Well I had a pleasant Bank Holiday afternoon at the Fenland Country Fair on the outskirts of Cambridge. My enjoyment was only punctuated when I checked the sportinglife live results page at around 1.35 and 4.15. Disappointing. You have to reflect on your results. Well I do. It is the only way I can move on and learn for next time. You can share my pain or skip what follows if you wish…
I won’t go looking for excuses as there were not any to my eyes. Nothing to say about Just Isla, one of those. Solid on paper and he is getting well handicapped and does know how to win at his level – he will pop up at some point no doubt. Pair of Jacks was woeful. The horses he beat on his last start also finished out with the washing which makes me think that ‘summer form’ just wasn’t very good. Nothing was beating the Pipe horse today but even so he didn’t run very well. He made a mistake at the last when trying to creep into it and maybe that winded him/made him feel something. But, ultimately it didn’t cost him victory. You know why I wasn’t keen on the Pipe horse at 7s- he was the real unknown quantity but there were a few too many areas I was unsure on- fitness,ability as a chaser,stamina. Some positive that he was on my shortlist of three but that is as good as it got.
I have to ask in what situation/mindset could I have backed him…Well Pipe’s record with horses returning after a 60 days+ is just fine and had demonstrated some ability in novice hurdles. He was in the ‘could be anything’ category as a chaser and you know the trainer would have schooled him extensively etc- and he had yet to prove he couldn’t stay. While his family indicated a middle distance pedigree there is some stamina there. I considered all of that and made the call that 7s wasn’t overly generous for me, at the time I looked. Clearly another wrong call and he even drifted out to 17/2. What didn’t I properly consider?… Well the fact that Pipe had spent 32k on him which I read pre race but didn’t ponder for too long and more importantly the fact that he was running him in this class two (a decent enough purse) on his first start for him. Big error. Why would he do that? Well, we have our answer. He was the only ‘could be anything’ horse in the race up against a lot of exposed types- bar the selection. Oh and Pipe was also 3/12,6 places with stable newcomers in the last year. I knew that before the race also. Yep, i don’t need telling.
Well done to Chris who appears to have devised a handy little system for these non winning chasers. That is two in two days so well done to him and all of you who backed him. And he is only a HRB newbie, exciting times ahead for you Chris if that is your first proper stab at system building! 🙂
STATS/ANGLES OF INTEREST
Take A Note – 1 point win – 16/1 (general) >6/1 SP (20p R4) UP*
*well the market gave me hope and so did the first 2/3s of the race where he appeared to be travelling well enough behind the leaders. When asked there was nothing. Maybe he didn’t act on the track or more likely is just badly out of form. He was very well backed near the off and unsure why on the basis of how he ran.
This one takes a slight leap of faith but I couldn’t turn down 16s given the fact that he is well suited to these races conditions, many in this moderate enough race have some questions to answer, and the fact that he is doing a few thing differently. He drops into a class 4 handicap on turf for the first time since August 2014 and on that occasion he won easily over 7f at Sandown off 81. 4 starts ago on turf, at the back end of last year, he was rated OR90. He comes here off OR80 and is starting to be given a chance by the handicapper. George Baker now rides which also caught the eye. He has ridden the horse before in a maiden when he was an 18s shot,many years ago. He is 0/4, 2 places on the trainer’s handicappers here. The cheekpieces also replace the visor. Nothing too significant in that bar it is something different which may have a positive effect. It may not. The trainer is also ‘in form’- 2/9,4 places in the last 14 days. A repeat of a couple of runs from last season would put him close here. This season? Well he hasn’t done much at all really. It could be that he is just woefully out of form- or they have been trying to get his mark down. There haven’t been many signs of life in his three runs this season but maybe it takes him a bit longer to wind up these days. He has won before on the back of some dreadful runs, seemingly from nowhere. Having said that given some previous decent form at Kempton in similar conditions that last run is probably most concerning. It does look a moderate enough race and I suppose you could make a case for quieta few. But, having said that, all have some sort of question whether it be turf form, trip, class, handicap make or a combination of the lot.
16s just felt like a punt worth taking for me and you can overlook a bit at that price- recent form being the concern here. We shall see if he can improve on recent runs. If he is on song he may well canter away with this. It is that or a case of getting those ‘out the back of the tv binoculars’ out again.
