Friday, February 05, 2021

The 2021 Edinburgh National at Musselburgh

With early morning inspections scheduled at Sandown and Wetherby, I've taken a very quick look at the Edinburgh National Handicap Chase (Musselburgh 3.45); 12 have been declared with the ground described as soft, good to soft in places.

At Newbury back in December 2018 Le Breuil finished third behind Santini, beaten just over seven lengths, on his first try at a trip beyond two miles five furlongs. 

On his subsequent ten outings Ben Pauling's charge has won just the once - the National Hunt Challenge Cup at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival - but recently he stayed on noticeably well to claim third behind Notachance at Warwick on his first run following wind surgery. 

The form catches the eye - on official ratings he's the best horse in the race so carries top weight - and consequently the bookmakers make him 3/1 favourite.

Market rival The Ferry Master has been in good form this season but races beyond three miles for the first time.

Last year Bob Mahler and Little Bruce were sent off 9/2 joint favourites for this; off a mark of 135 the former collared Chic Name a short head on the line to collect the spoils, with Little Bruce the best part of 20 lengths away in fourth. 

The following month Bob Mahler was a highly creditable third behind Milan Native in the Fulke Walwyn at Cheltenham but this season Warren Greatrex's charge has been pulled up on three occasions, the most recent behind Dino Boy in the Scottish Borders National at Kelso in December. 

Several commentators have pointed out Dino Boy looked a tad lucky that day when Duc De Grissay sprawled on landing as they jumped the final flight together; that said, he came home 15 lengths ahead of Classic Escape in second. 

Dino Boy's owners, Mr & Mrs Raymond Anderson Green, like to target Nationals north of the border; they won the 2010 and 2012 renewals of the Scottish Grand National with Merigo and this race in 2018 with Full Jack.

Classic Escape's stablemate Billy Bronco finished second at Hereford last time out and in 2018 finished second in the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick and then eighth in the Midlands Grand National at Uttoxeter.

After being pipped at the post last year with Chic Name, trainer Richard Hobson will be hoping for better luck with Saint Xavier who races beyond three miles one and a half for the first time. With the blinkers fitted, his chance is respected.

Lucinda Russell's Mighty Thunder was disappointing last time but has won at this track previously while Fortified Bay did not jump well at Haydock the last day, beaten some 45 lengths into second by Perfect Candidate.

With just four chase starts to her name, The Delray Munky looks inexperienced; I'm put off after a poor show in a mares' chase at Wetherby, although, to be fair, the ground was desperately heavy that day - only one of the four runners completed. 

Stay Humble is similarly inexperienced and has yet to win over fences.

The last day Dino Boy beat Classic Escape 15 lengths at Kelso; on revised terms Dr Richard Newland's charge is entitled to finish eight lengths closer. The disparity in current market prices doesn't really reflect this with Dino Boy 11/2 and Classic Escape 14/1 with some layers. 

There was a hint at Kelso Classic Escape's petrol gauge was starting to show empty in the final couple of furlongs - I'm hoping this flat track and slightly better ground will help the cause.

Classic Escape is the each-way suggestion, currently 12/1 with Sky Bet who are paying five places.


Anonymous said...

bet365 Edinburgh National Handicap Chase

155,DINO BOY(FR),31.3
154,LE BREUIL(FR),17.8

Stay Humble tops the system ratings so it would not be too much of a surprise if he sprang a surprise at 20/1.

That said the system has doubts about SH and after crunching the numbers the system considers Dino Boy the most likely winner but I’m not overly tempted at current odds.

Like you the system has raised the question of the trip in relation to Classic Escape but I hope he runs a big race.

Whilst Wetherby still need to pass a 08:00 inspection it is full steam ahead at Sandown so a cracking day’s racing in prospect both side of the Irish Sea border!

I may need to turn my attention away from the Edinburgh National as my bet of the day, in the hope that he does not let me down, is Buildmeupbuttercup at 20/1 5 places 1/5 odds with Will Hills in the Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown. He needs to be forgiven a rare LTO effort but the drop back to two miles will help and as the system suggested 12/1 would be a nice point to step in I had to take an interest.

In an open renewal Dame De Compagnie looks a bit over-priced in the Scilly Isles.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing your ratings, TW.

Even though Wetherby has fallen to the weather, as you say there's still a cracking day's racing in prospect on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Whatever happens, 20/1 Buildmeupbuttercup looks good value on your ratings.

In the Scilly Isles 4/1 Messire Des Obeaux was tempting last night but most of that has disappeared now. He's bang there on RP ratings and is the only one in the field to have won at the track.

Reading Alan King in the Weekender, I just wondered whether he was hinting he had his charge at peak fitness (as this was the target) whereas his main rivals had half an eye on loftier ambitions.

On the other hand Mr King also said, given the problems the horse has had in the past, he didn't care to run his charge up and down the hills of Cheltenham - yet there's a jolly stiff climb to the finish at Sandown...

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Virgin Bet Scilly Isles Novices' Chase

180,SHAN BLUE(IRE),23.4

AK sounds quite bullish about MDO and I see he is out to 9/2 with Will Hills.

PTD, SJ and UTS look up against it, so with only 4 likely winners I’d have taken an EW interest with PP [3 places 1/5 odds] at 6/1 if they’d take my money.

As it is DDC has drifted to 7/1 and that’s big enough to tempt me in to a win only bet with Will Hill.


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings on the Scilly Isles, TW.
To use a phrase my wife often employs: "I'm swithering."

GeeDee said...

An attritional renewal of Scotland's longest race with just four finishers and winner Mighty Thunder (14/1) coming home 20 lengths ahead of nearest challenger Dino Boy (9/2).

On his last run the winner was beaten 92 lengths in a novice chase at Kelso; winning jockey Blair Campbell explained:

"He's a funny horse as he's run badly before and then won the next time - that's just the way he is".

Selection Classic Escape (10/1) raced towards the rear of the field and was struggling to hold his position when coming to grief at the thirteenth flight.

Bob Mahler (8/1) finished third and Le Breuil (9/4f) fourth.

Stay Humble (12/1) emerged as the only runner to throw down a meaningful challenge to Mighty Thunder but he was six lengths adrift and tiring when he fell at the penultimate flight and, sadly, suffered a fatal injury.