Friday, February 17, 2012

Saturday quick picks

At Ascot Bobs Worth will be a short price for the Reynoldstown (1.50); for the record the favourite has obliged on five occasions in the past decade. I've not been particularly impressed with Bobs jumping of the larger obstacles so I'm torn between Silviniaco Conti and Invictus. The former hasn't won over the distance but his two and a quarter length second to Grand Crus in the Feltham on Boxing Day reads well; this stiffer track may not help the cause if stamina becomes the issue but at the weights he's the one they have to beat. Invictus was somewhat disappointing at Cheltenham on New Year's Day but it came to light later that Alan King's charge had lost a shoe. I'm prepared to forgive that run; Invictus is likely to appreciate the step up in trip but the hint in the Weekender is he'll come on for the run with the Festival just around the corner. 8/1 Invictus is tempting but as only one winner has started bigger than 9/2 in the past decade (Montgermont 17/2 in 2006) Silviniaco Conti is the suggestion.

The last time Riverside Theatre saw a racecourse he took last year's running of the Ascot Chase (3.00) and plenty will think he can repeat the trick this time around. Kauto Stone is the only six year old in the field; in the past decade no six year old has taken this. - all winners (excepting Riverside Theatre last year) have been aged eight or older. Favourites have won six of the previous ten renewals so Riverside Theatre is the selection.

At Haydock I'll consider an each-way wager on Flying Flynn (18/1 with Coral this evening) in the Prestige Novices' Hurdle (2.10). Philip Hobbs reports this one has progressed following his second to Hadrian's Approach at Ascot in December.

The Rendlesham (2.45) looks trappy. On ratings Featherbed Lane is the one but he's no price so I'll watch from the sidelines. Donald McCain has a word for Reindeer Dippin  but if you fancy Restless Harry you'd be advised to ensure the gelding hasn't worked himself up beforehand - the horse doesn't always travel well to the races from his Stratford base.

The Grand National Trial at 3.20 should prove informative but the layers have it about right quoting the Welsh National first and second, Le Beau Bai and Giles Cross, as joint favourites. It's worth noting that until fairly recently Giles Cross had the Eider Chase at Newcastle as his target so perhaps connections are hopeful of turning the form around. At Chepstow Victor Dartnall's gelding went down seven lengths to Le Beau Bai conceding five pounds; on revised terms Le Beau Bai now concedes two pounds so, barring accidents, they should finish in close proximity - of course, whether that's at the head of affairs is another matter altogether!

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

So now we know for certain... Silviniaco Conti (11/10f) doesn't stay a stiff three miles. Invictus (6/1) most certainly does and is now a best-priced 12/1 (Victor Chandler) for the RSA Chase - Boylesports offer 6/1. Bobs Worth, second here on his first run after a breathing operation, has been eased out to 6s for the RSA but the hint from the yard is he will come on for this run; I'm not interested at that price. Connections of Silviniaco Conti have indicated they're likely to miss Cheltenham and wait for Aintree.

Riverside Theatre (13/8f) won the Ascot Chase in taking style but up at Haydock Flying Flynn (20/1) got worked up beforehand and appeared well and truly out of his depth in the Albert Bartlett; he was awkward at several flights and trailed home a tailed-off eighth. I don't think connections will be considering Cheltenham after this display - on the other hand winner Brindisi Breeze (9/2cf) looked impressive.

Giles Cross (4/1f) took the National Trial with Le Beau Bai (8/1) finishing 11 lengths in arrears to collect third place prize money.