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Record of the blog selections

Profit for the 2016-17 Jumps Season = £84.38

from wagers on 26 individual selections (4 winners, 6 placed)

Total Staked = £280.00


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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Monday, 16 November 2015

So close, and yet, so far...

On Wednesday, last week, I sent this private message out to those on the email list (to gain a place on the email list requires a donation of £10 per month).

There are 3 horses that I keep coming back to in the Paddy Power:-
Johns Spirit - loves this C&D and even off OR157 he cannot be ignored, he's 12/1
Annacotty - another who loves this C&D, goes well fresh and trainer Alan King is very positive in the Weekender today. Looks about 6lb well-in on my ratings, he's 14/1.
Present View - 3rd in the race last year off OR144 and races off OR143 on Saturday. Has been aimed at this race for a long time, you can ignore his run at Sandown over 3-mile (beaten by Pendra) as he does not stay a yard further than 2m5f.  He led 2-out last year and I expect him to be thereabouts on Saturday - he's 20/1.

Then, on Saturday morning, I wrote this on the blog:
As the rain has got into the ground, then Annacotty's chance has improved and at 20/1 (available generally) we should get a good run from the horse who is having his debut for trainer Alan King.

Unfortunately, as the rain came down on Saturday morning and the ground softened, I thought there were more horses likely to hold winning chances than I was comfortable with to suggest a single selection on the race. Yet again (as with Saroque winning at Exeter at 10/1 two-weeks ago), my natural reticence held me back and I missed advising a winning wager. 

What I do know is that many of those on the email list placed a wager on ANNACOTTY to win the Paddy Power Chase.  Well done to you.  

Saturday was not a complete washout, as the selection at Cheltenham in the 3m3f handicap chase KNOCKANRAWLEY, ran an absolute cracker of a race and was only beaten by two others - Sausalito Sunrise, of whom I wrote was possibly the best handicapped horse in the race (he was); and the totally unexposed novice chaser Upswing, who looks on his way to being a 150+ chaser, especially on soft/heavy ground. The form of this race is top-notch, of that there is no doubt.  The only worry - and it is a big one - is that the pace of the race was so strong that some of these horses may have been bottomed-out. I did think that Sausalito Sunrise looked at the end of his tether on the run-in,  Most of these are to be aimed at the Welsh National next month, and we will all be waiting on the reaction of the handicapper to this race. 

The other blog selection on Saturday, Voyage A New York, was very disappointing, especially as he was so well supported in the betting market being gambled on from 9/2 in to an SP of 5/2.  I did think beforehand that the trip of 2m3f was on the short-side for him, but his overall performance was abject.  I don't think we can keep him on the alert list, it was so poor.

Back to the Paddy Power Gold Cup, by my own ratings I reckon Annacotty equalled his performance of last January when he won the 2m5f handicap chase at Cheltenham.  He's hit this high 3 times now (on my ratings) and it may be tough for Alan King to find more improvement with him. The runner-up Buywise came into the race from a long way back (perhaps 15-lengths off the lead 3-out) and, while some claim he was unlucky, he loves weaving through tired and beaten horses and this is the risk punters take with him - that he will arrive at the scene too late.  Personally, he needs to step-up to 3-mile and maybe up in grade to - and try and follow the example of Ballynagour in a Grade 1 chase. In 3rd Sound Investment was given a tremendous ride, only failing in the final strides of the run-in to snatch victory. I wrote on Saturday that I thought he was a potential Ryanair Chase winner next March, and this performance showed that was not wishful thinking on my part. The other potential Ryanair winner is Irish Cavalier who was cantering coming down the hill to the 3rd-last fence, and led at the final fence but found little on the run-in. Such was the manner he came down the hill, I will forgive this 6yo his undoing on the run-in as his half-brother (Make A Track, in-training with Gordon Elliot) has not won beyond 2m6f in 8 attempts, and his best form has been on "good" ground. As he ran 5th in this race, Irish Cavalier is unlikely to go up in the ratings, yet he looked a lot better than OR156 on the run to the final fence on Saturday!

We were back at Cheltenham on Sunday, where we witnessed the rekindled career of Sprinter Sacre, who was able to put a talented field to the sword in indecent fashion. Much was made afterwards (on twitter) about just how good this performance was, and was the old-master back to his best? Well, let us consider his rivals. Croco Bay (OR151) was outclassed and should have been 100/1 not 12/1,  Mr Mole (OR162) was conceding weight all-round and had to be in the form of his life to win. Simply Ned won LTO, but he's never won a Class 1 race (from 6 attempts), and his trainer (Nicky Richards) hasn't sent a winner to Cheltenham since 2006 - he's clearly doing something wrong when sending horses on a long trip from Cumbria. Savello (OR154) is fairly consistent in that he either runs well, or he doesn't - and on Saturday he ran well and to his rating. Using Savello at the benchmark, that puts Somersby on 154 - which is about as high as he's been since February 2013 on my ratings.  Somersby has been a very consistent horse throughout his career and (on my ratings) hasn't run over 160 since December 2011. This puts Sprinter Sacre's performance on 168 - which is 10lb better than anything he ran last season, and 10lb below his performance when beating Cue Card at Aintree in April 2013.  On my ratings, if he'd run to 168 last March, then he'd have WON the Champion Chase by about 8-lengths from Dodging Bullets. 

So then, Sprinter Sacre is not back to his best - but he doesn't have to be to be the best 2-mile chaser in training this season, this side of the Irish Sea.   

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