Ahh. I was counting my losses on Kings A as soon as they were circling before the start. A horse that usually bowls along out in front, or tries to, was held up behind and never really got into it. Aachen got an easy lead and dictated, having been held up on his last few starts, and jumped well. Venetia had a great day and clearly the string are still in good nick. I wouldnt have backed him at 4s this morning given how I thought race would pan out – his jumping can be shoddy when behind runners and in the words of his jockey he can have his own ideas – he did drift to 7s, and if you had told me how the race would be run pre race – that would have looked decent – but, we don’t have a crystal ball, albeit ‘pace maps’ help most of the time! I was made to look like a mug there.
Woodford County – 1 point win 8/1 (BV,WH,LadB)* WON 8/1 (about bloody time)
*as of 22.02, 03/12/15
A decent regional national to get stuck into here and based on this horses placed efforts in stronger marathon chases last season I think 8s is too big, for a trainer in red hot form again (10/30 last 14 days, over 50% placed) Apparently he never travelled after an early blunder last time out, and maybe he just didnt fancy it after that but he kept plugging on and at least should be spot on fitness wise. He was pitched into the Welsh National early in his career really so they clearly see him as a stayer. He then ran really good races in the Eider and the Midlands National and a repeat of either of those efforts would put him into the mix here. He knows how to win, is still unexposed as a stayer but at the same time has enough experience and miles on the clock for a test like this. With the jockey’s claim he has a decent weight as well – in a test like this, in this ground, that 7lb will make some difference. He can hit the odds fence and will need to keep errors down but he looks solid enough here. This could be the perfect trip and he needs to go well in this for me and reach his staying potential.
There are 15 years of trends for this race with a few standing out. 9/15 had run over 3m6f+ before. French Breds are 0/19, 1 place which is a concern for some of the more fancied runners. 14/15 had 0-3 handicap chase wins, 13/15 0-2 handicap chase wins – suggesting that this goes to the more unexposed runners. Those that PU or UR LTO are 0/25, 2 places. 15/15 ran in C3 or C4 LTO.
Nothing bullet proof given sample sizes but interesting nonetheless. Those carrying over 11-11 are 0/16, 5 places – but the places suggest this isnt a single factor that should put you off a horse by itself. But, carrying a big weight, over this trip, in this ground is tough.
There are some very unexposed ones near the top of the market. The likes of Auvergnat and St Dominick are very inexperienced and this will be tough for them. Beyond 3m is just an unknown and I would rather go for one more battle hardened, esp at the odds. As De Fer – well he needs to improve a lot and another where distance is a bit of an unknown. His chase form is underwhelming in recent seasons. Heronshaw has a big weight and is also very inexperienced over fences for a test like this. Barton Gift has a chance but does need to step up into this class. I think there could be a couple of better ones in here. Gorgehous Lliege is in poor form and PU LTO, in the race he won last year after a break. Too much to prove for me. Sybarite is too unpredictable.
Nail M is interesting but comes here quickly after a lengthy break. He looks like he will stay but does need to step up on previous efforts. He is unexposed and ticks a lot of the trends, and his light weight will help. He is a system qualifier below if he comes into range and I may have 1/2 on if so, albeit I have a few niggles as to how good he is. Trainer only 3/55 here as well. Loughalder is interesting as he does stay well. But, he is too exposed for the type of profile that usually wins this and he is 0/3, 0 places RH. He is rarely campaigned RH and given how he went in a couple of chases I can see why – they were littered with mistakes. If I have read his RH/LH preference wrong then he could reward EW backers at a price. I do think there are classier horses in here though.
So, hopefully Woodford County can get into a rythm behind what could be a strong pace, and pick them up down the home straight. The jockey knows him well and hopefully he can run a good race.
That is all for today. I will be travelling up to Liverpool for the first half of tomorrow for a few weeks up in my favourite City, including a trip to Aintree on Saturday.
A quick word on McCain..he had a winner (5/1) and an unplaced in handicap chases today, that did not qualify due to neither having won a handicap chase. I will keep an eye on how they do, and may highlight them for reference so you can make a form decision. Albeit do read through the ‘December Trainers’ post to see the stats. They have been unprofitable to follow, and under-perform against market expectations overall since 2010, although from a sample below 50.
1.30 Sand – Cloudy Joker (14/1<) UP
2.15 Exet – Lord of The Hosts (12/1<- a guide -well as all prices are to a point) UP (above ‘guide’ price)
3.00 Sedg – Whisky Chaser (14/1<) UP
3.20 Exet – Tea For Two (12/< a guide) WON 3/1>2/1
1.40 Exet – Nail M (12/1<) 2nd (16/1) 12/1>13/2
2.50 Exet- Never Say Never (12/1<) UP 4/9
Mick Halford has two qualifiers for one of the AW Micro Systems in my new stats pack (link to which is below in comments). Obviously I won’t post these everyday given this is a free post, but the two horses for interest are below. He has a solid 30% SR with this angle since 2010.
6.05 Dunalk – Gift Wrap (any odds) WON 4/1
7.05 Dun – Ebasani (as above) UP