3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shortlists)
5.Any Other Thoughts
1.TIPS: Summary (COMPLETE: ALL TIPS x8)
PLEASE REMEMBER… to REFRESH THE PAGE... to check the Section 1 heading above and the brackets next to Tips: Summary… until you read (COMPLETE) in those brackets, there is the possibility of more tips, with a 10.30 am cut off on the day of racing. If you want to make sure , then check in after 10.30 am on the day if you can, before race 1. I tried to make that clear on Day 1 🙂
ALL TIPS NOW COMPLETE…. THERE ARE 8 OF THEM BELOW… INCLUDING AN ADDITION TO THE CORAL CUP…
#1 City Island – 1 point win – 9/1 (coral/BV/Lad) 8/1 (gen) 15/2 (Skybe/money back offer) WON 9/1>8/1
NO TIPS IN THIS RACE
2.50 Coral Cup
#2 Brio Conti – 1 point win – 12/1 (SkyB/Lad/BV) (15.00 BetfExch) 4th
#3 Tully East – 1 point win – 20/1 (gen) (36.00 BetfExc) UP
#4 Knight In Dubai – 1 point win– 33/1 (Bet365/SkyB) 28/1 (gen) (34.0 BetfExch) UP
#5 Scarpeta – 1 point win – 22/1 (WH) , 20/1 (gen) UP
#6 Auvergnat – 1 point win – 8/1 (SkyB/BV/Boyle) 15/2 / 7/1 (the rest) UP
4.50 The Fred Winter
#7 Got Trumped – 1 point win – 25/1 (SkyB/BV/Coral) (29.00 BetfExc) UP
#8 La Sorelita – 1 point win – 22/1 (WH/BetfS/PP/Uni) 20/1 (others) (24.00 BetExc) UP
THAT IS IT> ALL TIPS NOW POSTED > THERE WONT BE ANYMORE . 08.56
Running Total: 1/8, 1p, +6 points (races: 1/3 )
A better Day 1 than i’ve had before so I won’t complain too much, similar to last year, but i’ve had a couple of blanks before. Looking back… I suppose at the prices Le Breuil is the annoying one, reading the stats summary back, the filtered list of 3, and indeed when thinking about the jockey! 14s. It could have been that simple at the prices in that race, a bit of clouded thinking there. Pauling in form, the horse had some consistent form inc over 3m and a graded level. Anyway, I’ve got him wrong, so moving on. There’s always a few of those over the week, the nature of the beast however much I try to land on them all. It could have been a better day, it could have been worse. A couple of winners at 6/1 and 10/1 for the ‘through the card’ notes, for change in race types that I dont look at any other time of year really. Onto Wednesday, and to find a big priced handicap hurdle winner!
3.Micro Systems/Angles: Qualifiers
Tully East (m2) (late addition)
Bold Plan (m6, 12/1<)
Brio Conti (m6)
Highest Sun (m6)
Dancing On My Own (m1)
Bleu Berry (m8, 33/1<)
Cracking Smart (m8)
Diamond Cauchois (m1, m8)
Uradel (m8, m2)
Vision Des Flos (m6, m9)
Killultagh Vic (m9)
Saint Calvados (m4)
Chief Justice (m8, m1)
Got Trumped (m1, m9)
Lethal Steps (m9)
Thor De Cerisy (m4)
4.TIPS: Race Previews (inc shortlists)
I decided to leave the RSA as I think one of the top 3 wins but I didn’t know which one and none are exactly big prices. So, with those 2 points that i’d pencilled in for that race i’ve decided to have a go at this one and the X Country.
This horse is second in on official ratings and in general in G1s that’s the end you want to be at… this horse really could be anything and in my preview notes i jotted down Jamie Codd’s praise for him, highlighting him as a potential star. His racing post ratings for his last start are comparable with the two at the head of the market. Then there is the owner… he sponsor’s this race, and this has been the plan all year for the horse. At his best he’s a slick jumper and a strong traveller who should relish these conditions. The times on the hurdles track yesterday (6-8 seconds below standard for most of them) suggest that this ground isn’t horrendous, and maybe on the better side of soft – I don’t think the ground will be an excuse for him but at 8s i’ll roll the dice. Then there is the trainer who seems to know what to do with a good horse. He was the trainer of Nickname… I think that’s the same Nickname who’s sired plenty of nice chasers many trained by Nicholls. Anyway, in G1s he’s 3/15,4p… G1/G2 he’s 11/45, 13p.. he seems to know when to pitch one of his into this level of opposition. The horse should stay 3m in time which could help here and Mark Walsh is superb, and should be confident after yesterday.
