Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:54 pm Post subject: HORSE RACING THURSDAY - SELECTIONS
3.05 Aintree – Hunt Ball (3pt Win) (NAP)
Hunt Ball has been simply brilliant in handicaps over the six months and the handicapper has not been capable of keeping up with him, he defied a 73lbs rise in six months to land the Festival Handicap Chase at Cheltenham last month despite conceding weight all round but today will be a different story, he is out of the handicaps to run in the Betfred Bowl here at Aintree so it will be all about whether or not he has the quality today. He has now won seven from ten starts over fences; he has won five from seven in fields of eleven or fewer and is a previous winner on good to soft ground. He is 0-2 over this trip but has improved since out over it, he is obviously taking a big step up in class today, he won a listed race last time out which was a career high but now he comes into a Grade One race here and up against the likes of the Ryanair Chase winner Riverside Theatre, Burton Port who put in a good performance in the Gold Cup and the Racing Plus Chase winner Nacarat which means he will once again have to show plenty of improvement just to get involved here today but this runner keeps defying all the odds and keeps on improving with each run and he won fairly comfortable last time out and I believe will relish the step up in trip. The majority of this field have put in performances at this level in the past and Riverside Theatre looks to have an excellent chance of landing this race but I believe the fairy tale can continue here today and Hunt Ball will show further improvement by going on to land this race and send Anthony Knott to a whole new level of an emotional breakdown.
5.55 Wolverhampton – Bitter Lemon (3pt Win)
This race looks a shocker and because of that it will be a great opportunity for Bitter Lemon to finally rid of her maiden tag. She is currently 0-8 on the flat with five of those coming on the all-weather, four of which have come here at Wolverhampton including one course and distance. She has gone close a couple of times on the all-weather, both here at Wolverhampton and her run last time out over C&D was more encouraging than what she had produced in the past, she was third of thirteen and two and half lengths off the winner JJ Leary and today she comes here 1lb better off and up against a bunch of poor opponents. There are not too many of these who have got close to a win in the past and four of them are having their first runs on the all-weather. Jeremy Sue would have a chance but having to run off a long handicap which means she is 1lb higher than she should be and Maria Montez went close when last out over C&D but is 2lbs higher in the handicaps today. Not a race which I will be getting heavily involved with stake wise but a race which I believe is weak enough for Bitter Lemon to land her first win.
This looks a competitive three-year-old handicap which brings together some wholly unexposed sorts making their debut in this sphere following three runs, while there are a few that are already well versed in this sort of company though may not be open to as much as improvement.
The selection is a son of Holy Roman Emperor who is a half brother to his yard's high-class 6f 2yo winner (including the Coventry Stakes)/top-class miler Canford Cliffs out of an unraced half sister to 5f 2yo winner/smart US miler Pina Colada, useful 6f 2yo winner Baltic Dip, triple 1m 1f AW winner Trois and 10f Flat/2m 4f hurdle winner Triple Sharp out of a maiden daughter of very smart UK/US 6-9f winner Triple Tipple. This colt is trained by Richard Hannon and made his debut in a traditionally strong 7f maiden at Newmarket (July) last August, sent off an unfancied 66/1 chance; caught the eye with the way in which he travelled for a long way, keen on the outer in midfield but making some progress from over two furlongs out, unable to sustain that forward move entering the final furlong and fading to finish eighth of 15 behind subsequent Dewhurst third Most Improved (beaten 11½ lengths). He again shaped better than the bare result when finishing seventh of nine in a 7f median auction maiden at Epsom the following month, unfancied in the market beforehand once again (20/1); missed the break and raced well off the pace throughout, proving a shade keen, unable to get anywhere near the principals but very much looked after throughout the final furlong two furlongs (beaten 7¾ lengths). His third and final outing came in a 1m maiden at Salisbury in October, going off a 16/1 chance; took a keen hold again as he raced in mid-division, few going better than this colt passing the three furlong marker, but he was unable to make any impression in the final two furlongs and was looked after once held, slightly hampered approaching the final furlong and eased off thereafter as he came home 10th of 14 behind Bonfire (beaten 14 lengths). This nicely bred colt can be expected to do much better now going handicapping off what looks a potentially very lenient opening mark of 65, and his pedigree coupled with his free-going nature last season strongly suggests that this step back in distance to six furlongs will suit well. The maidens he contested both on debut and last time out were above average, and the fact this son of Holy Roman Emperor was able to travel so well for two-thirds of the way on both occasions indicates he has a fair amount of ability waiting to be exploited in this sphere; booking of Ryan Moore very much a positive, and it would be something of a disappointment if this colt couldn't get off the mark here on his handicap bow.
