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    Thursday Round-Up
Thursday Round-Up

Thursday Round-Up

Refusing to rest on their laurels from 2023, the MWD Syndicate is actively engaged in three of the four Category One events scheduled for this weekend.

The events kick off at Romford on Friday with the commencement of the Coral Essex Vase's opening round.

Trainer Mark Wallis, a six-time winner of the event, boasts an impressive track record with victories in 2006/2007 (Eye Onthe Veto), 2013 (Reel Tricyone), 2015 (Adageo Bob), and 2021 (Antigua Romeo). They are defending the title following Aayamza Magic’s 2023 win for the Aayamzaboy. (Mark’s mum-in-law Linda Jones won the 1999 and 2003 finals with Honytonk Gal and Top Power).

The syndicate has the ante-post favourite in New Destiny, whose odds have shortened from 4/1 to 7/2 in the last 24 hours. They also have the 8/1 third favourite Minnie Bullet and Ballymac Johnjo, currently sixth at 14/1.

How does Mark assess the betting?

He stated, “New Destiny’s draw is far from ideal. I spoke to the racing office about the possibility of having her as a middle seed; she is really better off drawn three or four. She is really a ‘M/R’ rather than a ‘R/M,’ but on balance, looking at the trouble she would be likely to cause if she were to be drawn in five in the later rounds, we decided to stick to a rails seeding, and inevitably she drew trap one.”

“If they were all to run solos, I think she would clock the fastest time, but hopefully she doesn’t find much trouble. Liz and Rab (McNair) finished last year in great form and have also sent a strong team.”

Regarding the kennel’s other entries, he added, “You know you will always get a good run from Minnies Bullet, who has already reached seven Category One finals, including finishing third last year. She absolutely loves Romford and is well-drawn in one. Ballymac Johnjo has taken a while to find some form but has every chance in his heat.”

On Saturday night, the kennel appears even stronger with four through to the semi-finals of the PGR Cesarewitch semi-finals (three qualify), including the top two in the betting, Garfiney Blaze and Ballymac Taylor.

In fact, three of the four runners go in the same semi-final.

Mark said, “Having watched Garfiney Blaze’s race last week, I was surprised at how little was made in subsequent analysis of the line that Bradys Bullet made from trap two. Even side-on, you can see that he run veered right on the run to the bend. I’ll be lying if I didn’t say that was a concern going into semi-finals given they are drawn the opposite way round. If he gets a run, a would certainly expect Blaze to come on a bundle from that first race.”

“I’m quite happy with the draws for Mad For Sterling and Jacktavern Magic. You always know what you will get with Magic. He runs so wide because he only has one eye. You would wonder that if he had two, he would be among the best in training.”

“I’ve also heard it said that Ballymac Taylor will improve for last week’s run. While it is true, she hadn’t raced since November. But, the only real benefit will come in the stamina department when she goes further. She isn’t suddenly going to improve five lengths in the early part of the race.”

On Sunday, the MWD Partnership will be represented by Newinn Syd (9/2), Whyeaye Man (20/1), and Newinn Ranger (100/1) in the semi-finals of the Blue Riband at Towcester.

Mark said, “We are all aware that Romeo Command is the one we all have to beat. Newinn Syd had been laid off since the Eclipse and badly needed the run last week.

“So I would expect some significant improvement on Sunday, though the draw is trap four is far from ideal.”

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