2.00 Plumpton – Val DArc – 1 point win 4/1 (general)
This horse is one of my ‘eye catchers’ that I have started to highlight in my ‘weekly diary’ – He has ran well on his last two starts for this trainer, probably needing the run first time out, and bumping into a good one last time at Warwick – where he had the rest comfortably beaten. The trainer is up and coming and has had 8 runners in the last 30 days, 1 won and 6 have been in the top 3. The Tizzard horse is the danger and is also unexposed, he should go well but hopefully the selection has track position and can put pressure on those in behind. This track is a tough place to make up ground over the last couple. Val D’Arc does like to lead, and with Dancing Dik in here that could be tough – but there is no evidence yet that he has to lead. So, he could track him, or with younger legs just get to the front anyway – Dancing Dik downs tools if is taken on so he should not get in a battle all the way round. 4s seems fair to me for a chaser who should have more to come.
2.15 Leic – Eddie Maurice – 25/1 (Lad, WH, 888, 20/1 general)
I cant let this horse go off at this price given that his trainer is 3/3 here with handicap hurdlers, he is unexposed in this sphere and it is impossible to say that he cant win. At those odds I couldn’t resist. This is only his 6th hurdle start, and his 3rd in handicaps. He ran well for a long way last time out before fading, suggesting he may have needed the run. Race conditions look fine and I was happy to take a chance at those odds. I think he will run well for a long way and we could have something to cheer jumping the last couple. The trainer has had 10 runners in last 14 days, 3 have placed, so they have been going ok, if unspectacular.
I looked at Whispering Harry – Oliver is in flying form and is 2/5, 3 places with his handicap hurdlers here. This horse is 14lb above his last hurdle win and could need the run – he is weak in the market and given how progressive he was as a chaser, it looks like this may be a pipe opener for a return to fences NTO. I could have that wrong but he has weakened on both his seasonal reappearances to date. He could go well at a price we shall see. Clearly there is a Pipe qualifier below, but I am keeping a watching brief until signs of life – this one may signal the return to form, but he isnt strong in the market either yet.
Signing off 09.25. Good luck with your bets.
2.15 Leic – Bladoun (pipes are running atrociously, now 2/60 odd in last 30 days, so caution advised. It will turn around at some point. His Cheltenham horses again travelled well in general before cutting out. Quite a few were running after breaks but getting them fit isn’t usually a problem for the Pipes.)
3.05 Plump – Laughton Park / The Geegeez Geegee