It could be one of the top two are too good, and I may need to see the doctor given I haven’t got a single Gordon Elliot horse onside today – we shall see if that’s foolish or not! He had a couple run well enough yesterday to suggest he’ll bounce in some winners soon enough.
Sam’s Profile… was another interesting one and after the preview circuits I did have £5 on for fun at 16s. I do like Mouse Morris at Festival’s as he is selective, and even more so now. If this one wins I will be a bit annoyed but on official ratings he has loads to find, he’s had 66 days off and he didn’t jump great the last twice. Maybe on this ground/track he will improve but i’ve gone with the winning machine who’s raced more recently and who going into this race is officially and 8lb better horse. I wouldn’t put anyone off a nibble on him, and if you have a Skybet account there’s options there, if backing the main selection elsewhere.
2.50 Coral Cup
Brio Conti – the Paul Nicholls’ charge just looks solid here and it was about time the English won this again, having been dominated by the Irish on the last three renewals. In terms of his unexposed nature he has a perfect profile for this, not hitting the number of runs stats and a few others no doubt but he is a micro qualifier above, so some stats logic at least. This one surprised connections LTO at Ascot, PN having told the owner not to have a penny on. I get the impression he was 80% fit or so, and he’s come on a bundle since. If that’s the case then not only was that performance impressive (front two some way clear also) but he should still have stacks in hand. He’s everything you want in a Festival handicap hurdler – a strong traveller, who’s tactically versatile and touch-wood a very sound jumper. He’s got experience of the track in Dec 16, over too short , and they probably made too much use of him. He hacked up at Kempton in March 17 in an ok race, before being pitched into a G1 at Aintree where he ran ok, trapped wide, but travelled at G1 pace until 2 out. Soft ground doesn’t look to hold any fears although a niggle, and unlike many in here he does just arrive fit and in-form. I think he’s well handicapped still and will have more in hand than many in here. I hope they settle him off what could be a strong pace, and sweep around the outside turning in, storming up the rail! The yard are going well, they have won this race before, and everything looks set for a big run. While the 10 year record isn’t great, horses have won having run at Ascot LTO in the history of the race, so as a prep track for this it isn’t awful.
Tully East – an old favourite of RTP, as past Festival winners often are, winning the Close Brothers for us two years ago. The year before that he came 4th in the Martin Pipe, probably striking for home far too soon. He’s lightly raced for his age and 9 year olds have won this historically. This is only his 10th hurdle and 5th in handicap hurdles. Everything screams to me that this has been a plot for his in-form trainer, and I just couldn’t leave him. He hits the Leopardstown LTO micro above also. I have no doubt he’s very well handicapped off 138, given his chase high of 148, and three starts back in Feb 18 he’d have gone very close to winning a decent handicap chase off 144 but for clouting a fence late on. 138 is the same mark of his Festival win and I just think he will relish these conditions. This is his trip and ground for me, having raced over 16f on Good the last twice, over hurdles. He stayed on well enough LTO having unsurprisingly got outpaced. There’s plenty of pace on paper in this and I prefer handicap hurdlers ridden with patience at the Festival (I like my chasers to be further forward generally). I think they will bury him and creep into it, storming up the hill after the last. With luck in running I think he will be bang there. The jockey is 1/5,3p in Festival handicap hurdles, and rode Blow By Blow to victory for Elliot last year. The trainer is 2/7,4p in the last 14 days and this one looks primed to strike for me.
Knight In Dubai – well he hits the stats shortlist of 5, is unexposed, has been aimed at the race, and fits the trainer’s MO for how he targets handicap hurdles here. The yard are going well and he was 33/1. I couldn’t resist. He has a similar profile to Long House Hall who placed in this for them in 2016. He was unexposed over hurdles, had a brief try over fences, and then returned after an absence and very nearly won, off 140. This horse is going to relish these conditions. He wants soft ground and having watched back a few runs could improve massively for having a strong pace to sit off. That run 5 starts ago at Warwick is very good form… he was keen that day and faded late. The race was won by Mr Whipped who’s now rated 145+. The second that day was a certain Paisley Park – banker of the week! (price far too short now) – and he’s turned out to be fairly decent. Last time out he ran a decent race at Newbury, having got outpaced on better ground, which isn’t what he wants. He only just lost out and was coming back at the line. He ran in last year’s Ballymore when clearly outclassed and just a big baby still I think. Skelton is 4/17,9p in handicap hurdles here with horses returning 60+ days, and while I will no doubt put the mockers on him, I suspect he’ll be the most exciting 25s+ shot tipped this week. I’m expecting a big run. He could be too fresh of course but his trainer reports him in fine form, and as I said the pace should help here. Hopefully he settles early, as we will have some fun if he does.
I have some very strong views about a few of the others in this that will no doubt leave me red faced but I don’t really like any of the other Irish challengers.
I’ve had a re-think with my morning eyes… I still think the below but the other way to look at him, in the context of him being 20s.. is that a) he’s the only horse to hit all the stats pointers b) he’s trained by Willie Mullin’s who’s horses have come alive again here/in these softer conditions c) he also hits micro 8 which is solid d) the best run of his life was here at last year’s Festival in the Ballymore- decent form e) he gets softer ground again, and the CP ‘may’ improve his jumping, and avoid the odd scrappy one he throws in f) it’s the biggest field he’s run in since here last year and it could be that unlocks the necessary improvement g) finally… the jockey has ridden a few top 6 finishes here in the handicap hurdles. It is all about price, and initially last night I was a bit anti him. But given all of the above, I’d be distraught given my approach if he went in at 20s!
I’ve no doubt got the odd one wrong but… Scarpeta – I dont think he looks well handicapped and I don’t like the way he jumps – he can smack a hurdle, and this sort of race may find i him out. Horses wearing headgear in this have a poor record and it’s not a race for those that have mental misgivings. Historically at least. I don’t rate the form of his recent runs and he seems to have regressed from his fine 4th in last year’s Ballymore. What with the jockey being 0/28 here I reluctantly scrubbed him off my list. He’d have to be smart to win this from 151, and I don’t think he is. He is the only one to hit all my stats and no doubt I won’t resist some change on the machine in case i’ve made a howler, but I like to take strong views on the oppo. Cue him taking it up at the last hard held!
I can’t have Cracking Smart having watched his last two runs back- I don’t like his head carriage under pressure and he just looks a slow boat to me. Another who I may have wrong from the Elliot team, but I preferred Brio at the same price. Maybe it’s been a plot but he’s another with headgear on. As is Farclas who they keep trying different things with, but he doesn’t arrive in any sort of form at all, and I can leave him off 151, at these odds. Always dangerous given the jockey. Dancing On My Own… clearly his form has been franked in spectacular fashion on Tuesday, suggesting he’s well handicapped – but he’s very inexperienced for a test like this, has yet to win, steps up in trip, and has a ground concern also. He could also be in the wrong place on the front end. I just didn’t like him at 14s but he is on the trends shortlist also and if he relishes these conditions he’s clearly thrown in. I’ve no idea how he’ll cope in a battle.
I couldn’t have the rest for various reasons, plenty either not looking good enough, out of form, or in the grips of the handicapper, open to attack from anything with more in hand.
Bleu Berry won this for us last year at 28s but now needs a career best and doesn’t arrive in the best of form. He’s 5lb higher than last year for a narrow victory and i’d like to think something will be better treated.
I can leave Uradel at 5/1. A ridiculous price. If he hacks up then so be it but he has a stamina concern, and a ground niggle. He has it to prove anyway for me, and the day I stop taking on 5/1 shots in Festival handicap hurdles will be the day to give up. If he wins then so be it.
