It’s the last Saturday before the greatest racing Festival on earth – Cheltenham.
My antepost book is filled and while I wish I may have been a bit more aggressive with some of my staking (on Peddlers Cross, Ghizao and Poquelin) I’m happy with how things stand. The going is a bit of a concern, as the lack of recent rain and the prospect of none until maybe Wednesday make the likelihood of “good” going on the opening day a near certainty. It may be declared “good-to-soft” but when we see the race times then we’ll really know what it is.
For me, the lack of rain is the main reason that there has been a lack of confidence in the market about MASTER MINDED. He really does need to be able to get his toe in to show his very best form (didn’t have good-to-soft in the QMCC last year when well beaten). Thing is, I’m not sure that “good” going will suit Big Zeb down to the ground either, and I’m expecting a turn-up in the QMCC come Wednesday.
From the Horse Alert List (which has been doing well recently) we had CESIUM running yesterday. It was very disappointing and the horse is clearly out of love with the game. Don’t wager on him again until he shows his old zest. It must be infuriating for his owners and the trainer as the horse has plenty of ability – he just is not interested in racing anymore.
All eyes will be on Ruby Walsh at Sandown today as he tries to get a winner on the board before the Festival starts after a long period on the sidelines thru’ injury. Personally, I think he has a good chance on TITO BUSTILLO in the Imperial Cup.
I have a selection for those who are interested, in the final race at Sandown. It’s a 2m4f & 110 yard class 3 chase at 4:40. There are 8 runners with the joint-favs Peplum and Craiglands dominating the market. Peplum is on a hat-trick, but he does not get a yard further than 2m4f and the stiff uphill finish at Sandown will prevent him from winning in a close finish. Craiglands ran his best race in ages LTO, but that was over 3m1f. He last won over this sort of trip at Cheltenham and, having plenty of stamina, he won’t be stopping – but will he be quick enough? Personally, I like right-hand track specialist HOLMWOOD LEGEND. He’s lightly raced for a 10yo having had just 11 chase races, winning 4 all on right-hand tracks from 9 starts going RH. The going may be a bit quick for him, but he has run well (without winning) on good going before. As such, odds of 11/1 are value (Vic Chandler, best odds guaranteed).
Sandown 4:40, HOLMWOOD LEGEND, ½pt each way @ 11/1 (Vic Chandler, BOG)
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