Sunday 10th March (2 days to go!)


Good morning! Up bright and early on a Sunday morning as I have an important date with a treadmill and weights! No rest for the wicked. Enjoying being back on a day-to-day basis and the freedom to write whatever comes to mind.

I’ll start today by taking a look back at yesterday’s action and adding one or two runners to the notebook. My first point would be how many horses are running well with a 10lb claimer that is attached to the yard. I will do a bit of research into the facts and figures over the next few days on Proform and report back what I find. This leads me nicely onto the Imperial Cup at Sandown yesterday which was won by 10lb claimer Nathan Adams on First Avenue for Laura Mongan. The form was there to be seen when you looked back after a very good fifth in the Ladbroke behind Cause of Causes on his last start over hurdles. We have to give Tanerko Emery great credit for his performance off top weight. Without doubt though my eye catcher was the horse I backed in the form of Pine Creek. In the end he was beaten nearly 13 lengths as he got tired up the hill but he without doubt travelled the best through the race and actually got messed about a bit as they turned for home and was locked in a pocket. On slightly better ground and possibly on a flatter track he is a sure-fire winner off his current mark.

The listed mares bumper was probably a step too far for Top Totti but she still ran a blinder up to a certain point at a massive price before getting tired late on. She will certainly win races and should be followed!

The highlight of the day for me was certainly the bet of the day Strictly Silver winning the Lincoln trial at Wolverhampton. It was a long overdue success and thoroughly deserved. Once again he travelled really strongly through the race and although for a brief moment I didn’t think he was going to get the splits he was expertly steered through to victory by the rapidly improving Robert Tart. Hopefully plenty of you managed to back him.

I think I have found two fairly solid bets for this afternoon on a quite day as we build up towards the festival.

Without doubt my strongest opinion of the day came in the form of the namesake LORD GRANTHAM (3.50 Market Rasen). I backed him last week when he absolutely dotted up at Huntingdon having travelled really powerfully through the race. I’ve pointed out on more than one occasion over the last few days that the yard are in the rudest of health and there is no way that a seven pound penalty will be the reason for him not following up. I think the slight step up in trip if anything is a plus given the way he went through his race last Sunday. Unfortunately he was taken out this morning due to the ground I assume so we will have to look elsewhere for some value……

The best bet of the day for me comes at Warwick in the 3.30 in the form of Venetia Williams MASSENA. He’s a really interesting son of Marju who is potentially very well handicapped off a mark of 105. He travelled well for a long way over a furlong further before getting tired last time on the back of almost two years off. That was a pleasing return on softish ground at Sandown. If he has come on for that effort he could be a very big player in what is effectively a drop in grade to a 0-105 today. He looks a real player and must be backed. I’ve had 3 pts at an average of 4/1.

The other one that I like the look of today comes just ten minutes later for Jo Hughes. Pensnett Bay (4.00 Warwick) rates as a really interesting bet as he has been running well off todays mark in slightly more competitive races. He is almost certain to get a soft lead in this contest today so should be able to set his own fractions. The addition of first time blinkers could bring about some potential improvement too as well as the yards horses running particularly well over the last couple of weeks. The one imponderable is that this is his first crack at a marathon trip so he will need to be ridden with a little more restraint than normal, but given he’s off ten stone eight provided he doesn’t go too quickly he could be very difficult to catch indeed!

Indicators from Proform show the following stats for the last 14 days:

Trainers with high win and place strike rates to keep an eye on today:

Martin Keighley (66.67%), Jo Hughes (55.56%)

I’m off to the Coral TV studios shortly! Have a good day today, back some winners! Follow me on twitter via @markagrantham

Happy Mothers Day!




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