Thursday, 15 March 2018

Day 3 of the Festival!

A late post today due to things that have to be done!

Yesterday the times turned out slower as the horses found it more difficult to get through the ground that then resulted in races taking longer and some horses not being able to sustain their effort for the extra time involved which was the case with my selection in the bumper Didtheyleaveuoutto as well as many other. I still have great faith in that horse and hopefully he will be out at Aintree on much better going. The class horses continued to shine though and if your selection has the form in the book such as the likes of yesterday winners Samcro, Presenting Percy, Altior and Tiger Roll it's just another day at the office!

Certain jockeys continued to shine into day two notably Jack Kennedy, Davy Russell and Noel Fehily and their fancied horses need watching. Of the trainers it was another Willie Mullins show - he had 5 runners in the bumper yesterday and had 5 of the first 7 home! Gordon Elliott, Nicky Henderson, Tome George, Henry De Bromhead and Colin Tizzards horses are all performing well.

1.30 JLT Novices Chase 
Modus may have a problem with the going as will Bigmartre. The stable of Mullins, Elliott Henderson and Tizzard are well represented again and the best form on offer would appear to be that of Invitation Only although  the 5yo Terrefort will love the going so that's a big tick in his favour.
I think it's going to be another close finish as I don't think there is a stand out horse and the going could be the difference in this so it's Terrefort for me. 

2.10 Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle
Just the 23 runners to worry about here and it's going to be a tough slog. There's a lot of weight between both ends of the handicap and it's a plus that Gordon Elliott has one down the bottom in Glenloe with Barry Geraghty in the saddle. The way people have been going on about Sort It Out over the last few weeks you would have thought Barry would have been on that for McManus but no he's on Glenloe so take the hint as he's 1-1 from on him previously. There's little mileage on the clock so he may be ahead of the handicapper, he likes the going and looks like he has been laid out for this but its all reflected in his price of 5/1.

2.50 Ryanair Chase
It would be bloody brilliant if Cue Card can win this and I'll be shouting myself hoarse if he's leading turning for home!

3.30 Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle
This is one for me to watch having had a share in Lil Rockerfeller when he was with Middleham Park Racing I feel some allegiance to him as he always gives everything and will no doubt do so again today on going he should have no problem with. He's up against it today though and may not make the frame this time around. It's never been a race that I've given much thought too-I don't know why I'm not a fan of this division but in all honesty I'm not bothered who wins.

4.10 Brown Advisory & Merribelle Stable Plate Handicap Chase
I wish someone else would sponsor this race as it's a right mouthful to get out.
I'm not sure why young Jonjo O'Neill has not been used much this week as he has a valuable claim and is a talented jockey. I'm going to stick with two of the stables who are doing well this week namely Henderson and Tizzard and their runners Viconte Du Noyer (40/1) whose had a wind op and could get back to old form and Pougne Bobbi(25/1) who should go well too.

4.50 Trull House Stud Mares Novices Hurdle
This is a Willie Mullins benefit race  and he''ll probably get the 1, 2, 3!

5.30 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
I've followed Sugar Baron all season so I won't be deserting him now and Katie Walsh knows her way up the straight so hopefully this will be his day.
One who may surprise is Young Hustler whose had a wind op and is dangerously well handicapped with crack amateur Sam Waley-Cohen in the saddle.
Very First Time is Tim Easterby's only runner at the meeting and could be thereabouts too.
Band Of Blood has looked well ahead of the handicapper and they may well have kept something back for this.
Wild West Wind had mastered Blaklion last time out at Haydock and looked like waltzing up until he hit a brick wall. He's got 2f less today but the hill to the finish won't be a welcome sight.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Don't be left Out - Festival Day 2

Well the going maybe didn't have as much effect on the runners as we thought yesterday with some of the times, namely the Grade 1's over 2m, being slow by between 10.40 to 14.00s and a check on the time of the first race will show where we are at.

By the end of yesterday the going had changed to soft, heavy in places and Simon Claisse thinks it will be soft all over by the time of the first race and it will continue drying throughout the afternoon as no more rain is expected to this evening which will then more than likely put heavy back in the description.  

When the going gets tough the old ones get going and we had evidence of that again yesterday when the oldest horse in the race won the 4m National Hunt Chase, namely Rathvinden aged 10 at 9/2. Rocklander was the oldest in the Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase 40 mins later and he finished 3rd at 25/1.

My own bets didn't get off to a good start yesterday but I had ew singles on Melon, Impulsive Star and Rocklander as the afternoon went on.

Trainerwise Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Tom George, Henry De Bromhead and Neil Mulholland had at least 2 horses running well so keep an eye out for their runners today.
Jockeywise Ruby Walsh, Davy Russell, Noel Fehily and Jack Kennedy all had two or more in the frame.

Onto the racing

1.30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Everyone would have you believe that this is a penalty kick for Samcro but the same was thought about Apple's Jade on Day 1 and things don't always pan out how we expect. Mullins runs four all together and all look good and the strongest stayer of the bunch may well be Brahma Bull who is unbeaten in 4 races to date and who won easily over nearly 3m last time out on yielding going and if I can get 33/1 I'll take a chance on him ew at small stakes. Black Op is the best of the British hopefuls but I think this is one for the Irish.

2.10 RSA Insurance Novices Chase
This looks a very good race to me and I'm hoping Elegant Escape can do it for the home time but it's not a race I will be having a bet on.

2.50 Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle
27 runners go to post so there should be plenty of divots to fill after this for the groundstaff. At the bottom of the handicap Mischevious Max has crept in via J. P. McManus taking out Project Bluebook which I find interesting. Mischevious Max was an eyecatcher for me when he was 2nd over the course and distance in November when he made rapid progress from the rear on the wide outside to be beaten three lengths by Coole Cody.
Aidan Coleman probably wouldn't put his rides at the festival at the top of his CV but he may have found an opportunity through Le Breuil. Ben Pauling seems quite confident that he will go well saying "he is in fantastic form, very well handicapped on his best form and goes there as good as we can get him"and that is good enough for me.

2.50 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase
I'm sitting this one out, making a cup of tea and just watching the sparks fly!

4.10 Glenfarclas Chase
Hopefully I won't fall asleep during this one!

4.50 Boodles Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
You can't overlook Paul Nicholls in this with 3 wins and 6 places from his 17 runners in the last 10 years and no other trainer comes near that and Grand Sancy is well worth an ew bet at 20/1 if still available. Others to look out for are The King Of May, Solo Saxaphone and Lisp.

5.30 Weatherbys Champion Bumper
The going for this race should be the best of the week by the sounds of things and may even be approaching good to soft by racetime. If that is so then the stand out horse for me has to be DIDTHEYLEAVEUOUTTO who has a superior turn of foot to anything else in the race. He showed that turn of foot in great style at Lingfield first time out and then followed that up in a Listed bumper at Ascot which contained no less than 9 previous winners. He did that without really being asked a question up the home straight and with Barry Geraghty giving him a nudge to power away to win well. This is a serious horse who I believe will win at future festivals and Barry Geraghty will surely be thinking this am that he has got off the winner. Now that the going is drying out it may well end up similar surface to his Ascot race which he coped with well and he is my bet of the day at 16/1.
Others in the race to watch are THEBANNERKINGREBEL who could be underrated THE BIG BITE and ACEY MILAN and I think this will be a win for the home team.