There were no firm blog selections yesterday but, of the two horses mentioned, I was on-the-ball with CAPTAIN COOL from Richard Hannon’s stable. He certainly enjoyed going left-handed rather than right-handed, and he stayed-on well having been prominent thru’out to be 3rd at the rewarding odds of 16/1. I was kicking myself afterwards for not making him a blog selection but, there you go. The fav for the race, Sweet Irony, looked to have improved when winning this, tho’ Faultless Feelings looked like being involved in the finish when he was badly hampered on the turn for home. He lost a lot of ground there (and momentum) and he’ll do better NTO.
There are 3 jump meetings today at Carlisle, Southwell and Chepstow.
At Chepstow, I was immediately drawn to FREEZE UP in the 3:15 as he’s dropped 7lb to OR107 and if he’s in the form of his win at Plumpton of March 2009 when he won on similar going, then he’ll be hard to beat. The going will be far too quick for old campaigner Victory Gunner, and I think the fav Stongbows Legend is on too high a mark (OR108). Altho’ he is Charlie Longsdon’s only runner today, Longsdon has not had a winner at Chepstow in years (0 from 21). Trainer Tim Vaughan is not in form lately either, and his runner Silver Story looks unlikely to stay this 3-mile trip. The others in this need to improve their jumping and if FREEZE UP tries to make all (as he did when he last won) then he could have this race in the bag a long way out. We’ve missed the 8/1 that was available earlier, but 6/1 (Betfred) looks fair.
At Southwell, previous blog selection Backfromthecongo only just failed to win for me LTO. He should take this today, but his odds of just 7/4 leave no room for error in this trappy handicap. The rest of this card leaves me a bit cold.
Finally, Carlisle. I remember reading that trainer Howard Johnson sends his novice chasers here as he reckons the fences are easy to jump. If that’s truly the case, then perhaps Blackpool Billy may return to form having refused LTO. There are a couple in this race that I like; Bene Lad and You Know Yourself, and both of these should be too good for the fav Against The Wind who is not proven at this trip. The way BENE LAD won this time last year at Kelso suggests he’s the one to be on, as You Know Yourself had a hard race on heavy going LTO and the 1st and 3rd from that race have not run well since. BENE LAD at 4/1 looks the value.
Chepstow 3:15, FREEZE UP, ½pt eachway @ 6/1 (Betfred, best odds guaranteed)
Carlisle 4:00, BENE LAD, 1pt win @ 4/1 (Betfred, best odds guaranteed)
Total = 2pts staked
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