Chris Dixon's Notes And Angles: Dawson and Heard look apprentices to follow

By Chris Dixon@cdixon82
Wed 16 Sep 2020

The Racing TV presenter has a number of horses to add to your tracker plus a couple of apprentices who are worth siding with over the coming months.

September has been a good month so far for the tracker horses and wins for Tranchee, Omnivega and Make It Rain in the past week have added to the tally of horses you may have been alerted to through your tracker if you agreed with me that they may be a horse of interest.

As I mentioned in last week’s column, Omnivega looked a bit too short for me at Kempton so I left her alone, but I did back Dapper Man who I thought would go well at Musselburgh on Sunday after flagging him up a few runs ago. Patience is starting to wear thin with him now and, in truth, I’d only be willing to back him at a fairly big price in a race where an easy lead looked likely, so I’ll be taking him off the list for now.

Both Make It Rain and Tranchee were strong in the market all day prior to their respective victories on Friday and Sunday. Both remain open to further improvement and will continue to merit serious consideration once reassessed, though Make It Rain is likely to be reliant on either sticking to the all-weather, on which she is now two from two, or fast ground.

Click here to read Chris Dixon's previous Notes And Angles columns.

There’s a few horses I’ve highlighted to add in to your tracker in previous editions of this column that hold entries this week, including Glorious Charmer who is set to run at Yarmouth on Tuesday.

He shaped like a horse that retained all his old ability when returning from some time off at Haydock last time and it is interesting his connections have opted to send him to a track where he produced his career-best performance.

The concern is there may not be an overly strong pace on and he’s at his best off good fractions, but if they do slide along at a sound tempo, he’ll have every chance, and if his early price is close to holding up, I’m likely to back him plus have a few quid on another horse who is well handicapped and shaped well last time in Obee Jo.

Later in the week, Mr Strutter looks likely to have a suitable test at his beloved Catterick in a lower grade of race than the one he shaped well in last time, so he will be very interesting if getting the good pace he needs to aim at, while I’ll also be having a close look at Phoenix Approach and Arch Moon should they take up their respective entries.

Onto this week’s eyecatchers and angles of interest, and I’ve got a few that caught my eye recently to add to your tracker plus a pair of claiming riders to keep a close eye on in the months ahead.


Trainer: James Tate.

Watch how Show Yourself fared at Kempton last time out

The inside of the track has looked the place to be at Kempton recently and it again appeared to be an advantage to race close to the far rail at the meeting there last Wednesday.

Given she was wider than almost anything in the race, Show Yourself ran very well to finish second to Perfect Times in the 6f Fillies’ Novice and looks a likely improver.

Unable to match the turn of foot shown by the better-positioned winner, she kept on at the one pace and shaped as though a step up to 7f would bring about some progress.

The same had been true on her debut at Yarmouth and that form has been boosted since, and Show Yourself’s opening handicap mark of 72 is one she can leave behind once sent over a shade further.


Trainer: Clive Cox.

Bertie's Wish is another that has caught the eye at Kempton recently

Another two-year-old to get a wide trip at Kempton last week was Bertie’s Wish, and it was very encouraging to see him keep on to finish fourth.

Giving away ground to the three that beat him whilst also racing on what appeared a slower part of the track meant he was always likely to be up against it, and his clear greenness was also a significant factor.

He should improve plenty for the run and if getting a fairer test next time out, he could make significant progress.


Trainer: Michael Dodds.

Watch a replay of Bellatrixsa's run last time out

A couple of the runners in this middle-distance handicap for three-year-old’s look likely to be of interest in the short term, but none more so than Bellatrixsa.

She looked to have been allotted a lenient opening mark prior to this handicap debut, but the race didn’t get to the bottom of her as she met trouble at a crucial point early in the straight.

A long-striding filly, she doesn’t appear to have much in the way of tactical pace, so having her momentum checked at a point she would ideally have been starting to wind up was a real blow.

However, she did stick on late to confirm the impression that she’s on a handy mark.

Her pedigree is also a pointer to her being better than her rating and she can prove the point over this trip, or a shade further, at a galloping track on easy ground.


Trainer: Marcus Tregoning.

Ghalyoon must have had a few problems to have only managed five races by this stage of his career and in two starts this season, despite finishing second, he has displayed why top connections have persevered with him for so long.

As was the case on his reappearance, Ghalyoon didn’t settle off a steady early pace at Doncaster last week but he came home well from a poor position.

Click here to read Chris Dixon's previous Notes And Angles columns.

He was beaten by Tranchee - who had shaped well on his previous start and looked well handicapped – and runner-up Sunset Breeze who was well-positioned and is an unexposed three-year-old, so the five-year-old shaped like the best handicapped horse in the race.

He’ll edge up a bit more in the weights for this but will remain ahead of the assessor and can prove it when getting a strong pace to aim at.


Latching onto a good value, claiming rider is regularly a profitable angle and while there’s a number on the scene at the moment who appeal as being good value for their allowance, there are a couple who have been going well of late that could be worth following over the next couple of months.

Ray Dawson (5)

Ray Dawson is an apprentice worth following (Pic: Focusonracing)
Ray Dawson is an apprentice worth following (Pic: Focusonracing)

First of all, the obvious one, Ray Dawson. It doesn’t appear to have missed the attention of many people that Ray Dawson can ride - and that he’s stealing his 5lb claim right now.

I know Ray from his time working for Mick Appleby, and as a 7lb claimer, he rode winners on horses I was involved with and also finished second on Big Country in a John Smiths Cup.

He’s always been a talent in the saddle but appears to have his mind completely on the job again nowadays and is reaping the rewards.

13 winners have come his way since the start of August, including five so far in September, and he has been operating at strike-rate of 20 per cent, so he’s starting to pick up good rides on a daily basis.

Following his mounts blind over the past two months has returned a profit and while I don’t think this will continue, and the value of his claim will soon be factored into the prices, I still think he’s a rider to keep a close eye on for the future.

Tyler Heard (7)

Attached to the Richard Hughes stable, Tyler Heard is in the right yard to be getting good advice through the early stages of his riding career, but it’s mainly for smaller stables and riding unfancied horses that he’s catching the eye.

Only 76 rides into his career, the young apprentice is going to be learning and improving all the time and while plenty of mistakes are going to be par for the course at this stage of his development in the saddle, he’s getting it right on big-priced horses often enough to make me think his claim is a useful one.

His seven winners since the beginning of August have been gained at odds of 25/1, 7/1, 40/1, 9/2, 18/1, 7/1 and 20/1, so as you’d expect at this stage the market doesn’t appear to have caught up just yet, but if he keeps going the same way, it will soon.

In the meantime, I’m hoping he can add to his tally of winners this week as he takes the ride on one of The Horse Watchers’ horses, Stone Mason, in an apprentice riders handicap at Beverley on Wednesday.

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