Galway: I will be spending some of Sunday trying to find any trainer micro systems that may be worth following. I am yet to look but as it starts on Monday I had better hurry up. Goodwood notes are coming along and these will be ready by Monday afternoon with any luck.
BEST BOY BARNEY – 1 point win – 9/1 (Bet365/WH) 17/2 (PP) 8/1 (general) UP*
*Ah, well who knows what the ground is at Uttoxeter but in all honesty, given he was only 0/4,1 place on soft/good to soft, given everything else I would have still taken the chance at 9s I think. (given didn’t think there would be that much soft in it) Backed into 4/1 he was never in it. Unlike the last race he didn’t have the pace to get up there- he tried, but the jockey soon accepted it and tucked in. He never looked that happy, never jumped fluently, and that was that. I won’t give up on him yet- next time on proper fast ground and an easy lead assured (clearly I thought he would be able to be up there here). Still, at least the shortlist of two found the winner and hopefully some may have had a saver. -1 point for the results though.
Well I am really looking forward to this old boy running around here. Only two handicap chase starts ago he was running off 129 – in autumn last year, and today he comes here off 107. In April last year he dominated/destroyed a C3 field around Kemtpon – a field of winter jumpers. This is a decent horse and unlike Firm Order who had some well being questions (turns out ground was good to firm at Worcester when he ran,and I don’t think he enjoyed it one bit,I think that’s the excuse I will use! 🙂 ) I don’t think this one does as much. He has spent some time hunter chasing but in three runs hasn’t had ideal conditions – namely softening ground and/or not far enough. That run at Uttoxeter was decent, considering the trip was maybe on the short side, and he led for a long way, unable to quicken when challenged in the last couple of furlongs. His last run, back in a regular handicap chase, was better than it appears on paper. Firstly it was his first run for 55 days and it may have blown some cobwebs away. Secondly he was absolutely killed trying to get the lead for me. He was hustled, bustled and ridden to get o the front for a good furlong plus- that would have taken energy out of him. He also didn’t get an easy lead,but kept trying to force it. AS they turned in those exertions took their toll. There was also some rain about and good to soft is ok, but far from ideal. Any soft is far from ideal for him. He is also now 0/3, 0 places in handicap chases at Worcester and maybe just doesn’t like the place.
I think he still retains ability but this race will put that to the test. He relished quick ground and being able to lead/race prominently. I think he should be able to do that here – him and Big Sound are the two who like to get on with it and there are a couple who may be ridden to get the trip (Longsdons and Jonjos) I actually think these two could dominate this race all the way round and I may put on a ‘fun’ forecast for Big Sound to beat BBB. Provided they don’t kill each other up top -and Big Sound’s Jockey has shown she is happy to take a lead – everything else ‘could’ struggle to get into this.
So, all conditions are fine and this is much calmer waters. It is only his 23rd chase start as well, for a 10 year old, and he could have more miles on the clock for his age. Trainer and jockey are in decent form, the former 2/8, 4 places in the last 2 weeks. BBB is also 2/4, 3 places in chases at the track, 1/2 over course and distance. He is a great jumper at his best and he stays. There are the possibility of some showers, and hopefully on what is good to firm ground in places it won’t go soft. Hopefully they stay away but 9s allows that risk to be taken. I think, esp after the non runners (all 3 of whom were high up in my thinking) this is a ridiculous to my eye. IF he can poach an easy lead early, we could have some fun here.
Well Big Sound is priced up accordingly and 3/1 may still be ok actually, in the context of this race. With the claim this mark is fine – he has own off 108 around here. That win two starts ago was decent – he was well ridden there and I think he benefited from a pace burn up – he somewhat picked up the pieces having decided to sit off the scorching pace that day. The second, who we backed NTO, didn’t do much for the form at Worc. But, he is decent around here. He is in form (hurdles run was fine but will be much better back over fences), jumps well, handles conditions, and stays. Along with the selection, I think they are the only two in the race you can say that about.
