Well a profitable day for the blog. If you were betting £10 a point, thanks to Kilcooley’s romp, you would have made £67.5. 6.75 points is decent enough on a competitive Saturday and i am glad I could find one winner. Bold Sir Brian looked to be running a massive race and then just seemed to stop. Maybe there is still something wrong with him but given how good he was in his youth I will be keeping an eye on him. Hey Big Spender ran a cracker and just faded late to finish 4th. The Young Master put in an impressive performance and being only 5 fingers crossed we can track his progress for years to come. Hopefully loyal Pace Wins The Race follows backed those horses below, getting back this weeks losses and making a small profit.
Bold Sir Brian 18/1 (bet365) – 1 point win
This is the class horse in the race, being the only class 1 winner in the field. At his highest point he was rated 155 and now runs off 144. He is only 8 and still unexposed, especially at this kind of trip which he has only tried once. He is also 4 from 4 in the month of December. Now, he is 18/1 for a reason and this is clearly a risky bet, but I have seen worse 18/1 shots. His reappearance run in October was his first since the 19th April 2013 and it is safe to assume he has had some problems, possibly caused by his heavy fall at Cheltenham in Jan 13. However, if he were to bounce back to form, he would make 18/1 look a big price. It also helps that there looks to be quite a bit of pace in this race and if good enough he should be able to pick up the pieces.
There is nothing else in the race that I could make a strong case for. The market suggests this is very open and a lot of these horses have something to prove. Firebird Flyer is 0/6 at class 2 level and is on a career high mark over fences. Howard’s Legacy is also on a career high mark and is inconsistent. On a going day he would go very close in this and at least he’s in form. Broadway Buffalo is still unexposed but is now 0/5 over fences and I want to see him get his head in front before backing him. Toby Lerone has to prove his stamina having never won or placed beyond 2m 5f from 9 attempts. Fill The Power can be given a chance but is 2/17 and can be a frustrating sort. Safran De Cotte’s recent form figures read PU, 4, 6, PU, 3, PU. He is not a horse I would take 7/1 about at the moment even though he has the profile to win this being suited to all race conditions. I just want to see more before trusting him. Red Admirable is having only his 3rd chase run and he is open to improvement. However that wasn’t a great race last time and he is taking on proven handicappers here who have form in the book. Given the doubts over most of these he could be given a chance but I am happy to leave him this time. It’s a big step up in class and he needs to prove he handles heavy.
Overall not a race to get too excited about as nothing in here has a bombproof profile. You could make a case for a number of them however I think Bold Sir Brian is overpriced at 18/1. He could be regressive and may never be the same horse again but at the price I will take a chance to find out.
Kilcooley 5/1 – 1.5 point win
There aren’t too many strong trends for this race but 8 of the last 9 winners had never won at the distance, 2m4f. This would suggest that this race goes to a horse that is unexposed at the trip. 7 of the last 9 winners were also in the top 3 in the market suggesting it is a race us punters generally get right.
Non-distance winners would leave a shortlist of Abracadabra Sivola; Kilcooley; Muckle Roe and Taj Badalandabad.
The top 3 in the market are currently Taj Badalandabad, Run Ructions Run and Kilcooley.
At 5/1 I think Kilcooley has a very solid chance in this and 5/1 offers a shade of value. He was beaten by the well handicapped L’Ami Serge last time out in a c1 Listed race at Newbury, who went on to win as he pleased at Ascot yesterday. While he had no chance with the winner that day he beat the rest fairly comfortably. Importantly for me he has demonstrated a fair level of form at c1 level and I would like to think a repeat of that run will see him go very close. Kilcooley is also a prominent runner and may lead which is a positive. With the riders claim he is also 1lb below that Newbury run. Connections have always said this horse loves the mud and his best form has been in soft so fingers crossed he relishes the ground. He is unexposed at the trip having only tried it once and he is related to a few point to pointers and 3m stayers so this trip should be no problem at all. All in all, with the trends, the horses proven form and the price make him the bet in the race for me.
Run Ructions Run has a decent level of form and may improve for his seasonal return. I think he will have too however and he is exposed at the trip, which historically has been a negative in this race. Taj Badalandabad could be anything, this being his first run in a handicap and he has done nothing wrong in his novice races. I think his price is probably right and I prefer the big race experience of Kilcooley.
There are enough question marks over the others in my opinion and I think Kilcooley is a solid option to have on our side in this race.
Hey Big Spender 14/1 ½ point win (EW if you prefer)
I wasn’t intending to bet in this race but I do think 14/1 is too big for He Big Spender as for me he is the third best horse in the race on everything he has done to date. He is inconsistent and is clearly aimed to peak for the race he won last time. However he did demolish the field last time out and has won from this mark before. The jockey’s comments after the race suggest that he thinks the horse is getting better with age. Bar the top 2 in the market all of the others have too many questions for me including form, class, distance and ground. I couldn’t confidently back any of the others on what they have done so far.
The Young Master is entitled to be favourite and may make 3/1 look a big price. However he is only a 5yo and all of these races will catch up with him at some point. He demolished his opposition at Wincanton and on that basis you would think he will handle the rise. However it is a 14lb rise and I would like to see evidence that he handles that mark before taking 3s. He is still improving, he jumps well and could still be ahead of the handicapper. It will be intriguing to see how he gets on.
Houblon Des Obeaux is also entitled to be at the head of the market. He is 9lb higher than when winning this race last year and he ran a cracker in the Hennessy, arguably the best form on offer. The only question is how much that race took out of him. He had a hard race carrying top weight and you simply do not know if that left a mark. 4/1 may be a fair price to find out and being only a 7yo with 17 chase runs he could still be open to improvement. Obviously if he repeats his Hennessy run then he will go very close, and could be battling it out with The Young Master over the last.
Another race this afternoon where every runner appears to have at least one major question to answer and it will be intriguing to see which horse comes out on top. As I said I think 14/1 underestimates Hey Big Spenders chance and I hope that he can roll back the years again. I would like to think he will be in the top 3 if he’s in a racing mood. With him though a PU is possible.
So far this week the betting gods have given me a slap in the face which I expected given I had been on a decent run. Hopefully one of the above can win for a profitable day and another winning run follows! I will be having a look at the Ladbroke but I have never done that well in competitive handicap hurdles to date and will probably just have a fun bet. We shall see.
Good Luck whatever you back.