Friday, January 30, 2009

Brief notes for Sandown, Doncaster and Wetherby

I'm a little pressed for time this evening, so here goes...

At Sandown Optimus Maximus looks the one in the opener but he'll be no price; Amore Mio is the likeliest danger. In the 2.05 Paul Nicholls has issued an upbeat bulletin about Celestial Halo while the Pipe team has said their horse, Osana, will come on for the run. Only six in The Scilly Isles Novices' Chase but it's still extremely competitive. The bottom one, Araldur, is suited by the conditions of the race as he steps up to two and a half miles for the first time - connections think the extra distance will help their horse. Twiston-Davies thinks a lot of Buck The Legend but the stable is just emerging from a poor spell and their charge is probably best watched here. In the 3.10 Blue Shark was badly hampered last time when travelling smoothly and is likely to be well-supported. I see the Racing Post has priced up Hills Of Aran at 33/1. The horse was third in this last year and reverts back to hurdles after an unsuccessful try at fencing; he'd have an each-way squeak if at his best but isn't the easiest of rides. All eyes will be on the highly-regarded Killaghy Castle in the finale; McCoy will be hoping his mount Good Company helps him towards his 3000th winner.

Degas Art will be worth a second look in the opener at Doncaster while in the Towton Novices' Chase at Wetherby Will Be Done may not stay the trip and Companero just gallops so I'm considering taking a chance with Philip Hobbs' Kornati Kid.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

A tough front-running display from Amore Mio (9/4) saw off odds-on favourite Optimus Maximus (4/7) by two and a quarter lengths.
Celestial Halo (1/2f) beat Osana (100/30) three and a half lengths. Considering how bullish Paul Nicholls had been beforehand, this was workmanlike rather than impressive. Osana comes out of the race with more credit, giving the winner four pounds and looking sure to come on for the run. As Simon Holt noted in commentary, jockey Paddy Brennan didn't knock Osana about once his chance had gone. It's no wonder the trainer's father, Martin Pipe, was quoted as saying he would have no qualms taking the winner on again on level terms.
Araldur (15/8) jumped poorly in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase - the rot started immediately at the railway fences and he was struggling for most of the race thereafter - he finished a well-beaten fourth. A thrilling finish in this with Herecomesthetruth (7/4f) just holding Massini's Maguire (4/1) who made a bad mistake five out but rallied gamely. Massini's always seems to make one serious jumping error in his races. Buck The Legend was close enough four out but his jumping deteriorated as he tired. I haven't totally given up with him - he'll be worth a second look when the stable is in better form.
Blue Shark was sent off at 9/2 but failed to get into the race, finishing a disappointing eighth. In contrast I thought Hills Of Aran ran well enough given he was a 40/1 shot. Although never threatening to make a place, he raced enthusiastically to finish sixth - generally he's best over slightly further on soft ground.
We learned very little about Killaghy Castle (11/2) as the horse fell at the ninth when close up while punters backed in McCoy's mount Good Company to 5/2 favouritism in the finale, willing the champ on his way to his 3,000th winner. Nobdoy bothered to tell the horse though as he faded up the hill, finishing fifth.
Degas Art (4/1) was nowhere near in the opener at Doncaster; as the afternoon progressed it became clear there was little confidence behind Howard Johnson runners, especially at Wetherby. His Companero was allowed to go off at 9/2 for the Towton and was beaten turning for home. A thrilling finish in this with Kornati Kid (3/1) just holding 15/8 favourite Will Be Done a neck at the post. The jolly, trying to give the winner three pounds, made a mistake at the last which probably cost him the race. Both horses hung right on the run-in with the winner having to survive a stewards' inquiry afterwards. Perhaps I was a little fortunate to have collected here but over time the luck evens itself out. Betfred stood out against their competitors by taking on Kornati Kid - 9/2 was available with that bookmaker at lunchtime; looks good value now, doesn't it?