The Roger Varian trained Al Freej is a daughter of Iffraaj who has raced exclusively on the all-weather so far, finishing second behind Decision By One in a 6f auction maiden at Wolverhampton last November on her sole outing as a juvenile, keeping on well inside the final furlong to come home 1¼ lengths adrift at the line. She still appeared to be in need of the experience when runner-up in a similar contest over the same distance at Lingfield at the beginning of this year; missed the kick and was immediately on the back foot as a result, ridden over a furlong out and still having a fair bit to do, staying on throughout the final furlong but never getting to winner and useful AW performer Switzerland, going down by 1¾ lengths. She made no mistake next time when stepped back to the minimum trip at Wolverhampton, duly obliging at odds of 1/6 against a quartet of modest types; going strongly on the front end throughout, she coasted clear inside the final furlong to come home an effortless 2¼ length winner from El McGlynn. Her latest outing saw her contest a handicap over the same course and distance from an opening mark of 73, going off the 5/6 market leader; raced towards the rear and was ridden along passing the two furlong marker, taking her time to hit full flow before staying on for pressure throughout the final furlong to finish fourth behind Redair (beaten 3¾ lengths). It was a disappointing effort from this filly, appearing to find the five furlong trip on the sharp side despite winning over it last time albeit in a much weaker race; hails from a top stable that has began 2012 in good form and unwise to write her off just yet on the basis of one below par run, particularly now that she tackles an extra furlong on her turf debut (shaped as though a return to 6f would suit last time), but does arrive here with a little bit to prove after that.
The Stuart Williams trained Welease Bwian is a son of Kheleyf who was clearly brought along last season in maidens with handicapping in mind, contesting a trio of maidens ranging from 5-7f on turf at Sandown and here (twice), keen but travelling comfortably until halfway on his first two runs before tailing off on his third and qualifying run over 7f here. He predictably showed improvement when runner-up over 5f on his handicap bow at Kempton (prominent in market), and he went one better on his reappearance run over the same distance in a similar contest at Wolverhampton, travelling supremely well throughout and essentially winning on the bridle, scoring by ¾ length from Villa Reigns. He narrowly failed to follow up under a penalty seven days later when going down by a nose to Lady Caprice in a 5f handicap at Lingfield (1/2 favourite), staying on well throughout the final furlong but proving unable to go past the determined winner. He remains unexposed in this sphere, and the form of his latest run has been boosted by the third and fourth placed horses winning handicaps since; slight question mark as to whether this extra furlong will suit (can be free; wears a tongue tie), but an improving sort who ought not to be too far away if seeing out the extra furlong effectively now back on grass; 11lbs higher than when winning his handicap at Wolverhampton.
The Chris Wall trained Foot Tapper is a son of Invincible Spirit who was in clear need of the outing when debuting in a decent 6f maiden at Newbury last September, slowly away and pushed along from an early stage, never competitive at any stage and coming home last of 11 behind Accession (beaten 22 lengths). He showed the benefit for that debut run when contesting a 6f maiden at Yarmouth a month later, going off a not unfancied 12/1 chance; bounced out and attempted to make all, ridden two furlongs out and soon joined by strong-travelling eventual winner Almajaheer, headed approaching the final furlong and one paced inside the final furlong as he came home in fourth (beaten 4¾ lengths). His third and most recent outing came in a 6f maiden at Doncaster on the final day of last season, for which he was sent off a 14/1 chance; raced in behind the leaders until ridden and losing his place two furlongs out, holding his position but unable to quicken thereafter as he finished ninth of 15 behind Brick Tops (beaten 8 lengths). He is bred to do a lot better in time (dam a dual Group 3 winner over 7f) and an opening mark of 67 doesn't look overbearing by any means; comes from a stable that does well with these types of horses, and absolutely no surprise to see this son of Invincible Spirit go well on his handicap debut here.
