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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Time to place a Firm Order

Tuesday brings us a couple of meetings at Fontwell and Uttoxeter and, as you might expect after I suggested taking a back seat yesterday on the run-up to Christmas, there are several horse alert runners that look more than interesting.
The horse alert runners are: Fontwell – there are a couple in the same race; FIRM ORDER and ON TREND in the 2:10 which is a chase handicap over 3m2f & 110 yards. At Uttoxeter we have VALID POINT in the 12:50.
I quite like Fontwell as it seems to be a fair track, being level and left-handed. The ground there today is "good" and that will certainly be in favour of FIRM ORDER who ran out of puff on soft/hevy ground at Sandown on his latest run when looking like going close with 3 to jump. What I liked about that performance was the tactical speed he showed on the 2nd circuit as he went from tracking the field to disputing the lead in about quarter-of-a-mile. As such, he certainly looks up to winning of today's rating of OR124. As for ON TREND in the same race, ever since he won (he was a blog selection too) at Sandown on 2nd February this year on heavy ground, I've been waiting for an opportunity to follow-up. He's slipped in the ratings from OR139 to OR133 but I've felt that either the course wasn't right for him (he's raced at Cheltenham twice since which is a track that doesn't suit him) or the ground was too quick for him. He needs it soft/heavy as all his best form has been on ground with plenty of depth, and a right-handed track. Thing is, apart from FIRM ORDER, this race looks a bit weak and there is not much separating that pair. Of the others in the race: Pete The Feat has looked a shadow of himself since running 3rd off OR134 at Warwick in January and he races off OR135 today. Financial Climate just does not look good enough and will need a career best off OR118 to win this. Curtain Raiser is basically a novice chaser having only his 2nd outing over fences. The 12yo Eleazar won over C&D LTO on 4th October and has been raised 7lb for that win. He would need to improve a fair few pounds on that winning effort to take this and while not impossible an outcome, I'd say further improvement is unlikely.
For me, FIRM ORDER is the most likely winner. Trainer Paul Webber has sent only 6 chasers to Fontwell in the past 5 years and 3 have won, which suggests he means business today and has probably targeted this race. The fitting of a 1st-time visor further suggests that connections will be hoping for an improved run today. Current best odds of 4/1 on this runner look fair.
Unfortunately, at Uttoxeter, VALID POINT has gone novice chasing today. He's run in 3 chases before and not shown as much aptitude in that sphere as he has hurdling, so I really cannot have a wager on him today. I do think there is more scope for VALID POINT back over hurdles  
Do I have a selection today? I think FIRM ORDER has a better than 4/1 chance of winning, but then I think the same of ON TREND who is also trading at 4/1. I'd have them at 11/4 and 3/1 respectively. I'll probably have a small "saver" straight exacta on the Tote - ON TREND to beat FIRM ORDER in addition to the recommeded wager.
Selection:
Fontwell 2:10 FIRM ORDER, £10 win @ 4/1 (available generally, choose BOG bookie)

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