Friday, January 22, 2016

A horse for Haydock

Some small fields at Ascot and Haydock tomorrow with a couple of odds-on favourites to have reservations about.

All eyes will be on Un De Sceaux in the Sodexo Clarence House Chase (Ascot 3.00) but 8/13 looks a short price about a horse that has fallen twice in six chase starts.

Similarly I wouldn't be in a rush to back The New One at odds of 1/2 in Haydock's Champion Hurdle Trial after his struggle to get past Bertimont in this race on similar ground last year.

Just six go in the Champion Hurdle Trial and six are declared for the Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle at 2.05. The layers have marked up top-rated Le Presien a hot favourite but this looks decidedly closer than the prices might imply. Vieux Lille, rated two pounds inferior, is priced up 4/1 at the moment - that price appears to be disappearing - while both It'safreebee and Bigmartre enter calculations.

The former has just his second start for Dan Skelton who has saddled a couple that have run below par in big Saturday novice events since the turn of the year - Welsh Shadow in the Tolworth at Sandown and Born Survivor in Warwick's Leamington Hurdle last weekend.

I was disappointed to see a particular favourite of mine, Bigmartre, beaten at Fontwell on his penultimate run - that was over two miles three. He made amends next time out by winning over this course and distance on heavy ground; trainer Harry Whittington, who currently boasts a strike rate in excess of 30% for the season, indicates connections intend to go chasing in the autumn.

Either the first or second favourite has won six of the past seven renewals but 7/1 Bigmartre looks big to me - Bigmartre is the play against Le Presien.

I was going to take a small each-way interest in Katenko in the Peter Marsh Chase (Haydock 3.15) but at the time of writing a number of layers aren't quoting a price which suggests he may not take his chance.

It's a bit of a surprise to see Reve De Sivola priced up favourite for this slog in the mud but he races off a mark 21 pounds lower than his hurdles rating. That said, in the past he has been slow over the larger obstacles and has on occasions jumped out to the right; I'm not tempted.   

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

The duel for the lead between the selection (9/2) and Its'afreebee (7/2) was won by the latter. Both raced within themselves until the entrance to the home turn where Harry Skelton pinched four lengths or more from his pursuers, a move that ultimately won him the race.

Sheehan sent out the distress signals on Bigmartre but he was unable to go with the principals; he finished fourth and although a bright prospect, was clearly not good enough in this grade.

The Skelton team may have been in indifferent form over the past fortnight or so but there was no doubting the determination of Its'afreebee who held challenger Le Prezien (15/8f) after the last to win by threequarters of a length.