Tips in the 12.55, 1.40 and 1.50 below.
NO DUFFER – 1 point win – 10/1 (Lad/SJ) 9/1 (general) WON 10/1
VALADOM – 1 point win – 10/1 (lad) 9/1 (general) UP
Well this race looks to be between these two, the King pair and Knock House for me, and knowing my luck I have picked the wrong two but at the prices, I just couldn’t leave these. I think they are both a few points too big here to my eyes and see no reason for example why they shouldn’t be the same price as the likes of Ziga Boy and Blakemount.
No Duffer- he shouldn’t be 10s/9s on what we know- any drift suggests there may have been a set back or a problem but he goes well after similar type breaks, relishes flat-ish left handed tracks and importantly must have good ground. I didn’t expect him to be that price. This looks lively enough here for the time of year, good, good to soft in places. The horse is consistent in handicap chases, 5/15,8p, Brennan is 4/7,6p on him and of some interest maybe that he rides here for the day, for his old boss. Tom George is also in cracking form. The horse will race prominently also, possibly tracking the other selection. 10s/9s just jumped out as I thought about it. It is simply too big for me, regardless of what he actually does in the race. I can’t see what he has done wrong or why he won’t run his race- a repeat of that Haydock run puts him right there in this field. 9 year olds+ are 0/31,6p in the 7 renewals to date, which initially put me off when glancing last night – but 10s is just too big for me and I will ignore that, given the price.
Valadom – well he was a rare winner for me in early November at Bangor where the ground just started to go for him- he likes proper good which I think he gets here, with a slight bit of cut. This one absolutely hated the National fences LTO – didn’t look happy over the first two, lost his position and then tried to take the chair with him. Game over. That Bangor run, and that win at Uttoxeter, is decent form. Now, that run may have left a mental mark but 9s allowed a roll of that dice. He will try and lead all the way again and if his decent young jockey can get him in a rhythm he will out-run these odds for sure. He is 3/11 over fences and he could not be done with his improvement yet. I was happy to play him one last time.
Of the rest… Well Sego Success has a decent chance but 7/2, 4/1 was only fair- my two niggles are that the ground might be too lively. Certainly his best form is with plenty of cut. And he does need to prove he can carry the weight. That is only minor but those two niggles made 7/2 look ok, but not overly generous. I won’t be shocked were he to takes this.
Ziga Boy – well I have had a saver on him to cover my bets on the other two – 11/2, well it isn’t 9/1 and if it was I may be more bullish – but again he was rather unlucky at Aintree, running into a faller very early on. He will come on from his first run of the season, he relished Doncaster and Good ground. He will be up there tracking the pace and I see no reason why he won’t run his race. It was really just a question of the odds/price with the two bets. I hope he runs a good race and expect that he will. Everything looks ideal for him.
Of the other dangers… Well Knock House was 7s/8s which I suppose was worth a punt. But 4s is too short for me now. He had a great record fresh for Channon and McCain can ready them. But, he is a hold up horse generally and that is asking for trouble around here, and who knows if McCain want him ready for this race. 8s allowed that chance maybe, 4s doesn’t. He also looks like a stayer, and 24f on good ground, around here, might be as sharp as he wants it- given the impression in races he made at Cheltenham over 26f+. McCain is only 2/41 in handicaps at the track the last 5 years also (1/16 chases) and that price is just skinny enough for me. He might beat me at that price. Blakemount is the other- I can’t work out his price of 4/1. Yes he is unexposed but he has looked a 20f horse, who gives impression he should stay further. That Carlisle win is poor form (horses 0/12 since) and the market suggests he was expected to win at Sedgefield albeit he may come on for it. You don’t want a stamina niggle in a C2 chase for a horse priced 4/1, well, I don’t. Sue Smith is also 0/31,8p with her handicap chasers here in the last 5 years which puts me off a bit as well.
I have gone at the game if anything else wins. I think the ground should be too lively for Straidnahanna who was tubby to my eye at Haydock and will come on a bundle for it. I can’t have the rest.
So, that is it. I had to play these two at odds I thought looked too big. It looks a decent race and hopefully I can get a rare run for my money.
ASO – 1 point win – 15/2 (4 bookies) 7/1 (general) 2nd
QUITE BY CHANCE – 1 point win – 16/1 (general) 4th
I have decided to have a go at this given the stats below- if one or both of those two stats are blown out of the water then I was never going to find the winner, but I am happy to trust them as they look strong enough.
This is clearly a competitive race and in all likelihood my darts may have missed the target.
Aso looks solid for a trainer who has won this before and this may well have been the target. He seems versatile enough ground wise and the forecast rain will help. But for a couple of big errors late on the last day he would have been closer but he travelled into that race very well. He is also french bred and their numbers are very good in this, compared to others. Provided he comes on for that last run he should be thereabouts, and if he can keep the errors down but that may have been because he was just starting to tire. 15/2 , 7s looks fair enough.
