Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter cards

Easter is an awkward time of year - family, holidays, wet weather, all that sort of stuff, and the run-of-the-mill racing that comes with it doesn't do much to ameliorate the situation. Earlier today (Good Friday), heaven knows how, I ended up listening to Classic FM's Hall Of Fame marathon for a few minutes, in which they count down the top 300 classical works, with the 'all-important Number One' due to be announced just before 9.00pm on Easter Monday. I think I was listening to Exsultate Jubilate K.165 by one Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but I couldn't be certain. Enough of that; here's a few notes on the Easter weekend's offerings...

I'm struggling to find something that makes much appeal on Saturday. Only five go to post in the Sports 360 & The Football Conference Handicap Chase at Haydock; at the time of writing the Sporting Life price up Philip Hobbs' Gershwin 6/4 favourite. This six year old looks plenty short enough in the market considering his limited chasing experience. Dominican Monk warrants consideration but a reading of his form suggests the ground may ride a little quick for him. In the Weekender Colin Russell expects a big run from Tom's Toybox with regular amateur Lucy Horner claiming five. Beggars Cap unseated Graham Lee in the Grand Annual but prior to that the horse had finished seventh behind Leslingtaylor at Doncaster, with Tom's Toybox a further seven lengths behind in eighth. On that occasion Coach Lane was third, beaten just under ten lengths by Leslingtaylor. In the meantime Coach Lane was pulled up at Lingfield but, if you forgive him that run where he didn't jump well, he looks bang in with a chance here yet in the tissue is priced at 10/1. The Sporting Life claim Coach Lane is out of form which I think a little unkind - I'll wait to see how the market shapes up tomorrow before making any decisions.

At Carlisle the opener looks between Sa Suffit and Fit To Drive while a lot of the fancied runners in the Totescoop6 Handicap Chase have shown their form when the ground is riding on the soft side. In the concluding hunters' chase Geeveem, formerly with Paul Nicholls, will be worth a second look as he's the top-rated individual and being by Supreme Leader should handle better going.

In the Weekender Malcolm Heyhoe is keen on Heebie Jeebie in Sunday's finale at Plumpton and I'm with him. I was at Stratford when the mare, having her first run for nearly nine months, ran a stormer over slightly further to finish third, less than a length behind Quiny Boy and Bolton Hall. That day the front three pulled nearly thirty lengths clear of their rivals and the first two have been placed subsequently. On official ratings Heebie Jeebie has something to find with some of these but I'd like to think she'll improve for the run; the tissue has her 8/1 - at that price you could back her each-way. Benayoun rates an obvious danger.

Easter Sunday is one of the two days when you have to pay to get in at Towcester. A decent show from Burton Port in the 2.55 at Haydock on Saturday will point to Busker Royal's chance in the 3.10, those horses having finished fourth and sixth respectively behind Big Eared Fran at Sandown recently. I marginally prefer Venetia Williams' Pterodactyl in this. There isn't much between Inaro and Rydal Park in the open hunters' chase at 4.40; last time I fancied course and distance winner Rydal Park to beat Back Nine but the selection fell at the tenth. One to note though is Sleep Bal who is rated some sixteen pounds higher than Rydal Park - he warrants close inspection.

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Easter!


Anonymous said...

How did you mananage to tune into Classic FM's Hall Of Fame marathon?

They never play The Stones!

GeeDee said...

Pterodactyl (13/8) stayed on well to beat market rival Busker Royal (11/8f) at Towcester. Heebie Jeebie opened 5/1 and was backed in to 11/4 favouritism but the game was already up when a mistake at the fifth ended the selection's chance.