A good day for the micro systems and well done to those of you who backed the old warrior Mountainous. There were valid reasons for excusing his age – that was only his 18th chase start – but if I am being honest given I dont think he was ever a double figure price, i dont think I would have tipped him. Still, it was great to see him win and I did back him to win his first Welsh National, so well done connections, and to the horse. I never mind losing – it obviously happens more than winning, but it is frustrating when you don’t get any run for your money, and have nothing to cheer jumping the last few. The demise of all three wasnt a total shock though, and any niggles were built into he price. That is racing, that is big race betting.
Thankfully Yala Enki’s win ensured it was only a 0.5 point loss on the day, having looked like it could be a very bad day. We live to fight another day. Harry’s Farewell’s jumping isnt good enough under pressure and I may struggle to back him again. Kruzhlinin is another decent chaser for the Rooney’s, joining The Last Samuri, who look like two stayers worth keeping onside. Maybe Grand National winners of the future.
1.45 Chep – Return Spring (11/1<) DNQ
3.10 Kempt- Kruzhlinin (11/1<) WON 4/1 (3/1 after R4)
Kerry Lee (from yesterday’s post, worth adding to portfolio)
1.45 Chep – Mountainous (12/1<) WON 9/1
BIG RACE PREVIEWS (TIPS)
1.45 Chepstow – Welsh National
Tour Des Champs – 1 point EW – 14/1 – PU
Chase The Spud – 1 point EW – 40/1 – PU
Red Devil Lads – 1 point WIN – 16//1 UR (had better days in a big chase!!)
(5 points staked total)
(UPDATE – someone on twitter has just raised a valid point about how the days since run and Age trends, would have been different if this race had taken place on the original date. As such, you could make a case for not excluding the two 10yo in race on age alone, given they were officially 9 a couple of weeks ago. As it happens, Masters Hill has enough weight, and Allez Vic looks sure to hate the ground and has never won a chase – in terms of days since run – that is still relevant as you don’t want too long a break, and anyway, those that fall down on that below I am happy to leave for other reasons)
TRENDS/STATS…are vital for me in a race like this with a long history. Looking through those I compiled a few weeks ago now, I have focused on those that…finished Top 6 LTO, Aged 9 or younger, carrying 10-13 or less (Its Heavy), 0-3 handicap chase wins to name.
That leaves a ‘Shortlist’ of… Upswing / Cogry / Bob Ford / Red Devils Lad / Bertie Boru / Return Spring / Saroque / Tour Des Champs / Woodford County / Chase The Spud.
I had a look at Geegeez where Matt has written a decent preview and Andy Newton has his usual ‘Saturday Trends’ post (worth a read for any trends followers) -the three stats of interest I picked up from his 13 year stats were…
13/13 – 1-5 chase wins / 13/13 race in previous 7 weeks (49 days on my maths!) / 13/13 had won over 3m or further over fences…
Upswing has not won over 3m over fences I believe, a big negative on that front. He also raced 56 days ago, as did Cogry. The former is also by Beneficial, who as Matt points out in his preview, is now 1/84,15 places with all runners beyond 3m4f. I am also happy to dismiss both on price grounds. Horse ‘profile’ wise (young, progressive, ‘look like’ they will stay to the eye, they deserve to go close, decent recent runs etc. Both trainers have fine records in this race also) they have a chance, but 7s is short enough for me – albeit horses with an SP of 12/1 or shorter have a decent record in this. (Lets hope TDC gets backed)
Looking at some of my other stats…I have discounted Bertie Boru as he has not placed on any of his previous 4 starts and has no chase win over 3m. Return Spring’s also hasnt placed on any of previous 4 starts and he ran 57 days ago. I am happy to leave them and if one goes in, well done to connections!
FINAL SHORTLIST of… Bob Ford (16/1)…Red Devils Lad (16/1)…Saroque (25/1)…Tour Des Champs (14/1)…Woodford County (16/1)…Chase The Spud (40/1)
You could make a case for having a little bit on all of them in truth. I hope for the trends/stats that one of them goes in, albeit of course it doesn’t always work out like that in these races! Anything carrying 11st or over in this ground probably deserves to be retired straight away! I am still head scratching over a couple of the following…
Saroque – I have dismissed him. Coleman would have had the choice and I think he is a doubtful stayer. He was clinging on LTO at Exeter, where we backed him in a micro system at 14/1, in what was a fairly weak race. Heavy is clearly no problem but he was running on fumes near the end. Compare that to TDC last time at Chepstow for example, where he was going away at the line. He sire was a 1m flat horse and if I have got it wrong about his stamina then so be it. I expect him to fade, albeit put up a bold show for a fair way.
Bob Ford – I assume Bowen had the choice of the two Curtis runners in here which is interesting in itself. This horse has struggled to put two decent runs together and isnt very predictable. He gets heavy, and he really likes Ffos Las. I do wonder when he does hack up if that is more a case of every other horse not getting the conditions as well. It is hard to quantify his form and certainly that last win wasnt much of a race. Everytime he has won he has pretty much got an uncontested lead for most of the way – i do wonder if he sulks when not able to boss it. I think he will struggle for an easy lead here. I think I have talked myself out of having anything on him. Maybe a muggy £5! (or, 1/4 point for me)
Woodford County – I tipped him for his last win and is another I just keep staring at. Those that ran at Exeter LTO are 0/15, 1 place in this race – not a stat with which to dismiss a horses chance, but interesting. My instinct says he isnt a good enough jumper. My instinct says that last race wasnt that strong (Nail’M rated 109, horses running since 0/7) and that when he has raced in more competitive races he has been found out. But, he is 1 year older than last year and maybe stronger. We know the ground is fine. We know he stays. I want to think he is a place banker, but I don’t know if that alone justifies a 1 point EW bet. I think there are better quality horses in this race – well, there are. In this big field, he will be mid division, and he can clout a fence. That is what I keep thinking. My gut tells me to leave him – time will tell if I have go that wrong as he ticks plenty of boxes and if you have looked at the race and like his chance, do not me put you off. Knowing me I may well end up having a last minute 1/4 point dart or something, but whatever he does it won’t go down in the results! Maybe that last win was a turning point but I am not sure if he has the ability for this and I think he will make errors – with a clear round he could leave me with egg on my face!
