A busy day ahead with 7 points spread across some Big Race Previews and one ‘Tip’. A reminder that a BRP usually looks at a ‘big race’and by that I mean one where I have used trends/stats as part of my analysis. A ‘Tip’ is usually a 3m+ handicap chase at this time of year, and a race I have just looked at in the ‘normal’ way. BRP invariably go for decent priced horses and i don’t need many of them to go in over time to do well. On this day last year I put up at 33/1 winner of the Becher and it could be too much to ask to do it again, but I shall try…
Woodford County has at least paid for the day. I don’t like to dwell on winners.(as opposed to my self critique/analysis when I put up losers,esp those that fall out back of TV and a horse on my shortlist bolts up at a big price!) He did what I expected him to do and he received a brilliant ride. The first two could be worth following over marathon trips from here on in. Halford had a winner for one of my AW micro systems and Tea For Two bolted up for Nick Williams. All in all a good day, but, there is never time to rest in the jumping game…
BIG RACE PREVIEWS
Highland Lodge – 28/1 (BV/SJ/BetBright) 25/1 (general,was 33s PP but that just went) – 1 point EW
Portrait King – 16/1 (general)- 1 point EW
Someone check my temperature! I wont go through all of the trends and stats again here, you have seen them in a separate post. Safe to say, bar having more than the ideal runs in the last 90 days, Highland Lodge ticks every box going. Historically, he has a near perfect profile for this race.
Now, were he still with Emma Lavelle I would have left him. He had lost his way and looked a bit disinterested. But, he did run his best race for some time LTO, albeit it wasnt the greatest. He has since changed yards and moved to a trainer who is 2/4, 4 places with stable newcomers recently and that change of scenery could work wonders. He also gets cheekpieces for the firs time. Oh, and he is also 28/1 – 25/1.They had better jump him out in front or close to teh pace here and if they do, and it is clear he is travelling, then sit tight!
Now, he could throw in the towel and maybe an EW bet is a tad foolish as he could drop himself out or not find for pressure after the last. But, I will take that chance. He clearly has one piece of stand out form – that 2013 Hennessy run where he came a valiant 4th off 143. He races off 125 here. (albeit a few pounds out the handicap,but his ligth weight will help) If he could find anything like the form of that run he would be right in the mix here. He also raced in this year and ran ok, so he handles the track/fences. Given all of the above, and his trends/stats fit, I had to take a chance at a big price. We shall see if it comes off.
Portrait King – He falls down on a couple of stats. But, he is a fairly lightly raced 10yo over fences who I backed in the Grand National EW at a big price. But for a fall 3 fences from home he looked likely to collect some EW money. Whether he got tired I don’t know but up until that point he had jumped well. He is having his second run for a new yard and I suspect this has been the plan. He has won after being PU before, so that doesn’t concern me and I suspect he needed it. I hope young Derek Fox sends him to the front or just behind the pace as well. That is where he appears happiest. He doesn’t mind what the ground does and he does stay well (former Eider winner) – there is a chance he could get outpaced but he should keep plugging on. At the prices another interesting one.
Given how the market is I struggled to make a case for anything else. Clearly you can make some sort of case for the top 5/6 in market here (albeit most fall down on some key stats that they will need to overcome – age/inexperience for a couple) but I can’t take a single figure price in a race like this. I just can’t.
Those that raced 1-15 days ago have a shocking record in this race so that discounts a few. You need a bit more rest it would appear. Dolatulo caught my eye and I think he may have had a breathing op- so an improved showing could be on the cards. He should be fit enough but there are more bad runs than good in his profile and I was happy to leave him, albeit connections are on fire so he may not be far away. He ticks more trends boxes than most. Cowards Close is a decent trends fit but he has left Nicholls and I can’t think many improve chasers from there. He is an enigma and has a bit to prove now. He could outrun his 40/1 odds though.
So, two horses that I hope will go well for a long way. When push comes to shove who knows but all I ever want in these big races is a run for my money approaching the last few fences. After that, its fingers crossed!
Mwaleshi 16/1 (general) – 1 point win (a shame no 4 places)
This will be my only bet in this race (minus a few muggy £5s – possible on Distime as I will be track side!). Daily Punt blog will send out reasoning – him and Distime fit main stats/trends really well.
Count Guide Deiro – 1 point win – 11/1 (coral) 10/1 (general)
10/1 felt big here for a race where winners generally go off at 12/1 or shorter – so the market is usually useful to a point. Recent renewals suggest you want a horse with 0-3 handicap chase wins and no more than 3 handicap wins in total. This is a young and progressive horse for team T-D who could be a stayer to watch. They pitched him in the Eider last season – and a bit like with Woodford County- that indicates that they think he will be an out and out stayer. He bolted up in a couple of c3 handicap chases last season and ran well at this track in a decent race, over shorter. He belted a few there, and got out-paced, but still ran a decent race. He will need to tidy up his jumping but this should be the year where he steps forward, and they have clearly taken their time with him. He is in form after his hurdles run LTO (which is interesting in itself) and he gets the main man in the saddle. He is open to improvement, will be better than this mark in time, and looks like he will relish this trip. If he gets into a rythm he should go close.
There are plenty of out of form horses in here with plenty to prove. Those that look more robust are shorter in the market, some are half the price. NTDs record at this track is quite poor, but his string is in ok form (winner on 1st, a few places since) and the horse does have track form, so that isn’t the reason why he wouldnt run well for me. 10s is generous enough.
Rigadin De Beauchene – 1 point win – 4/1 (general)
Yes, a 10yo I know, but one that I am fairly confident is going to go close here. 4s is fair and I think he should be shorter. In a race that has a few older horses in he is the only one in the race who has no questions to answer as to fitness, ground and trip. He went in my notebook after his last run (not sure if I mentioned him in weekly eye-catchers,but I should have) In first time blinkers he travelled very well for a very long way and was leading a decent field until about 3 out, over 3m3f. That was his first run of the season and he could have needed it – it was also at a meeting where his trainer’s horses usually run shockers. He is well handicapped and will relish the mud. If, and it is an if, he responds to the headgear again, and he goes with the vigour he did LTO, i think he will be hard to peg back here. He feels a bit like a ‘2 pointer’ given the opposition, but my betting bank isnt in a place where I can start advising that just yet!
Benvolio looks out of sorts, Danamix has never raced on heavy, his best form on Good. I can’t think he will like this. Theatrical Star is out of sorts and in any case always finds a few too good at C2 level, some decent placed efforts, but he needs to bounce back. Victors Serenade is tricky – this could be the best time to catch him but there are a few too many letters in his profile for my liking. Firebird Flyer has had a few goes at C2 without much success – not good enough on form to date. Top Wood has plenty to prove in open handicap chase company and after a long break, on this ground. His price is short enough in that context. RC is 12 now, a bit out of sorts, and is just too much in the veterans stage for me.
TDC has the form to win this but comes here after a mamouth lay off. NTD can ready them after such a break and he has a light weight. If he is fit enough to handle this ground after that length of time then he could give the selection most to do.
12.00 Aintre – Culture De Sivola (12/1< guide- had had a 33/1 winner from 14 bets over 12/1)
1.05 Aint – Agrapart (12/1< as above)
3.20 Aint – Witness in Court (14/1<)
1.30 Weth – Grey Life (12/1<)
3.35 Sand – Dont Do Mondays (14/1<)