Saturday Review Video
Thoughts on various races from Aintree- the highs, more lows, horses to note, things to learn etc. What I got wrong in the Becher,where do we go next… ‘not as good as I thought I was’ …
2.20 Kelso –
KILBREE CHIEF – 1.5 points win – 9/2 (general) UP
HARRY THE VIKING – 1.5 points win – 9/1 (BV/SJ/Betw) 8/1 (general) WON 9/1>5/1 (+12 points race)
Oh god. It’s happened again. While I wasn’t awake late into the night/early morning as Neil suggests, there is probably more truth in his comment than I care to admit 🙂 What is it with me and this bloody horse, old Harry The Viking.
I am sure the last time I backed him I said that was it- well here we go again – one last hurrah. And given my form 1.5 points the pair is probably too bullish as well. It is these kind of races,the bread and butter, outwith the big Saturday handicaps, where my 3m+ chase tipping destiny will be determined and with any luck I can boost some confidence today.
Old Harry– Well he is becoming very well handicapped and he just keeps running the odd really consistent race which keeps making you think he may have a race in him still, somewhere. Part of me wishes his form would just drop off a cliff so I could put a line through him. He returned the last day after an absence and ran the best race he ever has after a break. Good to Soft is fine- actually all of his winning is on going with good in the description. He goes well here, he clearly goes well for this jockey (who coincidentally is 2/11,5p at the track) – he jumps, he gallops, and.. he stays. He will just keep going for me and this is the easiest long distance chase he has competed in for a while (well,there is the Perth run,where he probably was outpaced on good,but kept ‘plodding’ on) – the cut here will help-as will there being a bit of pace on. Now, he may get out-paced at one stage by younger legs but he is solid. I know he is in form also. He seems to like December – 2/7,3p in this month over fences – 0/21,8p all other times of year.
Maybe it’s a sign of my muddled mind that I have gone in with him again. But from this end of the weights, off this mark, a repeat of many a placed effort of last season would see him right in the mix for me. He is the only proven stayer in this who arrives fit and/or in form.
Everything looks right (i have said that before) and you just know he will probably run 2nd/3rd which will make me look at him next time!
Well I wanted a ‘younger/progressive/improve for the trip’ horse on my side in this and the Russell horse gets the vote. He has been backed a tad and I have missed the 6s that was around (maybe 13/2) but I thought 9/2 looked ok still. The booking of Tom Scu catches the eye – it suggests they mean business here. (7/25,15p in handicap chases at the track when teaming up) It also looks as though the last run was a prep – went off big odds, never really put in it, faded a tad. That run at Ayr last season over 3m3f suggests he stays, and is well worth a go at this trip. He was also nothing but consistent last year and is entitled to improve further this year. That final run of the season in that decent enough C2 novice chase suggests he is a better horse than Cultram Abbey and Smooth Stepper. He also beat stablemate One For Arthur that day, who has since hacked up in handicap company and ran a decent 5th in the Becher yesterday. Of course all that means sod all if he doesn’t stay, but it looks as though he could relish it. So, he ticks plenty of exciting boxes.
Pace… well both run up there and I suspect they will track the pace set my the likes of Scotswell and Grover Silver – Carrigdhoun and Smooth Stepper may be up there also. They shouldn’t be held up out the back in any case and I see no excuses on that front. Hopefully both get into a rhythm. We should (those brave souls still following) get a run for our money here.
Of the rest…
Well some stats of interest I suppose… 9/16 (9/37,17p) were Top 2 in the market at the off (4/18 fav), and 12/16 were top 3. 12/16 went off 6/1 or shorter. So, in general, it has been a race the northern market has got right. 9/15 (of those ‘with a run,will be one who had international form no doubt that HRB doesn’t account for) finished in the top 2 LTO also.
Royale Knight would have a chance- he has won this before, he stays, he has a touch of class. Jacob is up which i found interesting and the good Dr is in cracking form. I was just a bit put off by that last run- I am sure that race was a target given he had won that before, with a prep over hurdles before- he ran appallingly, never in it. For the first time in quite a few years he gets some headgear- it may have a positive effect, but it isn’t a positive that they put them on. A solid horse though,and no shock winner. I would have liked to have seen more LTO- that race wasn’t a prep for this I don’t think.
Millicent Silver- well her best form is in deeper mud than she will get here- she looks like a grinder. But, I was put off by the break. Yes she goes well fresh, and yes the trainer can ready them. But, at 5s, you don’t want to be asking too many questions- I think class, and more importantly going, and that fitness question, were big enough concerns on which to leave at that price. She could win, for sure. Smooth Stepper- he crashed through a fence early the last day and that really knocked him- I want to see more and while unexposed he has a few more questions than some of these now. Even accounting for that error it was still an awful run the last day. On what they have done to date, his form is a bit behind Kilbree Kid for me, with both open to improvement. The selection also has a gutsy/staying on, win over 27f also.
The final horse I want to mention is Cultram Abbey – who having pondered I am happy to leave. His best runs seem to be when fresh and on recent evidence he has been shocking on his second run of the season , for the last two years- both times on the back of very good runs. He can also be inconsistent and can still clout a fence- and is also possibly better on softer ground. He will also come from nearer the back and will have to make up ground at some point. I am not certain some of these in front will be stopping. He is an exciting one and I would kick myself if he went in- he ran the last day as if worth another go at this trip. They put him in the Eider last year so they much think he could stay. His breeding doesn’t look the stoutest- well not some of his closest relatives. He seems to hit the odd flat spot also, and then stay on. We shall see, but something was telling me to leave him here. The one ‘clanger’ in the race.
I suppose I should mention Emperor’s Choice- this could be a prep for the Welsh National again and I would have liked to see some support maybe. He is a slow grinder/plodder and the ground may not be soft enough for him these days. He could out run his odds though – but again even this trip is into the unknown for him and on this ground, there may be a couple with a bit too much toe near the end. Him and Harry may plod home together! (hopefully he isn’t the third Venetia winner in a race I have tipped in, who ‘qualifies’ against the odd micro angle- gulp)
I can’t have the rest for one reason or another.
Right, that will do for today.
If you follow me in, best of luck!
A word on..
Dynatse… Just spotted that he runs in a c2 veterans chase here off top weight- and is 5/2 – without having looked in much depth- couldn’t he make a mockery of this price and this field? Pipe in form, cheekpieces replace blinkers- and he ran ok in Charlie Hall LTO- if he is every going to win again, surely it is in a race like this- he ‘could’ / should? destroy this field of handicappers. We shall see.
Handicap hurdle/chase portfolio – LIVE TEST
2.20 Kelso- Emperors Choice (VW 60+ days) UP
Venetia Williams Chasers November (tracking into Dec) (16/1<)
2.20 Kelso – Emperor’s Choice UP
2.50 Kelso – Summery Justice UP
12.30 Hunt – Red Admirable – UP
Trainer Track Combos