Going to have fly through these as time is even more of a premium tonight – tomorrow hopefully I’ll be able to spend a good few hours rambling on so expect a novel of sorts, “War and Peace”.
Thursday was disappointing results wise, though Menorah ran really well and nearly hung on for the 16/1 winner. He’s too inconsistent to follow regularly but does have ability just one of those to never take a short/middling price about. I told you not to underestimate Alan King’s record in the 4 year old race but take no credit for that. Otherwise Oscar Whisky was hugely disappointing and I wonder if connections will go chasing with him – I’d expect Grandouet to be jumping a fence also. The New One enhanced his reputation hugely and I’d expect Zarkandar now to be aimed at the type of races like the World Hurdle. The Foxhunters was a lottery – though side note the sad death of Battlefront, something which is obviously unfortunate for all connections concerned but the media seem to revel in. I won’t drone on about it but there are certain sections of the media who want horse racing to die, which to me strikes me as rather hypocritical considering their horror over the horse meat scandal. I ask the likes of the BBC, the Mail, the Guardian and KLFM.co.uk (yeah I know – lead bloody story nearly – behind Mick Philpott) – what else do you expect horses to do?? Letters on a postcard. Not that I tend to buy a newspaper, don’t need to because of my actual job (read the Times Online) but I would implore horse racing types never to pick up the Mail – it’s not worth wiping your backside on. Anyway enough – I just pray the Big Race goes ok and I’d rather back 39 losers and all 40 come back safe than to listen to the self-righteous smug bastards on Fleet Street.
Of the other races I was spot on to lay Kid Cassidy – wouldn’t have picked the winner though and although Echo Bob and Silver Roque ran ok no real consolation. Captain Conan won relatively easily and the last was won by Battle Group with the selections nowhere.
You may have noticed my system post from last night also – one winner there and two disappointing ones. Don’t follow them I’m purely testing things. No money being placed.
Day 2 – looks slightly easier for the punters with a fair few short price runners about.
2.00 – Penalty kick this for My Tent or Yours. On official ratings he is 11lb clear of stablemate Forgotten Voice. Henderson has a great record in the race and the record of placed finishers in the Supreme is well above average. Last year’s winner Darlan had a similar profile to My Tent. He will have no problem on the track and it should suit a fair bit more than Cheltenham, where I actually think he enhanced his reputation – essentially I can’t see him being beaten. The one possible fly in the ointment is Forgotten Voice who was the best of these on the flat – if the pace is a crawl then I could see him giving My Tent a race over 5 furlongs and the like. Brick Red is held by Forgotten Voice, and although the other two aren’t complete no hopers Zuider Zee I sense will find 2m too short – ran over 2m 5f on the flat. Art of Logistics needs to improve substantially. No bet race but I wouldn’t be averse with putting My Tent into a treble with a few others.
