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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Peter Marsh Chase day at Haydock

There may well be the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock, but all eyes will be on Sprinter Sacre at Ascot at 3:00pm to see if the ex-Chmapion retains any ability on his comeback. Personally, I hope the horse does come back today, but I'm not hopeful and I'm certainly not tempted by the odds of "evens". There is nothing much between the relative ability of the opposition (excluding Grey Gold), and so at the odds if having a wager on the race (which I'm not) I'd be taking the  8/1 on Somersby who will love the ground and the trip, with the extra furlong possibly being enough to help him reverse the form with Dodging Bullets who barely stays a yard further than 2-mile. The Irish challenger Twinlight would prefer the ground to be heavier than it is today and he looks poor value at 7/1.

There is a cracking 2m 5f & 110 yard chase handicap at Ascot at 3:35, and I'm happy to oppose the weak fav Niceonefrankie who will have his stamina exposed over this trip today. You can say the same about Tenor Nivernais, but Ballinvarrig looks interesting. Bobcatbilly finally got his act together LTO after a few disappointing runs, but he's up 10lb to OR133 and that may be too much. Fox Appeal has been running well without winning this season and he looks well handicapped on OR149, but he's a tricky ride and will test jockey Richie McLernon - he's one for an in-running wager if it looks like he'll be produced late. One who I expect to run well at a big price is Cloudy Bob who did not stay the 3-mile trip LTO when behind Ballinvarrig, and he also goes well right-handed. I'd have him at half of his current 18/1 odds. I must admit, I've had a wager on an outsider in this race on a horse who was pointed out to me by Richard Stoddart of Bet Catalyst.

The Peter Marsh Chase (handicap) at Haydock is one of the great chase handicaps of the jumps season. When the ground is heavy, like it is today, then the race will really sort out the men from the boys. The 5/1 fav is Corrin Wood who ran well LTO but may find trying to make-all on this heavy ground is a big ask, as those tactics are best with a small field that he's able to bully. I prefer GREEN FLAG who will appreciate the heavy ground (3 wins on it over hurdles) and is relatively unexposed. Sure, he ran poorly at Aintree LTO over the National fences, but some horse enjoy the experience and some don't. Odds of 13/2 look fair as he could be a lot better than OR140. Benbens has potential, but he's becoming a tad disappointing, but I would not be surprised to see a big run from him. Vintage Star was 2nd in this race off a 4lb higher rating, so he should be on the premises - but he ran a stinker LTO. Perhaps the ground that day was too quick for him and odds of 9/1 look interesting.

Just the one wager today, GREEN FLAG, £5 eachway at 13/2 with various bookies.

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