Friday, November 09, 2018

Badger Ales Trophy 2018

Earlier in the week the Charlie Appleby trained Cross Counter gave Britain its first win in the Melbourne Cup. A piece in The Times on Monday highlighted the chance of Magic Circle but in the event Ian Williams' charge came home sixteenth after breaking a blood vessel. Nonetheless this particular snippet caught my eye:

"Ian Williams has the distinction of being the only trainer to have had a winner at every course in Britain." 

Former England footballer John Barnes was the guest of honour at Warwick's Sporting Icon Raceday today.

It's well known that the back straight at Warwick provides a stiff test for a novice chaser but 1/4 favourite Kalashnikov rifled over the fences and through his opposition to win very easily; he is now quoted as low as 9/2 for the Arkle at Cheltenham in March.

Rather more difficult to predict was the victory of L'Es Fremantle at Market Rasen yesterday. Rachael McDonald produced the 80/1 chance to pip Miss Lilly Pinchin on Follow The Swallow near the line to record the horse's first win at the 56th time of asking and give trainer Michael Chapman his first win for two years. Marvellous stuff.

There's plenty of rain and small fields about this evening; one exception is the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase, the highlight at Wincanton, where sixteen have been declared to face the starter. At the time of writing the going at the Somerset track is good to firm, good in places, but that may well change before the off at 3.35.

Two of Paul Nicholls' runners vie for favouritism - Present Man and El Bandit. The former won this last year with Bryony Frost up and the pairing try to repeat the feat twelve months on off a mark just two pounds higher. The latter returns to the track after a spell of 543 days on the sidelines and has just one chase start to his name - the price being offered by the bookmakers looks distinctly short.

Thirteen days ago Bigbadjohn won here over a longer trip (Sumkindofking third) and, just two pounds higher tomorrow, he has obvious claims.

Nicholls' third runner Captain Buck's was beaten by Aunty Ann over course and distance last time out but could reverse the placings three pounds better off. I note that Harry Cobden rides El Bandit.

Ramses De Teillee has shown his best form on soft / heavy ground (which may yet come to pass) while the blinkers worked their magic on Allelu Alleluia last time but this is his first try beyond two miles seven furlongs.

Both Belmount (at Exeter) and Kings Lad (at Ascot) look to have had hard enough races in the past week.

In search of an each-way wager I've considered the two Charlie Longsdon runners - Aunty Ann and Bestwork - along with Sam Red and Sumkindofking.

On bits and pieces of form the 40/1 Paddy Power offers about Bestwork looks big but on balance his profile is a shade too inconsistent and he was pulled up on his first try beyond three miles last time out.

Aunty Ann will stay (as aunties often do) and the mare's course and distance win last time reads well but she races off a career high of 128 and her three chase victories to date have all come in fields with less than ten runners.

I like the profile of Sumkindofking (fifth in the Summer Plate at Market Rasen), a consistent sort, but it's difficult to see him reversing form with Bigbadjohn - that effort was his first try beyond two miles five and a half.

Sam Red was certainly very fortunate to win at Cheltenham the other day (Oighear Dubh well in command after the last before running out through the tapes) but this time last year Sam was racing off a mark of 137 whereas tomorrow he goes off 122 and amateur rider Mr William Marshall claims another seven; good ground looks important to him.

Sky Bet and Paddy Power both offer 16/1 about Sam Red and pay one fifth the odds five places.

Sam Red is the each-way selection.


Anonymous said...

I’m struggling to find any real angle in the Badger Ales Trophy but for what it’s worth Sam Red tops my system output, so I hope he continues the blogs successful start to the season.

I am interested in one of Paul Nicholls elsewhere and whilst it is outside of the sphere of the blog, I’m hoping Birds Of Prey can swoop to win the November Handicap at Doncaster. Lightly raced, proven on the ground, Megan claims 5lb he looks set to run a big race and if the wind operation brings further improvement he might just prevail. William Hill are kindly going 7 places [1/5 odds] and at 11/1 I’m optimistic of at least some return on my investment.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Good luck, TW!

GeeDee said...

Selection Sam Red (14/1) raced in fifth / sixth position for much of the first circuit but the writing was on the wall soon afterwards as he fell back through the field; he was eventually pulled up four from home.

Present Man (5/1 JF) and Bryony Frost completed a remarkable double, going on from three out to easily repel the challengers. Sumkindofking(10/1) was beaten two and a half lengths but never looked like troubling the winner while Fingerontheswitch (16/1) came home third and Aunty Ann (16/1) fourth. On Demand (33/1) was noted, running well for a long way before fading up the home straight to finish seventh.

Finally TW's selection Birds Of Prey (10/1) ran well in the November Handicap at Doncaster, claiming fourth spot behind facile winner Royal Line (9/1).