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Sunday 14 November 2010

Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham

Yesterday’s horseracing
It was a big day yesterday, with reputations won and lost in the field.
Sam Twiston-Davies came of age with a tremendous ride on Little Josh to take the Paddy Power H’cap chase, making all and running-out a convincing winner. He gave supporters a scare when he faltered up the hill after the last, but he held such an advantage it was impossible to peg back. Of the others in the race, Long Run was exposed and never looked comfortable in such a big field making several jumping errors. My selection, MAD MAX looked like being the one to give the eventual winner most to think about when jumping the 3rd last, but he too lacked the stamina to finish the race. I did think he’d excel today and go on to be a 3-mile chaser, but on this display 20f is his limit. He did provide a 0.25pt profit on the day for the blog, the November points total now standing at 4.50pts.

After Friday’s “tweet” success with Lacdoudal, I really should have followed-up that formline and gone for MIDNIGHT CHASE but I thought he would not appreciate the rain-softened ground. But, with 3 wins on heavy over hurdles (his only failure on that extreme going being on his 2nd chase run this time last year when he was still learning his new “trade”), I was barking up the wrong tree. This was a phenomenal performance from the 8yo, carrying 11st 9lb, and unless the handicapper puts him up to over OR160 (which would mean a rise of 14lb) then he must be capable of following-up.

Gentle Ranger in the same race ran ok till about the 10th fence after which he just about packed-in. This was a disappointing run, so let’s hope that David Pipe can get to the bottom of this problem and get the horse back on track – it may have been the going was too soft for him. Of the others, OGEE was looking very menacing at the top o’ the hill, where he made a bad error and that did for him. The fact the mistake took so much out of him suggests the horse was not fit enough, so that augers well for him NTO when he’ll no doubt strip a lot fitter for this run.

As for the rest of the racing, I was on the ball about WAYWARD PRINCE, but he was a tad fortunate with the fall of Chicago Grey at the 2nd-last. Even so, this winner of the Grade-1 Sefton novices hurdle over 3-mile-plus wasn’t stopping and it’s likely he’d have won anyway. He looks a good prospect.

At Wetherby, Pistol Basc maintained his advantage over Archie’s Wish (as expected) but could not hold the debut chase runner YOU KNOW YOURSELF who was giving Pistol Basc 5lb – this was a very taking performance and the horse should follow-up.

Today’s Horseracing
Another day at Cheltenham beckons, though there are also meetings at Fontwell and Market Rasen.
The opening race is a cracker, and Paul Nicholls has won it 4 times in the past 8 years so, despite his entry Ghizao being the outsider of 5 runners at 6/1, I would not underestimate its chances.
The next race is also a 2-mile chase, and we see the FORPADYDEPLASTERER return to racing. It is hard to believe that this excellent and talented chaser has come 2nd in 9 of his last 10 races – his only win when just holding off Kalahari King in the Arkle of 2009. He is 12lb ahead of the next best (Tataniano) on official ratings, so he should win this in a canter so at odds of 7/4 he looks good value as we’ve seen horses with less chance go off at lot shorter odds recently.
The Greatwood Hurdle has in recent years had a big impact on the Champion Hurdle the following Spring. Of those at the head of the handicap, I consider GET ME OUT OF HERE to be better than Menorah and, but for a slightly ill-timed run, he’d have won the Supreme Novices at the Festival. I would not want to oppose GET ME OUT OF HERE with anything carrying more than 11st today; so any dangers will come from improvers at the bottom of the handicap. There is only one really, and that’s SURE JOSIE SURE who beat Nearby LTO in April. Since then, Nearby has been a revelation, but you have to assume that for that horse it’s all come right this year. As such, GET ME OUT OF HERE is the one I’d be on, but odds of 13/2 leave little margin for error. So, no wager on this race.
The class 2 h’cap hurdle looks a watching race, as any one of half a dozen could win this race.
The 2m5f Grade 1 novice hurdle looks a winning opportunity for FINAL DAY. He won here over C&D last month in impressive style and at odds of 4/1 he is the value in the race.

No official blog selections today, but I expect FORPADYDEPLASTERER and FINAL DAY to win their races, and GET ME OUT OF HERE to be in the 1st-3.

Lastly, blog writer “The Laird” with his blog on Sprinterstogo (see adjacent link) had his 5th winning nap in succession with TAKE TEN @ 3/1 yesterday. The Laird specialises in 5f & 6f sprints only, and he has his finger on the pulse in that medium. Take a look at his blog if you haven’t done so before.

Thanks for reading this blog to all new visitors. Feel free to tell those who you think may find the blog of interest and value and, if you are a regular visitor, please add the blog to your list of favourites.
Thanks from Wayward Lad


  1. GHIZAO wins @ 13/2 - told you not to ignore him!

  2. Thought I was 2-up when Forpadydeplasterer hit the front at the 2nd-last, but GAUVAIN winning off a 576-day break could not be foreseen. Terrific training performance from Nick Williams. Tataniano - back to the drawing board.

  3. Gentle Ranger is a horse that chokes so I would not be putting him up any more unless he has the breathing op.

  4. Thanks for that slackbarn.
    GENTLE RANGER is certainly not running to the level he was last season, but then he's yet to run on "proper" good-to-soft going or better. Wins by Little Josh, Cross Kennon and Midnight Chase all point to the going being softer than the official "gd-to-sft (good in places)".

  5. Hi Wayward,
    Thanks for the info re BE I hope he does see the racecourse as he has undoubted potential,as regards Tatiano the paddock judge for the tipping service I do the admin for reckon he wasnt revved up yesterday on top of the sloppy ground and he will be spot on for the Tingle Creek.