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from wagers on 55 individual races (6 winners, 12 placed)

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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Re: What a weekend

The 437th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.

What a weekend for me to take away from racing.  

Friday's re-scheduled meeting at Newbury was a great informer for the Cheltenham Festival. The performance of SPRINTER SACRE looked immense and we could be looking at the best 2-mile chaser we've seen since Moscow Flyer. Admittedly, he was getting 5lbs from his stable-mate French Opera who ran 2nd (beaten 6 lengths) but it was the manner in which he won and that he had decent chasers well beaten in his wake. On this performance, he's well up to giving Sizing Europe a good race in the Champion Chase, will he go for that instead of the Arkle? Sprinter Sacre is now 11/8 fav for the Arkle and he looks a shoo-in for that race as his only potential rival is Peddlers Cross, but I reckon the latter will go for the 2m4f Jewson instead (he's a 7/1 chance for that) especially as he's more of a long-term Gold Cup horse. As for my ante-post selection in the race, well I reckon he's still looking a solid each-way wager and you never know, racing is a funny old business at times.

Next on the card was Long Run and, as I expected he would, he struggled to hold off Burton Port to whom he was giving 10lbs. With What A Friend (also receiving 10lb) only 4-lengths back in 3rd this form was further proof to me that Long Run is about OR170-172 and not worthy of an OR182 official rating.

Then Zarkandar came out and won the Betfair Hurdle beating a quality field on his seasonal debut and maintaining his unbeaten hurdles record (4 from 4). The performance is a bit shy of what will be required next month should he take in the Champion Hurdle but I'd expect him to find another 10lb+ and he's leapt into my thoughts.

Saturday's Ascot card was also a cracker with Invictus returning to form and looking every inch a potential Cheltenham winner. The poor performance from Silviniaco Conti, who was well beaten in 4th, put a dampener on it - but Bobs Worth in 2nd is a reliable yardstick.

My Ryanair Chase antepost wagers have been thrown off-balance with Riverside Theatre winning the Ascot Chase, but he will need to improve on that performance next month and I don't think he's a 7/1 chance for that. In Ireland, Rubi Light won his Festival 'prep' race over 2m4f and that does look his best trip, but it was a facile win. If you have been receiving my antepost advices then you are well-placed still in that race.

Trainer, Nicky Henderson is lining himself up for a cracking Festival with Binocular winning the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. Henderson is not the most reliable with some of his comments – he said earlier in the week that Binocular was going straight to the Festival without another run – but you cannot say his horses don't run well prepared.

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  1. Coughing at Nicholls yard is worrying for the stable with Cheltenham approaching. With only 3 weeks to go I cant see them getting through it by then, can you ?

  2. Agree with your GC Interpretation. Think we'll have a new champion to toast this year. Long Runs erratic jumping makes 2/1 a massive gamble. Fear the great Kauto will get run off his feet. Can Yogi work his magic with Captain Chris. Be interesting to see which one Barry gets on.