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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Back with a bang!

Not a bad start to 2018 as the first blog of the year finds a good winner in Dresden sent off as the 5/2 joint-fav. The horse was never in any danger, especially as the other joint-fav Un Prophete was never travelling and eventually pulled-up.
That's how it goes with horses sometimes, they are not machines, and just like us humans they can have "off" days. That certainly seemed the case with the other horse that I wrote about yesterday, Diamond Rock in the opening race at Leicester.  There was plenty of money for the horse as he started at 2/1, but the horse was never travelling and didn't look like he was enjoying being there - he also eventually pulled-up.
Dresden was also spotted (for pretty much the same reasons as me) by Racing Post correspondent Paul Kealy who is a racing tipster that I respect. He was right on the ball yesterday as he gave 2 selections and both won; his other selection being I Just Know who won the "North Yorkshire National" later on the card at Catterick just as easily as Dresden won his race, at odds of 4/1.  That win demonstrated that there are some form lines from last season that are very strong, and I'm hoping one comes to the fore on Saturday and provides me with a good winner.
Onto today's racing, and Paul Kealy has made 3 selections, but you will have to buy a Racing Post to know what they are.
The two meetings are at Huntingdon and Sedgefield and they are both a bit tricky.  
At Huntingdon, the 3-mile handicap chase at 2:30pm has only 8 runners but most are unlikely (in my opinion) to be involved. Yes, it is a Class 4 race, and when you start looking at races below Class 3 you will encounter unpredictable horses: one race they run well and the next race they can run well below that form for no particular reason.  The fav is Hepijeu but I think this 7yo is just slow and the only way he will win this is if he's the last horse standing. For a 9yo Dylanseoghan hasn't had much racing, and this will be only his 9th race under rules (he did do some racing in point-to-points), so it's possible that there is some improvement to come, but I'm not sure he has the ability to be a player here.   I reckon this race will be between the pair set to carry 12st 2lb: Fly Home Harry and Riverside City.  Fly Home Harry won a 3-mile Class 4 chase at Ludlow in October in what looked a good performance, and then he met the runner-up Running Wolf NTO at Leicester (a race Running Wolf won) but there Fly Home Harry ran without any zest, and was pulled-up. He's been rested since, and if he can repeat the form of that Ludlow win he will go close here - his current odds are 5/1 (BetVictor and Bet365).  Riverside City won the Troytown Handicap as a 6yo in November 2015, however only 5 finished that race and I think he was a fortunate winner. He's not won since then, nor looked capable of winning, so his "support" today is if the 11lb he's been dropped by the handicapper since joining Jonjo O'Neill's stable in the summer PLUS the 7lb claim of his rider, can provide the horse with a sufficient boost to win.  His rider is the son of Jonjo, and what a capable rider this young lad is, and young Jonjo is a chip off the old block - well worth his 7lb claim, I'd look out for whatever he rides these days as he rode an 8/1 winner yesterday.  All things considered though, FLY HOME HARRY is the selection on the balance of probability.
The only other race I'm looking at today is the Class 3 (novice) handicap chase at Huntingdon at 3:30pm and this race looks weak on paper - for that reason only I'm considering EXITAS over this trip which will probably stretch his stamina but he has enough jumping experience to (hopefully) ensure that he's still in the race at the business end.  Bentelimar "flatters to deceive" and I do not think he's a 9/4 chance for this race. Terrefort is a 5yo French import for Nicky Henderson and while I respect the trainer's judgement, I'd rather see the horse jump a fence before having a wager at 7/4 in this race.  Exitas at odds of 15/2 (BetVictor and Bet365) looks a fair value wager for small money.
My main wager is on FLY HOME HARRY and I'm hoping he can follow-up yesterdays win.

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