Friday, February 04, 2022

A dry January

'How was the dry January, PG?'

'Usual struggle - no winners, a couple placed.'

'Similar to the parched November and dried out December then?'

'Dry as a bone.'

The Racing Post reports officials 'relatively pleased' with field sizes for tomorrow's card at Sandown 'despite the driest January in 25 years'. The official going is described as good to soft, good in places on the chase course.

Look, I'll be honest with you - I've struggled to find a wager this weekend. Over the past seven days I've seen more comings and goings than Boris Johnson. 

Still, I've manged to pick out one from the 18 declared for Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle which is due off at 2.55. 

At the time of writing Green Book, Ree Okka and Beauport head the market.

Green Book was sent off the 9/2 favourite for the Lanzarote at Kempton three weeks ago but, unfortunately, got no further than the second flight, badly impeded by the fall of Ch'tibello and unseating Ned Fox. Cobblers Dream ran out an impressive winner that day with Call Me Lord third and Dans Le Vent fifth.

Ree Okka won a Kempton novice hurdle easily last time out. Connections feel this one is a chaser in the making; the gelding has been allocated a mark of 130 in this first handicap.

Beauport won the EBF Novices' Handicap Hurdle Final at this track last March. The handicapper raised Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge nine pounds and has subsequently raised him a total of five pounds more for finishing second twice this season - last time behind Dashel Drasher at Newbury.

In a recent stable tour (Weekender 08-12.12.21) Peter Fahey indicated the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham is the target for Bold Patriot:

"I was delighted with his run in the Pertemps qualifier at Cheltenham in October and the plan is to go back for the final. 

"He will have one more run over hurdles and that will leave him right for the festival but this season will be geared around that."

Orbys Legend boasts smart form this term, winning the Silver Trophy at Chepstow in October and then a Pertemps qualifier at Wincanton on Boxing Day (Flemcara third and If The Cap Fits over 20 lengths back in fourth).

Call Me Lord's record at Sandown - 1121323 - speaks for itself while at Haydock on good ground in November we saw this trip holds no fears for Dans Le Vent (Orbys Legend back in seventh, If The Cap Fits ninth, Ask Dillon eleventh).

There was a hint The Brimming Water didn't see out that same Haydock trip on soft ground last time, beaten into third by Small Present and Tokyo Getaway which leads me on to Jesuitique.

Just before Christmas, in receipt of seven pounds, Jesuitique beat Tokyo Getaway 'easily' five and a half lengths (Padleyourowncanoe third) at Haydock. 

The race summary in the RP Weekender states: 'A one-sided handicap, the winner looking a long way ahead of his mark...' and then goes on: 'The handicapper can get stuck into him but he's totally unexposed around 3m and further improvement is on the cards.'

The handicapper raised the gelding 10 pounds for that effort. 

Prior to that in November, in receipt of 16 pounds, Dr Richard Newland's charge beat Beauport one and a half lengths over two and a half miles at this track. Taking jockey allowances into consideration, Jesuitique meets Beauport on eight pounds worse terms tomorrow; Cillin Leonard has taken the ride on all four runs in this country to date.

I'm hoping with improvement to come Jesuitique can be competitive in what is an extremely competitive handicap. 

At the time of writing Paddy Power / Betfair offer 12/1 and pay six places. Jesuitique is the each-way suggestion.

Off to the nearest watering hole now - spitting feathers I am!


Anonymous said...

Virgin Bet Heroes Handicap Hurdle

170,REE OKKA(GB),8.3
166,DANS LE VENT(FR),5.9
162,GREEN BOOK(FR),3.5
159,THE COB(IRE),2.7

These Saturday handicaps do not get any easier!

If The Cap Fits is becoming seriously well handicapped but has not shown recent signs that he’s about to capitalise his mark. The system is keen on the chance of stable mate Ree Okka but not his odds.

Jesuitique ticks lots of boxes, not least speed, and it is entirely possible that the system, in generating his rating, has under estimated his potential improvement.

Another race I’ll sit out.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW.

Hopeful rather than confident... :)

Thought 5/1 Mighty Thunder looked quite big at Musselburgh given recent form of Nicholls yard (Highland Hunter) and The Wolf thought to be 'a vey hard ride'.


GeeDee said...

No complaints here...

Selection Jesuitique (9/1) set off at the head of affairs, relinquishing the lead to The Cob (50/1) after the fourth. He raced prominently for most of the trip but came off the bridle on the home turn and was quickly swamped; he was beaten from two out, eventually trailing in twelfth, over 25 lengths behind winner Green Book (6/1).

Venetia Williams' charge took up the running before the penultimate flight and saw off the challenge of Beauport (5/1) by threequarters of a length.

Dans Le Vent (13/2) was seven and a half lengths adrift in third with another seven lengths back to The Cob.

TW's top-rated If The Cap Fits (33/1) made impressive late headway to snatch fifth spot from Call Me Lord (12/1) by a short head.