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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, 5 December 2016
Weekend review (3rd/4th December)
No selections advised on Saturday, but there was plenty of pointers to winning wagers for those who read the blog.
The highlight was Un De Sceaux winning the feature race of the day, the Tingle Creek at Sandown. I wrote on the blog that Un De Sceaux had the best form on offer, he held all his rivals on known form and that as I considered him a 5/4 chance his morning odds of 2/1 looked value - and, sure enough, his SP was 5/4. I know I certainly took advantage of the 2/1, and while it may have looked a close-run race with Sire De Grugy running to his best form, had Un De Sceaux not hit the 2nd-last he would have won comfortably.
For the final race at Sandown on Saturday, I wrote on the blog that should Doing Fine run to the level of his 3rd at Chepstow in Oct-15, then he'd likely win this race as he was very well treated running off OR126. He cruised through this race and - to me - looked the most likely winner a long way out, and I'm sure he would have won had he not been impeded in his progress by the faltering eventual 3rd, Morney Wing. On the run-up to the last fence, Doing Fine had to switch ground as Morney Wing was clearly tying-up, and he was again impeded as they came away from the fence certainly lost more ground than the losing margin of a "neck" to Rocky Creek. While this was a good effort from the 10yo Rocky Creek, who loves these right-handed "London" tracks of Sandown, Kempton and Ascot, it was about 12lb below his peak and he may struggle if the handicapper is hard on him for this. His future is in veteran's chases.
The Becher Chase over the National fences at Aintree almost was won again by last years winner Highland Lodge - I did write in Saturday's blog that he had been well prepared for a repeat bid. The 20/1 chance only faltered in the final 100 yards and had he been kept to the far rail (along which eventual winner Vieux Lion Rouge mounted his challenge) then he'd likely have held on. It was a tremendous run by The Last Samurai with 11:12 to be 3rd as I considered the handicapper had lost the plot rating him at OR159; even so, he may have trouble running as well over a standard track off this rating. In winning the race Vieux Lion Rouge looked made for this course and, since winning at Towcester in May last year he has improved with every run. He is a big horse, and that may make him seem "laboured" in his action, but he is relentless and a "National" of some kind must go to him this season.
Later in the afternoon, Many Clouds put in a run that was as good (if not better) than when he was 2nd in this race to Don Poli last season, and this previous Grand National winner put himself back in the picture and amongst the top staying chasers of this season. Had he run in the Hennessey GC last week, he'd have gone close based on this run and, if connections are of the opinion, he is worthy of a place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup line-up.
Last month I tipped As De Mee for the BetVictor handicap chase at Cheltenham; unfortunately he couldn't cope with the hurly-burly of that race but, at Aintree on Saturday, over the National fences he came alive again. This was his 2nd race over these fences as he ran in the Topham Trophy last April when he was well beaten off OR145, and he had shown inklings of better form last season such as when 2nd at Sandown in February to suggest he was well handicapped at OR137 (which was 2lb lower than his rating at Cheltenham last month - I missed that re-rating). He is only a 6yo so if the handicapper does not react too harshly, he could find himself another race this season.
Finally at Chepstow, my reading of the 3-mile Class 2 handicap chase was right on-the-mark, as I wrote on the blog that if Lamb Or Cod retained his ability then he was on a lenient mark and would be hard to beat. Further, I wrote that Potters Cross held the key to this race as he'd won over C&D in October and was unsuited by the conditions he ran in LTO. Sure enough, this pair were 1st & 2nd with Lamb Or Cod chasing long-time leader Potters Cross from 6-out and the pair drawing well clear of the remainder of the field.
Overall, it was one of those days when I could have put up 4 selections and been wiped-out, and the racing was very competitive. I've been thinking these past few months that finding value is getting much tougher these days, especially with the lack of decent midweek races. Maybe it is the effect of the plethora of information on the internet with so much data freely available to the ordinary punter, and the various specialists who are closing the "gates" on trends, trainer-stats, sire-preferences and the like which (combined with bookies unwilling to go against the flow and produce their own odds) is starting to constrain the betting market.