I had a bit of a funny moment yesterday with Romney Marsh. Sometimes you can look too hard at the formbook and then put too much importance to a fragment of form from the past. That’s what I did yesterday with Romney Marsh, and in doing so I ignored the fact that the horse was not running well recently, his stable was out of form, and the horse was probably unlikely to stay the trip. That said, had the pace of the race been a little more sedate, he may have run been a lot closer.
There are 4 good meetings today, at Sandown, Ayr, Leicester and Wincanton. Far too much to review so I’ll try and find so decent nuggets amongst that lot.
I can’t see any value at Ayr.
I like Leicester, but the races today all look a bit tactical. From the Horse Alert List runs CESIUM in the 4:15, but he seems to have lost the plot. However, he is a course winner and he is likely to enjoy the quick going. Combined with 1st-time blinkers he may return to form and, if he does, this race will be his. Phar Again looks weighted out of it (up another 3lb), Willandrich tho’ consistent is not value at 7/4. CESIUM at 7/1 looks worth a nibble.
I’m not really happy about the quick going at Wincanton tho’ AP MCCoy rides a couple of hurdlers for Nicky Henderson there (see strikerate blog earlier this week). I’m not nominating these 2 hurdlers as when you follow trends there has to be some value in the odds too, and these races don’t provide value.
At Sandown, we have the Grand Military Gold Cup which (if memory serves me right) was a complete in-running fiasco last year and is really a race to watch only.
Let’s look at the Cheltenham Festival and despite the forecast of rain on the 1st-2 days (Tuesday and Wednesday) next week, drying conditions have meant a start to watering of the course. The likelihood is that the going will be “Good” on Day 1, and probably get quicker during the meeting unless there is significant rainfall.
If I read things correctly, “Good” going will suit none of the market leaders in the Arkle, who would all prefer the word “soft” to be in the going description.
There was some discussion over the relative merits of CUE CARD for the Supreme on twitter y’day. The general consensus was that he was worthy of his position in the market, but that (being trained in England rather than Ireland) his odds were likely to drift slightly from his current best of 9/4. My opinion is that a horse so far clear on form (ratings) should be very short odds indeed. This time last year, Dunguib was 4/5 and he had nothing like the superiority on ratings that CUE CARD has this year, but being Irish-trained the money from his supporters had been put down. I think that CUE CARD has the form “in the book”, whereas Dunguib had notoriety “on the gallops” and so CUE CARD is worthy of being a 4/5 chance come next Tuesday. It will take a significant effort to lower his colours. Even so, I’d hold fire on placing a wager as he could be 11/4 (or longer) on the day.
It is almost certain that Skippers Brig will not run in the Stewart Family H’cap chase and that means that only 1 more is needed to pull out to guarantee a start for THE RAINBOW HUNTER. However, last year there was a huge gamble on OGEE for this race and he ran a cracker to be 3rd. His form has not been embarrassing this year and he runs off OR139 (just 2lb higher than last year). That means he starts with 10st 12lb (16 of the last 19 winners have now carried 10st 12lb or less) and at 20/1 he’s not a forlorn eachway chance (started at just 8/1 last year).
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