Matt Mit­ter makes a case to fol­low Fire Bri­gade

Matt Mit­ter makes a com­pelling case for a horse he has fol­lowed for sev­eral months

Racing Ahead - - CONTENTS -

Ihave had my eye on a horse that looks likely to be at Glo­ri­ous Goodwood. Even if he does not pitch up there, this is still a horse that needs to go into your horse tracker.

FIRE BRI­GADE first came to my at­ten­tion in 2016 when 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 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 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 from the back weav­ing through the field.

I have al­ways felt that 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 Septem­ber 29 last year at New­mar­ket in the Cam­bridgeshire con­so­la­tion race the Sil­ver when he ran off 90. 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 quite re­mark­able. It was won by ADDEYBB for Wil­liam Hag­gas and went on to be a stun­ning win­ner of the Lin­coln at Don­caster.

He fol­lowed that up by win­ning a Group 2. Fire Bri­gade was in re­ceipt of only three pounds from that horse and was only beaten less than half a length.

The sec­ond horse, trained by Charles Hills, was AFAAK, who af­ter dis­ap­point­ing on his come­back run this year went to York and won a de­cent hand­i­cap off 97 beat­ing LOVE DREAMS. 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 he has been dis­ap­point­ing and he wouldn’t have caught your eye.

His first run of the sea­son was in the Lin­coln and he was a fairly short price off 98 and was well gam­bled to win. 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 April 17 in a big field Class 2 hand­i­cap with 19 run­ners and he was rid­den by Jamie Spencer.

Spencer has been a reg­u­lar pi­lot for the horse who only fin­ished tenth that day and was slowly into his stride by de­sign I think. He was held up and, given his run­ning style, he had to weave his way through but I felt that if he had wanted to he could have been an aw­ful lot closer. Once I had seen that run he was def­i­nitely on my radar, think­ing they will be lin­ing this up for a de­cent hand­i­cap.

His next ap­pear­ance was at Hay­dock where I backed him on April 28 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 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 to 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 June 28 in Class 2 com­pany a 0 to 95 race.

The temp­ta­tion for me 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 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 an en­try at Goodwood on Au­gust 3 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 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 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!

All you need to do is go to Valuer­ and go to the Race Reader Free Trail page and all we need is your de­tails and you will re­ceive all you free se­lec­tions in­clud­ing Glo­ri­ous Goodwood.

I hope you have a great Goodwood and please look out for Fire Bri­gade.

Fire Bri­gade

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