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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Jack Frost nipping at your nose....

The frost has descended on the country and (so far) we have 3 meetings going ahead at Aintree, Wetherby and Chepstow. There is an inspection at Sandown at 10am.

Aintree has the best racing going ahead as I write with the feature being the Becher Chase at 1:30pm.  There are 16 runners going to post headed by Blaklion on the meagre odds of 5/2 - however, the 8yo who was  4th in the Grand National over this course last April has a favourites chance as he handles the course, handles heavy ground (it will be heavy when the frost burns off) and is consistent enough to be capable of running to his rating of OR153. He also comes here race-fit having chased home Bristol De Mai at Wetherby in the Charlie Hall Chase. So, can he be beaten today?

Of those closest in the market, I think the heavy ground will find out Highland Lodge. He may have a great record in this race, but heavy ground with tax his stamina. Vieux Lion Rouge won this race last year and also handles soft/heavy, and he won't be far away. The Last Samurai will need a career-best run to win this off OR159 carrying 11st 12lb and I don't think he will be capable. While As De Mee won over these fences last season, it was over 2m5f and this trip will likely find him out.  The one that I like is Goodtoknow - a prominent runner, who handles these fences, and goes well on soft/heavy. He stays this trip well too and his rating of OR142 puts him in with a good chance. Odds of 12/1 look fair value, especially as Ladbrokes go quarter-odds for 4-places, as it's hard for me to see him not finishing worse than 4th. However, Blaklion should win this race but I cannot bet on him in this race at odds of just 5/2 as he should be at least 9/2 in my opinion.

The other race over the National fences today is the Grand Sefton, a Class 2 chase over 2m5f and I think the class horse in this race is SAMETEGAL who is relatively unexposed and could be a lot better than OR144. He's won on soft ground over 2m4f at Newbury from a rating or OR143 and with this being only his 7th chase race he could have a lot of improvement in his still to come. Gas Line Boy has a favourites chance being a front-runner who handles the ground, but the 11yo may be unable to hold off the younger horse. Odds of 6/1 look good value on Sametegal.

At Sandown, the Henry VIII novices chase at 1:45pm looks a cracker, and while Brain Power could be another Altior for me, the jury is still out. At the odds, I'm looking to take him on and North Hill Harvey could be the horse to upset the odds as he showed his class when winning the Greatwood Hurdle off  OR141 with 11st and Modus in 2nd carrying 4lb less.  Odds of 6/1 look value to me as he should have too much speed for Finians Oscar and he's a better horse (as far as the form book shows) than Sceau Royal and Capitaine; so it all depends on whether Brain Power is the real-deal or not.

Whatever the result, Henderson has a great chance in the last race on the Sandown card with SUGAR BARON at odds of 11/2.  He just lacked a finishing kick in the Bet365 over C&D last April but he is very well handicapped to me on OR135 and I reckon he will be in the mid-140's by the end of the season.  The only danger I can see will be coming from top-weight Southfield Theatre who made a big step in th right direction LTO and with a 7lb claimer on, he could be interesting. The fav Doing Fine is a consistent performer but his rating of OR137 is about his ceiling.

Today I will be having a couple of win wagers on SAMETEGAL @ 6/1 and SUGAR BARON @ 11/2, and a place-only wager on Goodtoknow at 3.10 (1st-4 finish) on the exchanges. I will also have a small wager on North Hill Harvey.

1 comment:

  1. Not a great deal of luck for me, and when you are punting on the horses you do need a touch of luck. SAMETEGAL was taken wide at "Canal Turn" at Aintree and lost a lot of ground, which he made up quickly after jumping the 3rd-last fence, but he was badly bumped at the 2nd last fence and that was his chance gone - I think he could have won. And so could SUGAR BARON had he jumped a bit better as he finished like a train and only just failed to catch the winner.


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