Friday, November 07, 2014

Wincanton Badger Ales / Elite 2014

Back at the beginning of September in a post entitled 'Back in training' I wrote:

"At a Warwick midweek meeting last March Nicky Henderson's mare Polly Peachum caught my eye while King's Tempest claimed the concluding bumper for the Twiston-Davies operation; both will be of interest when they re-appear."

King's Tempest, now with Warren Greatrex, finished two lengths second to Jollyallan in a novices' hurdle at Exeter on Tuesday while Polly Peachum makes her seasonal debut in a Class 2 mares' handicap hurdle at Wincanton tomorrow.

On her last run in a listed Sandown hurdle Polly, in receipt of three pounds, finished a short head second to the well-regarded Southfield Theatre (odds-on favourite for the novice chase at 1.30).

Polly Peachum is a smart mare with a decent turn of foot but my primary concern for this race is she ideally needs good ground to show that turn of foot to best effect. She also has to concede upwards of 12 pounds to her ten opponents but Woodland Walk, Lily Waugh and Mini Muck are obliged to race from out of the handicap.

This evening layers offer 9/2; I'll consider a wager if the going remains no worse than good-to-soft.

A maximum field of 18 will face the starter for the feature Badger Ales Trophy at 2.40; securing a decent racing pitch early on will be important.

Standing Ovation won last year's renewal off 120 and tries to repeat the trick this time off a rating of 131; he should be thereabouts having had a seasonal pipe-opener, a comment that also applies to Emma Lavelle's Court By Surprise, third in last year's race and four pounds better off for eight and a quarter lengths.

At a price I considered Tom George's Date To Endeavour in a race that often goes to a younger horse but most of his chase form is in small fields.

In the past decade the favourite has obliged on four occasions with the winner coming from the top four in the market on eight occasions; Court By Surprise (12/1 William Hill) is no more than a tentative each-way suggestion.

Much of the pre-race talk surrounding the Elite Hurdle (3.15) centres on Irving (unbeaten in this country before disappointing in the Supreme at Cheltenham last March - later found to be coughing) and 2012 Champion Hurdle winner Rock On Ruby.

Several in the field make their seasonal debut so, in search of some value, I've concentrated on those with a recent run under their belts.

Bertimont won a farcical race at Chepstow the last day but could be anything while Hint Of Mint, Forgotten Voice and Starluck finished in that order behind The New One at Kempton three weeks ago.

That trio raced at level weights at Kempton so Nico De Boinville's three pound claim is probably the reason why Forgotten Voice is as low as 5/1 with William Hill.

Starluck is not the force of old but he won a Cheltenham handicap hurdle off this mark in April last year; 40/1 (Stan James) is a big price about a horse whose style of racing is suited to the course.

Since tackling hurdles, Hint Of Mint has raced exclusively on right-handed tracks - priced at 10/1 this evening, Hint of Mint is the each-way suggestion for the Elite; in the past ten years all the winners have been aged between five and seven years old.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Back in March Polly Peachum won a Class 4 Warwick handicap off a mark of 117. Returned 6/1 here the mare took this Class 2 event off 147, apparently with something in hand despite connections' hints she might need the run.

One potential target is the three mile listed handicap at Kempton on Monday 24 November.

The Young Master (13/2) won the Badger Ales in impressive style, seven lengths ahead of selection Court By Surprise (16/1). Confusion reigned thereafter when it emerged the winner was ineligible, having only raced in two chases whereas the conditions of the race stated a minimum of three previous runs was required. The result stands but the matter has been referred to the BHA.

6/4 favourite Irving came to win the Elite but took a nasty-looking tumble at the last, impeding Bertimont in the process. The race went to 16/1 chance Purple Bay with Bertimont (14/1) confirming the promise of his Chepstow run. Selection Hint Of Mint (9/1) looked a little outpaced when the race started in earnest; he was slightly hampered at the last but it made no difference - he came home fifth, two and a half lengths behind Forgotten Voice.