The Henry Candy trained School Fees is a daughter of Royal Applause who made the frame on all four of her outing at two, kicking off with a third place finish behind Pink Sapphire in a 5f fillies' maiden at Salisbury last May when finishing off to good effect having missed the break. She shaped as though in need of further next time when finishing third behind Chunky Diamond in a 5f maiden at Windsor, raced up with the leaders until ridden and quickly outpaced passing the two furlong marker, rallying for pressure inside the final furlong to stay on and make the frame (beaten 3¼ lengths). Her next outing came over this course and distance when contesting a maiden contest, for which she was sent off a 2/1 chance; attempted to make all, ridden and joined well over a furlong out, responding gamely for pressure throughout the final furlong in a protracted duel with the eventual winner until headed in the final strides, going down to Ewell Place by a head. Her final outing at two saw her contest a 6f nursery at Warwick from a mark of 74, going off at odds of 7/1; once again looked to make all, ridden over two furlongs out and headed soon after, battling on for pressure thereafter but proving unable to quicken as she came home in third behind the impressive Stepper Point (beaten 6¼ lengths). She has shown a consistent level of form so far, and the nursery which she contested last time out has worked out nicely with the winner scoring at Listed level next time and the fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth and 12th placed horse all winners since; respected, for all she did appear to have her limitations last term.
The Mahmood Al Zarooni trained Light Burst is a US-bred son of Hard Spun who hinted at ability despite finishing last of four behind Sixx in a 5f maiden at Salisbury last May, and he still appeared in need of the experience some four months later when fourth of nine behind Famous Poet in a 6f maiden at Warwick, keen and then showing signs of greenness off the bridle. He didn't do his chances any good by refusing to settle when contesting a 7f maiden at Leicester on his final outing at two, keen under restraint and proving unable to sustain his forward move approaching the final furlong as he faded tamely to eventually come home in tenth behind Afaal (beaten 12 lengths). He has displayed an awkward head carriage in the past and it could be that this colt isn't the most straightforward of individuals, refusing to settle the last twice and fading quickly out of things at the business end. However, he is another in the field that is bred to do a lot better than he has shown so far, and an opening mark of 63 allows him to begin life in this sphere at a lowly level; fact he has been kept on by top connections is also encouraging, for all he is clearly one of their lesser lights, and he cannot be confidently ruled out receiving weight all round here.
This looks a decent enough maiden in which four of these contested the same 10f maiden at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago, a couple in particular shaping with enough promise to suggest their turn wasn't too far away, while there is also one that ran well on a couple of outings at two and a newcomer from a top stable to add further interest to an already good contest.
The selection is a son of Montjeu who is closely related to very smart Irish/UAE 1m-2m winner (including at Group 2/Group 3 level) Mikhail Glinka (by Galileo) out of a 12f 3yo winner who was a full sister to Dewhurst/Derby winner/2000 Guineas runner-up Sir Percy and useful 9-11f winner Love Token out of a smart middle distance performer who was a half sister to top-class 8-11f winner (including at Grade 1 level in Canada) Braiswick, family of Al Bahathri, Teenoso etc. This well-bred colt is trained by Aidan O'Brien and made his debut outing in a 10f maiden at Leopardstown 15 days ago, for which he went off a largely ignored 14/1 chance; raced towards the rear of the field, shaken up and making eyecatching headway on the inner in between the three and two furlong markers, going into third place, but he was unable to sustain that forward move and steadily faded from over a furlong out under a considerate ride to come home in fifth behind Azamata (beaten 5¼ lengths). It was an extremely promising debut effort from this well-regarded colt, shaping as though fitness was the main issue having made a very promising forward move from the three furlong marker, not unduly knocked about once held over a furlong out. He is bred to excel over this extra distance (close relation won a Queen's Vase over 2m) and he ought to strip much fitter for that debut run (yard's newcomers tend to improve greatly for the run at this time of year); has some three lengths to find with the re-opposing third from his debut run, but now has the benefit of experience and ought to prove capable of reversing the placings as a result; surprising if he doesn't go very well here.
The Dermot Weld trained Calgacus is a son of Galileo who is a half brother to connections' useful 5f 2yo winner Oor Jock out of a UK 6f 2yo/very smart multiple US 6-9f winner (including at Grade 2 level) from the family of very smart 5f-1m winner (including at Group 2/3 level) King Jock and high-class triple 7f winner (including at Group 3 level) Perfect Touch. This colt made his debut outing in the same 1m maiden at the Curragh last backend as the re-opposing Azamata, sent off a not unfancied 13/2 chance; raced in behind the pacesetters, pushed along three furlongs out and ridden passing the two furlong marker, unable to make any impression as he came home a soundly held tenth behind Imperial Monarch (beaten 19 lengths). He stepped up significantly on that low-key debut effort when contesting that 10f maiden at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago (16/1); raced out wide in midfield until pushed along passing the three furlong marker, making headway from two furlongs out and staying on well inside the final furlong for pressure to finish third behind Azamata (beaten 2 lengths). It was a vast improvement on what he had achieved on debut, finishing off his race to much better effect and looking as though the additional two furlongs on offer here would suit well; holds Chicago on that debut running, but that rival wasn't given anywhere near as hard a time as this colt and is also bred to thrive over middle distances, so not absolutely guaranteed this son of Galileo will confirm the placings on this occasion.
