Well another point lost and no real excuse that i could see. I put his pulling/exuberance on his last run down to it being his first run for a while but on reflection it looks as though he is a keen sort who needs to learn how to settle. It was nice to see the Alan King horse return to some kind of form and at least I highlighted the most likely winner in the write up. I also know one reader profited from the shortlist write up by backing the Harry Fry runner at decent odds in-running. All in all the only thing I got right was the price, 4/1 beating the Sp of 11/4. Anyway we move onto tomorrow..
Sir Mangan 9/1 Bv – 1 point win
How Long Is a Foot -4/1 1/2 point saver
UPDATE: Well it may pay to keep away from Novice Races in future…I thought something would improve past Generous Ransom and i also thought he didnt like soft ground -clearly no problem! Nick Gifford now taking his Sandown record to 5 from 55 runners. They were all closely rated and it was a great race, the drift on Sir Mangan said it all and he didnt get the easy lead i thought he would. Maybe he sulked, or simply was no match for these over fences. It will be interesting to see how that race works out.
4/17 +14 points. Only 1.5 points profit on the week, but still a profit at least! I will be back Monday to go again!
The first thing to say here, as ever, is that it looks like Sir Mangan will get his own way up front. If he can get into a decent rhythm he could take some catching. He loves soft, jumps out to the right slightly, his last run was effectively his seasonal reappearance and at least he has some chase experience. Anyone that read my recent Donald McCain post will also know that historically his chasers (in handicaps, this being a Novice Handicap) come alive at this time of year. So, a lot in his favour. He has the ability to win this with most of the contenders rated within a few lbs of each other based on their hurdles form and hopefully his experience over fences and prominent running style will make the difference. 9/1 is too big in my opinion.
Now, when you think of Sandown you think of a stern jumping test, especially down the back where fences come thick and fast. If you meet the first all wrong you tend to get the rest wrong as well. So, i was surprised as I went through all of the runners that only Sir Mangan, Generous Ransom and Josies Orders have jumped a fence publicly before. I then dived into my system building software to see how many horses have made a successful jumps debut at the track. Looking at All Novice Chases (inc handicaps) since 2003 shows me that only 5, from 35 have been successful. They are actually performing 8% above market expectations but a 14.29% win strike rate would suggest it isnt the easiest place to make your chasing debut. Horses priced 5/1 or under are 4/10.
Now to How Long Is A Foot. The trainer responsible for 2 of the 5 chase debutante winners here is one Mr Nicholls. His horse finished ahead of Henderson’s when they last ran at Cheltenham and he can confirm that form here. Henderson coincidentally is 0/3 with his chase debutantes here priced 5/1 or under. So, all in all I thought he was worthy of a saver bet.
Generous Ransom doesnt look good enough on what he has done to date and Josies Orders best form is over 24f + , i think he could be outpaced here.
And the rest are obviously making their chasing debuts. Given on Official Ratings 7lbs separate the whole field it would be quite easy to make a case for most of them. I would like think the inexperience of some of these over fences will catch them out and am happy to side with the McCain front runner, with the Nicholls horse as back up.
4/15 = +15.5 points
The only other race I am tempted to dive into is the 4m chase, the 3.20 Exeter. Gorgehouse Liege could get an easy lead and just keep galloping them into the ground (it is also interesting that Aidan Coleman goes there rather than Sandown) . However, at the time of writing (18.35) i have yet to look at the race properly and may do so this evening. However he wont be a main selection.
UPDATE – Having looked at this race in a bit more depth I have backed Flying Award to win. Gorgehouse Liege and Benbane Head are the pace angles and I think the former could go all the way. However I think his price, around the 3/1 mark is probably about right. My concern with him is that the ground could be too lively as on all form so far he does seem to appreciated bog like conditions. Flying Award ticks all the boxes and is actually a selection for my Sue Gardner (the handicap hero) micro system – just backing all of her handicappers priced 14/1 or under when returning within 120 days is very profitable, and she has been consistent for years. This horse will appreciate the return to a marathon trip, is back down to his last winning mark and has no problem with conditions at all. His profile for this race is bomb proof. In fact the only doubt is his recent form but I suggest that this could have been the early season target for him. JonJo is going to come back into form at some point and his American Legend interests me as he is unexposed and open to any amount of improvement. The trainer is known for his record in long distance chases so he should go well. For me the rest have too much to prove and it should be between Gorgehouse Liege, Flying Award and American Legend. In saying that these marathon trips can bring about improvement in horses that appears to come from nowhere so it will be fascinating to see if any of the others can get into this – on paper the rest have plenty to prove.