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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

WOOTTON BASSETT for Champion 2yo

In today’s blog:-
Review of the yesterday’s horseracing
Today’s Horseracing
And another thing

Review of yesterday’s horseracing
The race I focused on yesterday at Plumpton, the 3m 1½f h’cap hurdle (class 3) turned into a race that may throw more than a few future winners. As expected, it was run at a good pace with the game mare Winsley Hill setting an un-relenting gallop (the race was the only one on the card run quicker than standard time), but she found nothing after the final flight to hold off the eventual winner FIRM ORDER. This 5yo was running beyond 2m5f for the 1st time and stayed this trip very well suggesting he should be one to follow. WINSLEY HILL must surely be primed for a return to chasing now and her rating in that sphere of OR127 looks favourable as she won off OR123 this time last year, and she’s clearly improved since then. I’m not sure where the blog selection CLIFTON DEBUT goes now, probably a drop in trip to 3-mile or a bit less.

Today’s Horseracing

Again, just the one jump meeting at Exeter, and the highlight is the chasing debut of CELESTIAL HALO. This horse is a favourite of mine who did me proud in the Champion Hurdle of 2009, but cost me dearly last March. Paul Nicholls usually sends a decent novice for this (if he has one) and there is little to be gained having a wager on today as current odds are 2/7. Long-term, if he takes to fences, CELESTIAL HALO could be a very exciting recruit to chasing. Current odds of 12/1 for the Arkle are a bit short for me, as Nicholls has always thought the horse would be best over a longer trip than 2-mile, and he looked like he was on the way to winning the 2m4f Aintree Hurdle (G1) last April till falling at the 2nd-last when in a clear lead.

And another thing
There were a few tweets (you can find me on twitter, under Wayward_Lad) yesterday about Frankel, Dream Ahead, and this year’s possible Champion 2yo.
FRANKEL is almost certainly capable of winning the Derby next season, even tho’ Maestro Henry Cecil is only talking about the 2000 Guineas and St James Palace Stakes as targets for 2011. It seems that Cecil is focusing on the fact that altho’ FRANKEL’s dam is a half-sister to Powerscourt (who won G1’s at 12f and was a better older horse than 2yo) the dam KIND is by Danehill, whereas Powerscourt was sired by Sadlers Wells. As such, KIND was a 6-furlong horse. That speed has clearly been passed-on to FRANKEL, and we all wonder how much stamina has been passed-on by his sire – Derby-winner (English and Irish) and King George winner, GALILEO.
It is a quirk of handicapping that FRANKEL is currently rated OR124, whereas DREAM AHEAD is rated OR126 based on his emphatic win in the Middle Park Stakes. At the time, I thought DREAM AHEAD’s performance only rated an OR118 ranking as the reason he won so easily that day was that he coped with the soft going so much better than the others in the race. The BHA is frantically back-peddling with this one!
And so to the year’s Champion 2yo. It cannot honestly be Dream Ahead, despite being the highest rated. It could be Frankel, but if you are going to give the title to a horse that is not highest rated then what about WOOTTON BASSETT? Unbeaten in 5 starts, culminating in the G1 Grand Criterium at Longchamp in a time that compared favourably with Goldikova’s G1 winning time in the following race. There are no question-marks over his performance surely?

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Thanks from Wayward Lad

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