(2019: 0/2,0p, -2)
Kings Lad – 1 point win – 18/1 (bet365/betfs/pp) 16/1 (gen) PU
Henllan Harri – 1 point win – 11/1 (WH/BV/Betfred) 10/1 (gen) UP
damn, that effort continued my rut on these posts, struggling a tad obviously. Close with the write up below, sadly not close enough, leaving a 20s shot from a working shortlist of 5. Nowhere near Buywise mind, and he was coming with quite the challenge. Thankfully he got up. Damn.
that’s all, write ups…
This promises to be a cracker of a race with plenty of old favourites lining up. I’m a big fan of this series and we should have a fitting finale on our hands here.
Kings Lad – I’ve gone for two here who to my eyes have the best recent ‘normal’ form (outside of Vets races) on offer here, and who don’t have as many miles on the chasing clock as some of these. 3 starts back he won a qualifier for this, beating Exitas comfortably enough with a big gap back to the rest. He gets a few pounds from that rival today and if both running their race I expect the same outcome. He then ran in a very hot race at Ascot with younger, more progressive, higher rated rivals ahead of him. The form has been franked a few times since. He got markedly outclassed down the back straight there but kept trying all the way to the line, passing a few up the straight. I think he had a hard race there and it was no surprise that he said ‘not today’ 7 days later at Wincanton. He usually races prominently when on song and I suspect connections can’t believe their luck that the ground isn’t a bog here today. Harry is 2/2 on in him and returns in the plate here. I can only assume they’ve freshened him up and, like a few in here I suppose, this will have been the target. The Tizzard’s are the go to team these days in these Saturday handicap chases it seems and hopefully they may add another win here. The market may guide to a point but I thought he was worth chancing at 18s.
Henllan Harri- his form stacks up very well against this opposition and I’m not sure many in here could have run as he has on some of his more recent runs- especially LTO where he split a 150 horse and a progressive Curtis chase who’d win at Cheltenham on his return to action this season, beating Cogry in the process. His win before that was impressive enough and of course he took the season finale here in April 2017 and he’s only had 6 chase runs since. He’s won fresh/ran very well after breaks like this before and you have to think they’ve had this mapped out for quite some time. He will race prominently and is usually a sound jumper. It’s not impossible that on this ground he has too much toe for plenty in here and could lead soon enough – or he’ll take it up when a couple may start to fade, having gone too hard. On the face of it the Bowen yard may appear a bit cold at the moment but many of their runners have been seemingly unfancied and I don’t think they are out of form as such. I thought 11s was fair enough here and a shade overpriced.
Of the rest..well where do you start?! Rathlin Rose and Cultram Abbey were high up on my list. In the end I went with the two selections who I thought had a better level of recent form. Both of these can come from further back also, and will need more luck in running. Cultram’s form doesn’t stack up to the selections’ for me, he can hit a fence and it’s his first run here. But his trainer is in red hot form and he did win fairly easily LTO. Coming into this race in such good form is worth plenty, and if he jumps well I doubt he’ll be too far away. He will be doing his best work late on. Rathlin did run well to a point LTO and it suggested he’d come on a bundle for it and it was a game of fine margins with those two.
Old Houblon Des Obeaux may be worth a small interest at 16s/20s but I thought that may be heart ruling head. The yard form is clearly a massive positive but he does just look out of sorts and a slow boat these days. In fairness, rarely for one from this yard, I don’t think he likes it that soft and may relish these conditions more so than his recent runs. But, even at what was 20s, I thought i’d be clutching at too many straws. It isn’t impossible they go so hard on the front end that plenty fall in a hole and something just gallops past them all over the last couple- that could be him, if on song.
So I suppose those 5 are where my eyes focussed, at the prices. Rock Gone may be a worthy fav given his lightly raced profile albeit he’s clearly been hard to train and much better was expected LTO. He may well have needed it but I didn’t think he was overpriced at 7s and was happy to take him on. As I was Le Reve at his price, given he’s clearly had major issues and just hasn’t shown enough for me. Even his best form doesn’t match up with some of those mentioned above. I was happy to leave him at singe figure odds. I was happy to leave the rest for one reason or another.
Best of luck with any fancies. It should be a cracker.