(2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018 4/45,14p, -3)
Houblon Des Obeaux – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) UP poor
Themanfrom Minella – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) UP, ran ok, didn’t stay.
Tintern Theatre – 1 point win – 8/1 (gen) UP 9/2..poor, couldn’t hold position/go pace, over from a long long way out.
That will be all for tips.
It’s fair to say i’m going through an iffy spell. Not totally out of sorts but I don’t feel in great form either. Maybe i’m in that 2-3 weeks post equine flu jab where you just lack that final cutting edge. Yesterday was annoying as I know in my own mind what I thought when looking through the market of the Devon National. Starting with the biggest priced ones and scanning up one horse stood out, the eventual winner. He was 16s and should never have been that. Fit, in form, and if you ignored the Scottish National run (G3/Good ground) he’d yet to run a bad race around 28f and there was every chance he would relish 31f around Exeter, which he did. And it was a race where everything had questions of sorts, plenty of old boys out of form and a few proven non stayers. But I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to look at the race properly so dodged it. I had one of those mental wobbles where I was scared to tip a loser, and a big priced one at that. That’s not a good place to be! Anyway, you live and learn.. although I haven’t been learning for most of this season it seems. Work to do, but i’ll keep chipping away.
Onto the Eider…
It looks a toughie but when flicking through the market these two just stood out at 16s as potentially being overpriced.
Houblon Des Obeaux – well he stays/plods on and has a few decent runs to his name in decent staying races. Heavy ground is a niggle but he hasn’t raced on it that many times in handicaps and at this price, given the trainer, i won’t leave him on that basis. He also arrives here in form, staying on in that Hereford chase like a horse back to form. I’m not sure what happened on his two Sandown runs before that but Venetia had a quiet period mid season. Well, she’s been quiet most of the season in truth but the odd one has been running better in recent days. I was also lured in due to the stats below… having looked at them, and applied them… sticking to the older horses.. (age 9-11) left Milansbar (unpredictable,no Bryony,will the headgear work again,won’t get an easy lead) Baywing (jumping is too shoddy for a horse under 10/1 in this for me) and Houblon. I can live with him running a shocker here at that price. I would struggle to do so were he to win. Fingers crossed he can run his race as he should be plugging on and older, stronger, wiser legs may be crucial come the end of this slog.
Themanfrom Minella – He may not stay, he may well not be good enough, but he arrives here in the form of his life and still seems to be getting better over fences. The blinkers appear to have made all the difference and of course you never know for how long they may continue to work. But in effect it makes most of his previous form irrelevant to a point, as he has never been running this well before. Heavy is fine, he generally races up there (but can track the pace, and doesn’t look the sort to sulk as such), jumps well and arrives in winning form. He also has a light weight which isn’t a positive in this against the trends, but it’s heavy and could help come the end. Of course there is every chance that 4m sees him improve further. That is the hope and you can fully understand connections having a go here. At 16/1 i’ll roll the dice.
Of the rest… HAINAN.. what to do about him. Were he 10s+ i’d have found it hard not to tip him and I have had a small nibble..mainly as I tipped him LTO and if i’d have put £10 on every tip in recent weeks on their next start, i’d be about £350 better off I think. I also seem to tip them a race too soon. Well, enough of them to have a go on their next start it seems. 4m could be the making of him and Sue Smith’s 0/15,0p stats in this race are deceptive. Nearly all of those were unfancied 20/1+ shots and the couple that were single figure prices ran with credit, top 4/5. There is a niggle now that he could just be a C3 horse.. he got outpaced over 26f in awful conditions LTO. He can’t afford to lose his pitch at this track and there is a chance he does. However, if he jumps and runs his race, I’d be surprised were he out of the places. He looks like a dour slogger. At 7s I just couldn’t tempt myself to tip him, it felt about right, and not overpriced.
This race could well revolved around the two in form, young and thoroughly unexposed chasers in Vinnie Lewis and Back To The Thatch. But, they both have to prove their stamina, and a big field surrounded by horses…and at 7s< I was happy to leave. I won’t fall off my seat if one of them takes this and VL looks a fine staying chaser in the making. Some may think his price is still too big and he does look like he will relish the trip. But I like bigger prices in a race like this for those with unproven stamina for the trip. It could be the making of him though. West of The Edge looks about the right price also for one who has to prove his stamina and that he is more than a C3 animal. Our own Nick Mazur owns half a hoof/swish of the tail in him, and i’ll be cheering him home if my two are out with the washing! 🙂 I wasn’t tempted by much else at the prices and all of the bigger priced ones look up against it to my eyes.
3.35 Kempton… well they may all be chasing the Fry favourite but he will need to get into a better jumping rhythm than he did for the first half of that Ascot race and they won’t hang around here. There is a chance he fails to hold an early position and has to make up ground from the back. A chance. Of course he may bounce out in 3rd/4th and that will be that. He does have to prove his stamina but i think he will most likely relish it/improve for it. But at that price I have to take him on really. I bottled taking on a fav at Exeter yesterday and that really isn’t me. Maybe saver material as he does look up against plenty with questions…
Tintern Theatre… excluding this one I think who is thoroughly unexposed over fences and won snugly at the track two starts ago. The Haydock run LTO is better than it appears to me. I thought he ran a cracker, jumping well, and sweeping into it as they turned for home. In the end the Haydock mud got to him and he UR in tired fashion late on. Like with a few Twister chasers they do seem to go better when Sam takes over. That’s not to say the other young lads he calls on to ride are not up to it, but Sam is the best jockey by far that usually rides his Dad’s horses (excluding Jacob when riding for his retained owners) especially over fences. Cogry is a case in point. Anyway, this one is actually a decent jumper and with Sam back up I have no concerns. Maybe he will clout one but at 8/1 I’ll take the chance. He arrives here fit, and in form for me- his last two runs have been decent. He will appreciate returning to better ground and is as unexposed as the Fav. I thought he looked the most interesting at the odds.
I didn’t really want to be with much else at the prices and if/when something wins other than the fav or Tintern, i’ll stare at them again for a time. Many have stamina questions, jumping, fitness, wellbeing ability, lack of class, or a combination of the lot. Art Mauresque maybe the most interesting at 10s + but he can jump out to his left and he has to prove he stays/wants this far. I wasn’t totally convinced and was a bit on the fence as to whether to take a stab at that price.
Eider Chase ‘pointers’
10 years, 10/156 runners, 37 p
GB Bred, 0/38,7p
8/10 Aged 9-11 (8/94,23p) (age 6-8: 2/47,13p)
10/10 sent off 18/1 or shorter
10/10 carried 10-8 or more exc jockey claims … 0/50,9p, 10-7 or less
Top 5 in weights: 8/57,19p
5/10 were 1st or 2nd LTO
Trainer/Jockey Combo – Live Test
2.45 Newc – Hainan (12/1<)
4.20 Newc – Wolf Sword (12/1<)
3.40 Chep – Padge (12/1< guide)