Saturday, 6 February 2016

Looks like Thunder ?

Just a short post today - I'm not covering all of the stables runners and just going with the one who I think has got the best chance on the day and that is Black Thunder in the 3.30 at Sandown where it is good to soft, good in places on the chase course.

Black Thunder was a consistent performer in top company last season and he's won 7 races in his career to date. He picked up a hairline fracture of his hind cannonbone at the festival last March and he returned at Cheltenham on 14/11 in the Grade 3 Murphy Group handicap chase over 3m 3f 71y where he finished 12th of 17 behind Sausalito Sunrise having made a bad mistake at the second last when going well. 
He's now in his third season over the larger obstacles and staying trips look to be his forte as is soft going and he will be a familiar name in the Nationals this season. 
Nicholls thought he wasn't well handicapped on 153c but he's down to 149c following his run in the Welsh National where I don't think he  made a mistake, but nevertheless lost his jockey at the thirteenth fence of twenty two, when he hadn't been put under any pressure.
His last two wins came over 3 miles, one of which was here, and Sam Twiston Davies takes over in the saddle again from 7lb claimer Harry Cobden so he has a decent chance of getting a win on the board in a race where there is not much strength in depth.
Take care though as some bookmakers are offering one quarter the odds on the first three home whereas others offer just one fifth. 

Black Thunder - 1 point win @ 6/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral who offer one quarter the odds.

Good Luck !

Friday, 5 February 2016

Go Team Ditcheat !!

Paul Nicholls had two winners yesterday and so did the blog to continue the fine week that we are having. 
Stilletto too was running a good race for Nicholls when falling in the main event of the day at Wincanton. His comments in running in the RP were "Held up, smooth headway to join winner 11th, travelling strongly in narrow lead when fell 3 out".
I'm not sure if it was the greatest move ever to take up the lead at that point as he hadn't been straight forward on the approach to some of the previous jumps and putting him in front probably made him think too much. He tried to put in an extra stride, clouted it and fell and it's hoped this won't trouble him next time out.

Anyway on to today where there are NH meetings at Chepstow and Catterick and Dan Skelton sends two to Chepstow. Paul Nicholls has a day off and I expect he wishes he had a couple out today to continue the good run but he has 16 entries from which to make his declarations for tomorrow.

Dan Skelton
Chepstow - Heavy, soft in places.
1.40 Robin Of Locksley was a winning Irish pointer and second in a bumper before he was purchased by the stable at the Cheltenham March sale. He is out of a half sister to the fairly useful 2m chaser Belstone Fox. A horse with ability, he ran with a lot of promise on his return at Cheltenham in a Class 2 novice hurdle over 2m 5f on good going. He then went for a Class 3 Introductory hurdle again over 2m 5f this time at Ludlow on 12/11 and finished 2nd of 11 to Ben Pauling's Always Lion on good to soft going. Unable to quicken there it was probably thought the heavy going and drop in class at Southwell may help this big, strong scopey sort to grind out a result and so it proved as he took it up between the last two and forged clear on the run in to win by 5 lengths from Harry Fry's Mountain Eagle. He's down in distance today to the bare minimum of two miles which is probably a negative and Bridget Andrews takes off 5lb. I'm not sure he can get the better of a few of these and for that reason I will pass on having a bet and in any event 6/4 is far too short. 
Aurillac probably has the better form of the others but Rebecca Curtis is only 1 win from 22 runners so far in 2016. Hendersons Pougni Bobbi is on the drift in the betting and that leaves Evan Williams Nansaroy as the best alternative and he could be value at 4/1 having won at this track already over 2m and then unseating when in second behind Skelton's Itsafreebee at Haydock. 
Nansaroy was conceding 10lb to the winner that day and Itsafreebee has since gone on to win a Grade 2 at Haydock beating 140h rated Le Prezien.

2.45 Mister Kalanisi returned from a very long break at Bangor on 11/11 when 3rd of 7 in a bumper where he faded towards the finish. He is said to have plenty of ability from what he's shown at home and he started off over hurdles at Doncaster in a Class 5 maiden hurdle in which he gradually weakened to finish a respectable 16 length 5th of the 17 runners over 2m 140y on good to soft going.
He significantly steps up in distance here to 2m 7f 131 y on the slowest going he has encountered to date on his 4 runs and there is every chance he could run his best race yet. He was 2nd beaten a length to Desoto County in a 3m point on soft going in Ireland before that horse ran up a sequence of good runs for Donald McCain and is now one of the market leaders for the Betfair hurdle on Saturday having joined Gordon Elliott.

1 point win Mister Kalanisi @ 5/1 with several firms.