Ladfromhighworth didn’t run too badly yesterday, no complaints. He gave us a run for our money for most of the way until it was clear that the eventual winner was on one of his going days. I suppose Johnson deserting a a Hobbs horse to take the ride for JP was enough of a sign but I I was happy to take him on. It was good to see him put two decent runs together back to back and it will be interesting to see how he goes next time. Ladfromhighworth clearly needs quite a a bit to drop right but I suspect they will find a weak race for him at some point. He is a good jumper but appeared to lack a turn of gear.
Running Total: 9 bets / 2 wins / 3 seconds / +3.5 points
Grand Spirit 7/2 – 1 point win
The way in…
A tricky day but the market suggests we will get a run for our money here. The trainer is 9/27, 17 places with his handicap runners at the track and he certainly doesn’t mess around when coming here. The yard is also in reasonable form and Kirby is up which is enough of a sign for me.
This is a poor quality race with every horse having been disappointing to my eye. However, this is the only horse in the race doing something different. He has been Gelded, and all faith hinges on that, and whatever else they have done since his last run, doing the trick. He won a Brighton C4 maiden comfortably – a race that has produced a few winners – and was clearly well thought of having been pitched into a Doncaster C3 race and then a C4 at Sandown on his two starts this season. This stiff track may suit. Clearly he was poor on those two runs but a few things have changed since then, including his undercarriage, so there are grounds to be optimistic.
He is as much a selection because of the poor quality of the opposition..
A few of the more fancied runners in here are stepping up in class having not been winning, but placing. There hope, to my eye, is that nothing improves in the field. Grand Spirit looks to be open to the most improvement and clearly if he runs poorly again one of the others will win. However I couldn’t back any of them with confidence. Glennely’s Girl is the obvious danger but she isnt doing too much different from her last two runs, bar an extra 61 yards, and I cant see where improvement is coming from. Of course she may not need to improve if everything else flops but that is the chance I will take.
7/2 is just about fair for the selection and give more confidence, given his circumstances, than if he were a 5/1+ shot. If he runs up to anything like his maiden form I think he will win this, and then can hopefully kick on. There is a chance the changes do not work and we get a poor run, but this is a weak race and he should be going close.
Elsewhere there were a few horses on my shortlist and I have yet to decide whether to get involved…
2.20 Leicester – Hillside Dream – runs for James Tate in what looks an open race with many making handicap debuts. A few too many unknowns for me. However the trainer is 5/16, 7 places with handicappers at the track and as impressively is 3/7, 4 places with his handicap debutants at the course. The yard is also in form in the last 30 days, although 0/10, 1 place in the last 14. He was close to being the selection but there were too many unknowns about the opposition. However he may make 9/2 look a decent price come 2.23, or he may not.
2.40 Hamilton – Henry Morgan- runs for David Brown who is 5/12, 9 places at the track with handicappers since 2009. I have been watching this horse as I think he needs stepping up to 6f. He has just been found wanting for a change of gear in his last two 5f runs here, coming second both times. He isnt doing anything different which just put me off. If the two above him in the market underperform he will pick up the pieces no doubt. All three like to front run – if the jockey lets the other two get on with and waits for the pace to collapse I can see him going close – but a bit too much guesswork there. All three may kill each other and set it up for a close.
9.00 Leopardstown… Mezogiorno 10/1 goes for a stable on fire – 4/13, 6 places in the last 2 weeks – 8/29, 11 places in last 30 days. This horse drops down a furlong but is only 1/17 or so in flat handicaps. He could well lead from the front as he has only been fading late in most of his recent 8f runs. I found him interesting at the odds, and may not be able to resist a small EW play. Hopefully he is sent to the front and play catch me if you can – he may just stay there. If he is held up I would suggest today was not meant to be his day. With assured stamina they should use it.
3.00 Chepstow – I may have a look at this race in more depth – it is a poor quality sprint handicap – but Cool Bahamian has a mightily impressive speed figure against the rest of this field and 5/1 may look ok for a trainer that does well at the track. None of them like winning too often which is the concern but he comes here in form.
The final one on the shortlist was No Cash Flow for De Bromhead in the 2.35 Killarney. He is 4/15, 8 places in the last few weeks and that was the only way in. The horse has been disappointing and comes here after a very long break. If fancied in the market that could be a sign but I was happy to leave alone, with just a few too many questions marks.
We shall see if I have picked the right one from that little list and it will be interesting to see how they get on. There are a few trainer/track stats to keep an eye on there moving forward in any case.