Post now complete.
Apache Blue – 1 point win – 28/1 (bet365) 25/1 (general)
Shinooki – 1 point win – 16/1 (general)
A couple of pokes here at a price in what looks an open race. I have vowed never to put 0.5 points on a horse again and if one of these goes in and I haven’t had 1 point on I would be annoyed again. Over time I am confident a handful of these will go in,paying for a lot of losers, and leaving some profit.
Apache Blue -This horse is 3/17 as a chaser but what caught my eye was his track record over fences – 2/3, 3 places for his last trainer. He has won off a mark of 102 in 2013 and comes here off 86. Yes he is 11 but he is well handicapped and I just could not resist that price. He stays and the ground is fine – we know he likes the track. This is only his second run for this trainer and it was encouraging that he completed last time, showing some promise. I would think that run was needed. The fact that Henry Brooke – our Highland Lodge hero- is on board this time is a positive. He could out run these odds – he could also be tailed off which tempered enthusiasm for an EW bet.
Shinooki – He is unexposed, 2/7 over fences, and his profile for race conditions is fine. The trainers horses have been running ok and from a limited number has done well here – 2/9. The concern are the two PUs, but that is built into his price. It is possible again that the run was needed last time out and it was interesting that his return was here over fences. He loves a slog in the mud and a return to any of his form at Fakenham would see him in the mix here at a price.
You could make tentative cases for a few others. Jack the Legend and Swing Hard made up my shortlist of 4 but they are half the price of Shinooki. Jack the Legend has to carry top weight, which in this ground for a 6yo could prove tough. His form is also a bit in and out. But, he is unexposed as a chaser and the trainer is in form. Swing Hard is frustrating and is just placing a bit too much. He has been campaigned as if they do not know his perfect trip. Still, these race conditions could be ideal on some of his form and he may not be too far away. The Dennis horse could be anything but far too much guesswork for an outsider to think about taking 5s for me.
Hopefully these two can give us something to cheer up the home straight, we shall see!
1.00 Catt – Newspage – 14/1 – Wade is 7/18, 10 places with his handicap chasers here. This is a weak race and this horse hasn’t done too much to date. But, as yet there is not enough evidence to suggest that he can’t win this. That last run was ok, and may have been needed and you would think they will find the key and a race for him at some stage.
3.15 Catt – Wee Jock Elliot (25/1) goes for a trainer who is 2/8, 6 places with his handicap hurdlers here – he is unexposed and you can’t say for sure he wont win this – the heavy ground may have got him LTO and if it is just soft here, and not heavy, we may see a different performance – or he may simply be rubbish. Mission Complete – as I have just been reminded below – goes again here – he is reverting back to hurdles and Jonjo doesnt come up here very often – 7/23 last 5 years. The switch to hurdles may do the trick and on the speed figures he could carry most of these round and win. He is also 3/5, 4 places over hurdles from a mark of OR100 or below. The ultimate cliff horse – a lazy bugger who is very well handicapped – if he put it all together would have a chance. A big if though but maybe a return to hurdles will spark him up.
3.40 Leic – Sword of The Lord (12/1) goes for team T-D here, a track where they team up to great effect in handicaps. This one has been frustrating but at the track two starts ago ran very well and his flat form suggests soft is ok – albeit stamina then the issue, but a big run would be no surprise – if he repeated his penultimate start. Eddiemaurice is in the tracker for a trainer who was 3/3 in handicap hurdles here before his last run. He loomed up a couple out and I was excited having ‘shortlisted’ him at a big price. Stamina may have given way up this hill. I think he wants firmer ground, and a flatter finish, but that run was better than it looked on paper. Maybe they have done something since his last run. One to track as I think they will find a weak hurdle for him somewhere. Big price again today.
12.35 Catt – Sendiym (12/1<) (late update, apologies..settings did not pick up qualifiers running over 15.5f – which a few tracks are now having re measured etc – good news is we have not missed a winner,with only one qualifier.
12.50 Leic – Supreme Asset (14/1<)
1.25 Leic – Lord of The Hosts (12/1<)
2.45 Catt – Nautical Twilight (12/1<)