(2017: 145 bets / 16 wins / +102 points)
Beggars Cross – 1.5 pt win – 11/2 (gen) UP
Bindon Mill – 1.5 pt win – 8/1 (gen) UP
*should have stayed in bed! 🙂 Bindon Mill has never really got going…Beggars Cross… well that was underwhelming… whatever that ground is I don’t think he has handled it.. ‘holding’ apparently.. maybe he just hasn’t run his race.. given how three of the top four are old staying warriors with more stamina between them than the rest added together, it would suggest it has been a proper slog. Not much good to soft in that going! Well done Harry The Viking, what a horse. I was nowhere near him and thought one of the more progressive/younger ones, would have his measure here. I thought he would find that sharp enough on that ‘going’ on his seasonal reappearance and this was deeper than the race he returned in last year. I really did expect better there. Never mind. The one to take from that is Two Smoking Barrels I think – a decent stayer in the making, she travelled into that well before the lack of run/hill, may have caught up with her.
Beggars Cross… I think 11/2 is fair here and on what he has done over fences/his profile he could be a bit shorter. He arrives here fit, in form, and seemingly open to progress a bit this season. He could be another ‘Go Conquer’ in that he will simply be a much better horse this year – there is a chance this extra couple of furlongs and stiff climb to the line brings out even more in him. He has looked like a dour stayer, esp at Doncaster and LTO at Warwick. This is his first go chasing RH so that is a bit of an unknown but everything else looks fine. Given so many have fitness/form questions in this, I think that makes his price acceptable. Hopefully Aidan tracks the pace and doesn’t have him too far away from the Fav who may be up there. He should run his race.
Bindon Mill… 8/1 seemed generous enough for another lightly raced handicap chaser who is open to improvement this season. There is a chance that he comes on from his last run where he ran ok, provided 12 days has been a long enough break for him. RH/undulating tracks clearly pose no problem and he is another who looks well worth a crack at 26f. Again I hope his jockey attempts to track the pace rather than being held up too far back. I thought he looked solid enough in this and 8/1 looked more than reasonable.
Of the rest… well Templeross may win this but he disappointed on return LTO and now steps back up in trip, which may help. But, this is only his second chase start and as such his price was short enough for me. He could relish conditions and do this well but given that lack of experience and the fact he has stamina to prove, he just felt short enough. Should run a good race though and these fences are some of the more easier ones around. He jumped well enough on chase debut. Nothing else really jumped out at me – given there are three chasers in this who arrive here fit, and all open to improvement, I thought the rest may have their work cut out. I am guessing as to fitness for many and on this occasion I suppose I have gone for the boring/safe route! Sometimes that pays off.
V Williams (16/1<)
2.30 Carl – Waldorf Salad DNQ
K Lee (12/1<)
2.30 Carl – Russe Blanc DNQ
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
1.30 Carl – Just Minded (12/1<)
2.15 Hunt – Britanio Bello (14/1<)
3.20 Hunt – Spy In The Sky (12/1<)