Friday, February 04, 2011

Some Saturday selections

Quick post this evening as I want to catch the Wales v. England rugby international. Dai Walters, the founder and owner of Ffos Las racecourse, will be hoping Wales can win tonight's match and that his horse Oscar Whisky makes it a double in the Welsh Champion Hurdle tomorrow. The layers think Whisky Oscar is something of a shoo-in (1/5) but they price England 4/7 favourites for tonight's encounter - Wales are 15/8 in spite of the home advantage.

In the three and a half mile chase at the Welsh track I'll chance I'moncloudnine who ran well to finish third in the Welsh National at Chepstow four weeks ago on ground that wouldn't necessarily suit. He sports first-time cheekpieces here which may bring out some improvement; Barry Geraghty, who looks to have a decent book of rides, is in the plate. The slight concern is the yard hasn't had a winner since January 13th.

At Sandown champion hurdler Binocular will face just three opponents at 1.55 - the next best horse is rated some 36 pounds inferior; as a result Binocular is priced 1/12 in tonight's tissue. The Scilly Isles Novices' Chase is far more competitive. After a comment in last Sunday's post about Robinson Collonges, I was looking forward to seeing that one taking his chance here but Paul Nicholls has entered front-runner Rebel Du Maquis instead. This one was beaten seven and a quarter lengths into third by Reve De Sivola and Wishfull Thinking the last time; on that occasion he was conceding eight pounds to the winner while the second franked the form with an impressive victory at the Cheltenham Trials Day meeting last week. Jonjo O'Neill saddles Rock Noir who hasn't raced over the distance in this country; in addition the stable has had a quiet time of it lately (3 wins from 33 runners in past fortnight). Big things were expected of Captain Chris this season - he's finished second three times but has bumped into a couple of smart performers in Silviniaco Conti and Ghizao; tomorrow should tell us more but on official ratings he has a bit to find with a few of these. Medermit is the top-rated animal and priced up the 7/2 market leader this evening; the favourite has won six of the last ten runnings. Second last time out in the Dipper, pilot Choc Thornton was disappointed to be beaten by Hell's Bay over two miles five - I've seen a comment from him this week saying that, with hindsight, he'd have ridden a different race. An open event - I'll side with Alan King's grey Medermit.

In the three mile totesport Masters Handicap Chase Philip Hobbs' Leading Contender appears nicely weighted - he doesn't have a lot of miles on the clock and is the tentative suggestion. Looking through a stable tour article from last October, the handler informs us the key is likely to be the jumping - the gelding isn't a natural but ran well enough for a long way behind Nicto De Beauchenne over course and distance the last time.

Only five go in the Towton at Wetherby but Ferdy Murphy had a good word for Hollo Ladies the other day. Ian Williams' Wayward Prince is bound to be popular but at the weights Murphy's charge has three pounds in hand and rates a play against the favourite at around 3/1.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

I was somewhat disappointed with fourth for I'moncloudnine (7/1) behind Alan King's Blazing Bailey. The ground looked to be riding soft enough at the Welsh course and initially I was prepared to give Neil Mullholland's charge the benefit of the doubt. After the race though the handler said 'He's a fun horse who probably isn't good enough for the top level.' Hmmm... Connections are going to aim at staying races such as the Midlands National and the Scottish National.

With Pricewise tipping up Captain Chris, 4/1 and 9/2 was available about Medermit early Saturday morning. Those prices had disappeared post-time - Medermit was sent off 5/2 favourite with Captain Chris 4/1. Medermit jumped well and travelled well under Choc Thornton and held Captain Chris half a length on the line. Captain Chris was certainly making ground up the Sandown hill but his jumping let him down somewhat.

Another whose jumping proved a problem was selection Leading Contender (9/2) in the Masters Handicap Chase. He made a couple of mistakes but was still in with a chance in sixth when a blunder four from home unseated Richard Johnson.

At Wetherby Hollo Ladies (5/1) finished last, beaten over thirty lengths behind 5/6 favourite Wayward Prince. Having said that, the chestnut gelding was given every chance by (the very underrated) Graham Lee and looked to be coming off third best when tiring badly before the last. He was highly tried here and would certainly be worth considering again when dropped in class a little.