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Wednesday 30 June 2010

Catterick pay-day for Given?

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s Racing Selections
Today’s Racing Selections

Review of yesterday’s Racing Selections
Nothing much to write about on Tuesday’s racing.

I posted the following comment on another blog (http://www.narrowing-the-field.com) and will share the advice here. After a break of 314 days, on 23-Feb, Emma Lavelle brought OUZBECK (rated OR153 as a novice chaser) out for a hurdle at Southwell. The horse ran well enough before lack of race fitness told. I noted at the time that the horse held an entry for the William Hill Trophy at the Festival, but the horse needed another hurdle run before returning to chasing. This he did at Cheltenham on 14-April when winning a class 2 h'cap off OR134. Remember, this horse was in 4th before falling at the final fence in the Paddy Power won by Imperial Commander off OR153. Another hurdle to keep his fitness up followed before, on Sunday, he won the Summer National at Uttoxeter off OR142. This 28f trip stretched his stamina to the limit, but I reckon he can make a bold bid for the Grand National next March. He's unlikely to be raised much for this win and, based on his novice chase form, he could be a OR155+ chaser at his peak. He hates soft going, so only consider him on good or good-to-firm. He looks ripe to capture another major autumn handicap chase.

Today’s Racing Selections
The week of ordinary racing continues with just a meeting at Catterick this afternoon on the flat and another on the flat this evening at Chepstow; and meetings over the jumps at Perth and Worcester, both this afternoon.

At Catterick, the 4:30 7f handicap looks wide-open, but Catterick’s 7f trip is one where I like to have a front-runner and the RP “fav” GLENRIDDING fits the bill. He’s out of stall 7 of 8 which is not the best but he does like to go from the front. He went off far too fast at Chester LTO, and before that was 4/1 fav at Thirsk but couldn’t get in front from a wide draw. What drew my attention was his run at Catterick over todays trip on 29th May when drawn 9 of 9 he led till headed on the line. The winner that day (Imperial Djay) is now rated 13lb higher having run 3 good races since. The horse in 3rd (Smalljohn) has won since and is now rated 3lb higher. The rest (including todays rivals Nufoudh and Rio Cobolo) were over 5-lengths behind. The downsides are that trainer James Given has not had a winner since Dandino at Royal Ascot (had 15 runners since then), nor has he a good strike-rate at Catterick (just 2 wins from 45 runners) but this is his only runner today. Current odds of 5/1 look very generous.

Selection: Catterick 4:30 GLENRIDDING, 1pt ew @ 5/1 (I'd have 2pts win, but trainer James Given's track record here is so poor there must be a reason why)

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