We start the day £19.76 behind to £1 win unit stakes for 2018. If you are new to the blog or if you haven’t yet read my breakdown of how confident I am with tips, I recommend you read the Tipping page
Post-racing update: a profit of £9.25 today knocks the deficit down £10.51. Shame about Minella Daddy who jumped big throughout, conceding ground, but hit the last just when he needed a clean jump. Starting at 4/1, there must have been plenty cash for him but the yard has now blown the good handicap mark he was on.
Black Corton’s had a fine season although I’m confident he would not have won last time had Fountains Windfall stood up. And Nicholls says about this race, “He’s in good shape but we’ve left plenty to work on as it’s his prep race for Cheltenham. He’ll improve for the run.”
Ms Parfois is on the up, going for her 4th successive win having been raised 12lbs for her Warwick victory. She doesn’t do things smoothly but puts her head down and looks a proper stayer. The way she jumped the last two at Warwick suggests she had a fair bit left in the tank and I think she idled on the run in. She’s the selection.
Ms Parfois 15/8
Tenor Nivernais won this last year on his seasonal debut. I tipped him on this year’s seasonal debut where he pulled up at Doncaster. Brian Hughes takes the ride – just the 6th of his career for Venetia Williams, and his first for her at a southern track.
Gold Present looks to have the making of a high class staying chaser but he’s gone up 13lbs in all for his 2 wins this season. I fear him but believe he will just fail to give the weight to Minella Daddy.
Sean Bowen rides Minella Daddy for his father. He’s won at Ascot and achieved his best Racing Post Rating here when 2nd to Regal Encore in December 2016. His next outing was in a hot Kauto Star Chase at Kempton where he went off the same price as Might Bite (who fell in the lead at the last). Minella Daddy was pulled up that day and I’m assuming the reason for the non-complete was what kept him out for 13 months.
He reappeared here at Ascot last month, leading and looking in good heart until tiring badly and finishing a long way behind Acting Lass. Still, I thought he showed enough that day to merit close consideration for this. Prior to that PU last season, his form figures were 22112. He lined up at Kempton on a rating of 145 and here he is, just one run later, off 8lbs less. I think the handicapper has blundered and Minella Daddy looks the value bet of the day.
Minella Daddy 12/1 NAP
Kildisart catches the eye, but he didn’t look nearly as comfortable last time on soft ground as he had the time before in good to soft. He’ll face soft ground again today and I’d rather take the chance that first time cheekpieces will sharpen Le Patriote enough to win this.
He’s been unplaced in both runs since coming from France, where he won on soft and heavy. But those two UK races were pretty good and have a chance of working out well. Remiluc, who won at Cheltenham, went on to run a cracker in the Betfair as did Spiritofthegames who was 2nd in the Kempton race in which Le Patriote finished 7th. The 3rd, Red Indian was 2nd next time and the 4th, Topofthegame won a 17-runner, £50k handicap at Sandown.
Le Patriote 11/2
I made the case in Wednesday’s post for Waiting Patiently and my confidence remains high. If you missed the 11/4 I think he’s still worth betting today and, more importantly perhaps, for the Ryanair NRNB although the 7/1 has dropped one point.
Waiting Patiently 9/4
Everyone has at least one bogey horse; I have two or three and one runs in this – Zarkandar. I thought a lot of him when he won the Triumph although I didn’t back him then. I did back him numerous times but never when he won, including in this race last year.
Anyway, Agrapart ought to be well suited to ground and trip although I’m not the biggest fan of Lizzie Kelly after watching her twice in cross country races where she seemed all at sea. But she knws this horse well and there should be no traps awaiting her in this small field other than my Zarkandar hoodoo. You have been warned!
Blaklion is in magnificent form and, fortunately for his Grand National supporters, is remarkably tough. I’m not sure that many trainers would send a Grand National favourite here in such desperate ground to hump 11.12 over almost 3m 5f. Haydock heavy seems a different heavy from many tracks. He failed trying to carry 11.12 in this last year (off a 9lbs lower mark) and that was on good to soft, although, to be fair, recent performances suggest he now prefers softer ground.
I’m reluctant to desert Silsol who I fancied for the Weslh National where he was a staying on 5th. I was disappointed by his jumping that day although the superb Noel Fehily rides today and could make a difference, especially as the horse will be sharper.
But the one I’m going with is Mysteree who has run some fine races since moving from Lucinda Russell to Michael Scudamore at the beginning of last season. On his yard debut he won at Haydock over this trip on heavy ground so that will hold no fears. He was pulled up on his next start but then won the Eider Chase and ran a close second in the Midlands National.
Again he pulled up on his seasonal debut in the Welsh National, so he does run the odd poor race. But all in all he’s a consistent horse who jumps well. He gets 23lbs from Blaklion and if he is back on song he’ll go close here.
Alan King has won 3 of the last 9 runnings of this (Katchit, Mille Chief, Yanworth) and I’ll go with him to do it again with the game and consistent Elgin. Ch’Tibello has been running well but finds it hard to win, a feat he’s accomplished just twice since coming to the UK. Both wins were going left handed and four of his defeats have been going right handed as he will be here.
Call Me Lord won nicely last time given the weight he was carrying. The 4th horse has won since and 4 more from the race have been placed. It was on heavy ground too and he acts well on it so I’d fear him. But Elgin might well want this type of test now too, having looked to relish every yard uphill in soft ground when winning the Greatwood. Before that he won a good handicap at Ascot from which 8 winners and 8 placed horses have come, although his next two races have not worked out nearly as well formwise.
Still, at the price, he appeals much more than the first two in the market.
Enjoy the racing and don’t bet more than you can afford to lose with a smile.