Sometimes you just have to smile don’t you. That or cry into screwed up betting slips. The 1.50 was a horror race to watch. Thankfully all horses and riders were ok, that is the main thing. But poor old Cogry- that is the best he has jumped for a while and he was lobbing along behind the front two – I am convinced that bar an accident he would have been there at the finish. But that is academic. Racing Pulse was travelling fine also, albeit one circuit to go. Such a shame that happened as we will never really know. A very unlucky incident. The winner did do it well and sadly for my loose change Warrantor couldn’t get by him at a nice 25/1, and I only put a little on the nose. It will go right for Cogry one day.
We move on…
Morney Wing – 1 point win – 12/1 | 11/1 (general) UP
Ballyheigue Bay – 1 point win – 9/1 | 8/1 (general) Fell
Finish The Story – 1/2 point win – 14/1 (general) UP
Cloudy Copper – 1/2 point win – 14/1 | 12/1 (general) UR*
*well I think I would rather forget this weekend of chasing. Fergal Mael Duin proved he stayed no problem. Aerial- well credit to Nicholls there to get a chaser back to win after 500+ days is some effort – i suppose if one trainer has that in his locker it is him- the horse was lightly raced and well handicapped – could see why some would take a chance at 12s, clearly I didn’t. The horse’s own record after lengthy breaks didn’t jump out at me either and had the odd stamina a/unknown. Morney Wing ran ok, but not good enough it seems. BB fell when leading but too far out to know and that may have happened as he was starting to tire albeit if he had stood up he may have played a role in the finish. Finish the Story was bang there over the final few jumps before seemingly running out of gas. CC UR early enough. Damn.
Well as I write it appears someone is unloading some cash on Morney Wing, or he has been tipped by someone of influence. In any case 12s is holding in 4 places, 11s in 6 or so places.
Why this motley crew… well all four made my shortlist, along with Russe Blanc- the latter may be more heart than head given what he did for us last year- in any case he may need the run, has a massive weight in a race like this where ground has gone soft, is on a career high mark and Kerry isn’t firing them in as yet – I also wonder if the Welsh National is the season’s target. He would be if he were mine and if that gets testing there, he could bowl along in front third an awful long way in that – they will want to get him in with a lowish weight.
Anyway. The other four were left on and given their prices I couldn’t decide who to leave out. In that situation, to save post race anguish, it is best having something on all of them I think.
Morney Wing… well one of only 6 in here who has had a run and could benefit from it. I have ‘long’ (well since last season) thought that these races could be the making of him and we wont be found wanting for stamina. He stays. And he is fit. That is two big boxes ticked in a race like this. Those Fakenham runs demonstrate that and it looks as though he enjoys soft. I fancied him the last day and he ran as if needed it. This race could have been the target and the trainer was so desperate to get a run in him on softer ground he sent him up to Carlisle (first runner there ever maybe) – at the time I thought that a sign he may be there to compete. As it turned out he ran well for a long way and kept plugging on for the run. Hopefully that was a pipe opener for this. In general he is consistent, is hardy enough yet still young, and the trainer is in form- 3/9,4 places the last 14 days. He also has a nice weight for a slog like this- they have had a bit of rain and it appears there is plenty of soft in the going. He usually races up there and as with all races like this if he can get into a rythm we could have some fun. He will keep plugging on up this hill. He handles Fakenham so is nippy enough for a track like this also, where they turn a fair bit. He just gallops also. It could be the perfect track for him! I thought at a double figure price he had enough going for him, and given I have been wanting him to run in such a race this season, I had to have a go.
BallyHeigueBay – It’s that run at Sandown on seasonal reapperance last year which just catches the eye. That was a better race than this and he only gave way late on, but kept going. That trip may have just stretched him and this is 2 furlongs shorter. It suggests that they can get him ready if needed and were he to repeat that run he won’t be far away here. 9s seemed fair in that context. He handles soft, the ground could be ideal with some good to soft also. And he is 2/4,3 places at the track so we know he handles that also. Hopefully he is fit here to do himself justice. If so he should be going close on what evidence we have. The form of the yard is a concern, they could be going better. I don’t think he has had a winner for an age actually- but odds of 9/1 allowed that chance. The odd one has gone ok and as we saw with Jonjo, they snap out of it eventually.
Cloudy Copper… talking of him… well the market may guide as to fitness here and it may be 1/2 point down the dran but given that a handful of his ran crackers yesterday I found him hard to ignore. If all of his yesterday had finsihed weakly like most of his had been doing, I would have probably left him. But, the run of Minella Rocco shows what he can do with a staying chaser after a lengthy break. He can get them fit if needed. His best run last year was his last and he is unexposed as a chaser- one of those. He sluices through the mud it seems and also looks an out and out stayer- one to keep an eye on moving forwards. If 100% here and ready to role he could play a role. 14s was big enough to roll the dice I thought, for 1/2 a point. If he drifts to 16s-20s we may know which way this bet is heading. But, he will win for us in a 3m+ muddy chase at some point!
