Friday, February 27, 2009

Doncaster, Newbury and Kelso

I know you'll find this hard to believe but this evening the internet is running slower than most of my selections. The feature race at Newbury tomorrow is the Gold Cup in which seventeen are set to race over a distance of two and a half miles; I wouldn't touch this race with the proverbial bargepole. Of those at the top end of the market Hold Em had a hard enough race at Kempton last week, Ouzbeck jumped rather erratically before unshipping his partner at the third obstacle at same meeting while Starzaan has legs like glass, plenty of ability and a tendency to show his best in small fields on flat tracks.

At Doncaster the Grimthorpe Chase makes more appeal as a betting medium. Alderbrook will be popular as the drying ground is bound to suit but he hasn't won for nearly two years. I know I'm taking a chance but I quite fancy David Pipe's Comply Or Die in this. He hasn't shown his form so far this year but the blinds are put back on here, the stable are bang in form and the trainer issued an upbeat update about his charge earlier in the week. The Racing Post tissue prices the selection at 12/1 which looks decent each-way value; he'll either run a blinder or a stinker.

Back at Newbury Amble Forge will be worthy of close inspection in the 2.05. In a recent 'Straight From The Stable' feature in the Weekender Colin Tizzard highlighted this horse as his pick. I quote: "... he is still progressing and I would be disappointed if he couldn't win again before long." If there's a query it's the fact that two miles might well be his trip and the additional two and a bit furlongs here may not be right up his street but the better ground should help. The Veterans' Chase would seem to be there for Church Island but he can't be guaranteed to reproduce his decent effort of ten days ago; I'll watch from the sidelines. J P Magnier takes the mount on Bellvano in the bumper just seven days after the partnership got no further than the starting post at Kempton. I've seen two differing opinions in this week's Weekender about what happened - one saying a false start should have been called, the other citing jockey error. The horse is clearly very well regarded but I wouldn't be taking any risks at a short price.

At Kelso Cloudy Lane has scared off the opposition for the 3.35 while the feature hurdle at 4.10 looks between Wendel and Alfie Flits. On ratings Charlie Mann's charge is the top animal and is preferred; Alfie Flits ran well last week at Kempton but this may come too quickly.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

In the feature race at Newbury New Little Bric (14/1) proved the fly in the ointment, bouncing back to form and foiling a gamble on the David Pipe trained The Package (11/4f) who was beaten seven lengths into second.
Comply Or Die ran neither a blinder or a stinker as he was declared a non-runner on Saturday morning on account of quick ground at Doncaster. Connections now intend to run in the William Hill Trophy at the first day of the Festival meeting.
Amble Forge (4/1) was just plain disappointing, failing to settle and at no point ever looking like a threat; he finished fourth of the five runners behind the well-backed Oh Braga (5/2) who wandered about a bit up the long home straight but had plenty in hand to repel 15/8 favourite Fit To Drive, although it's worth noting the winner was receiving over a stone. from the second. Church Island, 15/2 and friendless in the market, plugged on to take second behind Darkness (9/4f). Irish Raptor (8/1) was still going well in this when jinking and hitting the rail on the home bend, unshipping Paddy Brennan in the process.
Seven days on but no trouble at the start for J P Magnier this week as 8/11 favourite Bellano won the bumper without coming off the bit.
Two shocks at Kelso - 4/5 favourite Cloudy Lane fell at the first while 4/6 favourite Wendel was beaten a staggering twenty seven lengths by George Charlton's Knockara Beau (6/1). Quoting the winning trainer: "He's in the Ballymore Properties Hurdle at Cheltenham but I think Aintree would suit him better." He thinks the horse will stay three miles - definitely one to note for future reference.