VIDEO: I have recorded a video review of Haydock from Saturday + the odd other observation.
(pot of tea and note-pad at the ready)
As always any comments welcome, especially any horses that caught your eye/went into your notebook from over the weekend
NAKADAM – 1 point win – 6/1 (BFsports) 11/2 (PP) 5/1|9/2 (general) UP
Well taking on Hughes was clearly a mistake – not a shock winner who drifted from 7/4 to a more reasonable SP of 10/3, given the odd niggle- he has clearly adopted the Midnight Legend genes that relish soft. Nakadam- what a strange run- he looked to be cruising into it to my eye, travelling well- and then he just seemed to stop/not go anywhere before they turned for home very strange. Maybe a problem, maybe didn’t pick up in that ground. Does wear a tongue tie- maybe coudn’t breathe. Who knows. Or trainer’s horses are just ill. Stopping that abruptly suggests something was up. He did drift out again before the start which raised some alarm bells, but then so did the winner and the market got that wrong. I am in danger of Jonjo being in better form than me soon!
Well it was about time I found a new cliff horse to replace Fox Appeal 🙂 Well i have only backed/tipped this one once before and that was last time out. He is young, unexposed, but has a chase win+place in similar conditions. He stays every yard of this trip, goes on soft (not 100% sure on heavy if it goes that way but you can say that about plenty in here) and I think has the best form on offer in this. That C3 handicap chase win at Kelso was against a hardy bunch,many of whom have run with credit/won since. He also ran well at Ayr the race before that where he would have won but for walking through the last fence- he stuffed Johnny Eager in that race, back in third. I find their places in the market odd on that basis.
I think his price is a reaction to that PU last time out- when carrying mine, and maybe some of your, money. He was poor that day and you have to ask why. Well, it was his first run of the season and I believe he needed it from a paddock watcher who I know was there- he was supported and then was weak in the market, which may back that up. He was also going RH and it may be no coincidence that his best form in his short career to date has been LH. And finally, and this is the main piece of the jigsaw I think – he didn’t have the cheekpieces on. (so, a bloody good tip the last day if you ignore those factors!! idiot.) They return here. As does Richie McLernon who rode him on his best two runs to date. Coincidentally he has a great record here, 4/17,6 places.
I also wanted to check the trainer’s record with horses who pulled up LTO- all runners – 4/27,6 places.. in handicaps (flat I think) and handicap chases… 3/6,3 places. On that basis I am not as concerned as I may have been. He wasn’t interested the last day and never went a yard but Jamie persevered with him and didn’t pull him up until 3/4 from home. He raced plenty to think it would have helped fitness wise and that was a much better race than this one.
All in all he looks the most interesting. If he repeats that Ayr or Kelso run he wins this for me. He should be better than this mark in time, hopefully starting today. He jumped well the last day also and could be getting better with experience. He is a hold up horse but they do well enough here and there seems to be enough pace on. If he jumps well he really should be going close here- provided that PU wasn’t a physical issue , which given he returns 33 days later suggests not.
So, all in all, more than happy to take around 5s. That seems more than fair here to my struggling chase eyes.
I really found it hard to make a case for much else..
I won’t go through them all but plenty in here look really out of form and have a combination of ability, going and distance questions/unknowns.
Nortonthorpelegend seems short enough for me for a horse mainly kept to a sound surface- and running well on it- I have no ideal how he will handle soft/heavy, but based on what they have done on the track, the selection is much more likely to handle it. Well he definitely handles soft. There is also a distance question/unknown in what will be a right old slog here given the rain forecast. A real test. Trainer is only 2/33 here also but he does have the superb Hughes up top. Seems short though to me given the questions/unknowns. Jonny Eager looks like he stays all day- but the selection stuffed him at Ayr seemingly with no excuse. Maybe he will handle a proper slog better but 7/2 seems short for one who has had 200+ days off for a trainer without a great record with such types- he is 3/38 in his training career with all handicap chasers returning 121-365 days. 7/143 all runners last 5 years,albeit 1/11 with handicap chasers in that period. That is the question and at 7/2, 4/1 I don’t want a fitness question. He may win, clearly unexposed. But he won’t carry my money.
The rest have too many questions. Bennys Well has been there and done it in conditions but has been really poor the last twice. He may have needed it the last day but I have my doubts about what ability remains and if it is good enough for this, certainly if 2 of top 3 run their race say. Smith is only 1/28 last 14 days, 10 places and he is rock bottom of the HRB total ratings which concerns me. He could out run his price though. Master Rajeem also handles all conditions but is really out of form- hope rests on the switch of yard but she is 0/9,0 places with new stable recruits from other yards in last two years- She is also only 3/42 with all chasers last two years. Enough doubts for me albeit maybe a price to take a stab with change- i wont be I don’t think. Happy to leave them and the rest.
So that is that really. The trainer form is a minor concern also but many of those that have run poorly have been massive prices, some 33/1+, 150/1+ etc. Those that have been around 8/1< have generally run well enough for me not to be too concerned. If this one goes poorly in these conditions then maybe something is actually up. 5s allows the chance in the context of this race/the oppo for me.
That will do for tipping.
A decent win for one of the ‘portfolio’ angles and an unfortunate unseat for the Williams chasers who was going to give us an 8/1 / 15/2 winner. Never mind. That’s chasing.
Venetia Williams Chasers
1.10 Sedge- Burtons Well
3.10 Ling- Cap Jazz
Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio– LIVE TEST
2.35 Ling – Hughesie (E Williams 60+ days)
12.10 Sedge- Sky Full Of Stars (unexp chasers)
3.10 Ling – Kap Jazz (V Williams 60+ days)
No more today, that will do.
Good luck with your bets.