Well my instinct proved to be right today/yesterday as I avoided putting up any of the ‘shortlist’ as the main selection. As suspected there were decent reasons for opposing them all and, bar Urban Code, they were all rather poor. Urban Code will win races again, and it was good to see him run a decent race on his third start after an extended break. A small field and easy lead will see him go very close in future I think and I will be tracking him closely.
6/27 = +14.5 points
Well Might Minnie wasnt so mighty and finished a poor 3rd. For a moment she looked like she had kicked away but alas she wasnt good enough. The Pipe horse was open to improvement and despite the odd sketchy jump did it well. All in all rather poor, including Bashford Ben who was in another county in second. That takes the losing run up to 8 and I will be trying my best to find a winner for tomorrow!
2.40 Bangor: Mighty Minnie 4/1 – 1 point win
In what is another shocking day’s racing after the feast of the last couple of weeks I have decided to go for the Henry Daly trained mare to get us back in the winners enclosure. You know my approach by now and a horse making their handicap debut isn’t my usual type of bet but I think 4/1 is a decent enough price in a race full of horses that have many questions against them.
Firstly, based on her last runs ,which appear to have been over an inadequate trip, she has front run. Given this is a fairly tight track and i cannot find any other out and out front runners (the Pipe horse may try and be up there) I expect Dikie to bounce her out in front and put her stamina to the test. The trainer is 2/6 with his handicap hurdlers here in the last 2 years (50% won or placed) and the breeding suggests this is what she wants. She is by Sir Harry Lewis whose offspring have a 20% SR over 3 miles in the last 2 years. She is also a sister to the high class Mighty Man who stayed 3m1f. Henry Daly is no mug and I think it is safe to assume that stamina wont be the problem.
That just leaves the opposition, who are a mediocre bunch.
I feel sorry for all of those who keep backing Bourne in the hope of recouping their losses, which must be piling up by now. In fairness we all have those types of horses in our locker!! He is a frustrating individual who once had a bit of class. That ‘back class’ is what I assume keeps drawing people in. Now he ran well a couple of days ago and a repeat of that run means he is entitled his place in the market. However he is now 3/30 over hurdles and isnt one to trust. He has had 18 runs over hurdles beyond 2m4f and never won, and has never placed beyond 2m6f. I will never (or very rarely) back an exposed horse who has proved he doesnt stay a certain trip. McCain is also only 3/35 over handicap hurdles at Bangor in the last 2 years. We shall see how he runs, I do hope he can recapture some winning form at some point but i wont kick myself if he does win. 7/2 is short for an exposed horse with unproven stamina who also doesnt like winning.
Saint John Henry won a weak C5 handicap 2 runs ago and takes a step up in trip. That could bring about some improvement but i am happy to take him on especially as he fell last time out as well. Petrovic comes from the JonJo stable and I simply wont touch any of their runners at the moment until they show some more form. He’s The Daddy has been pulled up in 3 of his last 4 runs and i simply wont back a runner like that. He may bolt up but I wont kick myslef that i wasnt on. Thomas Junior’s trainer is 1/49 since 2009 – no thanks. The horse is also 0/9 and left the Pipes, which says it all. Heathfield returns from chasing and I generally dont like backing chasers reverting to hurdles. Truckers Highway and the Boogeyman have too many questions to answer for me.
So, all in all a fairly strong chance I think. You never know how horses will run on their handicap debut but the trainer knows the time of day and he has booked his go-to man. Hopefully she leads, she should stay, and if she is well handicapped we should be collecting come 2.45.
UPDATE: I am sure when I looked last night that Richard Johnson had been booked but he now appears to be at Sedgefield. Jacke Greenhall is on and he has a decent enough record at the track which is good. This wouldn’t have effected whether this was a bet but I would have preferred Johnson on!
3.00 Sedgefield – Bashford Ben 7/2. I cant decide what to think about this race and in the end my instinct said to leave him alone. I have looked through the race in depth and probably wont be able to stop myself having half a point on. He showed a very good attitude last time in what was a bit of a crawl, battling back well over the last to win. I liked his attitude and he is the most consistent of all those in the race over fences. He has never won from a mark this high but his prominent running style, his good health, his liking for soft ground, longer trip and small field make me think he will go very close. I think 7/2 is fair but his liking for placing rather than winning and running from a mark he has never won from made me just leave him alone. I dont think I would put you off backing him 🙂 The only danger i can see is the fav who is unexposed and could run well..but he could equally make mistakes etc. The rest I have discounted for one reason or another.
Toofeeg is interesting in the 1.50 Southwell. He is a prominent racer who is also making his handicap debut. He could be well handicapped or not. He has been running in weak maidens and although the trainer has a very impressive SR here – 36%- (13/36) there was enough doubt for me to leave alone at the price.