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Saturday 26 February 2022

Saturday 26th February

It's just 3 Saturdays to the Cheltenham Festival, and this weekend is probably the last one for any realistic chances to show form and go on and run well there. However, according to the stats, it s unlikely.  One good thing is that the blog returned to form last Saturday with a good winner in Does He Know - tipped up at odds of 4/1 went off at 9/2 and romped home a good winner.  He's been tipped as a potential Ultima Handicap Chase winner on the opening day of the Festival, but he looks an out-and-out stayer to me and when he was outpaced about a mile out that underlined the fact.  My other selection, Caribean Boy, was very disappointing - he looked to struggle on the ground and perhaps the race came too soon after his recent win (when we were on him).

With the Festival on the horizon, races providing betting opportunities are thin on the ground. At Kempton, we have the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3) at 3:37pm and it looks a cracker. The topweight Good Boy Bobby has done nothing wrong this season and OR150 looks a winnable mark for this resilient chaser, but this is a tough handicap. I'm not keen on Lalor who has to prove he stays 3-mile.  The Big Breakaway was a top novice chaser but appears to have lost his way, but he is only a 7yo and could go well. Enrilo has also lost his way a bit and is on a recovery mission. The LTO winner Pheonix Way has shown that 2m4f is his best trip and while he could be placed in this race, I don't think he has a winning chance. Zanza has had a lot of opportunities, and he steps-up to 3-mile with his stamina untested. The 7yo Annsam looks very interesting: he beat Pheonix Way at Ascot over 3-miles and - being a prominent runner who enjoys going right-handed - this race looks up-his-street: current odds 15/2.
The 6yo Kitty's Light is handicapped to go well off OR140, but he's a hold-up horse and he could find himself given too much to do.  Our Power is interesting, this will be his 5th chase race and he's already won twice over fences; however this is a test of his unproven stamina. There are no stamina issue's with Five Star Getaway, but he had a hard race at Sandown 3 weeks ago and this may come a bit too soon.  Galahad Quest is another consistent chaser giving 3-mile a try with unproven stamina.  Zhiguli won LTO over 2m4f and was re-rated accordingly, but he was easily beaten at Lingfield over 3-miles in November and he could struggle. The 9yo Beakstown sneaks in on OR130, and is yet to win a chase race. Again, this is his 3-mile debut, but he looks like he could stay the trip (has run well over 2m6f) and odds of 16/1 look eachway value for this prominent runner. Finally, Cap Du Nord who - if repeating his form of last year when 5th off OR142 - could have a real chance off OR127. However, his recent form is poor and he did jump left in this race last year.

My 3 from the field are: Annsam /  Good Boy Bobby / Beakstown.
There's plenty of 5-places odds available in this race, and the 8/1 (5-places) offered by Paddy Power on ANNSAM looks outstanding value to me an eachway wager.

The 4-mile Eider Chase at Newcastle at 3:15pm takes a certain type of horse to win, and the proven stamina of Cash To Ash - ran 2nd in the extended 4-mile handicap at Kelso in December - could be enough to take this race.  It's not an easy race, it can be a bit gruelling, and there will be a lot of horses pulled-up when the stamina runs out. There's plenty of 6-places (5th odds) eachway available - but as I've not given this race an in-depth analysis I can't recommend a wager on the race.  Cash To Ash is a "fun wager" if you want an interest.

Just the one selection:
Kempton 3:37pm ANNSAM - £5 eachway AND £5 win @ 8/1 
(5th odds 5-places with Paddy Power & William Hill) 
Total Staked = £15

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