John Oxx is double handed here, the first string being the Johnny Murtagh ridden Waving, a son of High Chaparral who is a half brother to 8-15f Flat/very useful 2m-2m 4f hurdle/triple 2m chase winner Fait Le Jojo and useful 12f-2m Flat/2m hurdle winner Timing, out of a useful French sprinter (Listed placed). This colt made his debut outing in a 1m maiden at the Curragh on the opening day of the Irish Flat season, going off an 11/1 chance; raced towards the rear of the field, pushed along and outpaced in last at halfway, but he gradually began to grasp what was required of him as the race wore on and began to stay on for pressure from over a furlong out, eventually coming home sixth of 15 behind Amira's Prince (beaten 15½ lengths). It wasn't too bad a start from this colt considering he is bred to be effective over much further than a mile, and he did finish off to good effect having been badly outpaced passing halfway; will need to improve a fair bit in order to land a maiden of this quality (holds no fancy entries either), but Johnny Murtagh has decided to stick with him and no telling how much improvement the extra half mile will elicit from this stoutly-bred son of High Chaparral.
Stablemate Badged is a gelded son of High Chaparral who is a full brother to 10f 3yo winner Misty Isles and closely related to very useful 1m-2m winner Montaff (placed at Group 2/3 level; by Montjeu) and a half brother to useful 5-6f winner Tangled Up In Blue, out of a triple 7f winner who was the daughter of a Irish 1000 Guineas third Umniyatee, herself a half sister to Oaks winner Eswarah and the daughter of 1000 Guineas/Oaks winner Midway Lady. This nicely bred gelding debuted in a 1m maiden at Leopardstown last backend, for which he was sent off an unfancied 20/1 chance; raced towards the rear of the field throughout and was never at any stage involved, pushed along three furlongs out and slightly hampered, one paced down the home straight as he finished up 12th of 19 behind Thomasgainsborough (beaten 16 lengths). He made his reappearance at the same track last month when contesting the same 10f maiden at Chicago and Calgacus, going off an unfancied 25/1 chance (stable second string); raced in midfield and was ridden along over three furlongs out, hampered at the top of the straight but going nowhere at the time, plugging on at the same pace thereafter to come home a soundly held seventh behind Azamata (beaten 7¾ lengths). He has shaped so far as though a thorough stayer in the making, quickly in trouble once the pace lifted on both outings to date; passed over by Johnny Murtagh once again here, and staying handicaps from what is likely to be a lowly mark are sure to see this nicely bred gelding in a better light.
The Ken Condon trained Macbeth is a son of Acclamation who shaped with promise on his debut outing in a 1m maiden at Navan last October, going off an unconsidered 20/1 chance but outrunning those dismissive odds to an extent, towards the rear but making significant progress from three furlongs out, never in striking distance of the leaders but sticking on for pressure all the way to the line to finish fourth behind Quote Of The Day (beaten 8 lengths). He improved on that effort when contesting a maiden over the same course and distance a fortnight later, going off the 3/1 joint-favourite; raced closer to the action on this occasion, ridden three furlongs out and holding every chance passing the two furlong marker, but he proved one paced for pressure inside the final furlong and had to settle for third behind Tower Rock (beaten ¾ lengths). He has shaped as though middle distances would suit him eventually, that despite his pedigree largely suggesting much shorter ought to suit; form of those two runs at Navan last backend yet to work out, however, and likely that he will need to improve a fair amount for the extra half a mile on offer here to get off the mark at the third time of asking.
The Tommy Stack trained Coin Of Courage is a son of Dylan Thomas who is a half brother to useful 12f 3yo winner Darghar, 11f-2m Flat/triple 2m hurdle winner Concrete And Clay, 1m Flat/2m hurdle/chase winner Rehearsal and dual bumper winner Daramsan, out of an unraced half sister to high-class French middle distance performer Daraydala, smart French 10f 2yo winner Darashandeh (placed at Listed level; later dam of French Derby winner Darsi) and very useful French middle distance stayer Daraliya out of a smart middle distance/staying performer from a smart family. This colt's sole outing at two came in a 1m maiden at Leopardstown towards the end of last season, going off an unconsidered 25/1 chance; raced a little worse than midfield, pushed along towards the outside two furlongs out and unable to make any significant impact despite keeping on as he came home in eleventh behind Thomasgainsborough (beaten 7¾ lengths). His pedigree points to significant improvement this year over middle distances and he comes from a respected stable, but he didn't really show enough first time up to suggest he would be of any real interest next time and this looks a warm enough maiden in which to confirm the modicum of promise shown on debut.
