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advising selections on which to wager, since March 2010.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Friday 21st December

Not much to look at today, so I'm skipping straight to the racing on Saturday at Ascot and Haydock.
I reckon at Ascot, Nicky Henderson could well take both of the top races with a repeat win for GOLD PRESENT in the Garrard Silver Cup, and following that up with CALL ME LORD in the "Long Walk" 3-mile hurdle.  Both horses are likely to start the fav for their races.

For a bit more value, I'm taking a longer look at the "Tommy Whittle" handicap chase run over 2m7f at Haydock.   This race was lost to bad weather in 2009 & 2010, and it is interesting that in the other 8 years, no horse aged 9yo or older has won, in fact no horse older than 8yo has won the race since it became a handicap in 2005. As such, I'm happy to overlook the older horses Valadom (9yo); Tenor Nivernais (11yo); Houblon Des Obeaux (11yo), Splash Of Ginge (10yo) and Rocklander(9yo).
There are a couple of LTO winners in the race: Kimberlite Candy and Deauville Dancer. I wasn't impressed by the win of Kimberlite Candy and yet he's been raised 5lb to OR138; so he's going to have to show a lot more to win this race in my opinion. Last month Deauville Dancer won over 2m4f at Kempton, and he's yet to race beyond 2m5f; add that his best form has been on good ground and it's difficult to see him lasting this trip out.
Duel At Dawn will be running his seasonal debut, his last run being when PU in the 4-mile NH Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. However, he does seem to run well off a break, and he was 2nd to both Ms Parfois and Sizing Tennessee last season in novice chases and those runs suggest his OR140 rating is one he can win this race off if he's race-fit. This 2m7f trip looks a bit short for Sharp Response, and it might be a bit too far for Whoshotwho; however, the OR134 rating for the latter looks very workable.  He has plenty of good form at trips just 300 yards shorter than he will face in this race, and he could be very interesting.
Daklondike was running very well this time last year but, after pulling-up on his last two runs, he's on a recovery mission. Another similar sort is Testify who ran like he needed the run when beaten a long way at Newcastle (finished well behind Sharp Response that day too), and he's not one I can see winning this. Connections have always thought trips beyond 2m4f were too far for Clan Legend, and he is a mud-lover who may not cope with a strong pace early in the race. And Ballyarthur is another horse who is out of form and would not be guaranteed to stay this sort of trip even if he was.
This leaves a shortlist of just 2: DUEL AT DAWN and WHOSHOTWHO. Alex Hales who trains Duel At Dawn has only sent 3 horses to Haydock in the past 5 seasons; Dr Richard Newland who trains Whoshotwho hasn't sent many more (just 14) but of his chasers he's won once and had a couple of 2nd's from 6 runners and this is his only runner on Saturday. He's booked Tom O'Brien who ridden for him 12 times winning 5 (plus a couple of 2nd's) and that's a terrific strikerate; and when you restrict that to chase races it's 4 wins from 9 rides (plus a couple of 2nd's).  For me, that's the decider.
Selection:
Haydock 2:40pm (Saturday) WHOSHOTWHO: £5 eachway @ 10/1 (available generally, quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)

Keep a lookout for my assessment of the Welsh National.
Merry Christmas everyone!

1 comment:

  1. As the leaders approached 3-out, I thought WHOSHOTWHO was about to go on and win and he went under 3.00 on the exchanges (from an SP of 21.0), unfortunately his jumping became ragged and he lost his advantage and came in 3rd. A great result for the blog anyway as his SP was 16/1 and plenty of readers were on at those odds.

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