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Spice Fair – 1 point Each Way – 28/1 (SkyBet and PP both 4 places) 33/1 general (3 places) * 3rd +6 points
*price as of 18.02 11/03
I managed to get 33s on this with PP but that has just vanished in last 10 minutes. Hopefully the 28/1 for those two above stays around. 33s 3 places is still worth a go also.
This horse is no 28/1 – 33/1 shot for me. My profile only removes 6, to leave 9 so it doesn’t help too much and I don’t want to start eliminating horses on stats for the sake of it,
Let’s start with the horse. Firstly, when using my Geegeez Cards his speed figure just smacked me in the face – he is a 164 – the fav is a 144. Now, as I have said before I don’t really know how Dr Peter May compiles the figures for Geegeez, but that is a positive and meant I had to have a closer look at this one.
He is a 9yo and exposed in the sense of his total career runs. But, this is only his 10th hurdle start and he could have a bit in hand. As you can see from his form he is very consistent, is in great form, in handicap company, and has track form here. We look likely to get a run for our money, if running his race. Deep ground is no problem either.
The other thing that caught my eye was the pace in this race – there is so much of it, littered with those that like to lead and/or push the pace – Spice Fair is a hold up horse and this could be run to suit. To me it looks like he wants a fast pace to aim at over this trip, which he is sure to get. He should be staying on up that hill when others are throwing in the towel. I couldn’t let him go unbacked at that price.
His hurdles form to date isn’t any worse than a lot in here. There are a few coming here having won in novice/maiden , making their handicap debut. The form of a few of them hasn’t been franked from the races they have run in. In essence, it looks a weak renewal and open for a surprise. A few of his recent runs have been muddling affairs also, esp the last one. He needs a strong pace and should get it here.
Clearly a case can be made for the fav but he is short enough for me, especially for one yet to get his head in front. His last run was decent, in a much better race, all things considered and given his profile he is the right fav but I don’t want to be taking 4s. Maybe worth a saver we shall see. If mine places it is like a 6/1 winner – that will do me.
I would like to think that the handicapper has both Solstice Star and Rayvin Black where he wants them – they also both like to lead and if they continue in that fashion they should ruin each of their chances – in theory. Flying Angel is interesting but has been kept to flat tracks to date and has that to prove – He isn’t really seeing his races out and has been a bit one paced – happy to take on I think.
The general point here is that there are a lot of unknowns. A lot of unexposed hurdlers, including the selection, who could have improvement to come.
So, I have gone for an educated poke. He has won when returning within a week on the flat so fingers crossed he is over his last run. If he runs his race I think he will out-run these odds.
Bertie Boru – 2 points win – 6/1 – UR -2
Seebright – 1 point win – 12/1 (Bet365/BetB) 11/1 general- NR
As I found myself looking at this race I became more and more bullish – which is never a bad sign. I think one of these two is winning this and they are both a shade bigger than I think they should be.
First I will just deal with the Going – hard to know what it will be come race time – Heavy all the way through to good to soft it would appear! It could well be that horrible tacky/holding/drying out ground – some horses handle that, some dont – and you never really know until they race on it. It does mean that you will need to stay though, and as Bertie’s got older that seems to be his thing…
Bertie Boru...Ticks plenty of boxes in here and boy does he have some good form at the track in C2 handicap chases. Last season he was 10l behind Unioniste, from an 8lb higher mark. Have a look at that race and you will see the decent horses around him. Coincidentally, Bertie has faced Relax twice in his career at this track, over fences, and stuffed him twice (he hasnt won those races but has had him well held) He also has that decent run in the London National here, again with decent horses around him, only beaten 5 lengths. He shouldn’t be found wanting for stamina.
I have started using red pens on my note pad – with Us (unexposed) and D (doing something different) standing out where relevant. Bertie gets a D – he has cheekpieces on here and he has Dickie back in the saddle. The cheekpieces should help, but again you never know. He always tries, and I don’t think he is lazy, just a case of making him concentrate – I have to trust the trainer that they’ve worked him in them and they made some kind of difference. He can be a scrappy jumper but he rarely loses his rider, and has ran some crackers despite the odd error. I also think he may be a rhythm horse – I think this is the worst race he has contested for some time – given the oppo and the ground (it may dry out but it wont be ‘quick’ I don’t think) I think they may go a pace he can handle more – that, combined with the headgear, may ensure he goes the pace he wants. If it is clear he is jumping and travelling early on, then I think we have the winner. Also, he doesn’t drop tools – his run last time was ok and he ran on again. There was good in the title there and they were good yardsticks ahead of him – Loose Chips took them along at a very good pace (quicker than they may go here) and the winner is potentially very smart. The front 3 were the front 3 all the way round, so coming from right out the back was hard. But he kept on going to the line.
