Belmount – 1 point win – 6/1 (general)
On paper this looks a trappy race but I thought 6s was more than fair for this one. Arguably he competed in a stronger race than this LTO at the track and he ran ok in 3rd. He was held up that day and did make a couple of errors, but gets the assistance of STD today,which could make some difference. He is only 6, has only had 4 chase runs, winning one, and there should be more to come from him. I am confident he will give his running and in a battle could well come out on top. In this field, if he jumps round, I can’t see him being too far away. NTD has his that stage of the season where he is never really in form, but never out of it either! A tricky yard at this time of year but enough have been running well and has had a winner in last couple of days.
The fav is short enough although he was going to win LTO and could be going the right way. He does have stamina to prove and is up in the weights so a couple of questions – he led LTO as well and there is plenty of pace, on paper in this one. He has a chance, but he doesnt jump at me as a 7/4 shot I want to be piling into. The trainer is in red hot form.
Big Society is interesting and if he can build on that last run would have a chance. I does have to be cajoled into races and is clearly tricky. This is a deeper race than last time but did have plenty of placed form in C3 handicaps for Tom George to suggest he is up to this level. If he is able to breeze past rivals, and doesnt have to battle, then he could go close. But, if he has to fight in the last furlong, given his mental issues, I don’t think I could trust him. He may prove me wrong on that, and you may think 5s is worth the chance. He should run his race. Cloudy Copper makes errors and has been a bit too poor over fences for me, and also had a hard race LTO. Still unexposed but he does need to step up on his chasing form to date, now 0/5 over fences. The rest don’t look good enough or are out of form. Aebeo is interesting at a massive price – fallen a long way in the weights, he would have his stamina to prove beyond 3m – the biggest question is his wellbeing, having shown little for a few runs now. He also likes to front run.
Silvergrove, Coolking,Arbeo,Amidon, Henllan Harri like to get on with it and hopefully they all take each other on, go too fast and set it up for Belmount who should track them and pounce jumping the last! (hopefully)
Wild Bill – 2 points win – 4/1 (general)
Ziga Boy – 1 point win – 5/1 (BoyleS/WH/BFSports)
I will be disappointed if these two don’t go very very close in this race. I deliberated stakes and thought about going 1.5 points on each, but Wild Bill just has a bit more ‘could be anything-ness’ about him.
Wild Bill – comes here for a trainer in form and he will be looking to build on his easy win over course and distance LTO. I expected him to be 5/2 – 3/1, so 4s looks generous. When I expect a horse to be that price it can be a bit off putting when they are static at 4s – but as I write this (30 mins after posting tip) money is pouring in for Ziga Boy who is 7/2 general which may explain that. He won with any amount in hand last time and although I don’t know what he beat, he is top rated in HRB, and has a decent speed figure on geegeez, in the top 3. He just looks exciting and is the only in form ‘could be anything’ type in the race really. He will sit handily if his last run is anything to go by. He jumped well that day and I see no excuses. It is good to soft today but could well dry out by race time – bbc weather says it is sunny in Doncaster today!
Ziga Boy – well he has been in the tracker and I had to back him. Maybe I will regret not having more on at 5s but I didn’t want to be greedy. There are reasons to think that today is the day – it looks like he wants better ground, his only chase win to date coming on good ground – and, having looked through his form, it could also be that he wants a flatter track. He was going to win a chase at Newbury to my eye this time last year (same race as Belmounts above) before unseating late – that was a decent race and a repeat of that run, if he stands up, will see him go close here. He is still unexposed and could still have plenty in hand in the right conditions. There are no excuses today. If he can’t go well in these conditions then connections will be scratching their heads – and then there is a real danger he becomes a cliff horse. We backed him at Exeter where he went keenly and, like many that day, hated what had become a bog. Today we may get our money back, with interest – albeit I hope he chases Wild Bill home in second!
Victor Hewgo is an unexposed 10yo for connections that do well here. He likes the track but only has novice chase form to his name. I would want to see more in handicaps and he needs to step up on his last run. He may not be far away but in open company the two above have done more, and are also open to improvement. Westward Point caught the eye at a price but the lack of money and maybe the jockey booking suggest this may not be the day. He is interesting because he is doing something different- stepping up in trip – and that could unlock more. He has had his issues in recent years and I want to see a bit more on the track, albeit he is a gambling price today. I have various reasons why I am content to take on the rest.
3.00 Kelso – Agentleman 15/2 – Tim Easterby is 2/5, 3 places with his NH handicap debutants in last 2 years and it is interesting that this one comes over fences quickly after a few non handicap hurdles runs. The trainer is 3/7 with his chasers in 2015 and 7/32 with all chasers at Kelso. In what looks a shocker of a race having had a quick glance, if he jumps, he could be anything – have plenty in hand and win well, or just not be very good!
12.15 Newb – Me Voila (12/1<, guide)
1.10 Donc – Katachenko (14/1<)
12.00 Donc – Donnas Pride (12/1<)
1.50 Kelso – Retrieve The Stick (12/1<)
That is all for today, Good Luck (signing off 10.21)