12.30 (appear to have skipped straight passed this race!)
Thyne For Gold (all hncp + micro distance) WON 11/4>2/1
NOTE: McCain, as below. Horse is fairly lightly raced, 2/11,4 places over hurdles. He is running well and is in form. That may be good enough in what looks a weak enough race on paper, with a few having fitness questions also.
Optical High (all hncp + micro distance) UR 28/1 (UR at first,which will annoy connections,may need his next run now!)
NOTES: Smith, some form stats below. This horse is 1/16 over hurdles, 0/3,1p (a distant 3rd) 60+ days off, was in poor form when last seen. He is 0/4,0p in C4 races and best form seems to be on soft/heavy. Best form over nearly 3 miles also. The market may guide here but he has questions to answer. Could be here for a pipe opener.
Danceintothelight (all hncps + micro distance) 3rd 7/1>4/1
NOTE: McCain only 1/25,7 places last 14 days. Horse is 4/50 over hurdles, not really unexposed! But he is still 2lb below his highest winning mark, minus the claim. He has been running ok, in some sort of form at least, and is a CD winner. In a weak race hard to say he can’t get involved but could be open to attack if there is anything more progressive.
Italian Riviera (all hncps) WON 2/1>13/8
NOTE: Slack 1/8,2 places last 30 days, 1/3 last 14 days. Horse looks versatile and he comes here on the back of a flat win, 2/15 over hurdles and looks the 9/4 market leader.
Groomed (all hncps) UP 28/1
NOTE: Smith 1/20,7 places and again isn’t firing on all cylinders as yet. Horse is 1/19 over hurdles and is 10lb below his last winning mark. Hard to know what to make of him really. Tailed off after just over a year off LTO, a big step forward is needed. The market may well guide as to his chance. Conscious he is 25s and has a C4 hurdle win to his name over 20f. Market may help guide,as you would like to see some support. Smith 8/153 with handicap hurdlers in the 22/1-40/1 range.
Valley of Milan (all hncps + hncp chase) UP
NOTE: McCain again. All conditions are fine for this one, CD winner, and now 4lb below last winning mark. All chase wins have been in fields of 1-7, 0/4,0p more than this. He is also 0/11,1p in handicap chases when sent off bigger than 6/1, so that may be some guide.
Oscar O’Scar (hncp c) UP
NOTE: Hammond again. UR on seasonal reappearance LTO, early enough I suppose. He is 2/6 over fences so arguably still some mileage in him. A slight stamina question with form over 19-23f
Truckers Glory (all hncps + hncp h + micro class) UP 2/1
NOTE: Curtis 3/19,8 places last 14 days. This one is young and unexposed enough, and won for the stats two starts ago, well backed. Hard to know whether it was a lack of class (class 3 LTO) or the distance, which found him out- possibly looking like a non stayer at the moment over that far- but inconclusive. Clearly a profile where he could go close/win again.
Horseguardsparade (all hncps) 2nd 16/1 (neck)
NOTE: NTD ‘in form’ 10/39,22 places last 14 days. This one is having his 3rd handicap run, so still lightly races, albeit he has been poor on his last two starts. I like to see them doing something different in that scenario,and I don’ think he is- headgear is the same and he ran over a similar trip two starts ago. He is 12s though, but has questions to answer I think.
Kelsey (micro, horse runs this season) 3rd 6/1>11/4
NOTE: Bowen 2/14,7 places last 14 days, going well enough. This one is 1/9,2 places over hurdles and there could be more to come, esp around this trip- stayed on well at Uttoxeter two starts back to suggest he would. This long straight may help. Also gets first time blinkers and has had a break. Bowen can ready them after a break and interestingly is 3/12,6 places here with handicap hurdlers returning 60+ days off at the track, over 24f, in handicap hurdles. At 6s, he arguably looks the most interesting of the three I think. (famous last words)
Southport (all hncps + micro Trainer/Jock combo) 2nd 10/3>3/1
NOTE: NTD again. Horse is young, unexposed, fit and in form. Makes handicap debut here (trainer decent enough record with such types) and steps up in trip – an unknown. 10/3 feels fair enough for one with such a profile I think from a yard in form.
The Venetia fav- won for the ‘Hereford’ stats LTO- well he could bolt up again but takes a step up in trip on ground far more lively – which it both looked like he relished, and his opponents didn’t. Could win again but 11/8 is short enough for me given those questions.
Haidfield (hncp h) 3rd 14/1
NOTE: trainer’s horses going well enough, another winner on Tuesday, 4/25,11 places last 14 days. This one gets a tongue tie to join the cheekpieces. 2/5,3 places over hurdles so unexposed and therefore dangerous to write off. Maybe a breathing problem given the way he stopped LTO, and TT added. Also steps into the unknown stamina wise, and he is flat bred- but as I have highlighted before, so was The Young Master, and look what this trainer did with him. He could improve for it, he could not stay. That last run was after a year off also, so was entitled to need it.