All in all, I think this is his best chance for sometime. If he runs up to either of those runs in C2 chases here, both this year and last year, he wins this for me, simple as that. Relax is the only one with comparable form in this field. Bertie could out-class them – if running his race. It should be noted also that a couple of his wins have come on the back of perceived ‘poor’ runs, beaten out of sight. He is 3/9 OR 130 or below in handicap chases (0/6, 1 place OR 131+) He is also 2/6, 3 places in this second tier of Class 3 chases (worth less than 10k to the winner). His trainer – well he has never been out of form it would seem and is banging them in again – 4/15 in last 14 days.
Big. Run. Expected.
Seebright….well, he is unexposed in this sphere, could still have more to come over fences, the trainer is hitting some decent form and he was 12/1 – a decent price given his profile. This is his 3rd start after a long absence and hopefully he starts coming to himself. I tipped him last time when no money came and he went off at 16/1 – that was a very hot C3, look at the horses in it – much more depth than this race – they also didn’t hang around and I wonder, around Kempton at that pace, whether they were going a step too quick for him. He shouldn’t have that excuse today and the trainer teams up with his old friend Denis O’Regan. This one is a bit more chancy – but the odds meant I had to have a go. He has form at |Fontwell which is up and down with a stiff finish, so that is a good sign for this track. He ticks plenty of boxes..
So, we have one who could still be open to progress and one who if he repeats old form wont be far away. All bases covered, in theory!
The oppo…I can’t have the fav at those prices. No idea why he has been off 68 days, he has testing ground to prove (an unknown,may dry out), he has a liking for a track like this to prove – undulating/galloping – and this is a tough jumping test for one so inexperienced. He made the odd scrappy error at Muss. That was also a C4, so he needs to step up, which of course he may do. Now, he may win this well, but given those numerous doubts I can’t touch 4/1 – 8/1 maybe, but not 4s.
Relax – well he could win this but he is getting on now and his three recent runs don’t fill me with promise – jumping errors have started creeping into his game. He isn’t in the best form although was going well LTO – still a way from home though. He has a good record returning within 15 days, and has back class. But, I want to take him on with younger legs here. If the two selections underperform, he would be the next best at the prices, so I expect he will run his race. As I said, Bertie has beaten him comfortably the two times they have met, and hopefully he does so again.
I can’t have the rest for one reason or another. Dawson City is now 0/4 chasing – which isn’t what puts me off these days! – its just his jumping – his last two runs have had errors in them, some bad, some slow jumps. This is his stiffest jumping test and he now has it to prove for me. But, he is unexposed so you could never say never. Financial Climate is still 8lb above his last winning mark (taking account of jockey claims), is out of form, and looks up against it. Desert Joe has plenty to prove now, as does Moss Park (second in this race last year on Good – ground a concern, break a concern,and trainer has forgotten how to train I think!!) Clearly on that run he could put up a show – happy to take him on. Does that just leave one – St Dominick – another now with plenty to prove.
PACE – Dawson City/Financial Climate/Relax like like to lead or push the pace – hopefully they all take each other on – I would be more concerned if Relax gets an easy lead (and gets into a rhythm) – hopefully Dawson ensures that is not the case. Seebright will track them, and Bertie will be held up – but hopefully not too far. He will pick them all of coming up the hill! (as he hold our breath needing a big leap at the last!)
2.00 Sand: Divine Spear (12/1 or shorter ‘<‘) UP
1.50 Chep – Nail’M (12/1<) UP
4.05 Ayr – King of The Worlds (12/1<) UP
4.10 Chep – Anda De Grissay (12/1<) UP
4.55 Sand – Anay Turge (12/1<) NR
That is all for today. Good Luck
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