I cannot have Foundation Man and Hepijeu at their prices given the stamina questions they have. I can’t see much, on form, and on breeding, which screams they will stay, esp for the latter. Interestingly Johnson is now 0/21, 9 places on Longsdon handicap chases in last 730 days. No reason not to back him, clearly, but interesting. He is flat bred and I am struggling to see him stay this. Foundation Man may have more stamina but has a bit to prove. May be a horse without a trip – he can get outpaced over 20f, but doesn’t quite look to stay further. I am happy for either to beat me, esp Foundation Man who 4s seems skinning enough, given that major question. He hasn’t had many goes at the trip, and this is calmer waters than when he has tried, but I would like to see him go an do it before he carries my money. The others have a few too many questions to answer for me. The Scudamore horse won weak ‘northern’ chases for previous trainer and ran flat LTO. He will need more and the trainer is now 0/27 here. Pena Dorada – usually runs well around Cartmel so that last run is more alarming. It wasnt great. Solway Legend has something to prove after that last run in ideal conditions and is 0/4, 1 p in ‘todays conditions’ chase,distance,ground,class. Distracted is interesting and could come on from that last run – but she dropped out a bit too tamely for my liking there and needs to take a big step forward. She may try and push the pace also, but I am unsure if in the form to hold it for too long. Her best form also in deeper ground. Some market support, for a traine in form, would make me take more note.
So, that’s it. Hopefully the rain stays away and BBB can lead them all a merry dance. And if he doesn’t he will come second to Big Sound.
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
None today. Have’t looked, and there is enough going on etc.
TTP: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
3.25 Ponte: Initwin (9/1<)
3.50 Carl: Toffee Apple (15/2<)
4.35 Ponte: Evangelical (9/1<)
5.30 Carl: War Department (15/2<)
SPRINT HANDICAP TESTING ZONE
(remember this is a test section. Running total … 4/19, 5 places… +33.5 point)
Reputation – 1.5 points win – 6/1 (general) 3rd (unlucky but slow away,held up,and paid price. I wont complain…)
Mishaal – 1.5 points win – 7/1 (general 4 firms) WON 4/1 SP. (led all the way, lovely) (+10.5 points on race)
(a change in staking given the odds – I feel a bit dirty betting EW under 8/1, when no 1/4 odds etc! Thats just me, I believe some punters love an EW bet at all rates down to 7/2. Not me.)
These two look interesting for me, on a pace/draw front and on a jockey booking front. They also represent the only two trainers ‘in form’ as measured by geegeez.
Reputation – is lightly enough raced and was good enough to win a York maiden over this trip. Only 3 this is his 10th flat start. Last time, in the first time visor, they raced him more prominently and he led for some way, over 7f. With SDS booked, and in trap 3, I just wonder whether they will try and make all over this stiff 6f. That is what I hope they do anyway. Hopefully he has the gate speed/early speed and he can get out and lead. The trainer is in form, and as I say the booking of SDS caught the eye. He is still in a ‘could be anything’ category and maybe this drop down to 6f will suit. Two things different – jockey booking/drop in trip – he is also versatile ground wise it would seem (could be some showers here also). This is a calmer race than some of those he has competed in.
Mishaal – another interesting one who is coming down the weights. He is clearly better on the all-weather but he has been running well and given some past exploits over further I wondered whether this stiffer 6f would suit. Tudhope is on for only the second time and placed on him when last riding – 17 runs ago. He has gone close in C2s on the all weather, and ran well in the Ayr Bronze cup. He wasn’t well positioned LTO for a race where the leader stayed all the way, and he ran well before that also at Donny in a big furlong handicap. I should think they will try and make plenty of use of him here and hopefully these two can be up there all the way – and we shall see which one can hold on!!
At the prices they looked most interesting. I can see why there have been nibbles for Yeeoow and a big run would not shock – 1/4, 4 places at the track – he clearly likes it here. He is very well handicapped and even more so with the claim. But, he just seems a bit too out of sorts for me – going with sprinters in form has worked well recently and for now I will stick with that formular. Both also happen to have the best geegeez speed ratings in the race also.
Bajan Rebel – 1 pt EW– 10/1 (BV/Lad) 9/1 (general) 2nd 7/1 SP (10p R4) (+0.8 points on race)
Well I was drawn in thinking it was a 6f handicap but on closer inspection it is effectively 7f handicap. But, I started looking at it so I will put this one up. 9s/10s seems awfully big to me for a horse who has been in superb form all season. He just continues to run well – esp over 7-8 furlongs on stiff tracks. He is 0/5, 3 places at the track, won’t mind the cut in the ground or what the weather does, and is a prominent racer. From stall 1 he could well get out and try to dictate here. Many of these in here have questions over their recent form, some with fitness questions also. There are a few lightly raced ones in here and War Department is being well backed – first run for Dalgleish. He may well find the key and improve it but is getting short enough. The Ryan horse is also being backed – he is running well but needs more- but is only 3. Bajan Rebel just looks solid, and the obvious one at the prices. Maybe he is too obvious but unlike a lot in here, I am confident I will get some sort of run for my ‘money’. It could be that the capper has him but I don’t think that is conclusive and he went close enough in a C4 recently also.
That is all for this section.
TRAINERS IN FORM
Day off for this section today.