2017 Total: 18/176, +89.5 points
1.30 Aintree: Becher Chase
Highland Lodge – 1.5 points win – 9/1 (gen)
Goodtoknow – 1.5 points win – 14/1 (gen)
Cresswell Breeze – 1 point win – 8/1 (gen)
Southfield Theatre – 1 point win – 11/1 (gen) 12/1 (PP/BetfS)
Time is getting the better of me this morning so this will be brief…
1.30 – Highland Lodge – this is his Gold Cup and I suspect the only race he is kept in training for! He will have been primed again to the minute for this. He will try to make all/race prominently and I though he was worth supporting. He could do a Hellow Bud who won this twice in non-consecutive years. He will give it a good go. The ground is a question, as it could be for a few- but he won a heavy ground Novice at Cheltenham once and went well for a long way in a Welsh National- not sure it was ground that beat him there. This is as far as he wants to go. I should get a run for my money and this may be the last chance to back him in this – i’d be surprised if younger legs don’t beat him next year, but i’m sure he’ll be back, to defend his crown hopefully. I tipped him on here at 33s when he won his first Becher and it would be a thrill if he could do so again.
Goodtoknow – he comes alive in really testing ground and should relish conditions. He ticks plenty of boxes for me and 14s seems a shade too big. He ran ok in the National and at least has experience of the fences. He jumped well on the whole. He should appreciate a less frenetic pace on this ground. Like Highland Lodge he should race prominently the whole way and will keep grinding away. I remember that Herford win when hardly anything else finished. If he repeated that second at Warwick, to the eventual GN winner, he would go very close here. He has the form to compete and unlike many in here is assured to like the ground.
Blacklion could win this well and I can cheer him on without backing him. He is too short now, having been 15/2 or so a few weeks back. I know at least one of you lumped on after my post Wetherby thoughts. GL. He has every chance. But too short now for me. You could give a chance to a few, but those two looked most intriguing to me. And I was against plenty of others for one reason or another.
3.30 – Cresswell Breeze won well enough the last day and this test could be right up her street. She is open to further progress this year and has been highly tried in the past. She will race prominently (could even lead, or should take it up from Harry Fry’s ‘if’ he fades again) and jumps very well. She gallops, she stays, and Honeyball remains in decent form. I thought there was a lot to like about her chance and there won’t be any excuse here. There is a chance the last race leaves a mark, but I am guessing there. If she runs flat that will be why. 8s was fair.
Southfield Theatre – i’d like to think this has been a plan and he ran well after a fairly long break LTO. The CP seemed to help and he was going forward at the line, rather than being tailed off. If he repeated his run here four starts ago he would go very close to winning this. He did have a touch of class a few years ago and has the ability to win this. He has track form and wont fail for a lack of stamina. Nicholls has won this race a few times in recent years. The only niggle was the jockey booking. He knows how to ride and got his eye in for Sandown yesterday on another Nicholls horse, who ran well. His 7lb will help and makes this one well handicapped. I am surprised another of his jockeys isn’t riding but his price allowed me not to torture myself over that for too long. He should be here to run his race and at 11s I was happy to play.
I didn’t like the prices of the two at the top as they are usually held up and will have to close/their jumping will come under pressure- that may not be an issue but I just would have preferred bigger than 5s. Fletchers Flyer has PU the last twice, no thanks. Maybe the headgear works. The Happy Chappy – I tipped him on here LTO but this is a completely different test. I’m intrigued to see how he gets on but wasn’t tempted to play him. I hope he runs well and I won’t fall of my seat if he wins. Sandown’s fences are very different to Ludlow though!
I’m in a rush..
12.40 Sandown -All My Love
1.30 Aint – Vic De Touzaine (16/1<)
1.20 Weth – Sir Will (12/1<)
2.45 Chep- Alfie Spinner (12/1<)
2.25 Weth – Grey Gold (12/1<)
1.30 Aintree – Good To Know (12/1<)
That’s the lot for today. GL with any bets. Josh