Well some of you can take a bow,and feel rightly aggrieved at the racing gods not being on your side. There have been some monster price horses run with credit recently. Edmund has put up a 3rd (50/1) and a 2nd (33s?>20s) in recent days and on Wednesday a few of you homed in on the Flook hunter chasers- one losing out by not very far at 28/1. Let’s be blunt. Watching those not win,when going that close, is bloody painful. I would rather them be a few lengths back in 2nd or 3rd,accepting your fate, or tailed off, than lose by 1/2 length or less! Steve’s AW Sires picked out a monster placed horse at Newcastle also, 66s available, maybe 80s in places? Nice EW returns for some of you hopefully. Nick chipped in with a 7/1 winner as well, he is getting into a habit of doing that!
Easy game, eh!?
My chase tip may have been scuppered by the ground- someone I know tweeted me thinking there wasn’t much good in that going at Taunton and the way many of them were finishing – tired – may be true. There was a fear it would be ‘tacky’ and I suppose at this time of year you may not get genuine good ground, albeit it was good to firm only a few weeks back. Anyway, moving on. He ran ok, and will pick up a chase here and there, maybe in the summer. I hate this in-between ground, where you are a bit uncertain.
Last January I couldn’t stop picking winners- +90 points worth. And races keep coming up I remember winning – we have had the Veteran’s Chase. I didn’t find the winner this year, but I didn’t either in that Fontwell race where I had Morning Wing. So,they have cancelled each other out. The North Yorkshire National runs today, we had the 16/1 winner of that last year. (predicted pre race he would be tailed off before rattling home- did I back him at 400/1 in running, did I heck. Gulp) And on Saturday we head to Warwick for their staying chase, we had the 25/1 winner of that also last year.
So, we shall see if I can repeat those feats. I will try my best. Sadly Catterick’s race has ‘good’ in the going description, so I don’t hold out any hope fort that one! 🙂 (is it good to soft, is it sticky/holding/actually tiring etc)
2.50 Catt –
Carrigdhoun – 1/2 point EW– 25/1 (Bet365/BV) 20s (general) UP
Harry The Viking – 1 point win – 9/1 (various) UP
Ah, well, the old boys couldn’t do it this time, didn’t have the legs to go with them- didn’t expect Cook to be so aggressive and get an uncontested lead but as soon as he did,combined with the money,some indication they clearly thought he would stay every yard. Great ride by Cook,very good on the front. As it happens ItsTimeForAPint was the EW stab in the race, ran well, must have been tacky enough, given wasn’t outpaced rally- Front three ran good races. Those two old boys owe me nothing now, (Carrig 2×14/1 for TTP,Harry a winning tip,+12 points) and maybe their time has now been, certainly in races like that. Should have just stuck with the Jan pointers!
Carrigdoun – well sometimes you look at a price and think it is just silly. 25s just looks big for his chance here and I have gone with the gut. I am going to assume something went amiss the last day in the fog, or more likely the ground was too deep/tacky for him- he has always been best on a decent surface. Any anyway he may not be a class 2 chaser. In the runs before that he was in the form of his life. At Kelso, 2 out, he was upsides Harry The Viking and this slightly shorter trip may get him a bit closer- provided that PU wasn’t something more serious. But you can take a chance at these odds. And he plugged on at Kelso. He usually travels well and is a sound jumper. Him and Harry may be near the front all the way here with any luck. I just thought 25s was too big. If he repeats that Kelso run,or even the one before that at Carlisle, he out-runs these odds,hopefully placing at worse.
I have long said I would always have 1 point on the win side of any bet, but I appear to have changed that for now! There are younger legs in here, and Harry is a stronger stayer, over further, but hopefully they are close. They may both get done by Doing Fine- I suspect that could possibly happen, but he is 7/2,4/1 and that is just too short for me in a race with this many runners, for a hold up type, who does seem to like placing recently.
Harry The Viking- well, what has he done wrong? He hacked up the last day, he could have gone around again. I don’t know if they found a niggle with him that they fixed, but his last two runs have been his best for an eternity. 9s seems more than fair. He doesn’t have to lead but can hopefully sit comfortably near the front end. He jumps, gallops and stays really well. You can’t say that about many in here, plenty have to do something different. That last win was impressive and at what is 9/1, I thought that was generous enough.
Well Carrigdhoun may have lost a leg overnight! I can’t believe he is 28s, and did want to see some support into 14s maybe. That could just be a sign of money for a lot of the others. We shall see. If he is in s rhythm early near the front end we will get a good spin,at least until the final couple of furlongs. Harry TV is on the walk also. Hmm. (bracing myself now!) This is a horse who has gone close in C2s/G3s over marathon trips. I am quite excited about seeing if he can back up that last win. I don’t think the 7lb rise may stop him, more if younger legs may out-pace him later on.
And who could they be…
Anyway, the dangers…
Well Doing Fine is the obvious one. Rarely do I back the obvious one,mainly as they are short enough, and when I do back the obvious one they tend to run shockers, with the odd exception. He is unexposed enough, stays, likes good ground, LH isn’t a problem. He does look solid enough, 9/2 getting to an OK price I suppose now. That last run was decent,no excuses to my eye- either out-stayed or out-battled in the dying yards,or out-classed. Not sure really. But a few behind him have run with credit since. He is a hold up horse- which isn’t a problem around here if they go a good pace- albeit trying to catch proven stayers,who don’t make mistakes, is tough,esp on good as they may not stop. So, he may have to pick up speed at some point and arguably Rocky Creek beat him the last day by having track position/first run. He will need to trap over the last couple of fences I imagine. We shall see if I have called that right. Not a shock winner and not too much I can say to put you off. If you like him, at 9/2,have a go. I have left him.
