Green Flag – 1 point win – 16/1 (bet365/BB) 14/1 (general) 3rd 10/1
Double Whammy – 1 point win – 4/1 (general) UP (drifted)
Ah, I got that one rather wrong. Didn’t think 8s was overly generous for Scotswell this morning, clearly an error. He did get an easy lead and the booking of Cook clearly significant. I thought after that break and given his most recent form something with fewer chase runs may beat him. Not enough emphasis on a possible easy lead. And too much emphasis on some of those runs RH, he doesn’t go RH,and recent runs LH were fine. Poor Damn. Decent enough run from Green Flag. Double Whammy looked to be coming to make a challenge – maybe this was to set him up for Perth again in a couple of weeks. Travelled like the winner approaching a couple from home and stamina shouldn’t have been a problem, although he clearly has headgear for a reason.
Having looked at this I thought Double Whammy and Green Flag were of most interest, one being 4/1, the other 14s+.
I think Double Whammy is the most likely winner actually – it’s all about the return to good ground, and he went well for a long way last time out. While he handles soft, his best form has been on Good and he is still lightly enough raced in handicap chases- 3/9,5p. He won on his 3rd start after a break last year, and maybe he will do the same again here. The trainer is in cracking form. My judgement at this end of the market is usually poor but i thought 4s was ok actually, and I expect to see a decent performance. This is a fair bit easier than his last race also. They may of course be setting him up for a repeat victory in that Perth race near the end of the month but I will roll the dice here and see how we go.
Green Flag – well this is a stab but I didn’t want to let market weakness put me off. He could just be gone at the game, but he has so much back class and his mark has plummeted, that I couldn’t resist at 14s or so. Not long ago he was winning C3s off 138+, now here on 118. This is his 3rd run after a 700+ day absence and they may have just been taking their time with him. While he won a few non handicaps on heavy in his youth, I think he may just have out-classed his oppo in those, as his best form in open company seemed to be on a decent surface. Having raced on heavy the last few times, he may bounce of this good ground. Conditions look fine and we know the yard will be bouncing. Russell could go on a run now, if you subscribe to the theory that happy people make for happy horses. You would expect the place is buzzing and that will rub off on the horses, an extra spring in their step maybe! Either way, I was happy to have a dart to find out if this one has any ability remaining. The fact they have persevered for all this time suggests there is still something there. He looked interesting enough.
Of the rest…
Well it is hard to be overly enthusiastic about anything else. Nakadam is young enough but keeps coming up short and this is his first run on proper good. He may improve for it but soft/heavy seemed fine so I don’t see that as an excuse for this last two runs, when more was expected. But, he could go close. 9/2 wasn’t overly generous for me personally. I could have that wrong. Spanish Fleet – well he has stamina and class questions for me, so I was happy to leave.
Carrigdhoun, Harry The Viking and Scotswell – those three owe me nothing. They must have won me/the blog around 40-50 points between them in the last 3-4 seasons. They are getting on a bit now and this good ground may find them out. They all strike me as being a bit one paced these days and each has a question or two. But, the race has an odd enough feel to it- I can cheer them on here if mine are done for, without having a penny on. My head says no.
BallyBen has a break to overcome and wasn’t in the best form when last seen. He also looked held by the handicapper on the two runs before that. He has a bit to prove now, which made 6s only fair. It is ok. He could go close but I wasn’t enthusiastic to jump in given those two questions of fitness and mark, now 0/5,2p OR 121+ .
That leaves the Hammond horse… well he gets first time cheekpieces which does catch the eye, and I can see why at his odds some may reach for the spare change drawer. He needs them to work. His last three runs have been mediocre at best, in pretty much similar conditions to today, in terms of trip and ground. He has course form but then also takes a step up in class. Enough doubts for me but if the headgear works wonders you never know, only 2/9,3p over fences, so his legs are young enough in this line up.
That’s the lot- there is a bit of pace on paper- I can’t think anything will be able to dominate fully here although Scotswell will give it a good go. The two selections are usually held up a tad, which is always dangerous, but hopefully the race sets up for them.
That is all for today.