Barton Gift – 1 point EW – 40/1 PU
Jepek – 1 point win – 22/1 (bet365/BV) 3rd 16/1
Cailleach Annie – 1 point win – 25/1 (gen) 4th 14/1
Ah damn, that was exciting… I thought one of the latter two may have had that as they approached two out and then one out, and even jumping the last it wasn’t clear… but they have both just been outstayed late on there. The lack of fences has helped Yanmere and given how far he got behind at one stage I suspect the lack of fences has been crucial – allied to the fact he can hit one,as can the second. But then it may have helped both of mine, so who knows! That’s racing. Beat SP, got a decent run for money, winner wasn’t a shock. I can live with that- it’s more painful if another monster wins that i didn’t touch.
2017 Total: 18/176, +89.5 points
Barton Gift – I couldn’t leave him at 40/1 which seems a bit insulting to my eyes. He could do anything in this race, the full spectrum…he could struggle early, drop himself out, and be pulled up by halfway. He could bounce into the lead, jump for fun and win. He could track the pace, run his race, and plug on for 3rd or 4th. I rarely get him right in truth so who knows, but like I said 40s allowed the play. A rare EW bet but such is his price and the 4 places I couldn’t resist. And I don’t want 1/2 point win on the next 40/1 shot that I find, which I will do, at some point. It is his second run after a break where he ran ok. He also gets the headgear change which can usually lead to an improved performance. The ground, track and distance are all fine. He is the main ‘been there and done it horse’ in this race. He won’t lose for a lack of stamina. He may well lack the class for this as his C3 record at this level is poor- but his ability to handle testing ground, the track, and stamina have made me overlook that,in the context of his price. He also gets Bryony Frost in the saddle which is no bad thing. Her + her 5lb will help. He doesn’t have to lead- if he is in the mood he can sit 3rd/4th and still run his race, but ideally they will be aggressive with him. There is competition for the lead but I hope they try and ride him up there, that is when he’s at his best. Like I said nothing will be a shock here. I just hope he heads out on the final circuit up there and travelling well, as it could then get interesting. He’ll probably finish 5th now!
Jepek – well it is a day of big priced pokes who could do anything and here is another. He is unexposed under rules, Jacob has been booked, and given his run at Cheltenham over a marathon trip (it was a Hunter Chase mind) I was intrigued to see him give this a go, and also return to slower ground. His jumping was sketchy the last day and that is putting it politely. It wasn’t awful but it could have been much better. In the end I think those errors plus the lack of a run caught up with him as he stopped quickly in sticky ground. He may be nowhere near good enough and the bet may be lost early on. But there was just something there that lured me in at 22/1. I couldn’t help myself.
Cailleach Annie – another’could be anything’ poke who i’ve always thought may be worth a go over a marathon trip. She is 0/7 over fences but there are a couple of credible efforts and this could be the season she comes into her own. There should be more to come at some point and that last run wasn’t awful. I suspect she needed the run but in testing ground at Chepstow she kept galloping when most of the field had given up. She is another that can hit a fence but I wanted to see what she could do around here, over 3m6f, in soft/heavy. The CP have helped recently and she wore a first time TT the last day- it could be that has more of an effect this time. It is only her second chase run RH as well,having won here over hurdles. This is another poke but again, at 25s, I thought there was something there.
So, we shall see. I won’t fall off my seat if 4 points are down the drain before they enter the final mile, but then neither would I be in shock if any of them massively out-ran their odds and went very close. Hopefully Barton Gift can place as a worst result, that wouldn’t be too bad and would win more than backing any of those near the front end.
Of the rest… In part I have taken flyers on three biggies because I didn’t want to be with anything at a single figure price- I didn’t think any of them were overly generous/that over priced. Clearly I may be asking for a miracle for none of them to win but I just couldn’t touch them. Pipes may hack up again but is up in the ratings, won a weak race the last day to my eye, and has to prove he stays. I suspect he may relish this trip and could win well. But 4s wasn’t enticing for me. The Bailey/I Williams chasers are very unexposed- they ‘could’ lack enough chase experience for a test like this. Out of those near the top I do like the Bailey horse most but again, when playing 6/1< in a race like this and with this many runners- i’d want them to be guaranteed to stay. I suspect he may relish it also, but I couldn’t tempt myself in. Maybe i’ll be cursing that decision later. Yanmere may just gallop them into submission but he can be lazy and he can clout a fence, esp late on. That makes 11/2 short enough for me.
Of the other biggies…well Umberto D’Olivate and Only Gorgeous hit my members’ stats, based on the trainer behaviour. And Umberto hits a couple of advised strategies. So he may get £5 from my system bank at BFSP- i’m not convinced by him as he can sulk- I don’t think he will get an easy lead here which he likes. But again, in what feels a very open race, no forlorn hope. Just depends what form he is in, and his last two runs haven’t been the best. I’d be surprised if Only Gorgeous stayed this trip, in the ground, in a race run at a proper gallop.
So, that will do. I’ll prepare myself for the worst while hoping for some excitement! I haven’t backed a monster for a little while, it would be good to find another one.
Perrett All-Weather (12/1<)
7.45 Chelm- Eltezam
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
1.45 Sedge – Dick Darsie (12/1<)
1.35 Exet – Cesar Collonges (12/1<)