Good morning all,
The final part of my reviews from the weekend's racing. Have to say it's been good to get back out on the tracks, even if the racing isn't the greatest at some of the venues at present.
There are a couple for trackers, plus a few to keep an eye on at Chelmsford tonight, where I've done the card for the Life.
12.30 – 2m Maiden Hurdle
Those of you that read these missives regularly will know I’m a big fan of Paddy’s Poem as a project and the 25-1 available the night before was something of a joke price. I had a bit of that each-way, and backed him again on course at 22’s once I had seen him in the paddock. He really does catch the eye and now he gets a mark, will be of even more interest. He’s once again travelled well and only gave best late in the day. Another pleasing effort.
Favourite Marley Firth looked fine but came under pressure some way out, and was well beaten with no obvious excuse. Winner Jaisalmer was not what I expected when he came into the paddock but did this well enough, leading some way out and galloping most of them into submission. He’s probably run to a similar standard as last time and gives the form a reasonable look. I didn’t mind second home Miss Adventure in the paddock either, she’s got some scope about her and the 1-2-3 looks perfectly believable to me, despite some big prices filling the frame.
Of the rest, Abbey Street looks a long-term project, Age Of Wisdom needed the run, Hier Encore is small and appears very limited and the flashing grey Rebel Collins, who has plenty of size about him, passed a few late on and this was clearly a sighter for handicaps.
1.35 – 2m4½f Novice Hurdle
In the paddock, favourite Harefield looked very fit and well, as did second in Game On and it terms of fitness these two did look head and shoulders above everything else. That’s not to say there’s not others of interest in there – in fact, a few of these should be of interest. Glen Rocco looks one for further when handicapped – he was never put in the race and inherited third late when Harefield fell at the last, but he’s a decent type that should be up to winning. Halfway down the back I was starting to kick myself for not backing Ballintara each-way, he kept catching the eye in the paddock and although he probably needed this after a small break, looked well and will do even better over fences. Don’t be fooled by a 100-1 price tag here -he’s got ability and will win a race or two. Flemenskill looked like he needed a run (and ran like it too), Neyja Blue is one for the long term and I Am Sam attracted a bit of support at big prices and it wasn’t hard to see why – he too is crying out for a fence (chase winners over 3m in the family) and wasn’t totally disgraced here. Could work out okay, this race, and Ballintara and Glen Rocco should go in trackers.
I went to Fontwell the following day and frankly, the less said about it the better. A crowd of about 800 of us, if that, were there in the dark, dank conditions to watch some moderate horses and I made a couple of fundamental punting mistakes along the way that saw me erode most of the previous two days profits down the drain. If ever you want to take a favourite on, make sure that not only are you taking it on for the right reasons (I was) but also that the opposition are capable of winning, i.e, have conditions in their favour. Twice I didn’t do that and twice paid the penalty. A most annoying day then, and there was so little to talk about.
The mares maiden hurdle that kicked off the card didn’t look great on paper, but at least My Dance did this nicely and is going the right way. Can’t say much for the rest, although Tierra Verde looked big enough and should come on for the run. She can do better.
At the other end of the day, Seaston Spirit took the other maiden hurdle on the card, despite some sloppy jumping, but maybe Waikiki Beach is the one to keep an eye on. He’s not the biggest but was pretty fit here, and was spotted coming home quite well. Once finding better ground, and going into a handicap, there could be a race to be won with him.
It would be fair to say I can;t tip rubbish out of a barrow at the moment, so go careful with these, but I've done the Chelmsford card for the Sporting Life website today and there's a few at prices I like.
There's already been money for Van Huysen in the 7.00, which I'll take as a good sign, as I thought he should be a bit shorter than the overnight prices. He's given indications that all is not lost with him, despite some middling form figures, and this looks a more suitable test. I wasn't keen on many of the front ones in the staying handicap that followed at 7.30 and I've had two small darts at Topalova and Seas Aria, and it's really interesting to see a bit of money for Clearance in the 8.00 – no form at all to speak of, but is related to a couple of sand winners and might improve for the switch of surface. Jazz Affair looks a bit too big in the 8.30, he should get this run to suit his come-from-behind style and isn't out of it. Just one of these would do!
Today's selection – Jazz Affair 8.30 Chelmsford
Good luck with all your bets today,