Two decent enough runs from the McCain pair (10/1 3rd and 9/1 2nd) were the ‘highlights’. The downpour of rain from this morning and during the race may well have cost Valley of Milan near the finish, but, there we go. There was enough there to suggest McCain could help us out this December, but time will tell.
The 2.10 at Ludlow was another frustrating effort from myself. There are two really annoying things when looking at a race and putting up selections. 1 – your horse never being in it,and it being over early on (yesterday’s SL) – Rio Milan ran well into the straight and looked good momentarily- but then faded. Until Winning even gave it a go for a time. Ultimately they were both poor and I wont be touching them anytime soon.
2 – having a shortlist of 3 or 4 that you stare at for some time and leave the winner, unbacked. Tinker Time was 14s in places and as the money came for him (into 7s) and as Until Winning doubled in price, the writing was on the wall. Going out for the second circuit and I was already cursing. He travelled oh so well. In general it is that final piece of the jigsaw I keep getting wrong, but hopefully that will change soon. It is a shame Until Winning wasnt so obviously unfancied this morning. Anyway, nothing is more annoying than that and a ‘tipped’ winner is long overdue. I hate, just hate getting final decisions like that wrong.
Anyway, while I cool down and stare at Tinker Time’s profile and wonder what put me off, and what I can learn for the future..the Micro Systems…
Kings Apollo – 1 point win 8/1 (general)
There are two horses in here that you could argue will handle this ground (at least based on solid form in Soft), are young, still open to improvement, who are fit and who will stay. This is one of those and the other is the favourite. Pipe has a decent record here with his chasers and he is the most likely winner and will give the selection most trouble.
A saver on him or an EW bet may be the wisest move but I will stick with win only at the odds. His fall last time out was just a bit sloppy, brushing through the top and not getting the landing gear out quick enough. From the races I have watched he is usually a decent jumper and is still learning. He is a course and distance winner who I think could get an easy lead here. He is the only consistent front runner and I hope/expect they leave him alone on the front end. If he can get out and get in a rythm, his proven stamina near the end will help as will the fact that pressure will be put on those jumping in behind.
Clearly he needs to step up on previous efforts but that win last season at Wincanton was a decent enough race. Horses have run 19 times from that and won 7 races between them (excluding the selection) He went off the boil after that – maybe too many races, or they were just better contests. This isnt the strongest of C3s and i think there is more to come from him this season. Given the likely pace set up, his profile, proven over CD and that he gets through soft (and taking slight chance heavy will be fine) I thought 8s was a bit overpriced.
The favourite won well LTO in a race that looked to fall apart and at times his jumping wasn’t the most fluent. The hope is the selection forces errors from him as he tries to make up ground, which is possible if held up. But, he wont be too far away but isnt the biggest of prices.
The rest have plenty to prove. Upham Atom should need the run (0/10,1 place 30-365 days rest) and is 12, Aachen is 11yo now and only won a weak veteran’s chase last season (0/9, 0 places runners out of that race). He will like the ground but is hard to predict and at that age I am happy to take him on. Fond Memory, Velator and Shy John have been kept to good ground for most of their careers to date and you are simply guessing as to their liking for this ground. Velator will likely need the run. Fond Memory is progressive but I would like to see some chase form on Soft/Heavy before diving in. Ballycoe is just a bit too unexposed/unknown for my liking.
All in all I think we should get a good run for our money from the front here and hopefully he can hold on jumping the last.
2.20 Market R – The Geegeez Geegee (12/1<)