Horse Racing Betting: Donn McClean’s Horses To Follow
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.
Laugh A Minute, The Curragh, 22nd July
Laugh A Minute ran a big race to finish third in the Scurry Handicap at The Curragh last Saturday.
Settled in mid-division early on towards the far side from his low draw by Adam Caffrey, he didn’t have a huge amount of racing room out in the centre at the two-furlong marker. Once into the clear, the leaders were already going for home towards the stands rail, and he did well to close inside the final furlong, getting to within a length of the winner Strike Red by the time he got to the winning line.
It was a big run by Ado McGuinness' horse from his low draw, in a race that developed towards the stands side rail. He was the only horse drawn in single figures who reached the first six.
The Scurry is always a competitive handicap, and this year's renewal is already working out well, with runner-up Aussie Girl finishing second again in a Listed race at Naas four days later, and fourth-placed No More Porter going down by just a head to Coeur D'Or in the big Colm Quinn BMW Mile at Galway on Tuesday.
Laugh A Minute holds an entry in the Ahonoora Handicap over seven furlongs at Galway on Sunday, and he will be of interest if he lines up in that. He finished third in the race last year, staying on well after being a little short of room on the run around the home turn.
He is only 3lb higher now than he was then, we know that he is in good form now, he goes well on soft ground and he stays seven furlongs.
Rosscarbery, The Curragh, 22nd July
Rosscarberry put up a fine performance to finish second behind Emily Dickinson in the Group 2 Curragh Cup at The Curragh.
Always travelling well through her race for Billy Lee, she moved up on the outside of the leaders on the run into the home straight, travelling like the most likely winner. Still on the bridle as they passed the two-furlong marker, she moved easily into the lead and picked up well.
She came under a ride on the run to the furlong marker and, in the end, she was run down by Emily Dickinson, but it was still a really good performance against a filly with superior stamina.
Emily Dickinson is top class over a stayer's trip on soft ground, and that is what she had here.
While Rosscarbery has won over a mile and six furlongs - she just beat Emily Dickinson in the Stanerra Stakes at Leopardstown last year - she is probably at her best when there isn't such an emphasis on stamina. Paddy Twomey's filly had the pace to win over a mile and over 10 furlongs, and to go down by just a neck in a Group 1 race over 10 furlongs.
She will be of interest now when there is more of an emphasis on pace than stamina. She holds an entry in the Yorkshire Oaks at York's Ebor meeting later this month, and she will be of interest if she takes her chance in that.
Warm Heart, The Curragh, 22nd July
Warm Heart could only finish fifth in the Irish Oaks at The Curragh last Saturday, but it wasn't her true running on the soft ground.
Settled back in the field early on by Seamie Heffernan from her wide draw, she was last of the eight runners early on. Moved towards the outside as they raced around the home turn, she picked up all right, but her progress was gradual rather than instant.
She just kept on going on the outside, finishing fifth in the end, five and a half lengths behind the winner, her stable companion Savethelastdance.
Warm Heart won her maiden on soft ground but, in this grade, it looks like it found her out. This wasn't her true running.
Aidan O'Brien's filly is better-judged on the performance that she put up in winning the Ribblesdale Stakes on her previous run on better ground.
She was prominent from early too in the Ribblesdale, as she was when she won her maiden and when she won a strong listed race at Newbury in May, and a return to those tactics and to better ground could see her step forward again. This was just her sixth run, so there could still be much more to come.
Geremia, Newbury, 22nd July 2023
Geremia only finished fifth in the two-mile handicap at Newbury last Saturday, but he ran better than the bare form of the run suggests.
Slowly away, he was settled back in the field early on by Clifford Lee. Still 12th of the 13 runners as they straightened up for home, he made his challenge in the end towards the far side, and he stayed on well all the way to the line.
In the end, he was only four and a half lengths behind the progressive winner Sweet William, and he was beaten just a short head and the same for third.
This was a race in which it was probably an advantage to be prominent and to race towards the stands side in the home straight. Geremia was the only one of the first five home who was worse than mid-division early on, and the first three home all raced towards the stands side in the home straight.
Jim Goldie's horse is in good form, he stays this two-mile trip and he goes well on soft ground, so he one to watch as we move into the autumn.
More immediately, he holds an entry in a two-mile Sunday Series handicap at Haydock this Sunday, and he will be of interest if he takes up that entry.
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