Russe Blanc – 2 points win – 8/1 (SB/BV/WH)
Nail’M– 2 point win – 6/1 (SB/Lad) 11/2 general
On paper I think this race is be between the top 3 in the market. Dawson City is a bit short at 7/2 given his inexperience over fences, albeit he was unlucky last time out. Stamina is a unknown but his best form over hurdles came in a slog over 26f or so and he looks likely to relish the test – but, for one so inexperienced it will be a test and I couldn’t tip/back him at that price. If he wins I won’t be shocked.
Russe Blanc – As you will know I have been following this horse all season and so far have nothing to show for my two bets on him. He has looked to be crying out for a test of stamina and this is the first time he has ran beyond 26f. His best form was over 26f at Carlisle where he ground a horse down up that steep hill. This test looks sure to suit and 8s looks decent enough for a yard in form. The Lees train their horses up steep hills and he won’t be lacking for anything near the end – if he stays, I think he will go very close. He will just keep going at the same pace, a bit like Soll, and that could be enough. He is a sound jumper, experienced yet still open to improvement over a new distance, and has a touch of class- relative to this bunch.
Nail’M – well he has the best staying chase form on offer in the race, in the mud. That was decent form LTO and there is no Woodford County in this race really. We know he will just keep plugging away and while he may lack a turn of gears, his relentless galloping, in this weaker race, may just be enough. The trainer could be in better form – but trainer form with small yards is always questionable and at 6/1 / 11/2 I am more than happy to have him on side.
We should get a run for our money, for most of the way, from both of these. Gorgehous Lliege will relish conditions and would have a chance if bouncing back to form – but three PUs in perfect conditions doesn’t instill too much confidence. I tipped and backed IToldYou when he won this race last year – but he was in much better form coming into the race and this feels like a deeper renewal from memory. This may well have been the target with his recent runs over shorter, but I still would have liked to see more.
2.40 Plump – Nail M
That is all for today. Good Luck