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Tuesday, 2 November 2010

SOMERSBY to take Haldon Gold Cup

In today’s blog:-
Yesterday’s horseracing
Today’s horseracing

Yesterday’s horseracing
More than once I’ve read that if you’re going to have a “bet”, don’t bother unless the stake means something. Yesterday, I thought FREE WORLD was worthy of a substantial wager, and I got it wrong.
I thought the horse was a sub-2/1 chance and that the horse with something to prove in the race was Riverside Theatre (the eventual winner). As such, when 4/1 was put up first by Stan James, and then by Corals, I jumped in with both feet. The horse looked (according to paddock observers) superb. It was the only runner of Paul Nicholls on the day, and the only ride for Ruby Walsh. It was Walsh who voiced the only concern, suggesting the horse may not stay the 2m4f trip. There was a minor jumping error early-on, but for the rest of the race he jumped well; and when he improved to dispute 2nd before the 3rd-last fence I thought “here goes”. Not to be – a blunder at that fence and his chance was dented, but his lack of effort thereon suggests he did not stay another yard. On reflection, Riverside Theatre merely had to run up to last season’s form to win this, and it was (in the end) a facile victory.
That made it a double for Nicky Henderson, who’s hurdler Working Title won the class 2 h’cap hurdle. He was aided considerably by the fall at the 2nd-last of Alderluck who was just leading at the time. There has been talk of Henderson’s horses being under a cloud (probably a rumour spread by those who had their money on Barbers Shop in the Charlie Hall last Saturday), but with 6 winners from his last 19 runners since 27th October (the last 5-days) his horses seem well-enough to me, and the odds of 2/1 to be top British jumps trainer have been trimmed to 7/4 this morning.
I’m sure I acknowledged the emergence of Neil Mulholland the other day, but I cannot find the reference now. Anyway, he had another winner y’day at Plumpton @ 20/1 with Just The Job. Mulholland is in tip-top form (as he was at this time last year) and, in the last 14-days, apart from Big Knickers who pulled-up (there's a joke in here somewhere!) when a 7/2 fav; from his other 9 runners he’s had 3 wins, 4 x 2nds, a 3rd and a 4th. He’s a man with a big future.

Today’s horseracing
We have the highlight of the Exeter season today with the Haldon Gold Cup over 2m1f &110yards.
I was on Tchico Polos at this meeting last year when he “stole” the novice chase by taking an extended lead early-on. I expect the same tactics will be used today but he was found out by SOMERSBY at Sandown over 2-mile and the 3lb pull he has will not be enough today. I expect SOMERSBY to win today, mainly as the others are all exposed and shown not to be up to this level – other than Twist Magic, but he is not racing at his beloved Sandown today. Looking at the betting, the one that jumps off the page is CHANINBAR who ran a cracker at Cheltenham 17-days ago over a trip half-a-mile too far for him (0 from 4). Dropped back to today’s trip will suit him, tho’ the going may be a bit on the soft side. Since returning to chasing he has improved leaps’n’bounds, and at 12/1 he could be value for a place.
Later on the card in the novice hurdle at 4:35 is a potential improver in COURT IN MOTION who is a half-brother to Bensalem (OR153 hurdles). Bensalem improved considerably in his 5-6yo season, and I’ve heard a rumour that COURT IN MOTION has come-on a bundle this summer. Current odds of 5/6 mean I cannot recommend him as a selection for the blog, but I would not put anyone off having a wager on him.
The h’cap chase over 3-mile at 3:35 looks a good opportunity for VAMIZI. The horse who beat him LTO, has won since and the form has held-up well. Today’s trip and going both suit VAMIZI and apart from Swing Bill who will run his usual solid race, it is difficult to see another challenger. Swing Bill looks to need some respite from the handicapper, and is one-paced. At current odds of 100/30, VAMIZI looks fair value.

Exeter 3:35 VAMIZI, 1pt win @ 100/30 (various)

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