There are a couple of interesting meetings today at Exeter and Newcastle.
Newcastle resumes racing after the upsetting end (for some) to the Eider Chase at the previous meeting. If you visit the blog “steeplechasing” (see adjacent link) there is an interesting page about the going and racing that day.
My concentration is solely on next week’s Festival with form-study already begun on the handicaps, but there are a few snippets that may be wallet fillers for next week.
At Newcastle, the going is soft/heavy and much of the racing is poor stuff. But, the 4:50 a class 3 h’cap chase over 2m4f looks a likely place for a wager with canny Northern trainer Ferdy Murphy having his only runner of the day in BLACKPOOL BILLY in the race. This horse was well thought of as a hurdler, winning 2 of his 3 races in March 2008. Unfortunately, he must’ve hurt himself in his debut chase in Nov-08 as he wasn’t seen again for 2 years till last November. He ran well enough on his first couple of outings to be a hot fav LTO, but the going was a bit quick for him that day and he never got into contention. Today’s going will suit him to a tee, as will the extra half-mile.
At Exeter, there is a near £million jackpot pool carried-over to today, and I think you won’t go far wrong supporting the only Nicky Henderson runner SEMI COLON in the opener at 2:30 to get you off to a good start. Add the stats of AP McCoy when riding for Henderson - he's won on 25 of his 53 hurdle rides for him this season – and we have the basis of a solid wager. The morning fav Pepite Rose won cosily LTO, but I reckon the more mud the better for her and today’s good-to-soft going will be too quick for her.
In the Devon National at 3:30, the extreme trip of 3m6f & 110 yards will test stamina to the limit. It could develop into a similar race as the Eider with the last horse standing, taking the spoils. If that’s the case then Drybrook Bedouin who will never stop running could plug on to win. However, VAMIZI loves Exeter and never runs a bad race here (a win and 2 x 2nds from 3 chases at Exeter), and he’s been dropped 4lb for pulling-up LTO. Regular rider Mattie Batchelor is back in the saddle and he will cajole a decent run today from VAMIZI who, at 10/1 looks fair value.
No firm blog selections, but I would expect all those named – BLACKPOOL BILLY, SEMI COLON and VAMIZI all to be involved in the finish of their respective races.
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