Well out first countback of the year is not going to be difficult…
Stakes (I’m using £1 units): £7
The year can only get better.
Happy New Year.
Since the TV Tips only got going in the last few weeks of 2017, I didn’t keep a running score of results, although Tony – who often comments – reckons we’re not in terrible shape on a level stakes basis. From today I’ll update each TV Tips thread with a profit/loss figure.
Before moving on to the TV races, there’s one I’ve been watching for a while who runs in the 12.15 at Cheltenham – Aye Aye Charlie. I first spotted him running on late at Aintree behind On The Blind Side and backed him next time at a big price only for him to take a softish fall three out in a good race at Cheltenham when he was still in contention.
I think ground and track will suit admirably and recommend that you bet him.
12.15 Aye Aye Charlie 7/1
The most talented horse here is Yanworth. Unfortunately for his loyal followers – and there are many – I’m convinced he has temperament problems. He took much flak for his jumping last time but his technique and flexibility are all right. His jumping issues come from being unable to get into a rhythm. He can’t get into a rhythm because he tends to run in snatches – often very short snatches where he’ll pull for a dozen strides then drop the bit, sometimes needing urging to pick it up again. His mind is not on jumping.
At Newbury he consented late in the race to run and was building a nice head of steam coming into the last. But, on landing there, Geraghty had to arrest his momentum to pull him sharply right to make the Newbury ‘elbow’ and the horse looked to resent it. He sulked and got going again too late. Had he jumped that final fence on the outside and got a relatively straight run he’d have had the impetus and energy to pass Willoughby Court. Whether he would have consented to go past is another matter. I’m really surprised King has not tried him in blinkers.
I tipped Willoughby Court that day at Newbury and have always thought an awful lot of him. But the fact that Yanworth could have caught him was a wee bit of an eye-opener for me and I’d be wary of taking the 5/4 about him tomorrow. The value in the race is Ami Desbois, a talented hurdler who’s a real battler and will love the ground. He’s my choice here.
Ami Desbois 12/1
By the off time of this race, Burton’s Well will have had more birthdays than runs. He’s 9 and has run just 8 times. But he didn’t see a racecourse until he was 5 and, all in all, has been progressing steadily. He’ll enjoy this ground and should go one better than when runner-up on his seasonal debut.
Burton’s Well 4/1
Our old friend Arthur’s Gift runs here and I rarely desert improving horses before they are beaten. I’m concerned about the stable form of Nigel Twiston-Davies and have been since the dreadful runs of Bristol De Mai and Ballyoptic on Boxing Day. At midnight on the 30th January, the yard had had 2 winners from 28 runners in the previous 14 days for a win strike rate of 7% (place 25%). He had a winner and a second yesterday (31st) with one pulled up and another, who was joint fav, beaten a million miles. A handful of horses seem to be running all right and it’s impossible to make even an educated guess at what will run to form.
I’m loathe to abandon Arthur’s Gift so will stay with him, adding that ‘health warning’ caveat.
Arthur’s Gift 10/3
I like Old Guard a lot. He’s bounced back to his best this season but has never won on heavy ground. Also, he’s had a couple of tough races of late in what’s been a busy season so I’m going to bypass him here in favour of Agrapart.
Agrapart won this last season at 16/1. He’ll be half that tomorrow but that price will still be too big. Almost half of his career runs have been in France (where his favoured heavy ground is much more common) but he hasn’t done well there on his last three runs. I think this has diluted his formline on looks and allowed him to come here under the radar. This horse has some pretty strong British form, even over 2 miles. The yard is red hot with a strike rate of close to 50% (had a winner and a 2nd yesterday) and, on value, I make him my nap.
Agrapart 7/1 nap
No world-beaters in this race and I’ll take a chance with King’s Wharf who’s under-rated trainer Sandy Thomson is in good form.
King’s Wharf 11/1
A Cheltenham Festival winner running in a handicap hurdle at Musselburgh will be a pretty rare sight, but that’s what we have with Silver Concorde, who won the Champion Bumper in 2014. He moved in November from Dermot Weld to the Carluke (Scotland) yard of Keith Dalgleish who had him out sharpish to win twice at this track. This is his handicap hurdling debut and he should be good enough to win.
Silver Concorde 11/4 (Stan James)
And our finishing message is the same this year as last: Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.