A Good Skin – 1.5 point win – 7/1 (general) UP
Buckhorn Timothy – 1 point win – 12/1 (general) UP*
Yep, much like Carlisle the other day a howler of a race for me. Not sure if more firm in that ground than I thought, BT never in it, couldn’t go pace, AGS travelled well but couldn’t pick up – maybe too sharp a test on what was good to firm it seems. Disappointed with that.
Antony summed up my troubles really. Poor. The historical stats, some concerns over his jumping around here, inexperience and concern over stamina were enough to dissuade me. And a niggle as to whether he wanted cut also. When you get one that wrong you have to ask questions, albeit not a shock winner. One of those. Struggling. Junction Fourteen ran a lot better than expected as well.
Still, at least the TTP stats are doing well, 2 x 12/1 winners on the Ascot card so far- I should just stick to the stats and cut out my opinion at the moment! 🙂
Why these two?
Well, I am going to do something novel which in theory should/and has stood me in good stead in the chasing game. As our most popular Prime Minister from the 90s would say (in terms of no. votes cast- no i couldn’t believe it either) its ‘back to basics’… And to put it in simple terms I am going with two horses who have no problem with good ground, who both stay well, have profiles which suggest there could be more to come over fences…and wait for it, that rarest of things in these parts- they are both fit. Fitness will not be the reason they lose.
Now clearly, something that hasn’t run beyond 21f before and/or who is returning after a break, or who looks like a non stayer, will clearly leave me crying into my mid afternoon cup of tea. But, try as I might, I can’t get away from those two at the prices.
A Good Skin- now my race reading/jockey watching could be improved but I have watched that last race at Chepstow twice now and what a strange ride this one received. He ran a cracker. I think he could have won had he wanted to- but, that was a 22k pot, this is 56k, and why ruin his mark! 🙂 I urge any of you to watch that last race – two things caught my eye- well in general I don’t think Heskin let him go as quick/hit full speed, when the horses wanted to. As they turn for home I am sure he pulls him back a bit, maybe aware of just how well he is going. The next odd move is before the last- someone tell me what he was doing. NOW, he could have thought he was approaching the fence too quickly but he stopped riding, and tried to duck him behind Buckhorn Timothy, just as he was really flying. He jumped impeccably under pressure and ran well into 3rd. I could be seeing things but I thought it looked odd- maybe I am seeing what I want to see.
Anyway, ignoring that, this one hasn’t done much wrong over fences and he could come on for the run. He has won RH, he is 2/11,8 places over fences and rarely runs a bad race in a chase. The ground looks ideal for him. He has big field form in decent races. I hope they don’t hold him up right out the back as there isn’t loads of pace here on paper- Mid div will be fine and I liked how he moved effortlessly through that race at Chepstow. I think if he has a clear round he will go very close to winning this. He will be grinding away up this home straight when plenty of the non stayers in here have had enough (i have doubts about stamina for 5 of them, plus a couple more who have it to prove- there are 7 questionable stayers in this race) Anyway, he looks a good bet to my dodgy eyes. I will be saddened if he doesn’t run a good race.
Buckhorn Timothy- well I can’t back A Good Skin and not back this one because he was ahead of him the last day and he is 12s here. He could come on for the run, Tizzard is in form and I reckon Coleman could have ridden 2 or 3 in here- he picks him. He is lightly raced over fences and that last run was his best over fences. He could come on for it and it proved 3m and decent ground is fine. He seems versatile. He also races prominently which could be no bad thing in this race if my reading of the pace is correct. He won’t have an excuse on that front. His jumping took a while to warm up the last day – a couple of fences- hopefully he can get into a rhythm early.
A word on that Chepstow race also- horses that ran there LTO are 2/16,6 places in this race, last 10 years. That was a decent contest also. The winner was an unexposed one from the Curtis yard who was able to lead all the way really and dictate. The Mulholland horse ran well for a long way and came out and won on Friday- for one of the micros on the blog- beating Theatre Guide- that was a decent race. The Bowen horse came out and won the Durham National. There is substance to that race and the form could/has worked out well enough.
So, those two will do. I have no doubts about any of their profiles and it was about bloody time I backed something which didn’t really have some sort of question hanging over them. It may not work today but should keep ensure this long long summer slump ends at some point.
