Friday, November 06, 2020

What's this? A Cobra in the Badger Beers...

What with one thing and another there have been a few fireworks this week... Now, I appreciate you wouldn't normally expect a brief preview of Wincanton's Badger Beers Silver Trophy (3.35) to start with a discussion about recent results at Hexham - but what the hell has been happening at Hexham?

Prompted by Evita Du Mesnil's victory in the first at Hexham today, I've had a quick look at Hexham results since the resumption of racing on July 1st - when starting prices started to be determined by the industry.

According to my fag-packet calculations there have been six meetings (44 races) at Hexham since the beginning of July; check the starting prices of these winners: 

02.09.20 18:00 race: Costly Dream 40/1

15.09.20 15:40 race: Daimiens Dilemma 28/1

02.10.20 13:15 race: Golden Robin 66/1

10.10.20 13:25 race: McGinty's Dream 20/1

25.10.20 12:55 race: Kilcaragh Boy 66/1

06.11.20 13:10 race: Evita Du Mesnil 80/1

There have been some fancy prices about placed horses too including Molly Whuppie (15.09.20 14:10 race 66/1 second); Pass Rusher (02.10.20 13:45 race 33/1 second); Farlam King (25.10.20 15:50 race 200/1 second); and Farran Dancer (06.11.20 15:30 race 40/1 second).

Any theories? Please feel free to send me some money-making ideas...

Finding a juicy priced winner on tomorrow's card at Paul Nicholls' local track looks decidedly difficult. 

To date Nicholls has won the Badger Beer ten times and holds three chances of making it eleven - Danny Whizzbang, Present Man and My Way. Danny looks short on chase experience, My Way has yet to win over fences while previous winner Present Man likes it around here but came up short last year and is, like me, getting no younger. The last horse older than nine to come home in front was Flaked Oats in the year 2000 - trained by Paul Nicholls.

This race hasn't been particularly kind to me over the years and wouldn't be one of my favourites - there may be a causal link there. With layers not looking keen to take too many chances, I'm going to make the case for Cobra De Mai. 

In a recent Racing TV Stable Tour piece (dated 22.10.20) trainer Dan Skelton said:

"He has struggled against the handicapper since he won at Cheltenham last April but I do believe we are somewhere near back to an optimistic mark. He ran the other day at Fontwell but he wants a bit of nice ground, three miles and a chance off the handicapper." 

Cobra should have conditions to suit tomorrow. 

He finished ninth behind Give Me A Copper in last year's renewal off a mark of 150 - and goes off 138 tomorrow. The handicapper dropped the gelding two pounds following his last run where he didn't jump well in Frodon's race at Cheltenham; I'm prepared to forgive that effort. He went off 11/2 third favourite that day, yet he's generally priced up at 14/1 for this lower grade race. 

You can't blame regular pilot Harry Skelton for choosing to go to Aintree for a nice-looking book of rides that includes Wilde About Oscar, Bennys King and Ch'tibello; Bridget Andrews will certainly be up to the task if the horse is. 

Cobra's sixth behind The Conditional at the Festival in March reads well and I think he was probably undone by the soft ground at Fontwell on the seasonal reappearance. I'm hoping the application of first-time blinkers helps to trigger a return to form as he races now from a mark that is four pounds lower than when he last won.

William Hill are paying five places; Cobra De Mai, currently 14/1, is the each-way selection.

To finish, a couple of quick snippets...

Local trainer Robin Dickin sent out his first winner in over 500 days at Huntingdon on Sunday. Owned by The Cocoa Nuts & The Tricksters, Mr Palmtree comfortably disposed of his rivals at odds of 12/1. The signs were there but, unfortunately, I completely missed them. Off a revised rating of 93, Mr Palmtree should remain competitive at his level.

Current coronavirus restrictions can only be considered a hindrance so Willie Mullins' decision to send Eight And Bob over to contest tomorrow's Pertemps Qualifier at Aintree (1.35) catches the eye. A quick trawl through the form left me slightly bewildered but the beast should be fit enough after a summer campaign on the Flat.


Anonymous said...

159,MY WAY(FR),5.6
160,COBRA DE MAI(FR),5.4

Coo Star Sivola now a non-runner [Going]

El Presente tops my system output and whilst he has a good bit to find when trailing in behind Potterman back in August the system thinks EP the more progressive of the pair. 14/1 looks more than fair with 17.00 readily available on the exchanges.

Off a mark of 138 I can see the case for Cobra De Mai but he looks a difficult horse to catch right [1st time blinkers may help] and the system is still not convinced that 3M is his ideal trip.

Good luck


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing your ratings, TW; hear what you're saying re: Cobra.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Unfortunately first-time blinkers failed to spark any sort of revival in Cobra De Mai.

The beast drifted like a barge in the betting, was sent off a 25/1 chance and ran like a drain. Dan Skelton's charge started to struggle on the second circuit; after a couple of indifferent leaps, Bridget Andrews pulled the horse up at the entry to the home straight.

In complete contrast, top marks to TW whose two top-rated fought out a tight finish with El Presente (11/1) beating Potterman (10/1) a short head; four-year-old Kitty's Light (12/1) put up a noteworthy performance to claim third.

The complexion of the race changed totally as My Way (5/1) and Sizing At Midnight (14/1) raced clear coming to the third last. Sizing At Midnight appeared to be going the better of the pair but took a crashing fall, leaving My Way some seven lengths clear. Paul Nicholls' charge jumped the last with a reduced lead and was quickly passed by his nearest pursuers, eventually coming home fourth.