I’ll start today’s post by saying thanks for all the messages regarding yesterdays’racing. Some real kind words and it’s nice to see the hard work pay off. We all need a day like that every now and again. Chuffed for everyone that got involved too. A know quite a few of you put all four into various multiples and almost scooped the big pay out. I had only backed them individually so when it came to the last leg I was pretty calm. I’d saved on the winner too on the advice that it was Dicko’s bet of the day. I hope DD is in good shape today, we reluctantly left him at the bar at about 10.30….he’d won big and was sinking lager like there was an ale drought due.
In hindsight Nordic Quest actually ran a blinder, the winner Castilo Del Diablo looks like a big burly staying type. He actually came off the bridle quite early and Kempton probably didn’t suit. He will be seen to better effect on a big galloping track back on turf maybe over two miles and should be followed.
On the back of the racing I completely forgot to preview last night’s NFL action as the 49ers hosted the Seahawks. I literally nearly fell off my bed in the hotel when I saw that the Hawks were getting 9.5 on the h’cap with Blue Square. I did tweet the selection late last night for those of you that weren’t already in cuckoo land and I would like to extend a big thank you to Blue Square for offering such a stupid bet! I think that’s about 6/7 NFL naps on the bounce if anyone is counting.
Today represents a whole new challenge as we have the return of proper national hunt racing! Cheltenham is back on the scene with a very competitive looking card. Winner finding however, might not be the easiest over the next couple of days. A real busy day today though.
I don’t necessarily have a bet of the day today but I do think that the market has massively underestimated the chances of TARO TYWOD (7.50 WOLV). Mark Brisbourne’s filly was awarded an opening mark of 69 on the back of her maiden success last September but has been on the back foot ever since. Her mark has dropped to a mouth-watering 53 and she ran much better last time behind two very well handicapped horses where the winner, Kathleensluckylad has actually gone on to win again since. Hopefully that was the hint that she is ready to bounce back and there is the added chance that this might just be her time of year! In a Classified event she comes out well at the weights from stall 2 looking like a cracking each way play at 12/1 with Bet365 & Ladbrokes.
I’m pretty sure DUTCH MASTERPIECE is still ahead of the handicapper (2.25 Haydock) and he rates a sure-fire winner for those of you that like a shorty. I had him in at about 4/6 and you can back him at evens with Coral & StanJames.
I am a big John Ferguson fan and he has a real interesting hurdling recruit in the form of POPULATION (4.30 CHELT). He won both his bumpers at Ascot in fine style before finishing down in 6th when a warm favourite for the grade 2 bumper at Aintree. He got into a bit of bother mid race that day and it halted his progress so I’m not worried about that too much. The fact he went off a 7/4f that day says it all. He has reported to have schooled well and looks a nice recruit. The winner of the Aintree bumper goes in the first at Cheltenham today as a clue. I think he’s a win bet but I would possibly throw in Tartan De Sarti as a saver as he has lots of potential too.
Backing 4/1 shots in a 22 runner handicap is the fast way to the poor house in general but DARK LOVER (5.40 CHELT) looks potentially well handicapped off a mark of 120 for Paul Nicholls in the lucky last. He hasn’t run since last February which is the only worry, but if he is fit and ready to go he looks a knocking play with 4 places up for grabs.
I was really taken with the way that HAY DUDE (3.00 Hayd) went through the ground on debut at Ayr. He gave Anna’s Pearl (now rated 94) a sound beating that day so on a strict form line should be much the best in here on ratings and warrants a decent bet at 2/1. If I did have a bet of the day he would be it and I’m having four points on.
I also thought The Knocking Lord (8.50 Wolv) was interesting on handicap debut but I’m happy to wait and see how the market goes. If the money comes he might well be a player later on.
I hope we have another storming day, enjoy Cheltenham and most of all be lucky!