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Saturday, 26 September 2015
1st blood to Wayward Lad
The other runner from my alert list was Upswing, and he ran a confidence boosting race to be 2nd (beaten a long way) and looks likely to improve on that placing with a more positive ride.
Onto today, and we have an attractive meeting at Market Rasen over the jumps, as well as the Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket on the flat. The "Listed" handicap chase at 2:50 at Market Rasen over an extended 2m5f is my focus, as I have a couple of horses in the race from my alert list. They are Oscar Rock and Valco De Touzaine; with Oscar Rock being the likely race fav at 4/1. Todays ground and trip will be perfect for Oscar Rock, so the only issue is whether there is a better handicapped horse in the race to beat him. the 2nd-fav Gray Hession pushed a decent yardstick to the limit LTO when winning at Southwell for the 2nd time in succession, but he has been raised 8lb for that narrow win and looks vulnerable. The current 3rd-fav at 5/1 is my other alert horse, Valco De Touzaine who comes here on the back of a solid performance at Newton Abbot last month and so holds no fitness issues. However, he didn't perform too well when 3rd here at Market Rasen in the Summer Plate Chase in July when 3rd in that race beaten 12-lengths and he will need to improve on that performance to win today.
Others in the race include Cloud Creeper, currently 7/1, who improved in leaps and bounds last season and ended the season rated OR152. He could well find further improvement to win today. I don't think I can say the same of Gold Futures, who looks like he'd prefer 3-mile than todays shorter trip. Edgardo Sol can occasionally throw in a cracking run, as he did at Cheltenham last December over a similar trip. But, all too often, he runs without any zip about 7lbs below the level of his current OR145 rating. If he's on a good day, and we won't know that till the race moves into the closing stages, then he will prove hard to beat - but generally he likes a bit of "give" in the ground to show his best.
Overall, this looks a tricky race, hence the betting is 9/2 the field, and you could could wager on the 1st-3 in the market and still not have the winner. I think OSCAR ROCK is the least exposed and I have taken the 11/2 that is being offered by a number of bookies at the moment. Those odds won't last long and I expect him to start the 4/1 fav, maybe even 7/2.
Market Rasen 2:50, OSCAR ROCK, £5 ew @ 11/2 (Bet365 and Betfred, both go 5th odds a place 1,2,3)
Total Staked = £10