NOTE: I should clarify after mentioning a few things about the future of the blog in last couple of days , and a comment just posted on yesterday’s that I am about to respond to- that the majority of the content on this blog WILL remain free at the point of use.
I have no intention or desire to charge for large chunks – even if I wanted to I don’t think there is a market for that in any case. It goes against the ethos. This started out as a free blog and for the most part will remain that way. Any future ‘members club’ is 1. about any recognition of how you may engage/enjoy the blog, but also about added benefits – that some will want/like/enjoy, many will not and will wish to continue as they do now. The other part is also just an ability to block off the odd weekend or big race day for a small charge of £3. I can regulate that. There is no weekend/race day since the start of May, that I would have charged for, had I been able to. For a few of reasons – mainly performance related! (I mean tips are around -12 points since start of March)
As ever I try and keep you informed with where I am at. Always open, always transparent. Some don’t like it, but if you try and please all the people all the time, you end up pleasing no one I think. What the blog is about, and my approach, is quite clear i think. Some like it, many don’t. And, you don’t have to read it. But, content wise, it won’t really be changing.
Butlergrove King – 1 point win – 8/1 (general) * UP
*i am sat here still scratching my head at how that race played out. The horse who likes to bowl along taken back – the horse recently held up taken to the front,and the the one who had to prove he stayed, doing it well. The winner was well handicapped and is better than a C4 animal at his best,trainer was in form,TJC good here, and has won 2m5f, just those extra couple furlongs he had some questions over. He not only looked like the winner! Strange ride on the selection, as never really tried to get to the front. Hasn’t run his race – either a) hasn’t liked being surrounded, b) ground got to him but not comfortable using that as an excuse really c) a couple of hard enough races have caught up, but thought break long enough or D) no reason, he is an animal, had an off day, one of those things. That was tame, and disappointing. Hopefully the Williams horse can bring some cheer!
This consistent try hard has been running well recently and everything looks set here for another bold run. A repeat of either of his last two runs is going to see him in the mix here and at 8s I thought he looked the bet in the race.
He is 2/9,6 places chasing and it is possible we may not have seen the best of him yet over fences. He is in form, stays further, will relish conditions, will like the ground and looks sure to give it a good go from the front. His last two runs have been decent. At Fontwell the hill may have found him out or he was caught by one with just a bit more toe in the closing stages – he was nailed just on the line. And that race has worked out well. He came second there, the winner has since won again, and so has the 3rd, 4th and 5th. So, there was some substance there for this time of year. He also ran well at Uttoxeter and there was no shame in being beaten by Bog Sound at that track. The winner received a very good ride- mainly because the jockey waited really and let the others beat themselves up. BK couldn’t get an easy lead that day and seemed to be racing with Artic Ben for 11 fences, before he dropped away. 3 fences from home he got in a battle with another horse, and jumping the last they both gave way a bit – well Big Sound just swooped past. To his credit he picked up again and kept on, beating the 3rd, with a big gap back to the rest. He wouldn’t be winning out of turn here.
PACE is interesting – Leading/being prominent is ‘usually’ the place to be here over fences (meaning hold up horses like Benzel and Velator will have a bit more to do) and it is possible he could get an uncontested lead. Ladfromhighworth does like to be up there but this step back up in trip may mean they are happy to track the pace. For N Against was up there LTO, but that was a 4 runner race and may have been more by default. I don’t think they will gun him at fences early to keep up, but I may be wrong. Dusk Till Dawn (tipped LTO,clearly a monkey) can be up there but again it may be too hot up top and he may decide he can’t be bothered today. He may not of course. So, I hope he can dictate – and if not I hope the jockey doesn’t get into a battle – he is still learning, and has done well at the track from a few rides, and has ridden this one on the majority of his runs (2/7,5 places on him) , and hopefully he can time it right.
The step back down a furlong may help also from that last run. Then we have the trainer who can do no wrong at the moment, 3/8, 5 places in the last 14 days, 2/8, 4 places at track in handicap chases the last 730 days.
All in all this one looks the most uncomplicated horse in the race (a few thinkers in here and plenty of headgear) and 8s felt a few points too big to me. He can take a little while to warm up in the jumping stakes (and that may be what keeps him at this level) but he has never looked like falling. I hope come fence 2 or 3 he is in splendid isolation and if so he should be leading them back into the home straight. We shall see if he can hold on from there.
Of the rest…
Well, in truth this looks a decent enough race for the time of year/class. You could give chances to quite a few and really there are no ‘fall of your seat shocked if they win’ horses in here. Everything has the odd bits of form that could give them some sort of chance.
Jonjo’s charge is short enough for one who won a novice handicap chase (i do need to look at stats of LTO winners in novice handicap chases, going into a regular handicap chase) clearly they are generally weaker affairs. He is unexposed, and open to improvement, but I cant take 7/2. He is usually held up out the back and the trainer is only 1/22 in the last 14 days. He can win, he may win, clearly, but for me is opposable at that price. There will be better 7/2 shots than him around today – famous last words as he canters home! Forevermyfriend – until he proves he can stay a trip like this, winning, I can’t really touch him in these chases. Trainer on fire but he is now 0/15,5 places all runs 2m6f+ (most of those handicap chases). There will be stronger stayers in here. One day he may stay, I doubt he will be carrying my money when he does.
