The day after I decide to ditch eachway betting for win-only, both my selections are placed at decent odds. CAROLE’S LEGACY ran a very game race to be 2nd to Nacarat (advised at 6/1, SP was 4/1) with the fav Denman well beaten. I am sure that had the race been run at a true pace, then CAROLE’S LEGACY would’ve won this, but the race was run at a crawl for the first mile with the pace dictated by eventual winner Nacarat. I “tweeted” mid-race than Nacarat was turning the race into a 2-mile chase, and that’s just what he did – to his advantage! A race won more by jockey tactics than the ability of the horse. That race was followed-up by another game performance by my other selection MISTER APPLE’S. He was going well till meeting the large open-ditch (the 3rd fence in the National “proper”) which he did not like at all. After that, his rider did well to avoid a number of fallen horses which impeded his progress, and he stayed-on well to be 4th at 16/1. Both these selections were advised as ½pt win wagers, so a point lost – but if you’d gone eachway then you’d have come away with a profit - and a 1pt eachway double would have returned a whopping 9pt profit.
Of the other races, BIG BUCKS confirmed my opinion that he is at least 10lbs better than Grand Crus and sauntered to an easy win. He probably works harder than this on the gallops at Ditcheat! I was impressed with the run of Carlito Brigante in this, and tho’ the 3-mile trip was too much for him, a return to 2½ miles will bring out the best in him. Altho’ not nominated as a selection, PALAWI ran a cracker (I took 40’s on betfair, and layed-off at 5.0 to secure a good 7pt profit) and was still in the lead when falling at the 2nd-last hurdle. He brought-down Grandouet who I think would eventually have won this as the fav Zarkandar struggled to beat Kumbeshwar on the run-in. And finally, WISHFUL THINKING routed Medermit with an exemplary front-running performance – and that suggests that his Festival conqueror Noble Prince is some horse.
Grand National news, and the final 40 starters have been selected – no reserves. I will have a final look thru’ the runners after I’ve posted this blog and I will probably post up the blog for Saturday later-on this evening. I like to enjoy the build-up to the race in the morning, so I want to have the blog written and out of the way.
Onto today’s meeting, and the opener looks tricky with several looking to retrieve reputations and others (who missed the Festival at Cheltenham) hoping to cement theirs. I’ll pass this race over.
Next, the Mildmay Novices Chase has been won by some very good horses. Someone asked me yesterday if I knew a horse that could beat Long Run in the Gold Cup, and last year’s winner of this – Burton Port – immediately sprung to mind. They may be stablemates, but then so are Denman and Kauto Star. The Irish novice chase form has been vastly under-estimated this season, and Irish horses won the RSA Chase with Bostons Angel; the “Jewson” with Noble Prince; and provided the 3rd in the Arkle with Realt Dubh who was the only Irish representative. As such, QUITO DE LA ROQUE should not be easily dismissed. He was only just beaten by RSA winner Bostons Angel on 28-Dec, and he’s clearly improved since then. His half-brother Kazal was 3rd in the World Hurdle in 2008 so even tho’ he has never run on going this quick before, I reckon he should handle it. Of the others, Wayward Prince has had a hard season, and Master Of The Hall needs to prove he’s not a right-hand track specialist.
The Melling Chase, due to the going and trip, looks a toss-up between last year’s winner Albertas Run and Kalahari King and of the pair, I would favour Albertas Run on account that he is a better jumper of a fence. Both the going and trip are against Master Minded, and of the others I am drawn to FRENCH OPERA at odds of 12/1. He is only 4lb off Albertas Run on official ratings and he stays this trip and will love the going. Somersby was beaten over C&D last year by Mad Max. For me, FRENCH OPERA is huge value.
I’m not going anywhere near the other races on the card, altho’ there are 2 from the Horse Alert List in the Topham Chase; PICKAMUS and FREE WORLD. To be fair, this could be the race both of them may relish as PICKAMUS loves to bowl-along in front and he will stay this trip and love the going. He is not a 66/1 chance (current odds) and I will be having a tiny wager on him with Bet365 who (with some other bookmakers) are offering 5 places at eachway. FREE WORLD is a classy performer at his best – he was 2nd to Riverside Theatre at Kempton last November – and he should stay this trip and will also love the going. He’s been dropped to OR146 (from OR153) and again, he’s no 66/1 chance. Also consider Barry Geraghty who is without a ride in tomorrow’s National (Northern Alliance was withdrawn yesterday) and he will be giving his all on SHAKALAKABOOMBOOM.
Aintree 2:30, QUITO DE LA ROQUE, ½pt win @ 9/2 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)
Aintree 3:05, FRENCH OPERA, ½pt eachway @ 12/1 (Bet365, best odds guaranteed)
PLUS: QUITO DE LA ROQUE and FRENCH OPERA, ¼pt eachway double
(Note: Bet365 pay quarter-odds a place eachway)
Total = 2pts staked
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