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Saturday 21 January 2017

Venetia to be on the winning trail at Haydock

I thought we would have a good day of racing with 3 jump meetings at Ascot, Haydock and Taunton - but we have lost Ascot and Taunton to the frost and so only Haydock is left.

This is disappointing as I thought there was some potential value at the Ascot meeting in Un De Sceaux who would have taken all the beating in the Clarence House Chase, and in Kylemore Lough who looks ore than capable of beating the field in the Class 2 handicap chase. 

Haydock puts on a grand meeting and has a couple of races that may provide us with a wagering opportunity.  The Grade 2 novice chase at 1:30pm looks a cracker with the Paul Nicholls trained Politologue but he wont have things all his own way as Its' A Freebee, Waiting Patiently and Maximiser all look decent prospects as chasers.  At the odds, Waiting Patiently at 4/1 may be worth a nibble as I am sure OR142 under-rates his ability and were he with a "premier" stable then he would possibly be rated 7lb higher already. Were this a handicap then I would have no hesitation to be on him, but there may be enough in the 3lb concession he has to swing the race his way. 

The Champion Hurdle "Trial" at 2:40pm over 2-miles may be a close run race.  He may be having to concede weight, but The New One should be capable of beating L'Ami Serge on these terms and on this ground - if it turns heavy then he will have a problem, but he should be capable on soft ground.  I just don't think L'Ami Serge has shown enough "zip" over hurdles to win this, and the 15/8 about The New One looks generous to me.

The next race on the card is the "Peter Marsh" handicap chase at 3:15pm and run over 3-mile, and this is one of the races that I enjoy tackling during the jumps season.  We have a big field of 14-runners and the current fav Definitly Red will need to find some improvement to win off OR149. He will handle the track, ground and trip but may find one or two too good for him. Bristol De Mai looks a better prospect in this now he has shown he is competitive at 3-mile. Alary is one that I cannot consider on his UK chase debut, however his form may look in France.  Bishops Road is perhaps on too high a rating and probably wants heavy ground. I'm not sure about Otago Trail as he may be a horse that goes well fresh, but his odds of 10/1 look fair enough. Sausalito Sunrise will not be far away as he does enjoy a slog through the mud and he looks fairly treated. Virak has yet to recover his form of last year and the remainder look out of it. 

At the odds, OTAGO TRAIL at 10/1 (he is 12/1 with Stan James) looks fair value as he beat both Definitly Red and Bristol De Mai at Newcastle, and that form looks top notch. At todays weights he should be able to confirm the form and as such he should be trading at 5/1 in my opinion.

Haydock 3:15pm OTAGO TRAIL, £5 eachway @ 10/1 (generally available quarter-odds a place 1,2,3)

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