Posted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:51 am Post subject: Horse Racing selections May 2nd
I couldnt see a thread for this yet. Here is my preview for the Cheltenham hunter chase meeting tonight. Should be a good night with some cracking racing to look forward to.
It would not surprise me if the top three on the racecard managed to fill the first three places home. The best place to start is with Pistolet Noir who looks to have plenty of things in his favour. The former Paul Nicholls inmate has course winning form as he won a Grade 2 hurdle here back in 2009 which also came on soft ground, so conditions will not bother him. He lost his way a bit after that but since he has bounced back to life since going pointing/hunter chasing and its worth remembering he is still on six. He was a good second in a point on his seasonal debut, before not staying when fifth in a hot hunter chase at Leicester. Last month dropped down to today’s trip at Towcester he duly bolted up by 23L from one of today’s opponents Ryeman. The one slight doubt is his jumping as he does tend to make the odd mistake, but if he jumps round safely he will be very hard to beat.
Rash Move is a big danger though, although again his jumping can be a little suspect at times. He has been very hard to train because of sore shins, but that does mean the soft ground is nice and safe for him. He has a couple of hunter chase wins to his name over further, but I think this trip will suit him well because he isn’t a strong stayer. He returned last month at Guilsborough when he finished a solid third in a Ladies Open. That will have put him spot on for this and will go close to winning.
Ice Cool Benny isn’t as good as those two, but he is consistent and again this trip will suit him well. He has already won a hunter chase this season at Stratford over 2m4f and I have always felt that he doesn’t stay three miles in points. He beat Dunshane that day who also lines up but I struggle to see him reversing form given he seems to have gone backwards since that effort. Depending on price he could be the each-way play in the race.
I find it very hard to fancy any of the others. Ronnie Ronalde failed to get round in the maiden points earlier this season, but ran a good race when finishing third in a novice chase at Exeter last month. He was a market mover that day having been backed from 66/1 into 18/1 so he is one to be wary of, but he is unproven on the ground and I don’t really see him being good enough. Ryeman has his trip but he certainly won’t have his ground and has no chance of reversing form with Pistolet Noir. Steve Flook could be in for a good evening and Shalamiyr goes for him. He managed to win a weak Mens Open at Andoversford ten days ago, but he finished very tired that day and he is hard to fancy on his hunter chase form so far this season. Having said that I would never rule out a runner from the Flook yard.
Tip Pistolet Noir
Alternative Rash Move
I always find the Intermediate Final the hardest race to solve on the card as it brings so many improving types together and that always makes it tricky to solve. The most likely winner for me is Woodview Prince. I saw him win his maiden at Chaddesley Corbett over Christmas and he was rather impressive that day. He has followed that up with two more wins and clocked a very quick time when he won his Intermediate at Whitfield back in March. He beat a horse called Harbour Court who had impressed me when I saw him win his previous race so the form looks rock solid. He clocked a time of 6m 34s that day (two fences omitted) and one of today’s rivals Doctor Kingsley also won on the card however he clocked 6m 55s. Now he was carrying 5lbs more and jumped two more fences but even so that is some difference. I saw Doctor Kingsley win on his final start of last season and he looked a very hard ride that day. This season though he looks a different horse and has won all four starts.
Nobby Kivambo is another one who looks a different horse this season. He had 23 starts under rules and was really struggling to get his head in front. Sending him pointing has done the trick though as he has won four out of six and has looked impressive as he has risen through the grades. He seemed to handle soft ground when seen under Rules before so he should have a leading chance.
Benedictus and Books Review are the two others for me who hold claims, but I will take Woodview Prince to continue his progression and now Doctor Kingsley is in the form of his life I will save on him
Tip – Woodview Prince
Alternative – Doctor Kingsley
For me the star of the hunter chase season so far has been Rumbury Grey. Steve Flook has trained this horse superbly as he has needed plenty of time to become the horse he has this season and now he has turned into the horse he always looked like he would eventually. The trainer has also campaigned him superbly as after winning two decent hunter chases at Leicester he has mopped up a couple of easier races at Ffos Las and Exeter. The horse does nothing but stay so this trip round here shouldn’t be a problem for him. As for the ground he won his maiden on heavy so it should be fine but that would be the one small question mark as its doubtful he has run on ground as soft as he will face today since then. I think he is a potential Foxhunter winner at next year’s Festival and I find it very hard to see him getting beaten.
Coombe Hill has had a decent season himself and is the main danger to Rumbury Grey. The hunter chase he won at Taunton was nothing special, although he has finished second to two decent horses in Offshore Account and Turko since then. He is a solid yardstick, but not only do I think Rumbury Grey is a better horse, but he also is not open to the improvement that one is.
It really is hard to make a case for any of the others. Shouldhavenownbettr won a weak hunter chase at Warwick and the ground is against him whilst the ground is also against The General Lee. Massimo isn’t as good as he was and the others just don’t look good enough.
