Monthly Archives: November 2016
The last time he ran at a a trip this long in the UK he won a decent race at Aintree (he had a poor run over this trip in France, but quite a few horses are upset by international travel). He has mixed chasing and hurdling but began this campaign with a nice run over hurdles (back at Aintree) where he conceded 10lbs and upwards to all rivals. The forecast soft ground should suit him and he looks excellent EW value at 14/1 – about half a dozen online bookies currently offer that price.
God’s Own looked an improver at the back end of last season and confirmed that – to me at least – in the Old Roan where a touch of bad luck at the 3rd last (he ran into the back of the blundering Royal Regatta) just as he was building momentum. Arguably that cost him the race.
He should make amends today unless the Tizzards have pulled off another miracle with Third Intention and can get him to win back-to-back races for the first time in his career.
Dodging Bullets has never been this far. His 2 runs over 20f saw him thoroughly trounced each time, although he might well enjoy going right-handed here.
I don’t like Vibrato Valtat much. He’s another with a flattish jumping style, which could catch him out.
Skybet offer money back as a free bet if your horse is 2nd in this race – 2.05 Ascot. I strongly recommend taking up that offer with God’s Own.
But the best value lies in his Cheltenham Gold Cup odds of 50/1 (Betfred and Stan James – who have an awful site for finding ante-post bets: it’s under OUTRIGHTS).
SYAM is classy and versatile. He hammered Bristol de Mai last time over 20 furlongs at Carlisle and also finished last season with a 3rd in the Scottish Grand National over 32 furlongs. He’s had just 7 chases and could be improving fast if his Carlisle win is taken fully on merit (I just have a slight doubt that Bristol De Mai ran his race; he never looked comfortable that day, but that could be simply because SYAM never allowed him to. The winner should have the benefit of the doubt until there is more evidence.)
His big festival price will have a fair bit to do with him being trained by a man unknown much beyond the Scottish Borders where he trains fewer than 20 jumpers – Sandy Thomson. Sandy seems determined to campaign the horse seriously as a stayer, although his Carlisle win suggests he could run a big race in the Ryanair.
Anyway, 50/1 should look great value after Saturday, even though Thistlecrack is a beast from another planet and should win the Gold Cup. It would nice to have a backup at a long price in the shape of Seeyouatmidnight. Let’s hope he does not live up to his name.
It’s always a joy when you think you’ve spotted a plot horse. Often, the joy lasts only until shortly after the off, but anyway, here we go.
A horse called Song Light runs in Sunday’s Greatwood Hurdle, the 2.30 at Cheltenham.
On the face of it he has little to recommend him. He’s near the foot of the handicap with 10.3 and, at a glance, has not run for 330 days. His form figures read: 5/375. His trainer, Seamus Mullins is not well known, nor is his young jockey, the 5lb claimer Kevin Jones.
Last time he ran at Cheltenham was two years ago in a Novices Handicap hurdle, where he finished third. Here’s his form comment:
Took time to settle, but really caught the eye out wide nearing the home turn and probably would have given the winner a little more to think about had he launched his challenge earlier. Still improving, there must be an opening for him soon.
He won next time out and has not won again since. But he’s competed in some decent races. In May 2015 he ran 3rd in The Swinton – should have been 2nd had his rider not put up 2lbs overweight (he was beaten a neck for 2nd).
He ran next on the Gerry Fielden at Newbury and was disappointing, always in rear last of 7 behind Sternrubin, who’s fancied for Saturday.
He ran much better next time in The Ladbroke when 5th of 21 to the dead.heaters Sternrubin and Jolly’s Cracked It. Since then – 330 days, he has not been seen…on a jumps track. Two weeks ago he was 3rd of 11 in a Nottingham handicap on the flat, beaten just under two lengths. Here’s his form comment:
Song Light was backed at big odds and stayed on late along the inside, albeit proving no match for the front pair.
His run before that was after that long layoff when he was down the field in an all-weather race.
Song Light has talent and he’s only 6. He seems not to have had the best of luck and it looks like he thrives in a big field off a hot pace: he should get both on Sunday. The going will not trouble him. His young claiming jockey knows him very well and, on paper, he is far ftom what he seems.
He looks great value to me at 40/1, though going by his form figures, you’d want to bet him each way. Half a dozen bookies offer that price – have a look at Oddschecker.
Don Poli has his first run for Gordon Elliott tomorrow. He’s in the JN wine Chase at Down Royal (2.35) and I’ve backed him at 5/1. On recent form he’ll struggle, but I’m hoping they change tactics. Branded a thorough stayer, he’s usually switched off in the hope he can come late and pick up the pieces.
But the horse has some speed in him too. He won the Martin Pipe at the 2014 Festival over 20 furlongs having been, according to his jockey, ‘flat out for the first mile and a half’. And perhaps that’s what Don Poli needs. He’s a lazy big sod and if he was a human and he worked for you, you wouldn’t be saying at the start of his shift, ‘Hey, Don, just take it easy. Have a nap in your chair, have some coffee and cake. When there’s two minutes left of your shift we’ll roust you out with a whip and you can get everything done then.’
No, you’d keep on top of big Don all day to get him doing what he needs to. If Barry Geraghty does that tomorrow, we might see a different horse (and we might not, but I think it’s worth a try). If my theory is correct, then 85 on Betfair for the King George will look a very big price indeed. If I’m wrong, well…it’s up to you if you think the price merits the risk. I’ve taken some.