Friday, March 30, 2018

Haydock's Tim Moloney Handicap Chase 2018

The Challenger Series finals on the Haydock card tomorrow look challenging enough so I've spent some time on the concluding Tim Moloney Handicap Chase which is run over an extended trip of three miles four and a half furlongs.

Ten have been declared; the going is currently described as good to soft, soft in places, with more rain forecast - I expect a dour test of stamina on churned up ground.

Going through the form I've noted that a number in the field like to race prominently.

Three weeks ago Talk Of The South beat Muckle Roe a length over three miles five furlongs at Warwick on soft ground (Zerachiel a further four and threequarter lengths adrift in fourth).

Muckle Roe meets the winner five pounds better off here so, on the face of it, looks to have every chance of reversing the form but Paul Henderson's charge went clear two out that day and then idled when in front.

I'm assuming that's the reason behind layers pricing up Talk of The South favourite this evening but I'd be wary about taking a short price as this will be his ninth start since October.

On a strict interpretation of the Warwick form Zerachiel is also weighted to finish ahead of Talk Of The South and has under three lengths to find with Muckle Roe.

Bassarabad is unexposed and could be anything - certainly the layers don't appear to be taking too many chances. Last time out the gelding won in convincing fashion at Wetherby on his first run since wind surgery; this will be his first try beyond three miles one.

There are no stamina doubts where Kilcullen Flem is concerned. Formerly with Rebecca Curtis, this one made all to win over four miles in heavy ground at Hexham just sixteen days ago. He steps up in class here; the handicapper has raised him three pounds.

Cloudy Too has noteworthy form to his name but most of it is some way in the past. Now twelve years old, he was beaten a long way last time out at Ayr (Milborough pulled up) and in my book ranks a dubious stayer over this extended trip.

The same comment applies to both Blameitalonmyroots and Streets Of Promise who has shown a tendency to jump right on occasions. That said, the latter produced some improvement last time at Chepstow; he last won in April 2016 off a mark of 130 - tomorrow he starts off 114.

Ckalko Des Loges is clear of his rivals on Racing Post ratings but doesn't appear the most resolute. At Kempton last time he finished third behind Abracadabra Sivola (runs in Staying Chase Final at 3.15) with the formbook reporting: 'cajoled along two out, found little'.

Outsider Milborough, the other twelve year old in the field, has been pulled up on his last two starts and is tried in blinkers for the first time.

The form of the Warwick race looks key and Zerachiel doesn't have too many miles on the clock.

I can't deny I was hoping for a better price but at 8/1 generally Zerachiel is the each-way selection.


Anonymous said...

Another nice write-up; it is not a race I’ve analysed so I’ve no valid observations but best of luck with the selection.

Predicting the weather can be at least as hard a predicting a winner. The Met Office satellite images suggest that it is possible that Haydock might be lucky enough to miss most of the rain that will swirl around the North West.

I’m slowly plodding through the Challenger Series finals and I’m up to the “Smarkets Challenger Staying Chase Series Final Handicap Chase”. Should the Met Office be right, the rain stays away and the going remains predominantly Good to Soft then the price of What Happens Now looks well out of line at 20/1 with Paddy Power. He’s been running well enough in defeat since running away with an amateur handicap at Cheltenham last October and is now only 3lbs above that rating.

Good Luck


GeeDee said...

Hi TW,

Spent much of this afternoon looking for a value wager in the Challenger Series finals and ended up going round in circles... Hampered, I think, by the fact that in very early shows layers are rather cautious, keen not leave themselves too exposed.

Looked at the Staying Chase final and considered What Happens Now; was eventually dissuaded by his last effort at Fakenham but that was after a 90 day break and there's a case to be made that he'll improve for the run.

On balance, I think he's better than that. At the tine of writing he's 9/1 in places yet 18/1 with both Paddy Power and Betfair - a big enough discrepancy in a race with 11 runners.

Will watch with interest. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, very well done!

I failed to even tip the weather correctly but fortunately the trainer had and pulled the horse out.


GeeDee said...

Streets Of Promise (4/1jf) and Kilcullen Flem (6/1) raced from the front in the Tim Moloney while Tom O'Brien gave selection Zerachiel (9/2) a hold-up ride.

O'Brien crept into the race up the long home straight, challenging Tom Scudamore and Streets Of Promise at the second last. Scudamore's mount pecked on landing, opening the door for the selection to quickly establish a lead before the last. Zerachiel stayed on stoutly up the run-in to win by an impressive-looking 15 lengths from Streets Of Promise in second with Kilcullen Flem a further four and a half lengths behind in third; Muckle Roe (5/1) was the only other finisher.

If only it could work out like this a little more often... ;)