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Saturday, 7 November 2015
Badger Ales Trophy at Wincanton
First, although there was no selection yesterday, it was only because the odds offered were too short. The only race I looked at was the 3:30pm from Musselburgh, and Village Vic was a strong fav for the race at 6/4, and he went on to win fairly easily having been challenged by course-favorite Quito De Tresor at the 2nd-last. I wrote yesterday that Village Vic will end up a 145+ chaser, and he showed that was perfectly possible (he may end up 150+) with this win off OR129. He probably should have started odds-on. The only disappointment (for me) was Kodicil falling mid-race, as I reckon he'd have been 2nd had he finished and my straight-forecast wager (Village Vic to beat Kodicil) went south when he fell.
The Aintree meeting is an bit of an odd one, with the Betfred Hurdle at 2:30pm over 2m4f being run by a handful of "comeback" horses. It seems that the sole reason Barry Geraghty is riding here is to partner Simonsig in this race, as the horse hasn't run since winning the poorest "Arkle" in recent history in March 2013. That said, there are a couple of interesting handicap chases to get stuck into, both Class 2 over 2m4f at 3:05pm, and over 2-mile at 3:40pm. However, heavy overnight rain hads turned the ground soft, so we may see a few non-runners, and the betting markets may be odd. Given the win of Village Vic yesterday, it is no surprise to see the Upepito the warm fav for the 3:05pm as he pushed Village Vic hard LTO when 2nd to him. I cannot see anything beating Upepito, but he is only 9/4 with a few bookies (Bet365, Bet Victor, Coral)
Kelso also has a couple of handicap chases of interest: at 2:15pm there is a Class 3 over 3-mile; and at 2:50pm another Class 3 over 2m1f. However, due to time constraints, I'm going to give the meeting a miss.
Wincanton holds the feature race of the day in the Badger Ales Trophy (Listed) handicap chase over 3m1f at 2:05pm. The race-fav is The Ould Lad trained by Paul Nicholls. He was trained by Tom George last season, and he didn't didn't jump well nor did he look like he'd stay this sort of trip and be as effective as he is at 2m6f. He looks a false favourite to me. Forgotten Gold won well LTO on 25th October, but that was on his favoured "good" ground; it's good-to-soft at Wincanton, and that may stop him. Carole's Destrier went from strength-to-strength last season ending the season on OR149 (from OR135). He'll handle the trip and ground and, interestingly, he met Doing Fine at Ffos Las at the start of last season. There was 9lb between them that day and they were separated by a neck on the line over 3-mile on soft ground. On that run, Doing Fine is 6lb well-in, and has the benefit of a good seasonal debut when 3rd to Drop Out Joe LTO. Unfortunately, his jumping went to pot after that Ffos Las race, but he recovered it to run a cracker at the Festival last March, and I thought he was the best one to take from the race when 3rd LTO. Charlie Longsdon's horses can do no wrong lately, but I feel the 10lb hike on Drop Out Joe is a tad too much, as is the extra furlong. That Doing Fine is re-opposing on 8lb better terms is interesting, what is a worry is the form of trainer Rebecca Curtis as her horses aren't winning races. Many have tipped Theatrical Star, but I feel the ground will be too quick for him and, at OR139, he is at his level. Trainer Tom George has two in the race, Forgotten Gold and A Good Skin who is ridden by stable jockey Paddy Brennan and who could come on a lot for his seasonal debut. He ran in what could turn out to be a top novice chase LTO, and OR137 looks lenient; he will love the ground and stay the trip well too. Of the others, Bertie Boru looks fairly handicapped and could run well, and nothing can be discounted coming from Venetia Williams, so how will Royal Paladium fare?
It's a tricky race to fathom, so eachway only and A GOOD SKIN at 12/1 looks the wager, along with a "saver" wager on DOING FINE at 11/1. Both of these look much better value that the fav The Ould Lad at 3/1, who (if he wins) should be subjected to a stewards enquiry for his improvement in form .
Wincanton 2:05 A GOOD SKIN; £6 eachway @ 12/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3), and
Wincanton 2:05 DOING FINE: £4 eachway @ 11/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)
Aintree 3:05: UPEPITO: £10 win @ 9/4 (Bet365, Bet Victor, Coral)
Total Staked = £30