(2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018 3/35,12p, +0.5)
Silsol – 1 point EW – 10/1 (gen) UR 1st fence, bugger
General Girling – 1 point win – 5/1 (Bet365/BetF/BV) 9/2 (gen) 2nd, brave run.
Ah, well I will just smile. Yala Enki, tipped LTO, fell at the first, Silsol, tipped this week, UR at the first! Lithic yesterday was tanking as well, before crashing out. I can pick them. I should just follow previous tips on their next start that are a price. The 3.15 has fallen apart and Yala Enki has jumped and plodded on. I’m still not convinced he truly stats and talked myself out of him…seems to be the only one in the whole race who has run his race. Damn. Annoying for Silsol as you have to jump…10/1>5/1 so the value eyes worked, but that’s about it. No doubt in my mind he’d have been bang there and he’s a stronger stayer than winner for me. But you have to jump. That’s racing. The racing gods have had their way with me after my fortunate Full jack win. What a game. Keeps us coming back for more.
Probably the type of race you should leave well along but I can rarely help myself. I suspect one of the top 3 in the market may take this but I didn’t think any were overpriced to my eyes, they all looked about right. In any case, I didn’t want to be wading in at those odds. I can’t think they will want Blacklion to have a gruelling race here and they will have left something to work on – maybe. He is short enough although could decimate them. The Dutchman has gone up plenty but may be able to defy it if that last race hasn’t left a mark. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ran flat here, well, it’s a possibility. Cook is an interesting booking and they will be aggressive on him again. He may put himself firmly in the National picture if taking apart this field and rocking up there ‘well in’. Three Faces West is unexposed but short enough for one who took a crunching fall LTO. With a clear round he may not be far away. Progressive.
So, that left me hunting for a rare EW bet (for me) that will no doubt finish a gallant 4th. When looking through the market I thought Silsol looked the one horse over-priced. I thought he could go off 6/1, 7/1 and that made 10/1 interesting enough. He returned from a long break a couple of starts back before running with credit in the Welsh National. I am hoping he steps forward again here. This horse loves the mud, looks a dour stayer who I can’t think will be found wanting for stamina, and has a touch of class. He is well handicapped on old form and was formerly very smart, especially over hurdles. He is unexposed as a chaser still. Nicholls is in form and has won this race before. I’d like to think this has been a target for him. The jockey booking is intriguing but at 10/1 I didn’t want to over-think it. Nicholls/Fehily are 14/48,19p when teaming up on chasers and maybe he has just gone for the best available. Sam has been assigned to Blacklion for the Grand National, with Paul’s permission no doubt. So, he rides him. Bryony Frost is on two at Ascot who she gets on very well with… the conundrum is Harry C, who rides a 1/3 shot for him at Wincanton, as well as plenty for Tizzard. Maybe nothing too it and NF is just the best available. There won’t be an excuse from the saddle, more trying to work out the trainer thinking- but if you like a price it’s best not to give yourself a migraine deliberating such things. If the horse is being brought along slowly for another target then that’s another 2 points i’ll be lending back. He should keep going and hopefully is thereabouts.
I didn’t want to be on anything else. I tipped Yala Enki LTO when crashing out at the first. I’m not 100% sure why he should overturn form with The Dutchman and I don’t think he stays this trip. Mysteree stays but arrives here on the back of a PU and is still above his last winning mark. I’d like to think there are a few in here with a bit more in hand and/or a tad more class. But he will relish conditions and stay, no forlorn hope I suppose if on his A game and a few others fall in a hole.
3.20 Winc –
General Girling… a strange place to focus on a Saturday afternoon of quality racing, but I like to stick to the 3m+ handicap chases (outside of Festivals) and this one ticked the boxes. I thought 5s was fair for this LTO winner and I think he should be favourite on recent form. What caught my eye was the fact that every time he has won previously he has followed it up with another victory. His wins appear to come in twos and I’m hoping he does the win double for the third time in his career here. They keep the same headgear, Harry C keeps the ride, and there is every chance they try and make all again. He has won at the class and everything else has a question for me. He could get this lot on the stretch, he stays, is a CD winner, and has no issues with Heavy. He should give me a good spin with any luck and in the context of this race I thought his price was generous. Despite his age he is only 3/8 over fences.
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
3.00 Ascot – Court Minstrel (12/1< guide)
4.10 Ascot – Skewiff (12/1< guide)
4.30 Winc- Native Robbin (9/1< guide)
2.15 Winc – War Sound