A 1.33 point profit on the day was a bit less than I had hoped for from the three selections. The two I was most confident in were the most disappointing but that is racing for you. (they both looked to be hating the boggy ground and faded tamely) All of them shortened in the market from the prices I took which is always a good sign. How on earth Luv U Forever was a 10/3 shot I have no idea. It took the market a while to warm up but he was eventually sent off at 6/4.
Master Neo 7/1 (betfair sportsbook) 1 point win
All of these have something to prove at the moment however if the real Master Neo turns up i think he is the most likely winner. The pulled up last time out is a concern however there wouldn’t appear to be anything physically wrong with him given his relatively quick reappearance. The application of blinkers would suggest they think it is mental. This is a horse who thrashed a C4 field as he pleased at Market Raisen in November before going on to run a credible 4th at Cheltenham in a Grade 3, fading in the final couple of furlongs. (27f) When on song he bowls along in front and, much like Hawkes Point at Warwick, I think it will soon be clear if the blinkers have worked. He has worn them 3 times previously without success but that was in his novice days when he wasnt going to be competitive anyway. Nigel Hawke is one of my minor ‘Handicap Chase Trainers’ to follow. I have never shared this mini system before mainly because his record to date has relied on a small pool of horses. However, he knows the time of day with chasers and I dont think he would send him here if he wasnt showing the right signs at home. He is the best horse in the race on chase form shown to date, is a Course and Distance winner and likes the mud. He is usually a superb jumper and I just think 7s is a bit too big. I can excuse his penultimate run over the Grand National Fences and maybe he was thinking about that experience when reappearing at Wincanton. He has always been best LH and hopefully we will get a big run tomorrow.
Loughalder is 3/4 around Chepstow and a case could be made for him being a saver. However is was a PU last time and the longer time off since isn’t a positive for me. I also wonder whether he is being aimed for the same Warwick marathon chase that he won last February. He is a stout stayer who has won over 3m5f and this could happen too quickly for him. His last win was off 108 and he is on 117 here. While a win wouldnt be a big surprise I am happy to take him on given the slight niggles about his possible well-being and future targets. However if this turns into a true stamina test, and he is on song, he will go very close. Favoured Nation is young and unexposed however all of his form so far has been on Gd/Gd-Firm. I have no idea how he will handle a slog in the mud around a very testing track. For those reasons I am happy to leave him at his odds. (under 4/1) He could of course be the next If In Doubt but that is the chance you take. The rest have yet to win over fences and to my eye are generally in poor form. The favourite is yet to place in a chase from 3 attempts and while lightly raced for an 11yo I wouldnt want to take 3/1. His profile is generally patchy at best.
And that is it. Hopefully Master Neo wins and Loughalder plods on into second.
I had a look at the 2.55 Chepstow and Strange Bird in particular. She is a prominent racer and this is only her 3rd chase start. She fell last time out and won a very weak race the time before that. She is under 4/1 and for those reasons I was happy to leave alone. A bold run wouldnt be a shock but it is a poor race and there are a few other horses in there who could be open to improvement.
Finally, in the 3.30 Chepstow I have placed 1/2 a point EW (currently 4 places) on Rocky Elsom at 11/1 (Betvictor). My ‘way in’ is the trainer jockey track combo. They started to team up in 2012 and since then in handicaps at the track are 6/20 for a + 50 points profit BFSP. Having used the Geegeez Instant Expert tab he would also appear to have an outstanding form chance. Not many of these are proven in the ground or in the class, and so far there are only 5 horses in the race who have won between 2m4-2m6f. He has won at the course on the flat and won easily on his penultimate start. I cant find a reason for his poor run last time but his quick reappearance suggests it may have just been one of those days and at least it has made him a decent price. This isnt an official ‘tip’ but I thought i would let you know about a horse I was backing that I quite fancy to run well 🙂