Finish The Story – god he could be my main cliff horse- the cliff horse of a lifetime – well I haven’t backed him too many times but always thought he had a staying chase- over further than this – in him. I actually think 27f may be around his limit. Why him? Well he was a gallant second in this same race last year. He had a few runs before that but in truth this is the longest break he has had since June 2016 the poor bugger. He has been kep on the go for an age. He may have been over raced going into this last year. He does have an ok record after breaks of 60+ days and the trainer couldn’t be in better form- 4/14,6 places last 30 days, 2/7,4 places last 14 days. Jockey is 2/8,3 places in chases for the yard. He gets in here off the basement mark and for what is a fairly small horse that could be crucial- more so than being a couple of pounds out the handicap – 3/4 pounds at this end of weights isn’t why you lose a staying chase like this – jumping/stamina much more important for me. I am asking for a repeat of his run in this race last year. If we get it, if he is 100%, if he benefits from having had a rest for the first time in years, he could out-run 14s. If he isn’t fit, he won’t. I would like to think this has been the target given how he ran in it last year.
So, that is those four. Of course I may not have backed the winner but we should get a run for our money from at least one of them with any luck! It is only 3 points layed out afterall.
What of the rest…
Fergal Mael Duin – well 6s was short for me in this and for one who I have stamina doubts over. As simple as that really. He stays 2m5f well enough but I am unsure as to this trip. 0/5,2p 24f+. He can clout a fence and he now has a great record fresh (should be noted for next autumn) and then seems to lose his way a bit. Tizzard may sort out that problem though. If he stays he will give backers a run for money. Not a shock winner but at 6s I was happy to leave.
Cyclop – he is the other that is unexposed enough albeit has raced plenty for a 5 year old. I always think a race like this is tough for those aged 5/6 and all credit to them if they can pull it off. He may have needed his last run but the strength of his form suggests this is a tough ask. But he is fit and could come on for that last run and this is only his 10th chase run. Certainly no forlorn hope and he is the ‘clanger’ …I think I may have run out of change down the side of my sofa, but I will have one more look…
Jennys Surprise is interesting I suppose but I am unconvinced as to her stamina and she can be moody at times- but the jokey gets on well with her. She did win two weak enough miliatry races though and is now 0/5,0 places in handicaps. She had an ok record fresh also. Maybe she needed the run LTO or hit a stamina wall turning for home. Not a shock winner but 3 of the 4 selections are proven stayers to my eye. Again only her 9th chase start though. I won’t be trying to put you off of you like her chance.
I think the winner is coming from those 7. Which just leaves 9 who will likely leave me drowning in egg again. Buachaill Alainn can clearly go close also and I should mention him- now 0/4,0p 131+ , but that doesn’t bother me as much as the rain. He is just a better horse on proper good ground and I would like to think the soft in the going may do for him – 0/7,2p soft. Good to soft is ok so depends how much soft I suppose. IF he is travelling as well as he was the last day over the first few then I could be in trouble. If he handles the going no reason he wont run his race- but that is my reason for why I think he may not.
There are a few older horses in here and a few who could need the run/high up in the weight. Gary Moore’s horse I don’t think looks good enough to my eye and has stamina questions/inexperienced rider. That was a weak enough chase he couldn’t win the last day for me. One of the 3 that have had 500+ days off can beat me no problem, I was never destined to back them in a race like this. Lavelle’s has a big weight and the break-that was enough I think, and again a stamina unknown. Woodford County can hit a fence or five and usually needs the run, 0/3,0 places 121-365 days.
Pace wise… a bit unsure- Pete/Carli can lead but may lack sharpness/youth to do so. Fergal Mael can but could be ridden to get the trip. The first three tips can all be up there if they want, and one or two may try and lead here. All bases covered I think. No excuse. We may have a couple near the front, and a couple a bit further back.
Right, that is enough I think!
note…Aso ran a cracker for VW, suggesting her chasers are going to be plenty fit enough as usual. We need more evidence but with this rain hopefully we see more of her chasers…
V Williams Chasers
2.10 – Belami Des Pictons UP
K Lee Chasers (12/1<)
(not yet firing…)
1.00 Font – Russe Blanc UP
3.50 Font – Mr Bachster NR
Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio– live test
1.35 Font – The Gipper (E Williams 60+ days) UP
2.30 Chelt- Sternrubin (improve for run/fresh) UP
3.05 Chelt – Baron Du Plessis UP
3.15 Font- On The Road WON 11/4