What a cracking day ahead of us - not only good racing, but good weather.
We came close to taking the Arc de Triomphe with selection IN SWOOP last Sunday, and the colt came with a rattling run in the final quarter-mile. Let's see if we can keep the ball rolling today. However, if any readers of the blog are switched-on to dealing with the internet, there seems to be an issue with this blog in that I've had nearly 3000 hits on the last couple of blogs, and normally there's about 200-300. There must be a search-engine (or something similar) which is bombarding this blog with hits - why?
Back to today's horseracing - and those on my select "inner-circle" were advised to take the 14/1 available earlier this week on GREAT WHITE SHARK who is now the fav for the Cesarewitch being run at Newmarket at 3:35pm. Fingers crossed for this one, but he looks a better horse than he was when running in the race last season (lost his jockey on the way to the start that day, and ran no sort of race), and he's down 3lb in the Official Handicap. Must have a great chance.
My focus will be on Chepstow, unofficially the "start" of the jumps season proper. I've had some good success at this meeting in the past (notably in 2015), and there's a couple of races of interest. Being a member of the Nick Gifford Racing Club, I will be shouting support for Didtheyleaveyououto (DTLYO2) in the 2-mile handicap hurdle run at 14:12. There has been sustained support in the betting for this one, as Nick Gifford has his horses running well, and DTLYO2 has his perfect conditions today: he doesn't really have the stamina for 2m4f, and "good" ground brings out the best in him, and he's slipped to OR130.
My main selection of the afternoon is in the 2m 7f & 131yds handicap chase at 2:47pm at Chepstow, and it's BOLDMERE. He's won both his completed starts over fences (just the 4 runs) and he should have won his last start as he had the race at his mercy when falling at the final fence. I'm sure trainer Caroline Bailey will have him fit to win this (if he's good enough). I don't think the fav Secret Investor has shown himself to be good enough to justify his OR153 rating, and there's no value in his odds at all. Potterman won LTO and has had 3 races since the resumption of racing, so he's race-fit but (again) I don't think he's good enough for his OR142 rating. This 3-mile trip is an issue for Seddon, the risk is will he stay? No such issue about last years winner Ballyoptic, but does he retain his ability? He will qualify for veterans races from 1st January, and while he ran a career-best LTO when winning at Ascot (almost certainly would have gone close in the Grand National), he's now rated 11lb higher than when he won this 12 months ago, and for me that is too big an ask for a horse who will probably be aimed at the Grand National this season. Nicky Henderson's horses can never be ignored, and Brave Eagle has won 4 of his 7 chase races too! But his inflated rating was b rutally exposed when well beaten in his last couple of top handicaps, and yes he was 3rd in this race in 2018 but that was off OR145 and he races off OR156 today. He could well go close today, but if he does he will likely be rated 160+ and I can't see him as that level of horse.
Odds of 9/2 about BOLDMERE are very decent, as I think he'd be the 5/2 fav if Secret Investor wasn't in the race, and I think he should be the 3/1 fav for this.
In the 2m 3f & 98yds handicap chase at 4:32pm, I may well have a small wager on Spiritofthegames if he drifts in the betting to something like 9/2. This looks a tough race, but Spiritofthegames was left at the start at Cheltenham, and finished really strongly. He was my selection that day, and I was hoping to recoup losses when he next ran - but then all racing was suspended! If he runs to that form today, then he will be tough to beat.
My wager today is: Chepstow 2:47pm BOLDMERE, £10 win @ 9/2 (Bet Victor)
and a £5 eachway double with BOLDMERE combined with DIDTHEYLEAVEYOUOUTO in the Chepstow 2:12 @ 5/1 (Bet Victor)