2.10 Ludlow – Noche De Reyes (5/1 general) – 2nd 3/1
For me this race is about whether this horse can bounce back to the form of when he last won here. If he does I think he wins this. There is an if but 5s feels a decent enough price in the context of the race to find out.
Well Tom George is 8/31, 15 places with handicap chasers here, 8/20 when Paddy is up. The trainer is also in decent form. This horse had a lengthy lay off before his return where he looked to ‘blow up’ after travelling well. He ran poorly LTO where he could have bounced (second run after a lengthy break) and/or hated having a tongue tie fitted. He is only 6, this is only his 8th chase start and as I said if he bounced back to when winning in a higher class over CD last March, he would take some stopping. It could be he hates going LH as well – not conclusive but he is now 0/4, 0 places going that way. On his 3rd start after that lay off, with race conditions to suit, there is no excuse here. George will get him back at some point, let’s hope it is today.
The Pace set up also interests me. There are a lot of horses in here who like to get on with it – well most of the others really, and I think they will go quick and there should be competition – unless the jockey’s agree that one is to lead – which can happen as no point in ruining your horses chance by getting in a battle. We shall see. But, Brennan will stalk out the back, hopefully get him into a rythm and pick them all up in the straight.
Most in this race have a question or two to answer. Last Shot is a qualifier for VW below and I have had a saver on. He doesnt win very often but goes well enough fresh, is a CD winner and I cant say with confidence that he wont win. He is more unexposed though and needs to bounce back here – he hasnt won for a while – and is another who likes to lead. He wont get his own way here I dont think – unless he goes too quickly.
I am happy to take on the fav at the prices who won a weak looking race to me LTO. His victory margin was also enhanced as he wiped out his nearest challenger at the last fences. If the selection doesnt run his race than a repeat of that win may well be good enough here. He is unexposed. Trainer is 0/13 here to date. He will run his race but will need to step up again if all of them put their best foot forward. Helium is 10yo now and again he won a weak looking race LTO at a ‘summer track’. He needs to step up and there are plenty of younger legs in here. 7/2 isnt overly generous but race conditions are fine and he is in form. The top two in the market are the only ones that can say that really. The rest have enough to prove for me.
4.20 Ludlow WON 16/1 – – Evan Williams is 3/13, 6 places with his NHF debutants here in recent years. I cant let Mac Gregory go off at 10s. His breeding looks decent albeit it could be a chaser for the future and lack toe around here. But, the stats suggest most of his are fit enough to do themselves justice if good enough. The market will guide and any major drift would be a worry, but, I am happy to chance 10s.
2.10 Lud – Last Shot (16/1 or under)
Lavelle (14/1 or under)
1.30 Kemp – Fortunate George