Good morning! I hope today’s blog finds everyone is good form. Delighted to see that the weather is finally starting to turn and that racing is just about returning to normal. I’m really looking forward to what looks like a cracking card at Newbury on Saturday. Fingers crossed I can make it there.
Lots of you have been asking how the training has been going! Well tough is the answer! I am enjoying it though now I’m into the flow and the good news is that 5 weeks into the project I have to date lost 20lbs! Still another 50 to go but it has been a real positive start! I feel better already…
Saturday’s Betfair Hurdle looks a cracker once again! My Tent Or Yours is likely to be a very warm order indeed for the highly competitive handicap and rightly so. He is currently trading around the 7/2 mark as the day of the race markets start to appear. Favourites have only a fair record in the race including last years winner Zarkander who some people argue may not have won had it not been for a last flight fall of the ill-fated Darlan. I have already backed one horse in this race ante-post and that is Emma Lavelle’s Claret Cloak . He is a horse that my old Pal Rory Delargy made me and the rest of the Timeform Radio crew aware of sometime ago and his re-appearance run at Ascot was full of promise in the race that was won by Raya Star. He travelled extremely well through the race and just got tired close home with a lack of a run telling in the closing stages. This was at a time when Emma Lavelle’s horses were running nowhere near their best and for that reason he has to go down as a very well handicapped horse off a revised mark of 136. Raya Star finished 2nd in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton behind Darlan giving a big boost to the form and is now rated 159. I’m on at 16’s and seen that he has been quietly nibbled in the market over the last week so I’m happy with my position there!
One person that definitely knows how to win this race is Gary Moore with Heathcote and Wingman winning in 2007 & 2008. He has a really interesting entry right at the bottom of the weights in Whitby Jack and I would be keen to see how he fares in the market if he managed to squeeze into the race at the decs stage today. He needs six to come out for him to get in and he would be running from out of the handicap but there is a suspicion that he is well ahead of his mark and with the yard going so well he might just be a flyer at a ridiculous price.
I’m obviously looking forward to the big guns running on the card too and fully expect to see Slivianoco Conti and Simonsig winning again. There are two cracking races in Ireland too with Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs going for ding ding round three.
One other point I would like to touch on today is more of a look forward to the summer (well the Lincoln is only 6 weeks away) and that is the jockey’s championship. I will be going all out this year and will be having a fair old punt over the coming weeks on Ryan Moore. Since his return to the all-weather he has just been absolute class and at 7/2 with Ladbrokes and Coral he has to be a knocking bet. He has had a couple of rough years with injury which has scuppered his chances of a recent title but I believe he is hungry this year. I do not buy into the rubbish about Sir Michael Stoute needing to supply him with more winners as he gets the pick of all the best freelance rides every day of the week. In just about every year I can remember up until his injuries he has traded odds on or very close to it. I’ll be getting on and then trading out when he’s ten clear in June!
On the racing today I like two. I’ve backed Blue Noodles (8.05 Wolv) who probably should have won last time and I have also invested in BASINGSTOKE (6.35 Wolv) who looks the best bet of the day and has also been heavily punted. He is on handicap debut and looks on a lenient mark to me. The switch to Keith Dalgleish is also eye-catching.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more ramblings!
Be lucky today