The only newcomer in the field is the Jim Bolger trained Night Invader, a son of Teofilo who is a half brother to 7f 3yo winner Gleadhradh out of an unraced who was a half sister to 1m 2yo AW winner Trimaran out of a 7f 2yo winner in France who was a half sister to 1000 Guineas/Champion Stakes winner Hatoof and very smart US miler Irish Prize. This colt makes some appeal on pedigree, being a half brother to a winner for these connections and out of an unraced mare from the family of Group 1 winning milers Hatoof and Irish Prize, so it is slightly disconcerting to see this son of Teofilo debut over this mile and a half distance. However, he does hold an entry in the Group 3 Ballysax Stakes over 10f later this week, suggesting that he has shown some promise at home and also shapes as though this trip will be within his compass at some stage; still best watched on this occasion against more experienced rivals unless the market strongly suggests otherwise. _________________ Horses To Follow 2013 - Flat
Joined: 20 Feb 2009
Location: County Durham
Cash Winnings: 1825
Free Bets Won: 70
Posted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:48 pm Post subject:
2:00 Aintree - Won In The Dark - EW @ 100/1
Big Buck's isn't worth backing at these odds, he will get beat one day as he cannot go on winning forever, until he does i am happy to look at the place market for his races.
Smad Place ran a great race @ Cheltenham to finish 3rd, 9 lengths behind Big Buck's but that might have taken a lot out of him with him being only a 5yo.
Won In The Dark finished 3rd in this race last year at 66/1, like last year he was kept away from Cheltenham and ran in the same race at Cork.
He doesn't win very often but always seems to run his race and never gets well beaten, in 2010 he finished 4th here behind Kyber Kim.
Another run like either of those 2 will see him grab a place again.
2:30 Aintree - Hinterland @ 10/1
4 of the first 6 from the Triumph Hurdle re-oppose again here, add into the mix Pearl Swan and we might have a cracking race on our hands.
Triumph Hurdle winner Countrywide Flame has had a long old season, he had his first hurdle run back in October after having a flat campaign too, he might have come to the end of his season.
The horse that interests me is Hinterland, a long time fancy for the Triumph Hurdle, he missed the race after disappointing in a handicap hurdle back in January.
He will be a lot fresher than most of those and a lot of Juveniles struggle at Aintree after having a good run @ Cheltenham
3:05 Aintree - NAP - Burton Port @ 9/2
Riverside Theatre has won 2 out of 2 since returning from injury, he won the Ryanair Chase at the festival, with Medermit a length back in 3rd.
He has yet to run this far, only once has he tried 3 miles and he was a distant 2nd behind Long Run although ran better than the rest.
Medermit was fortunate to win @ Exeter at the start of the season when Captain Chris unseated his rider, he has been game all season without getting his head back in front.
Hunt Ball has gone from strength to strength this year but we have to remember that when he won his first handicap back in January he was running off a mark of just 108, he runs off level weights today against horses rated in the 160's.
Burton Port ran a fine race when 2nd after such a long Lay off back in February behind Long Run, he improved again to finish 4th in the Gold Cup, he tired approaching the last.
Now on a flatter surface he can finally get his head in front after 2 years.
3:40 Aintree - My Way de Solzen @ 7/1
My Way De Solzen ran for the first time in 2 years at Hereford and you would tyink he not been away from racing at all.
He won by an increasing 9 lengths and proved that he is still capable of running in a top grade handicap off his current mark of 135.
Gwanako is still only 9 and has won both of his starts this season, he won over 2m 4f twice at Sandown, both easily enough and is the current favourite for the race.
I expect some improvement from My Way de Solzen even though he is a 12yo, he has only had 6 runs in the last 2 years and he can take all the beating in this.
4:15 Aintree - Free World @ 12/1
Again we almost have a rerun of a Cheltenham festival, this time in the shape of the Grand Annual, no fewer than 8 of that field contest this race.
