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Wednesday 10 November 2010
Cracking chase h'cap at Bangor
I completely missed yesterday’s jump meeting at Lingfield. I was sure I’d read on the internet that the meeting had failed an early inspection and was abandoned (must admit we had some torrential rain here in the South-East).
At Exeter, Emma Lavelle won with another promising novice hurdler in HIGHLAND VALLEY, who looks better than his OR120 rated full brother Scampi Boy (who is with Paul Webber). The going was fairly testing at Exeter, despite it being recorded as soft on the hurdles course and good-to-soft on the chase course. Paul Nicholls sent out a couple of novice chase winners here, including ROYAL CHARM who had previously comprehensively beaten James De Vassy in a h’cap hurdle at Exeter last December (JDV then went on to run 3rd on the Coral Cup h’cap at the Festival). He’s my idea of an ‘Arkle’ winner at this stage of the season, and a 20/1 quote (Blue Sq) looks fair.
When Peter Bowen heads north then take note, as he’s got decent strike-rates up there: Carlisle (33%), Cartmel (20%), Hexham (19%), Haydock (19%), Kelso (31%), Newcastle (23%), and Sedgefield is no exception (23%) and he had a winner there y’day in Pure Faith @ 9/2, his only runner of the day.
There were no selections yesterday, so the blog is still on minus 3.90pts for November.
There are two jump meetings today, at Bangor and Huntingdon.
The opening novice chase at Bangor looks a cracker, with the likes of Alfie Sherrin and Wymott. Burton Port won this race last season, and the winner today will probably be just as good. Watch and savour.
In the 3-mile h’cap chase, Major Malarkey will be hard to beat if he doesn’t “bounce” following his successful return from a long break last week. On the basis that he will bounce, there are only a couple that will appreciate today’s trip and going and are likely to come-to-hand this early in the season; Buffalo Bob and Rate Of Knots. The Vicar has also dropped to a good mark (from OR134 this time last season to OR125 today) but his form suggests that this trip is beyond him. Rate Of Knots has all his best form going right-handed; so for me it’s BUFFALO BOB @ 13/2 (Victor Chandler) who will love this going and trip.
At Huntingdon, the 3-mile h’cap chase looks like going to VICTORY SURGE but at just odds of 5/4 he’s too short for me, especially as Hobbs returns Pancake to chasing on a mark of OR115 (was OR132 in March 2009). Medermit should have another win under his belt in the novice chase barring accidents.
Bangor 2:10 BUFFALO BOB, ½pt eachway @ 13/2 (Victor Chandler, best odds guaranteed)
Looking to the weekend, the Paddy Power Chase on Saturday looks a strong renewal. I’m sure that were Ruby Walsh fit and well, he’d be on Poquelin but his place has now been taken by the 5lb claimer Ian Popham. I don’t think that’s a bad thing (Popham won the Badger Chases on Meanus Dandy last weekend), but the market has Poquelin solid at 12’s. The current fav is Long Run @ 100/30, but for me that is far too short a price for a horse that was not the finished article last season, and clearly did not stay the 3-mile trip of the RSA at the Festival. I also wonder how the horse will cope with 19 other opponents all wanting to win the race. It will be a big learning curve for the 5yo, and I would much rather be on Henderson’s other entry, MAD MAX who has Barry Geraghty in the saddle. MAD MAX will love this trip, loves Cheltenham and in my opinion is still potentially a OR165+ horse; odds of 10/1 are available (was 12’s yesterday) and with Poquelin as top-weight he’s only got 11st 5lb to carry.
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