Of course I may not have mentioned the winner but I can’t be bothered to write any more for now 🙂
I thought he was worth a go here for the master X Country trainer who wouldn’t mind winning this race again. He came 4th in this last year and has enough experience of the track, albeit has come down twice when inexperienced at the track. Last year he’d had a hard race the month before and he’s been given a different prep this time. That, combined with the blinkers, may help him get closer to Tiger Roll… the blinkers had a dramatic affect LTO, bolting up in a very competitive handicap chase. On official ratings, the top two in the market are miles clear here. IF he gets round, and runs his race, I think he will give the fav most to think about. They could be 1-2. He will also appreciate the much softer ground here, and while Tiger Roll will also, again it could help him get closer – this could be even more testing than last year.
Tiger Roll – clearly he’s the one to beat but his price is short for any horse here this week and even more so around this track/distance! Last year was clearly the time to back him in this, but IF he runs his race I could be in trouble, but on official ratings there’s only 1lb between them. He hacked up LTO over hurdles when 75% fit I think, and he’s just one of the most likeable horses in training. He’s fancied already for The Grand National and if he hacks up here his price may shorten again. I did think he was worth taking on, and i’d rather throw a dart at the selection at 8s than agonise over a 7/2 shot in the RSA. It’s the right connections for this race, and provided he doesn’t come down I should get a good spin for my money. I’d have him shorter here
Got Trumped – ratings/weight wise he’s historically in the wrong place but i’m always nervous about ratings/weight stats in handicaps here, they are only ever a guide and shouldn’t be a reason to exclude a horse. This one does hit micro 1 at least, which before this year was 10/33, 17p, +92 in the last 5 years – he ran in a Sir Erec’s G1 LTO and ran ok to a point, not finding much room on the rail, before being outpaced. His trainer has said that he needs/would improve plenty, for softer conditions, which he gets here. He has been racing on a firm enough surface like plenty in Ireland and over here, and some of them will just take a massive leap forward for encountering soft. The long term strategy for this race is to focus on horses 20s/25s +, as it has so many big priced winners, and while this year may go to a shorty, I thought he was overpriced. Jessie knows the time of day with Festival runners, and is 3/23,7p with 4 year old’s in handicap hurdles in recent years. Her record with handicap debutants is also decent. This horse has a big field maiden win to his name and his flat form suggests the softer the better. I think we could see a different horse here and his hardiness could count for plenty.
La Sorelita – a trends shortlist horse, Willie Mullins > handicap hurdle> Paul Townend > 20/1+ . I mean I couldn’t leave her could I. Incidentally fillies are 1/6 in this. I think the ground could transform her here, her first run on ground with cut in since her runs/wins in France. LTO she was still travelling well on the front end when getting a hurdle wrong and losing her back end. Game over, but she plugged on. Mullins puts a 1st TT on, and he’s 4/21,8p when doing that in handicaps in the last 5 years. I just think the pace of this race may suit, as will the ground, and she may relish this hill. There is more to come from her and she’s the right weight/ratings band for this historically. Mullins hasn’t won this in 12 goes, but most of those have been good ground races and as we’ve seen, his string is usually best on softer ground- his last runner was in 2016 I think, and he’d have had the 14/1 winner I think but for a crunching fall at the last! (an unfortunate habit for you know who! ahem)
The form of these two ties in with a few of the other Irish raiders. I did think on this ground/this test, that it could go to Ireland this year but I could be wrong. I thought plenty of the brits looked like they wanted better ground and it’s hard to weigh up the level of their form.
I should mention King Dargent and Fox Pro who hit the trends shortlist and are monster odds, much bigger BFSP no doubt. Both sets of connections have it in them to prepare/pick the right horse for this race but the former doesn’t look good enough to my eyes, but comes here fresh, and the latter is so hard to get a handle on.
There has been money for the Nicholl’s horse Dogon, possibly after a positive write up in his betfair column. I couldn’t see it myself but this is clearly one of those races which is a bit of a lottery. It’s probably the hardest handicap of the week for me, given how unexposed they all are and how little there is to go on – something is going to take a massive step forward for this big field/pace/ground/track. Hopefully I’ve picked the right two..
