Tag Archives: Hurdle

Saturday Selections: March, 2nd 2019

National Hunt Fence

1.30 Newbury: Class 3 Handicap Hurdle, 2m 4f 118y

Nico de Boinville for Ben Pauling over hurdles at Newbury…. an interesting combination. A winning one, history tells us. They team up here with A Hare Breath. The veteran has question to answers after poor showings lately.

Nonetheless, fitted with CP for the first time, dropping significantly in the weights into an easier race, with conditions to suit, he should have on based on that a tremendous chance to win this race.

Obviously only if he is still in the mood. We probably will know soon after the start whether he is on a going day. At given prices I feel it is a fair risk to take.

Selection:
10pts win – A Hare Breath @ 6/1 MB

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3.00 Doncaster: Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle, 3m½f

Danse Idol has top form in the book as runner-up in graded company. She could prove hard to beat if she takes to the trip over this fast ground.

I feel she is short enough in the betting and red hot mare Bonza Girls offers better value. 5-5 in handicaps this season, she is improving rapidly. This is a higher grade and she has to improve again.

However, given she tries 3 miles for the first time, a distance that could suit and may well eke out more improvement, given she has been very game in her races, always running well to the line, it is possible we haven’t seen her best yet.

Selection:
10pts win – Bonza Girl @ 5/1 MB

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3.35 Doncaster: Class 2 Handicap Chase, 3m 2f

Given form and ratings, Dingo Dollar offers plenty of upside and looks a shade overpriced in this race. On the surface he was slightly disappointing in the Listed Skybet Handicap Chase here at Doncaster recently, however that form as well as his run in the Grade 3 Landbrokes Chase were strong races.

This looks easier. The trip will suit. The additional furlong should be to his aid. Off 148 back in a handicap I feel there is still a bit more to come.

It’s Wayne Hutchinson’s only ride on the card also. He knows the horse well already, which is a bonus.

Selection:
10pts win – Dingo Dollar @ 4/1 PP

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7.30 Chelmsford: Class 5 Handicap, 6 furlongs

Real Estate is clearly in good form as his last performances suggest. He also remains handicapped to go close again. He may have better form over 7f, however he can be keen over that trip, and his latest runs over the shorter trip are promising.

Those races look like rock solid form, he’s also rated a pound below his last winning mark right now. There doesn’t seem to be too much pace on in this race today, so from a good draw there is fair chance he’ll be well positioned to make a break turning for home, playing out his extra bit of stamina in the closing stages.

Callum Shepherd comes here for this one ride only; let’s hope he can make this one a winning one.

Selection:
10pts win – Real Estate @ 10/1 PP

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Cheltenham Festival 2018: Day 4 + Gold Cup Fancies

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Delta Work (12/1) lit up the day! In a thrilling finish, driven out by brilliant Davy Russell, won the day, and the week. Back in the profit, and with less races to come than needed to erode the accumulated profit, it’s already, before the final day, a profitable week. Now the question is: is a noteworthy profit or pocket money? On to  Gold Cup Friday….

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14:10 Cheltenham – County Hurdle

The trend horse, the sexy horse…. the winner? Smaoineamh Alainn must go close. This lightly raced six year old has won all his hurdle starts and got up here at Cheltenham over this trip in December – a piece of form that has worked out incredibly well.

Eight pounds higher than that day; he seems very well handicapped. Connections opted against from running him again. It certainly protected his handicap mark.

With the track and trip not imposing any fear, the ground shouldn’t either. He’s won on very soft ground already.

Selection:
10pts win – Smaoineamh Alainn @ 16/1 Skybet

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14:50 Cheltenham – Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle

I take a swing at two pic prices: Fabulous Saga wasn’t right when last seen at Leopardstown. Leaving that form out he won a Grade 2 and Grade 3 on the bounce over this sort of trip on deep ground.

Mulcahys Hill went desperatly close in a the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle. Can be a tricky character and bombed the next, but that may came too soon. Step up to 3m should be perfect and ground is in his favour.

Selection:
5pts win – Fabulous Saga @ 33/1 VC
5pts win – Mulcahys Hill @ 54/1 Matchbook

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15:30 Cheltenham – Gold Cup

As open a Gold Cup as I can remember in a while.  Personally I don’t trust Might Bite yet. He has to show it here that he stays professional and can get home in a competitive top class field in the noisy environment that Gold Cup Day at Cheltenham is.

That means, without a clear cut favourite, you can make cases for plenty in the field. I give Our Duke a big chance. However, he’s not a price I want to get involved in. Simply because I feel Killultagh Vic nearly double the price is much better value.

The question is how he has mentally recovered from the crashing fall in the Irish Gold Cup. We won’t find out until he runs. That says, without being able to say for sure whether he would have won, given Edwulf, the eventual winner that day, travelled strongly approaching the last fence too, it’s fair to say Killultagh Vic would have gone almighty close.

Despite his age of nine, the Willie Mullins charge has only nie starts to his name and only three over fences, of which he won two, and the other one the mentioned Leopardstown race.

That means Killultagh Vic may still have a bit of improvement left. That he is up to Grade 1 standard he showed last month. The ground is sure to be to his likening. So, if he has recovered from his fall, he must rate a huge runner.

Another interest I have is American. Not for win purposes. He’s likely not good enough, however, will relish the ground conditions. He has been supplemented for the race and his runner-up performance behind Definitely Red here in the Cotswold Chase at the end of January is a fair piece of form.

He travelled really well for most parts of the race, however might have done a bit too much too early, I felt. So there is a chance he could finish closer to Definitely Red on another day. That should be good enough to see him in the mix. He’s also one who is still open to progress.

Selections:
5pts win – Killultagh Vic @ 10/1 VC
5pts Place – American @ 8/1 Matchbook

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16:10 Cheltenham – Foxhunter Chase

Foxrock can make this a true test for the hype horse of the race: Burning Ambition. It’s true, in the past Foxrock didn’t enjoy the best of runs at this venue. However, in my mind, it was down to bad jumping. He’s older now, wiser, a better jumper and this not as good a race as those he used to run in.

Says, the ten year old is still class. He won four times in this sphere last season and had a fine reappearance at Thurles in January when runner-up behind Gilgamboa. Both jumped the last locked together, but Foxrock got very tired, as he was entitled to after his break in bad ground as it was that day.

Trip and ground conditions will be ideal for him here. Hope he can make it third time lucky – he certainly is the price of the race in my eyes.

Selection:
10pts win – Foxrock @ 8/1 WH

Concordin will love the Navan Mud

3.10 Navan: Handicap Hurdle

An open enough looking contest given the fact that none of the runners has ever won off their current rating or higher. Top weight Grand Partner must be taken serious o has to be fine flat performer Benkei on his handicap debut.

But I take a chance with Concordin who seems to be a bit overpriced. Already a nine year old but for his age with reasonable mileage on the clock. He didn’t really enjoy chasing but has looked as good as ever since reverted to hurdling.

A fine third on his seasonal reappearance in November followed up by a strong staying performance at Leopardstown in a very competitive Handicap at the Christmas Festival. Subsequently he finished a long beaten fourth off a career highest mark in a mud fest at Gowran Park, but the form is better than it reads on paper.

Concordin travelled strongly and was about to make a big move when the field turned for home when suddenly one of the leaders slipped and fell. A miracle it was Concordin didn’t came down too. But he certainly lost all momentum. Not knocked over in the closing stages he finished fourth but his chances were clearly ruined by the incident around the 3f marker.

The drop to 2m tomorrow seems odd, given he looks like a grinder, who needed every inch of the 2m 2f at Leopardstown. But it makes sense given the desperate ground to be expected at Navan, a track that has a very stiff and tough finish where emphasise is definitely more on stamina, particularly in testing conditions. That should really help Concordin’s cause.

Selection:
10pts win – Concordin @ 9/2 WH

Kempton: Maputo A Rock Solid Favourite

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3.20 Kempton: Novices’ Hurdle (Listed), 2m

Maputo looks rock solid favourite and very hard to beat if he progresses as he promised in all his start over hurdles so far. A Group 3 winner on the flat and Group 2 placed as well, he has taken well to this discipline. Three starts, three wins, and a very impressive performance two weeks ago at Huntingdon brings him along nicely.

He didn’t win by much but was hardly off the bridle that day – the runner-up won a decent race subsequently by a country mile – so it’s fair to assume Maputo is potentially well up to Grade 3 level.

Swansea Mile is an interesting alternative. He wasn’t quite lucky on his debut run at Market Rasen. I feel he may have not the speed required over flat 2m on quick ground though. Returning Midnhight Shot hasn’t been anything of note so far but is open to improvement.

I believe Maputo is a clear favourite hear and should be odds-on. Coral’s evens looks out of place.

Maputo @ EVS Coral – 10pts Win

Saturday Betting: Chepstow

Becher's Brook

3.55 Chepstow: Hamilton Hurdle (Handicap, Class 2), 2m

I really like Stars Over The Sea to do well here. He seems on a fair weight given his excellent performances last season, where he finished 4th in two big Grade 1’s at Aintree and Punchestown. Chepstow has the best possible jumping ground today which will suit this him allot and given that he had done extremely well as a fresh horse in the ears before, I would expect him to be a big runner today.

Stars Over The Sea @ 10/1 Coral -5pts Win

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4.30 Chepstow: Silver Trophy Handicap Hurdle (Group 3), 2m 3f 100y

Plenty to like about progressive Our Kaempfer. Trainer Charlie Longsdon has his string in excellent order at this time of the year, so Our Kaempfer should be primed for a big run. A first handicap start for this six year old who really excelled last season over hurdles, winning twice and rounding it up with a big effort in the Grade 1 Sefton at Aintree.

Good ground and the trip should suit perfectly today and with only five starts over timber under his belt there is every reason to believe Our Kaempfer can improve again this year. He’s a tasty price against the overbet first two in the market.

Our Kaempfer @ 10/1 Bet365 – 5pts Win

Gingili’s a big chance

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I feel that the betting market has it wrong here. The Swingback trained Bobs Lord Tara is surely entitled to go very close with strong recent form to his name but it doesn’t look right to have him the the odds-on favourite. While the drop in trip may well suit, the ground potentially won’t. He also has to give a good deal of weight away to the potentially biggest threat, Gingili. Six pounds, to be specific.

The former Irish point winner Ginili won two bumpers earlier this year and now over hurdles for the first time, should make his point experience count, particularly with trip and ground to suit. It’s telling that jockey Noel Fehily is travelling here for this one ride. Gingili must have a very big chance to follow on from the promise shown and should be the odds-on favourite in my mind.

3.45 Carlisle: Gingili @ 6/4 Coral – 10pts win

Preview – Aintree Hurdle

Jezki

I wasn’t sure about this race but seeing how prices develop I find it impossible to not have a small interest in Rock On Ruby. Now available at 4/1, I believe he is too big. This race looks very competitive, and evolves mainly around the first three in the market. It’s hard to distinguish them but I feel that Rock On Ruby is the one who has conditions 100% to suit.

Arctic Fire obviously is very attractive. He shapes as a horse that needs this trip, as he usually runs on strongly over two miles. His runner-up effort in the Champion Hurdle behind Faugheen was visually impressive. However he had a couple of hard races already, and the fact that he usually finds one or two too good, makes is somewhat worrying for – a 7/4 shot at least!

The 2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki has been a disappointment this season so far. He has to show much more and I’m not sure if he can suddenly step up big time. He’s a spring horse as we know, and has won a Grade 1 over this trip in the past. That’s the clear positives on the other hand. I rather don’t want to find out with my money if he can find back to his best, though.

Rock On Ruby in contrast, skipped Cheltenham and should be fresh and spot on for this race. He finished a gallant runner-up last year and 2m 4f appears to be his optimum trip these days. Ground conditions are sure to suit and he showed himself in good light this season. A bold bid is very much on the cards today and he looks the value against the other two.

3.25 Aintree: Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)
Rock On Ruby @ 4/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win