Friday, January 19, 2018

Another one of those...

The other day I was debating an incident in a televised football match with a friend of mine; he took a particular point of view and I put the opposite case. He could see where I was coming from but quite clearly didn't agree and, by way of conclusion, said, 'Well, it's just one of those, isn't it?'

Fatigued, I agreed, it was one of those but I don't really know what I agreed to when I agreed it was one of those.

I've heard jockeys use the same phrase when discussing races and race-riding incidents. I recall Sam Twiston-Davies in a TV interview saying 'It's one of those,' accompanying the utterance with an ever-so-slight shrug of the shoulders, as if to say, yes, it is one of those and...

ITV Racing has recently developed a penchant for sticking a microphone in the face of a mud-splattered jock who has just trailed in last on a 14/1 shot beaten over 74 lengths - the sort of tip I put up on a regular basis - and as he makes his beleaguered way back to the sanctuary of the weighing room, out pops a reporter and simply says 'Well?' in a presumptive, inquisitive sort of a manner.

The unfortunate jock, door-stepped, bewildered and now mighty keen to weigh in, might well reply 'It's one of those.'

I was impressed the other day when I think it was Aidan Coleman who said 'It's a bit of a mystery,' although obviously not in the sense that Anthony Berkeley's The Poisoned Chocolates Case, for example, is a bit of a mystery.

Now I liked that reply. It struck a chord. Here I am, backing these horses with my very own money and a jock who has just dismounted from a beast that's been beaten a distance and a half doesn't have much of a clue as to why it ran such a stinker.

Clearly, it's just one of those.

For those who have made it this far, here's one of these which, on the balance of probabilities, is more likely to end up another one of those.

Several usual suspects are amongst the fourteen declared for the Ascot Spring Garden Show Holloway's Handicap Hurdle (Ascot 2.25). In recent weeks I've tipped Air Horse One and Whatmore and they've disappointed me and, no doubt, you if you went and backed them.

Air Horse One didn't take off at the fourth flight over a two mile trip here last month and that was the end of his chance. Subsequently handler Harry Fry told the Weekender:

'But let's not kid ourselves, he's a badly handicapped horse.'

Whatmore ruined his chance in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year's Day by refusing to settle. Connections fit a hood for the first time; Henry Daly isn't one to overface his charges.

Jenkins came good in first-time blinkers last week, making all to win at Kempton. After the event the handicapper raised him from a mark of 132 to 143; James Bowen claims five tomorrow but Nicky Henderson's charge is short enough in the market and tries this trip for the first time.

At Sandown last month A Hare Breath, trained by Ben Pauling, beat Caid Du Lin (second), Crossed My Mind (third), Man Of Plenty (fifth) and Jenkins (seventh).

On that same day the Pauling-trained Le Breuil conceded nineteen pounds to Black Ivory at Aintree and was beaten six lengths; Black Ivory went in again at Warwick last weekend. In the Weekender 25-29.10.17 the handler says:

'...I'd like to think his current mark of 139 is very fair and he could be top drawer.'

The market doesn't seem to agree but on Sandown running there wouldn't be a lot between Crossed My Mind, Caid Du Lin and Man Of Plenty; on a line through Magic Dancer, Oxwich Bay and Man Of Plenty look closely matched.

The Racing Welfare Handicap Hurdle over two miles here in December throws up form lines. Hunters Call won that day with Man Of Plenty fifth, Caid Du Lin twelfth and Air Horse One fifteenth following that howler at the fourth referenced above.

At the age of nine Man Of Plenty is the oldest runner in the field but he boasts form behind Misterton and Limited Reserve who was beaten into second by Elgin in the William Hill Handicap Hurdle at Ascot in November with High Bridge third and Air Horse One fourth.

Night Of Sin merits a mention on two counts. Firstly I haven't had one in a while and secondly Nick Williams has sent out four winners from nine runners in the past week.

Nicky Henderson's second string Burbank has been out of form - connections try cheekpieces for the first time.

14/1 Air Horse One is quite tempting but I'm put off by top weight. At an each-way price Caid du Lin and Man Of Plenty are considered; on Uttoxeter form Vivas is closely matched with the latter but Charlie Longsdon's horse doesn't want it too soft.

Many Of Plenty is the each-way selection; at the time of writing he's 20/1 with Coral who pay one fifth the odds four places.

Two points to conclude.

As of today racecards will notify the first time a horse runs after undergoing wind surgery, signified by a  'W' after the beast's name. I happen to know a few people who'd benefit from a wind operation but I'm not so certain they'd be chuffed with a 'W' appearing after their moniker.

Secondly, I haven't yet forgiven myself for failing to back Mirsaale at Kelso last Sunday. Third in the Persian War Hurdle in 2016 and then beaten by Moon Racer at Cheltenham, Keith Dalgleish's charge bounced back to form with a bang, winning at odds of 33/1.

It's another one of those.


Anonymous said...

Man Of Plenty comes out top on my system but I’ve missed the 20/1 4 places and I’m struggling to find any other real edge in an open looking affair.

RTG,Horse,% WC
162,MAN OF PLENTY(GB),13.89
157,OXWICH BAY(IRE),12.66
158,NIGHT OF SIN(FR),9.48
159,AIR HORSE ONE(GB),8.21
160,CAID DU LIN(FR),5.26

Good luck, hopefully not 'another one of those...'


GeeDee said...

The market was adjusted after Le Breuil was declared a non-runner.

Caid Du Lin, Night Of Sin and Jenkins appeared to race keenly up front given the underfoot conditions. Air Horse One raced mid-division while Man Of Plenty (16/1) was held up out the back. 5/1 shot Jenkins stayed on stoutly to repel Air Horse One (14/1) who may have finished closer if he hadn't made a hash of the penultimate flight with Burbank (16/1) taking third.

The selection made his ground coming to the home turn but never had enough to seriously challenge the principals; he stayed on into fourth, beaten six and a half lengths.

Another one of those, but an improvement on recent blog selections...

A word too for Vivas (25/1) who was badly hampered by the fall of Oxwich Bay at the sixth; in the circumstances he did well to come home a remote fifth.