Hmm… well Landmeafortune did anything but and may still be running. Those of you who mused that he may not be up to this level, would get outclassed etc, were spot on. I got that one wrong but would probably make the same bet again at the odds! He was there, travelling and jumping well, for the most part.. but when the taps turned he couldn’t go with them. Given how Presented ran, I am minded to think that on this ground, in this class, he may not have stayed. I thought he would. Anyway. What can I learn/ponder about on the winner… 6s< I always think is too short for one without an ‘after a break winning profile’ especially when it is a slog. There are two things I didn’t appreciate fully with Courtown Oscar.. he arguably had the best form on paper in this (and clearly likes it here) and the trainer’s record with readying them after a break was solid- and to a point made the horse’s record irrelevant…especially since he had never returned to action in ‘ideal conditions’ and ran well enough on return last year. That is all with hindsight of course, and I am still not sure i’d have got to a place to back him at his generally available morning price. Oh, I also didn’t appreciate that he may get an easy enough lead! Poor. Maybe all combined, made 6s decent, 7s certainly so. Always something to ponder. Moving on… (all eyes on the 3rd there…you’d think he may have a nice pot in him this season… you’d like to see him going close on one of his next couple of starts)
4.20 – Cheltenham
Bugsie Malone – 1 point win – 9/1 (gen) Fell
Regal Flow – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) 3rd 16/1
Petite Power – 1 point win – 14/1 (gen) 4th 16/1
Decent enough run from 2 of them there, winner was long gone mind! I wasn’t close to finding him so back to the drawing board there.
Ah, well, I just couldn’t help myself really! I know, you know, everyone knows, that my first reaction post race will probably be ‘why did I play in that’ – but my aim is to try and solve these puzzles and not bothering feels a bit like defeat to me. A 3m+ handicap chase at Cheltenham… I just had to have a go. My head, and probably gut, says i’m an idiot, but I am excited to see these three run…
Bugsie Malone – an interesting horse who has more upside potential than most in here, and certainly, at the prices (and with his unexposed profile) looks the most interesting of the fit horses in this. He comes here having had a spin over hurdles LTO which I thought interesting… it may indicate this has been an early season target. As would the jockey bookinig.. Ms Andrews is 8/27,10,+61 in handicap chases! (does inc a 40/1 winner, which was here..she even rides the track well) That caught my eye. Having watched the videos back of this horse I am intrigued to see him at this track.. he looks like staying chaser in the making and with any luck is stronger than last season. I am hoping he relishes this stiff 25f. It ‘could’ be the making of him. His jumping was decent when last seen chasing and with any luck that holds him in good stead. He can also race up with the pace, which I always like- provided they don’t do too much too soon. Gordon is 1/13 at the track and his have been going well enough in recent weeks. He just had that unexposed profile in conditions, comes here fit, and is well worth a go here. 9s seemed fair enough. With any luck he may drift.
Regal Flow – well if he drifts I may be concerned! I have sat on the fence with this one but he has won this race before and is only one of two course winners in the line up (Indian Castle the other). Despite his age this is ‘only’ his 14th handicap chase. Fitness is the question.. I had a look at Bob Buckler with handicap chasers (which are his ‘thing’,all about the chaser) in the last 5 years returning 121-365 days.. and he is 4/18,7p, 3/10,4p since he moved yards I think… I also went for a hunt around on his website… this one gets a mention in one of their updates as this being the target (which I hoped it would be given he has won it before) and in his last bulletin Bob says the horse looks a lot stronger than he did before last year’s race- which is a good job, as he was rubbish in that. He books a jockey who has won the 4 miler around here, which is a positive. Clearly I am taking fitness on trust but there is enough evidence above to have a go at 16/1. If he drifts beyond that I won’t have much hope. If he ran to his best he goes close here and was in form when last seen.
Petite Power – 14s has lured me in for last year’s winning trainer. There is every chance he needs the run but he isn’t a single figure price and I will take the chance. There is a possibility he takes one or two fences with him and may not be good enough! I’m selling him here! BUT…he is another with an unexposed profile who will have more to come over fences one day. Having watched a few of his recent runs back he does look like a dour stayer in the making- I am excited to see what he can do around 25f at this most challenging of tracks. It could be this big field, stronger pace, and trip suits him to the ground. There should be more to come this year and is one to keep an eye on. He has had a tendency to hit fences later on in his races, when closing on leaders, so I am braced for the worse. This young jockey is decent enough and knows how to ride a chaser to victory. They usually try and be aggressive with their chasers and he may be up there- if having the speed to hold a position early. I’d like to think Fergal may have targeted this race and i’d be sick if he won with no support- with fitness the only reason I wouldn’t play- I get 14/1 to find out.
So, one of them or more could go very close here. There are reasons why they could join Landmeafortune and still be running long after the winner has crossed the line! 🙂 that’s how I play this long distance chasing game.
Of the rest…
I can leave the Elliot horse at 4s who has stamina to prove at a track like this. He may relish it. I can live with him winning. As I can Indian Castle at what is now 7/1 or so… were he 14s+ I may have had a saver/pondered some more.. but that is a long time off the track even for a yard in red hot form. If a1, and mentally on song, he could win this very well. He does still have to prove he really stays this trip around here and some of his best form has been on much softer- i do wonder if he will get tapped for toe/too far back. We shall see. It would be great to see a horse like this bounce back into form. But at his price I will let him beat me.
I really wasn’t leaping up and down to back anything else…
Sporting Boy’s price seems fair but this is a new test and he won a race that seemingly fell apart the last day. It looked too good to be true. Maybe he is just in the form of his life and he will dot up again.This is a very different test to the last day but he deserves his place here. Azure Fly is now 0/7,1p at the track and while he did run on for second in this last year was beaten well enough- i’d like to think a more unexposed/lightly raced one would have his measure.. but he will keep going, is fit and in form. So on that basis no shock. If many of these do indeed need the run, much like that Exeter chase, he is what you would call the ‘solid’ option I suppose- provided he doesn’t get too far back – which is the fear with him around here if they go a pace, on this ground, over 25f. Capard King is the only other I was mildly interested in and I suspect the market will guide. He has to prove he handles big fields, and this track fully, and has a fitness question. He needed the run in this last year but Jonjo is mercurial, and he can ready them. He just had a few too many questions for me and has always looked better on soft,and flatter tracks.
I may not have mentioned the winner of course, so we shall see. Hopefully those three can give me a run for my money.
And if they all fall in a hole, maybe I am then best waiting for races where most of the runners have had a run! A fair bit of guesswork at this time of year, which in general is why I want a big price for those with fitness unknowns.
GL if you play, you brave souls!
Flat 2017: 60+ Day Trainers
2.50 Newb- Precious Ramotswe
4.45 Donc – Pouvoir Magique
That’s the lot for today,
GL with any bets