Friday, March 29, 2024

The 2024 Challenger Stayers Hurdle Series Final at Haydock

The widely reported fall in betting turnover on racing is certainly not good news for the sport's finances but that pales into insignificance besides proposals put forward by the Liberal Democrats in the world of football. 

Martin Samuel wrote in The Times on Wednesday: 

"[The Lib Dems'] manifesto for sport would put the Premier League on free-to-air television by law, meaning the finances of arguably the most successful industry in British business would collapse overnight."  

Enough. Have a look at this instead. 

It's soft on the hurdle track at Haydock, with a dry day forecast tomorrow; thirteen go in the Challenger Stayers Hurdle Series Final due off at 2.40. 

In an open event, Astronomic View heads the market with Doughmore Bay, Picanha, and Judicial Law supported during the day. 

Shoeshine Boy, joint favourite with one or two layers earlier, is 10/1 with Paddy Power at the time of writing.  

Three weeks ago, over a trip of three and a quarter miles at Warwick, Astronomic View recorded his first win in eight hurdle races, coming home 21 lengths ahead of My Bobby Dazzler in second, with Martha Brae (third) and Balkardy (fifth) even further behind. 

Sue Gardner's chestnut, owned by husband Des, was raised eight pounds for that effort; daughter Lucy rides. 

My Bobby Dazzler's second to the Olly Murphy trained Butch at Cheltenham on New Year's Day reads well. 

Mel Rowley's inmate finished fourth in this race last year off a mark of 122; taking Tabitha Worsley's three pound claim into consideration, he is effectively two pounds better off this year.

Top weight Judicial Law travelled well for a long way behind Emitom at Newbury last time - noticeable error made four out - but he didn't quite get home on the heavy ground, finishing fifth; the handicapper has dropped him one pound for that run.

The yard has won this twice in the past five years with Django Django (2019) and An Tailliur (2022).

Picanha finished fourth in the same Newbury race on his first start for 660 days. 

He clearly hasn't been easy to train - just seven starts under rules at the age of ten - but that was a decent effort; he beat Trincomalee off this mark at Warwick in April 2022.

Doughmore Bay did well to finish second behind Ilovethenightlife on his first run for 73 days at Plumpton; outpaced rounding the home turn, he looked booked to finish with the also-rans before rallying stoutly up the hill.

Prior to that Emma Lavelle's charge had finished seventh behind American Sniper and White Rhino (Paricolor third) at Cheltenham in November.

Paricolor hasn't won for over two years but has nonetheless posted some decent efforts in defeat. 

He was pulled up 11 days ago behind Feivel at Exeter, having missed a race at Doncaster in January on account of the ground and one at Wincanton at the beginning of the month; the handicapper has dropped him three pounds. 

Connections try a first-time visor; the stable is operating at a 29% win strike rate over the past fortnight.

In four starts this season Goshhowposh has won twice and failed to complete twice. 

The gelding beat Shallow River at Wincanton on Boxing Day but was pulled up behind that rival on heavy ground at Exeter seven weeks ago. The trainer said his charge stopped very quickly that day; connections fit blinkers for the first time.

Bottom weight Shoeshine Boy comes into this in fine form having won at Ayr and Kelso in the past six weeks; on 107 he's only six pounds higher for those two victories.

Secret Trix, kept busy over the summer months, qualified for this when second behind Equinus at Aintree at the end of October; he hasn't been seen since and wears cheekpieces for the first time.

Tanganiyka, on the other hand, has been kept busy over the winter months. 

Venetia Williams' charge made all to win at Newbury on his penultimate start and is now rated seven pounds higher. 

He beat Astronomic View (dead-heated with Chris Cool in second) at Bangor in December and has a couple of lengths to find on revised terms; he isn't always particularly fluent at the obstacles but the yard boasts six wins from 30 runs (20%) in the past 14 days.

Storm Nelson has caused havoc with wind, rain, hail and snow in parts of the country over the past 24 hours; expect similar levels of pandemonium if Storm Nelson wins here.

The gelding qualified when a modest third behind Johnson's Blue at Doncaster last month. His defeat of Wakool at Ayr 14 months ago reads well but the eleven-year-old hasn't shown that level of form since moving to Olly Williams in November.

A difficult race. 

My small each-way wager won't make any inroads into that widely reported fall in betting turnover ('a drop in the ocean', one might say) but I'm going to forgive My Bobby Dazzler his last run over an extended trip at Warwick. 

He likes to race up with the pace which suits Haydock; My Bobby Dazzler is the each-way suggestion, 14/1 with Sky Bet who pay one fifth the odds five places.     


TW said...

My system is in the garage getting the ratings algorithm re-calibrated so I’ve not crunched the numbers, hopefully back running for Aintree.

Based on the stats My Bobby Dazzler’s age would be a negative?

There does not look to be much between Tanganyika and Astronomic View based on their Bangor running and Tanganyika won a further qualifier for this final, literally, in a canter. If his LTO efforts at Uttoxeter have not left too big a mark then he might bounce back today. 9/1 4 plcs was tempting but I’ll leave him alone and focus on my re-calibration work.

Couple of emendations; Paricolor has a first time visor and Secret Trix, kept bust busy over the summer months

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Yes, TW. Age certainly is a negative.

Thanks for the emendations - will address presently.

GeeDee said...

My Bobby Dazzler (14/1) failed to dazzle here.

Racing prominently on the first circuit, he lost his pitch down the back straight on the run to the home bend. The Racing Post succinctly encapsulated the selection's fate: '... no chance from 3 out.' He eventually finished seventh, beaten just under 16 lengths.

The spoils went to Secret Trix (11/1) who wore down leader Doughmore Bay (5/1f) after the last to win by one and a quarter lengths, with Picanha (13/2) third, Astronomic View (6/1) fourth, and Shoeshine Boy (17/2) fifth.