My good friend Liam has returned with a look ahead to Euro 2016. Its a light-hearted read with a few fun betting wagers dotted around. You can read this at the link below. And, if you have any footy bets you wish to share, do leave a comment…
7.35 Uttox Wicked Spice – 1 point win – 11/1 -12/1 NR
This looks a decent chase for the time of year and in truth probably one of those you should just watch – but rarely can I leave alone a race like this! This is the one that jumped out at the prices for a few reasons…
He is unexposed as a chaser and runs in a handicap chase for the first time, having had 3 novice chases where he didn’t do much – the question is whether he was ever in those to do anything, bar as an education. The first he was PU in Heavy ground and in the next he completed in his own time (rated OR127) He then had a 3 month break (rested for a good ground summer campaign maybe) and again in his last race completed in his own time.
He is a C3 winning hurdler off effectively 120 (when deducting claim) and runs off 117 here. In handicapping terms, were he to transfer that ability, he is clearly well weighted. And, as a hurdler, he did show he had ability. There is every chance he puts up a much better show on his first handicap chase.
Then there are connections. Richards has only sent 11 horses here in the last 5 years, 2 have won – indeed 2/4,3 places in the last year. His stats in handicap chases when employing Craig Nichol also caught the eye – they are 7/15,11 places together. Finally Richards couldn’t be in better form – 6/13,8 places in last 30 days, 3/7, 5 places in last two weeks. Indeed his recent formline reads… 1,2,1,6,8,1,1,11,3,1,2,5,1.(most recent this end)
This horse also gets cheekpieces for the first time which may help (not necessarily a positive but he is doing something different – they could sharpen him up and they are not as restricting as other headgear) and he is a hold up horse- usually that isn’t something I am mad keen on but there is so much pace on paper in this.
There are 6 horses who like to lead and get on with it, another who likes to press the pace. Unless the jockeys come to some sort of agreement I will be shocked if anything is able to dictate here – they could all cut each others throats, or at least go a pace on this ground that finds out a few in the jumping department.
So, hopefully you can see why I liked his chance at a double figure price. I wouldn’t have taken single odds I don’t think just because he does need to step up and there is a chance he just doesn’t like chasing. But equally, there are numerous reasons (1st time hncp chase,headgear,trainer form/track,jockey form,pace,hurdle form/ability,unexposed chaser,2nd run after break) why he may improve past the odds. I was happy to have a stab and just hope we get a run for our money. The market may well guide as to that.
Of the rest. Well, you could make a case for plenty. Creepy would have a chance maybe, and has been dropped a lot in the handicap but that’s because his form tailed off. His chase win was a small field novice where he was able to dictate – he jumped brilliantly that day – i can still picture it – but he wont get an uncontested lead here. The trainer isn’t firing on all cylinders and his last three runs were poor. A ground excuse LTO maybe, but the Wetherby run two starts before that was poor, in what looked ideal conditions. 7s was ok, but not jumping out at me for one who clearly thinks about the game sometimes and may need everything to drop right. I wouldn’t be shocked if he won, but I could say that about nearly all of them. He has won fresh before.
Brownville is effectively 13lb higher than that last win and needs to step forward again, on ground that may not suit. His best form has been with cut and he may find this happening too quickly. He may not, but that is my reading of it. He is in form, progressive, yard in form – so ticks a lot of boxes. 6s is ok.
Ever So Much has won a couple of weak races well the last twice, further improving his record when the money is down and sent off 4/1 or shorter. This will be much tougher and stamina is an unknown – but an unknown rather than an unproven. Happy to leave him at the odds but he also gets the favourable pace set up and is clearly in rude health. Butlergrove King is in form but he also likes to dominate and surely that won’t be happening. His recent form entitles him to be there abouts and the trainer is in form – but he does need to pull out more, he cant just repeat his last two runs.
I backed Double Silver LTO in what looked a perfect opportunity – she was awful, plodding around, not picking up, running at one pace. Clearly I will be annoyed if she dots up here and is a tempting price. But, the trainer isn’t exactly firing and I don’t know if she will have the gears around here, on decent ground. Her jumping is still a bit iffy at times also. The cliff is in the distance with this one, and that is where it will remain. This race looks more competitive than the last two also.
I don’t think I can have the rest but the other Jonjo runner is in the ‘could be anything’ category as a chaser but his hurdles form isn’t much to shout about and was poor LTO and also has a 210 day break to overcome. Dancing Shadow hasnt done enough for me and looked to get outpaced around Exeter, which would be a concern here. He may just plug on. But he is in some sort of form- 0/5,2p as a chaser. Forever My Friend has big stamina questions – almost proving that he doesnt stay – 0/14,4 places 2m6f +. He has a decent record fresh but I would think there are stronger stayers in here- famous last words. Big Sound won this race last year and is in ok form, although had everything go right the last day – he does jump to the left so back here will help and he gets 7lb taken off – and the jockey is doing ok, I wouldn’t let her be the reason to put you off. But, he needs more I think and in any case 6s looks fair, rather than over generous, to my ,at times questionable, value eye. Artic Ben is 12, I will applaud if he wins – but not in this field – but he provides yet more front running pace. Master Rajeem does best in weak races at Sedgfield albeit my gut says he may be overpriced here. But, the trainer isn’t firing and this looks much the most competitive chase he has raced in and possibly has stamina questions in a field this size, that will go quick, and that he won’t be able to dominate.
This looks sure to be a fascinating race. Hopefully it is clear the selection is travelling well early and gets into a good rhythm. He should put up a better show here all things considered and the price was just too tempting for me.
(the racing gods continue to look unfavorably on the systems,glimpses of hope with Carrs winner on Monday,the 13 losers in a row- 9 of which have come 2nd or 3rd)
Meehan Maidens (any odds)
2.20 Notts: Jimenez 3rd 4/1
Varian Fillies/Mares (25/1<)
3.05 Newb: Toumar NR
TTP MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
4.00 Nott: First Excel (any odds) UP
4.10 Newb: Black Out (6/1<) DNQ WON 20/1 (stats of 2/54,13p -18 with those over 6/1, inc 0/24 in 2014,0/5 this season before this run- albeit some TTP users may have found him given Hannon’s stats in 3yo only handicaps. Always unpleasant when they go in but they are hard to find and you cant back all his handicappers here blind and come out in front)
5.35 Nott: Little Choosey (any odds) 3rd 9/2>7/2 (awful to watch for backers, 3 furlongs of traffic,no blame on jockey there,one of those things)
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST