4.25 Warwick- Ballycross – 2 point win – 7/2 (general) UP 9/4
Ah bollocks… well, that’s the last of silly price season. I won’t be celebrating beating that price. Winner drifted to 14s, then back in to 13/2 which sounded an alarm- was clearly a1 here- not sure if Sam has done too much up front- but given I thought he lacked some gears I won’t complain, thought may just pull away turning in. Pleased I have got that price shambles out the way early on in the season! Moving on.
God help us all as I dive in with my maximum ‘tipping’ stake (2 points) on a 7/2 shot. Gulp. I do think this may still be 1 point too big and it is likely he goes off favourite here. The more I stared at this race, the more he jumped out at me. I just kept thinking that if there is one horse in here who could demolish this field, it is him. My head and gut aligned, and in I have gone, head first. We know how this usually ends!
Any members/backers of my Twister angles may have been on at bigger prices last night, I think there was some 5s available. Alas I have missed that, but as I said in my dodgy ‘top of the market’ judgement, there is still a shade of value in this. You have to be backing horses at a bigger price than you think they should be, and I think this one should probably be 5/2 fav.
The case, or ‘the logic’ ,as my rather impressive tipping friends SP2A would say, is this..
Firstly, it is ‘twister time’ (i’ve borrowed that phrase from my good pal Ben Aitken,i’m sure he won’t mind) and there are no fitness concerns. That will not be an excuse. If they want him fit enough to win here today, he will be. I have fitness concerns over a few of the others, which is another reason why I found myself being rather bullish.
Secondly.. he has the most exciting profile of any horse in this race. He is lightly raced over fences and surely this is the season he comes into his own. He has run in some decent races, especially the latter two at Chepstow.. decent in the sense that they have both produced numerous winners that he was either in front of, or just behind. And he ran well there. He is entitled to have learnt from that experience. Indeed with any luck simply a repeat of those Chepstow efforts should be enough to see him go close here. I couldn’t help notice that they then pitched him into some rather hot chases- probably a bit too soon given his inexperience- but surely a sign that they must like him.
His jumping was suspect at times last year- which you can forgive a young chase. In this small field, where he should be able to measure his fences, there really will be no excuse. STD also rides for the first time in 6 runs, and without doubt he is the best jockey that has ridden him to date. That experience should really help the horse. He usually races prominently which I want in a chaser. I think he is likely to stay much further than this in time, and as such they must make plenty of use of him. He will be fitter than a few of these and I hope they try and run them into submission.
I am expecting it all to click today and for him to show that he has a bit in hand over fences.
He just ticks a lot of boxes and when combined with my thoughts on the rest, I had to dive in really. Maybe it will prove to be foolish but I can live with this particular shorty letting me down, as it is as confident I can be with this type really, in a small field.
My confidence also stems from an assessment of the rest…
Sego Success.. too short for one who usually needs the run and may prefer it softer. A repeat of that Bangor run may put him in the mix and if a1 could give me plenty to think about. But he was 11/4, 3/1 when looking and given those questions that was just short enough. He is relying on not bumping into anything younger/more progressive also. Mainly a price based decision, clearly I won’t fall off my seat if he wins.
Shanroe Santos… the main danger if fully wound up but I am guessing as to his fitness on his return. I don’t know if he will or won’t be fit enough over fences after 173 days off. That combined with the fact the trainer is 0/5,0p in the last two weeks (some of them fancied well enough) was enough to put me off… at the price! 4/1 didn’t seem overly generous given the fitness niggle. He may also want it softer and is usually held up. I don’t mind that if I can get a price, but not at 4s. Happy for him to beat me, which he may well do.
Lofgren… little evidence that he stays this trip and his last three runs don’t suggest he will appreciate further. If he had winning chase form over 20-21f I would be more concerned, but he doesn’t. He has yet to prove he wants much further than 17f and on that basis I will leave him. He is slightly more exposed than the selection also. Maybe this trip will see him in a new light and I have read his recent runs incorrectly. After all, he hasn’t proved he cant’t stay this trip as it is his first go at it over fences. But a niggle. I have left him. Hard to say he is in great form either.
No Buts- well he usually needs the run and this 9 year old will have to pull out something special to take this you feel.
Beggars Cross.. well he has a fitness question like most in here and he does look a C4 animal. He needs a career best on his return and while he has won chases, I don’t think his chase form matches those Chepstow placed efforts of the selection. A few niggles but he is lightly enough raced over fences so you never fall of your seat when this type pops up- but I was happy to leave. He doesn’t have the ‘could be anything’ factor that I think the selection possess.
Long Lunch.. that leaves this boy, who I was happy to leave also. That could be dangerous given the form Longsdon has been in but the horse didn’t show any form the back end of last season and has something to prove. He is 0/5,1p in handicaps after 60+ days off and as such has a fitness question/concern. He also does look better over shorter albeit that Donny run suggests he does stay- and in this small field may well get away with it. I do think there are stouter stayers in here but if he is fit and this turns into a relative ‘sprint’ he may be no forlorn hope. He is also usually held up out the back also, and will have to close on the leaders at some point if adopting usual tactics. Given the questions.. recent form,fitness,stamina question, tactics.. I thought 6/1 wasn’t overly generous. I’d want a few points bigger myself.
So, that’s the lot.
I have gone for the one who without doubt looks the most exciting and if there is one chaser in here to follow after this race, that may make further progress, it can only be him. Today is the day to step up a gear. Let’s hope he does.
PACE… Sego Success can make all, or be held up. Interesting what they do with him. He would be dangerous to leave alone and dictate a steady gallop as that could let him get away with not being 100% fit. If they don’t lead.. well No Buts can, if good enough/sharp enough to stay there, but again he isn’t consistent… Ballycross.. well he races up there.. I wouldn’t be shocked if STD is aggressive with him… he stays further and the best place to get into a jumping rhythm is at the head of the field with no horses in front of you. We shall see. But he should track any pace and if good enough there won’t be an excuse.
An interesting little contest. I can live with any of the others winning at their current odds,(and you wouldn’t be shocked if any one of 5/6 went close) based on how I view these things. If Ballycross wins this well, I would have been annoyed had I not put him up at what could look a decent enough price come 4.35. If he doesn’t go close, justify the support at these odds, maybe I will never back any 3m+ chaser under 9/2, 11/2, ever again! No pressure.
Trainer/jockey combo – live test
3.05 Hunt – Tangolan (12/1< guide)
4.10 Hunt – Sissinghurst (12/1< guide)
3.40 Hunt – Matchaway (12/1<)
K Lee Chasers
3.40 Hunt – Matchaway (12/1<)