One of Us Cannot be Wrong…
Not a lot to write about this week so best not to wander off on a flight of fancy about old guys in pubs wittering ad nauseam, as I am sure you will agree.
So much for my great race reading skills last week when I thought A Plus Tard was worth opposing. The gelding as you will know by now hosed up at Haydock jumping well throughout, he is now best priced 7/2 for the Gold Cup in March where he could well go one better than last year. Looks like Rachel Blackmore will have a big decision to make as trainer Henry de Bromhead has the first three in the betting.
I mentioned Brief Ambition as a horse to follow a couple of weeks ago, well shrewdie that I am he trotted up at the rewarding odds of 1/3 in a two-horse race at Ludlow last Monday.
On a not so shrewdie theme, last week’s two selections both ran second but at much reduced prices from what I was expecting. Furius De Ciergues ran a game race leading until the last half furlong, he had been under the pump before the turn into the straight and I thought he did well to get so close. The other pick Empire Steel also ran a good race but as I thought, the improving Strictlyadancer was just too strong.
Enough of the sackcloth and ashes. This weekend brings more opportunities to bet some winners with a host of cracking races. Newcastle stages the Rehearsal Chase and the Fighting Fifth hurdle whilst Newbury sees the Ladbrokes Trophy plus a couple of other really decent handicaps. It’s a bit like opening a selection box at Christmas one doesn’t know what to pick first but here goes, let’s hope we’re not sick at the end.
More good racing this weekend not least at Haydock where the Betfair Chase is the highlight. Not a race for me to bet in but I think it might be the day to oppose A Plus Tard he is pretty short in the market, he didn’t win first time up last season admittedly over two miles, throw in that trainer Henry de Bromhead’s runners seem to be needing their first run …Put the Kettle On the most recent example. All in all, a favourite to swerve. I had forgotten that our old friend Waiting Patiently had moved from Ruth Jefferson to Christian Williams, Brian Hughes has kept the ride though. It would be typical if the fickle Gods of Racing decided this was the moment for Waiting Patiently to have his day in the spotlight on ground he will appreciate.
Selection – 2:05: Newcastle – Betfair Exchange Rehearsal Handicap Chase
Newcastle’s Rehearsal Handicap Chase is always a good race, this used to be run at Chepstow, bit of useless information there to fill space up, apologies for that. I like the look of Alan King’s 7-year-old Notachance especially with the booking of Jonathan Burke who I think is under rated. Notachance was pulled up in his final couple of races last season when he was found to be lame on both occasions. His final race was the Scottish Grand National a race in which several of Saturday’s runners competed, notably Dingo Dollar who finished a close up second. Before those disappointments Notachance had looked an improving young chaser so in the hope the trainer has the gelding’s problems sorted he is worth a bet at around the advertised 11/1. One niggling doubt is the forecast ground, but I don’t think connections would risk their lad if they felt the conditions were too quick. Fingers crossed he runs.
Selection – 3:00 Newbury: Ladbrokes Trophy Chase
Newbury Ladbrokes Trophy is one of the season’s major staying handicaps which has produced the usual stellar cast. The Irish are out in force and it’s good to see one of our conditionals to follow Jack Foley being legged up on Annamix for Willie Mullins. This young lad could be the next big thing so keep a careful eye on his riding at the weekend. The Irish have the front two in the market with Ontheropes for Mr Mullins and Eklat de Rire for the de Bromhead Blackmore team. As the market indicates there is not a lot between the two runners, but I have a slight preference for the latter who might just possess a touch more class. However, the runner I have a suspicion might go well is Christian Williams 5-year-old Kitty’s Light. I admit to perhaps letting my heart rule my head here as I followed this lad over two large cliffs last season leading to no light shining from the betting kitty. At Wincanton in the Badger Beer, he was a fast finishing third after being badly hampered by a faller. Then even more unlucky in the Bet365 at Sandown when coming to win his race before being bodychecked by Enrilo and losing out once again. So much for the sob story I had earmarked Kitty’s for the Welsh Grand National but obviously connections fancy a tilt at this big pot. I notice the gelding is entered in the King George over Christmas, which is a positive, he ran a really good trial in the Charlie Hall and this season they seem to be riding him closer to the pace in his races and I can see him charging up the Newbury straight which should suit him down to the ground. All in all, I am convincing myself to have few quid on at around 10/1. Whether you follow me in or not there are loads with chances so good luck.
1. Kitty’s Light
Selection – 3:35 Newbury: Watch Racing Free Online At Ladbrokes Handicap Chase
This is either a race to play up your winnings or get deeper into the mire, but it is tempting either way. There are some improving unexposed horses enter not least the likely favourite the Paul Nicholls’ trained 4-year-old Il Ridoto who carries bottom weight. . Another unexposed one is the Nicky Henderson mare Elusive Belle who to date has only run in three chases one of which being a win over course and distance at this meeting last year. The mare’s final chase outing was in a Grade 2 over Christmas where she was pitched in against Shishkin which was probably for experience’s sake. I have been wondering whether the wily Waley-Cohens have something planned at the next Aintree meeting for the mare but at around 9/1 I think she is reasonable value for another course and distance win. Sam W-C doesn’t get that many rides, but he won’t be lacking in fitness if it comes to a driving finish.
1. Elusive Belle
There you have it for this weekend as I said the good races are coming thick and fast now, so be selective and don’t blow all the turkey money, have a good weekend whether punting or shopping.
Again, good luck throughout the winter. If you’re interested in racehorse ownership, take a look at the syndicate’s available shares.