I know Doncaster starts today and normally I'd be getting stuck into that, but I have to say that today holds very little interest for me there. I will, however, be going tomorrow and so will be looking at that card later tonight, and whilst I'm at it tomorrow's post may be a little later than normal as I'm travelling to Doncaster first thing for a breakfast meeting. All very hush hush. *taps nose
So today I'm posting a review of Worcester, which threw up a few interesting points, plus today's selection, which I'm hoping goes one better than yesterday's.
We kicked off with the novice chase at 2.05 for which Azzuri looked head and shoulders above them in the paddock but a combination of weight, a fight for the lead, and possibly just a race too many did for him and third was the best he could manage. King Alfonso, despite looking big and sweaty in the paddock, came out on top but I'd not be rushing in to back him next time.
As for Miss Feistypants, who looked well again and definitely has the scope for chasing, she made an early mistake but after that was given time to find her stride and by the end of the back straight had pegged the 12-length gap she was adrift. And from that point, under minimal to no assistance from the saddle, she's stayed on quite nicely and had she been ridden out to any degree would have finished third. This was clearly educational and she will remain on my tracker with a handicap chase in mind.
Nothing much to say about the next except that Raven's Hill, who stopped quickly, was found to have a fibrillating heart and that means he now comes with a warning too. Skilled made mistakes again and it would be no surprise to see him go back over hurdles next time, where he has a lower mark. Aunty Ann shaped well in third and had a good blow after – she might be one for next time, especially if upped a couple of furlongs.
I was delighted with Maximus Maridius in the paddock for the 3.05, he looked like he'd come on again from his last start and was just about the paddock pick here. He's once again travelled like the best horse and coming to the last I was praying he'd find a bit to prevail, but sadly the teak-tough Hallings Comet was having none of it and held on by a neck. The pain of it!
The only thing I would say is that Maximus Maridius was a bit keen beforehand and on the way to post too. I'd just like to see him calm down a touch pre-race and save a bit more for the finish. There's a race in him when he does.
Captain Morley looked fine beforehand but hurdling clearly isn't his game. A drift from a morning 11-8 to 3-1 before being backed late rather told it's own story and he could be hard to place.
Solstalla looked a bit dull in the paddock and has probably had enough for the time being.
Anyone that was expecting Robbin'Hannon to knock their eye out in the next was disappointed. He looked no more than okay, definitely in need of a run and he's not grown much either. In truth, The Real Snoopy, who also needed the run, looked much more the finished article and will make a cracking chaser. Robbin'Hannon was all out in the end, having to be kept right up to his work to win 2l, and his next run will give us a real indication of what we can expect from him this season. If he was short priced again next time, I'd be keen to take him on.
Phoenix Park looked very weak and has little ability.
And onto the Mares Maiden Hurdle. The nice ones were towards the front of the market, with the exception of Mercian Princess, who I quite liked, and she ran an okay race here. There may be a handicap down the line for her. Paddock pick was winner G For Ginger, who has plenty of size and scope about her and is a lovely walker. She should go on from this and I like the way she found plenty when asked.
There wasn't much wrong with Maria's Benefit, she's a little bit weak in the neck but that should sort itself out as she grows a bit and she did little wrong here. Woolstone One has some engine in the back end too and although she clearly needed this run, it was a little disappointing that she couldn't get involved at any point, Maybe she just needs soft ground, so I wouldn't be ruling her out just yet. Connections seemed pleased enough afterwards anyway, so maybe that's what they were expecting.
Green Or Black looks like she's run on a bit here but I'll always worry about her stamina for hurdling.
Not much to say about the last, the two that stood out were winner Tunnel Creek, clearly another that's improved for the switch to Olly Murphy (but as with so many of these, careful if he reappears quickly) and The Lion Man, who once again attracted support at big prices and ran okay to finish fourth.
For today, I don't really like much at Uttoxeter and Our Folly can't be backed with any great confidence given his dreadful inconsistency, but he should be able to take a prominent position in his race without much fuss (not too much pace on) and hold every chance in the 3.00. He won over C&D around this time last year (and was placed on his only other start here, so seems to like the track), is on a fair mark and might be worth a try at double-figure price.
Good luck with all your bets today,