Of the rest…
Well i couldn’t get away from the trends here… in last 10 years those carrying 11-4 or more are 0/35,7 places… top 2 in the weights 0/20,3 places. Those carrying 10-2 or less are 0/25,2 places. I have used that as a guide here. I think the top two are worth taking on at the prices- clearly they have all the class and one of them could hack up-maybe they will have it between them. Tea For Two has his weight, his mark in a handicap, good ground and fitness to prove- as well as breaking that trend. SDR has his wellbeing and form to prove, his fitness and he will be hoping to improve Nicholls 0/15,6 places record in the race. He does have questions now and is a bit of a talking horse. He can clout a fence also. 3/1, 11/4 is short and he must be taken on, surely. (of course I can picture him looming up on the bridle over the last 2, I can also see him being under pressure turning for home)
Will they/wont they stay? I have stamina questions/doubts over Junction Fourteen (also a wellbeing quetion), Un Ace (also form+fitness), Killala Quay (Coleman could have ridden him I am sure,stamina to prove), Fourth Act and Workbench. Happy to leave the lot. There are stronger, proven stayers in here.
Voix D’EAU- well he is interesting and could take this but there is a stamina question based on how he has run. His breeding is a bit ‘flat’ looking also, albeit we know that can mean sod all (The Young Master) His trainer reckons he needs this trip but I decided I didn’t want to be making an educated guess this time. He has been kept to LH tracks as well for the most part. This may be what he wants, but he is single odds and happy for him to beat me. Trainer is in good form though. He may look like the winner at one stage.
Anthony is interesting – BUT- he didn’t jump very well LTO in what was a very poor race. He was chased home by Wilton Milan for goodness sake. he jumped to his left under pressure and that was on soft. This is quite a step up and quite a deep race. He is 12s but all of that, along with the weight trend, meant i was happy to leave him. He is a bit too inexperienced for a test like this. He won’t want to be jumping left here. Unexposed though.
That leaves Hadrian’s Approach who will gallop and gallop. He has form and wellbeing questions, and fitness questions. I also think the ground could be too lively for him and he could get outpaced around here. A strange jockey booking, first ride for the yard. IF they thought he was winning this 56k pot surely one of their regular pilots would be up. He may run a good race but over 29f when last seen, on good, he got outpaced at a crucial part of the race. Happy to leave him but would be nice to see him run well.
So, that’s the lot I think. I have gone what look like the ‘obvious’ ones here and I will have no excuses. One of the top two may win but at their odds, in the context of all above, I wanted to take them on. Something may relish this trip but I am yet to be convinced as to the stamina for most of these.
I think one of the selections, one of the top 2 in the weights, or the Harry Fry horse should be winning this. Those 5 would be my shortlist, with Antony lurking. (that is half the field!) If anything else wins I may turn my attention to the winter all-weather season 🙂 I joke- that definitely isn’t happening. At the prices I like my two.
Good luck whatever you back. Bar that horror show at Carlisle I have been reading the chases well enough, without any returns yet. Well, the losses are mounting up. They have generally been running well and hopefully these two can also.
Sat Trainer Jockey Combos
3.20 Weth – Menorah (14/1<) 2nd 12/1
1.55 Ascot – BallyBolley NR(DNQ on my pointers)
5.20 Ascot – Count Meribel (DNQ on my pointers)
2.45 Weth – Ballyoptic ‘Fell’ (1 run 90 days+ rest pattern. Quals on non-handicap hurdle angle also)
3.20 Weth- Blacklion UP (DNQ on my pointers)
1.55 Ascot- Crimson Ark FELL/UP (October runner positive+ 1 runor more 90 days)
3.35 Ascot – Junction Fourteen 2nd 16/1 (as above)
5.20 Ascot- Hard As A Rock UP (Oct + 1-5 career runs)
3.00 Ascot – John Constable UP (hncp hurdle + class positives)
5.30 Ayr – Vinny Gambini UP (no positives, but note if 4/1 or shorter,money a good sign)
Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio
2.35 Ayr – Cuil Rogue UP (unexp hurdlers)
3.35 Ascot – A Good Skin UP (Tom George same distance)
2.55 Newm – Tansholpan 3rd 12/1>8/1 (25/1<)
That lot will do for today I think!
Good luck with your bets…whipping up the eggs now for when SDR outclasses them all on the bride in the 3.35! A few of you seem bullish that he might and if neither of mine go in I hope that’s what he does for you backers.