Next in… Gonalston Cloud… money is coming and I can see why… I may have convinced myself to throw £5 at him here this morning- mainly because he is a proven stayer on good ground and actually looks like the further the better for him- I was put off from tipping him as I wasn’t sure as to the strength of the form of that last race, but he won, and he is still unexposed under rules, despite his age. Wedge stays on, and he likes the track. I can fully understand why people have backed him at 10s>8s. Maybe I will regret not going 1/2 on him and Carrig. We shall see. He will be staying on near the end here for sure, assuming no accidents.
Straidnahanna- well again maybe I can see the case for backing at 10s yesterday. He is being well backed by all accounts. I don’t know. I wasn’t leaping off my seat to back him. He has stayed 25f well enough and is worth a go at this trip, but it is an extra 5f or so and is simply an unknown. He also has the habit of making 1 or 2 blunders in a round, and can make a serious one as he did the last day. His best form on soft also, and it could be it all happens half a stride too quickly,esp if having to quicken- and that may affect his jumping. Clearly if he jumps and if he stays, he could go close. He is a C3 chaser who likes the track. He can race prominently/lead,but I hope they rein him back and ride him to stay – in sense that will give my two an easier time on the front! Stamina is an unknown I suppose,and can see why some would roll the dice.
BallyBen- i am not sure if he looks like a grinder over this trip- I think he got outstayed the last day,just,or bumped into one with more in hand. His mark may mean nothing if he improves for this distance- a possibility, but he does need to improve for it from this mark. I have a stamina niggle and think there are better horses in here. Happy to leave at a single figure price. Again, the trip an unknown- I can’t say for sure he won’t stay. And he is ‘young’ compared to plenty in here. If he does stay it may open up a few more doors for him.
Scotswell- well his price has halved over night and money is coming. He stays well and jumps well at his best and has won this race before. I thought he had started to look a bit laboured this season, as if age is catching up with him. But he has nothing on his back here and will give it a good go. I would have liked to have seen more LTO, but maybe that trip is just too short these days. He gets his conditions. I preferred the more in form horse in Harry,and I think he is a stronger stayer. He can make errors as well but could have some fun on the front end. Interesting. Maybe this has been a cunning plan. I do wonder if C4 is more his level these days though.
BallyCulla- I have stamina questions/doubts, he can be tricky and his jumping can let him down- in this big field he will be asked plenty of questions. He has wins in him but I would be slightly surprised if he took this. Alto De mottes was second in this last year, but looks like he prefers mud and he was very poor the last day, even if this was to set him up for this. I wonder, aged 6, whether his effort in this last year has bottomed him out- much like the Scottish National did for Godsmejudge,who has never been the same horse since. Hopefully not but I would like to see more. Jac The Legend likes placing, but does stay. I wonder if he is good enough for this and can make the odd error also,esp in a big field. That PU LTO is a concern also.
Federici is interesting – he stays, albeit is now 0/5,1p going LH over fences, 0/8,1p in career. Second run for McCain and he went OK lto. It is a big ask to carry a weight like this, in a race like this- you need to have plenty in hand/or just be a class above I think. I am not sure if either applies. But he stays, so that is a plus.
The final one I will mention,which is nearly the lot I suppose, is ItsTimeForAPint- he has a muddy slog in him somewhere, at some point. Maybe Haydock. I think he needs it soft/heavy to be at his best and this ground is against him. Harry The Viking thumped him when he beat him,and 2 out, both selections were way ahead in that Kelso race. He plods and he stays. But this could happen all a bit too quickly I think. A plodder to keep an eye on when Heavy though. If I have that right.
I can’t have the other three that remain, for one reason or another. Quite something if one of those wins!
PACE- well, on a going day, Harry The Viking and Carrigdhoun trap along near the front. They don’t have to lead (ie they don’t sulk) and may well be they sit behind Scotswell, hopefully passing him down the back straight on the final circuit. Newton Thistle can lead but I am not sure is good/quick enough to do so against those. He is moody as well. So is Fill The Power who again I can’t see getting an easy lead and with any luck will drop off and sulk early enough. His rider will earn his fee. I don’t think anything else will pester them,if I have that right. Giving 3 proven stayers/good jumpers, an easy enough time on the front end, whatever their age, will ask questions of the rest for me.
Time will tell.
It looks bloody competitive and should be a great race to watch! There is something less stressful about only having 2 points on a race, rather than 4/5!
Tom George Chasers (any odds)
12.45 Leic- Baraza WON 4/1 >5/2
Handicap Chase/Hurdle Portfolio – LIVE TEST
3.10 Leic- Storming Strumpet
Jan Trainers (pointers)
2.00 New – Gorokai UP
4.30 New- Horstead Keynes
2.50 Catt- Fill The Power UP/Straidnahanna WON 10/1>11/2 (25p R4) 7.5/1
That will be all for today.