(2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018 1/3, +14)
2.05 Chepstow – Welsh National
Milansbar – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) UR/BD
On The Road – 1 point win – 20/1 (gen) UR
*Poor. very poor. Milansbar didn’t go the early pace at all and never picked up the bridle, maybe resenting the headgear. Not sure really. They went hard early and he couldn’t cope. On The Road UR fairly early on, shame. Not sure if unsighted but his inexperience was the risk. Won’t complain. Wasn’t close to finding the winner.
Buywise – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) WON 16/1>12/1
*that went to plan, it really couldn’t have gone better. A funny old game. One race read appallingly, the other was near enough perfect. On we go.
Milansbar – I am very excited about watching him here. I think he may be the ‘best’ slogger in this race, on what they have all done. I only say that based on his Midlands National 2nd in 2016 where he lugged around 11-12 in very soft ground over 4m+. That was off a mark of 145 and he comes here today off 134. Aged 11 he is lightly raced for his age, this being his 13th chase start. Were he 8/9 you’d say he had the perfect profile/prep for this. I fancied him to run a big race in this last year but after taking the second fence home with him he was never in it. On better ground and going a ferocious pace, he just couldn’t cope. He is an old fashioned galloper and that is what you may need here today. He is 11lb lower than last year’s race, has had one more prep run, and has 7lb less to carry on his back. Wheelan rides which is a positive. Of some interest they put him in first time CP which could make a difference. He may hate them but they could help him travel better. He comes here in decent form and his run LTO suggests this has been the plan. He was going forward at the line and wasn’t given an overly hard time. He could be spot on here. He races prominently enough and I just hope he gets into a rhythm and is clearly travelling early. If he is there turning in i’m not sure anything else in here, at the weights, will out-stay him. At 16s I had to play. Fingers crossed I get a run for my money, for longer than I did last year! Everything looks right this time. An older horse has won this before and as I said he is lightly raced for his age. More than built into the price. A live ‘outsider’ for sure.
On The Road – a proper stab but he is 20/1 and given he has 10-00 on his back with the claim, and his position on the shortlist below, I had to have a dart. He rarely runs a bad race and is unexposed as a staying chaser. He is unexposed as a chaser. Heavy is no problem. The trip, and even 3m+, is a real unknown. He shapes as if 26f or so is no problem and has stayed on over that trip before at Sedgefield, having been out-paced. He may not handle such a big field over fences. He may not have the class, his jumping could fall to pieces. But all of these are unknowns, he has yet to prove he can’t compete in a race like this. With those types you want a big price and i get that here. He looks the one ‘interesting’ one in this to my eyes.
In truth I have been led by my stats. Carrying 11-00+ in heavy, in this race, has proved impossible in the last 20 years (11 races on official heavy). The number of placed horses suggests something will do it one year and that may be today. But i can live with that. Those near the top of the weights would have to be nearing G1 class to win this I think. Native River was last year and that was on better ground. I don’t think any of those look that sort yet, but today could be when they ‘arrive’. (Beware The Bear the interesting one on that front). You could make a case for nearly every runner in this race but I have just focused on those carrying less than 11-00. I have been through every runner and have reasons why, at the prices, I have left them. Others at a price that may be worth a mention include Buckhorn Timothy (not sure has class/good enough/is a slogger) and Ask The Weatherman – he could be anything, including not good enough. He looks a slow old boat who may just gallop on. 14s is ok, but I fancied the two above at bigger prices more.
GL with whatever you play on. I won’t be putting you off anything in this really, it looks so open. And in those types of big Saturday races I want a double figure price really.
16/1 has lured me in for Buywise. I’m not sure what you have to do to qualify for this race but i’m not sure he has run in a Veteran’s Chase before? That in itself makes him interesting. Three starts ago he was running a decent 4th in a big field Festival handicap, off 7lb higher. He was staying on late as is his want. Were there 4 places here I may have been tempted to go EW but i’ll just stick to on he nose. I think he has a more interesting profile than most in here. He used to relish heavy in his younger days and looks like a stayer now. Unlike many I don’t have a history with this horse. I’m not sure I have every tipped him before. He just always seems to stay on late, too late, never quite getting there. He may do that today. I thought this race could set up for him as there are 5/6 who like to get on with it. I also thought the jockey booking was interesting. It is at least something new for the horse. Williams/Aspell are 4/9,6p when they team up in handicaps. That caught the eye. Some thought may have gone into this booking given his main jocks are at Chepstow for the big one. Aspell rides this track well also, 5/21,8p in the last year. I can see him hunting around out the back and storming up this hill. Or he clouts the odd fence and is never sighted 🙂 There was just something about him that made me want to have a dart at 16s. He is a hold up merchant so you always want a decent price. I’ll prepare for a running on 3rd, never quite getting there but giving me hope over the last! I struggled to make a case for much else.
The other two I looked at fairly hard were Perfect Candidate and Houblon Des Obeaux. Those two could run their races,albeit the former rarely puts two decent runs back to back.
Welsh Grand National Stats/Trends/Pointers
For those who wish to start early… I am not sure these will help too much but some decent pointers…
20/20 Top 6 LTO
20/20 ran 16-60 days ago (outside of this, 0/60,4p)
19/20 Aged 9 or younger (10+ , 1/84, 11p)
10 years (10/190 runners, 40 places)
10/10 Top 6 LTO (7th worse 0/59,9p)
9/10 Aged 6-8 (9+ 1/95,18p.. aged 9 0/55,11p, 10+ 1/40,7p)
9/10 had 1-3 handicap chase wins (9/108,29p, 57% of runners, 90% of winners, 73% of placed horses)
8/10 had 2+ runs in prev 90 days (1 only – 2/75,11p, 40% runners, 20% winners, 25% places horses)
Of some mild interest, and maybe random but some logic… given the place stats it could be there is nothing to it..
-Jockeys that had ridden horse 0-2 times previoulsy: 2/97,16p
-Jockeys had ridden horse 3+ times previously: 8/93, 24p
Horses that had won 3+ times in the going: 5/34,13p, +34 BFSP
2+ places at Chepstow: 6/44,15p, +50
Horse carried 11-11 or 11-12 LTO: 0/39,5p (that could be random, scratching my head for any logic there)
10/10 ran at following tracks LTO: Chep (3/19,7p,+51) / Sandown / Newbury / Chet / Navan
NOTE: When officially ‘heavy’ those carrying 11-00+ on their backs are: 0/50,10p .. the place % is in line with expectations against number of runners, so it could just be luck. But in general it is hard to slog 11-00+ in heavy around here. It’s hard to carry a big weight generally, unless you are on the road to being G1 class.
if you focused on: Top 6 LTO / Ran 16-60 days ago / 1-3 handicap chase wins (a 9/10 stat) / carrying under 11-00 =
Ask The Weatherman / Buckhorn Timothy / Milansbar (Chep LTO) / Alfie Spinner (Chep LTO, 3x+ heavy ground winner) / On The Road
Kerry Lee (12/1<)
2.05 Chep- Alfie Spinner / Bishops Road
3.20 Chep – Grey Gold
1.50 Sand – Gino Trail
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
2.05 Chep- Vintage Clouds (12/1<)
2.05 Chep- Bishops Road (12/1<)
3.20 Chep – Grey Gold (12/1<)
That’s the lot from me today.
GL with any bets
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