Well sometimes you just have to hold your hands up. That was a clonker and the first selection where I have been disappointed with myself. So, apologies. My instinct said leave alone and it should have been a no bet day. As stated I thought there may be a contest for the lead and when a trainer is that cold you really do need to be cautious. In hindsight 4/5 for that winner was value given the way he won (although unless a system selection I will very rarely bet when odds on- no real logic, just dont like getting back less than I have bet!) and when he learns to jump he could be quite decent. The drift said it all about the selection and all in all it is a race to forget.
What is more galling is that I had a ‘Pace’ shortlist of two. The Grey Taylor in the 1.20 was very nearly a selection but I was put off by his price last night (2/1) allied to concerns on the ground – his sire being 1/30+ on soft. For me that meant 2/1 was too short – and it was. As it turned out 10 minutes before the race he drifted as money poured in for the favourite. He went to 4/1 at one stage (returned 7/2) and I had 1/2 a point on as that became a decent price given the race wasnt that competitive. While that wont please you as such, it at least demonstrates the approach works 🙂
Now, I try and learn something every day and in future I will write a quick note on the shortlist horses, if there are any i leave out. These will not be official selections but horses i think will get an easy lead. Of course I will say why i dont fancy them.
So, with that said, onto tomorrow,
Hard Bought 1 point win – 7/1
This is an awful race where, based on all known form, not many have a chance of getting into this. In fact I would be slightly surprised if the winner didnt come from the selection, Leave It At Dawn or Broadway Twist. The bit of kit i use to read pace has a great tool that allows me to get a feel for the form at a click of a button. I can see that this is a poor race with only 4 horses having won in soft or heavy, and only 3 horses having won over the distance. There are some poor animals in here and I would expect the winner to come from what looks like the top 3 in the market. There are no out and out front runners in this race however Hard Bought usually chases the leader and races very prominently so I am hoping that with no confirmed pace the jockey sends him forward. His seasonal reappearance was decent and and he is a previous winner over the distance on soggy turf. He has won before (more than most of these!) and is open to improvement and hopefully his track position proves to be the deciding factor. I think he is worth backing and depending on the odds I may have an ‘unofficial’ saver on Broadway Twist.
Kilcooley 16/1 1/2 point EW (1 point total) 16/1 with Bet365 1/4 odds top 3.
On the face of it this is a tough assignment but as ever I am hoping that the pace angle will play some role. Last time out Kilcooley led from the front and with no other prominent runners (based on past runs) in the field I am expecting they will try the same here- at least i hope they do. From looking through his form and reading some of the connections comments from previous victories it’s clear that he loves soft ground and that he will relish a really soft surface. In fact this is arguably the softest he has faced since hacking up in his first novice hurdle. Given he promises stays further and is open to any amount of improvement on this ground I just thought 16/1 (now 20/1) with Bet365 1/4 odds 3 places was worth chancing. Whats more his stable has been under a bit of a cold spell (which along with ground being too firm could excuse previous runs) but has shown signs of turning the corner with some recent winners. I also think you can make a legitimate case against the rest of the field.
Willie Mullins has sent 7 runners to Newbury since the start of 2009 (4 in last 365 days) and doesnt have a single place to show for his efforts. Ruby Walsh hasnt bothered coming over either as he is riding a hot pot or two in Ireland. In all honesty I dont know what game he is playing here but I suspect there are simply not enough races in which to run all of his decent horses back home. Maybe he has changed strategy this year (winners at Ascot weekend) and these two have been sent to win – but i am not sure. Daneking makes his seasonal reappearance and who knows if he will be fit or if this is a warm up for future assignments. Wicklow Brave has shown very little in his last 4 runs and I wouldnt want to back him until showing some more life. Maybe he needed his seasonal opener but enough doubts for me at the prices.
Nicholls and Henderson both have decent records in this race and you would think that the likely winner will come from their pair. However both have been off the track for a while and are making their seasonal and UK debuts which is enough for me to take them on. You just never know how smart they are and what their seasonal plans are. The market, and race record of the trainers, would suggest they are ready but we shall see. Money has come for the Robert Walford runner and it will be interesting to see how he goes. As with most horses in this race he is open to improvement but is another whose fitness must be taken on trust.
All in all i think this is a live 20/1 shot. If the jock can build up a lead he will keep galloping and could catch a few of these out. With a 1/4 odds with B365 it will be a decent result if he can at least place.
Two others that were on the shortlist but didnt make the cut (and I wont be betting on either) were Cody Wyoming in the 13.45 – i think he will lead them a merry dance but I dont like putting up horses under 3/1. And the other was Ruapehu in the 13.00 – i think he will lead but I am not confident he will be race fit and didnt want to take the chance. It is also a step up in class in which he must prove himself.
3/7 = +12 points