A couple of 3m+ handicap chases from Haydock will be my main focus for the day.
Azure Fly – 1.5 points win – 12/1 (SJ/Lad) 11/1 (gen)
Carli King – 1.5 points win – 10/1 (BV/WH) 9/1 (gen) UP
Well the only positive was that the main danger horse won, and made 6s look decent in the process! Damn. Shame Azure Fly wasn’t a non runner this morning but I was happy to leave him at 6s given the questions, but he has relished that trip. Carli could never get to the front as I hoped/expected. He isn’t a sulker and was clearly not good enough on the day. You want a decent enough price about these old boys and I am happy enough with the two bets.
I think one of these two is winning this. And that’s the preview done!
In all seriousness, these two look over-priced to me and on what they have done/their recent form/their stamina. I would have them as join favs I think. If I woke up and either of these was 6/1, 7/1, I wouldn’t have been shocked. Thankfully they’re not.
Azure Fly – well we can ignore that last run. He hated the blinkers and wouldn’t have liked the soft ground. The cheekpieces return here. If you take that run away then he is no 12/1, 11/1 shot in this line up, based on his consistency before. I had stamina doubts about him but as he has got a bit older this kind of trip seems to be within range. He ran well at Plumpton, again where a bit of cut wasn’t ideal, and he ran a cracker in the new regional National up at Musselburgh. He led before 4 out there, over 4m+. Those two runs give plenty of hope that on decent ground, around here, this test could be idea. He is 7lb below his last win, and also gets 7lb taken off from a jockey who knows him well,and has ridden him well in decent enough races. The number of placed efforts may suggest he is a thinker but this is the kind of race where if he sees it out fully, his mark-with the claim,and his ability to bounce of this ground, could mean nothing is anywhere near him and no battle will be needed. Longsdon’s string are starting to fire up again and he races prominently. I can’t see an excuse or a reason for why he shouldn’t run a decent race here. If he repeats that Musselburgh run he won’t be far away.
Carli King- well I have always had an eye on this one. I have backed him a few times, missed out on him some more. He front runs. He jumps. He relishes decent ground. And he will stay every yard of this trip. Two runs ago at Doncaster, in first time blinkers, he ran a cracker, over 3m which would have been short enough for him. He was collared late by a more unexposed one. I fancied him to run a decent race the last day but the ground went against him and the jockey was ultra aggressive. He did too much in that ground and in any case wouldn’t have liked it. But he ran well for a very long way and showed himself to be in decent form. His pattern with cheekpieces shows that he isn’t a horse who only reacts to new headgear once, and then sulks. He seems to respond to a change for a few runs. He just ticks all of the ‘proven in conditions’ boxes really. I can’t see many others going with him on the front end on this ground. He will lead. Azure Fly won’t be too far away. They will have this between them turning for home!! (you have to be optimistic in this game)
Of the rest…
Well the only other interesting one for me is Mustmeetalady (indeed!) for Jonjo, simply because this trip could bring about any amount of improvement. It could not. He hasn’t been running great in ok ‘novice handicaps’ and the strength of his form is questionable to date. He has made mistakes. I think a few on here will be taken out of their comfort zone on this ground, and the pace they may go. He could be one of those, esp in the jumping stakes. But, he is interesting. However 6/1 generally isn’t big enough. Were he 12s I may have pondered for longer.
Courtown Oscar looks like a mud-lark to my eyes. He is unexposed over the trip but is 0/5,1p in handicap chases OR 121+. So, he is going to ‘have to’ do something he hasn’t done before. And that makes 6/1 skinny enough for me. Ground and handicap mark concerns. I will leave him.
Abracadabra Sivola may need a bit of a magic trick to win this. I don’t think his form is that strong and in any case is 0/7,1p in handicap chases with 8+ runners, and is 0/4,0p LH in handicap chases. He was also able to dictate a steady pace LTO and do as he pleased. He won’t be doing that here today. Now he may win this, but it is all about price. And given those questions he has, 7s wasn’t big enough to tempt me in.
Kilbree Chief – he was outpaced over 3m3f on heavy LTO, for a time, before staying on. He could find this happening all a bit too quick. ‘Could’. He is 0/7,2p when’good’ is in the going and is 0/8,2p above C4, 0/6 OR 121+. At 7s. No thanks. He can prove me wrong.
Old Bertie Boru – well the ground is a question – more so as to the pace and if his jumping holds up. He won a race that fell apart two starts ago and the race wasn’t run to suit LTO. Dawdle>sprint. It caught him out. He is in form at least and may run his race here. There is also still a stamina niggle, 0/9,0p 25f+. That is a question for the old boy here. And he will have to come from behind and his jumping will have to hold up, on his first run at the track. Not for me, again, at 6s. Price Price Price.
I can’t have the other 4 and if they beat me then so be it.
Onderun – 1 point win – 22/1 (Bet365/SB/BV) 20/1 (gen) PU 8/1
(well backed, got the price, no run. Not much more to say on that)
This race looks a right puzzle and I am going to take a flyer at a big priced one here who also happens to qualify in the Members post on the #1 advised strategy. The last two runs would put you off, but we get a price and it is only 1 point. I toyed with going EW but will stick with win only. This one has only had 7 chase runs, winning once. That win was on good to soft and he has never raced on good. That ‘could’ bring about a load of improvement. It could not. I can’t work out if he actually likes heavy ground or not but I want to see what he can do on a sound surface. He has had a break, Cobden has been booked,and Lavelle is in superb form- 4/20,8p the last 30 days, 2/8,4p the last 14 days. This one can race prominently and hopefully he is in the right spot. In theory there should be more to come from him over fences and at that price I wanted to take a stab. There are a few reasons for why he may out-run these odds. He could get out-paced, that is a concern, but you don’t need many at this price to drop in every now and then,to make the game pay.
I won’t go through any others. This race has a very open feel about it where you could make a case for plenty. Most of them have to step up on recent runs and all of them have some sort of question to answer, whether the step up in class, a big rise in handicap mark, ability to compete at this class etc. I won’t be putting you off any others. It has that feel to it.
That will be all for today. My ‘non stats shortlist’ tipping has been a tad questionable in recent weeks so with any luck one of these can go in.
Harry Fry Mares (10/1< guide,has had 12/1 winner)
2.30 NA – Lamanver Odyssey UP
Pam Sly (any odds)
4.55 Hayd – Actinpices UP
James Fanshawe Kempton (any odds)
3.45 Kemp- Zest 3rd
3.05 NA – Al Alfa UP?
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
4.10 NA – Moorlands Jack (9/1<) WON 5.8/1 (after R4)