Thursday, 3 March 2016

Racing on terrestial TV ? - It's all a bit pipe and slippers!



Hope you all got on Zubayr at 16/1 for the Triumph Hurdle following my write up in last Friday's blog post as he's now a best priced 6/1 second favourite.

Channel 4 racing had Paul Nicholls on the "morning line" but didn't really ask him anything other than the predictable.  They didn't even realise he had 3 runners in the Betbright Chase the main race of the day and Nicholls had to remind the presenters that Virak was a runner too!! - another major faux pas.

Lets hope they can come with something exciting and original for the forthcoming festivals as their epitaph to National Hunt racings crown jewels.

A great win for Victoria Pendleton yesterday and she thoroughly deserves her chance in the Foxhunters Chase at the festival and what about Aintree too?

Onto today and Paul Nicholls who has started the month brightly after his haul of winners in February sends three to Taunton and Ludlow. He runs two in the 2.40 at Taunton so you need to take that into consideration.

Paul Nicholls
Taunton
2.40 El Bandit was very green on his only previous run last April and finished a well beaten 6th of the 6 runners in a Class 4 bumper at his home track Wincanton when wearing a first time hood.
He's been given plenty of time since then and he starts his season here in a Class 4 novices hurdle over 2m 3f minus the hood he wore last time out.
He's from a decent family and connections paid 80,000 euros for him so he should be capable of better and he needs to show it today with Nick Schofield taking the ride. 

2.40 Beau Phil in the same race here and the ride of Harry Cobden is another that hasn't really shown much to date and he wears a tongue strap for the fourth time having also worn a hood on his third start at this track when second.
The soft going may not be ideal for him as he disappointed on it last time on 21/01 on soft at Wincanton where he was tailed off.
He was third in France behind another stable runner Brave Jaq and 5 lengths behind him in fourth was Blazer who is now with Willie Mullins and entered for the Coral Cup and Martin Pipe at the festival off a mark of 137h.
Beau Phil steps up in distance here and with Harry Cobdens 7lb claim you couldn't say he was the stables second string and 11/1 or higher are fair odds.

Ludlow
3.40 Nexius joined the stable from Keith Dalgleish for whom he was a progressive hurdler, went up 22lb, for winning twice at Musselburgh and Haydock. 
A novice over fences he started his season at Bangor on 27/10 in a Class 4 novices chase over 2m 4f 72y on good going. He was up against Hendersons Theinval to whom he was 22 lengths behind when conceding 3lbs at Aintree when Theinval won a Grade 3 hurdle in April - so he had it all to do against that rival but in the end it was the improving Coologue who prevailed and Nexius finished 20 lengths behind Theinval in 4th having weakened approaching the third fence from home.
He then had a while off presumably waiting for the better going and he returned on 11/02 at Doncaster in a Class 4 novices chase over 2m 3f on good to soft. The set up of the race was unusual in that 9 fences were omitted and they only jumped six which seemed to suit Nexius as he won by 8 lengths and one and a half lengths with his stamina coming to the fore.
The second horse home was Hollywoodien who was rated 131c and Nexius comes into this handicap on 136c which seems fair as he looks to be the improver in the field and the step up in distance to 2m 7f 171y should suit. The third horse home that day was Pine Creek who had finished in front of Nicholls 137c rated Katgary in receipt of 7lb, also at Doncaster, on his previous run.
The stable have now turned a corner and some much needed confidence is back in the yard which can be a big help in any sport.

Bets
Nexius 1 point win @ 15/8 generally



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