Tanks For That ran the best, finishing 2nd and as a result is worse off with every other runner that day, also worse off is 3rd placed Kumbeshwar.
Edgardo Sol has been running in hurdles races for the past 5 races since winning here over 2 miles back in October, he runs today off a 16lb higher mark than he did that day so will to improve a lot to figure here.
Free World was travelling well and getting ready to challenge when he fell 5 out in the Grand Annual, he won in August off 144 and runs today of 135, the same rating he had at Cheltenham when running well until falling.
He can get back into the winners enclosure today over his favoured trip.
4:50 Aintree - NB - Pepite Rose @ 100/30
Al Ferof was well fancied for the Arkle and struggled home in 4th place, Menorah didn't do much better, he finished 3rd.
Menorah finished just under 4 lengths ahead of Al Ferof and they could run a close race again today.
Cristal Bonus was struggling when pulled up in the Jewson Novices and will need to improve on all form if he is to win here.
Alasi has been running well in Mares only races, including 4th behind Quevega in the Mares Hurdle, again a personal best is required here to beat the boys.
Pepite Rose is 4 from 4 in Chases, her first chase was over 2m 1f @ Bangor and she won easily by 12 lengths, she then went to Newbury and eased to a 15 length win.
Her next run was 3 runner race and again she won easily, only by 5 lengths but it could have been 15 if she was pushed out.
Last time out she ran her best race to date, she won a class 1 chase over 2m 6f by 9 lengths and never looked in danger.
This trip is ideal for her and she gets a nice 7lb mares allowance from the boys and she can win again
5:25 Aintree - Deireadh Re - EW @ 18/1
Yet another race with so many runners from the Cheltenham festival and quite a few of those come here with a bit of form and have a good chance.
But for me i have to go for a fresher horse who bypassed Cheltenham but could easily have ran there and done himself justice.
Deireadh Re has only had 5 runs in Britain and has won 3 of them, in June of last year he won a 3m maiden hurdle @ Worcester by 2 and a half length, the 3rd placed horse was well behind.
He then went to Ascot and couldn't quite give 5lb to a decent debutant, but they finished well ahead of the 3rd place.
His best run was back in December when looking well beaten he stayed on really well up the hill @ Cheltenham to win going away, he won again on Boxing Day.
He flopped last time out @ Newbury, although something didn't look quite right and he hasn't seen a racecourse since.
He is 5lb better of with Gullinbursti but if something was amiss then he should be in the mix here.
Another tough looking handicap but fancy one strongly I backed Veiled last time in the Coral Cup and was behind Son Of Flicka and is better off at the weights now and Get Me Out Of Here boosted the form when winning at Fairyhouse a few days ago Many feel Veiled will not last home now up in trip but for me its ideal and won last june on the flat over 2 mile 4 furlong so could excel at this trip over hurdles Very good win ratio and won five from eight races on turf and win three races over jumps in just eight races Aintrees flat track will be ideal and a massive price here
ISLAND LIFE in the foxehunters the trainer is in good form with the hunters and this one as come good at the right time if takes to the fences will enjoy this Fingers Crossed
5 20 GULLINBURSTI beat grand vision giving more than a stone trip grd ok
2 prep runs missed chelt for this Fingers Crossed
RESTLESS HARRY looks a good price to play with, in the thinking of an eachway, as BIG BUCKS has proved on numerous times he is very hard to get out of second gear. With the ground being on the soft side of good, RESTLESS HARRY can be one of those horses who can handle these conditions and chase the Nicholls horse home. RESTLESS HARRY has seen the backside of BIG BUCKS, four times and the closest he has been to him was at Newbury where there was only six lengths between them with Lough Derg in between them, this was back in 2010. RESTLESS HARRY won at Haydock in the heavy last February, He is a horse that has to be treated with care as he seems to be injury prone.
Alan King's yard was going through a quiet spell when Cheltenham came around, his horses were under a cloud but they have a look as if they are starting to find there form again and this classy four year old can show he is on top of his game this afternoon on rain soften ground. The flat track will suit compared to the hill at cheltenham, he will be able to quicken after the last and with him able to travel through his races, he can change gear on soft, which some of his oppenents might struggle.Did win well at Kempton before Cheltenham and would of won easerly at Newbury on the soft except he fell at the last. Pearl Swan will have to step up his game to beat GRUMETI, as there was a shorthead between them at Cheltenham in January.
