The ‘probably worth a saver’ horse Duke Of Firenze bounced back to his very best form to win a shade cosily there – I thought he was best on soft these days and wasn’t totally convinced by his recent form. But, he was very well handicapped on old form,the trainer is good with sprinters and he was well drawn on what we knew pre race. You could also make a case on a piece of form here in 2013 and the odd other rare decent run. I can see why some of you had more confidence than I did. Close, but not close enough from me there.
Thesme ran a fine race and will be winning races from the front this year. The Ryan horse ran a stormer given he missed the break and given where he had to come from. The winner was being eased down so it is hard to say that cost the second. Red Barron ran well but maybe the ‘capper does have him now. Desert Law was poor, that was an educated poke. Maybe now best waiting for the stable to fire a bit more. Candy’s just didn’t run any sort of race and that was most disappointing.
A tough month so far and I will write a ‘two weekly’ diary next week .As I write the tips are on -20 points for the month. I will get twitchy if that goes past -40. All the systems combined are +11 points to soften that blow. (not inc Thursday’s runners) That includes the TTP systems are on +20.5 points since start of month.
Anyway, undeterred but with a clear need to work harder, we move on…
Al Co – 2 points win – 6/1 (general) WON 5/1 (approx,after 15pR4)
Corrin Wood – 1 point win – 28/1 (Wh) 25/1 (general) PU
I nearly bottled looking at this race given my recent struggles but that would be the easy option and having had a good look at this for about 1h and 20 mins now, these are the two I want to have a go at.
Al Co – well he was tipped two starts ago at 25s and ran a fine race in 3rd here – but for torrential rain and the ground going very soft he may have been closer. That run was in first time cheekpieces. They were removed NTO at Uttoxeter where he ran a decent enough race again but wouldn’t have relished that ground either. He ran like he was still in some sort of form but with no headgear did have to be kept interested at times. They go for a first time visor here that may make the difference. There is a lot in his favour here, so much so that 6s looks decent enough and he could arguably be favourite. All his best/winning handicap form is when good is in the going description. Indeed in handicaps he is 0/9,2 places soft/heavy. Despite being 11 this is only his 19th chase start, having won 4 already. He also happens to be very well handicapped – 11lb below his last winning mark and arguably this is the first time he has raced in a chase, since his last win in the Scottish National in 2014, where he gets near ideal conditions, even more so when considering the marks he went up to. The trainer is in form – 11 runners last 14 days, none have won but 6 have placed. He is also 2/5,4 places in May. He just ticks plenty of boxes. Oh, and for a dour stayer he will have plenty of pace to aim at. You will be found wanting here if you don’t stay given there are 4/5 front runners in here. I don’t think he will get a better chance over fences, today is the day. Everything looks right.
Corrin Wood – well a 28/1 stab in the near darkness no doubt but he is 14lb below his last winning mark and went a decent third in a G3 hncp chase at Wetherby off 147 back in Dec 2014. This is his 7th run since then and in truth he hasn’t done much. 2015 is arguably a write off for most of McCain’s horses given they were all sick. Maybe he was ill also. His run two starts ago was ok – he went well for a long way there before fading. Last time out – well maybe he didn’t like the fences and said no thanks. The other factor was McCain’s recent form – it is the best, most sustained/consistent form he has been in for some time and that may rub off on this one. Given those two main factors (hncp mark/stable form) and the fact that he has the ability and class somewhere, I just had to have a go at that price. He could well be gone at the game, tailed off, but if he were to bounce back, there isn’t much in here that would live with him on some of his old form. This is the kind of bet I could leave alone given my form – put off but the odds ”he surely can’t win’ but that would be going against the way I like to do things.
Of the rest – well the other two interesting ones for me are Mr Moonshine and Doing Fine. MM- he does well at this level but he is 12 now, may cut his throat with others near the front and in handicaps is now 0/16,3 places on good to soft or better. This ground could be too lively for him. The latter was a 50/1 poke for me at Cheltenham and he didn’t do too much – never put in it – or couldn’t live with the pace- before taking a very very heavy fall. They have clearly given him time and he doesn’t have many miles on the, is well handicapped and race conditions look fine. That Chepstow 3rd a couple of runs back was decent enough and an indication that there is some ability there. He is a hold up horse and they may potter him around to get his confidence back. A big run from him wouldn’t be out of the question though, the stable is in decent enough form, and I may have a ‘just in case’ bet on him. (in part as I backed him LTO also) (another Duke of Firenze maybe!)
