This Saturday brings us the first major chase race of the season, the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock. Today tho', we have only jump meetings at Ascot and Haydock as the meeting at Ffos Las has been abandoned; and I'm hoping that another winning day is in store.
The meeting at Haydock is a bit disappointing, but that is almost certainly due to the weather. I'll be watching with interest the graduation chase at 1:20 and the novice chase at 1:55, and I fully expect Gevrey Chambertin (full brother of Grands Crus) to win the fixed brush hurdle at 3:05 and current odds of 15/8 aren't bad.
At Ascot there are a couple of decent handicap chases but, first, at 1:30 we have a beginner's chase over 2m5f & 110 yards and I like the chance of RESTLESS HARRY. Yes, the horse ran a stinker at Wetherby the other week but he may have just needed that run. More importantly, he jumped well enough last season in a couple of novice chases (without winning) to go onto my alert list and at odds of 11/4 he looks worthy of a small wager, say ½pt.
At 2:40 there is a class 3 handicap chase over 2m3f, and I fancy another off my alert list in this race, MARSHAL ZHUKOV. He won really well at Chepstow LTO in only his 2nd chase and 5lb claimer James Best has a good rapport with the horse. Currently 4/1, I was hoping for a little better but Ladbrokes are playing safe going only 100/30. MARSHAL ZHUKOV is worth a 1pt win wager @ 4/1 (go best odds guaranteed). For an eachway play in this race, I think All For Free should be a bit shorter than 11/1 based on his 2nd at Sandown last January over 2-mile. He was outclassed at Ascot NTO, and never got going in his last start, but he has his first race for a new trainer today (Bridgwater) and I reckon he'll go well.
The next on the card is another interesting handicap at 3:15 over 3-mile. Another off my alert list runs in this in Loch Ba, and hopefully the 6yo can follow-up his LTO win. This race does not seem as clear cut as the earlier handicap as the obvious danger is 2nd-fav Prophet de Guye who also won LTO. However, I'm not expecting more improvement from that 9yo especially on today's softer ground and a more likely challenge is to come from Brackloon High. Ignore his last couple of runs last season as he was over-the-top LTO and certainly out of his depth at the Cheltenham Festival. Before that tho' he looked a progressive novice chaser and he also goes well fresh. Best odds of 6/1 are fair reflection of his chance and, given Loch Ba also goes best fresh and may not therefore repeat his LTO performance today, BRACKLOON HIGH gets the nod to ½pt.
In the handicap hurdle at 3:50, I've noted that Bourne runs for Donald McCain, and it's his only runner at Ascot today. I haven't studied the form for this race, but a few good judges thought Bourne was unlucky LTO and some improvement is likely to come.
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Friday, 23 November 2012
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Good to see the blog back.Nice to see we are think along the same lines re Brackloon High. Just wish I could have got some of the 16/1 on offer last night.ReplyDelete
Not the best of days at the office.ReplyDelete
The less said about Restless Harry, the better.
Marshal Zhukov's jockey went for the race far too early and ran out of steam - nest time perhaps.
As for Brackloon High, he fell at the 1st fence.
Loch Ba (in that race) looked a bit of a bridle horse as his jockey held a double-handful at the last and asked for an effort on the run-in and none came.