Friday, February 10, 2017

Newbury's 'Super Saturday' meeting 2017

After a bomb scare at the track on Friday morning, Newbury officials will be hoping everything goes off smoothly for tomorrow's 'Super Saturday' meet.

Sixteen have been declared for the  Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (3.35) with three horses vying for favouritism - Clyne, Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes. I've seen different commentators claim in their turn that each one of the three comes into the race very well handicapped...

A Kempton handicap hurdle won by Bigmartre on December 27th ties in the form of Beltor, Eddiemaurice, Wait For Me and William H Bonney while at Cheltenham four weeks later William H Bonney came home in front of Wait For Me in fifth (and Bigmartre in eighth).

In last season's County Hurdle at the Festival Superb Story ran away from his field; Wait For Me finished fourth that day with Kayf Blanco a creditable seventh at odds of 50/1.

Wait for Me has been sent off favourite on each of his subsequent three starts but Philip Hobbs' charge hasn't quite managed to deliver the goods - the last day at Cheltenham he led approaching the final flight before fading to finish fifth. On occasions his hurdling continues to cause concern.

After what appears one abortive attempt over the larger obstacles, Kayf Blanco finished a four and three quarter lengths third behind Brain Power and Consul De Thaix at Sandown in early December (Zubayr fifth). That reads well given the former is priced up 7/1 for this year's Champion Hurdle and the latter 25/1 for the Neptune; on County Hurdle form Kayf has three lengths to find with Wait For Me.

On his only other run this season Kayf was hampered by a faller three out when racing over an extended trip at Exeter on New Year's Day.

Only two recent winners have carried more than 10-9 to victory (Zarkander with 11-1 in 2012 and My Tent Or Yours with 11-2 in 2013) but of the sixteen just Veinard and Eddiemaurice pass that particular test.

Of course this is an ultra-competitive event and the stats don't appear to favour eight-year-old Kayf Blanco. It's more than ten years since a horse older than six has collected the spoils; in 2004 at the age of nine Geos pulled off the trick for Nicky Henderson. That said, this just doesn't look a typical renewal to me - discounting riders' allowances, threequarters of the field is set to carry more than 11-0.

Kayf Blanco is the each-way suggestion, priced up at 33/1 in places. Most layers are paying a quarter the odds four places provided, of course, the sixteen make it to the start.

Only three go in the Denman (2.25) with the clash between Gold Cup second favourite Native River and Bristol De Mai eagerly awaited.

My marginal preference was for the former before reading a comment from Colin Tizzard to the effect that this two mile seven furlong and 87 yard trip would be the absolute minimum his charge would want.

Of course, with a small field there's the chance of a tactical affair; should Bristol win, he won't be 14/1 for next month's showpiece.

There's another small field for the Game Spirit (3.00) with just five declared and Gino Trail set to run in the Kingmaker at Warwick if that meeting gets the go-ahead.

Altior has been impressive so far this term but on official ratings still has two pounds to find with Fox Norton and seven with Traffic Fluide. Gary Moore's charge returns to the track for the first time in over a year; his performance here will determine plans going forward.

You know, I find it quite incredible that the 2015 Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets is realistically quoted a 33/1 shot.

The handicapper judged that Festival performance worth 171; barely two years on, the horse is given a rating of just 154.


Anonymous said...

Kayf Blanco made my short-list, I have him rated 3lbs higher that Boite (excluding the jockey’s claim), conditions look sure to suit and I can see him running a big race. My one concern was that as the most exposed hurdler in the field he might just find one or two too good from the win angle.

Looking at the Naps table we might both be clutching at straws with our 33/1 shots and perhaps the trends will hold true and a young, lightly weighted improver will scoop the spoils.

Good Luck!



Ballyandy Racing Post The Edge +14.84
Ballyandy Irish Post Karl Hedley -8.05
Ballyandy Daily Record Garry Owen -11.34
Ballyandy Sunday Mail Rockavon -16.40
Ballyandy Weekender Paul Kealy -34.05
Ballyandy The Irish Field Rory Delargy -39.26

Clyne Racing Post Spotlight -30.23
Clyne The Sun On Sunday Sirius -36.39
Clyne Liverpool Echo Chris Wright -46.15

Gassin Golf Glasgow Evening Times Jeffrey Ross -20.51

Hargam Carlisle News & Star Phil Rostron -29.23

Movewiththetimes Racing Post West Country +11.57
Movewiththetimes Daily Star Sunday Moorestyle -10.11
Movewiththetimes Scottish Express Chris Goulding -11.27
Movewiththetimes Yorkshire Evening Post Lee Sobot -26.95
Movewiththetimes Daily Express The Scout -17.12

Wait For Me Gloucestershire Echo Melissa Jones -2.46
Wait For Me Sheffield Star Fortunatus -17.25

William H Bonney Yorkshire Post The Duke -12.84
William H Bonney The Guardian +5.67
William H Bonney Daily Mirror Newsboy -16.45
William H Bonney Sunday Mirror Gary Nutting -30.79

Sandracer said...

Fifth Geedee. My fault. When I back anything EW I bok it. Always. Take it easy out there..

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I had a saver on Kayf Blanco at 33/1 with Skybet (5places 1/5 odds) which turned a losing bet on Boite in to a break even race for me.

Team tactics saw Ballyhill set quite a searching gallop which Boite tried to follow but he was being ridden turning in and soon faded. The front two were clearly ahead of the handicapper and pulled away from the field in what proved to be another good race for trend spotters.


GeeDee said...


Great to hear from you again; trust you're well. Fear not, you're absolved of any responsibility. Most of the time, when I have a bet, win or each-way. I manage to bok it all on my own... ;)

Trying to stay relaxed but Cheltenham beckons. Looks like I'm going on the Wednesday this time - first visit for several years. Not sure the pins are up to it to be honest. Stay lucky.


Well done! This hasn't been the best of seasons - left frustrated having struck a wager paying a quarter the odds four places... ;) Thanks again for your contributions.


GeeDee said...

The market called the Betfair Hurdle correctly.

Coming to the final flight, Clyne (6/1 j2f) gave way to principals Ballyandy (3/1f) and Movewiththetimes (6/1 j2f). Jocks Sam Twiston-Davies and Barry Geraghty both kept their cards close over the final flight but Ballyandy wasn't to be denied and went on to beat his rival threequarters of a length with Clyne six lengths adrift in third.

Held up, selection Kayf Blanco (25/1) looked dangerous for a moment coming to the penultimate flight but he had no more to give; he finished a creditable fifth, over four lengths behind Song Light (14/1) in fourth.

TW's selection Boite (16/1) was my second pick for this race; this one was the subject of some considerable market support. He raced prominently with the winner's stablemate Ballyhill (28/1) before fading up the long home straight to finish eighth.

Ballyhill was the last to complete in fifteenth (Gassin Golf fell) and in his post-race interview winning trainer Nigel talked of his pleasure when a plan came to fruition. We weren't to know beforehand but in a race that looked sparse on committed front-runners, as TW outlined, it looks as though Team Twiston-Davies ran Ballyhill as a pacemaker for their eventual winner. Not necessarily the sort of tactic you'd associate with a 16 runner handicap hurdle that on paper looked ultra-competitive...

Those Twiston-Davies boys - cunning, eh?