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Tuesday, 24 August 2010

MAANY rivers to cross

In today’s blog:
Review of yesterday’s racing
Today’s Racing Selections
2010-11 Chasers & Hurdlers Alert List

Review of yesterday’s racing
Nothing much of interest in yesterday’s racing.

Today’s Racing Selections
It is a very ordinary day’s racing, which has been hit by the wet weather causing a number of early withdrawals – so check the non-runner lists.
At Yarmouth, there is not much on offer. I find it interesting that Mick Jarvis has upped in trip MAANY (cost US$500,000 as a yearling) to 7f, and on paper it looks like it is unlikely to beat the fav Hamloola. But at 9/2, it may be worth a small investment that the required improvement may come to enable a win in the 4:30 at Yarmouth. Later on the card, at 5:00, there’s been an early move for C&D winner Wake Up Call, who is now 7/4 from 3/1. As such, a couple of the others have relaxed in the betting with AVON LADY at 11/2 and STARCLASS at 7/1. Both of these look well up to giving the fav a good run for the money, but I’ll await the day’s weather before making a choice.
At Leicester the 6:30, a class 3 handicap over 12f, is my sort of race. Again, the rain has cut-up the field and of those left in ELLA looks well up to taking the race. She’s Geoff Swinbank’s only runner on the flat today and she is likely to take some catching on this ground (soft) if she goes at it from the front, as it likely. At 7/2, she looks worthy of a small wager, but I’d wait to see if she lengthens in the market as I’m sure the Newmarket trio of Burnett, Senate and Cool Judgement will shorten closer to the off which will hopefully push ELLA out to 4/1, or maybe 9/2.

Leicester 6:30 ELLA, 1pt win (take nothing less than 4/1)

2010-11 Chasers & Hurdlers Alert List
Despite not posting any new names on the alert list, I have not been ignoring it. From last season, I brought forward a list of about 180 horses that I thought were under-valued by the Official Handicapper and likely to outstrip the current rating. I’ve currently whittled that list down to 132, and I’ve posted the names of 11 of those on my blog alert list. They are:-

1) ABSOLUTE SHAMBLES, 6yo chaser trained by Chris GORDON
2) CESIUM, 5yo chaser trained by Tom GEORGE
3) EBADIYAN, 5yo hurdler trained by Patrick O’BRADY
4) PALYPSO DE CREEK, 7yo chaser trained by Charlie LONGSDON
5) QHILIMAR, 6yo chaser trained by A E JONES
6) KALELLSHAN, 7yo chaser trained by C Byrnes
7) FREE WORLD, 6yo chaser trained by Paul NICHOLLS
8) GENTLE RANGER, 8yo chaser trained by David PIPE
9) GOING WRONG, 7yo hurdler (novice chaser) trained by Ferdy MURPHY
10) MIDNIGHT HAZE, 8yo chaser trained by Kim BAILEY
11) MONT PRESENT, 6yo chaser trained by Phil HOBBS

Today, there are two more horses to add to the list which makes 13. I won’t be naming all 132, but I do have perhaps a few more to add to the list which will end up at about 18 in total.

PICKAMUS, 7yo chaser trained by Henry DALY
No doubt about it, PICKAMUS looks poised for another winning season. This horse never stopped improving during 2009-10. He’s been brought along slowly with chasing always in mind and, after losing his maiden over hurdles in February 2009, he was put away for the rest of the season. A pipe-opener in October over hurdles set him up for his final hurdles start, a class 3 handicap over 2-miles at Leicester in which he ran 2nd to Zanir who went on to run 4th in the County hurdle at the Festival off a 10lb higher rating. His chase debut over 21f at Huntingdon brought an immediate win. Dropped in trip to an extended 2-mile and upped in grade to a class 3 handicap, he was exposed; but Russian Flag who was 2nd went on to win a class 2 chase NTO off 3lb higher, in 3rd De Boitron has also won twice since. His next run at Ludlow, back up to 20f saw him win in a particularly impressive manner. Making all and always in command he beat a good novice field with the 2nd and 3rd both winning NTO (the 3rd Song Sung Blue being raised an enormous 17lb for his win). Only raised 8lb for his win, PICKAMUS naturally won again in his final chase outing of the season over 20f at Stratford, with the reliable Kew Jumper in 2nd. He’s been raised 9lb for that win to OR139, but that means he should still have the beating of De Boitron should they meet again, and with 3 chase wins from only 4 runs there is plenty of scope for more improvement, provided he is kept to trips of 20f and more. He usually makes all and is a good jumper and I think he’ll improve to OR150 this season as he’s yet to be seriously challenged over 20f.

ZANIR, 6yo hurdler trained by Tom GEORGE
The County hurdle at the 2010 Festival witnessed perhaps the biggest (secret) gambling coup staged at Cheltenham in recent years that no-one outside the stable involved new about, when Thousand Stars won at 20/1 – and then went on to run 3rd in the Punchestown Grade 1 hurdle totally defying his OR140 rating! Since then, County hurdle 3rd Dee Ee William has won at Aintree; and Noble Prince (5th) ran Quevega close at Punchestown. Zanir- 4th in the County hurdle - was down the field in that Aintree race won by Dee Ee Williams, but he was ridden prominently that day and he runs his best races when covered up (as he was in the County hurdle). He may well have had 16 hurdle starts in his career, but most of those were when highly tried as a novice hurdler. He was then off a year between Oct 08 and Oct 09, returning for a “pipe-opener” before easily beating Pickamus (who then won 3 of his next four races over fences) at Leicester. Both his wins have come on RH tracks. Only raised 2lb for his County hurdle 4th (and his Aintree run can be forgiven) he starts next season looking on a competitive mark of OR134 and he can pick up a decent handicap hurdle over 16-17f so long as he can be covered up till the 2nd-last flight.

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