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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, 4 March 2017
Notes for Saturday 4th March
First, this new layout for the Racing Post website is not helping me. What I like to do is have a number of screens open at once, RP race page, a couple of horse profiles, oddschecker, and word (so that I can write my blog), and the RP site keeps adjusting to fill my screen - mainly so that the bookmakers tabs can be fitted in!
There is some good racing today at Newbury and Doncaster hosting some decent handicap chases, together with a supporting meeting at Kelso.
The ground at Newbury is soft, and that will likely have a big impact on the feature race of the day is the 2m4f Greatwood Gold Cup run at 3:15pm. This is a race which has been dominated by Paul Nicholls in recent years - he has won 7 of the past 10 runnings. Nicholls has 2 in the race; Vibrato Valtat and More Bucks.
I'm not sure this 2m4f trip will suit More Bucks, as he's been running over 3-mile recently and looking like he needs that trip. While the OR152 rating for Vibrato Valtat is about right in my opinion, and he's not looked like improving recently.
The current fav is Oldgrangewood who won LTO with Dresden back in 2nd that day, and he meets Dresden on 8lb worse terms and that looks tough. I'm more interested in Vic De Touzaine who returned from a year off with a promising run a Wincanton on 2nd Feb, and if the soft ground will help his chances, especially if he's in the form of his win last March. He went onto my alert list after that win and I think he could be 140+.
Hollywoodien didn't follow-up LTO after looking good winning on Boxing Day, but perhaps that form wasn't as strong as first suggested and he looks held by the handicapper, and this trip may also stretch him. Course specialist O Maonlia has won on his last 2 visits tot Newbury and he will no doubt run well again, but the handicapper has him in his grip on OR143 and this trip looks a bit short for him. Of the others, my eye is caught by Dresden who will have Richard Johnson in the saddle for the first time and he's a consistent horse who will handle the trip and ground. Dresden is 12/1 and I can see those odds falling, but he does not look like the winner of this race to me, I fear he will find one too good and that is likely to be Vic De Touzaine.
My early thoughts email sent out yesterday noted that Vic De Touzaine was value at 5/1, and there has been a lot of support for him as he's now at 4/1. He is on my shortlist for a wager today.
Harry Topper, once considered a potential Gold Cup winner, has a golden opportunity to win again (for the first time in 3 years) when racing off OR144 in the veterans chase at Newbury at 2:05pm. Another old warrior is O'Faolains Boy who at his best was of similar ability to Harry Topper and has been dropped to OR143. However, he looked a shadow of himself LTO at Ascot which was his first run in nearly 12 months. The 11yo Loose Chips never runs a bad race, although he does most of his racing on right-handed tracks, and he won't be far away. At odds of 7/1 he looks a fine eachway chance.
It is tricky to know which Rocky Creek will turn up: the one that won at Sandown in December, or the usual one that chucks-in the towel early. A horse that looks ignored by the market is No Duffer who has won 3 of his 5 races in the past 12-months, and who has run well on soft ground too. He beat subsequent Skybet Chase winner Ziga Boy when winning at Doncaster over 3-mile in December, and though he pulled-up LTO it may be that he was just up against horses to good for him nowadays. This veterans race looks as weak as water given the question-marks over most of the runners (excepting Loose Chips) and he looks value on 14/1, and both him and Loose Chips could dominate this race from the front. Will they set it up for one of the others? Perhaps, that is the beauty of horseracing. When horses get to the age of 10yo and more, it is best to side with the ones that are in form and not those who have seen better days, and I will be having a small reverse forecast on No Duffer and Loose Chips.
The Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster at 3:35pm has a small field of just 7 runners, and includes last years winner The Last Samuri, who looks held by that handicapper on OR161. Yala Enki is 10lb better-off with Definity Red compared with their meeting at Wetherby on Boxing Day but, if he's to reverse the placings, he will have to stay this trip which I think is beyond him as in my opinion his win at Haydock in the fog was a fluke.
As such, I reckon Definitly Red is worthy of a wager as he may have been outclassed in the mud of Haydock LTO, but this ground will be in his favour. Odds of 4/1 about Definitly Red look value to me.
We keep finding 2nd's with the Saturday wagers so I am putting up a couple of 4/1 chances which should provide a welcome winner.
Newbury 3:15pm VIC DE TOUZAINE - £8 win @ 4/1 (available generally)
Doncaster 3:35pm DEFINITLY RED - £8 win @ 4/1 (Betfred and Stan James)
£4 win double on the above pair.
Note: I will also be having a small reverse forecast on the veterans chase at Newbury on Loose Chips and No Duffer