2017 Total: 18/167, +99.5 points
Two Smokin Barrels – 1 point win – 8/1 (gen) 2nd 13/2
Saint John Henry – 1 point win – 14/1 (gen) UP
Nobuttaboy – 1 point win – 11/1 (gen) UP
Hmm.. unsatisfactory there given the low sun and 4 fences (jumped twice) omitted… i’d like to think that would have drained the winner of more energy for this and his stamina would have really been tested but I am guessing to an extent, would have been the same for the second, and Full Irish has done it well enough there. Two Smokin Barrels just couldn’t get there and didn’t have the same speed in between the fences. I can live with that result, no bother. That profit pile wouldn’t be that big if I dodged taking such horses on. The other two were poor. Back to +99.5 I go.
I have convinced myself that if Full Irish WON 3/1>4/1 doesn’t win this, and he is worth taking on at 3s, then one of these three is… and given the prices on all three seem generous enough to my eyes, I thought i’d back the lot. Time will tell if that proves wise or foolish!
Two Smokin Barrels... there could be more to come from her over fences this year and she caught the eye LTO…she jumped and travelled well into that race before tiring between the second last and last, having crept into it and looking like she would challenge. Her odds suggested she would come on for this and she ran as such. It was tiring/sticky ground at Carlisle and having looked threatening she slowed markedly after the last and came home in her own time. Why she is nearly twice the price of the Greatrex horse I have no idea, but more on him shortly. All race conditions are fine and this could be a slog. She is a solid jumper who usually tracks the pace. She was a bit further back the last day but in what seems a less competitive field hopefully Treadwell can track the leaders. He is 3/4,4p on her and I found it interesting he has been booked for this. It shows some sign of intent I think. She will jump, she will stay, the ground is no problem, she operates LH, she is experienced yet there could be more to come, and should be bouncing fit here. Many of the others in this have to answer those questions and some of them seem short enough in that context. 8s seems a few points too big.
Saint John Henry… I will be a bit alarmed if this one drifts beyond 14/1 but that price seems an overreaction to his last run. After all, most punters, including me some of the time, don’t like seeing a P next to a horse’s name. The first point is that he is unexposed over fences and won well enough two starts ago. It may not have been the strongest of races but he showed a very willing attitude that day and there could be more to come in this sphere. There is a chance he ‘bounced’ the last day, that run coming 15 days after his win, which was his first run in 215 days. He may just have ran flat as he ran well to a point…his jumping then started to get a bit sketchy and at least Tom looked after him when all chance of placing had gone. There is also a possibility he didn’t like going RH. They haven’t tried him that way round many times at all, with most runs being LH. I don’t know if there is anything in that, but it is a possible excuse. David Pipe also has some crazy stats with horses that PU LTO. I will share those in the members’ club, but if you have Horseracebase, do just take a look at all chasers that PU on their last run, as a starting point. Basically, 14/1 allows me to take a chance that he may bounce back here. Were he 8s< I doubt i’d have touched him. He will also race prominently and try to make all, and if he could get an easy lead that would help. He doesn’t have to lead and in any case should be in the perfect spot. Race conditions are fine. It could be he is a C4 animal at best. Again, it comes down to price. This is only his 3rd chase start so I will not start casting aspersions as to how good he is or isn’t, as a chaser. He won at this level over hurdles.
Nobuttaboy…. looks the most interesting in here of the ‘could be anything’ types and a double figure price seemed well worth a go. This is only his second chase start and he ran well to a point at Aintree. He was unfancied that day but Jacob was aggressive on him… many of the fences were dolled out in that race and he was outpaced up the home straight, as well as probably needing it. Due to the lack of fences they probably went harder in parts than they otherwise would have done, given they are a natural speed barrier. I thought it was a run of promise and the fact they didn’t stay to hurdles very long is some indication of where they think his future lies. I do like ‘chasers in the making’ who spend as little time as possibly over hurdles. The ground is an unknown here- he has simply never raced on anything softer than GS…again, that comes down to price…does it allow me to take the chance that he may relish it? 11s does, to my eyes. Then there are the connections/tactics… well trainer/jockey are in the form of their lives in the last few weeks. Pauling is 6/17,7p in the last two weeks, 12/45, 20p in the last 30 days. I suspect Jacob will be aggressive with him and may try and make all. Someone will win the fight for the lead here and he does like to be up there. There is no evidence that he has to lead. The CP return which is interesting. He did jump out to the right slightly the last day so that is a concern, not enough of one to put me off at the price though. He just looks fascinating. He may walk through a fence, he may jump right, he may not handle the ground. But if he does relish conditions he could have plenty in hand. He will have come on for that last run no doubt. He is ‘the’ interesting outsider in this. 11s allowed the play.
