AN Action Packed WEEKLY DIARY Post is now complete. Results re-cap/trainer in focus: Nicky Richards (inc video) /areas for me to improve/eye-catchers. Read/watch it all at the link below…
Reaping The Reward – 2 points win – 5/1 – UP – traveled well enough, but nothing there when asked to close – maybe last race leaving its mark or poor stable form rubbing off on him. Maybe 1 point more than sensible given those doubts, but no problem with selection and if he was 8/1 last night he definitely would have been a bet. Saint Are was here to win,clearly fit enough, and becomes the first horse in top 2 weights to win this. He was also weak in the market,taking a walk also. Got him wrong. He just had a bit too much class for the closers. Moving on.
*WH money back free bet if second in this race, up to £25
TRENDS: I had a quick flick through as this race is in the HorseRaceBase catalog. There have only been 7 renewals so I havent gone ‘all out’ through the checklist but a few stats caught the eye..
- The Top 2 weights are now 0/15, 2 places / 11-9+ (before jock claims) 0/15, 2 places
- Official Rating 138 of higher: 0/16, 2 places
- 7/7 ran 16-60 days ago – albeit not too many have had longer breaks and enough have placed not to get too hung up on that
So, that is useful and rating/weight wise makes me wary of the top 4, which includes Night In Milan.
Reaping The Reward…
Let’s start with the selection. He ran a cracker LTO when we backed him and entered the notebook. The way Soll won there (we also backed him!) tells you everything you need to know about how tough that race was in conditions – as has the fact that he didn’t look to be over that race LTO at Kelso. He ran a fine race in third and wasn’t knocked about, a massive gap to the rest.
His old friend Aachen finished ahead of him that day. He also finished ahead of him in this race last year, just – in a fine tussle to the line. I dont think there is any harm in that, even more so considering how Aachen has ran at times in recent months. On his penultimate start he chased home, and was out-stayed by Sego Success. Nigh In Milan was way behind him that day, in what was a decent field with the likes of ‘Straidi’ (we backed him to victory last Monday) and Generous Ransom to name but a few in behind. That was a decent field. He was also returning after 297 days in that – it looked to tell jumping the last because he looked likely to get close….
That does get onto the two slight niggles, which given his price I was happy to overlook,and were not quite enough to refrain from ‘unloading’ with 2 points. 1- the last 3 races he has bumped into stronger stayers – I am putting it down to class – they were decent animals he has bumped into and it must be some of the best recent chase form in this field. The other is his style – he is a hold up horse, in part because I do think he needs to be delivered late (but, I dont think its a resolution thing given how he won at Muss over 2m4f-gutsy) but in this race last year he arguably hit the front too soon. This is only his 13th chase though, despite being 12, and may still be learning! There is a danger something on the front end (a Night In Milan maybe) gets away and he cant quite reel them in. But, on every race so far he has shown decent tactical speed, often able to move up onto the tail of the leaders effortlessly before the home straight. Of course, given he will be out the back he will need luck in running – a hostage to fortune if anything comes down in front of him. (these Veterans should be standing up at least!)
The trainer form is also a niggle. Not the track form – albeit 1/29 in last 5 years isnt great – that would concern me if the horse hadnt run belters here the last twice- that makes that stat irrelevant for me. Her ‘One For Arthur’ ran well at Carlisle a couple of days ago – outstayed maybe up the hill – or finishing weakly due to a problem – its a concern, but again 5s, in the context of this race allowed me to overlook it a bit.
So, if he runs his race – and the break will hopefully mean he is over the last day (and he has run well after similar breaks – no excuse there) he should be right in there pitching jumping the last. We should get a run for our money hopefully. I just feel that this is his race. There is more to come from him over this trip and this race is weaker than his last 3 for me. No Aachen in here, no Sego Success, no Soll or the muddy Sandown Hill. Hopefully we are ‘reaping the rewards’ Ahem. (awful!)
Well Godsmejudge is just too short at 3s for me. I would be delighted to cheer him home if ours isn’t in contention but I am comfortable taking him on at that price. I am sure he does need further – well we know how far he stays being a Scottish National winner – and that run LTO, while showing some life, was laboured – and if you take out the winner (who could have won by miles more, and followed up NTO – we backed him twice also!) it wasn’t a great race. He wasn’t exactly closing at the end, rather just plodding. Maybe they are building him up and we will see even more here. Reaping the Reward may come second to him, making an ‘interest’ forecast bet a possibility for those of you who are more adventurous!
Nigh In Milan has been thumped by the selection and his chase form has been in and out. He is now well handicapped and we know he likes it here, on a sound surface. He should run his race, and hopefully provide the pace to aim at, but the selection has more scope and is a bigger price. I would not be shocked if he won, but again, I am not sure if any of his placed/winning chase form matches that of the selection’s recent runs. All of the stables last 9 runners have finished unplaced also.
French Opera has stamina to prove and isnt getting any younger, even in the context of this race! Saint Are could well win, but historically has a big weight to overcome in this race – is this also a prep for the big one. The weights are out so he could be gunning for glory as it wont affect his mark if he wins. But, with the GN the aim, I dont know why they would bottom him here – a nice solid 3rd/4th will probably do them! I could have that wrong of course. In handicap chase terms he is now 0/8, 2 places OR 141+.
BenBens won a weak race at Aintree that hasn’t worked out very well, and has a bit to prove now, also falling down on the trends we have. Grandads Horse isnt in much form and is now 0/7, 0 places in months of Jan-April – he usually peaks in the latter half of the year. And I cant have the other three, they all have stamina questions to overcome and there are stronger stayers in here. Sonofaahun is doing something different – a massive step up in trip – but he is flat bred and has been outstayed over 2m4f – he is no Bishops Road, and I would be surprised he if outstayed something here – but, stranger things have happened!
So, Saint Are and Night In Milan may take them along, hopefully setting a decent pace. I would like them to ride RTR closer to the pace but he normally gets in a good position by the time they turn in here. Like I say, if he is over that last run, I expect him to go very very very close indeed!
3.30 Donny – Reaping The Reward/Shotavodka (both any odds)
4.15 Lud – Lava Lamp (10/1<)
3.40 Lud – Sir Pitt (14/1<)
4.15 Lud – Mighty Leader (14/1<)
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
7.40 Kempton – Mighty Zip – 16/1 – the trainer/jockey combo has to catch the eye here – 5/11 since 2009 at track, 4/8 in handicaps here. Considering Ryan’s overall figures are 13/95 in last 5 years, the booking of Spencer is even more eye-catching. This is only his 10th career start on the AW and maybe you can make excuses for the last two runs. Any GEEGEEZ GOLD users will see how competitive this looks when using the brilliant Instant Expert Tab – but, them are the stats as they say.
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