Well days won’t get much better than that really and we should savour it as they don’t come along everyday! A nice 12/1 winner for the shortlist (10.75/1 after R4) and a 12/1 winner for Venetia Williams made it a decent day all round. There was also a 33/1 3rd who came hard and late – very close, but hopefully a few of you may have backed him EW. Ziga Boy was pulled up in the end, unable to cope with race conditions near the end. He jumped sweetly and travelled ominously well before weakening. He did come on for the run last season and I will be keeping an eye on him. He will be winning chases in the next couple of seasons – by pulling him up they have saved him for another day. Thankfully we backed the winner in any case, and at bigger odds.
I am happy enough with my ‘tipping’ form in these handicap chases. I feel in form, am analysing them ok and the shortlists/danger horses have been fine, despite not ‘tipping’ many winners. The winners will come. Safe to say I had a ‘confidence wobble’ last week, and if Wakander and Vintage Star were running later this week they would have been tipped and that would have been +15 more points to the pot. Stick to your guns as they say!
Having lost 0.75 points on October, the Tips/Shortlist/Big Race Previews are now on +22 points. A decent start to the month and one I hope to continue. Our first ‘official’ Venetia Williams chase winner helps the profit levels as well!
3.50 Chepstow – Leith Hill Legasi – 7/2 – 1 point win
Ahhh I have deliberated on this for a time – mainly the price – 4/5s would have been nice but with the non runner her chance is improved and maybe this is just about ok. My instinct says to go for it, so that is what I shall do!
The selection should be fit given connections (well, again, he can get them fit first time up if he wants to), and has winning chasing form which is more than can be said for most in here. Trainer is in form, got the best jockey on board in the race (not that this is ever a deciding factor,but it helps) and this is only her 7th chase start. She won’t be too far away. She is open to improvement and while clearly a patchy profile a repeat of that Lingfield run would see her right there near the end. Nothing in here has overly strong form.
The two next to her in the market do look the main dangers and I expect the winner to come from the top 3. Newton Thistle has to prove he can carry a big weight – only ever having carried 11-2 before – also going LH to prove and he will have to improve again, although is lightly raced. Johns Luck is also unexposed in this sphere but without a win to his name yet from 2 goes. He ran well enough LTO although this is a different track and he needs to step up again, and also prove his stamina over fences, having looked to fade late last time on not the stiffest track in the world. The trainer has also gone a tad cold in last 14 days, 1/28 (was 12/30 in the 14 days before that).
There are a few older horses in here I am happy to leave and the rest are in the unexposed category, which is a danger, but on what they have done to date, and their recent form, I am happy to leave. I suppose no real shock if the likes of Kinari run decent races given how few runs they have had, but they have questions to answer, far more than the selection.
1.50 12.50 Notts – Pillar 5/1 (general) A no brainer I think, as 2yo maidens go. Beckett is 2/8, 5 places with his 2yo debutants at the track and he won two divisions of this race in 2011. He is in the form of his life, 7/28, 14 places in last 14 days (opposed to Mark Johnston’s 2/37 for example) and this horse has some decent blood. His mother won at Listed level and won on her debut. We will have to trust the trainer with the ground etc. He will be ready to go here and 5s is a bit generous all things considered.
1.00 Warwick – Doormouse – 14/1 (general) – The first out and out ‘profile’ type horse. He has always been on my radar simply because he loves this track. 3/8, 5 places over CD in handicap hurdles. He is 4/11, 9 places in the month of November, goes on all types of ground (hopefully gets more testing and could find out the rest) and last November was winning off 117. With this decent young jockey’s claim he gets in off 105 here. He ran well enough here on his seasonal reappearance 2 starts ago when needing it I imagine. I am happy to draw a line through that last run. Yes, he is a 10yo, but all the signs are there that ability remains, and he is 14s. Also, this is a poor race and he looks the best of the exposed horses. The unexposed ones don’t look up to much and the with a 7/1 fav it tells you this is open. I think we will get a good run for our money here.
1.10 Chepstow – Tenby Jewl – 8/1 (BF/SJ/BF sports) Another 10yo and I know I keep saying I should stay away from horses this old, if you are going to back them it is probably in rubbish quality handicap hurdles. The trainer is 4/16, 8 places with his handicap hurdlers at the track (that is the ‘way in’), this horses with 4 of those runs and 1 of the places. Last year over CD he came an 8L second off OR93 (with claim) – He gets in off OR75 here. A slight niggle as to the ground but that is built into the price. Again, this is a shocker of a race and on paper he has a good chance. He looked to be coming back to some kind of form last time and his geegeez speed rating is far far superior to this lot which is interesting.
November Trainers (all Cox, all 14/1 or below – price always a guide,more so for some trainers than others)
6.10 Kemp – Beauty Night
7.10 Kemp – Callendula
8.10 Kemp – Ladys De Rock
Emma Lavelle (14/1 or under)
4.10 Warw – Lady Markby