Friday, 29 January 2016

It's very windy out there !

A busy start to the weekend for the stables we are following and particularly Dan Skelton who sends out nine runners across the two NH meetings on today although they seem to be more his "B" team save for Minella Experience. In some races he doubles up so take care on those.

It's very windy outside in the North of the UK - I'm not sure what it's like in other parts. I know that the wind will make it very testing for the horses at Doncaster as they are not that well protected coming up the straight and you may see some challenges coming late as the jockeys seek to get cover from the wind. One good thing is that the better going here has brought out plenty of runners and with the strong winds it should dry out even more.

Just to remind you that the blog normally covers sprint races - hence the title but this year during the winter I have decided to follow a couple stables and come the end of March I will be reverting back to the sprint calendar.
You also have to remember, when reading the blog, that I am not a tipster and I have no connection to either yard - I am basically putting together information, readily available, from what connections have previously said and looking at the form of each particular horse to try and make it easier to work out what is going to happen in the races based on a lifetimes experience. It may well be that, sometimes, I will select a winner or it may well be that you will see it differently to me and follow your own thoughts.

Paul Nicholls

Doncaster - Good to Soft, Good in places
1.25 Moabit has done all his racing in France to date and won his last two races over 1m 5f in comfortable fashion. He's been gelded, has a tongue tie on for the first time and gets a handy 4yo weight allowance in this Class 4 novices hurdle. He should get plenty of cover in this big field and you would hope that he will be able to Goabit and close to winning this. His price of 7/2 probably reflects the indifferent form that the stable are in but the going has been put up for a lot of excuses so far and there shouldn't be a problem with that today.

3.05 Saint Roque was useful over hurdles before a run of bad luck put him on the sidelines for almost two years being lucky to survive when he fractured two bones in his neck in a nasty fall at Kempton. He recovered well, came back into training last season and then cut his leg badly whilst schooling over fences. He's still a novice due to his time off and he returned in a Class 3 novices limited handicap chase off a mark of 130c over 2m 7f on good to soft which he duly won after jumping well. That was his first run for 570 days but it was said that he had done loads of work at home. The better ground will suit as will the flat track and he should improve for that first run back against this stiffer opposition. The runners will have to tough it out up the straight here as there will be no cover and his age should help in that regard. Odds available 11/4.

3.40 Rainy City has his first run in over a year as he's needed to strengthen up. He has had a breathing operation in the meantime. He won a bumper here with little fuss so we know he can operate on the track and there's a good chance he will progress further for his colourful owners but Big Chief Benny and See The World look to be formidable opponents. Odds available 10/1.

Dan Skelton
1.25 Levelling didn´t race on Flat for John Gosden (unruly at the start once last winter) but decent pedigree (one half-brother won a bumper) and with another good yard after 6,000gns sale in October. Probably the stable first string today on jockey bookings but is one to watch for the future. Odds available range from 16/1 to 40/1 with Ladbrokes.

1.25 Lynda's Boy finished 9th of 9 on his debut for the stable 63 days ago at this track in a Class 6 bumper and he will need to have improved a fair bit here to figure it would seem and I think we can just watch him today - odds available are various and is 80/1 with Skybet.

3.40 Tipperairy should improve for his run at Ascot last time but he's up against it here and is probably best watched on this occasion. Odds available 33/1.

Huntingdon - Good to Soft, soft in places Hurdles and Soft, Good to Soft in places on the chase course.
1.00 Blue Prairie has been poor to date and I can't see things getting any better here so I am happy to ignore for today's post.

1.35 Dragon De La Tour is the mount of Bridget Andrews so presumably is the second string in this and for that purpose I will ignore today and have a watching brief.

1.35 Minella Experience is ridden by Harry Skelton on his debut for the stable. He is said to be a big strong chasing type that has needed a little bit of time hence his time off. His last run was in an Irish point in March when he finished 2nd and following that he was sold to connections at the Cheltenham sales for 55,000. He is a full brother to the stables What A Good Night who was running well in the Betfred Classic at Warwick before suffering interference and trying to read between the lines this horse could have more ability - so the 20/1 on offer here is definitely worth a look. Odds available 16/1 various.

3.15 At The Top returned at Southwell in a Class 4 national hunt novices hurdle on 09/11 to finish 4th. She then filled that position again at the same track over the same course and distance and on both occasions she's lacked a bit of pace. The stable think she has a bright future if she can get it together on the track. There's no mares allowance here on her first start in a novices chase and she has to give weight to all the boys but she is out of a half sister to Azertyuiop so something may click in a line up that is limited on any chase experience. Odds available 6/4.

3.50 Abricot De L'Oasis is said to prefer decent ground and has his first run here since 21/11 when finishing 3rd of 6 in a Class 3 2m handicap hurdle on good to soft off a mark of 123h. That day he tried to make all the running under his jockey Miss G Andrews but faded towards the finish and he's been dropped 3lb to 120h. Bridget Andrews takes over today and she can claim 5lb's an extra two compared to LTO. He won two handicap chases last term for his previous trainer Donald McCain and he returned with a win for this stable at Aintree over 2m 4f in October. Hopefully he will have improved for his little break and the step back up in distance should also help. Odds available 100/30.

4.20 Al Reesha is a filly from a flat bred family so we may see some improvement on the better going here. She started her career at Warwick in a Class 6 bumper over 2m on good to soft in which she finished 6th of the 17 runners where she weakened towards the finish having been held up in the early part of the race and consequently she is dropped down in distance today. It's 86 days since she ran but that is probably down to the consistently heavy going that we have endured of late. There's probably a number of unexposed types in this but she should be capable of being there or thereabouts but whether that is good enough who knows. It's a question of whether you want to take the chance of her being placed at the 40/1 available.

Minella Experience 0.50 points ew at 16/1
Moabit 1 point win at 7/2
Saint Roque 1 point win at 11/4

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