Friday, May 28, 2010

A Saturday evening at the Stratford races

There's plenty of competitive racing at Stratford tomorrow where the going is currently described as good to firm, with good places on the chase course. That could well change if the forecast rain arrives.

Alison Thorpe currently has her team in fine form and Dishdasha makes some appeal as an each-way wager in the opener. The gelding never really took to fences but returned over hurdles at Cheltenham last month after a long layoff; he finished fifth behind Ashkazar and then went on to win at Uttoxeter before finishing third in a flat handicap at Chepstow four days ago. I'm hoping that run over an inadequate trip has put him spot on for this - he wouldn't want too much rain before the off. Alph is in grand nick at the ripe old age of thirteen; he won the last time at Towcester but this is a much more competitive affair.

Nine runners in a tight handicap chase at 6.50. Passato and Miss Sarenne are likely to be popular but I'm going to side with Evan Williams' Tempting Paradise. This one won a chase at Plumpton last month and hails from a yard that has a 31% strike rate over the past fortnight with five winners from sixteen runners - twelve of those sixteen runners (75%) have been placed.

There are plenty with chances in the 7.20. Peter Bowen saddles North Island who won well last time but faces a stiffer task here. King Troy returns after a long layoff but is respected nonetheless while Nelson's Spice has talent but isn't always the easiest to catch right. In receipt of five pounds Postmaster beat Herons Well just under three lengths at Ffos Las but has to give that same opponent two pounds here - in addition claimer Aodhagan Conlon takes off another seven pounds. The tissue puts up Postmaster at 9/2 and Herons Well at 12/1 - that looks decent each-way value should the price become available on the day.

I won't get involved in the Foxhunter Champion Hunters' Chase at 7.55. On official ratings Roulez Cool has upwards of twelve pounds in hand of his rivals; this one was brought down in the Christie's Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. For those interested the suggestion is Ice Tea, formerly with Donald McCain and now trained by Mrs S K McCain of the same address!

In the Ladies' Hunters' Chase I'd be prepared to forgive Mad Victor his latest unseating - Polly Grundy takes the ride this time and she looks the most accomplished rider in this field by some considerable margin.

Finally the Weekender's West Country correspondent has advised readers not to miss Mutual Friend (provided the ground stays on the fast side). The grey had two entries for Saturday - a class 3 handicap chase at Stratford and a class 4 novice chase at Cartmel. Connections have chosen the latter, by far the easier of the two options.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Owing to a last minute cancellation for the Tips' taxi service, I had the opportunity to attend this meeting. I looked at the glum sky and these glum selections and decided to stay at home - at least I managed to get something right...

Plenty of rain fell during the day, although there was no amendment to the official going. In the opener Dishdasha was never an each-way price, opening at 9/2 and going off at 4/1. The selection was close enough coming to two out but couldn't find the extra required and finished fourth.

On paper the 6.50 appeared a competitive affair but Passato (5/1) won by 17 lengths - a quick look back through his form suggests fast ground is key this horse. I expect the handicapper to have his say but on the back of this performance Passato looks one to keep in mind over the summer months. Selection Tempting Paradise went off at 8/1 and struggled to stay with the principals, coming home fourth.

A decent effort from Herons Well although there was no 12/1 on offer. Sent off at 11/2 he was passed by top weight King Troy (13/2) between the final two flights, going down by one and three quarter lengths.

Roulez Cool (2/1f) took the Foxhunters - Ice Tea (7/2) raced prominently but didn't appear to stay the extra four furlongs, fading to finish sixth.

I quietly fancied Mad Victor but so did plenty of others. Sent off a 7/4 favourite, his jumping wasn't foot perfect - the game was up three out as Cannon Bridge (12/1) went on to take the spoils.

At Cartmel Mutual Friend's race turned into something of a tactical affair. There was plenty of money beforehand for Thumbs Up (backed from 11/4 in to 6/4); that one took the spoils beating the-one-not-to-be-missed (6/5f) by three quarters of a length...