Velator – he has gone back up 2lb for his last run which is harsh. Last win off 118. He returned to some kind of form LTO and I would not be surprised if he built on it, but looks likely to come from the back here and I think there could be better treated ones in here. Certainly a few more with progressive looking profiles. First run at the track and top weight. A few questions but price is ok at 10s. For N Against, a bit like the fav, won a novice handicap chase LTO – it was 4 runners, and I don’t know what to read into that. The capper has been a bit harsh also. I was happy to leave him, but again not a shock if he built on it. He is unexposed…As is stablemate Dusk Till Dawn but after that last run, where I trusted him, I cant really now. A change of headgear again, his attitude is now in question, as is the strength of his win- another in a novice handicap chase. Tom Scu abandons ship and so have I.
Love The Leader doesn’t have many miles on the clock but needs to step up on previous form. Another change of headgear here, having blown the cobwebs away over hurdles the last twice. The trainer is in form but the strength of this ones chase form is in question. But, again, another where your jaw wouldn’t be on the floor were he to run a decent race. Moorlands George keeps finding one or two too good in C4 chases, all winning C5 and I think that will be the case again. He is in form and consistent, but is always beaten a few lengths at this level – or has been so far. I won’t say he definitely can’t win at this level (0/7, 4 places) but there are a few more interesting ones in here and this is hot enough. 9lb above his last win and in that race he carried 11-10, 10-13 here which is an indication of the step up in quality. Pure Poteen is interesting. I would like to think Noel had the choice and the market may guide after a break. He knows how to win and its only his 11th chase start. He stays. He was poor enough LTO and is 10lb above last win, when taking account of claims. He has a bit to do from this mark I think. Another hold up horse. A break to overcome also (has won after 123 days before though)
Bincome is another with stamina questions for me- stronger stayers in here I suspect. Trainer can do no wrong though and he knows how to win. I can’t conclusively say he cant stay, now 0/5, 1 place 2m6-2m7f. He has won at C3 and is well handicapped. He could look like the winner at one stage. Mr Mafia – i think this looks too strong and had a string of places in weak enough novice handicap chases. A lot will have to fluff lines for him to win this I think.
Does that just leave Kilbree Kid – well handicapped yes – but that’s because he is out of form. Im unsure where Brennan is – who has done all the winning on him – don’t think he is injured – maybe on holiday?- anyway – the ground was too soft LTO so you could put a line through that. But I haven’t been impressed by him when getting conditions recently – everything was fine at Ludlow and Wincanton to win, and he didn’t. He looks a bit regressive and not as good as he once was for me. They put blinkers on first time and they need to do something. Race conditions are fine but George is only 1/31 all runners here last 5 years, 0/10,1 place all runners 730 days, 0/5, 0 places handicap chases in that time. There are many more in form in here and I can’ have him in this – 10s may be ok, but he will need more than Ludlow/Wincanton runs. They will get another win from him at some point around this level. But, given all the above, this looks a decent enough race and I am happy for him to prove me wrong – which clearly on old form, he could do.
I think that is the lot, for those of you who like reading War And Peace – that is my reading of it.
*weather – I should add going is Good, good to firm in places – some possible morning showers but it is meant to clear and on current forecasts there shouldn’t be any soft near description. Selection has ran well on heavy -best form on this surface- so even if more rain than expected I won’t reach for that as an excuse, albeit it would slightly blunt his ability to poach a lead and bounce along in front.
TTP: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
(running total: +17 points)
8.30 Worcester – In On The Act – 7/1 (general) WON 13/2 (declared, a R4)
This one looks worth a go at this price. The profile on geegeez ‘IE’ was the ‘way in’. On closer inspection this one has yet to win a handicap hurdle and his form was in winning two novice hurdles, around this time last year, the second of which he was rated OR123 going into it. He is 115 here and while needing to prove it in handicaps part of me has a feeling that at some point he may hose up in one of these. He is lightly raced and clearly has some ability – good/fast ground appears to be the key. Following his second novice win he made his handicap debut in a decent summer C2 handicap hurdle and was never really in it. He then ran over a trip I don’t think he looks like staying. On his return this year he ran over too far again and on heavy. He came back after 61 days in May and wasn’t really fancied, running as if he may have needed it. They appear to have taken their time with this one. He showed much more LTO in a ladies amateur race, on rain softened ground, he was held up with a lot to do at that track. He tried to close and looked a bit one paced in the closing stages. That could have been the ground. In any case, there is every reason to think he could be ready to strike now. Moloney is back up and he usually rides this won handily- unusual for him. There are a couple of pace setters – the Twister horse and Skeltons. Finally, the trainer… 1/3 in the last 14 days and 3/12,4 places with all handicap hurdlers here in last 730 days. This experiences yet unexposed one looks interesting at 7s and if able to build on that last run, on this better ground, could out-run these odds and prove to be better than this mark. There are some showers forecast but this is firm-ish ground and at worst hopefully just takes any sting out of it. Any soft about and we could be up against it.
That is all for this section. Nothing on the flat caught the eye.
SPRINT HANDICAP TESTING ZONE
None today. A few races I could look at in more depth but one 2.5 hour race analysis/write up has done me for this morning.
Caitalinas Diamond, a previous test ‘tip’ goes at Bath again here- but she is running in a C5 -now 0/18, 1 place above C6 in handicaps. Also drawn 1. On the basis of the class record I can’t ‘tip’ her here. We all know what will happen now! It is her favoured CD and if this were C6 she would be a ‘tip’- and will be next time she drops to c6 over this CD, preferably from a wide draw, and provided she doesn’t bolt up here!