Friday, September 25, 2009

Market Rasen ruminations

Only five declared for the big race at Ascot tomorrow, the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and Mastercraftsman is likely to be withdrawn if Rip Van Winkle makes it to the start. Rip, the clear form choice, is my idea of the winner but he'll be no price so I've decided to look at Market Rasen's National Hunt card instead.

In the opener I'm considering Philip Hobbs' Bruslini but he's been off the track a while, may be a little ring-rusty and fitness has to be taken on trust.

The 2.05 handicap hurdle looks very competitive. Likely favourite Cootehill from the Twiston-Davies yard is a favourite of mine and did this blog a favour when taking the Summer Hurdle in July at 13/2. A few in that race reoppose here including the two that dead-heated for second, Danehill Willy and Ameeq, together with Ellerslie Tom and Katies Tuitor. I have to express some reservations about Twiston-Davies' stable form. Normally at this time of year the yard hits the ground running, having had the two day Perth meeting earlier in the week as an early target. This year things don't appear to have gone entirely to plan; just one winner (Billie Magern) from thirteen entries at Perth doesn't read well - seven of those runners were sent off favourite. The yard's three runners at Worcester today have all finished unplaced. At the weights Danehill Willy should finish in front of Ameeq, the latter being kept busy on the Flat over the summer. I note that McCoy has ridden Danehill Willy in his last three runs but here he's jumped ship and is booked to ride Alison Thorpe's consistent gelding Nortonthorpe Lad. McCoy gave up his rides after the first at Worcester today, having taken a heavy fall at Fontwell on Thursday. If the champ is back riding tomorrow, I'll have an each-way wager on Nortonthorpe Lad who is priced up at 12/1 in this evening's tissue.

Barizan brings the best form into the juvenile novices' hurdle at 2.40 but I expect Forty Thirty to run a big race. In the recent past Alan King has used this race to introduce both Katchit and Franchoek; the stable's entry last year however - Black Jacari - proved a disappointment, winning just one Class 4 hurdle in his subsequent ten starts. Tombov is one to keep an eye out for in the market but I'm going to stick by Forty Thirty who won for this blog last time out. It's worth noting the favourite has failed to win the last five renewals.

I'll maintain a watching brief in the listed handicap chase at 3.15. Always Waining would make plenty of appeal if he was certain to carry his effort through but I've had burnt fingers with this one many times before. Two I'll keep a close eye on for future reference - Paul Webber's De Soto and Oumeyade having his first run for Donald McCain.

By declaring King Troy for the novice rather than the handicap chase, Alan King has taken the easier option with the seven-year-old gelding; King Troy is the selection in the 3.55.

The finale is trappy - I won't have a bet. Brendan Duke's Mister Benedictine is a horse I like and he'll like the ground but he hasn't won over this trip and I can see a couple further down the handicap going past McCoy's mount in the closing stages.


GeeDee said...

Rip Van Winkle (8/13f) won the QEII Stakes but was given a fair fright by 18/1 outsider Zacinto; Rip showed his true class to pull one and a quarter lengths clear at the line.
Bruslini (7/2) finished second but had no chance with winner Carrolls Cross (3/1f).
I thought Nortonthorpe Lad (12/1)the pick of Alison Thorpe's three runners - he was held up to make some headway down the back straight but weakened dramatically three out to finish fifteenth of the seventeen starters. He's better than that but I don't think he would have got anywhere near stablemate Treaty Flyer (14/1) who stayed on well to beat Quasar d'Oudairies (16/1) and Hibiki (13/2) one and a quarter lengths and a head, with Leslingtaylor (10/1) finishing like a train in fourth. The suspicion remains that a stronger pace would have suited the fourth and probably a few of the others too - a couple of the more fancied runners didn't really get into it.
I well and truly picked the wrong one in the juvenile hurdle as Barizan (6/4f) took the race by the scruff of the neck and ran his rivals ragged from the front. Forty Thirty paid the price for trying to stay with the leader by weakening into fourth up the home straight. The winner should be followed until beaten.
King Troy (4/6f) took the novice chase by a length from Khachaturian but his jumping here was far from perfect and could be a cause for concern in the future.
A decent show from Mister Benedictine (6/1) who was held up and came from behind to take second, a neck behind 7/1 winner Pepporoni Pete.

Ben Aitken said...

Good morning

I feel the horse to take out of the Market Rasen novice chase is the runner up Khachaturian. I myself had a (very) rare odds-on punt on King Troy, I felt the son of Presenting was head and shoulders above the rest. Hopefully D McCain will find a suitable opening for his 6 year old, possibly down in grade a touch.

GeeDee said...

Agree, Ben. Has some bits and pieces of form over hurdles but he wasn't a betting proposition on his first try over fences against King Troy who had finished fourth in the Summer Plate at the course. I was slightly surprised to see Alan King go for this race rather than the handicap chase and took the same view as you before the off - on paper KT was head and shoulders above his four opponents.