Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter presents?

Earlier today Viewpoint went into the history books as the first horse to win a race in this country on Good Friday; jockey Cam Hardie steered Richard Hannon's inmate to victory in the opener at Lingfield, in the process recording his first win for the handler.

There are fixtures aplenty on Easter Saturday but finding a wager that makes some appeal hasn't proved particularly easy.

This weekend I was hoping Nigel Twiston-Davies would let King's Tempest, withdrawn at Exeter earlier in the week, take his chance in Sunday's bumper at Towcester but the horse hasn't make the final declaration stage.

I saw this one, still an entire, win at Warwick last month after which the handler said:

'He's as big as any horse we've got and hopefully he's as good. We've been excited since day one with him and he's a lovely horse for the future. I'd love to say we'd go to Aintree with him but it's all about the future and we might look for a similar race as today before putting him away.'

The same yard saddles Blaklion in the concluding bumper at Haydock tomorrow. This point winner trounced his field at Ffos Las three weeks ago and rates a decent hurdles prospect. He won't have things all his own way with Donald McCain's Degooch an interesting opponent - I'm not tempted.

Earlier on the same Haydock card Twiston-Davies runs Red Rocco in the Tim Moloney Handicap Chase (3.50) over three and a half miles. On the face of it Red Rocco hasn't had the best of seasons but on his penultimate start he looked booked for second behind Rigadin De Beauchene in the Grand National Trial at this track before coming to grief at the final flight. Bennys Well is likely to make a bold bid from the front and Red Rocco is another who likes to race from the front; with just six in the field the front-runners could well set the race up for one from behind but Haydock suits those that sit handy. Tactics will be all-important but at the prices (9/2) I'll chance Red Rocco shows us some more of his improved form...

The going is good, good to firm in places at Newton Abbot where they're likely to go lickety-split in the two mile handicap chase at 3.55. Novice Sonofagun is the bookies' favourite on the back of two recent wins but he's taking on some smart rivals... Oiseau De Nuit, Changing The Guard and Shooters Wood were all unplaced in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham last month. The first-named finished four lengths second to the champion two-mile chaser Sire De Grugy in December while course and distance winner Changing The Guard is weighted to reverse placings with the favourite on their recent Ludlow meeting.

Identifying a vulnerable favourite is only half the battle and this looks a particularly trappy event but I'm swayed by winning course form at this tight track - Changing The Guard (7/2) gets the nod.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

No Easter present at Haydock in a race full of incident.

The money came for Red Rocco before the off - he was sent off 2/1 favourite while Sue Smith's Bennys Well was an 11/4 shot. The two market leaders raced together for the best part of a circuit and things appeared to be going well as the selection travelled well within himself while Bennys Well was clearly racing under sufferance. That all changed in an instant as Red Rocco broke down badly in front of the stands and was quickly pulled up by Sam Twiston-Davies; Bennys Well was left at the head of affairs but he took a crashing fall at the sixteenth in the process handing the initiative to Richard Johnson aboard Woodford County. Johnson was working overtime on Philip Hobbs' charge but he'd seen off the challenge of Fentara before the last but couldn't repel Blenheim Brook (13/2) on the long run - there was a neck between the pair on the line.

Better luck at Newton Abbot where selection Changing The Guard (5/2) made all and had the race in the bag when making a mistake two out; he finished four lengths ahead of 9/4 favourite Sonofagun.

In the Haydock bumper Blaklion (5/4f) looked in trouble when headed by Degooch (5/1) a furlong out but the favourite showed admirable resolution to get back up to win despite Sam Twiston-Davies losing his irons close home.