Chris Dixon’s Notes And Angles: Phoenix can scale greater heights

By Chris Dixon@cdixon82
Tue 11 Aug 2020

Our betting expert, Chris Dixon, has five more horses for your Racing TV Trackers and has identified a race at Thirsk as one to keep a close eye on.

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Thai Power has steadily edged up the weights without winning again since scoring at Kempton in June and though a string of second-place finishes can set the alarm bells ringing, I don’t think he’s doing too much wrong in the finish.

His issues have been twofold, bumping into progressive horses on all three starts since, and also probably lacking a bit of tactical pace. That lack of tactical pace was evident at Sandown when runner-up to the unexposed and well-bred Immortal Beloved at Sandown last time, losing his pitch quite badly as the tempo quickened off the turn but running on strongly once wound up.

He looks a strong stayer and a race in which the tempo is solid and unwinds more steadily could see him improve his form, as could a longer trip. There are also elements of his pedigree and his style of racing that suggest some ease in the ground or the application of some headgear could help so I’ll be keeping an eye out for him should he be getting any of the above in his next few starts.


I’ve had my eye on Phoenix Approach all season and had fully expected him to win sooner than his third start of the campaign, but when he did score at Beverley last week he did so very well. Ridden with a bit more patience in a well-run race, he travelled sweetly and powered away late on to win with plenty left in the tank.

That may have only come in a lowly 0-60 handicap but he won in the manner of a horse who can continue progressing while his physique also suggests he can keep going the right way. He is declared to run at Beverley on Wednesday.


Catterick is often a track that favours those racing on the pace, but you can still go too quick and a trio of pace-setters forced an overly strong gallop in the race won by Dream House there last week.

Each of the three that forced the pace, including short-priced favourite Longroom can have their run marked up, but the one who fared best was Dapper Man and he’s becoming a horse of interest.

In each of the last two season’s Dapper Man has hit a sustained spell of form that’s seen him rack up a sequence of wins, and with his handicap mark in freefall I think the same may happen again this term.

Since an encouraging run at Beverley in June he hasn’t fully fired, but all of those outings have come during a quiet spell for the stable and there were definitely signs last week that Dapper Man is working his way back into form so once the yard are going better I suspect he could enjoy a fruitful spell.


Another horse to catch the eye on my visit to Catterick last week was Look Out Louis who quite simply didn’t enjoy the rub of the green when a strong finishing third behind his well-handicapped stablemate Parys Mountain.

Also better than the result when caught on the wrong part of the track at York on his previous start, Look Out Louis travelled like a horse who was back at the top of his game this time and off an attractive mark shouldn’t be too long in getting his head in front again.


Omnivega went to Ascot last weekend on a roll having won his previous three starts on the all-weather but had little chance of landing the four-timer given the way the race panned out.

Dropped out at the back in race that favoured the prominent racers as they sprinted home late, he did very well to get as close as he did, even allowing for him being a horse who has quickened up well off steady tempo in the past, and this run suggests he’s still well handicapped.

The chances are he’ll always be ridden with restraint so the size of the field and make-up of the race will be factors to consider with him going forward but I think he has the talent to take in a good quality handicap at a galloping track before the season is out.


Many of the races highlighted so far as the hot form have been competitive three-year-old handicaps with several horses of interest in them but this week I’m going for a less obvious low grade race as a piece of form to follow.

The race in question is the one blown apart by Lady Nectar at Thirsk on Sunday. Often when a horse wins in the manner she did at this level it’s because the opposition are either generally out of sorts, badly handicapped or didn’t run their race, but in this instance I suspect the winner was just thrown in and the others had little chance with an in-form improver.

Horses of that ilk aren’t that common at this level and as such those in behind the winner, several of whom looked either in decent form or on a fair mark, should be able to find easier opportunities in the weeks ahead.

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