The Newbury 2-day "Hennessey" meeting starts today heralding a busy weekend of top-class racing, so don't forget Doncaster and Newcastle.
There is a decent Class 2 handicap chase at 2:45pm at Newbury in which I've already advised those on the email list to have a wager. Long-term readers of the blog will know STILLETTO from last season. We were on him when he was on his way to winning in February at Wincanton at 6/1 but, unfortunately, he overjumped and fell 3-out with the race at his mercy. Sure enough, he followed-up 2 weeks later with a win at Leicester at the much shorter odds of 7/4, with his cover blown. He was then the subject of an almighty gamble at the Cheltenham Festival in March for his next race but fell again, at the 3rd fence before the race got going. He was probably over the top when 3rd of 3 for his final run of last season.
I have him 7lb ahead of his OR141 rating, and he should have the beating of this field tomorrow for this, his debut for trainer Johnny Farrelly (he was with Paul Nicholls last season). The current race-fav Three Musketeers was disappointing last month and needs a major improvement to win, in my opinion. The remainder are handicapped to their best apart from rank outsider Roman Flight, who I expect will benefit from this longer trip as he was staying on LTO over 2m1f at Ascot last month. Were STILLETTO not running, I would certainly be recommending an eachway wager on Roman Flight at his current odds of 14/1.
I'm not quite sure why Three Musketeers is only 11/4 for this except he won over C&D as a novice at this meeting last year having made a 20lb improvement on his chase debut 4-weeks earlier. I presume his supporters are expecting the same again tomorrow, but will they have cause to cheer? STILLETTO was 6/1 last night when I sent out the email to donators, and he's 5/1 this morning (available generally) with those odds look generous considering he was only 11/2 (running off OR142) to win the "plate" novice handicap chase over 2m5f at the latest Cheltenham Festival.
Earlier in the afternoon at 1:05pm there is a novice handicap chase over 2-mile which looks a tough nut to crack, but it should be well worth watching with notebook in hand. Similarly, the novice chase over 2m4f that follows at 1:35pm may only have 5-runners, but it should be a cracker as I would not discount any, although Our Kaempfer may struggle. And, it was in the Long Distance hurdle race at 2:10pm that Thistlecrack confirmed his brilliance as a 3-mile hurdler, and we have an interesting field for this years race, including Menorah who is usually seen in 3-mile chases of the top grade.
At Doncaster today, there is a Class 3 handicap chase over 2-miles at 12:55pm that looks very weak.
Only 6-runners go to post, and the 3/1 fav Festive Affair has only won 2 of his 19 chase races. He should be able to run to his rating of OR126, but his only win in handicap company was off OR121. The 2nd-fav Vital Evidence is having only his 2nd chase race, and though his chase debut was a fair effort, he was a very poor hurdler; so if the speed isn't there he won't find it chasing. King Of The Wolds is a dependable chaser, but this trip looks too short for him as he last won over 3-mile on soft ground at Ayr 18-months ago. In fact, he last ran over 2-miles nearly 3 years ago though, to be fair, his form at that time was a lot better then than it has been running over longer trips. Doncaster is one of the few courses Domtaline hasn't run at, but he is another who makes infrequent visits to the winners enclosure, and the soft ground is a big negative for him. For me, Oliver's Gold is the most interesting in the race as this time last year he won 2 chases and was rated OR132 (today he runs off OR122). He then had a 5-month winter break returning in April for a couple of hurdle races and a spin on the flat before returning to chasing in June. That was a Class 2 race, and he was out of his depth. Another flat race followed, then back to chasing in August in a Class 3 over 2m3f when the longer trip found him out, but he was in contention till his stamina failed him. He came back with a run at Kelso earlier this month and I expect he will come on a bundle for that run. The remaining pair of Starkie and Treat Yourself both look outclassed. The market looks wide-open and the only horse with a hint of ability to win a Class 3 handicap chase is Oliver's Gold and at 7/1 (BetVictor, Corals, Paddy Power and Stan James) he looks decent value in a very weak race. I rate him a better than 3/1 chance against this opposition.
Doncaster 12:55pm OLIVER'S GOLD, £10 win @ 7/1
Newbury 2:45pm STILLETTO, £10 win @ 6/1 (advised on Thursday evening by email)
Sods Law that mateReplyDelete
I backed Roman Flight after your right up as So made a decent return dispite the loss on the win bet