Friday, 20 January 2017

Onwards to Cheltenham!

I must admit I haven't done a blog post for a good while as I've been occupied by another venture for a while but hopefully I can start posting fairly regularly again now and get back on the winning trail over the jumps at first and then back to the sprinting game for the flat season.

I've taken as keen an interest in the jumps this season as I have done for over 10 years and I feel I could be in for a big spring ahead.

My notebook is crammed full of promising sorts that I have been following throughout the season and also those that I know have been laid out for the big festivals.

Video recordings play a huge part of my form study and once again I have been pouring over re runs of races to unearth hidden talent.

We know the Irish always do well at Cheltenham but I think this year could be their best yet as they have a phenomenal amount of talent at their disposal.

Anyway lets get down to some action and take a look at this Sundays meeting at Leopardstown where they have some big field handicaps to get stuck into and the first of those is at 2.40 over 2m 5f which sees 19 runners go to post.
Looking back at the very competitive Paddy Power Chase at the track back on 27/12 we can see that a few of those involved in that 3m race, run again here over this 3f shorter trip.
Two horses in particular, Stellar Notion and Rolly Baby, were at the head of affairs for most of that race and only faded late on hence the drop in trip and it's Rolly Baby who now gets the assistance of Ruby Walsh instead of a 7lb claimer who catches my eye at 14/1.
He's now 12 years of age but amazingly this will only be his 11th start under rules. Last season he won two races both over 2m 4f and it looked like he could go on to better things. In the Paddy Power it was his first run since April so he looks sure to come on for that and having been dropped 2lbs he gets into the race on 10-3 and this looks a good chance for him to get back on the winning trail or at the very least be placed.
He seemed to be given an easy time of it by his amateur jockey once his chance had gone last time having been swinging on the bridle at this distance and it is hoped that he can make full use of the drop in distance here and this can be his day in the sun - although it is another competitive handicap with Stellar Notion and Lake Takapuna likely to give him plenty to think about.

Later on the same card at 3.10 is the 2m hurdle where 23 runners go to post and it's back to the Paddy Power meeting at the same track that we return for this contests likely contenders and for me they are the first three home there That's A Wrap, Veinard and After Rain.
That's A Wrap came with a very well timed run there under Ruby Walsh to pull off a bit of a gamble and Barry Geraghty takes over this time and its possible that he could improve again but the other two could be better value. Veinard looked all over the winner until he was nabbed on the line and 20/1 about his chances look very tempting as does the 11/1 about After Rain who finished as well as the winner in that hurdle.

Rolly Baby @ 14/1 ew
Veinard @ 20/1 ew - there 4, 5 and 6 places available on this race at different odds but 20's is available with Boylesports

Good Luck!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A New Dawn

With Cheltenham and Aintree now out of the way the focus is gradually winding up with the flat and Newmarket in the spring gives you hope of warmer weather and brighter days to come.

I commenced a new chapter in my life yesterday as I took charge of the keys to the premises which will house my new shop and consequently that will mean fewer posts over the next few months.

However I will try and concentrate on the big sprints mainly on Saturdays and where time allows maybe a few other bits.

The Grand National itself was a cracking race - however a few none racing people have said to me that the whole spectacle just doesn't seem the same. Most people grew up with the BBC coverage and their iconic camera shots of the fences coupled with the timeless commentaries of Sir Peter O'Sullivan - but you have to move with the times and Aintree has done that in creating a race that still has the drama but is not too daunting for the horses. The sell out crowd and the big tv audience shows that the Nationals charm and appeal is here for a long time yet.

My own highlighted horses didn't too badly - although Ucello Conti was the only one you could have got paid out on if you had put your bet on with Victor Chandler who paid down to sixth place.
The Aintree preview came up trumps as Andy Holding's charity bet Rule The World took centre stage meaning that the Kirkby Scout and Beaver Groups were able to benefit from that as well as the charity auction.

Onto today and there is a sort of mini festival on at Cheltenham as well as the second day of the Newmarket meeting.
The conditions were pretty soft at HQ yesterday but after a dry night things have improved to Good to Soft.
There is a very poor turnout for the 100,000 Tattersalls Millions 3yo sprint with only 5 runners and the course must be very disappointed. The best race sprint wise is the 5.40 Turf TV Handicap over 5f in which 11 go to post.
There are a few in here that I've had my eye on in the past and Brando looks to be an improver off a mark of 88 for Kevin Ryan however he has to give 5lb to recent AW scorer Equally Fast who is also lightly raced. He only went up 2lbs on the ratings for his win at Lingfield and it was a race in which he really showed his will to win. His race fitness advantage and likely further improvement could give him the edge over Brando although he would prefer the going to dry up a bit more An outsider could be Soie D'Leau who gets the assistance of Sylvester De Sousa but today I'm going to go with Equally Fast in the hope that the going by 5.40 will be a bit faster and they don't have any showers.

Equally Fast - 1 point win @ 6/1 with William Hill (11/2 with Paddy Power and Bet Victor and 5/1 elsewhere)