Good morning all,
A resume of yesterday's events at Southwell on the main piece, with some weird happenings going on…
Plus a selection from Haydock today that's on the Eyecatchers list.
The day started off simply enough with Orchestrated reversing Newton Abbot form with Royale Django in the first race, which wasn't totally unexpected, but as soon as we started betting for race 2 the only one punters seemingly wanted (both on and off course) was Red Inca. On form he had a mountain to climb to beat the two principals, Utility and Snapdragon Fire, but was backed from 12-1 down to 4-1 all the same. When Utility fell three out it looked Snapdragon Fire's to lose, but he persisted to jump right and looked less than enthusiastic about going past Red Inca. The latter battled on more willingly to score, and Snapdragon Fire's resolution is now under question.
Jaxlight took the next as a short-priced in-form favourite should, but then another strange betting pattern occured in the next race. There had been steady money for David Jeffrys Dubai Outlaw in the next, all the way down from 33s to 11.5 on Betfair at the off, but what was more noticeable was the fact he went off a bigger price to place! You could back him at 14s on Betfair, place only, as they jumped off. Had someone's software gone mad? Or something more sinister? The horse finished well beaten and the trainer was asked to go to the stewards room, but I cannot find record of what was said. I shall keep looking.
Double Court got favourite backers back on track, and then we were treated to a real spectacle as Our Reward took the next. A couple of his owners had had their fivers with me, and when they collected, I told them to buy some lottery tickets, as luck was clearly with them! The horse was basically well behind and looked cooked with four to jump but leader Will O'The West threw the towel in on the home turn, and tried to pull himself up. With second at the time Slaine looking legless, once again showing 3m is too far, Our Reward started to plod on past him and by the time he'd got to the last, had caught the reluctant leader. Our Reward himself was tired jumping the last but he went away for the most unlikely of 8l victories.
And then a race that was basically a metaphor for both Dan Skelton and Olly Murphy's summers as their joint even-money favourites Smart Getaway and Simply Loveleh got themselves turned over by the moderate 50-odd Flat rated Princess Nearco, making her hurdling debut here. With Simply Loveleh finding nothing off the bridle and Smart Getaway only slightly more, she was left with little to beat and simply showed a more willing attitude than the other pair. Olly Murphy can't buy a winner at the moment and the Skeltons really aren't having the summer they had last year, or indeed anywhere near it. To be fair to the winner she took to this quite well, and might have a future at the game. The owner had a fiver on with me as well, that's how confident he was!
Strange day indeed!
Sadly I have to have a bet at Haydock today, much as I dislike betting there, as Panic Room (2.50) finally gets what he needs (I think) – a mile and soft ground. Yes, he's got a well bred Gosden newcomer to beat but you should never be scared of one horse and he's now caught the eye on both his starts so far. The way he finished off at Carlisle last time, pulling clear of the third, suggests this trip should be a plus and I really like his chance in first time cheekpieces here.
Good luck with all your bets today,