Hitting the post with two second places on Monday hurt. Both selections run fine races and that is all I can ask for. On the other hand, given the fact those were runner-up selections number four and five in this still relatively young month, I can’t help but from time to time think “what if”….
6.30 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 7f
I backed hot favourite Arnarson myself the other day when he got off the mark in impressive style. A 6lb penalty might not be enough to stop him from a repeat effort. However, it was a slowly run affair, particularly early on, so he was potentially flattered by the winning margin. Given his patchy record overall, he can be opposed this time.
I do like, though, the Richard Guest runner Amazing Grazing here. He’s got very little mileage on the clock yet, and has, since getting off the mark, improved with each run.
He broke his maiden tag in a really poor Newcastle maiden in September hence his opening mark of 68 looked a bit extreme to my eyes. That says, back from a little break and for a new yard, he made his handicap debut here at Chelmsford over 7f in December and travelled very strongly, approaching the home straight like the winner.
He subsequently tired in the closing stages and hang badly to the left also, throwing his chances away.
Next time at Southwell, from a wide draw, he was very slowly away and had to do a lot to get back to the field, then travelling wide until switched to the inside around the home turn getting a mouthful of kickback.
Again he travelled strongly, nonetheless, even lead 2f out coming with a huge run, however had to pay for his bad start eventually, finishing a close third.
That was in my book a pretty good performance, taking everything into account, and back to a more familiar surface, over 7f, I feel he could potentially be well handicapped, given his mark has been left untouched so far.
From a good draw, with a yard in good nick, and a good jockey booked for the ride, I think Amazing Grazing can easily outrun his price tag in this field.
10pts win: Amazing Grazing @ 9/1 Paddy Power