Friday, October 16, 2015

Lazing on a Sunday afternoon...

Ever so slowly the National Hunt season is clicking into gear.

Tony McCoy retired in April but Richard Johnson didn't - earlier this afternoon 'Dickie' recorded his 100th winner this term aboard He's A Bully at Wincanton.

There are jumps cards at Stratford, Market Rasen and Ffos Las tomorrow but Kempton's card on Sunday is the highlight.

The New One returns to action in the Listed Hurdle at 4.25 and he'll be long odds on to repeat his victory of a year ago.

I backed him against Faugheen for the Champion Hurdle in March but he was something of a disappointment in fifth, beaten over eight lengths. He's certainly not the biggest of individuals but I'm wondering whether connections will opt to go down the novice chase route at some point.

A quick word for Stephanie Frances in this race - she finished ahead of Bantam (second), Midnight Jazz (third) and Quiet Candid (fifth) in a mares' novices' listed hurdle at Cheltenham on her penultimate start - the named trio renew rivalry in Stratford's opener tomorrow with Bantam weighted to confirm placings.

Despite carrying a penalty Oceane is likely to prove popular in the opening juvenile hurdle at 2.15. Rated 88 on the Flat, she caught the eye on her hurdling debut at Fontwell, jumping neatly and drawing away from her rivals after the last.

Looking for some value, the Listed novices' hurdle at 3.20 has caught my attention.

John Ferguson's Maputo is rated 138 and sets a high standard having won three on the bounce. There's no obvious reason why he shouldn't confirm Huntingdon form with Regulation although this one obliged at odds of 9/4 at Wincanton today and may not take up Sunday's engagement.

Both San Benedeto and Midnight Shot have made all to win in the past and may well be keen to 'get on with things' on their seasonal debuts which could play into the hands of Swansea Mile.

Dan Skelton's charge faces no easy task conceding weight all round but on his first run in this country three weeks ago the gelding finished two and a quarter lengths third behind Cloonacool in a listed handicap hurdle at Market Rasen. That effort looks all the more noteworthy as the form book records Swansea Mile 'clipped heels and stumbled badly after 3 out' yet was 'pressing for 2nd flat'.

To me it looks the best form on offer. That said, we can assume John Ferguson will know what's required as Maputo's stablemate Broughton finished a neck behind Swansea Mile in fourth (and then went out to win a Class 2 handicap hurdle at Chepstow last Sunday). 

Plenty of ifs and buts; I'll take an interest in Swansea Mile provided he's priced up 4/1 or bigger.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

Maputo (5/6f) displayed an impressive turn of foot coming to the last to easily see off selection Swansea Mile (5/1) six lengths; several layers quote 20/1 about the winner for the Supreme Novices at Cheltenham - Paddy Power offer 33/1.

There was a word and some money too for Charlie Longsdon's Midnight Shot (7/2); racing from the front, he blundered three from home and weakened thereafter but is worth noting for future reference.