Monthly Archives: January 2012

25/1 Sanctuaire should be snapped up for The Racing Post Arkle

I  was most impressed with Sanctuaire’s chasing debut at Taunton today where he made the running for the first time in his career (more by accident than design perhaps).

He showed a great appetite for jumping fences compared with his mulish demeanour over hurdles (reluctant to start at times) and he wouldn’t be the first horse who’s been transformed by a change to steeplechasing.

His jumping was superb for a debutant, certainly no worse than that of Sprinter Sacre the Arkle favourite on his. Sprinter Sacre is 2/1 for the Arkle and Sanctuaire, the same age (6) and 1lb his superior over hurdles on official ratings, is 25/1.  Given that he has a champion trainer and the best jock riding. that is a silly price – twice as long as it should be imo.

The Racing Post Arkle is a hot race. Sprinter Sacre is a possible superstar, Cue Card is good value as the pace of the race will see him at his best imo, but 25/1 Sanctuaire is a rare error by bookmakers, I think, and he must be a great bet at that price especially as he will probably make the running and trade quite short.

Beware, I’ve just had a response on twitter suggesting that the trainer might prefer Aintree 😦

Good luck


Wymott at 22/1 worth another chance under new jock

If horses could blush with embarrassment, Wymott would be cherry coloured.  The McCain chaser came into this season with a formline of 210/2121/111p and many had high hopes of him as a Grand National candidate at the least. He ran a good race in the Hennessy first time out this season when beaten under 7 lengths by Carruthers.

Next time he started 2/1 fav in the Tommy Whittle at Haydock where he chucked it when coming under pressure. His enthusiasm was no better next time at Sandown, packing it in as soon as he came under pressure.

He wears blinkers for the first time tomorrow but perhaps, what might make more of a difference to him is a jockey change. Jason Maguire has ridden him in all but one of his races (The Hennessy, G Lee took the mount in his best run this season). Brian Harding rides tomorrow. Maguire, skilled as he is, can be very hard on horses, and I just wonder if Wymott resents him. at 22/1 on Betfair (18/1 with bookmakers) I’m willing to pay to find out.

Not much point backing him EW. He’ll either be on a going day or not so the Betfair price is recommended.

I like the favourite in the race a lot – Shakalakaboomboom, but he is a real stayer imo and might find this on the sharp side, especially as he is not the most fluent of jumpers. (Geraghty does a fine job of letting him negotiate fences in his own style, though I was very surprised to hear his trainer nail him as a National type – I think the fences would terrify him).

But Wymott is well worth chancing at the price.

My only other bet tomorrow will be Temlett in the 2.45 Leopardstown. It’s a very open race. Temlett won on his only outing last year and is partnered by the talented 5lb claimer Adrian Heskin. I’d back him EW at the freely available 16/1.

The Argento Chase

This is probably the first time I won’t have a bet in this race. None of the outsiders appears to have any chance. I won’t back R Johnson ( Captain Chris) horses as I think he has far too many disagreements these days, in big races, with his mounts at obstacles (sometimes taking off far too early).

Time For Rupert seems to me to run with the choke out in big races and I fear something might be wrong with him (though his trainer is hugely bullish and I’m tempted!)

Diamond Harry is fragile and despite two track wins, condemned by his trainer as ‘perhaps not a Cheltenham horse’.

Tidal Bay has, I think, an undiagnosed physical problem (though I couldn’t t rule out new trainer Mr Nicholls having got to the bottom of it).

And I think Midnight Chase has had his season in the sun.

It should be a fascinating race.  Good luck.


Racing should centralise PR and abolish dress codes and enclosures

I can’t recall which racecourse manager thought it a good idea to confiscate a woman’s ice-cream.  I do remember vividly the ‘It’s a Knockout’ version of cooling off horses at the end of the National to the puzzlement of many and concern of a few. After Ascot’s sticker slip-up yesterday, isn’t it time that Racing employed a top-notch PR agency?

Any course who is considering doing something outside of their ‘normal procedure’, should be told they must clear it with central PR. Whether they then kept an individual PR presence would be their choice but clearance of ‘new initiatives’ should be compulsory.

Racing in general is working very hard to attract new people. Are they all expected to know they should pre-check the dress code? If you’d never been to a sporting event before, would you expect there to be a dress code? (Although I suppose racing prepares you for such thoughts)

Does the Olympics have a dress code? The Superbowl? The FA Cup final? Wimbledon? Does The Open Golf Championship have a dress code (in perhaps the most fastidious sport of all?) The answer is – no, they don’t according to the website.

Racing must decide if it wants to live and market itself in a ‘modern’ fashion. Use of the words ‘attired’ and ‘adhere’  (Ascot website) are, to my mind, Victorian expressions.

Dress codes and, indeed, enclosures themselves ought to be abolished. I’ve seen many a newcomer about to go through a gate only to be stopped by stewards and turned away, retreating embarrassed at best and ashamed at worst. By all means charge extra for stand seats, or access to specialist facilities but the only fences on racecourses should be built from birch.

If you cannot stand the sight of someone without a jacket/tie sharing your enclosure, perhaps it’s you who ought to find a different sport.

25/1 Weird Al looks the Gold Cup value at this stage

I’d forecast with an 85% degree of confidence that Long Run’s jumping problems will not be cured – ever. He’s a long-backed horse who has trouble arching. When the pressure’s turned on he starts leaving his back legs in a fence – an energy-drain, awkward for his jock and an unseat waiting to happen.

Grands Crus a 7/1 chance races far too freely to see out the Gold Cup, imo.

Synchronised’s form, in all, doesn’t match that of a GC winner. He’d need to have found 20lbs improvement since last season imo – highly unlikely (though not impossible) despite his convincing Lexus win.

Amazingly, we don’t know yet how good KS is this season. He looked to be coming to the end of his tether at Kempton and despite his Cheltenham record, there must be a ? over his ability to get home in March.

Weird Al’s overall form doesn’t match up to that of a GC winner but his first 2 runs of the season were more than creditable (failed to spark at Haydock according to jock) and has a fine record fresh. He bled in last year’s GC (first run on good) but won easily on good at Wetherby this season (never off bridle according to jock). At 25s, he’s the value for me.

Good luck