Friday, November 06, 2009

Saturday's selections

Short on time today, so I'm going to crack on. The feature race on a decent card at Wincanton is the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase. Eighteen go to post over a trip just short of three and a quarter miles. Of those at the head of the market, Paul Nicholls' The Tother One is hugely talented but quirky and far from an easy ride. The Package is another with plenty of ability, nicely weighted here but he failed to go through with his effort last time at Ludlow in a race he should have won. Alan King runs two - Nenuphar Collonges and West End Rocker; stable jockey Choc Thornton has chosen to ride the former. In a recent RP article, the handler hinted the Hennessy may be the target for NC while he describes the latter as 'a good, solid fun horse'. The Hennessy is also the target for Exmoor Ranger but he lost his confidence after a fall in the Jewson at Cheltenham last March - trainer Victor Dartnall, writing in this week's Weekender, says the Hennessy entry will depend on how he races beforehand (i.e. tomorrow!) Beat The Boys comes here after making all at Chepstow which is well known for being a front-runners' track. Two horses I like are Carruthers and Niche Market; Carruthers is likely to struggle racing from the front with top weight while I'm not convinced Niche Market will be ready on his seasonal debut. In a difficult race, I'll have a small each-way interest in Nenuphar Collonges who jumped better as last season progressed.

The Elite Hurdle at 2.15 is interesting. Champion Hurdle second Celestial Halo is the likely favourite but has to give weight to some classy rivals including Blue Bajan who is fit from the Flat and the mare Whiteoak. Katies Tuitor isn't always easy to catch right but bounced back to form at Kempton last time; the claimer takes off five pounds here. If I have a wager in this, I'll look to oppose Celestial Halo with Katies Tuitor.

No bet for me in the novice chase which is no foregone conclusion even though there are only four runners. On balance I prefer Emma Lavelle's Kangaroo Court as Paul Nicholls tempered press enthusiasm for Gullible Gordon after his Chepstow victory, saying the horse needed plenty of time between races.

Alan King saddles Over Sixty in the mares' handicap hurdle at 1.45. The intention is to send her to the paddocks in the new year, with connections hoping to pick up a decent prize before then. In this evening's tissue she's priced up at 8/1 - if those odds are available tomorrow I'll take an each-way interest.

The Nicholls runner Valentine Vic looks the one in the bumper but he'll be priced accordingly.

Over at Sandown only three runners in the novice chase at 1.05 but one of them is Emma Lavelle's Crack Away Jack. He'll be no betting proposition but many will be watching how he fares jumping fences for the first time; Sandown is a tricky track for novices. His trainer has recently been quoted as saying he has always jumped fences well when schooled at home.

At Kelso it will be interesting to see if Santa's Son can give weight to all in the Mayfield Restaurant Limited Handicap Chase at 2.25 while over at Down Royal the Champion Chase and the Chase catch the eye. Notre Pere is likely to start a short-priced favourite in the former but his trainer Jim Dreaper has been upfront in letting punters know the horse will come on for the run. Two to consider if you want to oppose are The Listener and Joe Lively. Arkle winner Forpadydeplasterer returns in the three o'clock; I won't get involved but I wouldn't be inclined to oppose the favourite.

Finally, for those thinking about the Breeders' Cup I suggest purchasing a copy of the Weekender for Nick Mordin's guide - runners and riders can be found on the Sporting Life website.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

14/1 shot Ellerslie George raced prominently and slipped his field on the second circuit, going up ten lengths or so at one point. The chasers couldn't catch him and he won this valuable handicap by one and a half lengths from The Tother One (7/1) with The Package (11/2f) third, Carruthers (9/1) fifth and Nenuphar Collonges (8/1) sixth, the selection, like many, never really getting into it.
The performance of the day has to be Celestial Halo's victory in the Elite Hurdle. In the morning's RP Paul Nicholls commented the horse would need the run, with the result the winner was sent off a big-looking 11/4 joint favourite (with Whiteoak). The result was never in doubt as CH gave weight and a thorough beating to all his rivals. Katies Tuitor (5/1), held up, could never go the pace, finishing a well-beaten fifth.
Kangaroo Court was withdrawn from the novice chase and favourite Gullible Gordon fell. Alan King's Bakbenscher put in a dreadful round of fencing - back to the schooling grounds for him!
5/1 jf Over Sixty was disappointing, soon beaten, finishing back in seventh behind 12/1 winner Amber Brook.
Valentine Vic (10/11f) ended up in a scrap in the bumper, fought hard but weakened into third close home, behind John's Gift (9/1) and Pride In Battle (5/2).
At Sandown Crack Away Jack (1/5f) won in the manner one would expect of horse sent off at that price.
Santa's Son (9/2) led but the pilot was hard at work from three out and three went past him after the last, 11/1 chance Albanov holding Catalagan (7/1) on the line.
Deep ground at Down Royal with Notre Pere (even money) all the rage beforehand despite his trainer's comments. The horse appeared to be travelling sweetly on the heels of eventual winner The Listener (7/1) when coming to grief five from home. Joe Lively lost his prominent position from three out, finishing fifth.
A ding-dong battle in the mud in the Chase with Herecomesthetruth (7/2) making all and staying on to beat Padydeplasterer (6/4f) five and a half lengths; this was a big win for Nicholls' second string jockey, Christian Williams.