Confessional 11/1 – 1 point EW (Paddy Power 4 places) 12/1 others, paying 3 places.
It says a lot about the quality and depth of this race that Top Boy, a horse who is 1/31 in handicaps, is 3rd in the market at 10/1!
Let’s start with the selection…
Confessional doesn’t win very often either, 4/58 in handicaps but he has been running well and is 0/1 1 place over CD and 0/4, 2 places at the track. The two runs before Hamilton were decent and he ran well for 5f or so last time out, leading the field before his stamina emptied up that stiff finish. He also had blinkers on that day which he is yet to run well in, with his normal headgear combo returning here. He will be right up there, and depending on the jockey’s view of the ground could well come over to the near side rail – and hopefully lead all the way. He is handicapped to go well, goes on the ground and I would like to think we will get a decent run for our money. He should keep on going and I would be disappointed if there were 4 better horses than him on the day.
The jockey booking interested me and I am not sure if it is a positive or not. David Allan usually rides and he goes up to Beverley (which could be a sign in iteself) however they have booked one of the best around here. That wasn’t enough to put me off at the prices but interesting nonetheless. He does strike me as a horse that may need knowing so we shall see how he goes.
What of the rest…
Well the fav deserves to be so and could well continue his progression. But he is a hold up horse and he got caught out at Newmarket (July) which up until the final furling or so is a similar track. He won in determined fashion at Ascot which is one fo the stiffest tracks around, where as this is one of the fastest. His ability may see him through as he is the only really progressive horse in the race, but I wouldn’t want to take 3s about him.
Top Boy does have the ability but he rarely shows it, as his stats of 1/31 would indicate. He has won a decent race at York, much better than this, so he could go well, but I am guessing a bit. He also likes to come from off the pace which I don’t like here. His form ties in with a few of these, and if he went close I wouldn’t be shocked, but I cant back him.
Lucky Beggar has form to win this also, and comes here after a break. I personally dont like backing these types too often against race fit rivals. They could run fresh, be too buzzed up etc – however in saying that he has won after such a break before. He normally runs well when jumping out and being up with the pace (held up on most of his last few runs) so if he does try and lead then today could be the day. Another where a win would not be a shock.
Humidor has been rejuvenated this year but goes up another 3lbs and that could just be enough for something else to get the better of him. He has a decent track record and is another who will run his race. The change of track (not Ascot) may help him get nearer to the fav here.
The final one that caught the eye was Boom the Groom who i fancied to run a big race in the Epsom Dash, which he did. I like the fact that Kirby has been booked and were this good to firm ground he would probably be a bet and he would be shorter. The ground is simply an unknown and he hasnt proved that he doesnt handle it. If, and it is an if, he goes in it ok, given how he took to Epsom (the fastest 5f around) then he will like it here and could go well. The trainer is 0/29 in the last 2 weeks as well which was also off putting.
I was happy to take on the rest again with a mixture of form and mainly class questions. However, this isnt the strongest Class 2 you will ever see, and as such if one of those who has tried and failed a few times at C2 goes in I wouldnt be totally miffed although i would like to think the winner is in that list above somewhere.
This does feel particularly open and probably not a race to bet in but I can’t help myself in these handicap sprints and I am confident we will get a run for our money. He should be bumped out and will try and lead all the way.
Mount Logan 1 point EW 9/1 4 places (WH, Ladbrookes, BV)
While not normally a race type I would focus on/bet in/tip in there were some interesting stats that made me want to have a dart. There are 4 places at the moment and it only takes one more NR for it to go down to 3, which will clearly happen!
16/18 Top 7 LTO (13/18 Top 5 LTO)
18/18 20/1 or shorter
12/18 Age 4 , 17/18 age 4 or 5
8/18 ran at York or Ascot LTO (4 from each track), 25 places. This from 101 runners.
4 or more handicap wins.. only 1/57, 11 places. As opposed, for example, to those with only 2 handicap wins 8/62 runners.
Top weight, 9-10, dont do too badly , 3/13, 6 places. So, I wouldnt let weight alone put you off Fire Fighting.
Mark Johnston 5/29, 12 places
Luca Cumani 1/9, 3 places
Mount Logan ticks all of those boxes, runs for a trainer with a decent enough record in the race, is unexposed enough (just 2 handicap wins) and ran at York LTO in a decent handicap. He is also a course and distance winner who, if the last race is anything to go on, likes to race prominently. The one niggle is the ground but New Approach’s offspring have a decent record across all going types and the odds allow a slight chance. It will be drying out and isnt heavy, which would be a concern. He also stays further which should help. The one concern was whether he does need 12f but this should be strongly run and as I say that extra stamina may help near the end. Provided that last race hasnt left its mark he should run another solid race and should be there at the finish.
Now, a horse with 4 or more handicap wins may well go in again here. But, this race has favoured more unexposed horses in general and the likes of Fire Fighting, Collaboration, Sennockian Star, Elhaame and Noble Gift all have 4 or more handicap wins to their name. Collaboration looks likely to go well back on slower ground and out of all of those he could ‘overcome’ that stat, his trainer having a decent record with fancied handicappers at this meeting – 5/19. I feel like i have followed Fire Fighting over a cliff at times this year but his mark looks prohibitive now. If he wins I shall be cursing but it is time for me to leave him alone now, but a big run, from this yard (if he goes off 14/1 or under) would be no shock.
Zand clearly catches the eye for Mark Johnston but there are more unknowns that usual with one of his here. But, he ticks all the boxes for his Goodwood winners and he isnt pitching him in here to make the numbers. Joe Fanning has picked him as well by the look of things.
In truth you could make a case for a few but I am happy to have the Cumani charge on my side with Kirby back in the saddle. Provided he handles the ground (and based on breeding I wont use it as an excuse – trainer would pull him out if he though he definitely wouldnt get it) he should run his usual consistent race. Hopefully money back as a worse case scenario.
From the guide i sent out…his horses running in Class 2, Age 4 or 5, 14/1 or under are..
41 bets / 10 wins / 16 places / +72 points. (9/24, 14 places last 3 years)
(enhanced when they ran at Ascot/beverley/Haydock/York/ Newmarket July last time out)
2.00 Zand and Sennockian Star. (Fire Fighting if goes off at 14/1 or under)
3.45 Notarised…looks like fanning could get him to front from out wide if he wanted to. Not sure if I will resist a small nibble.
5.30 Ifwecan…interesting, ran at July course last time out..trainer 4/8, 6 places with such runners here (that also tick boxes above) He will be prominent, and has just got caught the last twice, both at tracks with steep uphill finishes. He wont have that problem here, and must be a live contender to trouble the judge??…
That is me done for the day. 4 points ‘officially’ bet that will go down in the blogs results. Hopefully Johnston can have a decent day too for a few ‘interest’ bets of mine.