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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Frost no help on an ordinary day

The 421st edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

We have 2 meetings over the jumps today, at Kempton and Warwick, as Wetherby has been lost to the weather (frost).

Kempton hosts the William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle and I must admit that I have never been a huge fan of these cavalry charge handicap hurdles. Finding the winner seems to be about finding a horse who has been completely overlooked by everyone other than connections up till the morning of the race and then joining in on the gamble, or finding a horse best suited by the hurly-burly of these huge fields and hoping to sneak a long-odds place. I did the latter last year with ZANIR who was 4th at 16/1, and the horse comes here again on the same rating of OR134 but with a new trainer, having left Tom George. This sort of race is what Zanir relishes but I cannot say that his rider, 3lb claimer Tom Malloy, is the man for the job to steer him home. Will I eat my words? I think DECOY has a helluva chance in this race, and looks fairly treated by the market at 8/1 (William Hill) and you also cannot ignore Featherbed Lane at 11/1 (William Hill).

Warwick has some more interesting racing. The novice chase at 1:25 over 3-mile is intriguing. I’m not sure about Court Victory as he may “bounce”, and this trip may well find out Frascati Park. No such worries with Alfie Spinner who is 7/2 (Paddy Power), but I also think COURT RED HANDED is under-rated at OR129. He didn’t handle the heavy going LTO but, prior to that, his performances suggest he’s a 135+ horse. As such, for me odds of 10/1 look interesting even if he’s giving away 3lb here to Alfie Spinner. The novice hurdle at 3:05 is very interesting and we should see an encounter worth watching when Highland Lodge meets Cotton Mill. Finally, I was going to go for Fortification in the “Classic” chase at 3:40, but he’s a non-runner. As such, I can’t see Sona Sasta staying this trip, and it leaves the way open for NEPTUNE EQUESTER at 13/2 (William Hill).

Warwick 3:40, NEPTUNE EQUESTER, 1pt win @ 13/2 (William Hill, best odds guaranteed)

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