A small profit on the day and a horse to cheer up a home straight was a nice change for the week. +2 points for the Tip/shortlist is not anything to shout home about but was decent nonetheless. Filbert was just poor so I will ignore that one, but at 10s was happy to take the chance he may bounce back. A 10/1 shot dropping out is a much better feeling that a 7/2 shot doing the same. The 20/1 poke at Ludlow ran a cracker and if the ground had stayed a tad firmer, and he hadn’t got into a battle at various times, could have been a bit closer. But still, he was backed into 12/1 and thankfully the rider rode out a finish to collect EW money, +3 on the race. It was getting exciting turning in and over the first couple of fences in the home straight. King Massini was the main danger, he stayed no problem, and was just better than them. Apparently he was 8/1 the evening before but I didn’t look as I was out, so that is irrelevant, albeit that was a big price so well done if anyone got on.
Pearl’s Legend – 1 point win 8/1 (PP money back if second, general)
Lough Kent – 1 point win 8/1 (as above)
There are a few market pointers for this race. (i will repeat some stats in a new post asap for this meeting,but horses in handicaps at this meeting over 14/1 dont have a great record, market usually a decent enough guide here)
14/18 winners were 8/1 or under (14/74 runners) – 4/62 runners were bigger than this
18/18 Top 7 in market come the off – 0/52, 4 places were 8th or worse.
Running at Ascot LTO is a positive – 3/19, 7 places, as is Cheltenham, Aintree and strangely, Worcester.
Trainers: Nicholls (5/17,8 places – no runners); Henderson (3/10, 5 places); Hobbs (3/10, 6 places – no runners); Pipe (1/9, 3 places); VW (0/6, 0 places)
Let’s start with the Pipe horse who looks exciting and could well be better than these. He qualifies for the micro angles and is just the kind of profile he does well with here – but, he is 3/1. Taking 3/1 in 20 runner handicaps at Cheltenham doesn’t really pay well over time – and actually doesnt make watching the race much fun either! I can’t touch that price – albeit I would want him to go well as a sign for Pipe’s other runners today and for rest of the meeting. The trainer has been a bit hot and cold recently and arguably could be coming here in better form.
Pearl’s Legend – well he was an eye-catcher of mine LTO where he set a blistering pace, was taken on, tracked the pace, then tried to set it again – and started racing a long way from home. I was surprised he hung in for a place, and for me it was a great run. He looks to be improving still. There is a chance he could get an easier lead here although a couple here who do like to get on with it – but leading is not essential. He does jump out to his left every now and then so no problems there – 0/5, 3 places LH in chases. All his wins have been under Jamie Moore so no probs there either. 8s looks good enough and if coming on for that run (although the run suggested he was pretty fit) or even if he doesnt, a repeat of that last run – provided he doesnt cut his throat and get racing early again – will ensure he is right there at the death. I get the feeling he may like the climb up this hill. I am confident he will win for me at some point this season!
Lough Kent – Well he is in the ‘unexposed could be anything’ category and comes from a trainer who has a decent record in this race. Plenty of winners of this were making their seasonal reappearance. He will track the pace hopefully – not take on Pearl’s Legend – and at 8s was worthy of a play. This looks his trip and given connections, I expect a bold show.
HENDO MICRO ANGLE – I have been keeping a Hendo micro angle on the back burner for a while and this horse, as well as MIGHT BITE in the 1.40 – are his first qualifiers of 2015! I will detail it in more depth in next week’s diary – but essentially looks at Hendo’s 6yo Chasers in C1 and C2 races. All race types. Since 2010 – 113 bets / 38 wins / 66 places / 33% win SR / +74 SP. There are some decent priced winners in that lot as well. There is logic around him doing well with 6yos – young, progressive, had some experience when younger but have now strengthened up etc. In 2013 there were 25 or so qualifiers, last year only 6 (2/6,5 places +5 SP). He has been in poor form with his chasers for some time now (another great post by Ben over at Narrowing The Field – that is another free email list/blog you should read) -if his 6yo’s run badly then you know there are problems. He could not be in much better form.
So, I think we will get a bold run for our money form both of these and we should have something to cheer turning for home.
Dangers..Le Bacardy is interesting and that run LTO was no doubt a pipe opener for this. He is a bit of a character and I don’t think his form is as strong as some in here – his profile is not as progressive as some either. He needs delivering late but is a decent enough price. He is also now 0/7, 1 place Oct-December and I wonder if he is better in the spring. All wins in fields of 1-7 runners so far as well, so has a liking for a big field to prove over fences. Sew On Target is 10yo and unless a Veteran’s Chase I will find it hard to back a chaser aged over 9 from here on in! He is 8lb higher than when second in this race last year and surely there are a few too many unexposed ones in here for him to come out on top.
