Tomorrows selections will follow soon, but first, the inquest!
Ouch. What a sh*t day. Well the racing was great, and it was fantastic to see all horses come home safe in the Topham, again justifying the changes to the fences.
That was a very strange day, a stats/trends busting day if I have ever seen one. If it isnt clear by now, at these big meetings, and in big races, I am a big fan of usiing trends and stats to narrow down the field to a manageable size, before conducting further research. This has served me well over time. However, it does mean that days like today can happen.
Infact, our biggest ‘winner’ was Module being declared a non runner!! so that is 3 points I will get back. After today, every point is welcomed! On my maths, following the advice for the two days, you would be 2-4 points down. Not great, but now as bad as it could be! If you just followed today, and didnt back yesterdays winners, nor have backed the many winners on here in last few months (inc +45 points at Chelts, +£450 to £10 stakes) then apologies. I dare say many of you wont be checking the blog tomorrow. This was such a bad day I will briefly go through each race…
Where our selection was poor. He clearly didnt have the pace to get away from this field, which I had hoped. Jossies Hill was a worthy fav as explained and won like a very good horse. What would be the start of a great day for the team at Seven Barrows. All in all, not too disappointed with the result. He looks a galloper and clearly needs a step up in trip. We will get out money back on him in the future!
A right kick in the ******** I tempted my own fate in truth. In a way I am glad that OFaolins Boy finished last (if he wasnt going to win), proving that he clearly was not over his race at Cheltenham – a view backed up by the trainer after the race, where he was reported to have ran ‘flat’. Now, Hollywell. I wouldnt have backed this horse. To prove that this is a hard game, like OFB, he has a hard race when winning at Chelts. Admittedly he won well and didnt have to fight as much near the line, but he won as if he could go round again. He could be very very smart, and is very good already. He broke the handicap stat explained in write up of race below. He is now the 4th horse from 70+ runners to have won a Grade 1 or 2 chase at Aintree having run in a handicap LTO. Clearly now impossible, but that stat made me want to avoid him, especially at 3/1. As I said, I am happy that i didnt back him, and obviously very disappointed with the run of OFB. That will be the last 4 point bet for a while!! This was another great ride from the champ, simply the best around.
Module was withdrawn and we lost 1 point on strong trends selection RE. Before Boston Bob winning Mullins had only had 1 winner from 54 runners here since 2004, with his last win in 2005. Hey ho, he now has that monkey of his back! Before today, all 23 horses in this race, with a rating of less than 158, had been UNPLACED!! Boston Bob was rated 154. He was ignored on that basis.
Another stats buster as MaFilleule won very impressively to make that 2 wins in a row in this race for Nicky Henderson. Yet to have a National winner, he is clearly getting better at running horses over these unique fences. Only 1 winner in last 10 years had carried more than 10-11 to win this race, from 83 horses to have tried! I put a line through all those with more than 10-11 on their back. This horse had 11-7 on her back. A very impressive performance indeed. Maybe classier horses are being aimed at this race and this may be an emerging trend. We shall see. It was an open race, and the writing was on the wall after the disaster of the first 3 races. I had a feeling how the day would go at this point. 8 of the last 10 runners had raced over these fences before – she hadnt, another trend broken. The theme of the day!
Another trends buster as Beat That won. 17 of the last 19 winners, yes 17 of the last 19 winners had won at least 2 hurdle races before running in this race. This horse had won 1. All winners had ran in last 50 days. All 22 horses that had been off track more than 50 days had been beaten. This horse had been of course for 119 days. In fairness, Henderson is a master at getting horses fit after a break, so if a horse was going to go against history, it would be one trained by him. Bugger.
Seeyouatmidnight ran ok in 3rd. In truth I was concerned when I saw him in the paddock. To my eye, having been off the track for 48 days, he looked like he could be fitter. I was finding it hard to see his ribs, which wasnt a good sign as to his race fitness.
Well an open handicap with another trends buster. Attaglance was the only horse before today, from 62 runners since 2004 to carry more than 11-01. In fairness the winner was in the right rating band and maybe i was too quick to ignore. He had a good form chance, but I was put off by the trainers record on this day at the meeting. Admittedly not a massive sample, but he had sent 19 runners out on the Friday since 2004, with only 3 placing. He had placed at the track though which was a positive and is clearly a nice horse. Never mind. Our selection had a late jockey change which didnt help, and never really got close enough. He was held too far back but maybe wasnt good enough.
Well this was a lottery and I used a good little system, which if i apply over time, will put us out in front. Sadly it didnt find the winner today.
Day 3 selections to follow soon.