….That takes us to the selections…
Tour Des Champs – I think he is going to go very very close here. Stamina won him the trial for this race last time and he was going away at the line. He jumped for fun, is still open to improvement and likes the ground. Horses that ran at this track last time have a fine record as well. 8/40 odd. He has finished 4th in a Scottish National, beaten 16L, on Good. It looks like he has stamina to burn. He was outpaced on his penultimate start at Cheltenham in a decent Festival handicap but still finished a decent 5th. I would like to think his stamina will be fine. He could relish this test. He also usually races prominently which is always a positive for me. I don’t like horses being held up right out the back in races like this as you need a lot of things to go right. His trainer has won this race twice. The one niggle is ‘the bounce’ – that return win was after 634 days off. NTD has an admirable record with those returning after such a break. Having looked through a lot of those winners, the majority have ran their race on their second start a few weeks later. I think we will be fine, but if does bounce, that will be that. He has pulled up in this race before, but he clouted a fence that day and was soon struggling. I think it was going wrong too far from home to judge that he doesnt like this race – and this looks like it has been the plan.
Chase The Spud – makes the shortlist and is 40/1. Really, that is enough. I can’t leave him alone given my approach to these races and there is no way anyone can say with certainty that he cannot win. He likes the mud, that much is clear, and he could relish this trip. He could not of course but if you cant take a chance at those odds, when can you?! He gets the hood here which may well help and he usually races prominently. If he is near the front early, and evidently in a good rhythm,able to go his pace, then we could have some fun – at least until they turn into the home straight for a final time. He may not be good enough, and he has struggled to put two good runs together. But, he is a lively outsider on paper to have onside. If he grabs a place it is like a 9/1 winner. Whether some will go 5 places I don’t know, and if they do I dont know if he will still be this price.
Red Devils Lad – is also by Beneficial, like Upswing,so has that to overcome. Although, in this race, his offspring are 0/5, 1 place. He caught the eye LTO and appears to need to go LH. That was a decent enough race and he looks sure to relish the ground. Bar that it is hard to totally dismiss his chance, and 16s probably allows the chance to be taken. I am scratching my head and I also don’t know what to make of the jockey bookings – albeit Curtis has a habit of bringing Irish jockeys over on those with a live chance. And, he is a good’un. Will his stamina last, that is the unknown…as in truth it is with the two selections. He knows how to win, races prominently, generally a good jumper and is open to improvement. I have decided to have 1 point on him to win only. If he doesn’t stay then it is highly unlikely that he will place. If he does see it out he should be bang there. I am rather confident that TDC will stay, more so than this one. Chase The Spud may not stay but is worth an EW bet because the place pays well.
Of the rest – well they clearly fall down on what have been very robust trends to date. Trends/stats like this will be broken at some stage, but given the weight stats I can’t have those near the top. Given the age stats I can’t have one older than 9. Emperor’s Choice should run his race and will keep plugging on, but he is now single figure odds. He is higher in the weights than last year’s win and that may do for him. Firebird Flyer has one more handicap chase win to his name than ideal, his only stats downfall. He was behind the selection, TDC last time, and he was outstayed by him there. No obvious reason, if they both complete, for that to be overturned.
I am going to ponder what to do with Red Devils Lads and Woodford County…(16.35…08/01/16)
2.35 Kempton – Lanzarote Hurdle
Yala Enki – 1 point win – 11/2 – WON 11/2>11/4
Trends/stats emailed out by Daily Punt today, and posted on their blog. Reasoning will be emailed out by them tomorrow.
That is it for ‘Big Races’ , ie those with historical trends/stats
Harry’s Farewell – 1 point win – 10/1 – UP
The price of this horse jumped out having gone through the runners and I am happy to have a dart. He came down at the track last time, at the first fence. I don’t know what really went wrong there, in a better race than this. Whether he was going too quickly I don’t know but it was a scrappy fall, not getting his feet high enough – which I suppose is usually the issue for fallers!! Anyway, if you ignore that, and focus on his run before, that would make him half this price I think. He could get an easier time on the front and is reunited with the jockey who won on him that day. I hope they try and make all again as if he can get into a rhythm on the front end he could take some pegging back. He is still unexposed. At 10s, I was happy to take the chance and let’s hope he has learnt from that fall and picks up his feet a bit higher!
Rather confusingly for me, as I write, Chase The Spud (backed above) and Masters Hill are both still in this race, and in the market and I can’t work out why. I assume they are going for the big one and if so the selections price will be shorter than this.
Kruzhlinin is a micro system qualifier and it is impossible to say he can’t win this and as such I will back him, probably for 1/2 point given the full point on the tip. He does need to prove he truly stays, although around here he should be fine, and of course he has fitness to overcome. But, he has the ability to win this on his first start for Hobbs. He is 3/20, 9 places with stable newcomers.
The rest are a mixture of old timers and/or looking out of form to me. Le Reve has his conditions but has been a bit out of sorts. Maybe they have done something with him during the last 56 days but he is short enough all things considered. Clearly he has the ability to win this well.
That is all for Saturday. Good Luck with your bets.