A decent 8/1 winner on Friday helped boost the bottom line… 2017 Total: 18/160, +106.5 points
A poor day on many levels, poor decision making/analysis. Moving on, swiftly. 2017 Total: 18/164, +102.5 points
Emperor’s Choice – 1 point win – 5/1 3rd (distant)
I’d be surprised if one of the top 3 in the market doesn’t win this as everything else seems to have major questions in conditions. This one is the biggest price of those three and as a previous winner of this race will relish conditions. His course form and the fact this is one of the easier races he has contested for a while, shaded it over Russe Blanc. But, i wouldn’t begrudge him a win here. 7/2 was just short enough for him/about right, and I have some niggles over how good he is now, even for a C3 like this. He has never been the same since winning for us at Warwick (the 20/1 big Sat winners always have a special place in the heart, they are hard to find) and I didn’t think that price was overly generous. I can cheer him home no problem. Emperor’s Choice… well he has won fresh and has a superb record in the mud. The cheekpieces return here for the first time in years. Effectively ‘1st time CP’ and he responded to 1st time blinkers last year, on his one decent run in recent history. He has the ability for this and surely it has been the target. One last hurrah. Tom Scu has ridden him before and has an ok record for Venetia from limited rides. I think it’s significant he has been booked. It may be he has gone at the game but a return here, in heavy, fresh, and with the CP, made 5/1 seem ok – given I think this is a three runner race. I think he or Russe wins, i’ve probably picked the wrong one, but that’s the reasoning.
Outlander – 1 point win – 5/1 UP
I thought 5s was ok for this one… he is a solid C1 chase performer…well, i say solid… he has been inconsistent in the past but the hope is that the CP work again. Conditions look fine although he does have to prove he truly stays…but he never looks like stopping over 3m and he may relish it. He arrives here fit and inform, on the back of a G1 win. I thought he looked the value alternative in this.
Of the rest… well we backed BDM at 8/1 when winning LTO. He needs to prove he has the ability for a G1 Chase and on the figures does have a bit to find with Outlander… if he runs to 166 of course. But he does look progressive and deserves to be fav I think. However he is too short for me and I’m happy to take him on. It would bring the house down if Cue Card won. He may do. But he is 11 and for me didn’t look himself even before walking through that fence LTO. It does look like he just didn’t see it and I hope he bounces back here. But, after a long and illustrious career, he could now be on the downgrade. I can’t back him at that price, but I can be jumping up and down to cheer him across the line.
Tea For Two was the other interesting one but I don’t like chasers turning up to G1s seemingly out of form. That was an awful run LTO and I just can’t look past that. He does have to prove he wants a slog also, and in the end that was enough for me to leave him. I’d be a bit annoyed if he sluiced up at 11s but I was happy to leave him.
Baywing – 1 point win – 8/1 Fell early
Ballymalin – 1 point win – 8/1 PU (never jumped)
Shortlist: Baywing / Ballymalin / Chase The Spud WON- bollocks
I did use a few stats/pointers for this race and these two came out well against those. Historically this race has gone to an up and coming/progressive/unexposed chaser, and we shall see if that holds today.
Baywing… he relishes heavy and will appreciate this step back up in trip. It may well have been a target and he will keep galloping when many others may have given up. His jumping can be sticky and the handicapper may have him- but that isn’t conclusive and he is unexposed over fences still. He has a touch of class and top weights have done well in this. Given his profile and the fact he should be fit, I thought 8/1 was decent enough.
Ballymalin... I’d like to think he will gallop this lot into the ground from the front. He looks like a slogger to me, is unexposed, has a touch of ability, is generally consistent and his yard is in flying form still. There is more to come from him as a chaser. It may not be today but at 8s I will pay to find out. Heavy is still a question I suppose but he has won/ran well in testing conditions in NHF/Novice hurdles etc. They can be deceiving as class can take you a long way in such races. It could be he flounders but at that price I am going to roll the dice and anticipate that he’ll relish it. Hopefully he can get an easy lead on the front end.
Of the rest… well I have had a saver on Chase The Spud… he has won fresh, relishes the mud, and will stay. He is 9lb above his last win and isn’t getting any younger. But they may have found the key to him now and he will just keep going. My head says he may get out-paced but younger legs, even in these conditions, and he falls down on plenty of historical stats/trends…but they are there to be broken I suppose. And team FOB can’t do much wrong at the moment. If 100% fit he may not be far away. I do hope that Ballymalin may be too far ahead when he does start plugging on! Robinsfirth may take this but his price reflects his chance… he looks a brute of a horse but is unproven in testing conditions- which is ok if he were double this price, but he isn’t. He could have plenty in hand and relish them, we shall see. I didn’t want to be with anything else in this. The Henderson horse has yet to win a chase and heavy is an unknown. And he has a fitness Q. At his price i was happy to leave.
That’s the lot for today. GL with any bets.
V Williams (16/1< , yet to fire with this angle!)
12.40 Hayd- Emperors Choice 3rd
3.15 Ascot- Cepage
Trainer/Jockey Combo– Live Test
12.40 Hayd – Hainan (12/1<) WON 12/1>13/2
1.50 Hayd – Diamond Fort (12/1< guide)
3.35 Hayd – Cloudy Too (12/1<)
3.15 Ascot – Sire De Grugy (14/1<)
Back at some point.