Well it is front running Friday with chasers leading them all a merry dance at Bangor, Newcastle and Kempton. Barton Gift jumped well for once and outstayed his rivals in the end. If he kept the errors down he was entitled to do that. The Friary is just very slow and I dont think he is very good. The hot form of the stable clearly hasnt rubbed off on him.
I am not sure whether I am kicking myself or not over Ballyheigue Bay. If you could see my note pad you would be calling me an idiot. I thought he would front run and possible get an easy lead (depending on what mood American Spin was in) i knew he would prefer going RH and that he should stay. But, alas, there were horses in here with proven form in the grade and I thought something would catch him. Tom Cannon rides Kempton very well and at 12s maybe I should have taken the chance. That is how it goes, thankfully I tend to make more right decisions than wrong ones but it is still annoying. Still, not too much damage done. However, that will go down as an afternoon of making the wrong decisions. The selection ran well enough in third but either didnt have the stamina or the change of gears to catch those in front.
I hope you ‘Long Distance Jockey’ follows were on Sharney Sike at Newcastle 15/2 who was given a masterclass by James Reveley.
hmmm….well having spent some time looking at the 3.15 Bangor I am still scratching my head and am not confident over anything. Usually that is a sign that I shouldn’t bet and as such I cannot recommend anything. This looks like a poor bunch. If you wanted one who will relish conditions and should run his race then you wouldnt look past Incentivise. However he is now 12 and you would like to think this will go to a younger horse. A lot of these are not very good jumpers and have ran some appalling races recently. There are also a few taking a marked step up in trip which may help them or not. I think Barton Gift has a race like this in him but doesn’t jump that well and was going to finish behind Incentivise for the second time last time out. If jumping well he will run her race again as i am confident he stays. Rocky Bender could improve for the trip but is quite short given the number of questions to answer, including stamina and form. Presented is a dog. He will be ridden early. He could stay on and beat these comfortably. He could equally be tailed off and cannot be trusted. I dont think the bottom 4 on the card are quite good enough to win this. But, then again, a marked step up in trip can make a horse look a superstar! Qulinton prefers better ground and is another ‘character’. He could run well, he could through in the towel. He is 11 now and i wouldnt want to back him.
I think The Friary is the most interesting runner. Much like the Donald McCain stable, Russell went through a very cold patch and i think a couple of his runs earlier in the season could be ignored. Her stable is now in superb form and he has looked to be crying out for a step up in trip. He is young, fairly unexposed and is the one that catches my eye. However there are just a few to many doubt to recommend a bet, although having said that I will probably back him with 1/2 a point at 8s.
I should add that Flying Award, if 14/1 or below, will be backed as he is a system selection of mine. I back all Sue Gardner Handicappers when ‘fit’ blind when 14/1 or below. He is in awful form but ticks every other box and could run a big race. But he will only qualify if 14/1 or below.
Umberto Dolivate 6/1 (bet365) 1 point win
This is a very tricky race. Horses unproven over the distance, quite a few unexposed types and quite a few old boys looking to return to the glory days. In fact going through the race I could only really cross out Salmanazar given he is the least experienced over fences. Cantlow, American Spin and Howards Legacy all have the form/profile to win this race however they are generally inconsistent and a couple of them have shown nothing at all in recent starts. Cantlow has only every won with 16-3o days rest and has never performed well with this much weight on his back. But, he is 2/3 in the class and never out of places.
Open Hearted hasnt jumped great on his chases to date and I am not convinced he stays. He is from a powerful team at this track and is unexposed over fences however he is probably the right price. He obviously has a chance but I dont think he should be shorter than the selection on what they have done to date.
Baby Shines stamina is unproven having yet to win beyond 2m6f and she has had 5 goes at it with only 1 place. I am content to take her on, albeit she has the ability to win this if seeing it out.
Firm Order is running ok although I dont think his last run amounted to much and I would prefer to go with a more unexposed, younger rival on this occasion. Again, another who will run well and has won over CD. He is also on a career high mark but should be competitive.
Ballyheigue Bay could improve for the step up in trip but isnt proven in the grade and I am not sure how good he is. He looks like he needs to go RH but I want to take him on, despite his tempting odds. His run last time was just a bit too poor for my liking. Albeit he is a prominent racer and this will suit more.
Umberto D’Olivate comes from a team in red hot form. He has a touch of class, a consistent C3 winner, jumps well and is very very consistent over fences. 4/8 so far and only out of the frame 3 times we should get a run for our money from this trier. The only doubt is stamina. However, given the doubts I had over the rest of the runners I decided to go with him. His breeding gives mixed messages but he is related to a point winner and a few that have done well over extended distances. His running style and way he has plugged on suggests this could be up his street. Unlike the fav and a couple of others, he is untried at this distance and I think 6s, in an open race, is worth chancing. He could not stay but I am happy with the bet.
It is as competitive as they come but I would hope we have a live one. He normally sits handily which is a positive in any chase and if staying I expect him to go very close.
Nothing stands out again tomorrow from a Pace angle. I should add that Meydan’s Dirt Track and it looks like Chelmsford City are front running tracks. There were a couple of sprints at the latter where front runners managed to get out and stay out all the way to the finish line. This will be something I will be watching with interest.