No more today. No shortlist either.
Fahey (any odds)
3.10 Epsom – Spirit of Zeb UP
5.10 Ham – Heatongrad 2nd 12/1>6/1/ Western Presence UP
TTP: MAIN TRAINER SYSTEMS
3.10 Epsom- Highly Sprung (7/1<) UP
3.25 Ham – Magical Lasso (any odds)
4.00 Ham – Forever A Lady (any odds)
SPRINT HANDICAP TESTING ZONE
Excessable – 1 point win – 11/1 UP 10/1
Avon Breeze – 1 point win – 14/1 UP 20/1 *
*the market told the story for this one sadly. Excessable just didn’t run any sort of race. I don’t know if he got upset before the race or what but he never traveled, having drifted out a bit. Avon Breeze went on a longer walk in the market and didn’t do too much really.
Oh my this is a puzzle and a half but after staring at it for a good amount of time I decided to go with these horses who looked a shade on the big side to me. Since posting Excessable’s price has come in which is some sort of positive I hope…
Excessable… well I have gone for one prominent racer drawn near the stands rail, where the stalls will be and one drawn low who normally comes from further back. Excessable is just young, still unexposed and in form. He won over CD two starts ago and ran ok at York LTO in a hot enough race. While he didn’t look the winner before getting no sort of run he was eased once his chance had gone and just coasted home in his own time. I am hoping they ride him forward here and he can be in the box seat for the duration of the race. I thought at 11s he looked interesting given that his profile is different from many in here.
Avon Breeze – is a bit more of a stab but a few things caught my eye. Nathan Evans has been booked to ride which may or may not be significant but I found it of some interest and with his claim she is back below her winning mark over 6f here earlier in the season. She has some very good runs to her name and if she repeated a few of them she would be in the mix here. Her last win was in cheekpieces and they return for the first time since and she also gets the hood. So, a couple of changes there from recent runs. Looking through her form I also found it interesting that on a couple occasions after lengthy absences she has ran well on the next start (won + neck 2nd). She had 90 days off before her last start and didn’t do too much. Maybe that will put her right for this. The draw is a concern as all the action may happen down the nearside. Stanghow is a front runner drawn in 5 and it may depend on what he does. I assume he would head to the far side and that may help those over there- or they will all try and get over to the near side with many being left in the middle of the track. A bit of an unknown. I suspect the latter but we shall see. Either way Nathan may ride her more aggressively if breaking on terms and she has the ability to take this. She is arguably better over 6f- that can be said about a few in here- but has decent enough form at 5f and hopefully they go quite hard up top.
Of the rest…well a case can be made for plenty. Silvanus was tipped LTO when getting no run combined with a questionable effort from the saddle. He is clearly in good form and while 11 he could take this. But, he was short enough for me when looking. Money has come. He may not be far away. Pipers Note- looks better over 6f for me and that was enough to put me off at 6s. But, he has a touch of class and does very well when dropping into this grade. The draw may be a problem for him though as well. He will come hard and late I imagine. Shipyard has looked better over 6f and isn’t doing much differently here from previous runs. He is running well but his mark isn’t moving. He is consistent and that may be enough for him to be in the mix. Imtiyaaz has a chance but 5s seemed short enough for me in this race. This looks like an afterthought but the trainer is in fine form and he is very well drawn. He may try and make all against the rail. Not a shock winner but not a 5/1 shot I am eager to back. (probably bolt up now!) The race feels too open to be taking a ‘short’ price for me. Stanghow has a class question but 18s does look on the large side. He should try and lead also but again may have a tricky draw. This is deeper than the last race and he needs to progress again. Money is coming for Ritas Boy which is interesting. He has a few questions for me in these conditions and doesn’t win very often. But he is only 4. Adams Ale has a class question now also- 0/12,6 p in C3. Maybe he will drop in at some point and he has been running ok. I wasn’t convinced albeit he has a massive speed figure in here which did catch the eye. He needs to step up on recent runs and I don’t know why he would. Lexington Place will need his customary luck and so far has failed to do it in races with a decent field size. The other three have questions now also.
So,an open race, and one where I wan’t a decent price. Hopefully these two can out-run their odds and one of them can get the job done.
TRAINERS IN FORM