Friday, December 08, 2017

A suggestion for Sandown

Uncertainty over the weather means inspections are scheduled at Sandown, Aintree and Chepstow tomorrow morning.

The covers are down at Sandown where an inspection will take place at 8.00am for the Tingle Creek card which is under threat from frost; a forecast of snow has led Aintree stewards to call an inspection at 8.30am for the Becher Chase card; and at 8.00am Chepstow stewards will also check for frost.

Picking a meeting to survive the weather is proving nearly as difficult as picking a winner...

I've opted for Sandown; with the covers in place and overnight temperatures in Esher predicted to fall no lower than minus one, racing should go ahead...

Following an unsatisfactory midweek exercise Douvan misses the Tingle Creek at 2.55. Fox Norton is the one to beat but I'll be watching for an improved performance from course and distance winner Ar Mad who finished three and a half lengths behind Un De Sceaux in last year's renewal; Gary Moore's charge did well to finish so close after a bad blunder at the sixth.

The previous year Ar Mad beat Bristol De Mai ten lengths in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase - this year's renewal looks a very high class (and rather trappy) affair.

Jumping is always at a premium here; to date Brain Power has looked better over the bigger obstacles than Finian's Oscar but the latter possesses a distinct turn of foot which could serve him well if still within striking distance at the final flight. North Hill Harvey, on the same official rating as Finian's Oscar (155), is by no means out of the reckoning.

In search of an each-way wager I initially looked at the London National (3.30) but noted that Milansbar's preferred engagement is in the 2.45 at Chepstow while The Young Master will run in the 1.30 at Aintree if that meeting gets the green light.

The Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts December Handicap Hurdle (2.20) looks typically competitive - a case can be made for most in the field.

Alan King holds a strong hand with William H Bonney and Fidux. The former caught the eye behind Elgin in the Greatwood at Cheltenham when a lack of fitness told coming up the hill; the latter looked unlucky to unship Kevin Dowling at the last here last month.

I'm inclined to see Jenkins as something of a talking horse; I'll revise that view if necessary but he finished some eight and a half lengths behind William H Bonney in the Greatwood.

Last year A Hare Breath ran a blinder on his seasonal debut to finish two and a quarter lengths behind North Hill Harvey in the Greatwood; six weeks ago the plan had been to follow the same route this time; for whatever reason, there has been a re-think.

Course and distance winner Exitas has been in good form over fences recently; his chase rating is 133 but he starts off 125 tomorrow and has a seven pound claimer on board.

Front runner Rayvin Black is another on a handy mark (135);  he raced off 141 in the Contenders' Hurdle here in February, likes the track but really needs more cut underfoot.

Zubayr's fifth behind Brain Power in this event last year reads well and he now starts off a mark four pounds lower; rider Mr L. Williams can claim seven. I'm hoping Paul Nicholls' charge has come on for his pipe-opener at Wincanton last month...

At 14/1 (one fifth the odds four places) with both Betfair and Paddy Power Zubayr is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

163,RAYVIN BLACK(GB),17.46
155,MAN OF PLENTY(GB),8.83
153,CAID DU LIN(FR),3.75

I've the same ground concersn as yourself over Rayvin Black so Zubayr (14/1 4 plcs, 1/5th odds) is also the system's value selection in this race. He's never ran well off a break and with the ground today hopefully much more to his liking that in was at Wincanton I'm optimistic of a bold show

A key factor will be 17 year old Lorcan Williams 7lb claim and it could be a big day for him as he might also make full use of it on Southfield Theatre in the London National.

Good luck


GeeDee said...

Thanks again for posting your ratings, TW. Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Unfortunately Zubayr (10/1) put in the sort of performance that indicated he hadn't come on at all for last month's run at Wincanton.

In a race run at a mediocre pace, the selection was close enough in the pack coming to two out but when push came to shove, Lorcan Williams was shoving before most of the others and not getting much of response for his efforts; a slow jump at the penultimate flight set the seal on a disappointing effort.

Zubayr came in last of the eleven runners, some 40 lengths behind winner A Hare Breadth (8/1) who wore down Caid Du Lin (20/1) racing up the hill with Crossed My Mind (100/30f) four lengths adrift in third.