Last two days tips: 2/7 = +14.55 points
Tips/Big Race Previews: +41.05 points (since start Oct)
The Last Samuri’s stamina won the day at Kempton and he looks a lovely chaser in the making. That track did not suit but thankfully they didn’t hang around. He looks sure to stay 3m5f and with time could well be a Grand National horse. I am not sure if this year would come too soon or not, I suppose he will be 8 soon so could well be his time. His jumping at pace was exceptional.
2.55 Leopardstown – Ahh I deliberated over the winner, who fitted the profile for the race perfectly, but thought 8s was short enough in a race of that nature given he had to prove he stayed. As it turned out he enjoyed every yard of that trip and looks another chaser worth following. Shame he wasnt 12s+ as we may well have been cheering another winner. But, take the positives – my approach to the stats for these big races keeps shortlisting the winners. Long may it continue. Sumos Novios was brought down when beaten but there is a chance he could have grabbed 5th, but maybe clutching at straws! Empire of Dirt – well what a strange ride. He was lined up near the front and I am not sure if the jockey was asleep when the tapes went up but he was suddenly last. Odd. Never put into it – very strange given race conditions were perfect. Unless there was something wrong with him I am still scratching my head.
I would have bitten your hand of for +14.55 points over the last two days so I won’t be greedy! Plenty to look forward to in the coming days.
12.50 Kempt – Cabernet Dalene (12/1< – a guide, has had a 33/1 winner) DNQ/UP
2.35 Kempt – No Buts – (14/1<) DNQ
Big Race Preview…
Sumos Novios – 1 pt EW – 12/1 (PP- 5 places) 10/1 general – BD
Empire of Dirt – 1 pt EW – 16/1 (general,ensure 5 places) – PU
From the trends posts…A decent profile looks to be a horse carrying 11-3 or less, ran 16-60 days ago, 1-5 seasonal runs, Top 5 on at least one of last three starts, Top 5 LTO (or PU), 0-1 handicap chase wins to name, 0-15 chase runs to name.
That would leave a manageable shortlist of: The Job Is Right; Minella Foru WON 8/1>7/1; Dromnea;Empire of Dirt; Rossvoss; Sumos Novios; Perfect Promise; Futuramic.
Sumos Novios has the perfect profile for this race and looks to be a horse going places. He won really well last time and we know he stays this trip. All race conditions are fine and the only unknown is that this is his first run LH. His jumping was true and straight LTO so I have no real concerns on that front. He just seems to be going the right way and this prominent racer should keep out of trouble and give us a run for our money. If he completes I would be surprised were he not to place at worse.
Empire of Dirt – well he chased home Sumos Novios LTO and he wasn’t really stopping – more that the winner had a few more gears and a bit more in hand maybe. This race is 2f further than that race and given this horse was well fancied for the Irish National, I suspect he will appreciate more of a slog here. The main question with him is his jumping. If he jumps like he did LTO, I cant see him being far away. There is however every chance he falls or makes errors and at this stage (10am) no jockey appears to have been confirmed for him, which is also a slight concern. But, 16s just about allows that chance and he did well at Punchestown. He also likes to race prominently so there should be no excuses.
Of the rest…The Job Is Right hasn’t done too much over fences and was in poor form last time over these obstacles. Dromnea has stamina questions and Rossvoss has to step up again – he beat Dromnea on his last chase and am not sure as to the strength of that form. But, he is progressive. Those with two seasonal wins don’t have the greatest of records. Minella Foru is interesting but stamina is a big unknown and while everything points to it being fine, I don’t like having a stamina question in a race such as this. He could improve for it and if so won’t be far away. Perfect Promise could well want a sounder surface and is now 0/3, 0 places in G3/2. Futuramic has yet to win a chase and that is enough for me – non chase winners have a poor record in this also.
The Last Samuri – 1.5 points win – 13/2 (bet365/BV/PP) WON +9.75 points
There have only been 8 runnings of this race but a few pointrs to go on – those carrying big weights have struggled, unexposed horses are best – 0-3 chase wins, 0-3 handicap wins..being in form is a positive – 1st or 2nd in one of last two starts as is having 1-3 runs this season. An application of those stats would remove Opening Batsman, Ned Stark, Ardkilly Witness and Ballinvarrig. But, they are small numbers generally so caution advised…
The Last Samuri – a bit like Ballyheigue Bay he was an eye-catcher last time out. He has a lot in his favour hear, not least the form of that last run which was franked at Ascot by the two in front of him. He could also be a bit sharper here with the run under his belt. Now, looking at his form and the way he grinds you would think this test may be too sharp – which could well be the case. But, on paper at least, there is so much pace in here it will be some effort for a horse to be up there all the way. Loose Chips, Opening Batsman, Ballyheigue Bay and Harrys Farewell all like to front run. There are also lots of pace pushers…Ardkilly Witness, Viva Steve,Shangani to name a few. The point is, you will need to stay here, really stay. (in theory!) As such that brings The Last Samuri’s stamina into play. Hopefully he can sit behind them all and get into a rhythm. If he does, and is not taken off his feet or held too far back, he will go very close here. The market usually gets this race right – no winner yet over 12/1 SP – and he should give us a run for our money. Much like Don Cossack there is a chance he has to up the pace to close down leaders up the home straight, which can always lead to errors. But, on balance, with the pace set up, his profile and his form, I want him onside. Bailey is in a bit better form than a couple of weeks ago – 9 runners, 4 have placed which is fine.
Harry’s Farewell interested me and I can’t work out why he is 18s, which makes me think it is a negative. He is stepping up in class and is effectively 12lb higher for his win LTO – that may well do for him – but he is young and progressive and could outrun those odds. Were some money to come that would make him interesting and if he goes close I may well be kicking myself – but,he does need to step forward again and he won’t get his own way up front. The same can be said for Ballyheigue Bay who caught the eye last time in the London National. He does need to step up in his chase form to date and surely wont be able to dictate here, without going too fast, which will a) pay near the end of the race or b) lead to jumping errors. He is one to keep onside as maybe at this class, or class 3, in a smaller field where he is the only front runner I think he will be hard to beat. Ned Stark seems to have gone off the boil but it would be nice for him to come back to some form – but I am happy to leave him. This is a stronger race than the one Ballinvarrig won last year I think and he also looks out of sorts – that run just a bit too poor LTO although this could have been the target.
I may not have mentioned the winner of course. It looks a decent race and if it is clear after a circuit that TLS is travelling and jumping in his comfort zone, and can creep closer before the turn for home, he will go close. There should be no hiding place here.
After yesterday’s very near miss with the 33/1 poke, who I thought had won but got caught in the last stride, I will have another quick look for any big priced pointers..
just a couple to highlight from the Irish micro angles..
12.30 Misdflight (4/1) UP
2.45 Black Ice WON 12/1>8/1 / The Pine Martin UP
I haven’t looked at the horses at all and given the stats these angles are more a bit of fun,so it will be interesting to see how they go.
That is all for today.