Re Cap 26/12/14
Well no hiding here, not even getting the Winner of the King George could save the day, although it helped and gave us something to cheer. If getting 3s on Conti you would have lost 2 points if following advised stakes. I wont discuss Presented, Galway Jack or Withy Mills as they were all poor and are not worth dwelling on! Kudu Shine was a decent bet, backed at 7/1 he was smashed into 11/4, and then duly fell at the first fence. That is racing.
Cape Tribulation was rather frustrating. I think he should have won for what would have been a very decent day but there we go. We benefit from poor rides on other horses when we have winners and that is part of the game. I personally think if you are riding a stayer who takes a while to get into top gear you need to be much closer to the action, especially with such a short run to the finish line. I thought he was far too off the pace. He had lots of horse over the last 3 fences but had to slow down into them in order to jump them safely. The problem was the other horse was already a few lengths ahead and he could only get into him after the last, at which point he started to pick up and finish like a horse with plenty left. If he was jumping the last upsides the other one it would have been game over. But that is racing and it was a canny ride on the winner. Anyway, a line through that, we move on. Those who were on Mendip Express in the Becher Chase were probably saying the same as he was closing down Oscar Time!
Boxing Day is the one day in the year I spread the net so wide and unfortunately it didnt quite come off. Thankfully it wasn’t disastrous.
Only Two Races today,
Cantlow 12/1 – 1 point win
This is a bit of a risky one but there is no stand out horse in this race. This is one of my profile horses. All of his career wins have been when returning to the track between 16-30 days. If he is going to run a decent race it will be in this one. He needs as least 20 days between his races and, being top rates, it’s clear he has a touch of class. He has won at the distance over hurdles and as he is getting older maybe it is worth trying him again over this trip. There is a doubt about his form, and his stamina, but his rest pattern is the way in at odds of 12/1 allow us to take a chance. He is handicapped to win, will track the pace and will like the ground. If he reproduces his best form, and he stays, he will win!
It looks like Loose Chips and Tales of Milan are the pace angle and I hope that they both take each other on. Barry Geraghty rides this course very well and he should track the pace and be in the right place if good enough. Cowards Close clearly has a chance if coming on for his seasonal reappearance, and if Tales of Milan doesnt have to fight too hard up front he is progressing nicely and has a chance. The rest have a few too many questions to answer for my liking and I am happy taking a chance on our 12/1 shot. I was tempted to recommend an EW bet, but if he stays and bounces back to his best form I think he will win. If he doesnt I dont think he will place, we shall see!
Hawkes Point 11/1 – 1 point win
One In Milan 16/1 – 1 point win
Mountainous 12/1 – 1/2 point win
This is a very strong trends race and I was able to find the winner, Mountainous, last year at a tasty 20/1. If you look far enough back he was put up on this blog (when not many people read it!) and hopefully I can find this year’s winner.
The trends I have focused on…
17/17 Top 6 Last Time Out (15/17 top 4 Lto)
17/17 Aged 6-9
0/17 Carried more than 11-6 to victory. 33 horses have tried, all have failed although 6 have placed
16/17 1 or 2 runs this season
Those 5 trends would leave a shortlist of…
Mountainous , Hawkes Point , Benvolio, One In Milan, Emperors Choice, Amigo, Woodford County
An additional trend is that 13/17 winners had previously ran over 3m 5.5f. This would remove Benvolio and Woodford County. Given how string the trends are I would expect the winner to come from the above shortlist. You may wish to use this in your own form analysis.
I have simply focused on those horses who have previous form in this race. Mountainous obviously won this last year and so far no horse has won this twice. As well as fitting the trends he was, and is, a ‘Profile’ Horse of mine. All 5 career wins (from 7 such starts) have come when returning between 16-30 days of his last run. I see no reason why he wont run his race again. Saying that no horse has won this twice is an illogical argument as there is nothing on paper which suggests he wont go close again. I think he is worth 1/2 a point, but I expect some of his rivals from last year to possibly improve past him.
Hawkes Point came second in this race by a head last year and should go close again. Nicholls is a master at targeting his chasers and this must have been the plan. He races handily enough and may appreciate the slightly better ground. (soft, rather than bog like Heavy, although that may change overnight) I expect a big run and he should be in the top 4/5.
One In Milan was 4th last year and I think the slightly better ground will be a help to him. Either way he is a thorough stayer and last year’s experience will have done him the world of good and you would think a repeat of that run will put him bang there. Amigo was 10 lengths behind One In Milan and I see no real reason why that form should be overturned, but he is another who you would expect to go close.
Emperor’s Choice is interesting but he is a slow plodder and the ground may not be heavy enough for him. I also think there are some classier horses than him in this and I would rather stick with those that have experience of the track, and in this race. Benvolio is a bit of a monkey, hence the blinkers and there are a few too many outstanding questions for me. Woodford County is unexposed but he has very little experience of the rough and tumble of a big competitive chase like this and I am happy to leave him alone this time. He may be one for next year if running well this time around.
So, they are my three against the field. You may wish to back them EW but I will be betting win only and hoping that one of them can get their head in front. If something wins outside of the shortlist above they will be a trends buster. These things do happen but the use of trends and shortlists has served me well in big races over time and I wont change now 🙂 I am sure many of you could make a form case for some of the others.
UPDATE….Yes GOING….I think it is probably best to assume it is a bog again…Given Hawkes Point came second in the race last year, which was also run in a bog, this shouldnt be a problem for him. He has ran very well on heavy, but I had noted he had done ok on Gd-soft as well. Heavier the better for Mountainous, he likes it deep and if anything this change enhances his chance further. One In Milan performed well in this race last year so again the ground is ok. He is a thorough stayer who should run his race again. And anyway, 16/1 -18/1 is a decent price. The ground will help Emperor’s Choice and if this turns into a right slog he could keep galloping past tired rivals, we shall see. Amigo has solid form on Gd-Soft so this ground may inconvenience him most from those on the shortlist.