Horse Racing Betting: Donn McClean’s Horses To Follow

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Horse Racing Betting: Donn McClean’s Horses To Follow
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Before we dive in, some basic rules for a horses to follow list is to keep them in a tracker and on your radar for the next three runs.

Consider ideal conditions across variables like venue, ground, opposition and ensure prices on betting sites are satisfactory to you as a punter. 

This column should help you build up a list that proves profitable under those circumstances.

It should also provide timely reminders to reduce repeated form study and assist with your enjoyment of a season, be it National Hunt or Flat racing.

Faylaq - Newcastle, 1st July

Faylaq did well to get as close as he got in the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle on Saturday in a race in which the prominent racers filled the first two places. 

Settled back in the field early on from his inside draw, he was still 12th of the 14 runners when they straightened up for home. He still travelled well at that point though, and rider Callum Rodriguez was able to explore the possibility of an inside run before he moved to his right and started to make progress towards the stands side. 

Faylaq picked up well when his rider asked him to, and he finished off his race strongly towards the near side, getting up to take third place behind La Hacienda and Mostly Sunny, who had both raced prominently from early, closest at the finish.


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Jim Goldie's horse is seven years old now, but he went into this race in good form. This is his first season with Jim Goldie, and his first two runs for him before Saturday were both good. As well as that, this was his first run over a distance in excess of a mile and six furlongs. He saw out the two-mile trip well, and that opens up options for him.

The handicapper raised him by just 1lb to a mark of 87, and that is 18lb lower than his peak, when he finished fourth in the Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes as a three-year-old. He will be of interest in another staying handicap now.

Appier - Newcastle, 1st July

Appier was similar in many ways to Faylaq in the Northumberland Vase at Newcastle on Saturday, in that his stamina was unproven, and he was held up out the back early on in a race in which the pace held up well. 

The finishing speed percentage of the winner was 103.7%, as opposed to 101.63% for the winner of the Plate run over the same course and distance 35 minutes later, and the winning time for the Vase was almost four seconds slower. 

So Faylaq, Legendary Day and Appier all did well to finish third, fourth and fifth respectively, given that they occupied the last three positions until they raced inside the three-furlong marker.

Appier was different to Faylaq, however, in that he picked up well on the near side when rider Ben Curtis asked him to, and he moved into second place behind the ultimate winner La Hacienda as they raced to the furlong marker. He looked a likely winner at that point, but his stamina just ebbed, and he faded to finish fifth. It was still a fine run by Sean Woods' horse. 

He is another who went into the race in good form, he had been impressive in winning over a mile and a half at Lingfield on his previous run. He will be of interest again now back over that trip, or even over a mile and six furlongs.

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Lord Massusus - The Curragh, 2nd July

It was difficult to make ground from off the pace at The Curragh on Irish Derby weekend, and Lord Massusus did well to get as close as he did in the Listed Celebration Stakes on Sunday. 

Smartly away from his outside draw in stall nine, he is a keen-going sort and he was taken back early by Gary Carroll and settled in seventh place. Still keen as they raced down the far side, he travelled well into the home straight, but he was still seventh of the nine runners at that point, and it was always going to be difficult from there. 

He made a valiant effort. It took him a little while to get going and, still seventh as they raced inside the final furlong, he stayed on well down the outside to get up into fourth place, just over three lengths behind the winner Bold Discovery, who was prominent from flagfall. In two more strides he would have taken third place from Carrytheone.

It was another good performance from Joe Murphy's horse, it was another step forward as he continues to progress. He had won four of his five races before this, improving from a handicap rating of 80 last September as a juvenile to his current rating of 102, and he deserved his shot in listed company. 

A winner over six and seven furlongs, this was just his second run over a mile and he saw it out well. He won a good nursery at Listowel last September on his only other run over the distance. He goes well on easy ground too. A fast-run race over seven furlongs or a mile suits him well, ideally with a little bit of cut in the ground. 

He is just a wholly likeable and progressive individual, and he will be of interest wherever he goes next. There could be a good prize in him in the autumn.

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Chazzesmee- The Curragh, 2nd July

Chazzesmee did well to keep on as well as he did to finish second in the one-mile premier handicap at The Curragh on Sunday, in a race in which the winner made all. 

Settled just behind the pace early on by Joey Sheridan and along the inside from his inside draw, he didn't have a lot of racing room when the leaders quickened on the run to the two-furlong marker. He moved to switch outside Rahmi initially, but then he was forced to go back inside, and he stayed on well to take second place, just a length behind the winner and closing.

We hadn't seen Fozzy Stack's horse in a little while, not since he won well at Naas in March, making light of the 16lb hike with which he was rewarded for winning at Dundalk in January. 

He was given another 13lb for that Naas win, but he proved here that he was well up to his new mark of 90. The handicapper raised him by a further 4lb for this run, but he was weak in the market before this race, and he retains his progressive profile, so he will remain of interest off his new mark. 

He handles soft ground too, so he will remain of interest on betting apps when the ground eases again.

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