(Play Nicely would qualify in the 3.30 if 14/1-16/1 or shorter, but he looks weak in market and unlikely to qualify)
Opening Batsman – 1.5 points win – 10/1 (PP – money bk 2nd fav offer / general) 3rd
Court By Surprise – 1.5 points win – 16/1 (PP – as above – / general) UP 10/1
Not quite sure what I have taken this morning but those are the two I keep coming back to, and for some reason I want more than 1 point on both!
Opening Batsman – you do have to forgive him plenty but at his best he clearly has ability and he seems to come alive/bounce back when racing around here. He will relish the ground and the trainer’s horses are running well at the moment. He can win from this mark and his record in C3 handicap chases caught the eye – 3/5,4 places. This is the easiest race he has lined up in since the last time he won. There is also a lot of pace on paper I think and a repeat of that run behind Theatre Guide would be enough here I think. The pace collapsed again that day – and he may have been flattered by how close he was – but the same could happen again here- and Theartre Guide is a bloody good horse in his conditions – which were ideal for him LTO – there isn’t a horse of his caliber in here. Clearly he is a bit in and out – and who knows what kind of run we may get – but we have a double figure price to find out in what looks like ideal conditions.
Court By Surprise – well, maybe this is a sign that I need to give 3m+ chases a break for a while 🙂 – Backing an Emma Lavelle horse outside of Oct/Nov (which is seemingly the only time they are predictable,albeit that has been tested last couple of seasons) – her runners are very hard to predict but she appears to have hit a decent run of form- which is rare for her – I think they may be moving yards this summer, or have they already – in any case, she can clearly train, and her horses go well here – you just can’t predict them! On a going day this one has all the ability needed to win this race, and win it well. A repeat of his Wincanton win (won on a technicality but was chasing The Young Master home that day) or even the more recent Chepstow second, would see in the mix here. He is clearly kept to decent ground and he gets that here. He may drop out, not fancy it and that will be that. Or he may put it altogether – if he does, he is no 16/1 shot – and it is on that basis I will take a chance.
1.5 points – as opposed to 1 point win – maybe a bit reckless but as I looked at the others I thought why not. They are a mediocre bunch with enough questions over them…
Who are the dangers?
Warden Hill – for sure – he is unexposed but there are questions. He won weak novice/beginners chases and for a horse who goes well fresh, only ran ‘ok’ LTO. The last time he was here he didn’t seem to like it and I have a feeling he may find it happening a bit too quickly around this track – he was ridden a few from home at Cheltenham and plugged on – he may want further now, around a track like this. On the other hand the pace may collapse and set up for him. There is also the ‘bounce’ question – his second run after a mighty absence, and he hasn’t had long off since the last day. At 6s – on price, I was happy to take on. A surprise winner? No.
Likewise Ziga Boy has a special place in my punting heart having won for me twice last season (that being the season that finished on the 23rd April). The break is a concern, as is the trainer’s overall form – a bit in and out, and his form with handicap chasers here (0/14,2 p last 730 days) He also has a lot of weight on his back – yet to run with 11-12 on back in hncp chases I believe, so a question there. There could be more to come, but I don’t think he will get an easy lead and he will need to improve again. But, another who would not be a surprise winner. Did too much LTO in a pace battle.
Gallery Exhibition is an interesting outsider but I have a suspicion he wont stay a true gallop at this trip – he has that to prove. He will like the ground and has been running ok. However, he was stuffed in this race last year when coming into it in decent form and the jockey booking may be a negative – unless they think he needs weight off – if they thought he was here to win I would have expected a pro to be booked. But, he is a big price and at one stage may look the winner. I just talked myself out of him in the end.
For one reason or another I just cant have the rest. So many have stamina questions, class questions, form questions etc and I just couldn’t have them. You could back Call Me Vic just based on his trainer/jockey but he really does need to step up as there isn’t much depth to his ‘summer jumping’ form – there could be more to come but he has a break to overcome and I think there are better horses than him in here, at their best. But, then again, the race has one of those end of season/early season feels to it. And in truth I haven’t been reading these as well as I was in Dec-Feb period.
PACE – well there are 5 or 6 who like to be up there and I can’t think there will be one horse to get an easy lead – if one does, around here, that is a big plus – but I think enough will be up there and may set it up for something just sat off the pace – one of our two hopefully! Ziga Boy would enhance his chance if he can dictate – if money comes I would be worried but he looks a bit weak in the market.
So, two pokes at prices really but it feels very open and you want a decent price. Both selections have the ability to win this and will enjoy race conditions. Let’s hope they are in the right frame of mind. A 1-2 would be welcome 🙂 (yep, I have gone mad!)
1.30 War – Ballyvaughn (12/1<) UP
2.35 War – Gold Ingot (12/1<) UP
TRAINER TRACK PROFILES: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
1.55 Bath – Quantum Dot – 10/1 – UP -this trainer’s handicappers can be backed blind here it would appear and he is also in form. He likes to be up there and this is his first run on turf for this trainer. It looks a weak enough race and we shall see how this one gets on.
2.55 Beverley – Penny Pot Lane – 14/1 – 3rd 17/2 – this trainer’s horses should be feared here over this trip and this prominent racer has an ideal draw. The trainer is in form and we will have to take fitness on trust – a decent price to find out and clearly any drift would be a concern,given time off the track. This doesn’t look the strongest race either and it is interesting they start her off at a track they do well at.
I haven’t looked at the Windor card and wont be for the purposes of today’s blog. Those two above, at the prices, caught my eye.
That is all for today.