There were no selections yesterday and the one race I spent a bit of time on at Newbury, the 2:40 a class 3 handicap chase went to the 11/1 chance Calusa Caldera, with both the 3/1 joint-favs failing to finish. I looked at Calusa Caldera (honest, I did) but passed it over on account of the awful run from Freeze Up from the same stable on Thursday. Both the horses had the same sort of profile, having had a run after a long break. To be fair, Calusa Caldera was 2nd-fav for his race LTO and ran poorly, so perhaps he needed that run even tho’ he’d been well prepared for it. At least no points lost.
Saturdays is a strange day for the blog. Generally, visitor numbers are usually down by about 60% on Saturday’s. I think I’ve said before that it’s probably because during weekdays people can browse the web while at work, but on Saturdays there are always other jobs to do that prevent that (shopping, gardening, DIY etc).
There are 3 meetings at Newbury, Stratford and Bangor
Newbury’s class 2 chase at 3:25 looks interesting. Ogee missed the Festival (was fancied for Stewart H’cap Chase won by Bensalem) and comes here instead. I like the look of Maktu for this but, with Ruby Walsh in the saddle, he’s not value. He didn’t stay the Welsh National trip, and I think he was still feeling that race when running at Ffos Las in February. But, over an inadequate trip LTO, he ran well enough to be seriously considered here. The going is a worry, as all his best form has come when there has been plenty of “give”. But Ruby Walsh is not a positive as outside of rides for Nicholls and Mullins he has a fairly ordinary strike-rate. For me, Ogee has it all to prove as, with conditions in his favour LTO, he ran an unconvincing race. One that could upset the cart is bottom-weight Rey Nacarado who, at 6yo is the youngest in the race and he’s shown he has unlimited stamina, but despite starting fav he's been beaten on both his attempts in class 3 chases. The most interesting is SCOTS DRAGOON. His jumping can be suspect but, when he gets it together, his form is excellent. He ran a good 2nd here over C&D in Nov ’09 and with David Bass’ 3lb claim he is on a very low mark carrying just 10st 2lb. Remember, he’s been shouldering 12st in amateur races lately, so he’ll think it’s his birthday! Currently at 15/2 (Bet 365, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3) he may go longer as I’m sure there will be market moves for both Maktu and Ogee.
At Bangor, in the 3:50 Sir Ian will be looking to maintain his tremendous winning form on “good” going – he’s won 4 times from 5 races on good going. He should be too good for these, but odds of just 9/4 don’t tempt me as he’s up 9lb on his last winning mark, and topweight Grand Lahou has the benefit of good claimer Colm O’Farrell and his 5lbs. At 15/2 (Sportingbet), he is the value in this race if he benefits from the 5lb claim, but his stamina is suspect beyond 2m3f. Will he stay this 2m4f & 110 yards?
The Class 2 h’cap hurdle at 4:20 looks a cracker of a race. There are half-a-dozen I could go for in this, and I’m not taking a “punt” on this.
Stratford looks like a meeting to avoid.
Newbury 3:25, SCOTS DRAGOON, ½pt eachway @ 15/2 (Bet 365, ¼ odds a place 1,2,3 – best odds guaranteed)
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Saturday, 26 March 2011
An eachway bet for Saturday punters
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