Another good day if you followed the card. The first race should of seen you back a winner in Halcyon Days, we flagged up that it may drift and when we have it at 100/30 your entitled to be backing it at 9/2, shame our e/w bet at the prices last night Bladoun never went a yard despite there being some money around for him.
The second race was a touch unfortunate in backing eventual second Cadouff, but the winner didn't get away from us as we had it at 9/1 and it was 8/1 SP, and if you were a layer you were entitled to be laying Lough Salt at 7/2. Third race was a bust but we got the market right, with Treaty Girl being backed off the boards. Fourth race we got the market all wrong but would have backed the winner in Black Narcissus anyway, and if you were a layer you should have got stuck into Incholm who went off an obscene 9/4 fav. On to Saturday!
Note: The prices in red are my tissue prices, not those available
2:05- Gonalston Cloud 6/1, Azure Fly 13/2, Dancing Shadow 7/1, Itstimeforapint 8/1, Alvarado 9/1, 9/1 Five in a row, 12/1 sun cloud,14/1 Just a par, 16/1 bar
Incredibly tight for this marathon contest and really there are far too many chances for me to give them all the space they deserve so we will concentrate on my front three.
Gonalston Cloud is a mighty horse who has some real heart, he will stay all day long in any conditions on any track, must be a brilliant horse to own. These staying chasers tend to get on a roll and the 3lb rise he got for his last run seems to be extremely fair, and with his economical jumping style I expect him to be there at the finish.
Azure Fly ran really well in the southern national, I was a serious doubter that he would stay that day and he really surprised me, although the form of that race didnt work out next time out (they all went out too quickly in my humble opinion) that wouldn't put me off, these are extreme tests and horses either take to it or not and I think Azure Fly should be ok especially with good ground. Dancing Shadow looked like the minimum trip he needed was 26f's when winning last time out at Doncaster but received an alarming 9lb rise for that success. Itstimeforapint is closely matched with Gonalston cloud and Alvarado always has his supporter but from my perspective if the prices stay as they are i'm really just a small e/w player with Azure Fly but he really wants a sound surface so I wont be in a hurry to get the bet on, possibly wait until tomorrow to see ground conditions and maybe a few other bets will materialise.
Suggestions and plays:- If prices stay as they are I would wait until tomorrow and a small e/w bet on Azure fly. Hard to judge how this market will turn out .
3:15:- Optimus Prime 9/2, Drumcliff 7/2, Traditional dancer 11/2, London Prize 8/1, 10/1 cool sky, 14/1 Dominada , 16/1 Diego du charmil, 16/1 bar
Drumcliff probably deserves favouritism here but I certainly couldn't be supporting him at prices of 11/4 . His case is pretty straightforward to make.
Optimus Prime is extremely interesting who ran very well on stable debut and is entitled to improve for the run, he was ridden very forcefully and a similar performance round a sharp track like Musselburgh will surely suit. Traditional dancer was beaten by a G3 winner in Superb Story over C&D last time out and should give his running again.
London Prize is an interesting contender on handicap debut he was impressive at Market Rasen in defeat. There is no way Dominada can go off the 6/1 the bookies are offering about him at the time of writing. Dominada is up 11lb in a better class of race.
Suggestions plays:- I think Optimus Prime is a bet at 13/2 and Traditional Dancer at 8/1. I cant see Dominada going off a single figure price but if he is say between 6.0-7.2 tomorrow I'm a layer for sure.
4:20:- Jonny Delta 11/4 , Superior Commander 5/1, Final Countdown 6/1, Whispering storm 9/1, Endeavour 9/1 , next edition 12/1, 14/1 Medal of freedom ,20/1 bar
My favourite Jonny Delta has to overcome a bad race last time out but that was much much deeper than this , he has his ground tomorrow. Superior Command won last time out and is well handicapped on some chase form but that was a really truly run race that day and I think he needs further than this. I don't see any pace in this field which could hamper superior commands chances (Although in my opinion next edition should just be allowed to go pillar to post…that wont happen).
Final countdown is well matched on that last run with Superior Command and a reversal is not out of the question (hence the prices). Whispering storm was damn right awful on handicap debut and I couldn't be backing him at any price.
Suggestions & plays:- I think Jonny Delta is a cracking e/w bet at 13/2. I'm struggling to see which way this market will go , other than Jonny Delta has to shorten in my opinion.
3:00:- Mr.Mix 13/2, Rolling Dylan 13/2, El Teremento 7/1, KK Lexion 8/1, Desert Sensation 10/1, Ruacana 12/1, Behind time 12/1, Valhalla 14/1, Billy no name 14/1, 16/1 bar
Mr.Mix won a pertemps qualifier on boxing day and is only up 4lb effectively for that success but you have to wonder whether he will be 100% be there to win with the Pertemps final around the corner.
