The 351st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.
No selections for the blog yesterday.
There is a good meeting on the flat at Newmarket today with a couple of Group 1 races for 2yo’s and the historic “Cesarewitch” handicap run over 2m2f. I have never been a big fan of the Cesarewitch, so I’m not even going to contemplate making a selection in this race of 34 runners. I am also opposed to the running of the Group 1 races, the Middle Park Stakes over 6f and the Dewhurst over 7f, on the same day. These races should be split and run on separate days with perhaps 14-days between them. One race will, over time, suffer – and it will most likely be the Middle Park Stakes.
There is a meeting on the flat at York, but this is another I will pass over.
So, I will concentrate on the two “jumps” meetings at Hexham and Chepstow. At Hexham, I was going to go for QUITE THE MAN in the opener as he ran a cracker of a race on his chase debut. However, there is no value in his current odds of 6/5, in fact I’d rather have a wager on L’Eldorado at 3/1 as there was little to split these two over hurdles when they met. There is an interesting h’cap chase at 3:15 over 2m4f &110yds and I like it as the markets look weak. Present To You has not looked anywhere near as good a chaser as hurdler, and this could be his last chance. Beneficial Reform makes his chase debut under rules, and he has not shown much over hurdles to warrant special merit. As such, with the going in his favour, I can see STAGECOACH AMBER making all here and taking the race at 4/1 (He was 13/2 as I wrote this earlier, but now Beneficial Reform is a non-runner).
Chepstow has a cracking novice chase at 4:10 even if it has only 4 runners. CUE CARD makes his much-awaited chase debut, however SILVINIACO CONTI was rated a better hurdler and comes into this the 5/4 2nd-fav. Personally, I would be on SILVINIACO CONTI as Paul Nicholls always has his novice chasers primed to do the business and I think the 3rd-fav MICHAEL FLIPS will follow him home as he has already proven he can jumps a fence in Oct 2010, and this 2m4f trip will suit him.
The next on the card, a h’cap hurdle, sees another Nicholls horse Domtaline as fav, but I think this horse still has a lot to prove and cannot be seen as value at current odds of 11/10. Given his “potential” this race is a no-bet one for me, unless you want to take on the fav. The 2nd-fav Jubail looks like he prefers going right-handed to left-handed so he’s not the one. MR HARMOOSH was unlucky not to win LTO and is bang-in-form for Sheena West, and he is the one I’d be on.
The 3-mile h’cap chase at 5:50 is the highlight of the Chepstow meeting. Emma Lavelle has won this race twice in the past 3 years so Ouzbeck, for her, must be respected. However, I reckon he wants further than 3-mile these days. I don’t think Templer can win off a rating higher than OR128, so he’s not for me. Born Again and Swincombe Rock both have to prove to me that they can stay this trip in this sort of company. Bellflower Boy will almost certainly need this run. I wagered on LE BEAU BAI several times last season and he will be finishing strongly but almost certainly too late. I think REVE DE SIVOLA is better than his OR142 and he will prove hard to beat even with top-weight. FIVE DREAM from Paul Nicholls stable and with Ruby Walsh in the saddle ran very well fresh this time last season off OR132 when 2nd at Market Rasen beating a race-fit field of proven performers. He comes into this on OR128 and the trip and going should suit him. Personally, I would want more than 7/1.
Hexham 3:15, STAGECOACH AMBER, 1pt win @ 4/1 with Ladbrokes
Chepstow 5:50, REVE De SIVOLA, 1pt win @ 7/2 available generally
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