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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.
Saturday, 11 February 2017
Slim pickings for a Saturday
Despite there being 3 jump meetings at Newbury, Warwick and Uttoxeter, wagering opportunities are thin on the ground. For instance, the meeting at Newbury has some potentially great chase races but they have all cut up to small noncompetitive field with no value available. Uttoxeter has no races better than class 3 (and I don't advise wagers on races lower than that), while Warwick has a very decent, but tricky, card on offer.
Looking at the Newbury card, the 3-mile handicap hurdle at 1:50pm could provide an opening as the 5yo Scotchtown has plenty of potential and the drop in trip from 3m2f LTO - when he was beaten by today's fav Tobefair - could be to his advantage. The fav Tobefair has won 6 hurdle races on the bounce going up from OR81 to OR134 today and was racing off OR126 when beating Scotchtown LTO, which shows how valuable it is to latch-on to a decent horse when it is trained by an unfashionable trainer. Scotchtown is rated OR130 for having beaten 4 rivals in a Class 4 maiden hurdle at Ludlow in November, but then he is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. I think there is not much between this pair, and the remainder look well exposed or plain not good enough. Odds of 7/2 about Scotchtown look fair in the circumstance.
The "Denman" chase has been reduced to a 3-runner race and, as such, anything could happen as the jockeys are likely to try and be tactical. Now that we know Bristol De Mai stays 3-mile well, he is the one who is possibly the best in the race. However, if Bristol De Mai and Native River take each other on then it could be down to which one jumps the best, in which case I'm still with Bristol De Mai.
The "Game Spirit" chase (how many of todays crowd will remember Game Spirit?) has been reduced to just 4 runners and as I do not rate Fox Norton at OR167 (I have him under 160 on my ratings) this should be a formality for Altior, who looks a novice chaser going places.
The 2m7f Novice handicap chase at 4:10pm looks weak for a Class 3 and therefore the fav Vieux Lille at 3/1 looks value to me as he ran well LTO and seems to be going the right way. Lessons In Milan is probably a lot better than OR133 if he gets things his own way but he doesn't have enough speed for this and might well want a marathon trip.
I don't have a handle on 2-mile hurdle form to be able to give an insight into the Betfair Hurdle, but I will be watching closely with Cheltenham in mind.
Warwick provides us with a good novice chase at 2:40pm. Unfortunately, there is not much to split them on known form and with two of the market leaders aged 9yo and 10yo it is tempting to consider the younger couple of 7yo's in the race, Knockgraffon and Two Taffs. But the odds offer no value, especially on Knockgraffon.
Paul Nicholls finally seems to have accepted that Vibrato Valtat is not a Grade 1 chaser and sent him for a handicap chase and he may well have found him a winning opportunity. He will have to be at his best though, as he carries top-weight of 11st 12lb. He should have the class to win but odds of 6/4 are extremely poor value.
I'm really struggling to find a wager today as the odds on offer are poor about the horses I consider have a winning chance. I cannot recommend a wager, but I will be watching the odds closely on Scotchtown and Vieux Lille, and hoping for a bit of 4/1 on both.