Rolling Dylan is an understandable favourite with a good handicap debut at Chepstow under his belt but the 8lb rise he got for being defeated by Shantou Bob seemed a touch harsh to me! The cheekpieces go on first time and his case is very obvious, whether you want to be taking 6/1 about him is another matter (I wouldn't advocate it). El Teremento is up in trip and goes well in soft conditions, he's the one in the pack I wanted to have shorter and I'm expecting him to find an improvement for this extended trip.
Desert Sensation is closely matched with Rolling Dylan on his chepstow run but I cant really see a reversal personally. KK Lexion destroyed his opponents last time out but a 14lb rise is a lot to contend with in a better race. I really dont see how Behind Time is 6/1 second favourite he was beaten 3l's last time out and is effectively up 16lbs.
Suggestions & Plays:- I will personally be sitting this race out.
3:35:- Otago Trail 7/2, Antony 9/2, Sandy beach 11/2, Rock the Kasbah 11/2, beg to differ 6/1, Irish Saint 12/1 , 20/1 bar
Otago Trail ran a blinder behind Bristol De Mai last time out who is now being talked about in the gold cup bracket. He's effectively only 1lb higher than his last win mark in a listed chase earlier in the season and loves soft conditions. Antony has been given a break and is ground versatile but falls in the no value bracket at the moment. Sandy Beach surprised me in getting the 3m trip last time out at Kempton and really merits some respect as not many horses got into the race that day. I have my doubts over whether Rock the Kasbah will get the trip. Beg to Differ ran a good race in the Welsh national and likes soft conditions but I think he's better over marathon trip rather than a standard 3m's.
Suggestions & plays:- In this one i'm a definite backer of Otago Trail at 9/2 and Sandy Beach at 10/1. With regards to the market, I would be surprised if Loose Chips doesnt go off north of 16/1 . I would be surprised if Otago Trail goes off 9/2 but this a tight market and moves are hard to predict.
4:05:- Another Venture 3/1, Justification 5/1, Druids folly 6/1, 13/2 Russian Service , 9/1 welluptoscratch, 9/1 Mixchievous, 10/1 bar
Now anybody looking at my prices and then looking at the bookies would probably guess i'm looking forward to this one. Now if you look at Another Ventures novice runs, there are two ways of looking at them one is he failed to win, the other is that it puts him extremely well handicapped. He only lost to Scotchtown by 3l's off 1lb lower , Scotchtown is now rated 135 and Another Venture is off 120 tomorrow. The next horse I'm extremely interested in is Justification for all sorts of reasons, one being that he's arguably well handicapped, the next being that his return from 2 years off the track was extremely promising the third being that he is a Gary Moore horse running at Sandown. The market is really under estimating him at present, that will not continue. Druids folly is a good horse who ran ok on handicap debut at Lingfield but that wasnt a hot contest and this requires more. Russian Service won nicely in a hotly contested novice event at chepstow but I dont think he is chucked in off his mark.
Suggestions & plays:- I'm going to be backing Another Venture at 9/2 and Justification at 11/1. I expect both to shorten up during the night and morning. No lays in this race.
1:40:- Atireliago 9/2, Oldgrangewood 5/1, 11/2 red spinner , somchine 6/1, 8/1 hainan , 12/1 bar
Right well we shall start with the obvious, of all the last time out winners West Wizard is the wrong favourite in my opinion, I mean I have him in at 12/1. Beating Bramble Brook is not exactly solid form, that hose does not enjoy winning and tends to do everything possible not to win his races. I really would expect West Wizard to drift. Atirelago's form reads quite nicely with Tornado in Milans recent exploits and my only real concern for him is the ground which may be too soft for his liking. Oldgrangewood had a next time out winner in Captain Redbeard in behind but seemed to make hard work of it and this race is much deeper. Red spinner was seen to excellent effect last time out given a forceful front running ride and has won on soft before. Somchine had dusky lark in behind when winning last time and on that basis his 5lb rise seems justified. Hainan ran a cracking race but the handicapper seems to hate him, and he wont get his own way out in front like that race, and will find it much tougher.
Suggestions & plays:- I will be having a nibble at Atireliago, Red Spinner and Somchine at current prices. In my opinion West Wizard has to drift.
3:20:- Ami Desbois 5/2, Sam red 100/30, Milborough 11/2 , Point the way 6/1, Westerndorf 7/1, Onlyorsenfoolies 9/1, 33/1 bar
Ami Desbois deserves to be at the head of the market and is clearly the pick on form and has his conditions again and is going to be tough to get past. That being said I think Sam Red ran well for a long way on stable debut and is entitled to have come on for the run and should give a good account of himself now up in trip. I have my doubts about how hard Westerndorf has been trying in novice events and he is one i'm concerned about but I can only price them up on what they've done. Milborough is surely having a run out before the Pertemps final and will be protecting that handicap mark.
Suggestions & plays:- Sam Red is a good e/w bet on my prices. With regards to the market a move for Jonjo's handicap debutant would not be a surprise.