Friday, February 13, 2009

Ascot and Haydock

Ascot selections for tomorrow, weather permitting...

The question in the opener is whether Breedsbreeze will stay this stiff three miles on heavy ground. He jumped well around Kempton in the Feltham but I'm not convinced he does stay, so Carruthers, receiving seven pounds, gets the vote.

Alan King has worries about the trip on heavy ground for Voy Por Ustedes so I'll chance David Pipe's Tamarinbleu returns to form at a track he likes.

Wendel and Chariot Charger looks the main players in the 2.45 but it looks a pretty close call.

Over at Haydock the opener will be worth watching as current World Hurdle favourite Kasbah Bliss is expected to collect on the way to better things. In the ultra-competitive Blue Square Gold Cup Glasker Mill would have an each-way shout on his recent second in the Peter Marsh while Stow is the top-rated horse in the 2.25 and has a favourite's chance. Tarablaze represents a play against likely favourite Massasoit in the 2.55.

At Wincanton there's an all hurdles card. It's worth noting that Nicky Henderson has warned Punjabi is likely to come on for the run which makes the Kingwell look rather tricky.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Jolly good show, Carruthers! The 7/4 shot made all and jumped well in the main, although he did tend to hang slightly left at his fences when they came to the business end of the race; to be fair to the horse, the ground was very testing. Mattie Batchelor rode a good race on the leader and had 5/4 favourite Breedsbreeze beaten two out. The jolly took a tired fall at the last and has been pushed out to 20/1 for the Sun Alliance while the winner is generally priced at 8/1 for the same race. I suppose at the back of my mind the worry for me is that Carruthers is probably best when allowed to dominate small fields (as here) but he may struggle to get to the front at the Festival - he weakened in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham last year - and, in any case, he was beaten two lengths at level weights by What A Friend in the autumn.
The vibes for Voy before the race were not that good, although there was enough money for him as he went off 6/5 favourite. 2/1 shot Tamarinbleu tried to make all but Choc Thrnton rode a canny race on the jolly who travelled very sweetly and started to worry the leader at his fences as they went out on the second circuit. The game was up for the selection after the thirteenth - Voy Por Ustedes showed his class by asserting readily from Gwanako with Tamarinbleu a well-beaten third. This was just what the doctor ordered for Alan King's charge with the Ryanair his Festival target.
I was surprised Wendel went off second favourite in the market (11/8) behind Chariot Charger (6/5). Wendel was allowed a soft lead at the start but looked something of a sitting duck and likely to be picked off by Chariot Charger two out only for the latter-named to find nothing when push came to shove. Wendel had eleven lengths to spare over his market rival at the line.
In the opener at Haydock there wasn't much confidence behind Kasbah Bliss who was allowed to go off at a rather generous-looking 10/11. Thoe who took the odds never had a moment's doubt as the horse won in a common canter and is now clear favourite for the World Hurdle.
12/1 chance Glasker Mill was never competitive in the Blue Square Gold Cup and was pulled up; the race went to the eleven year old Rambling Minster (18/1) who beat 9/2jf Coe by three and a half lengths.
9/4 favourite Stow made all and held allcomers at bay in the 2.25. Was this an improved showing by the second, Indian Groom (13/2), or has Stow not really beaten that much here?
Friday's tissue may have priced Massasoit as the favourite but on the day Tarablaze went off at 1/2 while Massasoit was 3/1. The market called it right with Tarablaze holding Thetwincamdrift (11/1) at the line. Massasoit (fifth) clearly doesn't stay three miles one on heavy ground.
Nicky Henderson had kindly told us beforehand Punjabi wasn't fully wound up so in my book the Kingwell was a race to avoid. On the day Punjabi (2/1f) finished third behind the well-backed Ashkazar (100/30) and Whiteoak (7/1). The winner is something of an enigma but, if you're a believer and take the view he'll improve on better ground, 16/1 is avaialble for the Champion Hurdle -the initial 20/1 has already been snaffled up.