(Free tips 2016: +75 points ; 2017 18/185, +79.5; 2018, 9/95,29p, +58.5)
The Kerry National
Oscar Knight – 1 point win – 16/1 (gen) UP, poor
Call It Magic – 1 point win – 25/1 (gen) UP, even worse (start buggered him, albeit maybe didn’t have ability to get up there)
Dell’ Arca – 1 point win – 25/1 (gen) 4th, decent run but never nearer. looked exciting for a time, but not to be. Snow Falcon deserved one of those, not a shock winner as per notes below, but a game of price and his wasn’t generous enough to my eyes this time!
That’s all for tips, 09.33, write up…
Well the first of three proper pokes here and best not to be too expectant but I couldn’t resist a few stabs in what to me felt an open race, and where I didn’t think any of those at the top of the market were ‘value’, in a race like this. No doubt one of them will prove me wrong. Anyway… I did use the stats below as some sort of guide but most are a bit ‘iffy’ and the 10/10 and 0-6 career win stats still leave a long list of 9. This one is on that list and at 16s I thought there was enough there. He probably has some of the best handicap hurdles form in this line up and it’s a case of whether he can transfer it to fences. Over hurdles, in decent races, he’s had the right horses around him. Beaten by a Hennessy winner in one of them and he’s had a few around him that went on to win/place in big handicaps at the Spring festivals. If he could get back to the form of that Paddy Power Chase 3rd in Dec 16, he’d be a threat to all in here. I think the ground is fine and while I have a slight stamina niggle (not proven conclusively yet that he doesn’t stay it) his price lured me in. Jockey bookings would suggest he’s up against it as Mark Walsh would have had the choice I suspect, having ridden him plenty, but his jockey is in form, and his trainer’s runners are going ok. I can only hope/assume that his last run was a prep for this. Hopefully he isn’t held up too far back, can get some luck, and will be in contention at the last. He’s one to track as he should have a decent handicap chase pot in him, based on his form to date.
Call It Magic…
Probably the most intriguing of the bigger priced ones to my eyes and this looks to have been the plan. He’s unexposed in handicap chases and should relish conditions. His yard is in form and he’s a prominent racer which I like in any chase, and he’s made all to win before. He should be able to hold a position on the front end and I’m hopeful of him out-running these odds. He went very well for a long long way in the Irish National, which makes me think connections believe this sort of chasing test to be his future. It was awful ground that day and maybe the slower pace helped but he was bang there 3 from home where he looked to take it up for a brief time, before then emptying very quickly two out. Still, it was a decent effort and he jumped well. I thought 25s was big here, and it’s about time there was another big priced winner of this race, having had 3 years on the bounce of 8s SP shots going in! It could be he doesn’t have the class, but there’s only one way to find out and he’s a big strapping sort.
Again he appears on my ‘long list’ and Pipe is in the best form that I can remember, 3/10,4p the last 14 days, 5/19,6p the last 30. In general they’re going very well. As I type Peregrine Run has just come out which indicates that it’s plenty soft enough and the going description is accurate. That does pose a question for this one and it could be that at this level he really doesn’t want it soft. However, he did bolt up when last seen over jumps carrying 12-2 in heavy at Uttoxeter. Yes it was a C3 handicap hurdle and they went a slow pace, but he somewhat sprinted away from 2 out. At 25s, there’s some hope there anyway. Again maybe with the passing of time he doesn’t mind soft as much. This doesn’t feel like the deepest of graded handicaps and I think he has the ability to mix it with these. He’s one of the few in here with proven stamina over 3m, which is a question for plenty in here, along with a handful who get much much further but may find this sharp enough. At 25s I just couldn’t help myself. He’s lightly raced over fences and hopefully can get a good position and gets into a rhythm. He is a tailed off candidate also, you have been warned, but at least he arrives in form 🙂
Of the rest…
Well, were Rogue Angel 3rd 10s/12s +, it’s highly likely i’d have tipped him as well and maybe my value judgement on him will prove to be wrong. Older horses generally struggle in this but he looks to have been rejuvenated by Elliot and he’s won this race in heavy before, a few years back. He races prominently and if he can get into a rhythm on the front end, he won’t be stopping. It’s just then whether age catches up with him and younger legs have more in the tank. But I won’t be surprised if he runs a big race and may have had a saver on him at 8s to soften any blow, but that didn’t feel a value price in truth, and i’m clearly just lacking discipline! 🙂
I was happy to leave the rest albeit of course it’s likely I haven’t mentioned the winner. I tipped A Rated LTO when collared late on but I think the ground has gone against him. In any case he has stamina in a slog to prove. But he could go well for a long way. I looked at Shantou Village for a time having got back to winning ways LTO but this is some step up in quality again and it’s his first run on soft in a handicap, so even more educated guessing as to how he’ll go in it. Maybe now he’s older he may relish it, and he has some back class over hurdles. Anyway, I could go on and on. I settled on the three above at the prices and wanted some big pokes onside in this race, it had that sort of feel. Cue Snow Falcon bolting up at 7s!! 🙂 WON(he will do so in a chase like this one day, but again has stamina in soft to prove, and is usually held up far enough back… that made his price skinny to my eyes)
GL with any bets.
10/10 top 8 LTO (0/45,8p were not)
10/10 had 6+ runs prev 365 days (0-5, 0/51, 9p)
10/10 ran within prev 60 days (0/30,4p did not)
9/10 ran in a race for 4yo+ (5yo+, 1/51,8p)
8/10 had 1+ run at the track (0 – 2/82,18p)
7/10 had run over fences at the track (0 – 3/108,22p)
6/10 ran over hurdles LTO (6/48,14p,+61)
- French Bred: 0/16,2p
- 11-4 + : 0/24,6p
- Top 2 in weights: 0/23, 5p
- Joint bottom/clear bottom weights: 4/23,6p, +62 SP, +210 BFSP
- Running at the same/or up 1 class: 0/45,8p
- 0 runs last 90 days: 0/24,3p
- 7+ career wins: 0/43,7p
- 1 win at track: 4/21,6p, +196
- 2+ distance wins: 0/25,4p
- Claiming jockeys: 3/33,8p
- Includes the last 3 winners (3/13,6p), albeit x2 for Lisa O’Neill.
- G Elliot (2/13,3p), E McNamara (2/11,5p)
- 1x: J J Hanlon/C Byrnes/J Nash/M Morris/A Martin
- W Mullins: 0/20,3p