Arthurs Secret (hncp h) UP (well backed,also R4,looked one paced,headgear/good ground may be excuse,not sure. Travelled well for the whole)
NOTE: Trainer in form, 3/9,5 places in the last 14 days. This one makes stable debut having run a good race for his old trainer a few starts ago. He is a previous CD winner here in a maiden hurdle and this is only the 8th hurdle start of his life. 7s/8/1 looks a decent stab, maybe EW, to my eye. This step up may help and at the prices I certainly won’t be saying anything to put you off considering him. His usual headgear is removed and it remains to be seen whet effect that has. He used to run well without it. Could be that he feels liberated having had some sort of headgear on for a while, or it means he doesn’t run his race. The price allows a chance in context of this race I think but you may disagree.
Royal McNab (hncp c) UP
NOTE: trainer 1/7,2 places last 14 days, going ok enough. twice a course winner he is only 1lb above his highest mark – that won’t be reason he loses for me, more so that something may have more up their sleave. The niggle has to be the 99 days off- he is now 0/7,0 places after breaks of 60+ days. The trainer is ‘only’ 1/24 with handicap chasers returning after 60+ days also. The trainer is 1/72 ALL runners returning 60+ days off. Having said that, the horse hasn’t returned in ideal conditions really/been a price where he has been expected to go well. Him and Prince Khurram should be right up the front- they could cut each other’s throats but hopefully they are sensible. From memory he isn’t a sulker if he doesn’t lead. Clearly all race conditions are fine.
Quito Du Tresor (micro, distance) UP
NOTE: Russell has the touch of the ‘jonjos’ about her string- inconsistent. 1/27,7 places last 14 days. The horse is interesting here,albeit he is ageing a bit. You would think younger legs would have him but there is enough in the book, in the context of his price, to want to look him for me. He is 2/9,3 places in C3,good ground, 20f handicap chases. He has course form also and is a CD winner. In Jan this year he came 8l third off 115. He runs off 99 here with the jockey claim. He also has an ok record after a break as well. Inexperienced jockey up top also. No forlorn hope for me at a price.
Drums of War (NHF trainer) UP*
*well that was exciting to watch for any backers, camera angle made it tricky but thought he was coming there to take it up at some point. Not to be, may have just needed run in end. He will be a chaser in making one day. Winner did it as market said he might.
NOTE: C Grant is in great form, 3/11,6 places in last 14 days. He has only run 8 NHF horses here but 2 have won and has had 2 winners in last 2 years on first career start. There is a bit of speed in this ones breeding if it turns into a sprint and Hughes is in the sadle. 8/1 seems interesting enough given all of that. Market may well guide.
Minella On Line (hncp c) NR
NOTE: Sherwood 0/11,3places in last 30 days. This one is a new recruit to the yard and he is 2/11,5 places with such runners last 2 years. Sherwood can get them ready after a break if desired, 11/72,24 places all handicap chasers 60+ days last 5 years. This one has run ok fresh in the past. Horse 0/9,3 places over fences. With types like this – trainer change- anything can be possible. Seems well enough fancied and if improving for change of scenery is lightly enough raced to improve past old form at some point.
Generous Ransom (micro – class) UP 6/5
NOTE: Hobbs yet to be firing on all cylinders but respectable enough I suppose, 5/34,14 places last 14 days- place stats decent. Also a ‘trainer change’ runner as with the one above, Hobbs 6/24,12 places with such runners in last 2 years. IF he could refind any of his old form he would be very very well handicapped. Has been well found at 11/8 and he won’t carry my money on price alone. A concern if this is quick ground as best form has been with some cut to my eye. But, market suggest connections are confident. If he falters, Sherwood’s could be the one to take the prize.
Peter The Majo Man (hncp h) WON 2/1>13/8 *
*yep my judgement at around that end of market can be off sometimes but I just dont like backing horses under 7/2 generally really- he won that like a 1/2 shot in the end, making 2/1 look like quite good value! He is a massive horse, would think a decent chaser in time.
NOTE: trainer in good form, 7/31,11 places last 14 days. He is ‘only’ 4/45 with those on handicap debut last 2 years. Looks to have a decent chance but at around 2/1, 15/8 is short enough for my own tastes. The ‘value’ may be in…
Barman (micro – age) UP
NOTE: Henderson 2/17,7 places last 14 days. He may not have been good enough for his last run, and was keen throughout that eventually telling I think. If you ignored that run and looked at his last run, you couldn’t confidently rule him out could you. Looks an interesting little contest.
Cristal De Sienne (NHF trainer) 2nd 5/1
NOTE: Trainer in form, 4/13,4 places last 14 days. He is 4/18,7 places with horses having first career start for him. Looks an open enough race, money seems to be for the Hendo hotpot. Market usually a useful guide in this race but this one is 6/1. The stats behind him are small numbers, 2/2 in bumpers here, but they may improve over time.
Tjongejonge (micro- horse runs 90 days,0) WON 5/1>11/4
NOTE: Longsdon may be starting to go quite, not sure… 2/26,9 places last 14 days, albeit a chunk still clearly running well. Horse is very lightly raced and has his first chase start here. Looks a weak enough race and 5s may be fair. Fav won for us LTO having defied a fairly big drift- he has stamina to prove,albeit only ran over this kind of trip once. He could be vulnerable if not staying and/or not taking to the blinkers second time up. He could bolt up though.
NOTE: What with various course re-measurements and changes to where they start at certain tracks/codes it means some of the micro angle ‘distance stats’ can leave me scratching my head. The 1.50 MUSS- Tap Night runs for Russell, whose micro distance stat is over 20-20.5f. That race is a fair bit short of 20f, unlike Quito Du Tresor whose race distance is nearly 20f, but still a few yards short. I have put him as a qualifier, and have left Tap Night off. That doesn’t mean he may not have a chance of course, but that note is for info.
Well all of these look like they are worth some interest and it feels like it could be a great day if one or 2 go in, or a very poor one if none of them do! It is then simply a subjective judgement of price/value and for what that is worth I will be leaving…
Generous Ransom – could hack up here but 11/8, 13/8 is too short for me. He has had a wind op and looks to have a solid chance. But, the ground may be lively enough, that wind op may not work, he may not be 100% tuned up and Hobbs may not be able to spark him into more life. One to just watch, and I will be hoping Sherwood’s can run a good race.
Peter The Majo Man- at 2s is short enough for me but clearly he could win well also. The trainer’s record with handicap debutants could be better though and at that price I was happy to leave. I backed Barman last night at 9/2 and he will do for me.
The rest I have had some interest in- Royal McNab is more of a ‘saver’ for me- I am quite perturbed by those ‘days rest’ stats for both him and his trainer. His trainer’s horses have been needing the run. IF he is 100% he will make 7/2 look decent but in that fitness context I think that is short enough. I have a little on, but I have a bit more on the Russell horse who despite his ageing years looked worthy of some support to my eyes at 9/1.
We shall see how they all get on! 1 or 2 of Generous/Peter/RM may go in but certainly the former are not prices I like to play at. Small ‘muggy’ double maybe, albeit they never go well for me!!
Good luck with whatever you back today,