The Aga Ladies Open Point-To-Point Championship Final looks a competitive heat for the 2nd ever running of the race. Four of the nine ran in the race last year including the first two home, Billyvoddan who came to collar the front-running Upton Springs on the run-in. Both have had decent enough seasons and also come on the back of decent victories. The suspecison is however that even though Upton Springs has won over 3m5f it is not hard to see him struggle to get up the hill again especially on this ground and I prefer Billyvoddan. Former Foxhunter winner Amicelli was well beaten in fourth last year but has already won four races this term , including a hunter chase at Wetherby. He has also run two poor races including last time when well beaten by Lady Myfanwy. I find it hard to call him right nowadays and although a win wouldn’t surprise I think the percentage call is to oppose. I am also taking on the hugely consistent Lady Myfanwy. She ran a stinker of a race here last year and I don’t think the course suits her so on that basis I am happy to take her on.
Four out of the other five look up against it to me, but I am pretty keen on the chances of Unowatimeen. I saw him run a very solid race when third to Billyvoddan at Chaddesley Corbett over Christmas on ground that would not have really been soft enough for him and it was only his second run back after a Lay off. He then went to Haydock in horrid conditions and beat Turko (who has more than franked the form since) on ground he thrives on. He then ran in the Aintree Fox Hunters’ where he was still a huge danger when falling at the 14th. One slight worry is we don’t know how he will handle Cheltenham, but the ground will certainly be in his favour and that Haydock win is the best form in the race.
Tip - Unowatimeen
Alternative – Billyvoddan
This is a cracking contest and one I feel is quite hard to find the winner of. First of all I don’t fancy Palypso De Creek or Trifollet so they are the first to be crossed of the list. The other five though all have some sort of claims. Bradley has had a really good season and although he hasn’t won a hunter chase, he has won the Royal Artillery at Sandown and a Haydock Handicap of a mark of 125. Last month he ran a very solid race behind Ashkazar who was very much on a going day and was given a cracking ride by Timmy Murphy. He finished eighth in the Foxhunter in March and holds solid claims.
Keenan’s Future made his seasonal debut in when 12th in the Foxhunter, but he was running a good race until he tired late on. He then ran in the Aintree Fox Hunters’ last month and ran a cracker staying on to finish a close fourth after getting badly hampered at the 14th. The trip was probably sharp enough for him as well so stepping back up in trip is a plus and he is capable of going close.
Turko was the best of the three to run in the Foxhunter when he ran a huge race to finish fifth. He got hampered coming round the bend and was staying on well at the finish so he could easily have been placed with a clear run. He then went to Newton Abbot and easily beat Coombe Hill and as mentioned above ran well in heavy ground at Haydock prior to his Festival effort.
Offshore Account has had a really consistent season and the only blot on his copy book was when he unseated at Aintree last time. His jockey Nick Sutton is always going to be a concern though and that puts me of backing him, although I fully expected him to run his usual solid race.
I saw That’s Rhythm make his point-to-point debut at Charing back in January and neither horse nor jockey looked up to it as he made a horrendous blunder at the first. He was also 6/1 in what was a really weak race which he ended up being pulled up. That effort clearly brought both horse and jockey on as he was impressive in winning two points and then hacked up in a poor hunter chase at Bangor last time. My gut feeling is this race will be too hot for him now, but he clearly still has a reasonable amount of ability.
I like Bradley, but the weight he has to give away to the others is enough to put me off him. Turko has the best form this season and I am just making him the pick, although I will also be backing Keenan’s Future as he has shown real promise in both starts this season.
Tip – Turko
Alternative – Keenan’s Future
The biggest field of the night, but a lot of these appear to have no chance. The best two horses in the race are Special Portrait and last year’s winner Mid Div And Creep. Special Portrait only ran at Perth six days ago, but that was little more than an exercise canter really and I can’t believe that took too much out of him. He stays all day so the trip won’t be a problem and he handles this ground. He is the only horse who we can say that about and he has the class to go with it. As long as the Perth race hasn’t left mark he will take all the beating.
I like Mid Div And Creep a lot and it was a real shame she didn’t make it into the National Hunt Chase line up as she looked to have a decent chance at a big price. She hacked up in this race last year, but there has to be a doubt about her on this ground. At Plumpton on New Year’s Day she barely went a yard after being badly hampered at the first. Gina Andrews gave her a cracking ride to get her to finish third after that, but it’s hard to tell if she handled the ground or not given what happened in the race. If she does handle the ground she is a huge danger to Special Portrait.
