Members Report: 13/01/16 (COMPLETE)


2.40 Taunt – Top Wood – 2 points win – 10/3 (WH) 3/1 general*

*prices available last evening when first posted.


When looking at this last night I thought 10/3 – 3/1 was a shade overpriced and I came to the conclusion that if he repeats his last run, or even improves for it, then he should be going very very close here – well, if he repeats it I think he wins. He is a qualifier for the micro angle below which is a bonus. Heavy ground is no problem and the trip is fine. He is unexposed over fences, 1/6, 4 places, and has a touch of class as a previous winner at C2 over hurdles. The form of his last race has worked out ok, with Firebird Flyer who was just behind him running a big race in the Welsh National. The winner didnt do much for the form but he never looked happy. 

I suspect he was fit enough the last day but in the end was just outstayed. He does jump to his right over fences so he should appreciate going this way round. I also think he hit the front too soon last time – he has headgear for a reason – and maybe he idled a bit as well. If Tom Scu can keep hold of him for longer (and he can be a jockey guilty of hitting the front too soon!) that would help. He is both top rated in he HRB ratings and is top rated on the Geegeez Speed figures as well. More positives. 

All in all, if he runs his race, given his profile, I think he will take a lot of stopping and 3/1 felt ok in that context and is probably as short as I will ever ‘tip’ a horse.

Pace – Well Paddy The Oscar likes to get on with it and so does Morney Wing (albeit maybe they will keep hold of him to try and get trip) and Top Wood should be able to track the pair and pounce jumping the last.

The Opposition…

For me they have plenty to prove and nothing else jumps out at me. Whychwoods Brook is now 10 but is lightly raced, 2/8 over fences. This is his first run over fences or hurdles going RH which is interesting. An unknown but I assume there is a reason he has been kept LH to date, although he doesnt appear to jump out to left, He can make errors though but does handle the ground. His last run was ok, nothing more, and I think he would need more to beat an in form Top Wood – but if he fluffs his lines he may well be the one to pick up the pieces.

 Easter Day has the ability to win this but I need to see more on the track. He is unexposed but the ground is unknown as is his stamina in this ground. It may be no problem and he would have the ability to go close if putting it all together. Just a few too many questions for me. St Dominick is in form and may have ran out of gas in the last race. But, neither of those last two races are working out well – horses to have run since now a combined 0/15, 1 place. This race is deeper than his Exeter win and he needs to step up- which he may do, but on what they have done to date the selection has more class. Murrayana is another unexposed one but is now 0/3, 0 places over fences and is short enough in that context. Stamina is an unknown, may improve for it, and he is also 0/3, 0 places in all C3 races. He needs to step up. Morney Wing is in form and is progressive having won over 21f LTO. He is flat bred, out of 6f-14f winners, and I have no real idea if he is going to stay. On a few runs around this trip in the past he has ran out of gas in the last furlong or so. If he does, he may not be far away but that is the risk you take. 7s may allow that slight chance although I would like to think there are stronger stayers in here. We shall see. Paddy The Oscar won well LTO in what turned out to be a weak race with my fancy and a few others not showing much at all. He is up in class here and is 0/5, 0 places RH – although excuses could be made for a few of those I think-that is now a question that needs answering. He should take them along for quite away, before classier horses come past!

That leaves Union Jack D’ycy, who is developing a bit of a profile, and may be worth adding to your trackers. He is now 0/11, 3 places in handicap chases with a rating of 121+. He is 3/5, 3 places when rated OR120 or below. The first of those wins was when he was progressing, but the latter two have been when he has been rated higher and then dropped down. This isn’t conclusive but is worth keeping an eye on. He likes the mud albeit his jumping is suspect at times. The race he finished second in LTO was weaker than this and he does need more in this race. 

So, this is about whether Top Wood runs as he did the last day and/or improves for it. All race conditions should be fine and if he runs his race I think he takes all the beating for me, you may of course disagree! 



NO potential qualifiers. 

As  a Bonus on a quiet day for the usual micro angles, a couple of ‘Heavy Ground’ trainers have runners (link to post which includes the research for those is below in the comments- attempting to get the glitch fixed that at the moment stops me from posting links in the actual post!) 

2.40 Taunt – Top Wood (11/1< guide) 

3.10 Taunt – The Brock Again (any odds) 



None of Interest Today. 



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4 Responses

  1. Nice write up Josh Top wood wasn’t quite upto the job today, but Whychwoods Brook looked a good saver as it was trying something new and lightly raced. Good job i’ve taken note about how many times you’ve stressed the point on horses trying something new on the blog! 😀 The brock again was dissapointing to watch and the only thing i can take from that race is Nicholls really isn’t doing well! Might be a case of watching but not backing in the hope that next season he can be bet on again? I would really like to hear your views jf you have any on his performance this term. Thanks

    1. Cheers James, yes at least when the selection bombs its nice when the main danger, and the one after that fight out a finish – the analytical eyes are still working to some extent!! I have written my views on Top Wood in tomorrow’s post.
      The Brock Again was nibbled at but maybe the lack of run caught him out near the end, as he travelled ominously well, and has clearly had his problems. Or maybe he is a bit of a shirker, not liking to go through with his final effort. Easter Day ran fairly well but has a frustrating profile.

      No, he is struggling a bit. They insist there are no medical issues so we can put a line through that. One aspect is the fact that he may just not have the horses, or may not have bought well in recent months. Or, there is a chance he has changed strategy and, a bit like Jonjo, has his eyes set on March onwards – in saying that, he usually targets the big prizes at weekend as he knows he cant compete with some at Cheltenham – not in the G1s at any rate. A conundrum.

      Mood around the yard is a big factor, and not something you can measure. This is an odd story but…I was chatting to one of Hugo Palmers work riders at Newmarket last season- he seemed to be in form most of the time, but there was one part of the season where he was doing really well. It was at the same time he was engaged/going to get married, another person who worked in the yard was getting married as well I think. There were plenty of parties, and more parties after big winners etc. The staff were very happy – that is the point, and this does rub off on horses I believe, from some of the stuff I have read and from what she was saying, They are very intelligent. And that mood around the camp can probably explain some of the reasons yards fluctuate in and out of form – or, its a load of nonesense. But, I found that take interesting!

      So, who knows. Maybe the mood is a bit down, and that is rubbing off on the horses. It may be best to keep a watching brief, but as with every horse in every race, if you like the price, and it is big enough to look over the odd negative, you have a decision to make.

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