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Saturday 15 February 2014

Every cloud has a silver lining

A couple of interesting meetings today at Ascot and Haydock and, hopefully, Wincanton.

There are a fair few horse alert runners at Ascot:-
1:30 Cole Harden
2:05 O'Faolains Boy
2:40 Teaforthree, Highland Lodge
3:15 Foxcub
3:50 Cloudy Too, Rolling Aces,

The advance going for Ascot is soft, but I reckon it will be on the heavy side. The opening race is a novice hurdle just shy of 2m4f and is probably a no-wager race as the odds about my alert list runner, COLE HARDEN are too short and under 9/4. Even so, he should be the fav in my opinion.

I'm going to give the RSA Trial novice chase (known to race fans as the Reynoldstown) a miss and look at the 3-mile handicap chase at 2:40pm instead. I'm not convinced about Our Father and think he needs to come down a few more pounds from OR145 to be competitive. Others I'm prepared to discount are Restless Harry and Chance Du Roy. I also think the handicapper has Houblon Des Obeaux on OR158. This shorter trip will suit Highland Lodge, as will the ground and he will meet Hawkes Point on 10lb better terms than in the Welsh National. Night Alliance looked like a hard season had caught up with him LTO at Haydock, and Tullamore Dew is too one-paced. I can see HIGHLAND LODGE running a big race in this. No odds available at the time of writing (4pm Friday).

FOXCUB ran a stonker LTO when 6th behind Saphir Du Rheu over 2m5f in the Lazarote Hurdle at Kempton. He showed he could be competitive off OR137and this shorter trip of an extended 2m3f could be just right for him. Currently 25/1, it may be best to play a small eachway wager or confine your wager to a place-only on the exchanges.

The Ascot Chase (Grade 1) should go to Captain Chris , but the current odds of "evens" are not enticing enough to make me wager. I'm not confident that Riverside Theatre can reproduce his best form and be involved in this race, he's too quirky for me and Henderson's other runner Hunt Ball has yet to recapture his form. The race for 2nd is between Rolling Aces and Cloudy Too, and my money is on the latter. CLOUDY TOO has plenty of speed for for this trip and a bucket load of stamina too. I rate him at 160+, possibly about 7lbs below Captain Chris and that is close enough for me to put him up as an eachway wager at the generous odds of 10/1, with a small saver of a straight forecast: Captain Chris to beat Cloudy Too.

Horse alert runners here are:-

2:55 Nuts N Bolts, Loch Ba,  Emperor's Choice, Merry King

The feature race is the Grand National Trial at 2:55 and all my alert list runners are engaged in this race. Regular readers will be fairly well up-to-speed with these and my thoughts on them. Currently, Hawkes Point is favourite for this race and this is a better opportunity for him than at Ascot over 3-miles. However, it takes some horse to win over this trip on heavy ground with more than 11st to carry, and from what we've seen Hawkes Point and the others with more than 11st also look to have a tough tasks. Loch Ba was doing his best work in the final mile when 4th at Warwick over 3m5f LTO, and he can handle heavy ground too. Emperor's Choice also ran well LTO when winning at Ffos Las over 3m4f on heavy ground and is effectively 5lb well-in as he's due to run off OR136 in future but runs off OR131 in this. However, I like the look of NUTS N BOLTS who won here at Haydock in November over this C&D on soft ground and, so long as his jumping holds up, he should outrun his current odds of 14/1.

Ascot 3:50 - CLOUDY TOO, £5 eachway @ 10/1 (William Hill)
Haydock 2:55 - NUTS N BOLTS, £5 eachway @ 14/1 (William Hill)
Total = £20 staked

1 comment:

  1. Cloudy Too came in 2nd to Captain Chris the straight forecast paying £6.60 to £1 on the tote Exacta. Dropped £5 on the day as also had Cloudy Too at £5 ew.