Good morning all,
The countdown to the Festival is really on now and I'll try and bring you my updated thoughts on many of the big races over the next four weeks. Festival week itself is pretty hectic for me, so hopefully by the time it comes around you'll have a good idea of where I'll be heading with my selections, and more to the point, why!
So we'll start with the Supreme, which seems as good a place as any. Plus a selection from the only remaining fixture of the day at Southwell.
Firstly, a word on my long-term fancy for this, Claimantakinforgan, as since the last time I posted he’s run again, this time at Musselburgh. Sadly for me, he got himself beaten at short odds, which doesn’t look good, and in truth I’d rather he was going for the Supreme off the back of a confidence-boosting victory. It wasn’t to be though, as he could only finish third to Beyond The Clouds, a useful sort himself, the slow pace not helping his cause. He simply couldn’t quicken off it, and I’m happy to forgive the effort and concentrate on his earlier form. Put it this way, I’m not tearing the anyte-post slips up just yet.
However, my other poke at the race, Summerville Boy, has had a major form boost with Kalashnikov, who couldn’t live with him at Sandown in the Tolworth, came out and won the Betfair on Saturday in taking fashion. Now, whilst I’m happy to accept this was an improved effort from Kalashnikov and he fully deserves his place in the line up, I can’t see how he can now be a shorter price than Summerville Boy, who seems to have been ignored somewhat. Go back and watch the Tolworth and remind yourself how easily he won that, then listen to Noel Fehily’s comments afterwards “he hated that ground” and it’s not hard to conclude that he too deserves plenty of respect. As I have said before, the key to Summerville Boy lies in his pre-race behaviour but that seems to be getting better, so let’s hope the occasion doesn’t get to him.
Getabird looks a very solid favourite, you have to say. He’s progressed a bit with each run, something I always like to see, and hs defeat of Mengli Khan in the Moscow Flyer really was impressive. He clocked a massive speed figure for that as well, and given he made all there, it’s not a false figure either. If he’s allowed to dominate on the day then he’s going to be very difficult to beat, but I don’t need to tell you that if you’re not already on, then wait. You can guarantee the firms will want to get him on the morning and there will be some crackpot firm offering you a daft price to a score too.
Similar comments apply to Samcro too, and the Irish really do appear to have a strong hand. The way he won the Deloitte, piling the pressure on from the half-mile pole, suggests he’s a real galloper and he’ll be trying to serve it up from the top of the hill. He’s not got the speed figure that a few have turned out, not yet anyway, and maybe quicker ground could find him out, but that comment could apply to two-thirds of this field and we won’t know until the day. He makes less appeal at the price than a few others, though.
If The Cap Fits is three from three this year and has rather come up on the blind side. I don’t know what to make of his form – when all is said and done, he’s had the same horse (Solomon Grey) behind him twice, and I don’t see him as any worldbeater, but equally he did finish just in front of Claimantakinfogran in the Aintree bumper last year, so it’s hard to crab him too much, Either way, I’m not interested at around the 7-1 mark.
Couple of entries at whopping prices that make a bit of appeal – the lovely looker Theclockisticking, who had his backside kicked at Huntingdon last week but I think he detested that soft ground, and a true-run race on good ground will play much more to his strengths, and Ainchea, who was very impressive when winning at Sandown in December and would have beaten the useful Countister back there a fortnight ago but for slithering to the ground after the last. He’s got a turn of foot for a horse bred to be a stayer, and I don’t think good ground will bother him.
Over to Southwell and there's not much of interest in truth, but I'll be having a small e/w bet in Best Tamayuz in the 7f handicap at 4.00 as he looks the likely pace angle in the race, and front runners have been faring pretty well on the Fibresand recently. Trip suits him fine, he's nicely drawn and should be capable of running a good race at a decent price, despite the rise in grade.
Good luck with all your bets today,