The 478th edition of the Wayward Lad blog.
No selections yesterday, but a couple of the greyhounds that I put up as potential Greyhound Derby winners came home in good style last night on the 1st round of heats.
The final Saturday of the 2011-12 Jump Season and the big finale is the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown at 3:10. The going is soft, good-to-soft in places, and that won’t be testing enough (in my opinion) for Le Beau Bai. I’m going to stick my neck out and suggest a horse that has run 2nd in 6 of his 10 chases to date – ALDERTUNE. He’s a very safe jumper of a fence, and he handles Sandown well and carried 11st 12lb here when going down by just a neck over 3-mile 110 yards in February; so today with just 10st 1lb to carry he’ll think it is his birthday. He also ran well when being beaten by the well-handicapped Zarrafakt at Wincanton in January. He travelled like the winner 3-out that day, but had no chance with Zarrafakt who was raised 12lb for that win. We also know he will stay this trip based on his close-up 4th to Giles Cross in the Southern National at Fontwell last November. Giles Cross is now rated 12lb higher, Rey Nacarado in 2nd won NTO and is now 6lb higher, and Fortification has also won since and is also 6lb higher. That looks top-notch form. ALDERTUNE has only ever won on soft going, and he’s run very well on good-to-soft. The more I look at his form, the more I think he’s got a much better than 16/1 chance for this race off just 10st 1lb. He’ll have a good pace today in these testing conditions and the only reason I won’t make him a win selection is that he does seem to shirk a battle, so he may need to hold a clear advantage at the final fence to hold on in the run-in.
Sandown 3:10, ALDERTUNE, ½pt eachway @ 16/1 (Bet365, ¼ odds 5 places, BOG)
Total = 1pt staked
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