I'm doing a damn good job of picking losers over the past week and Rock A Doodle Doo was another to add to the list. Previous doubts over whether he'd need the outing began to leave my mind after seeing him well supported into 7/1 before the off, but luck wasn't to be on his side mid-race as he got hampered when trying to get himself into a challenging position. He was allowed to gallop home in his own time afterwards, understandably, and should be one to continue backing. There's no doubting his ability and if he had some luck here, he may have finished 2nd or 3rd, but wouldn't have troubled the winner. The run looked to be needed anyway and the race wasn't really run to suit (needs stronger pace). Notebook time.
Fathsta was untouched in the market and ran like a horse who was going to come on for the run, so the effort he posted was quite creditable. He finished 7th of 13 on his side and was seeing out his race well enough to suggest that he's one to remain interested in. Being a bit keen in the early stages didn't help but he's usually like that and this should take the edge off him. The handicapper may relent a little bit as well and hopefully he'll gain a deserved success in one of the big handicaps this time around, when we are backing him of course! This was a decent race and plenty of those who finished out of the frame are worth keeping an eye on. It's just so bloody hard to land on the winner of these big-field handicaps.
-3.00pts on the day. Form of last 10 selections; 4-4-0-3-8-3-0-5-9-0 (0 winners & 3 places).
I decided to leave Nomoreblondes alone yesterday and she ended up going on to win at 22/1, which just makes me want to cry! That would have pretty much ensured a profitable month for us and to say that I am gutted would be a massive understatement. I hope that some of you ignored my utter stupidity and stuck a point or two on her anyway. It's time to take a few more chances - being cautious was costly. Apologies.
When your luck's not in, everything that can go wrong seems to and all I want is one winner to ease the utter annoyance of the past couple of weeks. Today, I've managed to find 3 selections, one of which is an outsider that could do anything but the other pair should run big races barring disaster. Chester is the sort of place that you have to approach with caution though, because you can think that you've spotted a rather brilliant way into a race and then it'll be taken away from you in no time. I do think that our trio are good value bets and hopefully one of them could oblige. Our recent poor luck is due for a big swing in the right direction and it'd be nice if that was today, but the racing and gambling game is a cruel mistress at times.
Some of the market leaders look to have obvious claims but can't be worth the risk at their prices, so they are better left alone. I'm hoping that one of the outsiders will do the business in this confusing race and that horse is Mark Tompkins' talented 6-year-old, Dazinski. My main worry is how this in-and-out gelding will handle the soft ground, because he has done all of his winning on faster surfaces and hasn't had to encounter these conditions since he was a youngster. Those efforts came when he was rated a lot lower than he is now and although they didn't seem to inconvenience, nothing too concrete can be taken from it. Taking a chance on conditions suiting looks worthwhile given the sizeable price and at least we know that the horse will be suited by the likely solid gallop. He isn't one bit short of pace but usually finishes out his races very well and despite this being a very sharp track, I expect that extreme reserves of stamina will be in need. A sit in stall 1 should help as well, as being prominent around here is very important even over the extreme distances and I'm just hoping that Tompkins will tell the jockey to keep his mount handy. If he doesn't, then he's crazy and we're most likely to be sitting on a no-hoper. It certainly won't be an easy task but I get the feeling that this fellow has more in his locker and can defy a mark of 89 when the cards do fall his way. It looks like they could today and he's a worthwhile bet (for usual stakes) at around the 20/1 mark.
Anyone who has kept an eye on the stuff that I've been posting for the last couple of years will know about the numerous painful moments that have been provided by Confessional, and it may be that this gelding just doesn't like to keep his head in-front for long. I do, however, think that he has an ocean of ability when getting a race run to suit and maybe this will finally end his losing streak of 17. For a horse with so much ability, Tim Easterby's 5-year-old gelding should have won more than 3 races to date but he doesn't help himself by running so well in defeat, as he has done in numerous occasions (has 14 seconds and thirds to his name). The handicapper is at least being fair with him this time around, as he has been dropped a few lbs for running a pair of decent races this year and can exploit his rating of 95 when he decides that he wants to. With both of those runs looking like they were in need - at a time when the Tim Easterby yard wasn't going too well (doing better now) - we should be seeing a fitter horse in operation and he looks to have plenty to suit. His sit in stall 2 is perfect, as is the cut in the ground and he will also relish the rapid gallop that is almost definitely going to occur, so I fail to see how he isn't a very good bet at 11/2. Plenty of luck will be needed if he's to win this 5-furlong sprint, but he is certainly due some and looks to be in with a favourites chance of running a big race. A medium sized stake will suffice and the fingers are crossed.
Giving weight away to some useful rivals won't be an easy task for Noble Storm, but I expect this 6-year-old to make up into a Group performer this year and he will have to be up to winning if I am to be proven correct. Ed McMahon is still without a winner this year, although he has only had 17 runners and it's wise not to look into that too much. The man can certainly train 'em and this horse comes here on the back of a run on the all-weather around 6 week ago. I selected him to win on that occasion but unfortunately he was freer than a bird and never had a chance of lasting home. Martin Lane was on board that day and seeing Graham Gibbons - my favourite jockey by a mile - back in the plate is a massive positive. Now obviously having him on board again won't matter a damn if the horse is as exuberant as he was last time out, but he shaped as if the run was needed and hopefully that'll prove to be the case, because he's a lot better than that would suggest. Having optimum conditions doesn't come along too often for a horse and soft ground over 5-furlongs at this speed demanding track could well be this fellows and if it is then he should take a lot of beating despite giving weight away. His draw in 3 is absolutely perfect for a horse that must adopt attacking tactics and the only way I see him getting defeated (bar crazy goings-on) is if he's just not good enough to concede that weight, at which point I'll just have to admit that he's not as good as I think. The price of 4/1 doesn't leave a whole lot of room for error, but I've marked him down as the one that I want to be on for the Group 1 Nunthorpe in August and hopefully he can justify having medium sized bet beforehand. The main worry is whether he's keen again, because if he is then he just won't get home.
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