Letting Al Alfa (9/4, 25p R4, 13/8 SP) go was not so annoying as letting a 6/1 winner, Cusheen Bridge, slip through the net yesterday. My doubts were unfounded as he was simply the best horse in the race and the steady gallop didn’t cause him any problems at all, he is clearly just versatile and going the right way. The others were poor enough.
Running Total (trial) : 39 bets / 10 wins / 19 places (inc wins) / +18.5 SP
I was struggling today for statistical ‘ways in’, so instead thought I would look at the easiest race of the day, the 3.25 Thirsk. Only the 20 runners…
Meshardal – 1/2 point EW 16/1 general, 4 places.
This is an open race as you would expect but 16s just feels too big with 4 places to aim at for this horse. There is enough pace across the track and it doesn’t look like one side will be favoured over the other, although you never truly know until the race has run. There are front runners in the middle and drawn low. There should be no excuse on that front from stall 7.
Like most of Ruth Carr’s horses this one has had a busy few weeks but appears to be holding his form well. Still open to improvement he is one of a few in the race who I think is likely to ‘turn up’ and give his all. He is 1/3, 3 places in C3. and is 1/2 over CD. Since his win in a C4 handicap from 3lb lower he has been running in some decent races, and some better ones than this. He doesn’t look like a soft ground horse, with Good to Soft or better preferable which I think he gets here. All race conditions look fine and on slightly firmer ground than last time, and in an easier race than a few of his recent runs, where he has ran ok, he has every chance of going close here. 16/1 felt too big for this generally consistent horse who could have more to offer.
You could make a compelling enough case for a lot of these so I won’t go into detail here. There are a few who are moody/temperamental, who if they put it all together would go very close. Rex Imperator would be in that group. There are also plenty who look out of sorts and who need to bounce back, and a few coming here after a few weeks/months off.
Chris Wall has a couple in here and it looks as though Johara will ‘qualify’ as an August Trainer selection, although his other one is also being backed. He is the only ‘could be anything’ horse in the field and if he is fully revved up looks sure to run a big big race.
Where there was a statistical way in today, they were in races where there was far too much guesswork required.
OMeara is 2/5, 3 places with handicap debutants at Thirsk and runs Celestial Fire in the 5.05, 5/1. He also has a great record with stable newcomers so a big run will be no shock. However there are plenty in here open to improvement and I am guessing as to what he is up against.
Tinkler is 3/10, 4 places with handicap debutants in the last year and these stats are better than previous years, suggesting a possible change in approach, or he has a different type of horse in yard. 5.20 Hamilton he runs Anthollblair Boy, who is well fancied and won his maiden well LTO. A lot of these are making handicap debut and again plenty of guessing required, Johnston has a well fancied one as well who is open to improvement.
Nothing else really stood out, there is plenty of racing today but a lot of it is dross, and small field dross at that.
Souville (both backed into range at present, 14/1 or under)