My day 1 bets are below. As usual I have used a mixture of trends, stats, form, micro profiles, micro systems (trainers) and price to come up with my selections. It looks like a tricky day with some smaller than ideal fields in a couple of the races.
A 1 point win bet indicates a certain level of confidence, and a 1.5 point win bet even more so. A majority of the 1/2 point win bets are usually interesting horses at a decent price, or where I cant decide on the top of the market (lacking confidence to lump on at short odds) so want to take them on.
As always I like to read and respond to your comments, thoughts, tips and bets so post away!
No strong views. It looks to be between the top two but I couldn’t split them and wouldnt want to back either at the prices. Maybe a reverse forecast is the way forward for fun. Either way, hopefully one or both gets me through the placepot. Henderson’s record in the race, as set out in the free stats guide, would make me lean towards his runner, as would the fact he is a qualifier for his micro system. Yes he isnt a great jumper but he may not need to be against these. In fairness he ran his best race last time out and may have just taken him longer than usual to learn the chasing game. Nicholls is 0/7, 1 place so far in the race.
Bouvreuil 1/2 point EW 16/1
Winner Massagot 1/4 point EW 33/1
Hargam is winning this and I admit to having had two points on at Evens. I couldnt believe that price when I saw it and bar a fall I cant see him losing this. Tony McCoy could have a very good day and this horse should kick things off. He ticks the profile for this race – ran at Cheltenham LTO, finishing top 3. He is another qualifier for the Henderson Micro System. However, he is now odds on, and more near the correct price. I couldnt advise backing at those odds.
Bouvreuil is the only other one that fits the profile of recent winners. He ran in a Grade 3 lto but if the fav does flop hopefully he can pick up the pieces.
Winner Massagot is a silly bet but such is Alan King’s record in this race I had to have something on. He could sneak 3rd, or just not be good enough.
Ma Filleule 1/2 point win 4/1
Smad Place 1/2 point win 14/1
One of the top two will probably win this but in my own mind I couldnt make a compelling case for either, especially at the prices. 4 previous horses have tried to follow up in this race (last 10 years) having won the previous year and each one has been well beaten. SC could well lead them a merry dance but I didnt want to touch 11/4. Maybe I should have lumped on him but my instinct said to leave him. I couldnt put you off Holywell. But 7/4 is skinny in a race that does throw up the odd decent priced winner.
I thought I would take them on with two horses who could run big races. I am not convinced that MF stays but she is another Henderson micro system qualifier (16/32 since 2007) and her form ties in closely with the fav. She may well not be good enough but with the 7lb allowance I thought I would have an interest bet.
Smad Place – well maybe I have lost the plot and need some help but I am convinced it will all click over fences at some point for this horse. He has some decent form in the book and while always finding one or two too good, if the top two fluff their lines, he could cause a surprise. He also fits the Alan King micro angle. And he is 14/1.
Rock On Ruby 1 point win 3/1
Blue Heron 1/2 point win 14/1
The champion hurdle horses have just been disappointing in my opinion and find winning hard. I dont want to touch either of them at the odds. Rock On Ruby is getting on now, maybe he is too old, but he is one of the few with decent winning form to his name this season. He will be tuned up for this, he definitely stays, and should get a lead from Blue Heron. He will run his race and should give me something to cheer jumping the last.
I hope/expect that they will bump Blue Heron out on the front end. He is unexposed and still improving. The pace angle, and how the race plays out, could well see him outrun his odds.
On The Fringe 1.5 point win 4/1
Warne 1.5 point win 6/1
Saver if you wish on Big Fella Thanks
I kept this pretty simple. 15/18 were top 4 in the market and 15/18 were 8/1 or below. I discounted the Nicholls horse because he is an 8yo and they have struggled in recent times, although it is not an impossible task. On The Fringe demolished his field at Cheltenham and if he runs like that again should do the double. The slight concern is how he is ridden – you dont want to be too far back here. So, as long as he is not held right up out the back he should go well, provided he takes to the fences. His trainer has a great record in the race from a limited number of runners.
Warne romped home in this last year and he could well do so again. He should lead from the front and may not see another rival. I had to back him. He has clearly been laid out for this.
Big priced horses do occasionally win this but they a very hard to find. Nothing stands out to me on form for any of those at monster prices but it isnt a section of the sport I follow very closely. I have flicked through every other runner and was happy with the selections. Last Time Dalbain is an interesting runner and could cause the selections most trouble.
Royal Regatta 1 point win 9/1
Dresden 1 point win 14/1
Also Karinga Dancer
I hope that one of these three wins, with Dresden being preferable due to his odds. The first two are still very unexposed and the former qualifies for the Phillip Hobbs micro angle. He hit the front way too soon last time out and if Johnson can keep hold of him for longer, and play him late, he must have a decent chance. Dresden was travelling well last time at Cheltenham before coming to grief. He is still learning the game and at the odds I was happy to over look that blemish. That fall could be the making of him, we shall see tomorrow. If he completes I think he will go very close given his progresisve profile. Karinga Dancer will enjoy the ground and could bounce back to form. I will back him for small money at the track. The first two are my main fancies.
Next Sensation has an obvious chance but he has been hiked up the weights and wont get it all his own way up front. 16f around here is very different to 16.5f around Cheltenham. He should give a bold showing however.
Unique De Cotte 1 point win 8/1
Master Malt 1/2 point win 16/1
Serienschock 1/2 point win 20/1 (or 29/1 Betbright)
Call The Cops has an obvious chance in this and there still may be juice in his price – ok, yes I have had a small bet on him to cover my stakes on the others. He could still have something in hand. He could be the horse to improve Nicky Henderson’s poor record in this race – 0/19, 1 place.
I backed Unique De Cotte last time and thought I had the winner jumping the last. In truth I dont know if the ground will be to his liking but I thought I would give him another go. This long home straight will give him plenty of time to gallop and hopefully grind down whoever is in front of him. He is also a qualifier for the David Pipe micro angle. (5/14 since 2007) If Serienshock goes of at 16/1 or under he will also qualify. He has some decent placed form to his name and, along with another stable mate, could try and make all. He will be in the right place turning in and I thought worth chancing at the odds. He doenst look well handicapped but you never know with the Pipes, and as i say, he has been beat by some decent yardsticks this season.
Master Malt is trained by Jonjo O’Neill who has a fantastic record in this race – (4/17, 6 places). This horse is still unexposed and could still have a bit in hand. He also qualifies for another micro angle i follow in general which looks at Jonjo last time out handicap hurdle winners. He could cause a surprise in what is a typically open race.