Friday, October 29, 2021

A right Ascot Malarky...

Fourteen have been declared for tomorrow's Bateaux London Gold Cup (3.20 Ascot). The going at the Berkshire track is currently described as good to soft; rain showers are forecast throughout the morning.

Two previous winners re-oppose: Vinndication and Regal Encore. 

The former beat the latter five lengths on the same terms in the 2019 renewal (Larry tenth, Mister Malarky twelfth). Regal Encore showed his particular liking for Ascot when taking last year's race (Mister Malarky sixth).

Vinndication's price looks short enough given Kim Bailey's charge didn't look too fluent at a couple of the obstacles in the Charlie Hall last year; he subsequently unseated David Bass in the Ladbrokes Trophy won by Cloth Cap. 

Connections opted to revert to the smaller obstacles thereafter but again the jumping looked a cause for concern with Vinndication finishing sixth behind Flooring Porter in the Stayers' Hurdle and twelfth behind Thyme Hill at Aintree.

Regal Encore comes alive at Ascot - the veteran's enthusiasm is something to behold - but just a few weeks shy of his fourteenth birthday, I'm not tempted.

I've seen Johnbb tipped up here and there. His chance is respected on the back of his second behind Happygolucky at Aintree in April; the handicapper raised Tom Lacey's charge three pounds for that effort.

Jerrysback has finished behind Vinndication and Regal Encore at this track and has yet to win going right-handed, a comment that also applies to One More Fleurie.

Regal Encore's stablemate Sojourn enters calculations after winning Carlisle's Cumberland Handicap Chase in a hack canter and then finishing four lengths behind Sam's Adventure in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock - Sam's Adventure went on to win the Eider at Newcastle. 

Subsequently Sojourn was pulled up behind Lord Du Mesnil in Haydock's Grand National Trial and has undergone wind surgery over the summer.

Bennys King doesn't look guaranteed to stay, course and distance winner Captain Chaos usually needs a run or two to be seen at this best, and I've always held reservations about Larry. 

That said, Gary Moore's charge was in the process of running his best race for some time when hampered by a loose horse at Fakenham 15 days ago. 

Larry, Real Steel and Mister Malarky are the only runners in the field to have had a recent outing; Larry races from one pound out of the handicap.

Glen Forsa has his first run for new connections while Checkitout has shown his best chase form in smaller fields. 

Didero Vallis would be no forlorn hope on the back of his neck second to Kitty's Light at Kelso in March. Trainer Venetia Williams' runners are always worth a second look here; on the balance of form, Didero usually needs that first run.

At the prices I'm going to take a chance with Mister Malarky. 

He's a precarious proposition at the best of times, more miss than hit, and not one for the faint-hearted.

In the past couple of years he hasn't shown the best of form on seasonal debut - he finished 83 lengths behind Vinndication in the 2019 renewal of this race and 25 lengths behind Regal Encore last year. 

He finished 82 lengths adrift of Chirico Vallis in the Native River Handicap Chase at Chepstow three weeks ago.

All that said, he beat The Conditional and Regal Encore over course and distance last December and is bang there on Racing Post ratings; pilot Harry Kimber claims a handy seven pounds. 

After everything that happened last year, and with Joe set to take over the reins from Colin, I'm banking on the Tizzards having their string a little more forward this year - and Mister Malarky feeling in the mood.

Sky Bet offer 16/1 and pay one fifth the odds five places; Mister Malarky is the each-way suggestion.

What a malarkey!


Anonymous said...

Bateaux London Gold Cup Handicap Chase

168$,181,13,MISTER MALARKY(GB),11.6
164+,177,13,GLEN FORSA(IRE),9.1
168$,174,6,REGAL ENCORE(IRE),8.6
164,172,8,ONE MORE FLEURIE(IRE),6.9
166,174,8,BENNYS KING(IRE),5.2
164$,173,9,CAPTAIN CHAOS(IRE),5.2
?,175,175,REAL STEEL(FR),5.1
164,168,4,DIDERO VALLIS(FR),4.2

Free Timeform race on At The Races so I've included the TF rating and added a column showing the difference between the TF and the system rating. An hour or so of heavy rain this morning could further ease the Good to Soft ground.

Vinndication may justify his position at the head of the market but I agree that he looks too short and is worth taking on.

Mister Malarky [MM] looks well handicapped on the system ratings but, as you've eluded, he's one of three runners with the dreaded TF squiggle. I think it likely that MM will run one of two races; he may run well and win or he'll finish down the field. As such a straight win on the exchange at odds of 30.00+ may have been the bet!

The system highlights potential value in Larry and Checkitout ... but on balance I’ll Sititout.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for providing your ratings along with Timeform's, TW.

The dreaded TF squiggle - doesn't usually end very well...

Anonymous said...

Bateaux London Handicap Hurdle

Like Mister Malarkey its fair to say Mcgroarty is less than straightforward but I’m struggling to let him go off at 66/1 5 places 1/5 odds with William Hill in this.

On his last run for Dr Newland he was 2nd to a good Twiston-Davies yardstick in a claiming hurdle off a mark off 132. He subsequently joined Sophie Leech and over the summer has probably performed at least as well as that last effort for the good Doctor with some nice runs in France not least when a fast finishing 2nd in a Listed handicap hurdle [well worth a watch on At The Races].

He is running off a mark of 120 today and has the benefit of a 3lb claimer so 15lbs below his last UK run. Fanciful I know but that 66/1 was just too tempting…


GeeDee said...

Had him down as was a decent two mile chaser, TW.

See he won off a mark of 145 at Stratford (July 2019) and then 148 at Kelso (October 2019).

Finished 20 lengths behind Hatcher (summer 2020).

Will monitor with interest.
Good luck!

GeeDee said...

A brutal renewal; the first four in the market failed to complete.

Gavin Sheehan on Glen Forsa (14/1) went to the front after the fourth and quickly took the race by the scruff of the neck, building a lead of some 20 lengths or so. That lead was maintained until they rounded the home turn for the final time.

Larry (9/1) hadn't jumped well in rear during the early stages but he took up the running before the final fence and went on to win comfortably by six and a half lengths from Checkitout (11/1) with Regal Encore (14/1) a further three lengths back in third; long-time leader Glen Forsa claimed fourth.

Selection Mister Malarky (20/1) raced mid-division and struggled to keep tabs on the principals. He failed to make his ground at the business end of the race and looked in plenty of trouble but then stayed on up the hill to claim an unlikely, remote fifth, some 36 lengths behind the winner.