No luck yesterday. Having gone thru' the races looking for value I missed a couple of winners mentioned in the narrative (Drumshambo and Roll The Dice) but managed to latch-on to a loser in Balbriggan. I wasn't the only one tempted by Balbriggan's form-book entry as he started the 7/2, 2nd-fav from a morning price of 11/2. There is clearly some potential there, but this horse won't show it on soft ground as he hated it and was soon struggling. That said, the race winner, HANDY ANDY, loved the mud and jumped superbly. There was no stopping the horse and he looks capable of staying a lot further than this should he attempt one of the marathon handicaps. On reflection, HANDY ANDY did have the strongest form going into the race and also looked the most capable of handling the soft ground. I was guilty of trying too hard to find one to beat the favourite when, actually, the favourite was by-far the most obvious winner.
I think I was right about the 3-mile handicap chase at Ludlow, it was a weak Class 3. The race went to Tour Des Champs who was 1 of only 4 to finish from the 9 starters. The horse I considered as a selection in the race, Milo Milan, stumbled around the track to finish 3rd at (in my opinion) the incredibly low odds of 7/2. I've no idea who thought that horse was worthy of a wager at those odds, but it wasn't me.
The rain that is lashing the country has claimed another meeting with Exeter having to abandon its racing today, which was to feature the Peterborough Chase (which had been transferred from Huntingdon). As Huntingdon have a Boxing Day meeting next Wednesday, if it were up to me, I'd include the race in that. Looking ahead towards Boxing Day, I do love to have a decent wager on the day, it's very much a Christmas tradition for me. Last year I had a "yankee" and 3 of my 4 selections won. The horse that didn't win that day is running today at Towcester in the 2:10, Shaking Hands.
The heavy ground at Towcester will make this a real stamina test on what is already a stamina-sapping course. I can't have Shaking Hands today as he's never looked happy on any ground with the word "soft" in the description. Round The Horn has won his last 3 races on the back of a
preparatory run so, as he's been off the track for 229 days, I can't have him. It is a step into the unknown for the 5yo Little Trip, and he does look very one-paced. Atherstone Hill usually runs well after a break, but his seasonal debut earlier this month was poor, so maybe age is catching up with him. As such, perhaps the race-fav CHAC DU CADRAN looks the best option, in much the same way as Handy Andy did yesterday.
His latest chase run (his 3rd) was his best yet and that was on soft going, and he won over hurdles at Towcester. Current odds of 11/4 are not bad considering the lack of opposition, and that opposition is either out of form or running on ground that is unsuitable.
Fingers crossed, the meetings at Ascot tomorrow and Saturday will go ahead, as I'm not confident of either Haydock or Newcastle being race-able.
Towcester 2:10, CHAC DU CADRAN, 1pt win @ 11/4 (available generally)
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Thursday, 20 December 2012
Peterborough Chase - it's not to be
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