Friday, January 12, 2018

Warwick whims

Earlier this week, unusually, the stentorian Matt Chapman found himself dancing on rather thin ice while in a YouGov poll published on Wednesday, 52% of those questioned rated horse racing either quite or very boring - have these people never placed a bet?

Tomorrow's meeting at Warwick - my local track - is the biggest of the year but there's a certain anti-climax in the air with some fancied runners either opting to race at Kempton or to stay at home in their boxes on account of the ground.

The official going is now described as soft; it has been heavy, is likely to be holding and will prove very hard work.

The Betfred Classic Chase (3.35) is the highlight; the weights have risen some fourteen pounds with Missed Approach (139) now at the top of the handicap.

Three in the field came to grief in last week's Welsh National at Chepstow: Emperor's Choice fell at the first; On The Road unseated Mitchell Bastyan at the fourth; and Milansbar unseated Trevor Whelan at the twelfth.

Nigel Twiston-Davies saddles two; Cogry is often let down by his jumping while Ballycross sports first time cheekpieces but has yet to win a chase.

Kerry Lee saddles three and appears to hold a stronger hand with Krackatoa King, Goodtoknow and Russe Blanc.

Richard Patrick gave Alfie Spinner a superb ride in the Welsh National last week; his five pound claim will come in handy here aboard Krackatoa King who boasts a decent record since moving to the yard.

Goodtoknow has been out of sorts since winning at Hereford last February but he ran a stormer in this last year at odds of 25/1, beaten six lengths into second by subsequent Grand National winner One For Arthur (Russe Blanc ninth, with Emperor's Choice, Milansbar and Ballycross all pulled up).

Despite the price Russe Blanc (127) isn't readily written off, having won the 2016 running off exactly the same handicap mark; Charlie Poste was in the plate that day and he rides again tomorrow.

Cresswell Breeze has run well this season, I've noted money for the Ian Williams trained Indian Castle in a first-time visor but On The Road and Crosspark have never won a chase over three miles or further.

I'm drawn to the Kerry Lee trio and Krackatoa King gets the each-way vote; he's currently quoted a 9/1 chance - Hills and Coral are advertising one fifth the odds four places.

I usually like to take an interest in the Leamington Hurdle (won by subsequent Neptune winner Willoughby Court last year) but to my mind the layers have it about right.

Evan Williams names Chooseyourweapon as his pick in this week's Weekender Stable Tour but qualifies it with 'I'm not getting carried away at this early stage of his career'.

Paisley Park did me a favour at Hereford just before Christmas, turning over 1/4 chance Vision Des Flos, but the favourite fluffed his lines at the last - it ranks as the one piece of luck I've had in the past eight weeks.

The Hampton Novices' Chase (1.50) has cut up with just five left in. Duel At Dawn beat Flintham 16 lengths at Exeter before finishing second to Sizing Tennessee at Cheltenham. I haven't completely given up on Big River who is the one to beat on official ratings but was pulled up with an irregular heartbeat at Haydock last time.

Finally, a historical note on which to finish - a (rather out-of-focus) picture of a noticeboard outside the Fox & Vivian public house in Leamington Spa, detailing the first course of the Leamington steeplechases in 1834...



Anonymous said...

I’ll bow to your local knowledge, but I was hopeful that the ground at Warwick would be decent jumping ground. The going stick, for the chase course, on Friday was 6.7 and this normally equates to Good to Soft at the course. The official chase going is Soft, Good to soft in places this morning.

None of the runners have much to hide from the handicapper in the Betfred Classic and it looks a very open race. I’m leaning towards Cresswell Breeze, but her odds would need to drift a bit (12/1+) before I was tempted to get involved.

A bit of 'after timing' here but I have taken an interest in Paisley Park in the Leamington Hurdle at 10/1 (shorter now). He would not have won as easily LTO if Vision Des Flos had not fluffed the last, but I think Paisley Park would still have edged it, that race looks a good yard stick and he was taking on a field of race fit horses on his seasonal debut. It’s another tight affair but the 10/1 looks to have underestimated his chance of winning to me.

I was tempted by the Kris Spin Lee/Patrick combination in the Pertemps Network but again I’d just need to see a better than 10/1 before taking an interest.

I could not really see any value angle in the Hampton Novices’ Chase so one to watch to me.
I’ll post my ratings as a separate comment.

Best of luck.


Anonymous said...

3m5f Betfred Classic Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) (5yo+)

151,ON THE ROAD(IRE),5.31
151,RUSSE BLANC(FR),4.59
150,SIR MANGAN(IRE),4.46

3m Betfred Home Of Goals Galore Hampton Novices' Chase (Listed Race) (Class 1) (5yo+)

168,DUEL AT DAWN(IRE),41.95
163,MS PARFOIS(IRE),21.35
151,BIG RIVER(IRE),13.9

3m1f Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle (Series Qualifier) (Class 2) (5yo+)

158,KRIS SPIN(IRE),13.83
160,JOIN THE CLAN(IRE),11.13
152,BLACK IVORY(GB),8.52
142,FLY CAMP(IRE),1.76

2m5f Ballymore Leamington Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5yo+)

165,MR WHIPPED(IRE),32.86
157,CAVE TOP(IRE),7.49


GeeDee said...

Thanks again for your ratings, TW.

Interesting to see Paisley Park's rating; currently 9/1 with Betfred but only 7/1 with Coral.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Plenty of money for selection Krackatoa King who was sent off 5/1 second favourite for the Classic Chase. Held up on the first circuit, he couldn't make any ground on the leaders the second time around, eventually finishing eighth, over 70 lengths behind runaway winner Milansbar (12/1).

The combination of first-time blinkers and Byrony Frost in the plate transformed Neil King's previously reluctant charge; with the leaders all the way round, he stormed clear off the home bend to beat Cogry (14/1) 11 lengths with top-weight Missed Approach (9/2f) a further 12 lengths adrift in third.