(2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018 2/10,4p, +14.5)
2.30 Hunt – Riverside City – 1 point win 6/1 (gen) PU 8/1
Riverside City… He qualifies against some of my members’ stats for Jonjo’s handicappers here and I think 13/2, 6/1 is just about ok.I wanted to take a dart. Given his profile a walk in the market would be alarming. He isn’t unexposed but he runs here in an absolute shocker of a race and if he could recapture any of his best Irish form (even 50%) he would demolish this lot, chew them up, and spit them out.
I went searching for reasons why he should… and I landed on the fact that it’s his fourth run over here for Jonjo and the first time he has run in what could be described as ‘ideal conditions’… his best form has been over 3m+ on Soft. He is a former Troytown Chase winner (a G2 handicap) and four starts ago was rated OR 126. He arrives here off 107, and Or 100 with young Jonjo juniors claim. Surely at some point he will find his level and win with a stack in hand. I think it could be this race. So, it’s the step up in trip which was the main way in. He did show some promise on his first start for the yard at Worcester, saying on steadily over 23f on lively ground. He was always on the back foot at Warwick, tapped for toe to my eyes and going flat out for a long way. That took it’s toll near the end. A bit like Mo Farah (did he have asthma also, do we know??! :)) going Usain Bolt pace for the first couple of circuits in a 10k race. Or, something like that. It will tire you out at some point. Either that or he’s just regressed beyond comprehension. He clearly isn’t as good as he was but he should be good enough for this. Given his profile I don’t mind the 63 day break as it suggests they may have tinkered with something. Or he has been withdrawn from the odd abandoned meeting. But, fitness is no concern with Jonjo at Huntingdon… which looks like one of his 60+ days off target tracks… 6/21,9p, +5 in all handicaps here with such types in the last 5 years, 5/17,7p in class 4, inc 1/6,3p over fences. IF he wants him ready, he will be. The yard are going fine for them…a few biggies in recent days haven’t done much, but enough have placed to suggest they are not ‘cold’ while not being red hot (which they rarely are).
This decision was also based on the oppo… which are all fairly exposed and have as many questions as the selection.. nothing else looked overpriced. A dodgy 9/4 Fav who doesn’t look like he stays, and certainly not in soft. BUT, he is in form so I suppose he could ‘stay by default’ if everything else just collapses into a hole. He may not need to truly stay but i’ll take him on. Global Domination does stay this trip at C5 level. The question is his record at C4 and the fact he arrives here on the back of a poor run LTO. He is 10 and doesn’t stand much racing. I didn’t think 5s was overly generous given his profile. Fly Home Harry PU LTO which makes 9/2 short, the ground may have been lively enough and the break suggests that may have buggered up his legs. He isn’t certain to relish soft and Longsdon is quiet, 0/19,8p last 14 days, 3/46 last 30..he’ll bounce back in the spring, many of his by his own admission prefer a sounder surface. The horse could bounce back from the front but again, i didn’t like his price. Dylansoghan is the interesting one as despite being 9 this is only his 4th chase start, and he ran well LTO. That was after 366 days off and he was fit enough to win there it seems. He may have had a hard enough race and ‘could’ bounce here. His last two runs have been on good and he is another who has stamina to prove, in soft. So 5s doesn’t look big there either. Out of the top 5 in the market, Jonjo’s is the only one proven to stay in soft ground, at this level. (and much much higher at his best) That should count for something, IF running his race. I couldn’t touch the other three in the market and if one wins i’ll cope. It is a shocker of a contest.
Fingers crossed JP unloads the hard earned on this one, he’s sent off 7/2, and arrives at the last pulling double. It’s that or he tails off I fear! If he has any ability left he should be winning this.
That’s the lot for today.