Well I must admit a slightly disappointing day. I was hoping for two winners but at least I managed to register one. Luv U Forever was far too big at 10/3 last night/this morning and eventually returned at 6/4. That was as good as it got. The two selections from Wincanton were disappointing and didnt even give us a finish for our money. Maybe the ground was too heavy for both of them, who knows. Anyway a 1.33 point profit on the day which is nothing to shout home about but hopefully I can kick start from here!
Well a poor day again in a race I shouldnt have played in. On reflection this is not because of the type of race it was (if you like backing in chases I dont think I should close of Novice Handicap Chases just for the sake of it) but rather because there were just too many unknowns given the number of horses open to improvement. I was right to think 14/1 was too big for the selection but we got no run for our money, so apologies. I need to update the results but I dont want to look at them as they may cloud my judgement 🙂 We are still playing with profit, just about, and I am very confident of having a winning day tomorrow..
I am going for 3 horses who I think have outstanding chances…
Minella Definitely 1 point win 10/3
This horse will win, its as simple as that 🙂 I couldn’t believe his price. He won a very competitive race last time out fairly well. He tried to lead, got shuffled back due to the amount of pace, but then ran a cracker. On the whole he jumped superbly and although he appears tricky at times he kept on finding for his jockey. He outstayed them in a race which was run on Soft (officially Gd-Soft but going changed to soft after race). The slight unknown is how heavy this ground will be but he has as much chance of handling it as any of these. He is at the top of his game and going the right way. Given this much smaller field and less competition for the lead I expect him to make all and I dont think they will catch him. The trainer has said the key to him is gaps between his races and his record when returning between 30-60 days is now 3/6. I see no reason why we will not get a good run for our money.
It is another novice handicap chase but one where I feel much more comfortable. Gores Island is in decent enough form but is now only 1/11 in chases, is on a career high mark, is new to the track, and is 7lb higher than for his neck victory at Lingfield. This is a stronger race and he needs to prove his class as a chaser. He is generally consistent though and will run his race. The jockey is only 2/26 at the course. Jumps Road is now 0/7 in chases and while he has been running ok I will stick to my principles – i will always be more comfortable siding with those that have proven winning chase form. Crookstown has been off for 60 days and his best form has been on firmer ground. He fell last time and was poor the time before that. He will come good at some point over fences and has won one but I am happy to take him on. Softsong clearly has some talent although is only 1/13 in his career. This is his second chase start but ran in an ordinary race last time out. His one win was on gd-soft and while open to improvement he is another I am comfortable leaving alone.
All in all Minella Definitely has the best chase form on offer, is in the form of his life, is proven over CD and will surely take all the beating. The majority of these have it to prove over fences and 10/3 looks rather generous to me. If he is to fail It wont be a case of ‘i shouldnt have played in this race’..given everything I have looked I am very confident in the selection. He has gone up 10lb but I dont think that will stop him. The weight on his back is only up by 6lb and I cant see this stopping him.
Luv U Whatever 1 point win 10/3
I just couldnt believe this price. Often they say something that looks too good to be true usually is but i am not sure what i have missed here. He won a c2 handicap last time out over course and distance. He didnt get an easy lead and was sent for home a long way out. I remember watching the race and I thought he must have gone too early. However the horse kept digging and finding to grind them all into the ground. I think he will get an easier time on the front tomorrow and should run his race again. Yes he is up 6lb but he still looks to be improving. And yes he carries 10-2, as opposed to 8-9 last time out. That is my one concern. Having looked in my HRB account horses carrying more than 10st in handicaps at Southwell have a decent enough record and his ability should see him go close. Now he could be weighed down and he only ran 9 days ago. But all of the above, combined with his opposition, made him a bet for me…
Firstly he has comfortably beaten both The Lock Master and Royal Marskell at the track before. If the selection runs his race I see no reason why they should overturn this form. Astra Hall comes off a break of 102 days, is making his debut at the track and for the trainer. I am happy to take him on. Jacobs Son is 0/14 in class 4. Now, if his stable mate underperforms he could end that hoodoo but so far he has always struggled in this grade. Deep Resolve is the interesting horse but on the flat has yet to win beyond 7f. He has been running over hurdles but as a previous course winner has to be respected. He is only 4 and I would rate him as the main danger. However, he does need to prove it over CD (was poor on his last try at C5) and I couldnt back him because of that.
Blue Buttons 1 point win 9/2
This horse was 11/2 with SkyBet and I couldnt believe it. However she has since been trimmed into 9/2 but that is still a decent price. Another inform horse who won well over CD last time out. Connections were surprised how she handled the heavy ground and I see no reason why there wont be a repeat performance. I liked her attitude. She looked like she wanted to win and not be passed. She should get an easy lead again and it will be a case of catch me if you can. I dont think they will. Now, Paul Nicholls Racing is sponsoring this race which is interesting however both of his are worth taking on. Blue Buttons beat Earthmoves last time out and I see no reason for the form to be reversed. Yes there is a 5lb pull (i dont pay much attention to such things) and he has gained more experience with that run but I will read the form at face value. He will have to step up again to beat Blue Buttons. Harristown is interesting but the trainer is only 1/23 here and he keeps placing at the moment. The step up will help but it will need to. Shammick Boy is 10 now and doesnt have a great record when off the track for this long. He is in form though and could go well. Rothman is another Nicholls youngster who will improve at some point but I am content to take him on with what he has done so far. River Deep is in awful form and may prefer better ground. I couldnt back him at the moment. Dubawi Island is in poor form and the step up isnt sure to help on breeding. The selection beat Union Saint comfortably last time and again no reason for that to be overturned. Sidbury Hill makes his handicap debut and will need to step up. He will have to improve by 12lbs if Blue Buttons runs her race and I cant see that at the moment. This looks a hot race in which to make your handicap debut.
So, all in all 3 very confident selections. I will be quite despondent if they all under-perform. While 3 winners would be asking for too much I am hopeful we will have a good day 🙂 . I am that confident in the selections I have personally parted with 2 points on each, however for the purposes of the blog they will be recorded at 1 point bets.