Another decent day for the shortlist, highlighting the ‘power’ and importance of trainer track stats and trainer jockey/combo. Tom Scu drove his chaser home in a pulsating finish – i think Enchanted Garden may have won if standing up as he was cantering. You would worry about a horse falling like that when seemingly under no pressure and travelling well – but there were strong trainer stats for why he was going to run a decent race as well. Vaughan’s horse won well, and a shade cosily to my eye, and would be of interest next time out. 2/1 was too short in the morning for me but right before the off drifted to 7/2 – a decent bet at those odds. Were there no Push Me in the morning and were 7/2 available I am confident that I would have bet on him – as it happened I lost 1/2 point on the Johnson runner who did get an easy lead but faded tamely. But, that is a good sign as similar stats have pointed to plenty of winners over the sticks in recent weeks, some tipped, many in the shortlist.
Empty The Tank – 1 point win 3/1 (BV,PP,SJ,LadB) – as of 09.18
No ‘stats’ way in, more that I backed him last time when he won as a ‘shortlist’ horse – another that with hindsight could have been ‘tipped’. I remember him winning cosily to my eye then, and having just watched the finish again I think he did – rather than the tank emptying, I think he had plenty left. 3/1 is more than fair for the most in form, reliable and progressive horse in the race here. I don’t see 7lb stopping him if continuing his progression. All race conditions are fine as is the track and Johnson jumps back into the saddle having won on him before. If he runs his race (the usual caveat!) he will be fighting out the finish and there is no one else I would rather have in a driving finish than Johnson.
The rest are an inconsistent bunch, and as always in C5 hurdle races (not a class over jumps I would want to play in too often) nothing would be a total shock. Mandy’s Boy is a bit of a weak finisher and is 0/8,1 place in handicap hurdles. I don’t like backing horses that don’t like winning (unless a decent stat way in combined with very good odds) or have yet to prove they can win. If he repeats his last run he would have a squeak, but isnt one to trust 5/1 is short enough for his type. G&T also doesn’t like winning, 0/9, 1 place in career to date and I would want to see more. (mine will be a double, no tonic, if this tip bombs out!) Worldor isnt in much form, and what form he has is all on soft. Moving Waves is 0/8, 3 places in hurdles and is in poor form. Supernoverre is 1/20 in career and is 0/11 in hurdles – plenty of places but seems to be a shirker on paper and not one to trust in a finish, he needs plenty to drop right. Primo Rossi is 0/10, 0 places in career to date and another who needs to show more – I dont mind if horses like that win at 20s+ as I simply would rarely be on them, one of those things. The Operateur is out of form on the flat, looks a tricky animal to win with, but if putting it all together, and returning to form, would have a chance. They are big ifs, and the market can be a useful guide for this trainer. (all this horse’s wins 6/1 or under, 0/24, 3 places above this price)
I think that leaves the two main dangers for me – The Kvilleken – the handicapper may have him, or he may not, and he is in form at least. He needs plenty to go right and is a hold up horse. There is a lack of pace in this race and if they kick near the front he could take too long to get going, being out paced when it matters. The selection tracks the pace, and tracked a moderate pace LTO, so I have no concerns on that front for him. He isn’t as progressive as the selection. A win for Cornish Beau would not be a shock given connections. The blinkers go on here for a horse that is inconsistent, but if in the right mood would give us plenty to think about. He is 1/10 in hurdles. Newland is 15/51 with his handicappers at the track.
So, I think we are on the one most likely to give us a run for our money who is in form and still going the right way. 3s looked fair to me and hopefully there is market confidence in him.
There are a few ways into this afternoons Uttoxeter card…
1.40 – Dan Skelton is a dab hand with stable newcomers – 21/77, 42 places in the last two years. He is also 3/6, 6 places with such runners at this track. That makes Samtu of immediate interest and I have had a nibble at 7/1, now being backed. The trainer is a little cold at the moment but I thought 7s was a decent price given the stats. If he transfers his flat form to hurdles he wont be far away and the market position suggests he is here to win.
2.40 – a beginners chase and not ever races I would tip in really, too many unknowns, more races to watch for the future. Having said that Nigel ‘if you can’t make money backing my horses before Christmas you won’t all season’ Twiston-Davies is (or was at start of summer jumping season here) 3/9, 5 places with his non-handicap chasers at the track – that makes BallyKan of interest – he will be fit, no worries on that front, and he will know his job. 5s is arguably big in the context of this race, with most of them having something to prove.
of note in general…Emma Lavelle looks to have her string forward again (chase winner yesterday), and I will dig out and refresh the micro angle from last year – in general her unexposed horses go well at this time of year, or in the autumn anyway, and especially her hurdlers and NHF horses – She has the fav in here, who looks well fancied.
3.15 — no stats of interest bar fact No Likey (previous blog winner) lines up in a hurdle here, having won his chase LTO – it will be interesting how he goes but he should run his race again, albeit I am always weary of chasers reverting to hurdles as they can jump them too big and lose lengths per flight.
3.50 is interesting – if Standing Ovation runs like he did LTO in a much better chase race, he will take all the beating here as the market suggests – Tales of Milan is the interesting one at a price – he may well need the run but the trainer is 7/15, 8 places with his handicap hurdlers here for +40 points. If he is fit (that is an if) he will stay and could give a run for fun money – i hope so anyway for my 1/4 point bet!
4.20 – another old ‘friend’ (well nearly a friend) in According to Sarah lines up here, having been beaten by a nose LTO – Strobe did that form no favours but he didn’t run his race so I wont hold that against her – but her price is prohibitive enough and also there is a LTO winner in here also fancied. Johnson may send According to Sarah to the front in a race with no clear front runners and that ability to dictate may make the difference. Sureness was of interest given his trainer is 7/25, 9 places with handicappers here. The drop back is fine and he is unexposed in this sphere – i fancy he will run a better race than he has shown to date, also the Trainer/Jockey are 3/6, 4 places at the track when teaming up – an interesting value play maybe.
5.25 – Kings Opus is interesting in the sense that Bailey is 3/13, 4 places with handicap debutants at the track. Now this horse has been off for an age – in general the trainer does ok with such runners after a break but with his hurdlers returning after 365 days he is only 2/58 (i have used the ‘profiler’ tool in HRB to find that out – click on trainer name and then ‘profiler’ in top right hand corner – that wasn’t something I was that overly aware of until a reader pointed it out, so thanks!) We shall see how he goes, it couldn’t be an overly confident wager. There is also a September qualifier as below.
Elsewhere Lanigan is 21/77, 33 places in Kempton Handicaps and the drop in trip and blinkers may do the trick for Sweet Dancer in the 8.50. 5/2 is probably just short enough though for a horse that needs to find the winning grove again.
Finally Clement (remember him) runs in the 7.50 Kempton. He is 14/1 and I couldn’t resist an EW bet. He should have won a couple of starts ago at Lingfield if getting going sooner and with the trainer still in form, and that run still in my mind, I has to have a small dart at those odds. He has won in the class and at the track and his ‘instant expert’ profile against most of these looks promising. Having said that there are a lot of 3ysos and other unexposed horses in the race, who may not have shown their hand yet. Dont be surprised if he blows the start again – that is what he does!
There is nothing at Doncaster today that excites me.
5.25 Uttox – Sweet World (25/1 or under)
Shortlist to Follow
September Trainers to follow