Chase The Spud – 1 point win – 9/1 (general) UP 5/1*
*well beating the market was the only consolation there but it would be nice if one went in. He was rather keen for early part of the race. Didn’t expect him to down tools like that, scratching my head. Great ride on the winner, I had stamina/ground concerns around here and was happy to leave at 10s or so this morning. Still, at least the TJC test had a winner, would have preferred RB to get up there though! Good to see him back to form.
Well I am taking on about 5 system horses when I count what is below and the TTP stats picks in this, which always spells danger!
9/1 has just tempted me in with this one as I think it is too big for a trainer who appears to have been in form for an age. Although, in the 14 days previous to the last two weeks he was ‘only’ 1/21,6 places, and in the last 14 days 5/19,8 places. So, no problems on that front.
I also think he is that mix of battle hardened in conditions yet still open to improvement in a slog, this being his 11th chase start. I am not sure we have seen the best of him yet and he certainly seems to have taken a step forward this year to my eye, well based on that Haydock run. All of his best runs have been on Heavy, which this is verging on, and he just seems to keep going, which is a quality you want here, over this far,in the mud. Two starts ago he bumped into one but wasn’t beaten far and importantly he kept going. He wasn’t going backwards and maybe the 10lbs the winner was receiving told in the end, in that ground/trip. He jumped well there out of the glue which should hold him in good stead here. He also knows the track well enough, having run well to a point here on seasonal reappearance. He was leading between 5 and 4 out where a combination of fitness or as likely the good ground, proved beyond him. I don’t think he has a turn of gears, more relying on a steady gallop that others may not be able to match. He needs it deep. The run the last day was in a very deep race to my eye and I think he paid the price for Brennan being a tad too aggressive. On the final circuit he was leading/disputing for most of the way and Brennan kept riding him into/away from fences to hold a position. It looks like he was having to try too hard to hold a position against better rivals- in the end those exertions told as they turned in. This race isn’t as deep as that and if Brennan can just sit behind the leaders, and ride him like he did at Haydock, he could be picking up the pieces here. He is actually 2/4 RH in chases, 0/6,2p LH, so this return to RH could eek out more from him.
All in all he looked solid in conditions and barring an accident should give me a run for my money as he will keep galloping in this mud, on the evidence to date. 3m2f in heavy, RH,with this stiff uphill finish looks ideal for him. Connections couldn’t be in better form and he is a solid jumper usually. There was plenty to like and I thought 9s was overpriced. If he repeats that Haydock run, he won’t be far away here.
Of the rest…
Clearly you can make a case for plenty. Alfie Spinner may win this again- Lee seems to be improving him so it is a tad dangerous to use past form to make cast iron judgements. But, he is 12 now, and this is deeper than the last day I think, although the second has franked the form. He won’t get an easy lead either. He needed a career best the last day,and got it. Up 7lb he needs another here. He may well do it, but at 7/2, 3/1, he can beat me. I can enjoy him winning at that price, unlike the last day, when he was 12s! (well I could still enjoy seeing him do that)
Hester Flemen is opposable on price also. Unexposed and could be anything, she may hack up. But, she was really poor the last day after a long lay off and is up against battle hardened warriors in here. This will be tough and a smart performance here would mark her as one to follow. Again, at 11/2 or so, happy to leave. The same can be said for Bigirononhisship who clearly has his own ideas about the game- he is lightly raced and entitled to be open to improvement but 5s seems either about right or too short to my eye. He has stamina to prove and at a track like this. And he refused the last day. Both of those may win, wouldn’t be a shock, but I just can’t play them at that price.
I like Cyclop, I don’t like 6/1, given the fact there is a niggle about the stiff finish, he is 0/3,0p in handicaps on heavy, and he can occasionally take a fence with him. Were he 9s/10s+ I may have been tempted in as he was cruising into contention the last day and for my money would have given Alfie Spinner plenty to think about. But, at that price, given those concerns, I was happy to leave. I have no such similar concerns with the selection. He may prove me wrong and with a clear round will be dangerous. He will be thereabouts 3 out if still standing, then just whether he gets up this hill, in heavy.
Blakemount/Swing Hard/Join The Clan I can’t have for one reason or another.
That leaves two. RDB is a grand old servant but isn’t getting any younger, won’t get an easy lead I don’t think, without doing too much, is better with lighter weights (although placed with similar) and is now 0/8,2p chasing on undulation tracks. He has the ability to take this but could be he is regressing slightly now and his last couple of runs have only been ok. But we know he handles heavy.
Russe Blanc is a TTP selection and in the 10/1+ range. As such I will probably have a nibble although my tipping head says he has a few questions to answer. He just looks out of sorts really and was never going the last day. Given he had won in exactly the same conditions last year I can’t see any change in conditions sparking him back to form. The blinkers stay on, and we know at his best he would be right up there. I wonder if Lee has just used a space in the horsebox and another opportunity to get his mark down. She seems to have plans with her chasers and you never know with this one. (Irish National again?..)The headgear suggests he is not showing them what they would like. 12s is ok and he likes the track. I can see a case. But, Moore would have had the choice and he has just been too poor this season so far for me to tip him. I am struggling to see why he suddenly bounces back to winning form here unless Hughes can work his magic. The use of a 7lb claimer the last twice suggests they think he may need some assistance from the capper and he is still 2lb above his last winning mark. He will have a strong pace to aim at i think. We shall see. If he is clearly travelling and in a rhythm he may run a big race.
So, that’s the lot. On paper there is a lot of pace, in conditions you would think the jocks would take it steady. But there are at least 4 of them who like to lead and Danny Cook may well be aggressive also. You will need to travel and stay here as it looks sure to be a real test.
I would like to think the pin has landed on the right one, but time will tell. It looks a competitive race.
K Lee Chasers (12/1<) (#2)
4.30 Carl- Alfie Spinner UP
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
3.20 Carl- Dick Darsie (12/1<) (#2) UP
4.30 Carl – Blakemount (12/1<) (#2) WON 10/1>13/2
4.30 Carl- Alfie Spinner (12/1<) (#9) UP
Handicap hurdle/chase portfolio– Live Test
3.10 Lud – Uhlan Bute- UP
Free Trainer Systems Reports/Re-Cap on the ‘core’ free jumps angles above: CLICK HERE>>>
That will be all for today.