Ah, well part of this game is about taking on the right favourites and in the two races I played in they both won! Back to the drawing board. The Alexander horse ran a very strange race indeed. Maybe he just doesnt travel (nothing to do with trip) and there were no excuse that I could see. Scrubbed along early he came back into it up the home straight first time and I thought we could be in here, only for him to fall back again down the far side. Not one I will be backing for some time until he gets his head in front or shows more. The AW horse drifted to 16s and ran as such. Strange ride – kept him wide all the way round and was never going to get involved with such tactics. Odd!
Quick mention on Royal McNab (12/1) who I missed. I tipped him last year and hate missing horses you have backed before when they bolt up again. (or more to the point hate when I dont even consider them) I overlooked the race, rather than looking at it and discounting him. I know a few stats guide users were on due to the trainer’s track record so well done. The point I want to raise is running style and form – he loves front running and bowling along. All his chase wins have come when getting an uncontested lead. A bit like Aachen the other day at Wincanton, he had been held up out the back on his last few starts. He never looked happy and didnt jump with any fluency. That explains the poor form, as simple as that. With no obvious front runners in there today, and a track whereby he had led them a merry dance before, he was sent to the front and that was that. A click of my ‘instant expert’ tab in Geegeez Gold would have informed me that I should have looked at him – he was the only one in race with any sort of winning form on soft I believe and had a perfect ‘race profile’. One that got away.
Thankfully a winner for Mr Moore at Lingfield for the micro systems ensured a small profit on the day if backing them all. I think Silver Shuffle is now 0/33 or so over hurdles and is one I left, although there was money again.
Handy Andy – 1 point win 5/1 (Bet365/Coral/William Hill)* UP 7/2
*as of 08.32
Fontwell ‘soft’ can get quite testing and for me this could turn out to be a right old slog. In races like this you want one proven on the ground and with proven stamina – while Handy Andy’s winning form does not suggest he has that, there is plenty of placed form, and a very good run in a Welsh National, which suggests he does. Going back to that National last December, he was up with the leaders about 3 or 4 furlongs from home and was going equally as well. His stamina then did give out but a repeat of that run, to that point, will see him go very very close here.(that is my code to suggest that if he repeats that run, he wins) This is no Welsh National G3 field. He looks to be a grinder and I think he will just keep on going. I cannot say that with confidence, on what they have done on the track so far, for any other horse. The ‘if’ is the headgear situation…after wearing either cheekpieces or blinkers for the best part of 12 months, they remove it here. All of his wins have come with no headgear on so that could be a positive. It could be a change back that adds that extra bit of spark – of course it could be the change that makes him disinterested. That is the risk. If after the first few fences he is clearly travelling and jumping well, then we should have something to cheer on over the last few fences, and that punishing climb to the line. He doesn’t win very often but he does win, and this could be the perfect race for him. The trainer is in ok form, just over a 1/4 of his runners in last 14 days have won or placed – thats ok. Tizzard is 4/7 with his handicap chasers here in last 730 days – (in fact most of these trainers have done well here with handicap chases in the same period). And finally, he bounced back into some form LTO. He got beat by a well handicapped one, but put some distance behind him to the rest and he kept galloping, on good ground. He just keeps galloping and I think he will do the same today and will still be grinding away when others have had enough.
Alternatif should run his race on placed efforts but is short enough. He is unexposed but yet to win a chase and it is unknown whether he will relish this kind of test. Pipe’s continue to run in and out. But, he has the profile which suggests he should go well enough, hopefully fading over the last couple. Ziga Boy has been on my radar for some time and I backed him LTO. He travelled a bit keenly but jumped really well, before tiring dramatically 4f out or so. That isn’t the first time he has done that on testing ground and I need to stop making excuses. His profile to date suggests that he prefers a sounder surface. That is no conclusive (Haydock run was good and stamina,rather than ground,may have been factor) but I can’t say with confidence that he is going to grind this out. If he does I may kick myself but my instinct is that Handy Andy will be more reliable in these conditions. But, he is young, progressive and should have better days ahead of him. (yet to decide whether to have a muggy saver on him!)
I would like to think one of those three is winning this. Sun Wild Life is unexposed so is a danger and ran well LTO to suggest he should stay. But suggesting he should is not confidence that he will. Money is coming for him and maybe 7s in context of this race allows that chance, but not for me. He is 0/5, 0 places in career in C3 as well, but doesn’t have many miles on the clock. If he stays today, then at least we will know for the future! Pete The Feat is on his way back from a lengthy break (second run after 600+ days) and is 11yo now. The jockey booking suggests they dont expect a win for me. Happy to leave. Cool King is 1/15 chasing, 0/7, 2 places C3 but does handle the ground. But, he has plenty to find and is not as good as these. That leaves Union Jack D’ycy who won for us/micro system LTO. That was a weak race and his geegeez speed rating suggests it was poor as well. He is up 9lb and while he goes through the ground I think that may do for him in a stronger race. But, if others drop away he will keep plugging on.
So, 5s felt a shade too big for Handy A and if he is travelling early I think we will go close here.
3.10 Font – Jack By The Hedge – 11/1 (Bet365/Coral) 10/1 general UP 7/1
Keevil is 5/26,11 places with her handicap chasers here (+43 sp), is 7/19,10 places with this jockey in handicaps at the track and is 2/10, 4 places with her runners in last month.
While this is a novice handicap chase (and not type I would want to ‘tip’ in) we are getting 11/1 here – in a race where nearly every single horse has something to prove over fences. I would rather back a type like this in that context, then against a field where a few have more chasing experience. She could have run this one at a few tracks but has sent him to the one she does very well at. She is 1/14, 5 places with horses making their chasing debut in Novice Handicap Chases, 1/2 at Fontwell with such runners.
A few of these have fitness to prove and they all have jumping in public to prove – well bar the King horse, who is the only one with chasing experience. But, he is on a bit of a come back mission after a very long time off and that could be tough, in this ground. The selection also has a short break to overcome but that could be no bad thing and he should be fit enough here.
The stats suggest we should get a decent run and I couldn’t resist those odds.
That is all for today. I haven’t even looked at Southwell in much depth but know I will be rushing to look at any race in the depth required before my cut off at 10am. Hopefully you stats guide users can find some of interest.
12.50 Uttox – Aubusson (12/1<) WON 4/5
-Rouquine Sauvage (12/1<) NR
-Beau Lake (20/1<) UP 12/1