No big race tips today, so you’ve got my four pokes from the Members’ Club. There’s the Welsh National to look forward to tomorrow on this post and a few more races in the coming days no doubt.
The King George – isn’t a race I have any strong views on really. I will enjoy what promises to be a cracker. I’m of the strong view that Might Bite may be gone at the game and won’t ever win another Grade 1! Well, i’m jesting in part as he probably will but I didn’t like his Haydock run at all and don’t buy all the excuses given. I hope he can bounce back to his best – if he does that here he wins, but I can’t back him at that price. I think we may see a different Bristol D M this year and of those at single figure odds he’d be the one for me, and I may not be able to resist £5 on Coneygree for sentiment. It has a very open feel this year on paper at least but I will just enjoy watching it, and cheer home the winner, most likely not carrying any of my money.
(those horses below are what I deemed most interesting at the prices from the various qualifiers against my track stats and my micro system test zone. I’m through 100 bets now since I started doing this in early November and so far so good)
Best of the Jumps Stats Quals? (27/108,52p, +32.9 , all 1 point win)
11.55 Sedge – Theatre Act – 8/1 (betfS/WH) 15/2 (gen)
2.50 Hunt – Quantum of Solace – 6/1 (gen)
2.55 MR – Fire Ahead – 10/1 (gen) (added 08.47)
3.20 Weth – Lester Kris – 12/1 (betfS/PP) 10/1 (gen)
(apols for any typos, I haven’t had time to proof read today…)
Theatre Act – this mare looked rather overpriced to my eyes here in what looks an open enough race, although one filled with quite a bit of dross also. Her last two runs have been her best for some time. Two starts ago she chased home a 102 rated Dalgleish improver, who’d go on to win his next two and won his last of those off 115. She ran in a deep enough C2 LTO, 17lb out the handicap, rated 82 effectively racing off 99, surrounded by animals 110+. She was a clear second there for a long way, and until 2 from home, and that was very heavy that day. Her last win was here off 102 in Jan 17. Her last run here was Jan 18 off 90 where she came an ok second place. She drops into a C5 (3 classes down from LTO), Sean Q keeps the ride which given he was on LTO is a positive for me), conditions are fine (and she stays a tad further which may be no bad thing today) and she will be right up there- now McCain’s is out, there’s a chance SQ tries to make all, or at least will be in a ‘no excuses’ position, especially if slowly run. She is only 7 still and while fairly exposed should be taking advantage of this mark at some point around here, hopefully today. Millie The Minx is a clear danger but does have a stamina question in soft. She could be fine and may win well again, but I was happy to take on at 5/2. These two could be fighting it out and with any luck the selection outstays her. I was happy to leave the rest, I suppose of those Strike West at 8s looked interesting enough. If the selection repeats either of her last two runs, I think she’ll be bang there after the last.
Quantum of Solace – I thought this mare was the most interesting one in this race, given how unexposed she is over fences – it looks a weak enough handicap chase to me and I was happy to take on/leave the top two in the market . FOB is 4/14,7p in handicap chases at the track in recent years, 3/6,4p at this distance and I thought it significant that a) young C Brace was on having ridden her LTO and b) Fergal returned to Huntingdon with her given she’d raced over fences here for previous connections. This one has ability and ran well over hurdles LTO on her return after a break. Her breeding suggests she’s crying out for this sort of trip now, if not further, so I thought the step up may bring about improvement. The ground is an unknown – there’s enough GS around Huntingdon today it seems so I wont be using that as an excuse. She’s mainly been kept to decent ground in her whole career so it’s an unknown and hard to say with certainty that she doesn’t handle cut. It’s her first run in a C5 handicap chase, and some of her form has worked out well – her win three starts back at Perth has produced 5 winners since, suggesting that she should be thrown in off this mark over fences if/when getting it all together. Her run LTO was the best she’d settled and I get the impression she doesn’t stand much racing – so you have to win after a break or on her next couple of starts. Her best career runs so far have come on 2nd and 3rd starts after a break, and hopefully she can keep that profile going. If that last run was over fences she’d be half the price here, so i’ll roll the dice at 6s.
Lester Kris – I’m hoping this is the Festive Hammond plot job that will pay for all of their presents etc. I could be wrong and he could just be moderate but he received an ‘interesting’ ride LTO to my eyes, in a novice hurdle. It was the horses first run for the yard and first after a short break- he could have finished within 3L there of two horses rated a few pounds higher- his jockey went very easy on him having held onto him for a while- I’m not sure he really picked up the stick and it was just one of those runs which visually looked as though there could be plenty in the tank. He now makes handicap hurdle debut at one of the few tracks where the trainer has success with such types. He may prefer the softer ground, the more galloping nature of the track, and the main man is onboard. He’d have had a few options for Hammond today I think and I hope it’s significant that he’s on him here. It looked a very winnable race to my eyes and he was one of the few horses in here that I thought could have more in hand. I think he either bolts up or i’ve not read it very well and he’s just not any good. He has some fair flat form to his name and could now be maturing with age. Hammond will get wins out of him, hopefully starting today!
Fire Ahead – the market may guide. I think this is a plot and will have been the plan. I say that because Williams has won the Market Rasen boxing day novice handicap hurdle twice in recent years, the last of them with Amber Gambler- the selection and that horse both have the same owner. Amber G was winning this on his second start of the season, having PU on his first, and this one has taken a similar path. I suspect he needed it LTO although was nibbled at, but wasn’t given a hard time. He drops in class here, TOB keeps the ride, and in what looks a very open race, I thought we may now suddenly see a completely different horse. Ian Williams is 4/14,8p with all novice handicap hurdles at the track in his career to date, 2/8,4p with TOB, 2/6 in class 5. Much like the Hammond poke above, he could win very well, or be useless. For both of them the odds allowed the play. He’s lightly raced and there should be more to come one day – hopefully i’ve picked the right day!
Best of luck with any bets