(2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018 2/19,7p, +4)
Pleasant Company – 1.5 pt win 10/1 (gen) 12/1 11/1 (places)
Sumos Novios – 1 point win – 14/1 (gen)
This looks a competitive race where Gordon Elliot will hope to improve on his 0/16,4p record in the race. A little way to go to catch up with Willie Mullins (3/28,9p).. I am always wary of the ‘throwing mud and hoping it will stick’ approach (i’ve been guilty of that with tips in the past..firing 4 darts, none of them landing).. Elliot runs 6 in this, to Mullins’ two.
Pleasant Company… i’ll start with this lightly raced 10 year old…baring a fall or an accident I will be shocked if he isn’t in the top 4 here at least. He is probably a sound EW bet but I would rather go 1.5 on the nose and have a go at something else. Were he 16s+ then maybe EW would have tempted be, but I prefer the foolhardy route most of the time. This horse came a decent 4th in this race last year, beaten 18L. It was his first run in 270 days. I would like to think this has been the grand plan and they have made sure he’s had a run this year. Mullins is in red hot form again, 8/30,15p in the last 14 days or so. He stays well and he relishes heavy. I hope Townend rides him close enough to the pace and not right out the back. They have done both with this horse. In general he is a sound jumper and I like the fact he has track form (those with 0 track runs, 1/60,13p last 10 years). He just jumped off the page a bit really as I suspect the quiet run LTO was with this race in mind. He ticks every box for me at the prices. At 10s+ I had to have a go.
Sumos Novios – I thought 14s was worth a go for a trainer who has won this race before. The booking of Robbie Power caught the eye also (2/4,4p on the horse) and he is riding well at the moment. This is another lightly raced 10 year old (older horses have a decent enough record in this race) who handles heavy and stays well enough. I wonder if he has the class for it but the price lured me in. He has some decent enough runs in the book. In handicap chases going right handed he is 2/4,4p. He is fit and in form. He ran over an inadequate trip LTO and I hope that’s because they were protecting his mark for this. He still ran well. He usually races prominently enough and will hopefully track the pace. At 14s he looked interesting enough to my eyes.
Of the rest…
Well none of the Elliot horses leaped out at me given their odds. Out Sam is a silly price. He may hack up and Elliot work his magic but he has never really liked big fields and a heavy ground slog is a complete unknown. He may relish it and the TT may help. CP back on. But I would ant at least double these odds. Happy for him to beat me, which he may do. Ucello Conti is solid but doesn’t feel overpriced. He couldn’t win this last year although ran well. He arrives fit and in form, no doubt been the target. I won’t really put you off him I just preferred two at bigger prices. Probably a decent saver horse as he should run his race. I will mention Monbeg Notorious.. unexposed and could be anything.. this is so different from LTO. He is just a bit too inexperienced for a test like this for me. I won’t fall off my seat if he wins but at single figures I can leave him. He could be anything. I couldn’t have the rest who generally look out of form or not good enough.
I used a few stats pointers in this but it wasn’t a great trends race for my own unique approach. 19/21 ran 16-60 days ago (which covers all of them!), 10/10 Same or Up 3 classes max (4+ 0/64,10p), 1+ runs at track (0.. 1/60,13p) and 9/10 had 0-1 handicap chase win (2 + , 1/49,7p) .
Those few stats combined found 8 of last 10 winners from less than half the runners… and leave
Uncello Conti / Pleasant Company / Fine Theatre / Flaxen Flare / Thunder + Roses / Wounded Warrior
Do with that as you please!
That’s the lot for today.
GL with any bets,
NEW! Blog post… ‘The Chasing Game: Back to Basics’ .. an analysis of recent performance and where I can improve… READ/WATCH HERE>>>