UPDATE… a decent run from Willbeme and no excuses – for a moment I thought she may be coming to win. I read the pace right and was pleased that the right horses, based on my reading of the race, finished in the right places. The win for Monsieur Joe was not a massive surprise but does go to show you that in flat racing, and handicaps in particular, horses aged 8+ can do new things. He had a high mark, and I questioned his ability at this level. The lack of places from 5 runs in this class (20k + to winner) concerned me – the comment on the jockey was based on the fact he was 0/5, 1 place on him and I didnt think he was the go to man. I also thought a more progressive horse may beat him. However, he had brilliant course form and ran well in this race last year, finding trouble. I thought he would need some luck in running but he looked to have a clean run and won a shade comfortably. Well done if you found him – its good to see his trainer in form as he enters ‘his month’. Still, it was +2.5 points on the race.
Well 1 winner from the 4 yesterday at 5/1 ensured I came away with a small profit. The less said about the other 3 the better! 🙂
Willbeme 14/1 1 point EW 5 places
Annoyingly I couldnt find any trends in HRB for this race but have been through it like I would normally.
Firstly PACE – there looks to be quite a bit on. Red Barron will try and make all up against the far rail – which he may well do. However he will be taken on by Captain Dunne, possibly Addictive Dream. Astrophysics and Bogart should be up there down the middle. There doesn’t appear to be much pace high and being drawn anywhere against the stand rail may be a disadvantage today.
Willbeme traveled well for a long way on her seasonal reappearance over CD (in a decent race) and it is possible her lack of race fitness just caught up with her. But she still managed 5th. She looks to be improving still, has big field sprint form (showing she can handle a race such as this), and I think she will run another consistent race. She can lead but I expect her jockey to track the pace down the middle to far side and pounce as the exertions of those in front take their toll. Barring accidents or lack of a clear run I would be disappointed if we didnt get a good run for our money here. She also has decent course form and form over 6f, which is no bad thing in a cavalry charge like this. So we have an inform horse who is still progressive to my eye, who will be race fit, has course form, big field handicap form, and will be in the right place. She ticks a lot of boxes for me.
Without going through every runner Red Barron is clearly a danger given his form. It would be impressive to lead this field all the way as I suspect he may just have to do a bit too much up front. However he is a battler and I expect him to be in the first 5. Duke of Firenze caught my eye and i expect him to go well. I wonder if he is just a bit too high in the weights but he has a touch of class and it may not be a problem. He is also a proper hold up horse and will need quite a bit of luck in running. I may have to throw 1/4 point at him just in case as he was the other stand out.
I couldn’t make a compelling enough case for any of the others. There are a lot of old timers in here, and a few making seasonal reappearances. Generally I dont like backing those types in races like this, especially when quite a few now have race fitness. If something else wins I will say why I didnt back them when I update the post after the race! Perfect Pasture will be one to watch this season but I didnt like the jockey booking (i thought a strange one if this was his day, but I could be wrong – she is also only 3/60 at track) Monsieur Joe is interesting but he is 0/5, 0 places in Class 2 20k+ which suggests he always finds a few too good at this level. There are class 2s, and then there are class 2s, if that makes sense! He isnt getting any younger either and he was another that had a strange jockey booking.
Right, that is all for today. I had a bit too much red wine last night and my attention can’t stretch to any other races! 🙂
Have a great weekend,