I don’t often get angry with myself if I have done my best, left no stone unturned and haven’t made basic errors – but I had a shocker today – having started the write up on the Evans horse with ‘back them blind’ in relation to his handicap chasers at Market Raisen – I proceeded to miss another handicap chaser he had at the track- that won, 8/1 – was 12s+ I think in the morning. I missed him, simple as that – he didnt even make my notepad. I am not sure what went through my mind when looking at that race. So, apologies. He should have been on the post somewhere given I put the other one up. Of course after he sluiced in I went looking for reasons why I woldnt have backed him, but there were none, given the stats and price. I didnt even make a conscious decision not to back him, I simply missed him. Annoying. Its little things like that which I need to iron out. The other Tip ran well and just couldnt get up, going down by a head. The Irish shortlist horse ran ok for most of the race, but then faded and made a howler at the last flight.
I won’t provide a running commentary on the micro systems – as always I will review at the end of the month, although I will comment if a trainer looks in hopeless form and should be treated with caution etc
2.20 Hexham – Kalastar – 1 point win 9/2 (general)
3.30 Muss – Mwaleshi – 1 point win 9/2 (general)
Kalastar – this is a fairly new trainer on the scene, who has been training Hunter Chasers predominantly, but her overall stats are looking ok. She had one run well enough yesterday at Muss as well. Also, from a limited sample, she can appear to get them ready to go after a break. This is another poor race and a reproduction of his recent form may well be enough for Solway Legend but his price is a bit skinny. Kalastar has some ok form to his name in Hunter Chases and really could be anything. We know he handles the track and he could have plenty in hand. The jockey booking is curious however he has some decent stats in chases, and hunter chases – safe to say he does know how to ride and will keep getting better with experience. He has won at the track a few times too. Given most of these have so far ‘been there and havent done it’ and have plenty to prove, this 6yo looked a bit too big at 9/2. Novice Handicap chases are not races to dive into too often I don’t think but I am happy to today. I think we will get a run for our money.
I should mention Afterclass as he caught my eye at a big price, and has been backed. Unlike a lot in here he has yet to prove that he is moderate at best, and could have more to offer on handicap debut. But, I checked the trainer stats and he is 0/28, 7 places in last 5 years with handicap debutants which was a concern. He can get them fit mind and it will be interesting how is goes.
Mwaleshi – yes I can hear you – Josh, its another 10yo! And I keep saying I should leave these older horses – however, he is a bit different from those recent failures with the older horses I have put up in last couple of weeks – namely he is an unexposed 10yo – and he is in form. He went in my notebook (forgot to mention him in weekly update post on Monday) when I watched him at Aintree. He led for most of the way, jumping superbly (and markedly out to his right), before a lack of fitness and/or the trip found him out. This is only his 7th handicap chase start and while he has yet to win one he has been running at decent tracks, at a higher class, and on his last two runs, over too far. This is also his first handicap chase going RH, and given he jumps that way, this should be up his street. He has a touch of class (top weight for a reason) and this is his ‘easiest’ chase assignment for some time. Oh, and Sue Smith is also 2/6, 3 places with her handicap chasers here. He does like to lead and I will touch on pace in a moment…
Village Vic is an obvious danger but he is 6/4, has been best fresh in the past, and can have a tendency to jump left. He will no doubts be thereabouts, but you dont get rich in this game by being scared to take on 6/4 shots! Clearly he ticks a lot of boxes and if he comes on for that run further, he could be hard to beat. Kodicili is going the other way – stepping up in class – and while open to improvement does have to go and do it. Quit De Tresor is interesting – he is an exposed older horse – this his 50th chase start – but he does like the track and CD (2/6, 4 places) I would like to think one with younger, more unexposed legs, will beat him here, and he has been a bit poor recently. But, his price is ok, the stable is on fire, and he could be a danger. Royal Macnab is likely to need the run, but is a chaser who could progress on the norther circuit this year – he did me a favour a couple of times last seaso…
Pace – now, that horse is a likely front runner, but I am hoping, as he may need the run, and he may not be here to win, that they dont get in a dual upfront with him, and/or he is rusty, and/or he cant live with the pace that Mwaleshi will set. Village Vic can lead, but won last time tracking the pace early, and Johnston wont want to ruin his chance. Hopefully the selection can get to the front – if he does his jumping (if he jumps like LTO) will put a lot of these under pressure turning for home.
A quick work on ‘Veteran’s Chases’ – Mwaleshi ran in one of those LTO and they are interesting. There is a new program for them (came in last season?) and there are more of them I think. Generally these are decent horses who know how to jump, and often the races can be truly run with plenty of runners. As such, it could be that this form is more reliable in some cases than a ‘normal’ handicap chase – in any case, it will be interesting how horses that ran well in a Veteran’s chase get on when coming back into a normal handicap chase – of course they will always be threatened by younger legs.
2.40 Font – Flute Bowl 10/1 (general) Gary Moore (get well soon) and Josh Moore are 6/30 here in handicap hurdles, and he has better record than his brother when on his fathers handicap hurdlers here. With these stats (taken from my stats guide – you should buy it if you havent already,just read the comments below 🙂 ) I need to start asking myself the question – ‘can i fully discount the horse’ – that way I may start putting up some of the bigger priced winners of recent weeks, esp when the price is good. I can’t discount this horse here – he was going well at the track on his seasonal reappearance last year before slipping on the bend turning in, he then ran at some very good tracks, in much better races. Moore can get them fit if he wants (solid stats after a break) and the break may have done this one some good. There are plenty of other unexposed ones in here – namely the Williams horse – she is 5/20 with handicap hurdlers here – this one need to prove he stays, but that is possible. But, at 11/4, I would rather go with the 10/1 shot – maybe worth a saver, up to you.
2.50 Hexham – Mia Matriarch – (12/1 or under)