Of the rest…well they are all worth taking on at their prices…Full Irish.. were he 10/1 you’d say he was unexposed/could be anything as a chaser , will come on for the last run, and they step him up by a mile in trip.. he ‘could be anything’ in this sphere and is another who they didn’t keep over hurdles for long. He may bolt up here but he is 3/1. He has to prove he stays, prove he will stay in this going, and he is an inexperienced chaser. Those things are not negatives by themselves, but they are for a 3/1 shot in a race like this- to my eyes anyway. That price doesn’t allow you to be wrong many times with that type of profile. An interesting runner for sure, but he can beat me at 3s, which he may do. But he isn’t bombproof.
Solstice Star… has a big big stamina question and even more so in this ground…he was hurdling for an age and is now trying his hand at chasing. At 10/3 or so that was an easy decision to leave. Of course he can win but he has some major questions in the context of his price and there are many more interesting ones in this. I hope Dickie isn’t aggressive on him..given the stamina question I hope they ride him patiently and let the Pipe/Pauling horses have their own way up top!
Chef Doeuvre is worth taking on at 9/2… he was tailed off way back the last day in the same race that TSB ran in at Carlisle. He may well come on for it but he does jump out to the right and I suspect he may do that here, losing ground at every fence. Heskin is the retained rider for these owners now, and will ride all of theirs when no clash with his main boss, Tom George (who trains a chunk of them anyway). He is unexposed in this sphere and could win for sure, but that RH niggle and how poor the run was LTO, even if needing it, just put me off at 9/2. He has had 7 goes over fences as well and only has a win in a beginners chase to his name. I don’t think he is a world beater and can be easily left at 9/2 by me. No shock winner, but 9/2 not big enough for me. Allchilledout…well he is rated 109 and is up against 123+ rated horses… that would indicate he needs a career best by quite some way and that every other horse needs to seriously under-perform against their mark. I can’t really see that happening. Not all of them .Surely not. And most of those are unexposed over fences also. He just doesn’t look good enough to my eyes and would be quite the shock result. Cue, shock! He is unexposed and conditions are fine. He may come on for that last run but it was poor enough and continued a sequence of recent poor form. I was happy to leave him. I won’t fall of my seat if he wins I suppose but I wasn’t near to backing him. It will be one of those where I stare out the window for an age if he takes it, as I wasn’t close to backing him. (i’ve only just stopped doing that after Saturday’s debacle of a tipping/analysis performance)
Crystal Lad is the final one.. he hits some members’ stats for the trainer here, and a micro below, but I just thought there were too many questions. He was 15/2 or so when i started looking at the race and has drifted since… I don’t think he showed enough the last day, has a stamina question and a ground question. He doesn’t run like a stayer in the making to my eyes. In any case he was a single figure price when I made my decision and that was short enough given the questions he has to answer here. I’d have liked to see more the last day, and some more solid ‘staying on’ form in testing conditions, given he was 15/2, 8/1. He would be the sickener were he to win but i’m happy enough to leave him.
So, I suppose it is open enough, but those three looked over-priced to my eyes, when nothing else did. I’d be disappointed if I haven’t picked the winner there but in truth I have that feeling 8-9 times after every 10 races I look at! (all about profit, not number of winners! :))
That’s the lot for today.
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
1.20 Sedge – Red Danaher (12/1<)
2.20 Sedge – Cracking Find (12/1<)
3.00 Ling – Crystal Lad (14/1<)
Any other content tbc