July Trainers...I have failed to find any trainers to follow in handicaps this month. I have some loose rules – mainly an average of 5 winners per season over the last 3 seasons, an average of +10 points SP per season and their starter set of data to have a positive AE. There were a few who were close to satisfying those criteria but I couldn’t find a ‘way in’. Mark Johnston does well but fires too many bullets for my liking – averaging around 4 bets per day.
So, nothing for July.
4.50 Newton Abbot
Dusk Till Dawn – 1.5 points win – 5/1 (general) *
*well that was worth waiting all day for. That was over rather early, never traveled at all. Very strange. No excuse. He won the last day tracking pace for a time before taking it up, and traveled tracking pace at Towcester, so I wont say he sulked for not leading. For whatever reason he just didn’t want to race today. Frustrating. Didn’t see that coming, clearly. Well done to the old boy, winning two runs after he was tipped on here. 9/2 a decent enough price in the end. On we go.
This one is touching 11/2 in places as I write and a drift never makes one feel totally comfortable – but I suspect it may be due to money for the other two and it is still early in the day, albeit were he to go off bigger than this I would be slightly concerned. Having said that, when looking through this, I thought he should be favourite and I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him arond the 7/2 mark- making the 5s to me look a tad generous.
Why? – Well two starts ago he won his first chase over course and distance on decent ground, which it looks like he needs. He won that fairly well to my eye and looked to have a bit in hand come the finish. He raced prominently for a while before making most for the rest of the race. His jumping was solid and he did everything asked of him. This is only his 4th chase start and there will be more to come. I am not 100% sure what happened LTO- maybe he returned too quickly after 6 day, maybe didn’t like the track or maybe didn’t like the ground – it was officially good I think, but having watched the video it looked a bit wet and I suspect there was a bit of cut in it. In any case, he didn’t run badly, responding to Scu up the straight and plugging on well enough for third. Maybe he just couldn’t pick up in the ground.
The one niggle is possibly Pipe’s recent form – 1/21 last 14 days – but then having looked at his recent runners quite a few have gone off 10/1+ and there are enough placed horses/those running well for me not to be put off. I also thought maybe he just responded to the 1st time blinkers for his win – but having watched the Towcester race – he does respond and was trying his best, so I expect they will continue to work.
PACE- well him and Strumble Head look to be the two who like to get on with it and his younger legs may prevail in that battle. Ideally he gets an easy enough lead, can get into a rhythm and can kick and get away on this firmer surface, turning for home. He should be in the right place to pounce. As you know in general I like prominent racers, even more so over fences, and even more so at a track like this. You need a lot to go right here as a hold up horse and I wouldn’t be sure that the selection, or Strumble Head, will come back to the field- which means those in behind will have to go faster, and jump at a faster pace- which can lead to errors. (if those up top get the fractions right) He should be in the prime spot, no excuses.
So, I am asking for a repeat of that run two starts ago. It wasn’t the strongest race but two have since come out and won, and he had Railway Storm beaten well enough. He could do no more than was asked of him and is entitled to still be improving. If he does repeat that run, or improve on it, I don’t think he is a 5/1 shot, but we shall see!
Of the rest…
This feels like it is between the top three. Strumble Head is just getting on and I wanted to go with the more unexposed profile, the one still open to improvement. He is running well enough and is well handicapped on old form. But, he is 11 and open to attack from younger legs, as happened the last day. He is 0/3,1 place at the track and his chase run here, albeit in C3, wasnt the best – that was some time ago though. He is also 0/3,0 places with this jockey on top. A repeat of that last run may be good enough – but I would like to think one of the other two may have too much. In any case, at 7/2, he wasn’t a bet given the above.
Trafficker – well he would have a chance but given recent form, and a proven liking for CD and stamina assured, I went for the Pipe horse, given the lack of disparity in price. Were this one 8s or bigger I may have been tempted. BUT, his run LTO, when fancied, was laboured. (was after a break though,maybe he did need it) And he is usually a hold up horse. He can also be a scratchy jumper- but entitled to get better. If my reading of the race is correct his jumping should be put under pressure in the last 1/2 mile here – if he is held up, as he will need to close. Albeit these fences are not the stiffest. This is only his 7th chase start, and he does know how to win. The trainer is also in form. So, i can see why there is a line of blue on oddschecker as I write – and if there was a ‘saver horse’, this one is probably it. The headgear is back on but he didn’t respond to it the last time he wore it. Given he was a similar price to the selection, i was happy to go with the other. I won’t fall off my chair if he wins though.
Of the rest…Boyfromnowhere has just been taken out as I write – so a R4 on its way- i wondered whether the ground was too lively for him – 0/4,1 p good or better in handicaps, his only handicap win on heavy. Free of Charge needs the headgear to work. There is ability somewhere – he won a hurdle- but hasn’t shown anything of note over fences for me. He is this price because of connections- which may be fair enough given who they are. But, he needs to step up. He is still unexposed over fences and is entitled to at some point but the top three have been there and done it, and two of those are also unexposed. All about the blinkers I think and he wasn’t a big enough price to tempt me. Hobbs only 1/19 with handicap chasers here in last 730 days as well. (Pipe 2/8,3 places)
Tara Road is interesting – a new trip. There is latent ability there somewhere, and a touch of class, relatively speaking, but he doesn’t show it very often. He looks better when the mud is flying and has stamina to prove. 0/4,0 p 2m6f-3m all runs to date. It looks like they are just trying different things now and that last run was laboured. Something to prove, but not a shock winner. But not the profile I can find myself backing at a single figure price. The handicapper keeps relenting mind and at some point he will just dot up.
I cant’t have the other four, for one reason or another. If the selection runs his race I can’t see why Railway Storm would finish ahead of him. Master R has ground questions, and form questions. Detank has stamina questions under rules but has been going ok in points and ran ok LTO back under rules- but this is stronger. The jockey also jumps ship. Fredo isn’t getting any younger and looks out of form. I can’t have him.
So, this looks an interesting little contest. If the Pipe horse runs his race then he won’t be far away and he won’t run like a 5/1 shot for me. Time will tell…
Meehan Maidens (any odds)
3.25 Sand: Glendun
TTP: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEM BETS
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST