Podcast completed, form book digested, bets calculated and time to move forward once again. A frankly awful week last week for me personally with a sizeable bet (don’t tell the Mrs) on African Gold going astray, as he cork screwed pretty much every fence (never been known to do that at home), ad the old adage of never listening to trainers or jockeys was proven once again as I reported the info from my trainer visits only to watch three losers and a non runner – ha bloody ha. That said, I have added African Gold to my horses to follow portfolio as he still has an engine and will certainly have learned a lot from the run – he will win races over fences, but how many and at what prices will determine if he is, or is not, profitable I suppose?
Glossing over last week’s news, the “retirement” of the legend that is Richard Hannon quite rightly hogged all the headlines. He hands over to Richard junior which comes as no great shock to anyone (he has been so successful even he might want a bit of time to himself), though knowing him as well as I do (he is a really nice bloke but it would be fair to say he has mellowed with age!), I cant see him simply walking away. With so many horses in the yard, an assistant will be needed and as I cannot hear my phone ringing, I wonder if we are in for a case of role reversal starting in 2014 lol?
Looking ahead (even I can’t get the past too wrong), I have two bets for you on Saturday and one on Sunday to keep you busy for the weekend, so we shall see how they get on. Haydock put on the best racing Saturday and I am happy to nominate Rolling Star as a bet in the 1.45pm for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty. The stable think he is even better than we have seen to date, the jockey seemed pretty bullish on the TV Friday afternoon, Nicky had two winners at Ascot yesterday, and most importantly, I felt he was the form pick, so what more does anyone need?
Moving through the card, who will win the Betfair Chaser at 3.00pm I wonder? Fact is we have eight declared runners and almost all of them could win it though Gold Cup winner Bobs Worth is the obvious favourite. His is possibly the cleanest jumper in the field but does look a bit one paced (his jockey disagrees but I can only call it as I see it), and I do feel Long Run is amazingly overpriced at 16/1 each way. Punters appear to be pretty fickle folk as my selection has already won a Gold Cup beating Denman as well as a King George and was rated as highly as 182 at his best, but is officially “only” rated 171 this afternoon. Fact is he is still only an eight year old (as is the jolly) and is unlikely to have gone as backward as his odds imply, and having finished second in both races here to date (to Kauto Star in this race 2011 and to Silviniaco Conti in this race last year), he must be stonking each way value and better still has the fitness edge of a run for a change this season.
Sunday is usually a rest day for me but Exeter put on a half decent card and as I have been following Doctor Harper I cannot just switch off. David Pipe trains the five year old who picked up a couple of bumpers last season but was mightily impressive on his hurdling bow over course and distance and although unlikely to be a decent price, it will take something special to stop him doubling up in the 12.35pm this afternoon and making my Sabbath more profitable than normal!
Selections this week
Rolling Star 1.45pm Haydock Saturday
Long Run (each way) 3.00pm Haydock Saturday
Doctor Harper 12.35pm Exeter Sunday
Horses to follow:
New look shaken up horses to follow list (new addition below)!
African Gold – a classy hurdler expected to be even better over fences, he rather let the side down on his chasing debut but is I am assured far better than that – he will win races over fences.
***No entries at present***
Opera Og – hopefully well handicapped off a rating of 117 (when last seen), the seven year old looked all over the winner at Bangor before fading badly to finish third. The lack of a run was clearly his undoing and with that run under his belt he should win next time out provided connections keep their sites lowered to a sensible level.
***No entries at present***
Champagne Fever – on target at home for the Arkle Chase, held in the highest regard and schooling well for Willie Mullins, likely to have Ruby Walsh in the saddle, what more can a punter ask for?
***No entries at present, won as he pleased last weekend***
Sire De Grugy – won as he pleased on his return and sure to improve considerably for the race for Sussex trainer and ex jockey Gary Moore.
***No entries at present, beaten last weekend***
Big Casino – now with Nigel Twiston-Davies and looks well handicapped over hurdles – will be even better long term over fences. Badly handicapped (in my opinion) over hurdles and will be better back in novice company under a penalty.
***No entries at present, beaten last weekend ***
Mutakayyef – trained by William Haggas I had a quandary this week – do I or don’t I back the son of Sea The Stars? As with all the stable juveniles he was a shoe in to improve for the run but he is spoken of in glowing terms by gallop watchers in Newmarket. Fact is he ran as expected – slowly away, green as grass, and hampered as well, he will learn plenty from the experience and can be ignored at your peril.
***No current entries***
Freemason – a once raced juvenile owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing – Harbinger (a posh syndicate), he cost a whopping 150,000 Guineas so ought to be half decent – word is he is all that and more, so one to stay on the right side of.
***No current entries (unless you include the 2014 Derby!***
Idea – once raced two year old trained by Sir Michael Stoute and said to be flying on the gallops. Won after a poor run at Windsor when last seen looking as green as grass and very much one to keep on the right side of – originally nominated by a post racing reader!
***No current entries***