Friday, March 28, 2008

Turf 'n' Dirt

Many in racing tend to complain that 'mares only' races can be rather uncompetitive; that comment certainly doesn't apply to the Mares Only Novices' Chase Final at Newbury tomorrow, with seventeen going to post. The market has proved a decent enough pointer in the past with five favourites obliging in the last nine years. Guillaume Macaire's Souri Des Champs looks set to carry the mantle of market leader and her chance is respected. Top weight Back On Line ran well to finish third in the four miler at the Festival two weeks ago but this may come a little too quickly; by way of contrast the Alners' entry, Miss Mitch, arrives fresh having been given a mid-season break. Nicky Richards thinks highly of Scarvagh Diamond but, using the market as a guide, I'll side with Souri Des Champs; James Reveley's five pounds claim looks particularly useful here.

In the opening claimer at Bangor Len Lungo's Delightfully has something in hand over all her rivals on the ratings but needs to settle a little better than she has in the past. On paper the Novices' Hurdle at 3.00 looks between course and distance winner Rightway Star and Isn't That Lucky. Isn't That Lucky finished mid-division in last year's Champion Bumper at the Festival while Rightway Star finshed behind Theatrical Moment in the Aintree Bumper. Since then, Isn't That Lucky has beaten Nicky Henderson's Schiehallion at Sandown and receives seven pounds here so Isn't That Lucky is marginally preferred. In the concluding hunter chase Lady Myfanwy has been in good form recently - I'll check the market before deciding whether to invest.

I like Soapy Danger more than Munsef in the Doncaster Shield, although both horses are closely matched. Alfie Flits has not been declared which means there will be little value in the betting market.

From the turf to the dirt - Channel 4 are set to broadcast the Dubai World Cup live at 5.30pm from Nad Al Sheba. Most observers won't contemplate defeat for odds-on shot Curlin. Nick Mordin, using his speed ratings, puts a case for Godolphin's Jalil in the Weekender and bullish noises having been eminating from that camp over the past couple of days. Curlin hasn't been done any favours with a wide draw in berth twelve while Jalil will come from stall eight; 7/1 are the odds of reward on offer for those prepared to oppose the favourite.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

At Newbury the money came for Scarvagh Diamond and Nicky Henderson's Classic Fiddle, with the pair being sent off 6/1 joint favourites. Souri Des Champs, a 13/2 shot, made a bad mistake at the very first fence and never travelled afterwards. To be fair to James Reveley, he was patient with the mare and gave her every chance but her jumping was indifferent. She made some progress down the back straight but never managed to establish a rhythm to put her back into contention and was pulled up three out - a disappointing performance. 14/1 shot Strawberry led them all a merry dance; her jumping up the home straight on rain softened ground was impressive and she easily held Classic Fiddle.
Another disappointment followed at Bangor where the clear form selection and even money favourite Delightfully could do no better than finish a well-beaten third behind 5/1 shot Rosie's Glory. Even money shot Isn't That Lucky brought a change of fortune, staying on to hold Rightway Star one and three quarter lengths on the line. In betting exchanges Lady Myfanwy was 2/1 and 9/4 before starting 15/8 favourite - that struck me as jolly decent value - and the mare delivered the goods, beating Brewster by a length.
All the early tissue shows had Soapy Danger an odds-on chance for the Doncaster Shield. Yesterday's comment that there would be no value in this market couldn't have been further from the truth. SD opened on course at 11/8, drifted to 9/4 before being returned the 15/8 favourite; the horse stayed on well after taking up the running three out to beat Furmigadelagiusta one and three quarter lengths.
Before the Dubai World Cup Curlin was marketed as 'the best horse in the world' and nobody could argue after the event as the 4/11 chance destroyed a high class field with ease. Jalil (5/1) was never competitive and finished seventh of the twelve runners.