Friday, May 07, 2010

Ascot, Lingfield, Haydock...

We're spoilt for choice tomorrow with meetings at Ascot, Lingfield, Haydock, Nottingham, Hexham, Thirsk and Warwick; the highlight at Ascot is the Victoria Cup in which 29 go to post. John Gosden was in fine form at Chester's mid-week meet and his course and distance winner Duncan is likely to be all the rage in the opener at the Berkshire track; I won't get involved but will keep an eye on Bergo, owned by Harry Findlay's mother. This gedling won three novice chases on the bounce before finishing a respectable fourth behind Tataniano at Aintree last month; whether he can be competitive in this listed event is another question.

Punters will be on the lookout for Classic clues at Lingfield with the Oaks trial at 2.40 and the Derby trial half an hour later. In the fillies' race, the market suggest Henry Cecil's Timepiece is the one but the favourite has won just two of the last ten renewals; those looking to oppose will want to consider Ralph Beckett's Ceilidh House, while on ratings John Gosden's Dyna Waltz is there with a chance but isn't certain to stay and will need to put a disappointing effort in the Nell Gwyn behind her. In the colts' trial Sir Michael Stoute has come here with Desert Myth rather than Chester's Dee Stakes,won earlier today by Amzeel.

The highlight at Haydock's mixed meeting is the ultra-competitive Swinton Handicap Hurdle in which 24 are set to face the starter. David Pipe fields four - in the last fortnight the yard has won nine from twenty eight, giving a phenomenal strike rate of 32.14%. I note Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Overturn while it's interesting to see that Paul Nicholls employs Irish jockey Paul Townend on Toubab. In the past decade the winner has come from the first three in the betting on seven occasions. I'm torn between two Pipe horses - Dan Breen and Hunterview. Formerly with Michael Jarvis on the Flat, Hunterview didn't appear to get up the hill in the Fred Winter at Cheltenham but won easily at Ayr next time out. At around 10/1 I'll take a small each-way interest in Hunterview.

Only five in the Beginners' Chase at 4.10 but I'd be tempted to take on Mahonia if the gelding were a short-priced favourite. He ran no sort of race in the Martin Pipe hurdle at Cheltenham and has only jumped fences twice in public, falling once. With her seven pound allowance, consistent mare Cool Friend doesn't have a lot to find on ratings and has put in some decent efforts this winter behind Carole's Legacy and Awesome George. Having won after a break in the past, she comes here fresh and goes well for Nick Schofield; she is worth a bet if priced up around the 9/2 mark as this evening's tissue indicates.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Hunterview (14/1) raced prominently in the first half of the race but the distress signals were coming out as they approached the bend on the back straight, Tom Scudamore pushing hard and the chestnut gelding going backwards quickly; he finished thirteenth behind Nicky Henderson's Eradicate (16/1) and deserves a rest now after a tough season. 9/2 favourite Overturn lost nothing in defeat, beaten two and three quarter lengths, while Issaquah (33/1) ran into third after the last with Paul Nicholls' striking four-year-old Toubab (16/1) going into many notebooks in fourth.
There were no fancy prices available about Cool Friend (even though the mare was priced up at 6/1 in Saturday's Times); she was sent off 9/4 joint favourite with Donald McCain's Tara Royal. The market leaders fought out the finish, the latter prevailing by half a length. 5/2 chance Mahonia hit the eighth and ninth and was pulled up four from home; the Nicholls gelding had the clear beating of these on hurdles form and doesn't look a complete natural over the larger obstacles.