Brunettesonly was a shade disappointing, albeit in a race full of generally disappointing animals. I was right to take on the two market leaders but was foiled by the outsider of the four. Our horse maybe went to hard too early but was unable to build up a sufficient lead. Whether she downed tools or just ran out of energy I am not sure. She had the stamina to stay in front and turning for home I thought she may just keep finding and gallop them into submission – as it turns out she had nothing left in the tank.
6/22 = + 19.5 points
Harris 8/1 1 point win
I am off out in 20 minutes so this will be a short write up. This horse won last time out in a first time hood for a trainer who has not had him very long. That was a decent performance where he led from the front and fought on well in the straight – showing there is nothing wrong with his attitude. He likes the course… form reading 1,2,1 including a win over course and distance, a C4 hurdle of 106 (with no 7lb claimer on board). He is still unexposed and handles all ground it seems, which is no bad thing at this time of year given how quickly it can change. He led from the front last time and with no real competition for the lead (Sam Lord may be up there but wont be there for long) I expect them to repeat those tactics. Class is fine, he is in form , ground if gd-soft is fine and so is the distance. In short he is the only horse which does not have a question to answer on those 4 factors.
This looks a weak race and i expect him to lead them a merry dance. All in all, having gone through every runner 8/1 is an insult to his actual chance of winning. The hood could of course not work for a second time but he is 8/1, not 6/4. A very solid profile and I am expecting a decent display. The number of PUs are concerning but maybe he just didnt like chasing. I am happy to take his run last time literally and back him to repeat it in this handicap.
The opposition all have something to prove. Harris beat Rock Relief last time out. The following horses have yet to prove their stamina: Bourne; Another Dimension, Sam Lord, Dumbarton, Agent Louise.
All those not mentioned so far could be given a squeak. Palm Grey makes his handicap debut and takes a massive step up in trip which should be ideal. He could be anything and could be well handicapped. We shall see. Iconic Rose can be given a chance but fitness is the main question. I am happy to take on after such a lengthy break. Footthebill is reliable but all of his winning form is with no juice in the ground whatsoever and he may not like the ground. He always tries though and should be thereabouts.
All in all another fairly weak race but one in which I think we have a decent chance.
UPDATE – Well a brave run from Harris, and no real excuses. He tried hard, and although didnt get an easy time up front i dont think that mattered as they didnt take each other on and went a sensible pace to my eye with horse that took him on eventually winning. I got the danger horses right with the winner and second in 3 i was most concerned about unfortunately Harris just wasnt good enough. As soon as I saw the winner past the post as they were heading out I knew we may be in trouble as she looked fit/lean on the tv screen and was one of few in race suited to conditions. I get more annoyed when I back a horse when i dont know how fit they are and they blow up. Anyway, onto tomorrow.
The only other horse that caught my eye was Coiste BoDhar 12/1 in the 2.30. This is a fast horse and 5f could suit. In saying that his best trip seems to be 6f and he has been in and out. He is well drawn and could burn them all off. This is his second try at Southwell having come second in a maiden here over 5f, where he was outpaced. 12/1 could be a decent price. Slight concerns over the trip (needs to prove it is fine) and over the level of his form made me leave alone. Hopefully I don’t regret it tomorrow!