2.30 – Next up is the Mildmay Novices Chase which is usually won by a really good sort – last year Silvianico Conti and Nicholls has a decent record in here having won 3 of the last 7 renewals. The race really revolves around the front two in the market for me. Of the rest Sea Of Thunder is far too short at 13/2 in places – he’s not run for 139 days and doesn’t look good enough. I’d have him around 16/1. Third Intention and Vino Griego are both reasonably consistent but the former is well held by Dynaste on two runs and the latter is jumping up from handicaps to a Grade 2 – not saying he’s out of his depth. I just think he’ll have too much on his plate against better opposition. A number of trends are against SOT and TI also. Super Duty has only been out of the first 2 once in his life – when falling in a 4 runner novice hurdle. He ran well at this meeting last year behind Simonsig – my concern with him is the stable form. I think McCain has had 2 winners from his last 60 runners. Shocking in anyone’s book. As such I think one of the front two wins this. Dynaste was touted as the best novice chaser prior to his run at Cheltenham and it’s possibly best overlooking that as 15/8 could seem quite big about a chaser who previously looked a world beater. That course may not have suited as much as Kempton, Haydock, Newbury (flatter tracks) where he’d also won. I know he won at Cheltenham earlier in the season but I just feel Aintree may play more to his strengths. Rocky Creek missed Cheltenham for this and is worthily respected having been given a break and with the Nicholls/Walsh combination. His form is perfectly respectable but I think up against Dynaste I’d make him around 11/4 and the Pipe horse about 6/4. Gun to my head I think Dynaste wins and at 15/8 I think he’s worth supporting because in my opinion he should be a shade shorter. And you know people may look to crab the Jewson form but Captain Conan didn’t make it look terrible today – perhaps Benefficent is just a very good horse and doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
2pt win Dynaste @ 15/8
3.05 – Mouthwatering. Although in my opinion likely to be another Sprinter Sacre procession. This is a venture into the unknown slightly with the trip but like I said yesterday if your going to go up in trip then Aintree is a good place to try. On breeding Sprinter should have no trouble getting the trip and though he shows his exuberance through races I kind of think he’d jump for 5 miles at the same speed. He has a helluva engine and I’d be amazed if anything can stay with him longer enough to beat him. Flemenstar is intriguing no doubt but I actually think Sprinter’s biggest rival here is Cue Card who has been hugely impressive over the trip and the form of his wins this season have been franked in no uncertain terms – First Lieutenant notably. Of the two of them I’d prefer to back Cue Card to follow him home. It’s a slight shame that Finian’s Rainbow isn’t bigger than 4s in the w/o market also as he will appreciate the better ground and is undoubtedly class on his day. I think the way I’d probably play it is to back Sprinter in one of those mug punting trebles for interest and then lay Flemenstar for a place as I think both Cue Card and Finian’s can beat him. If he trades around evens in the place market I’d do that.
3.40 – Got to speed things up – cannot believe I’ve spent an hour looking at those first three races. Madness. Anyway this is impossible. A few helpful trends 8 of the past 10 winners carried 10-5 or less; the last seven winners were rated 128 to 141 – that leaves Gus Macrae, Tartak, State Benefit, Dashing George, Jamsie Hall, Gonebeyondrecall. 10 of the last 10 had run in 35 days – that leaves Gus Macrae, Tartak. 8 of 10 had run over National fences – plus 9 and 10 year olds have best record. So ultimately that leaves Tartak – who last year was racing off 153 in this very race and is now off 130. Easy game. I’d probably chuck a few more quid at Gus Macrae and Sizing Santiago – Bowen has won this last two years at bigger prices.
1.5pt win Tartak @ 14/1
0.5pt win Sizing Santiago @ 33/1
0.5pt win Gus Macrae @ 40/1
4.15 – At Fishers Cross is a worthy favourite in here and undoubtedly has the best chance – however, he’s had a pretty hard season and on this ground I’d lean towards taking him on with something at a bigger price for more value. Road To Riches is a complete unknown and plainly beaten nothing much in three races but at 15/2 missed the 8s he’s well worth chancing. The other I think is worth siding with is Master of the Sea – he has a similar handicapping profit to At Fisher Cross and the Coral Cup run where he came 4th shows he’s definitely capable of mixing it at this level. Uxizandre represents last year’s winning stable and at 22s isn’t without hope neither.
1pt win Road To Riches @ 15/2
1pt win Master of the Sea @ 17/2
4.50 – Time is running out!!! Hellishly difficult handicap. Two against the field Manyriverstocross and Khyber Kim both I feel have class and may have a little in hand of the handicapper. The former ran a belter in the County Hurdle and loves these type of mad affairs – still remember backing him for the Betfair three years or so ago. Khyber Kim ran respectably in the Champion Hurdle and prior to that ran well behind Zarkandar. Hazy Tom will appreciate the better ground and has good course form, he’s 33s so may also be worth a little nibble. It’s hugely competitive though. Darts mainly.
1pt win Manyriverstocross @ 12/1
1pt win Khyber Kim @ 16/1
0.5pt win Hazy Tom @ 33/1
Bumper – No clue
Good luck all.