UPDATE: A disappointing day. And I feel a bit sick. Vincente did that well and is one of those I didn’t want to win – He went into the notebook after Cheltenham – he traveled really well in the 4 miler for a long way and thoughts after the race were a) he either didn’t stay or b) having come here after a 90 day break he wasn’t A1 and something else was planned. I got ‘the story’ right in my own mind- I asked myself this morning whether this been the plan all along, knowing that he needed to win a big pot for championship etc. That doesn’t help now though. I was put off as I thought he needed genuinely good ground to be at his best and his jumping had been scrappy at times (although was fine LTO,but on good) -and fact he had only one in small fields put me off a bit – (influenced by that field size LTO stat also) I don’t know what the ground was but I don’t think there was much soft in it – anyway, he can join the pile of those Cheltenham handicappers that were very close to being backed. I didn’t enjoy watching the finish to that. Frustrating. That happens, but it doesn’t feel very good when it does. That’s the worst Saturday I have had in a while. I need a drink.
First up, I have another video for you. I know how you much you enjoy them 🙂
In this one you get to see/hear me use my new ‘stats guide’ to go through the card at Thirsk and highlight what could be a few horses of interest. You get that, plus what I hope is my usual entertaining, informative and rambling style! The time will fly by! 🙂
So, make a cup of tea, grab your note pad and get stuck in…
Upsilion Bleu – 1 point win – UP
Write up for Daily Punt. Will try and post link if/when I get it.
Berea Boru – 1 point EW – 22/1- UP
Milborough – 1 point EW – 40/1 UP
Well what a mighty fine puzzle this is proving to be. The ground adds in another level of complexity – always annoying for me at least when it isn’t an ‘extreme’ – apparently it is good to soft, good in places – and on that basis, on going alone, in the context of a horses odds you probably can’t discount too many – albeit there are a few mudlarks on paper who may find this happening too quickly.
Berea Boru – I have used aspects of the stats/profile as a guide,albeit there are not too many in which to get hung up on. I did find that the ‘field size stat’ jumped off the page and slapped me around the chops. Those that ran in a race with 17+ runners last time is atrocious – there is logic there – it suggests that horses were running in competitive races that A) they may have been primed for, and this is a mere jolly up to Scotland, B) they were hard races and may have taken plenty out of those that ran in them. That would be my main thinking on that stat. Now, it will get broken at some point, and probably today knowing my luck, but it is interesting. The number of placed horses suggests there is something there.
Anyway, to this horse. Well he really hasn’t done anything wrong and back in the day they threw him into a G2 novice hurdle. Not sure why, maybe they thought he was a nice horse. He has won three on the spin now and deserves to line up here. He is clearly in the form of his life and as yet hasn’t been hammered by the handicapper. He will need to improve again, and all hope rests on the trip doing just that – his sire has had a few that like a good slog -a few winners at around 3m4f and a few places at around 4m+. This could be just what he want – it could not. He should race up in the front third if able to lay up and the cheekpieces are enlisted I suspect to get him concentrating at his fences more – he has jumped fine enough but could be better. He has been winning in heavy but this ground should be fine – yet to prove he can’t handle it over fences. Peter Bowen has won this race before so know what it takes and his string continue in decent enough form. The negatives? Well I couldn’t say this has been the target, unless they think they have plenty up their sleeve and are unready to unleash over a trip like this. Those recent runs, in the mud, may also catch up with him at some point. They will take their toll eventually and maybe today he hoists up the white flag of surrender and pleads for a rest.
BUT, given everything – in form, young, progressive,could improve for the trip (may not), connections etc – I had to have a go at 20/1. He has a fairly low weight on his back and if it is clear early that he is travelling comfortably in a decent position, and is in a jumping rhythm, we may have some fun.
Milborough – well he should not be 40/1 – that is just a stupid price, it really is. I wish I had had these ‘that is a silly price eyes’ on when I was looking at Maggio at Aintree. Out of all the horses in this race, I think this could well be the only one who has been targeted at this race. Everything screams that this has been the plan – he has a lower handicap mark then when running in this last year – that is no coincidence – this season he returned over hurdles, he then ran appallingly. He then had a 91 day break – interesting – and ran OK in the Eider – but his mark was dropped again. Last time out he miraculously bounced back to form and ran his best race all season. Trained by a Scott, and I am assuming probably owned by Scotts – they look sure to get a good run for their money here IF, and this is a big IF – he stands up…
As it is his jumping that is the only question, which is clearly built into his lofty odds. He stays. He is an Eider winner – no issues on that. He has a touch of ‘staying class’ and he is still young/lightly raced – this is only his 15th chase start after-all.In this race last year he unseated. He has fallen before in his career. But, when he puts it altogether he is decent. His jumping may be a ground thing – possibly more errors when decent ground and he goes a pace that leads to errors. This should be soft enough for him to be in his comfort zone. Also, he is entitled to be getting better – and his last three runs have seemed fine to me, jumping wise, esp LTO. So, if he stands up, I think we should get a right good spin here. We may be holding our breath at every fence but as I said, he is 40/1.
Of the rest…well I don’t wish to be here until Sunday. I could go through them all and if one of those above doesn’t win I will say why I wasn’t on the winner, tomorrow. For all those that ran at Cheltenham this looks like an afterthought for me and most/all of them had hard enough races. Those that ran in the Irish GN also had hard enough races, as did the couple who ran at Uttoxeter. Those that ran over those long distance chases, in the mud, to my eye don’t quite look like out and out stayers. But then, I thought that about the Grand National winner so take that with a pinch of salt! (or a bag full) Many others have more severe jumping questions than Milborough, have class to prove and may not look like stayers. I am comfortable ruling out the others – and of course a few in the context of price – The top 3/4 look short enough. Who is backing Heathfield at 10s?? I assume he has been ‘pricewised’ or something. Well done if you got a bigger price – I can see his case, but I dont have that bigger price.
I should mention Highland Lodge who provided us with our biggest win of the season to date – he will be second behind Milborough in about 8 hours time (in terms of being our biggest priced winner this season!) – I am not sure he will stay this trip – he didn’t stay 3m5f in Welsh National when in the best form Lavelle ever had him in – traveled sweetly to 4 our or so before fading – I also don’t like the break. I know he was aimed at the National but they really should have got a run into him. He and Seeyouatmidnight may try and take them on, and there are a few pace pushers.
It will be frenetic, and all I ask is that they both jump well and complete – if so, we may have some fun this afternoon. And, in anycase, James Reveley will have covered the bets come 3.45 🙂
‘Bridgey’ provided us and him with a welcome 7/1 winner. The micros are slowly starting to pick up again after an up and down first third of the year. Alan King’s still to run as I write.
5.05 Bangor: Global Dream (12/1<)
K Lee Chasers (12/1<) : 3.35 Ayr: Grey Gold
Sat TJC (any odds): 3.00 Ayr: John Constable
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
I have mentioned a few of interest in the video. (not in terms of form/suitability for race conditions etc, but interesting stats as a starting point) In the main looking at Swinbank/Curtis combos in handicaps and a few of ‘family’ Easterby runners and R C Guests, for different reasons. I wont repeat them all here.
There is a handicap chase at Bangor, 3.55 – I won’t tip in it as I have ran out of ‘analysing energy – having had a quick glance,at 4/1 Wood Yer looks decent – all about whether he is over his last run – he would have been A1 there after a break and I am not sure if NTDs ‘bounce’ – would need to look at the stats. But, he may not be too far away. The other two recent winners won races that fell apart for me.
That is all for today. POST COMPLETE (09.27)
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