How can you desert a horse of potential to go onto even better things. Soft ground will not worry him, might slow the others down. Since going chasing he has won seven races out of ten, his first race was at Wincanton over fences and he was pulled up then he was tailed off at Cheltenham this was back in April 2011. The horse started the new season with a win at Folkestone, this is where things started to click, he has a second squashed in between these wins and he was beaten 3/4 length by Time To Think at Plumpton on heavy ground. Since then he has not seen another horse in front of him and he showed his class with a classy win at Cheltenham staying on strongly at the finish, he could be doing the same again here today.
TARA ROYAL EACHWAY
A cracking race to try and work out, with form from Cheltenham being the main factor, (or is it). TARA ROYAL ran a great race even though he finished in the ruck, he had every chance two from home but for a bit of a blunder, stopped his momentum. With Aintree being a flat track might not suit many here and with soft ground on show, might find many out. TARA ROYAL had a spin at Musselburgh a flat sharp track and handled this track well, as he won nicely after racing prominently. Jason Maquire is back in the saddle and with 10-10 on his back and the flat track to suit could be a surprise here at a attractive price. Donald McCain stable has been in good form during the winter and this one could be another to be involved at the business end.
I'll probably go against the flow here with Medermit and his questionable jumping but he hasn't fallen yet in his career and has run some great races only to be outspeeded at shorter distances. He has always looked to me like a stepup in distance will help and he gets the chance to outstay Riverside Theatre this time who is stepped up in trip.
Henderson is running another two horses in the race from which Burton Port is the danger but he is at his best on slightly shorter distance as shown against Long Run and he will be tiring at the end hopefully to be outrun.
Hunt Ball has been impressive, but against what?...Donkeys. I'll leave him win at this price. I don't like any of the rest unless Diamond Harry springs a suprise. _________________ The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits
I would have fancied him the last time but I thought he wouldn't stay the trip and he didn't, although he ran a great race only to weaken at the finish.
He is well handicapped to win now, shorter trip to suit and a course and distance winner of a mark of 58, running now of 49, not a bad draw either. Great chances. _________________ The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits
I'm firmly of the opinion and putting all my eggs in one basket preparing to get egg on my face that the Triumph form will be very different in the Juvenile Grade 1 tomorrow. I don't think the flatter track will suit Countrywide Flame, and his flat form performing better at tracks like Hamilton would confirm this. The Nicholls yard were out of form for Cheltenham but in the past few weeks they've been in terrific form and he has three strong hands here. Pearl Swan fell two out staying on at Cheltenham, but may need further than the bare 2m. Dodging Bullets has a chance but still has work to do to reverse form with Grumeti. Hinterland may be the dark horse and the best chance of the trio coming here fresh and the flatter track looking likely to suit better than the stiff Cheltenham finish. The others all look outclassed and that leaves me with Grumeti and Sadler's Risk. This flatter track will undoubtedly suit Grumeti and is probably a worthy favourite, however at the prices I'm leaning towards Sadler's Risk. Considering how fast he went off at Cheltenham and had to go up the home straight twice, the first time at a furious pace to ensure the lead, that probably took it's toll, and he wasn't headed until just over 1f out. With the slight drop back in distance, the smaller field, and the less undulating track I'm confident Sadler's Risk will have a more sustained effort and is value against his rivals.
The Betfred Bowl is a cracking renewal and a case could be made for nearly all of the runners. Carruthers has won the Hennessy this season but was outclassed in the Gold Cup and will struggle again here. Follow The Plan was third in this last year, but this year it is a much stronger renewal. It's difficult to envisage Roberto Goldback troubling many of these after a poor run in handicap company behind subsequent Irish National 4th Paddy Pub. Master of The Hall has a very creditable strike rate and is progressive, however has a fair bit to find, particularly with his two stable companions but he does have course and distance form and won't mind the ground. Diamond Harry beat Burton Port in the Hennessy at the end of 2010 but has been disappointed since, and it is hard to see him conforming any semblance of that form with Burton Port considering the improvement that has shown. Nacarat won this race last year but that was an average renewal with Denman disappointing as he did. A horse who saves his best for Kempton and while he doesn't have much to find, should struggle to retain his crown. What A Friend is a talented but frustrating customer, he landed this prize in 2010 but has struggled since. Is reunited with Ruby and after falling at the second at Cheltenham will be more fresh than others, and with the Nicholls stable in great form you shouldn't write him off. Burton Port has ran well both occasions this term and stands a good chance, however I'm always skeptical of backing a horse after running in the Gold Cup as it takes so much out of a horse. Hunt Ball is definitely the most intriguing runner in the field after his astonishing improvement throughout the season, culminating in a brilliant victory off 12 stone at Cheltenham. However, he has yet to face opposition of this caliber and at the prices he doesn't interest me. This leaves me with two who contested the Ryanair finish. Neither are proven over this trip and while Riverside Theatre is the top rated in this field, I feel Medermit will be suited to the extra distance and will hopefully find the improvement to win this. Medermit has been behind Riverside Theatre on both of the past two occasions but hopefully with the extra distance it will unlock further improvement in the 8yo Alan King trained Gelding and he can land another Grade 1 success he deserves for his consistency.
