Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Friday, tomorrow's Saturday...

Bookmakers just can't resist it, can they? Getting in on the act, that is. Seen here and there in places today:

"Black Friday - the only sale where the prices go up!"

Quick, I need one of me tablets.

The weekend highlight is the Betfair Chase at Haydock (3.00). The field of five includes Gold Cup adversaries Native River and Might Bite but earlier today Nigel Twiston-Davies, fearing drying ground, indicated he would walk the course tomorrow morning before making a decision on Bristol De Mai's participation. A race to watch and savour.

Some observers think First Assignment is a bit of a good thing in the Betfair Exchange Stayers' Hurdle (2.25) at the same track. Ian Williams' charge won as he liked at Cheltenham last Saturday; he has been raised five pounds but is due to go up another eight so is, theoretically, eight pounds well in.

I'd advise caution before rushing upstairs to raid the kids' piggy banks. Last week Mr Williams made it crystal clear this horse doesn't take a lot of racing:

"He's not a really robust horse you'd be rubbing your hands with and saying we'll have a real go next week."

I certainly wouldn't be tempted by 6/4 and was considering an each-way wager on the Tom Symonds trained Bobo Mac - that was until I read this note from his handler:

"I'll have a look at the ground when I get to Haydock as he wouldn't want quick ground because I don't think he performs at his best on it."

With that cunning plan thwarted, I'm off to Ascot instead where the going is described as good, good to soft in places.

Thirteen have been declared for the Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase (3.15). At the time of writing Cyrname and Modus are vying for favouritism; the former likes to race from the front and wouldn't be guaranteed to have it all his own way in this field while the latter beat Duke Of Navan a head at Cheltenham last time but wouldn't be one to trust implicitly.

Four in the field make their seasonal debuts - Speredek, Theinval, Gardefort and Valdez - and may just be vulnerable to race-fit rivals.

In the Weekender Alan King indicates Valdez 'needs rain' and is 'ground dependent' while this looks a tough enough ask for novices Caid Du Lin (four chase starts to date) and One For Billy (six chase starts).

In the Haldon Gold Cup 18 days ago Ozzie The Oscar was beaten half a length by Gods Own with San Benedeto a further seven lengths adrift in third. On revised terms San Benedeto should finish a little closer but there can be no denying that was a bit disappointing from Paul Nicholls' charge.

Prior to that the gelding had rolled in last of six behind Verdana Blue in a Kempton hurdle; in formbook notes Sandra Noble wrote:

"San Benedeto will need to improve markedly on this run if he is to get competitive in his next reported target of the Haldon Gold Cup..."

So I'm starting to think perhaps, just perhaps, there's a bit more to come...

At Exeter he was bang there before making an error at the third last and I'm hoping that run has put him spot on.

A previous course and distance winner, he went off 2/1 favourite for this race last year and was beaten two lengths into fourth off a mark of 157; tomorrow he starts off 152 and is the one to beat on Racing Post ratings.

Ozzie The Oscar is respected but with both Paddy Power and Betfair offering 11/1 and paying one fifth the odds four places San Benedeto is the each-way suggestion.


Anonymous said...

Black Friday, Cyber Monday.....I'll settle for Successful Saturday!

I've had a decent look at the 13 runners in the Gerard Bertrand Hurst Park Handicap Chase; San Benedeto [SB] is joint top rated on my system, he has conditions to suit and his effort in the Haldon Cup was not too bad. Bryony Frost could still claim 3lbs last time out and in last year' renewal she claimed 5lb; having now ridden out her claim SB effectively runs of the same mark today.

The other joint top-rated horse is One For Billy [OFB]; he looks an improver, was running a great race at Cheltenham LTO off today' mark before running out and may yet have more to give.

William Hill are paying 6 places [1/5th odds] in the 13-runner race and at odds of 14/1 OFB is my selection.

At current odds I'm taking more than a watching brief in the Betfair Chase. It looks to be between the two market leaders and Might Bite, on better ground and a shorter trip, may well over turn Gold Cup placings but the disparity between the available odds looks wrong. I'm as convinced as I can be that Native Rive has at least a 35% chance of winning this race as such I've invested accordingly at 4.0+ on the exchange.

Good luck!


Anonymous said...

I see the Ascot race has the free Timeform ratings.

Comma separated the listing below is Timeform, my system and then horse.

Timeform Rtg,TW TRG,Horse
161,164,CAID DU LIN(FR)

GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW. Good luck!

GeeDee said...

A brave attempt by Speredek (12/1) to make all on his seasonal debut with Ozzie The Oscar (15/2) the only other rival attempting to keep tabs on the runaway leader. Several failed to get into the race but novice Caid Du Lin (16/1) crept through the field stealthily to make his challenge up the short home straight - he picked off the long time leader in the shadow of the post to record a significant victory.

Selection San Benedeto (9/1) raced in fourth / fifth for much of the trip but was never able to close on the pacemaker. He stayed on at one pace up the hill to claim fourth spot behind Marracudja (16/1) who came from the back to secure third.

Bristol De Mai (13/2) took a spell-binding renewal of the Betfair Chase but just what have they been doing to the fences over at Haydock? Clerk of the course Kirkland Tellwright has indicated they are likely to make changes before the next scheduled meeting on Wednesday 5th December.