent display at Chepstow, the nine-year-old
returned to Cheltenham with strong claims, but
was under the pump from an early stage and was
well-beaten in fourth place.
Sire De Grugy could now either step up to two
and a half miles in Aintree s Melling Chase, make
a first appearance in Ireland or bid for a third suc-
cessive victory in the Celebration Chase on the
final day of the season at Sandown.
Moore said: "He s come of the race fine. The
ground was just a bit quick for him and maybe I
ran him back too quick after Chepstow.
"The Chepstow race probably took more out of
him than we initially thought, but we had to go (to
Coneygree has become the highest-rated
novice chaser over any distance this cen-
tury following his sensational performance
in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
British Horseracing Authority head of
handicapping Phil Smith has handed the
eight-year-old a mark of 172 following his
all-the-way success in the blue riband last
Friday, just a pound above Vautour after his
scintillating display in the JLT.
Smith said: "In February 2000, Gloria
Victis won the Racing Post Chase by a very
easy 10 lengths off a rating of 151. It was
only his fifth chase and at the end of the
season in the Anglo-Irish Jumps Classifi-
cation he was allocated a figure of 166. This
remained the highest-rated performance
by a novice over any distance for over a
"However in the 2012 Arkle, Sprinter
Sacre attained a mark of 169 by his com-
fortable seven-length win over Cue Card
and a small but very select field on only his
fourth ever chase, making him the high-
est-rated novice this century.
"Surprisingly Sprinter Sacre s record
novice rating only lasted three years as Vau-
tour s romp in the JLT Novices Chase on
Thursday has been assessed at 171 by my
colleague Mark Olley. Vautour was the easiest
of all of the (Willie) Mullins victories this
week and looks a fantastic prospect for next
"Amazingly Vautour was only "King for
a Day" as just over 24 hours later, Coneygree
posted a remarkable mark of 172 when win-
ning the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup
making him the highest-rated novice chaser
over any distance this century.
"As in his previous wins, Coneygree s
time was particularly quick and he never
saw another horse.
"There were some raised eyebrows when
I assessed him at 166 after his win in the
Betfair Denman Chase at Newbury, making
him a higher-rated novice than the great
Denman himself. There will be very few
observers disagreeing now.
"Of course, Denman went on to prove
himself an all-time great achieving a rating
of 182 and winning his second Hennessy
Gold Cup off a mark of 174. Coneygree will
have to win a first one off 172."
Meanwhile Marco Botti is hoping for cut
in the ground so he can get Moohaarib off
to an early start in the turf season.
The four-year-old holds an entry in the
Betway Lincoln Handicap, the traditional
curtain-raiser to the Flat campaign at Don-
caster on March 28.
Botti is also thinking of putting the Oasis
Dream colt in the Betway In The App Store
Doncaster Mile on the same day to give him
"We are considering the Lincoln, but
there is also a Listed race the same day,"
said the Newmarket handler.
"We just want to see what the ground is
going to be like. He wants juice in the
ground. If it s good to firm he probably
won t run, but if it s on the soft side he will.
"He s done well over the winter. He ended
the season finishing fifth in a Listed race in
France (on Polytrack at Deauville) which I
thought was a good run.
"He wasn t beaten far and perhaps he s
a better horse on grass anyway. I think he
has improved for being a four-year-old.
He s up to that level and is rated 100."
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
4-14--- 10.30 am
29-3--- 1 pm
2-21--- 6.30 pm
TODAY'S PICK TWO
Times played this year
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30 pm Total
02 OLD LADY
04 DEAD MAN
05 PARSON MAN 1
15 SICK WOMAN 2
18 WATER BOAT 1
10.30 am 1 pm 6.30pm Total
27 LITTLESNAKE 0 1 2 3
28 RED FISH
29 OPIUM MAN
30 HOUSE CAT
31 PARSON WIFE
34 BLIND MAN
35 BIG SNAKE
LAST DRAW: TUESDAY
WHEN DE MARK BUSS
Play Whe results to March 17
24 (Queen) 6.30 pm
4 (Dead Man)---10.30 am
26 (Fowl)---1 pm
10 (Monkey)---6.30 pm
TODAY'S STAR BETS
29 (Opium Man)
22 (Rat) 1 pm
22 (Rat) 10.30 am
up jockey options
Phil Smith...British Horseracing Authority
head of handicapping.
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