Rory Delargy: "Caspar Hasn’t The Ghost Of A Chance"

8 min

The historic Rosebery Handicap takes centre stage on the Matchbook-sponsored card at Kempton.

14:05 – Matchbook Magnolia Stakes

This is a much tougher race than the one Fabricate won last year, and Michael Bell’s gelding, who sports the Royal colours, is one to take on as a result. He was well placed when beating four others 12 months ago, and enjoyed a tactical advantage by kicking first over a track and trip which suit such tactics, but he’s drawn wide against a superior front runner in the shape of Matterhorn here, and it’s not easy to see how he wins that particular battle against a race-fit rival who has the best of the draw.

There is also the matter of the fast-improving Mootasadir, who is unbeaten on synthetics and had plenty in hand when winning at Wolverhampton last time.

At the age of seven, Fabricate is entitled to be a little stuffier than he once was, and while he certainly has the class to get involved, I struggle to see him getting the race run to suit.

He’ll be short in the place market, and while finding a third to beat him isn’t straightforward, there are enough running for us to think we’ll get a result.

14:40 – Better Odds With Matchbook Handicap

I’m wary of intuitive draw biases, as they tend to be over-factored, and there is little to be gained from them as a result, and the best bets tend to come where homework proves a wide draw to be advantageous, as the crowd seem unable to process such information. This particular track and trip falls into the former category, with an increasing stall position making it increasingly difficult to win, and although that’s usually no good to me, we might get some joy out of laying the long-absent Alwasmiya for a place from stall 12 of 12.

Simon Crisford is a talented trainer, and his representative is unlikely to be especially rusty after a layoff, but the market accepts that, and she is remarkably short in the betting given she was just a fair fourth on her only previous run on an artificial surface.

Alwasmiya looked a fine prospect when winning a Listed race at Newmarket on her final two-year-old start, but backing juvenile fillies to train has scattergun results, and it’s impossible to say where she currently stands.

That means she could easily make a mockery of her opening mark of 97, but could just as easily struggle set this sort of task against hardened sprinters after so long on the sidelines.

15:15 – Matchbook Betting Podcast Rosebery Handicap

A high draw is not insurmountable in this contest, but the combination of a high-draw and hold-up tactics is a recipe for disaster and counts badly against Caspar The Cub here. Left with too much to do when second to Count Calabash here last time, many will fancy him to turn the tables assuming he will either sit closer or be better served by a stronger pace in this maximum field.

I can’t have either of those as likely scenarios, with his draw meaning Nicola Currie will either have to drop in from her wide draw, which will lose her too much ground, or she’ll have to go forward and face the prospect of being trapped wide into the turn, which will cost her too much ground.

Like Theresa May, she’s damned if she does, and damned if she doesn’t.

The prospect of a strong pace is not borne out by previous runnings of this contest on Polytrack, with the pattern being a rush for positions in the first two furlongs followed by a slackening of the pace on the far side and a sprint from the home bend. It will come as no surprise to learn that four of the last five winners have either made most or disputed the lead throughout, and that is likely to be the blueprint for the latest renewal, with the likelihood of Count Calabash being able to dominate somewhat understated.

If you don’t want to risk the place lay, then I’d not put you off backing Eve Johnson Houghton’s runner to make it four wins from his last seven starts.

Recommended Bets:

  • 14:05 Lay Fabricate to win 4pts @ 6.0 or shorter [max liability 20pts]
  • 14:05 Place Lay Fabricate to win 10pts @ 1.9 or shorter [max liability 9pts]
  • 14:40 Place Lay Alwasmiyah to win 5pts @ 2.8 or shorter [max liability 9pts]
  • 15:15 Place Lay Caspar the Cub to win 10pts @ 3.5 or shorter [max liability 25pts]

Tom Stanley is joined by Rory Delargy and Brendan Powell as the guys look ahead to the Lincoln at Doncaster, the Matchbook sponsored Rosebery at Kempton while also casting an eye over the Dubai World Cup!