The step up in distance should suit Al Ferof. This is a pretty weak race and there are question marks surrounding the jumping of Menorah. Pepite Rose is a potential fly in the ointment but Al Ferof is top class and I find it difficult barring accidents to see him getting beat. He tried to live with the pace of Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham and payed the price but the third to Somersby and Finian's Rainbow is top class and any price above evens for Al Ferof is value in my eyes.
2:30 Aintree Countrywide Flame 6
"The market is fairly tight for the Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle on day one as it usually is, but I am of the opinion we have false favourite in Grumeti. I cant say i'm enamoured with Big Bucks in the first race at such short odds either as he did look vulnerable at Cheltenham but anyway, that's gone already and the focus is on finding the winner here. Grumeti hsa been beaten by both PearlSwan previously in the Triump Trial at Cheltenham, although it has to be said Grumeti was impressive following upby winning at Kempton in the Dovecote, but was then subsequently beaten well by COuntrywide Flame at fancy odds in the actualy Triumph hurdle at Cheltenham. I see no reason really why things might chance, Pearl Swan was already not going an inch before coming to grief in the race and the selection should be a shorter price arguably. Dodging Bullets has got into the top end of the market but again, comfortably beaten at Cheltenham, three of these top four could leave their form at Cheltenham. Hinterland is the only other one i think could be competitive. Pearl Swan is the biggest danger if finding the form of the race against Grumeti which he won but was subsequently disqualified from, but after the Triumph, Countrywide Flame looks an obvious selection"
4:15 Aintree Edgardo Sol 6.5
"I think this is a really fascinating race and more fascinating is that despite a relatively bad Cheltenham for Paul Nichols,this one ran well enough in the Vincent O Brien County Handicap hurdle for the yard, finishing second to Alderwood on the day, before coming to Aintree and returning to Chasing for the first time since winning here over course and distance in October. It looks plotty to me, it'snot overly disguised and he hold the favourites berth i the market as a result. Now, it is plain to see he will have to improve upon the win here last year if he is to win this, and this bet is being made with a deal of supposition, which I am not likened to do, but i have a gut feeling as well with this one, he jumps nicely enough and goes off a mark which holds him on a mark seven below Tank for That, who but for a huge imposte would rate as the biggest threat to the selection, but of the Henderson pair, one would have to favour Kid Cassidy. despite being favourite for the Johnny Henderson at Cheltenham he never looked right on the day and has to bounce back for this, i dont take him to do so and as such will stick with Edgardo Sol to deliver every ounce of the promise and expectation that rests on his Quarters for this race"
4:50 Aintree NAPPepite Rose 4
"With more runners i might have been tempted to go for the outsider of this bunch in the OLBG Mares Hurdle 4th place finisher ALASI. She ran creditably in the also rans behind Quevega in the race, and is now returned to fences where she won here first two attempts before unseating at Kempton in January and being aimed at the mares event at the Festival. I think one will be too good for her and that one will be the other Mare, Pepite Rose. More of her in a moment, but quickly,Al Ferof has gone off the boil for me.He was well beaten int he Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot and for that reason I was surprised to see him turned out in the Arkle in the end where he was soundly beaten not only by Sprinter Sacre but by Cue Card and the re opposing Menorah too.Cristal Bonus was another of those Ditcheat runners from Paul Nichols who didn't live up to expectation at Cheltenhamand could be expected to do better but is not fancied for this today. So Pepite Rose it is. Not a Blot on the form book to date, Cheltenham was swerved in preference for this and the set up race was at Newbury where she simply sauntered around to beat Hows Business into second by an easy 9 lengths and Gan On over 30 lengths adrift. She is only 5yo, gets her mares allowance and can improve again and with a performance any better than Newbury,i think she will have this in the bag. She is my NAP of day 1" _________________ "He's good enough for me. I won't say he's a superhorse because you're never a superhorse until you're retired. Any horse can be beaten on any given day.”
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