Marlee Massie – 1 point win – 12/1 (general) UP 16/1
Castletown Bridge – 1 point win – 22/1, 20/1 (general) UR 33s
Hmm. Well I shouldn’t have bothered but never mind. The market told the story there. I wasn’t close to the winner albeit did note the headgear switch, I didn’t think he would be good enough/questions over his consistency, but he has done that well. He was a big price this morning, 25s or so. Moving on, swiftly.
Shortlist: Double Whammy / Shanroe Street / Bindon Mill / Optimistic Bias
Well this is a right old puzzle and in truth I have little confidence that I am anywhere near to solving it! I should probably have left it but can rarely resist such races even when they give me a headache. This race is full of horses trying this kind of trip for the first time and quite a few lightly raced chasers also. And they all seem fairly moderate. Something will step forward here, and it may be one of these two. I have gone for a couple of pokes…
Marlee Massie- well the trainer won this in 2014 and this horse looks like he is worth a go at this kind of trip- it could bring out plenty more from him. He is in form and has rarely run a bad race in recent weeks. He can often get out-paced before rallying/plugging on. The only niggle is the ground- it is an unknown over fences. Clearly he handles much softer but he has some decent hurdle runs on a sound surface and at a double figure price I thought I would take a chance. The trip could be more important. It could be he just won’t handle the going it but if he does, I think he may relish the last few furlongs here. As they say, only one way to find out.
Castletown Bridge – clearly a punt but he is lightly raced over fences and seems like he must have decent ground. I think a line can be put through his last run, and possibly the one before which in any case was a novice chase. The two Musselburgh runs were ok- a win in a 3 runner race, and that 24f run- well he got outpaced but rallied turning for home and came back on the bridle for a time, before plodding home the one pace. He has also run some decent enough races at the track over hurdles. I think he will relish the ground and there is a chance he may relish the trip. His price made me want to roll the dice. It could be he is just badly out of form and in any case won’t stay. But, I couldn’t quite leave him at 22s.
Of the rest… well Double Whammy looks like he has been set up for this having won it last year. He did catch the eye a bit LTO, travelling like the winner heading for home before finding little. They may have left a bit to work on. But, he is 11 and at 11/2 I was happy to leave him/take him on. Shanroe Street – well Russell knows how to train a staying chaser as we know, but she is only 1/41 in c3 handicap chases here in the last 5 years and 1/35 with all handicap chasers in the last 2. That put me off a tad and I think were he to relish this trip he should have been pulling away over 27f LTO, maybe. But he is lightly raced and may relish it. This is also only his 4th chase start and he has yet to win one- that lack of experience niggled at me a little. If you like him there isn’t too much for me to say to put you off.
Bindon Mill is unexposed but was a bit too poor LTO I think and is usually held up. I don’t know, at 8s I wasn’t jumping up and down to back him. Fast ground is a bit of an unknown with him as well and that race he won 2 starts ago hasn’t worked out very well. Optimistic Bias is another unexposed one over fences. I don’t know how strong his form is and decided I didn’t like that run at Huntingdon over a marathon trip, I would have liked to have seen more. His last race fell apart a bit, only 2 really finished and some of his jumping was scratchy – at the pace they may go on this ground, that was a niggle. All in the context of him being 7s, again, not a price I wanted to take.
I should mention Nakadam- 7s is ok but he has just become a bit disappointing and has had plenty of chances. He also has to prove he will like going RH- he may do. He is another who could relish the trip but I will leave him here. I struggles to make a case for any others really.
This just feels open and you can make a case for a few. I don’t think you can be confident on anything in here, which is why I wanted double figure prices.
We shall see how these two get on.
A King (16/1<)
1.40 Donc – City Dreamer
That is all for this post.