The Clock Leary is unexposed and could go well – that Ascot run was good. The trainer is on fire, as she always is in November – but her record at this meeting is shocking. 1/60, 6 places since 2003, her last 30 handicappers all beaten I believe. That has to be off-putting. The horse has tended to jump right so far and he cant afford to do that here. Keel Haul is interesting at a big price but ideally wants it softer on his profile to date – plenty of heavy ground form – The other of interest is Minella Present – a strong pace here could suit but he needs to step up on C4 Novice form at Fontwell and Towcester. He could have plenty up his sleeve, but his chase form on paper is not as good as the selections. The trainer does well here and I would not be shocked if he went close, but I cant back all three, and on what they have done on the track, I was happy to leave him, just. I can see why you may want to back him. Progressive profile, trainer, will stay well,etc etc. But, this is no small field Novice Chase.
In short – I think one of the Top 4 in the market here should win this, and the two I have onside should give us some fun.
2.05 Ling – Forceful Appeal 20/1 (BV,BoyleS,Betbright) – Any user of Geegeez Gold and their brilliant racecards/IE will see why this horse caught my eye. On closer inspection he appears to have a stand out profile for when he does best. Namely, in AW Handicaps he is 6/8 in C4 (1/15,1 place above this). Now, he has been out of form, but I had to take a chance at 20/1. So far he is 0/10, 0 places 17/2 or above and looks a ‘money horse’ – there is plenty of blue on oddschecker and he is 14s in a few places- hopefully the money keeps coming. Also, he tends to do better in Jan-April to date. Today may not be his day, but I am happy to take a chance on him at these odds. He is best suited to race conditions out of all the runners,albeit a couple of unexposed ones near the top of the market. One to keep onside in C4 in the next few weeks hopefully.
2.25 Hexham – More Madness – 8/1 (general) – Alexander is 3/15, 5 places with his handicap chasers here and a few of his have been running ok recently. This horse is having only his second run for connections. On his first start last time out he was in a much hotter race where they did not hang around. He could never really get into it, was then badly hampered (horse lost action and nearly stopped to my eye), finishing in his own time. But, he jumped well and on his first run after a break wasnt too bad. Now, he stays much further than this but the ground is Heavy – and heavy here, a bit like Ffos Las, can have them strung out all over the North East. That last race was a C3, with some decent, progressive horses in for the grade – this will be much more to his liking and this is a much weaker race. He will relish the ground and he will stay. They stand him in good stead and 8s just felt too big. He has some decent enough placed form for his Irish trainer to suggest there is ability there and he has won a race. The opposition isnt up to much. Age, fitness, stamina questions were concerns that pretty much ruled everything else out for me. The Sue Smith horse is unexposed but has his stamina to prove. Surprise Vendor also has his stamina to prove over this far and has been best when returning within 15 days – he was tailed off and fell LTO and is a bit of a character. If in the mood he could run ok.
CHELTENHAM: OPEN MEETING MICRO ANGLE (as detailed in this weeks ‘weekly diary’)
1.05 -La Vaticane
3.25 – Baraka De Thaix / Mon Successeur (Nicholls 2/20 with hurdlers, against 4/5 with chasers with this angle)
11.50 Ling – Lightsome (14/1 or under)
1.05 – La Vaticane (14/1 or under) / The Clock Leary (16/1 or under) – anyone signed up to Ben Aitken’s email list will have read about VWs poor record at this meeting – stats/trends are there to be broken, but her stats are very poor here.
2.40 Ling – Brazen Spirit (14/1 or under)
2.25 Hexham – Surprise Vendor (12/1 or under)
Signing Off – 09.10 – 13/11/15 – I am going to put up a Cheltenham stats post – I wrote this for the guys at Cleeve Racing to use for members but I don’t think they will mind if I share it!
In Other News – Darren Power over at Betting School/Insiders Club and Daily Punt Blog – has asked me to write a ‘Big Race’ Trends piece for one big Saturday race every week. This will be trends and stats, a look at the horse with the best profile, and then a selection or two. Part of the deal is that this is exclusive to them – I will post the link for where you can read it etc in due course.
Good Luck, plenty to get stuck into today.