Good morning all,
No sooner had I posted yesterday than Lingfield pulled stumps on their fixture as a result of their frozen ground, and it's the same story at Ludlow today, with temperatures not likely to rise in time for their fixture this afternoon.
I'm getting a bit of cabin fever down here in the South – the dog had the longest walk he's ever had yesterday, poor thing's still knackered – and there's a temptation to go to Hove this afternoon for their greyhound fixture. Only ever been once but really enjoyed myself there. If I get tomorrow's cards done in time, I may pay a visit.
With so many odds-on jollies at Wetherby, the e/w thieves could be having a field day, but there's a couple I'm interested in – one in particular that's on my 10-to-follow list this year. Read on….
The Novices Limited Handicap Chase at 1.35 looks a wide open affair, with bookmakers going 7-2 the field this morning, but as regular readers will know that I'm keen on Crosspark as a project this season.
He was so impressive when beating Keltus at Southwell in the Spring, barely coming off the bridle to record an easy victory but it's not really happened for him since then. Although it's very difficult to knock the form of his Uttoxeter second to easy winner Pobbles Bay, as it couldn't have worked out any better – the winner has gone in again since, third home Bun Doran won in better company at Newcastle next time and fourth Poker School has gone from strength to strength since, winning at Ascot and Kempton. The handicapper has dropped him a pound for that run as well – every little helps.
Doncaster looked a poor effort on paper but the Bailey's horses weren't right at the time, and after I spoke to the trainer's husband a couple of weeks later, he told me not to worry about that run as he clearly wasn't himself. In fact, despite being well beaten, Adam Wedge only had positive things to say about him, he said, and that he should be picking up a good handicap or two this year.
So with the horses seemingly back in better health, this looks a good chance for Crosspark to kickstart his season, and to that end it's pleasing to see a bit of money around this morning too. He's today's selection.
Amber Gambler has a stunningly obvious chance under a penalty (nice bit of placing by Ian Williams to win on a Sunday and still get it turned out with a penalty some 12 days later) but I've got one eye on Frank The Slink winning something in the near future. A couple of seasons ago, he won back-to-back contests from the front at Newcastle and Carlisle but since then it's been all downhill, to the point where he's now 20lb lower than those wins. However, it was a better effort last time at Doncaster, only giving late in the contest and finishing third. I'd really like to see him go from or near the front here, as there's not much pace on (only Notonebuttwo likely to make it) and if he can build on that, isn't totally without hope of giving Cath Walton a winner.
Back tomorrow with a look at the TV Races and Sandown in particular, which is where I'll be.
Good luck with all your bets today,