Caid Du Berlais – 1 point win – 14/1 (general)
The first thing to say here is i think BigBadJohn may be the most likely winner and certainly the only one in the race who could have any amount in hand,along with potentially a touch of class. Of more interest maybe is that when researching some stats for this race one did stand out, concerning unexposed types. 8 horses have lined up in this race over the last 10 years with 7 or fewer career runs to their name. 4 of them have gone on to win. Racing at Newbury LTO is a negative in this, although very small stats pools so obvious caution, he did jump out to the right at times LTO, has had 60+ days off and for an inexperienced chaser he wont have much daylight here. Those have been small field chases. I don’t know. He could hack up. My instinct is to leave anything under 6/1 i think, and that price doesn’t look likely. I am useless at judging these ones near the top of the market sometimes (often…) so instead I have left him, and just bet 1 point on the race…
Caid Du Berlais…
At the prices, to repeat an overused phrase, he stood out to me. I need to get back to what I used to be good at which in general was homing in on horses that were a double figure price, 10s/12s+, especially in races such as these on a Saturday. That ‘going with the big priced mindset’ should have seen me back OneForArthur at 16s, and it should have seen me back that 10/1 winner at Ayr, when instead I went for a sodding 10/3 shot. That isn’t tipping, it it’s cowardice. Of course, in 5-8 runner races, there will be value in the 4/1-10/1 range and they shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. But like it or not, my profit levels will usually be determined by how many 12s+ horses I find, and I need to get back to that.
There were 5 or 6 trends I used as a guide, a kind of profile, and he ticked all those boxes. Nicholls is the only multiple winning trainer of this race in the last 10 years also, 2/8,3 places. He is also finding some form again,possibly as his horses start getting over their winter jabs, which is well known with his yard at this time of year. So, there should be no concerns on that front. Then there is the horse… well he is a previous Paddy Power Gold Cup winner, only
3lb higher than for that a few years back (or now 2lb lower, even!) and he is totally unexposed over 24f, over fences. He hacked up at Aintree earlier in the season over hurdles at this trip and I just though there is a chance he could improve for it. It seems to happen a big quick for him these days over 21f, but plenty of ability seems to be there still. He ran ok LTO, in Graduation Chase, small field, unexposed rivals. Nicholls is a canny operator and I would like to think this has been the target for the horse.
A negative is that he is usually held up, so I wanted a price- but there is the potential for plenty of pace/pace pushers here and provided he jumps well I can see him running on late, swooping passed tired rivals…for an honourable 2nd, with Big Bad John 10 lengths clear pulling double 🙂 (I asume Burke may be the new stable jock?? She should have given that job to Adam Wedge for me, if he were available, but then what do I know)
STD is also here for the ride, which given the other cards I found of mild interest. He could have had the choice here you would think.
So, i think he has a lot in his favour. The stats/trends, trainer form, trainer record in race, touch of class, mark is fine without having loads in hand, probably targeted at the race,and has a bit of the ‘could be anything’ about him, over this trip, over fences. This is only his 10th chase start after all. Hopefully I can get a run for my money and end the month on a much needed high.
Of the rest…
Well I have mentioned the Curtis horse, obvious chance, albeit a few questions at that price. Vicente ticks a few boxes and it is dangerous to second guess Nicholls, but surely this one has bigger Spring targets in mind, The Grand National, or the Scottish again. If so, winning this would ruin his mark and chances really, I am sure they just need to protect this mark as it is. He could go well, if I have that wrong, but I hope for a quiet ride, never nearer 6th, from the back.
Coologue was on my shortlist of 3 I suppose… this has been the target according to the trainer, who is in better form than when this one was last running I think. He likes the track and will give backers a run for their money. He came second in this last year, and is a better horse this season. But I am not 100% sold on that Cheltenham form and this is a career high mark in which to win from. I thought there may be the odd one in here better treated, and he can also wallop a fence from time to time. I prefer the chances of Caid, but we shall see if I have that right.
Nothing else was really jumping out at me. I am not overly keen to back a Jonjo handicap chaser, in a decent race, at single figure odds. His one has an ok chance I suppose, running if building up to something and maybe this is the race. But he does need to step up on previous efforts. I am not sure if Ziga Boy is the same horse as last years race and if feels a stronger renewal. Southfield T and Looking Well have had too long off for me to want to back with any confidence and Mulholland has admitted there have been problems with the preparation of S T for this, which doesn’t make me want to jump at 8s. Out Sam needs to prove he can do it over fences, in a big field for me. Too many questions at the moment for a single figure price. If he puts it all together, he goes close. BallyBroker Breeze is unexposed but needs to step forward, which he may do. This race is much stronger than LTO but his trainer says he needs decent ground, which I assume is why he has had 50 days off, waiting for the right race. Not without a chance, but again I suppose CDBs back class has lured me in.
Tenor Nivernais and Third Intention have stamina questions, and to my eye Long Lunch was outstayed LTO and again this is a much stronger race, but 22s may be a tad harsh. But, I think there could be classier, stronger stayers, in here. I think that leaves Holywell who is too out of sorts for me to consider. Oh one more. Potters Cross, who is effectively 14lb higher than LTO and as such I was happy to leave in a race of this nature.
So, I think that will do. I am happy enough to have that 14/1 poke onside and hopefully he is backed. On his 4th start after a lengthy absence, hopefully he can strike.
Tom George Chasers
12.35 Chelt – Singlefarmpayment
1.45 Chelt – Royal Regatta (14/1<)
Trainer Jockey Combos – Live Test
2.10 Uttox- Karisma King (12/1<) (#2)
3.55 Uttox- Groomed (12/1<) (#2)
4.35 Chelt – John Constable (12/1<) (#4)
Handicap chase/hurdle portfolio– Live Test
3.55 Uttox – Renard
Jan Trainers – Pointers
2.25 Ling – Horstead Keynes (x2)
That will be all for the day from me. Good luck with any bets.