The rest have enough questions to answer for me. Cocktails at Dawn has stamina questions and I don’t want to take a chance on that at single figure odds. He may relish it, clearly has ability, trainer in form etc. But, he is on a high enough mark now and could be in better form. He will like the ground though and if he does stay may not be far away. There will be no hiding place here though. Kruzhilinin’s jumping can be iffy, he is now 0/5,0p Aintree (includes national fences runs),0/5,0p OR 141+ and 0/11,2 places in races with 12+ runners. His jumping could be put to the test in this race, surrounded by others, and it found him out a bit at Cheltenham. He clearly has ability but is on a high enough mark and is being asked to do a few things he has yet to do. At his price, happy to take him on, on that basis. Kie has stamina questions, the last chase he won was very weak and hasn’t produced much of note, and he is 0/7,0 places in C2. 0/4,0p OR141+ – not for me today. Cue, emphatic, stamina laden victory!
Loose Chips is a fine old horse but he won’t be able to dominate here I don’t think – albeit I thought that the last day. But he is now 0/12, 3 places left handed in career and 0/5,0 places at C2. The last race really was the time to catch him and I am still kicking myself for dismissing him too easily given he had everything in his favour- mainly RH/C3, and we backed him the time before. Idiot. Anyway, he has some questions now but may give it a bold go from the front- or try too at least. No Noel either, and he knows him so well. Tom George’s charge has enough to prove including well being, liking for a sound surface and stamina. Class question also and 0/4,1 p OR 131+. Bucking The Trend looks progressive, I think, is a prominent racer (he may want to lead also) but he looks best the other way also. 0/5,0 places LH chasing. So, that would be a concern. He is up in the weights and I am not sure as to the strength of that last race given the two that chased him home – and Kilbree Kid only ran OK NTO at Wincanton. Presneting Junior is still 6lb abive his last winning mark and the trainer is a bit cold – 0.8,0 places last 14 days and 0/15 last 30 days. He does tick plenty of profile boxes but am unsure whether he looks ready to take advantage of race conditions. I would hope others are a tad better treated than him in here, but a better run wouldn’t shock me totally. Deadly Sting is unexposed and we know what that means – he can never be truly discounted – well i suppose no horse can ever be. He will need to step up here on what he has done before and this could come as a shock against experienced rivals. A little bit to prove and the trainer is now 0/16,0 places with runners here. Small sample that he will correct at some point no doubt. I would be disappointed if he proved to be best on the day in this race.
So, that’s the lot. I don’t think I have missed anything and am happy with why I am not on the others at the odds etc etc. There are a couple where improved runs would not totally surprise of course. The pace should set up for both of these – Loose Chips/Mr Moonshine/Bucking The Trend all like to front run – Cocktails At Dawn is usually handy but maybe held up for stamina. Kruzhlinin can be up there also. I don’t think they will hang around and this should be a true test. There is a chance Al Co hates the headgear but the way he responded to it two starts ago indicates it should be fine and if he is travelling well over the first couple he won’t be far away come the end.
5.25 Aint – Gold Chain – UP
Varian Fillies (16/1<)
3.30 York – Aljuljalah – 2nd 9/1
A King Flat (16/1<)
4.40 York: Top Tug – 3rd
4.50 Newb: Primitivo WON 13/2/ Rainbow Dreamer 3rd
5.40 York: Master Blueyes WON 10/1
TTP MAIN SYSTEM BETS
3.10 Newb – Desert Force DNQ / Francisco (both 6/1<) DNQ
4.40 York – Chancery DNQ/ Fattsota (9/1<) DNQ
4.50 Newb -Snan (6/1<) DNQ
9.00 Ham – Little Belter (any odds) 3rd
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
Nothing today. Appears a lot above and in the comments already. It must be the most profitable online comments section in racing! 🙂