Quite By Chance- I am not sure what has happened to this horse over the summer- a change of barn or a wind op maybe,whatever it is he has looked a much better horse. Given his recent form, and that of the yard, and his place on the stats shortlist, I wanted to have a dart. He will track the pace and probably appreciate this step up in trip. He has won over nearly 3m and 2m4f around here may be ideal. To run Sire De Grugy that close the last day was impressive, and even more so when SDG confirmed he still has plenty of class when chasing UDS home in the Tingle Creek. He is worth his chance here and 16s does strike you as being generous.
Of the rest on that shortlist – well Bouvreil and Aloomomo look the most interesting to me. I suppose with Bouvreil- if I assume he and Aso will both come on for the run, I am not sure why the form of their last run should be overturned really, if both jumping and running their race. He can be tricky and I think needs to step up a tad. But, not a shock winner given his place on the shortlist, he is french bred, and trained by Nicholls. Aloomomo is interesting – I wonder if he will want it softer- albeit i have no idea what the ground may turn into, but could be good to soft at worse. Soft would help him. Unexposed he does need to step up again and the selections have shown better chase form for me, to date anyway.
Kings Odyssey needs to step forward on that last run which he may do, but also needs to step forward in general. I also think he may need a load of rain. If this goes proper soft he has the kind of profile that would interest you,and he could go close. He can be held up though, and I don’t think you will want to be too far back here. Kylemore Lock is interesting but I would have liked to see some big field chase form- that is my only concern- how he will cope with a race like this. He may relish it. Or he may not like being surrounded or be able to handle the pace they will go at here. But, a superb jumper and that will get him far. Also, unlike the other two, he has never races over fences around here. Which at 7s/8s I think I would have liked also. But, he has class, and wouldn’t be a shock winner. I don’t think Roman Flight will be good enough here. Thomas Brown looks like he might prefer flat tracks and again I am not sure his level of form is up to some of these.
I should mention Village Vic- he will lead these along. It is not impossible he stays there but I couldn’t ignore that age stat really. He has been nudged up a few more pounds also. He is probably a place banker but I would hope something with slightly younger legs may nab him again up the hill.
A super competitive race, but given those stats below and the shortlist I was happy to have a go. They can’t run much worse than some of my 3m+ chase tips anyway!
ALTERNATIF – 1 point win – 5/1 (Skybet) 9/2, (BV/Coral/Sporting Bet) 3rd
A 5 point Saturday which could all end in tears as I do my best to give back last Sunday’s winnings. I tipped this one the last day and think 5/1, 9/2 is fair enough. 4s is ok, albeit he is then getting on the soft side. I find it interesting that Scu goes here and Pipe is in good form. I hope one or both of him and Bella (a TTP stats pick) can win here. He gets blinkers here and that simply change may just spark him up. He goes LH which could actually help – maybe he doesn’t like going RH I don’t know. If more interest is that he is in a much weaker race and is 2/4,3p in this lower level of class 3. This is the weakest race he has faced for some time and hopefully all of that combined can see him put this lot to the sword. I thought he was worth one more go here against plenty who have questions and may want softer ground. We shall see,but if he ran to his best, he should be going close here.
Cheltenham Caspian Caviar Gold Cup
And I won’t be doing a full trends piece this week but some stats of interest…
- 17/17 Top 5 LTO (0/70,10p were not)
- 17/17 Aged 4 to 8 (Age 9+ 0/61,2p)
Those two stats leave a ‘shortlist’ of: Kylemore Lock /Quite By Chance / Kings Odyssey / Bouvreuil / Aso / Roman Flight / Thomas Brown / Aloomomo
Some other pointers…
- 10/17 ran at Cheltenham or Ascot LTO
- 8/17 (8/68) were French Bred, against 9/150 odd who were not. They perform way above market expectations.
Cheltenham are due rain through the day but I can’t think it would be worse than good to soft. Some of them, the likes of Kings Odyssey,look like they need a downpour though. Winning trainers include Nicholls (3/27) ; Henderson (3/15) Hobbs (2/15) Jonjo (2/10) Venetia Williams has won this before also.
1.50 Chelt – Village Vic 3rd 8/1
Handicap Hurdle/Chase Portfolio – LIVE TEST
3.25 Ling – Pure Vision WON 3/1>7/1 (owned by JP,a drifter!)
3.35 Chelt – Jessbers Dream UP
12.55 Donc- No Duffer WON 10/1
1.15 Chelt – Parsnip Pete UP
1.40 Ling – Ballyhenry UP
1.15 Chelt – Cold March UP
1.50 Chelt – Village Vic 3rd
7.15 Wolvs – Examiner (14/1< guide)
December Trainer Track Combos…
Forgot about these on Friday and one Henderson/Donny angle seemed to have a good day… (albeit only one at a backable price)
2.40 Donny – OO Seven UP
That is all for today. Good luck with any bets, and to any of you brave souls who follow me in!