Golden Milan (all hncps + hncp c + micro class) UP
NOTE: Curtis again. Despite his age only his 6th chase start, albeit 0/5,0 p in the others to date. Suppose all of his 2016 runs, bar the last one, ‘could’ be out down to to the yards known issues with viruses etc. Horse drops in trip having looked like a stayer over hurdles, so hard to know if that will help. Tricky one. He is 9s, and it is hard to say he has no/limited chance- given that at some point he may show more over fences.
There isn’t loads of pace on here and I just wonder if Moore may try and put this lot to the sword from the front- question whether he is quick enough to do that over this distance or he can jump well enough- but you would like them to use his assured stamina.
Hansupfordetroit (micro distance) 3rd 16/1>12/1
NOTE: trainer 0/7,2p last 14 days. 11yo who is 2/13 over fences but arrives here with plenty of form questions. He is well handicapped on some of those chase wins. Hasn’t been seen over fences for a while. Market may guide.
Esspresso (NHF) UP 7/1>14/1
NOTE: Williams in form. 8/36,11 places last 14 days. Backing all of Williams first career starters has been rather lucrative…11/49,15 places, +58 SP last 5 years- one for the list for me to dive into. Enough pace in the pedigree and suspect the market may guide.
Mulcahys Hill (NHF) 2nd 4/6
NOTE: trainer still a bit hot and cole, 3/23,10 places last 14 days. Previous point winner and given his price of 6/5 he could be well fancied here. I can’t back him at that price personally and at 6s will just take a stab at the Williams horse. Curtis has one also in what looks an informative race.
A tricky day ahead but hopefully a few of these go close.
There are a few I am happy to leave on price- price is a subjective thing but I rarely back much under around 3/1, 7/2..
Mulcahyss Hill is short at evens given the type of race and he has hasn’t run for near enough 300 days. He could sluice up but I will watch,and hope the Williams runner can go in.
1.00- Italian Riveria is short enough at 2/1 I think, albeit he certainly is the most likely winner and there is a lot of pace in this that could set up for him. But it is a conditional jockeys handicap. Maybe he will make this look a good price. Always the ‘muggy double’ with these two (Italian/Mulcahys)
1.50- Truckers Glory – I am not convinced as to that one’s chance at 11/4, 3/1 as I write, 9/2,5/1 would be a bit better if he drifts. There is a stamina question but it isn’t the strongest of races. Famous last words but I think the McCain horse in the 12.30 is a better 11/4 shot than this one.
2.50 – well Southport was 10/3 generally last night which was fine for me, 5/2 getting on the shorter side now but hopefully you are on already! Those three above have been the same price since last night.
The rest is then my subjective judgment on form etc…
12.30 C – I will leave Optical High unless there is some market support which given his profile should be noted. He has plenty of questions, inc fitness, distance and going. And form. He is a big price mind. I think Thyne For Gold is just about ok at 11/4, albeit suppose on short side. Hopefully he drifts a tad. He is just in form and fit, and wasn’t beaten far the last day. A repeat of that run sees him go very close here for me.
1. 50 F again- Horseguardsparade – potential clanger at 10s, 12s- but I am struggling to see why he would improve on recent runs and is now 0/6,1p over hurdles. No headgear change, he ran over similar distance couple starts back. This is a similar type of race. Maybe most of the other principles will underperform and he will be last horse standing. Definite stamina question also. But he could wipe out all the losers I avoided last week! Hopefully not for my own betting bank.
So, that is five (ignoring Southport) that at the moment I have no interest in.
The rest, at the odds, look interesting.
Thyne For Gold looks solid. As does Kelsey who was 6s last night. Out of all of them,they look the most interesting to me. (cue both tailed off) I have backed Espresso in the hope he gets backed,albeit looks weak at the moment! Trusting the stats over time.
The rest – well, one or two could go in, or they could be tailed off-
2.00 – Valley of Milan was second in this race last year and it has probably been the target. I wouldn’t be shocked if either won, despite the odd question- and the fav looks vert solid. But you never know.
1.00 – Danceintothelight- he is solid enough, I can see him placing, without maybe winning. I will prob back him EW. Does have questions but you never know. Could be taken on for the lead also. Groomed – the market may guide, and some leap of faith required, but he is 18s,20s- and there is enough in the book there,if you look far enough back. Could still need another run or two. Or could out run these odds into a place.
2.50 – Haidfield is just unexposed and is a nice price. One to trust the stats I think. He may not stay/be good enough. We shall see.
3.20 – Finally – both of those could be tailed off, but equally both could out run their odds. I think the former, but the odds are in ‘clanger’ territory. Hansupfordetroit- maybe an interesting EW bet at those odds. He is 11, and he looks out of form. But he is so well handicapped on some old chase form you just never know in a race like this.
Right, I have probably gone on too long there. Take those musings with a pinch of salt as always.
Trusting the ‘general race type stats’ (all hncps, hncp H+C, NHF) has been a solid approach so far.
Good luck with however you play them- from those of you who back them all systematically, to those who pick and chose.