Finally.. I will mention Coko Beach who could be the one i’m most likely to have got wrong. He’s on the stats shortlist, is trained by Elliot , ridden by Kennedy, and in a race Elliot targets. It could be that simple, however at what was 12s I just thought he may lack the experience for a test like this. I think he’s being crying out for softer and does look a brute of a four year old, but how he handle’s this test is a question. He just seemed too obvious for me, but maybe that’s all it needs! He seems to have been tipped up everywhere, but while there should be more to come, I just had a few niggles. Were he 20s+ i’d be having a go for sure.
Anyway, I didn’t want to tip more than two in this race, and have gone for two at 20s+. Fingers crossed.
I should just mention that I thought the top 3 in the market would have this between them, but then again we thought that in the Champion Hurdle…
If you want a fun bet in the race, we have two horses below who hit all my stats… Maybe The WORLDS END will cause an almighty shock at 22/1 ?? I couldn’t see it personally, but maybe all the top 3 will fluff their lines – there’s reasons for why they all might I suppose. I couldn’t tip him, esp given his last run, but you never know I suppose. One for fun money, and if he hacks up obviously i’ll be annoyed at not tipping him.
Stats/Trends Shortlists etc
0-3 runs this class/higher / 5 or fewer career wins / same distance as LTO or move up in trip / 3-6 runs last 365 days / ran 21-90 days ago…
That leaves 9/58, 16p, +136 BFSP the last decade… essentially 9/9 of those with UK/Irish form. There are no runners this year having their first ever run on Irish/UK soil, from France.
Those stats leave just five…
Farclas / Scarpeta / Knight In Dubai / Dancing On My Own / Burbank
Correction to my stats pack… the stat looking at distance LTO should be 16-16.5f, or 20-21f (not 17-17.5f)… that stats, + winning at least once on last three runs, and 2nd to 8 in the weights, are all positives.
SCARPETA (8/8) ticks all of those boxes.
The others tick at least once box, with Farclas next in… (7/8)
4.50 ‘Fred Winter’
Irish/French bred / 11-5 or less on back exc claims / 0-1 wins in handicap (1 win only 5/21,5p, within this profile)
That leaves a ‘shortlist’ of 10….
Ciel De Neige (4/6) / Coko Beach (3/6) / Our Power (4/6)/
Maze Runner (3/6)/ Beat The Judge (3/6) / Zizaneur (3/6)/ Fanfan Du Seuil (3/6) / La Sorelita (5/6) / King Dargent (4/6) / Fox Pro (4/6)
There are 6 other stats i’ve used as a filter of sorts but they don’t cover all winners, their score out of 7 is next to their name above.. 7+ runners LTO / 10th or lower in the weights but not bottom / OR 125-134 / won at least once last three / Not same distance as LTO / Not 2nd or 3rd LTO…
The stats for this are very small samples, so even more so of a guide as usual.
Irish/GB bred / had run G1 level/ 3-5 runs this season / 4+ career wins … 10/35, 20p, +57 (all 10 winners sent off 16/1<)
That profile leaves just two… The World’s End / Count Meribel
5.Any Other Thoughts
(includes the stats pack etc, including the micros, quals posted in section 3 above)
‘Through The Card’
Well there are not many races left! Altior should win the Champion Chase if running his race, Min proving best of the rest and would be the one to capitalise on any major shock.
In the bumper… I’ve a feeling that the Nicholl’s horse could be very special here.. that’s the one i’d have some money on, Ask For Glory, and he shouldn’t be out the places. As I think about it… Harry Fry had a winner at Exeter that was touted for this, and who on the clock would have been good enough to at least place in every previous running of this – given his connections to the yard, I wonder if the noises are so positive for this one that they decided not to bother! That could just be nonsense of course, but this is a smaller field than normal. Not a race to go mad on, unless you’re close to X connections and you know what you have.
In tipped races above, there’s honourable mentions for a few danger horses in the write ups.
In the RSA.. I will just have change on the trends picks, The World’s End should have a better chance than Twister’s horse. BUT, what if all the top 3 fluff their lines? Surely that can’t happen again, but you never know after yesterday. I think one of top 3 will win, but I couldn’t back them at their odds, especially as each one has the odd question for me.