No complaints yesterday as the horse just simply wasnt good enough. No turn of gear to get passed the one paced Golden Jubilee and we had to settle for another second. The small plus was we took 10/3 about an 11/8 shot which is the way to do it over time, but still a 1 point loss on the day.
Running Total (trial): 15 bets / 3 wins / 5 seconds / +5.5 points.
Today is tricky due to the weather, and it means I have headed straight to Yorkshire which looks like it is going to escape any rain. If the forecast is wrong then I could be in trouble but we shall see. Ascot could be any going come later in the afternoon (they have two decent sprints I was interested in, but too much guess work as to underground conditions/non runners etc) and so could the likes of Chepstow and Newmarket…
So…no stats as a way in, just a ‘normal’ analysis of a sprint handicap as I head to…
Mon Brav 13/2 – 1 point win
Makin The Rules 14/1 – 1 point win (14/1 William Hill, 12/1 general)
Mon Brav ticks a lot of boxes and comes here in form. There are no problems with any of the race conditions and no questions to answer (something you can’t say about most of these) He is 0/5, 5 places over CD. Now, he needs a lot of a luck. He is a hold up horse who needs a collapse in pace. I think he will get a strong pace here and we have to rely on the jockey finding the gaps. He may not, but given context of the race I thought 13/2 was decent enough to find out. He will be flashing home late if he runs his race.
Makin The Rules was the most interesting in the field. He drops back to 6f after running over much further for O’Meara. It is the only trip he has won over to date (2/9, 4 places). He has only ever won on good to firm and gets that here (2/5) and he gets on well with this jockey, who he won under for his old trainer. He gets the leg up for the first time for O’Meara. He also gets a visor for the first time. Now, this could just be a last resort for a horse that has been under performing but he has some back class which would suggest that if it all clicks he could win this a shade cosily. With all of the above, I had to have a stab at 14s, given the rest have more questions to answer…
Slingsby caught the eye and could run well but he is yet to win above C6 (he is still unexposed though) and he ran a shocker at the track two starts ago. His wins have come when well backed also. Enough doubt there for me. Another Royal has only won when 6/1 or under and comes to the track for the first time. Also 0/4 in C4. The other one of interest was Sleeping Apache. He has been consistent over 5f and steps back to 6f here which may help. However he also needs to prove his class and there was just enough there for me to take him on. But, a decent run wouldnt be a total surprise.
The rest have a mixture of class, ground, distance and form concerns that were enough for me to want to leave them alone. Ancient Cross isnt getting any younger and is prominent in the market again. He may go in again at some point but is hard to predict and his jockey is 0/9 on him, suggesting there are other ‘go to men’ when the time is right. I couldnt select him with confidence.
So, hopefully two live contenders that should give us a run for our money in what is an ok race.
-Ben Haslam has stats of 4/7, 5 places with Handicap Hurdlers at Uttoxeter. Mad for Road runs in 3.50 at 7s. I hvae no idea as to his stamina, he is flat bred and is stepping up an almighty way to near enough 3 miles here. If he does stay he should go close, but everything points to him not. Ever so Much runs in the 4.55 but he has only ever won when the money has been down and he looks unfancied today. He was in awful form but the break have perked him up. The market suggests not today.
-John Oxx is 5/10, 6 places at Down Royal with his handicappers since 2009. Colour Rhapsody (3/1) runs in the 7.45 in what looks a weak race. The yard is in great form and I have had a small nibble. He could well have needed his reappearance last time and has a good as chance as any in here. And those stats are probably strong enough to ignore the horse as he clearly doenst send many here.
-Finally Mark Johnston has decent stats with horses he gets from other yards. He is 22/78, 37 places with stable debutants in the last 5 years, +32 points. 8/27, 13 places in the last two years. She’s Invincible runs in the 7.50. She didn’t do much for Murtagh in Ireland and he is no mug so it will be interesting if MJ can improve her. The ground, if it rains, will be an unknown but if she isnt withdrawn maybe it is best to assume the trainer thinks she will handle it. Her sires offspring do win on all types of going. 9/2 may be fair in a weak race.