My thoughts have turned to Goodwood which of course is going to be happening very shortly. I have had my eye on a horse that looks like his next run is likely to be at Glorious Goodwood. Even if he does not pitch up there then this is still a horse that needs to go into your horse tracker. I am not sure whether the fire brigade should be called or it should be the police and you can make your own minds up as to what I am referring to.
FIRE BRIGADE is indeed the horse and he first came to my attention when in 2016 he won on the All Weather in a Class 6, 0 to 60 would you believe. The horse won off a mark of 56 which is quite incredible when you think what he has achieved since then and he currently has a mark of 97. So, just the 41 pounds of improvement then since way back then or of course is it improvement or has the handicapper just found out about him.
I flagged him up way back then as a well handicapped horse but I must admit I never thought we would be talking about the horse like we are today. As he rose through the ranks of handicappers it was clear that FIRE BRIGADE was suited to big fields and he had too be ridden for luck, form the back weaving through the field. I have always felt when you have a horse that has to be delivered like that they are shall we say easier to get handicapped. You can always say well he found trouble and of course they can find it if they want to and I am always a little suspicious.
Last season FIRE BRIGADE won at Haydock in a Class 4 event off 84 in soft ground. He was then tried at Ascot where he just failed behind CAPE BYRON off 90 in a fairly small field. The one line of form I am particularly interested in and want to look at is 29th September last year at Newmarket in the Cambridgeshire consolation race the Silver and he ran off 90 in that race. That is the mark he has today and that race was a Class Handicap in its own right despite being a consolation for the main event.
That race is run over 1 mile 1 furlong and how that race has worked out is actually quite remarkable. The race was won by ADDEYBB for William Haggas who went on to be a stunning winner of the Lincoln at Doncaster. He followed that up by winning a Group 2. He was in receipt of only 3 pounds from that horse and was only beaten less than half a length. The second horse was Trained by Charles Hills and is called AFAAK who after disappointing on his comeback run this year then went to York and won a decent handicap off 97 beating LOVE DREAMS. Then at the recent Royal Ascot meeting AFAAK finished second in the Royal Hunt Cup off a mark of 103.
So, we can see both those lines of form from the Silver Cambridgeshire have not just worked out they have worked out extremely well. On my private handicap ratings looking back at this race FIRE BRIGADE has run somewhere near a mark of 108 to 110 which shows you what he has in hand. This season on the face of it if you had not been watching the horse closely you would think has been disappointing and he wouldn’t have caught your eye that would make you want to get involved with him in a big handicap.
His first run of the season was in the Lincoln and if you remember he was a fairly short price off 98 and he was well gambled to win it off that and he remember is now off 97. He was well beaten but let’s not forget it was a very soft ground Lincoln and the race fell apart because of that. For me it just did not suit the horse’s running style. I watched the horse carefully at Newmarket on his next run on the 17th April in a big field Class 2 handicap with 19 runners and he was ridden by Jamie Spencer that day. Spencer has been a regular pilot for the horse who only finished tenth that day and was slowly into stride by design I think. He was held up and obviously given his running style he has to weave his way through but I just felt that if he had wanted to be he could have been an awful lot closer. Once I had seen that run he was definitely on my radar thinking that they will be lining this up for a decent handicap.
His next appearance was at Haydock where I backed him on the 28th April and even though it was a small field I felt it was too tempting at the prices at around 9/2. I was not sure if that day was going to be the day and I do think they had a right go with him. He finished second beaten 3 and a half lengths to a horse called GULF OF POETS from the Mick Easterby yard. That horse had previously won well at Pontefract and there was a nice gap back top the third MASHAM STAR. I think the small field did not suit the horse and he had to get racing GULF OF POETS too early and they were isolated on their own whereas this horse needs to be delivered late passing horses.
After this run FIRE BRIGADE had a wind op and was off the track for 61 days. He returned on the All Weather at Newcastle on the 28th June in Class 2 company a 0 to 95 race. The temptation for me of course was to back him that day but I stopped myself because I thought there may be a bigger handicap around the corner. I watched him very carefully from start to finish from the gate and was full of interest to see his first run back. He was in midfield then lost his place two furlongs out and I would urge you to go and watch the race! I don’t want to point any fingers I just say go and watch the race back. If anyone thinks that horse was asked to do his very best then I would seriously beg to differ. It finished 8th beaten 3 and a half lengths and I thought personally he could have been a lot closer.
After that wind surgery you could say it was a perfect comeback run and he remains on a mark of 97. The handicapper clearly has not been fooled by the horse because it has only been dropped one pound since the first run at Doncaster, a fact I am sure has frustrated connections. The Haydock run in second when he was fully extended will have reinforced to the handicapper that he had the horse about right.
He has I have noticed got an entry at Goodwood on the third of August in the Unibet Golden Mile Handicap. There will certainly be a big field and though you can be unlucky here I always think it is a good track for horses that like to find trouble and need to be delivered late. For FIRE BRIGADE this could be the prefect location and at the time of writing he is currently 33/1 for that race. Of course, it is always difficult backing horses without knowing their full intentions and I would suggest you maybe want to take a little bit of the 33/1 and then maybe follow up on the day if he does line up.
Whatever happens I am absolutely convinced we have not seen the best of FIRE BRIGADE and I am sure he has been lined up for a big handicap and he is certainly one I will be backing.
While we are talking about Goodwood we still are offering you the Free Trial of my private Race Reader service where you get full analysis with each bet. Your Free Trail would cover Goodwood so why not give it a go!