Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Value or Risk ?

A couple of weeks ago when the new 5.15 start time for the grand National was announced I looked into the future to see what may become of the great race :

Looking into the future the commentary may eventually go like this "as we are about to go out onto the second circuit we are going for a short commercial break but you can vote now to save who you want to keep in the race by dialing any of the telephone numbers printed on your racecard. We will be back shortly to reveal the result and see which horses, you have decided, can carry on with the race and be in with a chance of winning the Grand National"!!

Now that the broadcasting of the race from 2017 onwards is a done deal with ITV perhaps it's not as far fetched as I think ??!!

Seriously though I don't think its a bad move for racing as it will be something fresh and hopefully the programmes will be more entertaining for the general public and be a draw for them to be more involved in racing in some capacity.
I think Channel 4 had gone a bit stale and with the broadcaster purchasing the rights to Grand Prix racing we were faced with the prospect of a watered down version in any event and some of the meetings may have been moved onto lesser channels much like ITV will do with ITV4.
As for the "Morning Line and the big race days" there was no real draw to watch for the general tv audience as the production company chosen by C4 permed any 4 or 5 from the 20 or more presenters/pundits to present the show and therefore there was no real "connection" with the tv audience as nobody knew who would be presenting on any particular day. In addition the content of the programmes was all very bland and based on facts and figures - a turn off for anyone except the hardened racegoer.
The previous production employed had adopted a more light hearted approach with a regular core of presenters that appealed to a wider spectrum of people and in my opinion it was a short sighted move when they were dropped.

With the Paul Nicholls yard slowing down for a few weeks, after some welcome winners, we just have the one runner from the Dan Skelton team today at Huntingdon in the 2.10 where the going is soft, heavy in places.

Value At Risk was a high class hurdler and won on his first start for the stable at Newbury beating the progressive Foryourinformation by 22 lengths. He then ran on bad ground on Cheltenham trials day in January when he was only just denied before running a respectable 5th in the Albert Bartlett over 3m having led turning for home. Plan "A" though has always been chasing as he is big and strong individual and he is potentially very exciting. The stable have been able to tailor his preparation this season as opposed to last when he arrived with them late on. The planned prep run at Bangor didn't come off because of the going but he returned at Newbury for the Grade 2 Bet365 novices chase over 2m 7f 86y on going given as good to soft. Unfortunately he only got as far as the second fence when falling after jumping the first well. He was reportedly a bit sore afterwards and he returns here after a 41 day break. This is a much easier race and provided he stands up he should take a deal of beating in this 5 runner field as he could take high rank in the chasing game. However he is not the morning fav - that is Harry Fry's Fletchers Flyer who finished 3rd of 6 to Blaklion at Cheltenham who followed up with a second to Seeyouatmidnight on New Years Day also at Cheltenham.

11/8 to is the best you can currently get for Value At Risk so he's not a blog betting proposition.

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