Tomorrow’s Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon (2.00) has a tempting field of 8 for EW backers. My problem is I don’t know which of two to bet. I always think it is worthwhile following improving horses (if the price is right) until they’re beaten. Sue Smith’s Mr Moonshine is available at 14s having won his first two races of the season in runaway fashion. This is a big step up in class even though he’s been raised 26lbs since his seasonal debut.
Second in his only other Chase, the 7-y-o is highly thought of by the yard. Here’s what Harvey Smith said about him:
18Nov11 Haydock ( 22 Gd ,RPR154 )
It´s only his third run over fences – if he is given the chance to develop he could be tops. He has got brains, he is not a dope and he wants to be a racehorse. We will find another nice novice chase for him around Christmas time – Harvey Smith (trainer´s husband)
30Oct11 Carlisle ( 20 GS ,RPR150 )
Mr Moonshine is a good prospect, he could be a real ´Saturday afternoon horse´. We´ll probably go for some decent novice chases now – Harvey Smith, trainer´s husband
Given that I’ve never much cared for the likely favourite, Somersby, who is, I believe, much over-rated, and that there are a few question marks over others in the field like The Nightingale (heart problem and possibly breathing issue – tongue tie tomorrow), Tartak (breathing problems) Surfing (lameness), I’m tempted to pay to find out if Mr Moonshine is up to this.
I’m between him and Gauvain, more because I think Gauvain’s rider Noel Fehily a fine judge and a superb jockey than because I like the horse. He’s prone to errors but classy on his day and at 7/1 he too looks EW value. I think Noel Fehily is as good as any bar perhaps Ruby. He’s been dreadfully unlucky with injuries throughout his career; otherwise, I believe he’d be right at the top by now.
After Gauvain’s easy success on his seasonal debut, Noel Fehily suggested this was the very race for him:
13Nov11 Cheltenham ( 16 GS ,RPR166 )
I sent him on a long way out and he kept going. He is a bit of a character and some days he is better than others. I think he could be a Peterborough Chase horse but it will be up to Nick Williams – Noel Fehily, jockey
His judgement is worth respect. Gauvain fell at the 8th in the Tingle Creek (a 7/1 chance there) and I can only hope he puts in an error-free round. His knack of belting the odd one pushes me towards Mr Moonshine, in a straight choice between the two, but I will probably back both.
With God on the side of the big battalions, doubtless a vet’s certificate will magically appear for something in the morning, reducing the field to 7.
Update: Gauvain won at 15/2 – Mr Moonshine was 3rd at 8/1 (backed at 14/1) Happy days!