(2017 Total: 17/158, +99.5 points)
My over confidence got the slap in the face it deserved on Friday. That will learn’ya as my grandad would say. I’m happy enough with how I read the race and the winner was in my ‘shortlist’ of 5. I was happy leaving him at his morning price. I have pondered whether I could have got in a position to back him at 6s, but I didn’t. If only he was 11s in the morning, i’d have been disappointed with myself if I didn’t recommend at least 1/2 a point at those odds- in line with the write up I gave him. Never mind. A line under that race and we move on.
Doing Fine – 2 points win – 9/2 (gen)
Vicente – 1 point win – 8/1 (gen) 2nd 9/2 (15p R4)
Ahh.. no complaints there, a superb race.. another Nicholl’s horse who you would have assumed preferred good, but had yet to prove they wouldn’t handle soft I don’t think. Were it confirmed soft when I looked I’m not sure I’d have have gone for him! So, there we go. Great race and great ride on the winner.
Doing Fine.. I think I have gone full circle on him, or maybe I have gone from being a bit on the fence to deciding he is the one they all have to beat! He entered the ‘notebook’ on both his first and second runs this season, running as if they have had a target in mind… I am banking on it being this race. He has the ability to take this.. at first I was put off by his record in higher classes but most of his duff runs were when trained by Rebecca Curtis. He has rarely run a bad race for Mulholland. He stays, he has form at the track and the ground is no problem. And he arrives here fit and well, going forward at the line LTO in a way that suggests he should run his race here. He will appreciate the trip and he has won in smaller fields. Hopefully he doesn’t get too far back and they go a pace he can cope with. He is a sound jumper on his day. Having looked and pondered, and having considered the chances of the rest (in the context of their price) I concluded he was the one. Having tracked him/highlighted him this season, i’d be annoyed with myself if I wasn’t on when he bolted up…more so than losing 2 point on him if he doesn’t. This is a smaller field and I do have to adjust my own price prejudice. This isn’t a 12/14/16+ runner race where I would normally look to take on most under 6s.
Vicente... I just couldn’t resist at that price and it allows me to play with the obvious niggle that he may need the run. Nicholls/Hemmings may have national/Scottish National targets in mind and the whole season will be geared towards that. In his Betfair column he suggests he may need a run or two. BUT, he has said that numerous times, with good intentions, and got it wrong. I’m sure he underestimates his own ability to get them fit sometimes! From memory there have been a few decent priced Saturday winners that have gone in that he thought ‘needed the run’ and he has told the owners as such. The horse has a decent profile fresh, so can be readied if they want. He has decent form around here, has the class, and he stays very well. I also pondered whether a few in this may fall in a hole and he actually wouldn’t need to be a1. We shall see. But at 8s, I wanted to throw 1 point at him.
Of the rest…
Three Faces West may lead these all a merry dance. At 9/2 I was happy to leave, mainly due to the absence. Now Hobbs can ready them but I have also been swayed by the fact that the horse doesn’t have a winning profile fresh. He hasn’t had many goes but when playing at this price I would like to see a win after a break. If Dickie can dictate on the front (there is every chance) then that may help him get home. But he does also have stamina to prove and this is a career high mark. That is fine, because he is unexposed, but then it comes down to price. Under 6s, given the fitness niggle, is short enough I think. You may think 9/2 is fair and I won’t be in shock if he makes all. I will be able to live with it, just!
Minella Rocco- his presence gives a lopsided look to this handicap, given his rating of 166… he may need a Denman like performance from this rating/weight to win this, and I don’t think he is a Denman! His handicap mark has swayed me to leave him, given he is 5/1. Were he a bigger price he may be of more interest but backing a Jonjo horse at such skinny odds can leave you red faced. A repeat of that Gold Cup run would put him in the mix and he is fit. I just thought something with more in hand/less on their back, may scoot away up that hill. All credit to him if he does carry this to victory. In this race last year (which was 17 runners, a rare small field this year) he came third of a mark of 155. He races off 166 here. It is a tough ask, and 5s just felt short in that context. He may well out-class them all though, we shall see.
I was struggling to be enthusiastic about much else. Premier Bond needs to step forward on previous form but is unexposed. There is a fitness question and Hendo doesn’t have the best record in handicaps at this meeting or in staying races. But, he can clearly train them to win these races and the horse looks a stayer. Again, it comes down to price. He has fitness, stamina and ability to prove. Which he may well do, but at 11/2 I could leave him.
I would be mildly surprised if the other 4 are good enough to win this. I can’t have them personally.
So, those two will do. An intriguing little contest and I wouldn’t mind pushing through that 100 point mark and fixing my eyes on the next target. I keep hovering. Hopefully one of these two can help.
GL with any bets.
That’s the lot for today.
V Williams (16/1<)
2.25 Chelt – Plaisir Damour
Sat Trainer/Jockey Combo
1.50 Chelt – Three Faces West