Friday, November 21, 2008

Ascot tomorrow

Kauto Star and champion hurdle favourite Binocular are expected to win their races at Haydock tomorrow but for betting purpsoes they make no appeal and are likely to start long odds on. At Ascot the highlight is the Coral Hurdle (1.55) run over a trip just shy of two and a half miles. Probable favourite Crack Away Jack is of interest but four year olds have a poor record in this, a fact that puts me off Alan King's Franchoek as well. I'd expect the distance here to be no problem for Franchoek as earlier in the season the trainer talked of his charge as a possible for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham next March (which is run over three miles). Paul Nicholls' Elusive Dream is respected but I have to stay with Nicky Henderson 's mare Chomba Womba who did this blog a favour a fortnight ago. That day she claimed the scalp of current champion hurdler Katchit, but we should remember that, although it was visually most impressive, she was receiving lumps of weight and the champ wasn't fully wound up. Forecast to be sent off around the 3/1 mark, Chomba Womba represents a value play against Crack Away Jack.

From one Jack to another... Jack The Giant, an intended runner in last week's Paddy Power Gold Cup, was withdrawn on account of the soft ground. He turns out in tomorrow's 1.20 instead and looks the one they all have to beat.

Although there are only five runners in the novice chase at 2.30, it looks trappy. I've never been totally convinced by Poquelin while Psychomodo won here last time out but gave ground away at every obstacle by jumping left throughout. I'll watch this one from the sidelines.

Oslot appears the percentage call in the 3.05 but I'm prepared to give Mahogany Blaze another chance after his second behind Ashley Brook in the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

At Haydock Binocular (1/9f) obliged as expected but drama indeed in the Betfair Chase where Kauto Star (2/5f) belted the third last and was just about back on terms when crumpling on landing at the last. Tamarinbleu (25/1) looked to have repelled Exotic Dancer's challenge but Snoopy Loopy (33/1) stayed on best of all to win by half a length. There was an audible gasp around the course as Sam Thomas fell out of the plate on the favourite.
I'd expected Chomba Womba to open bigger than 9/4 on course but she was bet at that price and went off joint 2/1 favourite with Crack Away Jack. The mare prevailled gamely by a length; in my opinion it was her jumping that won the day. Crack Away Jack made a hash of the penultimate flight but was gaining ground on the run up the hill while Elusive Dream (7/2) was a close third on his first run of this campaign. I feel somewhat fortunate to have collected; on a different day we may well have seen a different result. The mare was given every assitance from the saddle by Barry Geraghty.
No such deliberations with Jack The Giant (evens) who went clear from two out and won as he liked.
I was glad not to have got involved in the 2.30 with Cheating Chance (7/2) beating Psychomodo (11/4) and Poquelin (7/4f); in my book Poquelin is always one to consider taking on. I wouldn't disregard Beherayn in future races. It looks as though the plan here was to make the running with this five year old but he got off on the wrong foot by belting the first and then he went and fell at the sixth; there must have been some people who fancied his chance as he was backed in from 6/1 to 7/2.
With Nicky Henderson's stable in such good form it wasn't such a surprise to see My Petra sent off favourite (7/4) for the Amlin 1965 Chase. She won well, showing her rivals a clean pair of heels up the hill and making Mahogany Blaze (9/4) look decidely one-paced. I thought the trip would suit the selection who is a well-built sort but he didn't appear to stay and was beaten for second by Oceanos des Obeaux. In my eyes the winner didn't jump that well and appeared to lose ground at a number of fences; she clearly has an engine but I think her jumping here is worth keeping in mind for future reference.