The only other horse I can possibly see winning is Dear Villez who seems to be getting better with each start after a long Lay-off. He won a Mixed Open in testing ground ten days ago in easy fashion and was a decent horse under rules so if the other two falter he should be the one to take advantage. If anything else wins then it will be a pretty big shock to me although I should mention Horner Woods. He finished 2nd to Cooldine in the 2009 RSA Chase and has clearly had plenty of problems through his career. I have seen him run in both starts this season and he finished a decent second to Kilbeggan Blade in the Kent Grand National at Charing. He then returned to Charing and ran a very odd race although that might have been due to the jockey. It is interesting that connections have booked J T Carroll for the ride and he won on it when it won his maiden in 2007. I have to go on what I have seen of him this season though and the form of the two Charing runs just isn’t good enough to beat the fancied horses.
Tip – Special Portrait
Alternative – Mid Div And Creep
There may be a smaller field than usual for this race, but I would say the quality is better than it usually is. The obvious place to start is with I Have Dreamed who has looked really impressive the last twice in wins at Ascot and Kempton. I am kicking myself for not having backed him either of those times and I am going to pass him over again here. I just don’t think he is going to be suited by 2m5f round Cheltenham in testing conditions as I think it will put too much pressure on his stamina. He beat the hugely consistent Whizzar pretty easily at Kempton and I am not sure he is capable of reversing form. I’m not sure he will want the ground as testing as it is likely to be and he seems to be best going right handed.
Mustangsallyrally finally got his head in front again last time but he struggles to stick his head in front and is always one to oppose for betting purposes. Silver Story has beaten the useful Rosies Peacock in two point victories this season and wouldn’t be without a chance, but his jumping has always looked suspect under rules and that would be the big concern with backing him. Chorizo won a weak Mixed Open in March by 30L but it’s hard to back him after his Wincanton run prior to that. China Gold showed nothing at Stratford, whilst Total Containment looks outclassed.
That leaves us with Herons Well who I think looks the most likely winner. He needed the run at Sandown on seasonal debut, ran a good race in the Foxhunter until he started to tire and ran a superb race at Aintree when finishing third. He has proven he handles soft ground and this trip looks perfect for him given I feel anything 3m+ tests his stamina. He has only won once in eight hunter chase starts, but to me this looks the best opportunity he has had for a while and he can land the finale with I Have Dreamed being the danger if he stays.
Tip Herons Well
This looks as if it will be between the two horses who finished first and second here last month, Highland Cathedral and Beau Traveller. Highland Traveller hasn’t always been the best of jumpers and he did make mistakes on the way round which is always a slight concern. He did however win pretty well that day and I find it hard to see the form being reversed despite the weight pull. I think Beau Traveller fails to see out the trip and although he stayed on after being out paced last time, he was struggling on the long run in. With the ground set to be more testing that isn’t going to help him stay. Dontpassgo was carried out at the first in that race and went on to finish third at Sedgefield over shorter and he didn’t look to be the strongest stayer that day. Rapidolyte De Ladalka looks an improving type but he looked like he actually finished second instead of first two starts back and third instead of second behind Dontpassgo the time before. That suggests to me he has a bit to find to beat Highland Cathedral. _________________ @DarranPearce on twitter feel free to add me
310 Kempton - Side Glance (NAP)
Looks to be the class horse here. Consistently won in cl1. Last 2 runs were average, but 2nd run after xmas break, won last time in similar circumstances. Already support in the market which looks promising, I had this priced up as clear favourite and a win bet.
Terrific post by Addpea on the Hunter chase meeting, great effort.
After a poor attempt over the sticks yesterday, i'll keep to the flat!
Fazza 3.30 Pontefract, E Tuer.7/1 EW.
This looks a good betting race and although i expect the fav Edmaaj to go well looks like he could be overbet and little value. Edmaaj has a 6lb turnaround with Flying Applause which should entitle him to beat that horse today but Flying Applause is proven on these ground conditions and himself had a slow start in the same race, wouldn't be entirely suprised to see Flying Applause in front again but does run from a career high mark.
Wisemans Diamond has done me a few favours in the past and a mile is his best trip but i think this heavy going will stretch his stamina to the limit and is readily ruled over. Betteras Bertie is a strange horse as he generally looks very moderately then suddenly puts in a remarkable performance, has won twice at this course but both on Good ground, hopefully today won't be a going day but wouldn't entirely rule out.
The horse i'm backing ew is Fazza trained by E Tuer who does remarkably well with his small string of horses. This horse has improved considerably since joining him from D Arbuthnut and won 3 races last season rising from 59-75, but it was his run in defeat when 3rd to The Osteopath that was his best in October. That was run on heavy going over todays trip and btn only 2 lengths, The Osteopath won 1st time out this season on soft from a 2lb higher mark and had a very unlucky run at Ripon on sat, would surely have finished at least 2nd with a clear run to a very well h'capped horse in Memory Cloth.
Fazza is by Sulamali who has a very good record for his progeny on soft/heavy going and having had a pipe opener as Tuers usually do, looks a sporting EW bet against the fav.
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