AHH – SOMETIMES IT APPEARS IT IS AS SIMPLE AS TURNING OFF YOUR INTERNET AND SWITCHING IT BACK ON – I WILL BLAME BT FOR THAT, USELESS! APOLOGIES FOR SLIGHT DELAY.
After 8 decent days we were due a day like that, and there will be plenty more like that in the weeks and months ahead. Still we only gave back what we won yesterday, or at worst about 2 points down if backing them all. It bugs me when the shortlist horses are so poor and days like that are always a timely reminder to re double my efforts. I am sure I/we will back a Jonjo winner at Huntingdon at some point this season! Easterby’s both ran well enough and Bailey’s was well backed in the end and ran well enough it would appear. EW backers (not me,generally) wont have had too bad a day if backing some of those.
Anyway, I don’t like to dwell on days like that for too long. There are a couple of 3m+ handicap chases from Bangor and Ayr that look decent and that I plan to look at in depth. So, any tips, and the shortlist will be put in the morning.
Cloudy Too – 1.5 point win 8/1 (coral) 7/1 general
Shantou Magic – 1.5 point win 8/1 (general)
This looks a cracker of a race and one well worth following I suspect. Both of these trainers do well with their handicap chasers here and I have taken two with slightly differing profiles. Cloudy Too loves the mud and soft/heavy is ideal. I am hoping that sparks him back into life and he should be spot on after his reappearance over an inadequate trip. He has raced in G1s and also led the Hennessy field to 4 out a couple of seasons ago, having used a lot of energy. I am not sure what was up at times last season but he clearly has the class and ability to take this if bouncing back. He was 9s when I started writing etc, before issues with blog, and he is steadily being backed. That price was too big and hopefully you can get 8s.
Shantou Magic is coming up the other way and is a bit of a ‘could be anything’ chaser. His win in a novice handicap at Market Raisen last season has worked out really really well – plenty of winners in behind that day. He then dotted up a couple of times, probably in weak enough novice races. He ran in a hot race on his reappearance, over an inadequate trip based on his form to date. He was 14s there and he again should be spot on for this. He could have a bit in hand and looks like a chaser to keep onside. He has his class to prove but that is built into the price. He will relish conditions and is a CD winner. The trainer is in form and can hopefully add this decent pot to his recent haul.
You could make a case for a few others. There are quite a few veterans that I looked at but am happy to leave. There are so many unexposed types in here that surely one of the 10yo+ horses wins – it would be disappointing if they did. In any case, most of them have questions to answer. There is Venetia’s horse but he is 11 and has real stamina concerns/questions to answer – although you can never discount one of hers at this time of year.
The Jonjo and NTD horses look of most interest moving forward and if fully tuned up today will run their races. I backed both at times last season, as I have done with most horses in this field at one time or another. I am guessing as to fitness for both and against a few race fit rivals they will need to be on their a-game. Jonjo’s could well need further and can make the odd sloppy jump – but he has a touch of staying class and is one to keep onside this season. Maybe this is a stepping stone to something, Welsh National maybe? NTDs is also unexposed and interesting. He can also clout a fence and needs to tidy that up – the fences here are not the stiffest so that may help. He will not be too far away but I want those I can guarantee are fit (it is a NTD horse so he probably will be) but in any case he was 8s and is now 5s, so have missed that.
Of the rest What A Good Night should go well but is another who can make errors – with a trouble free round he wont be too far away either. Fergael Mael Duin has class and stamina to prove and in a race like this those two together is a big ask. Albeit he is in form.
It is a competitive race and will have a few pointers for the future – it is the best mid week 3m+ handicap chase to date so far this season I think and hopefully I get a run for my money from the two above.
1.40 Exet – Onderun 5/1 -Lavelle has a decent record here – 5/21 with handicap chasers – this one is not a system qualifier but she has been doing well with the unexposed ones, which this 6yo is. He will be fit and looks the most interesting here at the prices. She has had a couple of 6yo chase winners recently and this could be another.
2.50 Ayr – Plus Jamais 13/2 – Goldie has a solid 20% record with his handicap chasers here. He could come on for the run and I think he will dictate from the front. Like the fav, he does have to prove his stamina, but is untried over the trip. His price looks big to me, even more so with the tactical set up. The Russell horse could just have too much class but is a short price and if Hughes can kick turning for home, provided he does stay – will trust the trainer at that price- he could take this.
3.10 Exet – Sirop De Menthe – 5/1 – team Gardner do well here, 7/34, 10 places with handicap hurdlers and the stable is threatening to burst into life after a horrid 12 months or so where I suspect they have had a virus. This horse will relish conditions and takes on a short priced fav who may well need further than this – albeit he could be better than these. Gardner has been knocking on the door with a few placed horses recently and hopefully this one can go one better. If there are any chinks in the fav I think he is the one to find them out.
Signing off 09.43
Williams (16/1 or under)
1.oo Bang – Uhlan Bute
2.00 Bang – Dare Me
Emma Lavelle (14/1 or under)
2.40 Exet – Mrsrobbin
1.00 Bang – Trapper Peak (12/1 or under)
1.30 Bang – Sir Pitt (14/1 or under)
2.00 Bang – Fergal Mael Duin (14/1 or under)