I thought that Sadler's Risk was going to prove to be a lively competitor in his contest at Aintree but had assumed that connections were going to make full use of him early and send him into the lead. This just didn't happen and the way the race was run hindered any chance he had of giving his best over the trip, as he's just too slow for it evidently and even more so when the race isn't run at a frenetic gallop. The Hobbs team must have fancied him, because he was very well supported and I can't see how they thought it'd be a good idea to not make use of his obvious stamina reserves. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter a damn because he was never going to win anyway and a step up in trip is what's badly needed.
Tara Royal was deemed a worthwhile bet at 20's and looked likely to play a hand as they came into the closing stages, at which point he was trading at around the 4/1 mark. Unfortunately, he just couldn't get into anything like a challenging position and faded out of the equation afterwards. It was an encouraging performance though, as he travelled like a really good horse and once/if his jumping comes together, there'll be a decent pot for him to win in one of these handicaps. The bare figures will make it look like he ran atrociously but I don't think that's the case at all and he remains an interesting one for next season.
-4.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 4-4-2-5-4-1-1-4-3-9 (2 winners & 2 places).
I don't like missing out on the bigger days of racing but I've searched and searched through the Aintree card and just can't find a way in that will give us a worthwhile bet. I genuinely think that I'd be navigating everyone onto what I consider bad bets if I was to advise anything and I just can't do that. Sitting it out is the intelligent thing to do; even though they are exciting races to have a punt on, that's just no good if it'll end up losing us money in the long run. The Aintree card is totally impossible and not worth chancing.
I have found two selections - on the flat at Leicester - that I consider to be worth a shot and they're both attractively priced. They're not void of risk and are tentative selections, but at least they're the type of bets that'll show a profit over time and that's what we're after. Hopefully one could win, and have a good day.
This is a very tricky 7f contest, but some of those at the head of the market are hilariously underpriced and having a punt in it is justified. Des Donovan's Tevez is the one that I want to side with at the prices and I'd be fairly confident of a big run if all is well. This 7-year-old gelding has a thoroughly exposed look about him and he's not the most straight-forward either (can break very slowly; won't always get away with that), so he comes with plenty of the obvious risks. He is very talented on his day though and despite not really knowing what side of the bed that he'll hop out on, the massive price gives us plenty of room for error.
Tevez has run at this stiff track on just 3 occasions down the years (twice at this trip; once over a mile), and he has been successful every single time. The fact that the first pair of those came off marks of 61 & 71 would lead me to not pay too much heed to them but he has obviously improved since and the most recent win came off a mark of 81, albeit with today's jockey taking off 3lbs (no longer has that claim). The horse is effectively 4lbs higher than that win in July of last year but he won so easily that day and seemed to have much more than 4lbs in hand (won by 2.5-lengths, but value for at least 4). It's blatantly obvious that Donovon's charge can run right up to his best at this track and he is capable of winning this off 82.
Recent form is the reason that Tevez is such a large price but as I always say, form is very deceptive. Last time out, on his return to turf, the bare form shows that he was beaten over 13-lengths when finishing 14th of 22 in the Spring Cup at Doncaster a couple of weeks ago. However, it doesn't tell the whole story as he was unfavourably drawn, missed the break and had to race without sufficient cover throughout. I also don't think that he was suited by not getting a tow into the race from his sit on the wide-outside and despite all of this he was still bang in contention from 2f out until just over a furlong from home. It's clear the he had used too much energy in just trying to get into a prominent position and it was a better run than it seems.
Dropping Tevez back to today's stiff 7f trip will help, as will the softer ground. That's something that he has rarely got throughout his career, but he seems to handle cut without problem and it will most certainly help him during the race. Overall, he has something resembling optimum conditions and looks like a very worthwhile bet at around the 20/1 mark. The opposition are the main problem, because some interesting sorts will be lining up but I'm happy enough to play a standard bet on Des Donovan's charge. He has a decent record on straight tracks, likes soft ground, performs to his best over 7f when the races are run to suit and goes well for jockey Martin Harley (form; 2-5-1-3). A very good run could be in the offing, I hope.
John Holt doesn't get too many winners but the booking of Phil Makin is an interesting one and hopefully it's an indication that he expects to see Mini's Destination run well on her first outing since October. This now 4-year-old filly is another with a bit of an exposed look to her form, as she has had 18 races already. However, her form when getting a bit of cut at a stiff track is rock-solid from limited attempts and she is always one to keep an eye on in these modest handicaps when getting conditions to suit. Obviously it's a risk not knowing how she'll perform on the back of a significant lay-off but she's not the biggest of animals and I'm hoping that she doesn't take much getting fit. If she's readied, a good performance could be likely.
Mini's Destination should really appreciate the likely solid gallop here and in Phillip Makin, there's not many better men to have on board, in my opinion. Makin has only ridden twice for this yard in the past and one of those outings came when he was victorious on this filly. That run came over 7f at the stiff Carlisle track in which they pair won handily enough. In fairness, that wasn't much of a race and she is 9lbs higher in the ratings now but won since then when scooting in at Salisbury (1-mile) on rather awful ground in an apprentice handicap off 58. She may be a little flattered by that performance but won it very easily and shaped as if higher marks weren't going to prove an impossible task; indeed she finished a half-length 2nd of 10 at Pontefract next time out off a 7lb higher mark (on quick ground; beaten by a decent filly).
After that, Mini's Destination had 4 runs, a pair of which came over trips too far for her but the couple in-between were fairly solid. The handicapper has given her a bit of leeway as she now resumes this new season off a 3lb lower mark than she ended the last and if connections have her readied first time up, I expect to see a big run. This C&D will prove ideal for her, especially if the likely good gallop materialises and has an exceptional jockey on board again. Makin has an excellent 25% strike-rate here in the past 5 years and comes down for just 2 rides, the other being a no-hoper. It looks like he's being booked for a reason and hopefully it's to get another win out of this game, tough and talented filly. Being the age that she is, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that she has further improvement in her this season and she looks like a good value bet to me at anything between 8's & 12's. A standard win bet will do again.
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