Leg Iron – 1 point win – 16/1 (Betstars/BV/PP) 14/1 (general) PU
16/1>9/1>20/1… ah well, not even a return here could spark him to life- maybe he just hates not getting an easy lead- will keep an eye on him back here, but clearly hard to catch right and you want to take a price on him. Never really travelled, which was possible with him.
142/16s feels well worth a go for this mercurial character of a horse. Plumpton is his track, and if/when he bounces back to form, it will be here. His last three runs here over fences he has done well… 1,2,1 (2nd beaten 1l) every one of those performances was on the back of a PU somewhere else, two of them Fontwell, just like last time. So, if you are going to ignore letters in a horses form, this is a horse to do it with. He is 2/7,5p here in handicap chases, 1/4,4p over CD. He likes the mud and he stays, very well- he gets a bit further- those two things pose major questions for quite a few in here- ‘unknowns’ for some, yet to prove they can or can’t handle such conditions. That last run was also only 3 days after seasonal reappearance. He does well in this rest pattern and is a proven weight carrier over fences. He also drops into C4 again, and is a ‘ratings pointer’ horse for my TTP stats/members post.
All in all, he looks well worth a go here. IF he can bounce back to his ‘plumpton form’ (and he rarely runs a bad race here) he should give us a run for our money. Hopefully he can get the lead, or in any case be up there- if it is clear he is travelling early, comfortably on the front end, he should be out-running these odds.
Well, he is 12 now so clearly open to attack from younger legs. Talk of The South and Sweettoothtommy are both TTP ratings pointers also and knowing my luck all three will get beat. Preference would just be for the former of those two, just in the sense I know he handles soft. He is in form, and running well, 9/2 or so is ok. Pipe’s is unexposed and if handling soft (no idea) should be running his race also, if building on that last run. Maybe of some interest that Tommy Scu has gone up to Ayr? But, that may not be a negative for his chances, maybe more a positive for his rides up there. Hopefully one of those three takes it, with a big preference for Leg Iron, at the odds for sure.
Henllan Harri- well he has been kept to a sound surface so who knows if he will cope with soft. A bit like OneForArthur, he hasn’t proved he can’t handle it/stay etc, but he is 3/1, not 16/1- you should be able to take such chances on 16/1 shots, usually,esp when so much else in their favour!! Royal Salute has stamina beyond 2m5f to prove, and these are tough conditions in which to do it. He may relish it, but again is only 4/1. Howlongisafoot is out of sorts and it may be of interest that Tom Cannon is on IToldYou, he would have had the choice…
That old boy is a danger, simply because he stays and relishes the mud. Leg Iron has beaten him over 3m2f here, Itoldyou has done likewise over 3m5f. It isn’t impossible these two have it between them some way from home. His last two runs suggest he may be more of a C5 animal and a tad regressive, but dangerous to dismiss as he likes conditions and will handle them, probably better than some in here. But again, only around 6/1 so not massive.
That’s the lot. PACE.. Leg Iron is the only horse to have led in here on any of his last 4 runs, and I hope they bounce him out. He could get his own way, and we could have some fun if so. Bowen’s may be up there also, and IToldYou can press the pace.
Handicap hurdle/chase portfolio- LIVE TEST
3.05 Plump – Sweettoothtommy – G1- UP
Jan Trainers (pointers)
2.45 Ayr – Freddies Portrait (any odds) G3 – 2nd (needs to go RH on that evidence)
That will be all on the betting front today. Good luck with any wagers.
Saturday felt like the Cheltenham Festival 2016 all over again- where, from memory- my big race stats/profile approach shortlisted the winner of 8 of the 10 handicaps- how many did I tip/back? Yep, just the one- he was 20/1 mind, but still, what might have been (coincidentally,as something you can remind me about closer to the time- if there is a Gordon Elliot trained, or Davy Russell ridden, horse in a race shortlist,just back the thing!)
Anyway, OneForArthur.. as I look at my notepad, he was effectively in a shortlist of 3/4- and along with the two selections was the only other one not to have a stats angle against him really. What did I do wrong? Well, as I have done before, I talked myself out of a winner- and as Norman noted in comments on a members post, I will probably do it again. In part, that is the game. A puzzle, one that I get wrong many more times than I get right. But, being so close is painful,and it was poor. Why should I have backed him? Well, he was prominent on the stats shortlist. He came here with the best recent form- the best- that close 5th in the Becher G3, was probably the best piece of ‘last run’ form on offer here,by some way. And he was the only horse to be top 3 HRB and top 3 Geegeez Speed (as a guide) in fact he was top rated on geegeez, by some way. Doh. And he was 16/1. He was the biggest price. Moron. Amateur hour. Those factors alone made him a clear bet. But I tried to be too smart – ‘oh his best form has been on a sound surface’ well, yes it had, but he had not proved he couldn’t handle deep ground (a novice run and another suggested may be ok) or that he couldn’t stay- and the way he ran at Aintree suggested he may relish it. So, plenty of things to learn, again!
Maybe I am best sleeping on these things before tipping – making that decision was at the end of a 2 hour process or so, when including the stats shortlisting, and pondering. Maybe a break, clear the head, before making a final decision may help.
And,if in doubt, always assume a Russell horse will handle the mud and stay. As she said post race, they try and buy horses laden with stamina and that should handle winter ground. Most of hers are trained to gallop,up a stiff hill, and plenty of them do. That may be why she has such a good Hexham record, esp in the mud. That saps the stamina.
We move on. Being close to big race winners is annoying but I will take the positive from the stats approach- and if the shortlisting works like that in 6/7 out of every 10 big races or so, with any luck my pins will land on the odd one. But, that is one that definitely got away, given my approach.