The quick going at Kempton really messed-up the way the race was run for my selection BETABOB, as a couple went-off like scalded cats and at one point Betabob was over a furlong (220 yards) behind those leaders. That pair could never keep it up, but the effort to get back on terms was too much for Betabob with topweight (11st 12lb) and he finished out of the places. Unfortunately, previous successful blog selection Rileyev won the race with an SP of 3/1 (actually touched 7/2 before the off). The problem with making selections in the morning is that sometimes you can misread the betting market. So then, that was a point lost.
Earlier at Kempton, Basford Bob took advantage of the fact that Henry King was a non-runner (another thing I was not aware of in the morning) and, with a change of tactics (he led thru’out) he managed to hold on to the lead and win. Alan King’s runner Romulus D’Artaix managed to come 3rd, and I was right about him being value at 11/2 as his SP was 3/1.
As an aside, I had a wager on the 2/1 fav Monsieur Jamie for the 5f race at Southwell (4:40) and the jockey was left behind in the stalls! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that point, but judging by the performance of eventual winner Even Stevens, he would not have won anyway.
There are 3 jump meetings today at Haydock, Hereford and Warwick.
Not sure about Haydock as the going on the hurdles course is already reported as good-to-firm and with temperatures up to 16°C today, the ground could be like a road. As such, I’m going to give that meeting a miss.
There is not much happening at Warwick either. Though in the opener Richard Hannon (better known as a trainer on the flat) has a runner in the maiden hurdle - Captain Cool. He won a couple of races over 12f last month on the AW on the flat, and ran well without threatening in a hurdle at Wincanton, but that was going right-handed and he doesn’t seem to enjoy going that way round. He likes to run prominently on the flat and, if they try that here, he could find himself able to take an active role in this race as the likely fav Sweet Irony is a hold-up horse. He won’t need to improve much to take one of the places here and at 14/1 (William Hill) he looks interesting. However, he’ll be sharing the lead with Faultless Feelings who is the only runner here for Phil Hobbs. Now, Hobbs has won this race twice with just 3 runners in the past 5 years and I can see this one trading at under 1.80 in-running after the 2nd-last flight (if you are someone who likes to back-to-lay). If I can get 11/4 then he’s my wager for the day, but current odds of 9/4 don’t rock my boat.
Today’s Weekender is on my desk with all the results from the Festival last week. I’m glad to see something in print that I’ve been saying myself since the King George was run in January – and that is that KAUTO STAR should be running in the Ryanair. I reckon Paul Nicholls missed a trick this year and he should have paid the supplementary after his beloved horse ran 3rd in January. Even so, as Paul Kealy writes in the Weekender, I think that Kauto Star should be aimed at the Ryanair for 2012. He’ll never win another Gold Cup as he cannot even beat a fit and well Denman at that trip. So why not give the horse a spectacular swan-song of a final season in jump racing?
Must admit, I don’t go along with Mr Kealy in selecting Docofthebay for the Lincoln on 2nd April. It may have escaped his notice, but the Lincoln is run over a mile, and Docofthebay is a dyed-in-the-wool 7-furlong specialist. Yes, he’s won over a mile, but that was a class 4 handicap back in May 2007. Since then, he’s run 28 times over a mile (or further) without winning. However, on 18-Sept-10 when dropped to 7-furlongs for the first time since running in the Buckingham at Royal Ascot in June 2007 (started as 5/1 jt-fav) he won, thereby ending a 28-race losing run. The previous race he won was a Class 2 over 7f at Goodwood (“ya don’t say!”). The horse stays 7-furlongs and about another 50 yards – and not a yard further.
Lastly, I’m not a time disciple, but Topspeed’s comments in the Weekender on the Gold Cup won by Long Run make interesting reading to those who have scoffed at my headline this week “LONG RUN at 183? You’re having a laugh!” If you are curious, then I suggest you go out and buy a copy, it’s a damn good racing paper.
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