It may be a new flat season but it looks as though nothing as changed for me, well except for having another second to add to my collection. This time it’s Mull Of Killough in the Lincoln who needed another yard or so to get my flat season, and the trends, off to a flyer. As Mario Balotelli would say ‘why always me?‘.
Never mind, I’m sure it won’t be the last runner up I back this year. Let’s see if we can get back on track and find a winner or two this afternoon at Donnie…..
I’m not even going to attempt to find the winner in the first as most have been running, poorly, on the All Weather and all are ridden by amateurs.
The second however looks a pretty decent maiden and I like the chances of Sequoia who ran fourth in two better class races in July last year. The winners of both those two races went on to run in Group / Listed races and with the step up to 7f looking ideal I think Sequoia should have no trouble in picking up this maiden.
The bookies bet 9/1 the field in the third and having looked at the race I reckon that might be a little tight! I’m going to take a chance on an ex-Richard Hannon inmate who has plumetted in the ratings and now looks handicapped to win for his new trainer. Oratory was quite highly tried at the beginning of last Season and then when he was finally dropped in grade he managed a fair 3rd in a Beverley handicap from top weight. Just when it looked as though the horse was coming back to form the trainer went and stepped him up in trip from 7f to 10f for his last two runs of the season which unsurprisingly saw him finish well beaten both times. If the intention was to reduce his handicap mark a bit more it worked and he now sits on a rating of 78 (he was rated as high as 96 when with Hannon). So he starts this season on a handy mark and running over his optimum trip with Robert Winston booked to do the steering. He’s got to be worth a punt at 25/1.
Jeepers. 22 runners in a 6f handicap! 5/1 the field this time so it must be a little easier to solve. Yeah right. Gary has Star Rover running for his sprinters list at 33/1 and we both have this blogs favourite pig, Docofthebay, running for us but I’m going with another outsider who has his first run for a new trainer. No Hubris hasn’t run over 6f since going off the second favourite for the Coventry Stakes in 2009 when finishing 6th to Canford Cliffs. Looking at his form is quite revealing as his form on Good to Firm reads 6th of 13, 9th of 9, 7th of 7, 11th of 11, 2nd of 6 and 11th of 11. Stone cold last in 4 of his 6 runs on firmish going. On good ground his form is 1st, 1st, 5th (of 30), 3rd and 11th. First time up his form is 112 but when asked to race within a month of his last run it becomes 6th-last-last-last-last-3rd. Let’s hope Ruth Carr can rekindle some of his old form on his first run of the season and on good ground. At 33/1 he just has to be worth a few quid each way.
In the 3.55 Side Glance looks a good thing on the form book and will be my bet here at anything above evens.
The clear top rated horse in the next hasn’t run for nearly two years so can’t be a confident selection at a short price so I’ll skip that race and head to the 5.05 where I’m taking on the three once-raced-once-won horses in the field with Montaser. He also won his first race and then headed to Ayr for a class 2 handicap where he finished a staying on second in soft ground. This better ground should suit and he looks the value amongst the market leaders.
Which leaves us with the second division of the 7f handicap. It’s another super-tricky race and again I’ll be playing for small stakes, this time on the Dandy Nichols trained George Benjamin who is another horse best followed fresh at the start of the Season. He’s back down to a reasonable looking mark that is just 1lb more than when winning nicely first time up last Season. 7f is his trip and good ground should be no problem. At 16/1 we can back him each way.
2.45 ORATORY (EW 25/1)
3.20 NO HUBRIS (EW 33/1)
3.55 SIDE GLANCE
5.35 GEORGE BENJAMIN (EW 16/1)
In a nailbiting match between Inter Penarth and Park Lions yesterday morning, fortunes tood and froed before the final result saw a fair 2-2 draw. Dylan scored both Inter Pernarth goals (again!) and now has 36 for the Season. He had a chance to make it 3-2 in the dying minutes after a fantastic run down the left wing left two Lions players wondering which way he went. Unfortunately the shot went inches wide but I had a couple of parents come up to me after the final whistle to say that it was a shame it didn’t go in as it would have been the best goal they’ve seen all Season and, even as biased as I am, I would have to agree! The way he skipped over the challenge of the last defender to leave himself clear against the keeper was pure class. I really wish I had taken my video camera. They now have an Easter break so we’ll have to put the goal scoring boots away and resume his quest for 50 goals in a couple of weeks time.