Actiondancer (hncp h)
NOTE: Oliver 1/16,4 places last 30 days. Oliver is 5/12,7 places with handicap debutants last 2 years. Decent. As yet this one has done nothing. He could improve on handicap debut albeit isn’t moving up/down in distance which I like to see. With this type, and yard, I think the market may well guide. Trainer is 2/35,7 places with handicap hurdlers going off 14/1 or bigger to date. So,odd biggie goes in. But, given his ‘could be anything’ profile and fact they may have now got him fit, it may be unwise to be dogmatic as to his chance based on his form on paper. A type of profile/handicap debut stat that could leave me drowning in egg. One of those ‘just in case’ selection maybe.
Katy P (NHF) 2nd
NOTE: Hobbs 4/31,12 places last 14 days. His NHF stats here are very solid to my eye, 5/11,7 places. The kind where you may well just trust them over time. First run for yard.
Squeaky (NHF) UP
NOTE: NTD stil in form, 8/31,13 places last 14 days. While the market may guide, he has had the odd biggie in NHF races go in over the years. Not much to go on really bar the stats and trainer form.
Unify NR (all hncp + hncp c)
NOTE: horse won well at Market Rasen on Thursday so we shall see if turns up. Pretty much same conditions bar going the other way around, albeit has that Fry horse to contend with. In any case looks like being Evens at best if lines up and another I will happily sit out on price. Clear chance. Does have a stone more on back than yesterday.
Surprise Vendor (all hncps) Fell (annoying that given track position and how was travelling,suspect would have been there at end given prominence in market albeit long way from home and personally I had a tad more on him than eventual winner,still wont complain too much!)
NOTE: Trainer 0/8,2 places last 14 days. Despite his age you would have to say that there is plenty of old form, inc this year, that would have to give him a chance on a going day in this grade.
Mrs Grass (hncp h) UP (looked likely to play a role turning for home before fading,clearly just a tad out of form)
NOTE: Trainer 0/2,0 places last 14 days. Horse has form to get involved albeit I think the last 4 runs would temper some enthusiasm? Albeit can’t say she has been in great form before her previous 2 career wins. Has won at 16s and 8s so market may not be that helpful. Questions to answer though based on recent form. But has won in conditions.
Catchthemoonlight (micro class) WON 9/2>4/1
NOTE: Russell 1/26,6 places last 14 days and they continue to run a bit in and out for me. But, her micro class stats are solid here and hefty numbers as well, 12/52,21, places in all C5 handicaps here . +40 SP, 2013-, as per guide.- the type of stats you trust over time I think… Horse has been consistent which may take him a long way in this race.
Mumgo’s Debut (micro class) WON 13/2 (dodgy C5 eye indeed,stamina didn’t seem a problem there)
NOTE: Both here for Russell again, same micro. This one fell early on his last start so could this be seen as first run of season. Having said that in any case Russell’s 60+ day stats here with handicap chasers are solid, 6/23,8 places last 5 years. Would have thought this jockey had the choice of the two.
Morning Time (micro class) UP
NOTE: Russell again. All horses wins have been around 16f, 0/5,0 places at this trip could be noted. Always hard to expect a 10yo to do something new I think. Market may guide- of course if he has slowed down and is just a plodder, this kind of trip may be what he wants, some logic there, esp in low grade races There are not exactly any really young/unexposed types in here either. Jockey on horse above has ridden this one plenty recently, may be a tip in itself as to who they think has best chance.
Bescot Springs (micro class) WON 3/1
NOTE: Russell again. This one actually ran really well the last day, looking like he was coming to make a challenge- could be that the lack of fitness then caught up with him. Not impossible he builds on that here.
Toadmandowithlove (hncp h) UP
NOTE: trainer 0/16,1 place last 30 days. It may say something about the quality of this race that this one is around 4/1- he is 0/24,4 places in career to date- has been consistent last few runs. Trainer is 2/22,6 places with handicap hurdlers returning 60+ days off.
Well where to start with this little lot. Let’s start with the possible ‘clangers’- those at a price I really don’t want to be leaving I suppose- ActionDancer/Squeaky/Mrs Grasss are all 16/1+ and on the stats/profiles/old form you really can’t say none of them can win. I have had something on each of them- I trust the stats etc over time and these stats have/will find the odd biggie over time, as they have already done with Troika Steppes at 25s. As Tom expertly points out below, the tongue tie returns for Mrs Grass here and here best form is with the visor/tongue tie on. It hasn’t been on for the last few runs and if she actually ‘swallows’ her tongue when under pressure that may explain the poor form. She may just not be in form but the trainer stats are good and she will pop up again one day at a price- that may or may not be today. Only one way to find out.
Now to the rest who are generally single figure odds as I write…
Katy P – well she is experienced in this line up- maybe too experienced given she may not have that ‘could be anything factor’ in NHF races like some of these do. But 6s looks fair enough. Market may guide but Hobbs NHF stats will do fine here over time. Clearly has some sort of chance on paper.
Surprise Vendor looks to be here to run his best if the market is to be believed. 4/1, 7/2 just looks ok in the context of this race and the oppo. From the three I have backed him at 4s and Mrs Grass. I have a small ‘saver/cover’ bet on Russells who is uneasy in the market at 9/2- he is a 19 race maiden and excuses are starting to run out. Yes he is consistent but clearly doesn’t like winning. The hood is removed here after quite a few runs and that ‘could’ have a positive effect. A repeat of recent runs may put him thereabouts.
My gut (update: clearly unreliable!) feels like Russell may not have a great day here in truth but those C5 micro stats are solid. I have questions over both in the 3.30 and at this stage am leaving both I think – the ground has gone Soft at Hexham and both now have stamina questions for me, both looking like 16f horses and this will take some getting. Not conclusive on Mumgos as to trip but evidence suggests he may go backwards after the last. Morning Time has done nothing in 2 years and I am struggling to see why he would bounce into some form here, and he looks a 16f horse, not 20f. He may respond to this young jockey maybe. Brother Scott and My Idea may dominate this from the front and I would not be shocked if they both had it between them from a long way out, but we shall see.
4.00- Bescot Springs has solid claims for me, 3/1 feels ok if not a little on the short side but I think he may try and make all. The headgear changes again and he has won in blinkers. Should run a good race and looks the pick of Russell’s to my dodgy class 5 eye.
Toarmandowithlove – 5s feels short enough for one who is still yet to win after many tries, and who comes here after a lengthy break. The market may well guide here after the break. Were she 10s+ or something I would be more comfortable having a nibble.
SO, at this stage I think I am leaving Toarmandowithlove and both in the 3.30. Catchthemoonlight is also just a saver for me at that price.
There are no big price clangers in those 4 above at least, not yet anyway unless a big drift and one wins. You may decide to trust the stats but that is my reading of it anyway. The rest I am happy to have onside.