It was one of those nights last night: five winners at cumulative odds of 1,278/1 and an 8/13 shot lets us down! She was only beaten a neck and a short head but Mince is proving expensive for her followers this term and is just not quite at the same level she was last year. Hopefully she’ll bounce back, but I’d be wary of backing her until she shows she’s rediscovered her mojo.
To today, and we’ll hop up to Ripon (well, it’s ‘up’ from here) for their afternoon card, starting at 2pm.
Leg 1: 2.00 – A juvenile maiden, and Searchlight brings a good level of form to the table. Kevin Ryan’s Kyllachy filly was second here on debut and, while Ryan’s don’t normally improve that much from first to second start, a repeat of that debut run might be sufficient.
There are a few other possibles in here, including Captain Midnight and Ambiance, but I’m going to shore up my A ticket with Zac Brown, who will improve a fair bit for his first run, when beaten less than four lengths in what might be a fair York maiden on soft ground (fourth has won since, fifth was second since).
A – 7 (Searchlight), 9 (Zac Brown)
Leg 2: 2.30 – A fillies’ handicap, and eleven are still engaged at time of writing. Ailsa Craig has form round here: in four runs she’s finished 4125, and her preference is for this trip and decent ground. She’s won off as high as 75 (twice), and she’s off a lowly 58 today. If she retains even most of her ability, she won’t have many excuses today.
Miss Ella Jade was third here over course and distance last summer, off a five pound higher mark, and she’ll strip fitter for her seasonal debut. At around 14/1, she’s quite a fair price each way, but she has struggled to win in the past (one win, five places, from eleven turf starts).
Bobs Her Uncle is favourite, and can be expected to run her race again, but ‘her race’ hasn’t been enough to win thus far, and there’d be a few in here better handicapped than her. Not for me at the price. More interesting is Her Nibbs, who was a short head second in a course and distance seller last time. This is a better race, but she’s only had five runs and is entitled to improve for that effort.
A – 5 (Ailsa Craig)
B – 6 (Her Nibbs), 11 (Miss Ella Jade)
Leg 3: 3.00 – 3yo handicaps are not my favourite punting propositions, and so this is a tricky puzzle for me. Special Meaning made all last time and dotted up, but she surely had the run of the race, and might not get that today. She’s still respected but is far from banker material.
Noble Bull drops in class from a Sandown Class 3 handicap to a Ripon Class 4 handicap, and he looks primed for a big effort.
Of the trio of handicap debutants, I’m most interested in Roger Varian’s Tuscan Fun. His string go well this time of year, and he’s a dab hand with first time ‘cappers. Expect notable improvement from this fellow.
A – 2 (Noble Bull), 5 (Tuscan Fun), 6 (Special Meaning)
Leg 4: 3.30 – This is a good handicap, and it’s competitive too. Ruth Carr has won it twice in the last three years, the second of which was with Dubai Dynamo. He was fifth in the race last year and has another pop today. He’s been in the frame in 27 of his 81 (!) turf starts, and has won over course and distance twice.
Frontier Fighter ticks a heck of a lot of boxes and, while I wouldn’t be backing him to win, he ought to get very close to making the frame after a close up third here in better grade last time.
Richard Fahey has a very good record in the race, winning it in 2006 and 2009, and registering a second and third with his two runners since. The second was Lord Aeryn who tries again today, and he was second here in a course, going, class and distance handicap two starts back. Obvious player again.
Osteopathic Remedy has won six times in Class 2 handicaps, so this Class 3 holds no fears. Three of those wins have been here too and, as I currently have a very bad back which is giving me untold grief, he’s on my B ticket!
A – 3 (Frontier Fighter), 7 (Lord Aeryn)
B – 4 (Osteopathic Remedy), 6 (Dubai Dynamo)
Leg 5: 4.00 – Another bloody 3yo handicap! I’m following the money to some degree here, with both the first two in the market taking strong support. That’s Bondesire and Bapak Bangsawan, and they’ll form my ill-informed A battalion.
On B, I’ll side with Dream Ally and the trip-dropping Tom’s Anna.
A – 1 (Bondesire), 6 (Bapak Bangsawan)
B – 2 (Dream Ally), 5 (Tom’s Anna)
Leg 6: 4.30 – And we close with a maiden containing an odds on Sir Michael Stoute colt. He’ll be very hard to keep out of the frame so I’m going to bank on him and, if still going in the placepot, lay him for a place to cover my stakes. That way, if he places, I have a share of the placepot, and if he doesn’t I get my cash back from a successful place lay bet.
A – 6 (Mutajally)
That leaves us looking like this:
Just A’s – 2 x 1 x 3 x 2 x 2 x 1 = 24 bets
All picks – 2 x 3 x 3 x 4 x 4 x 1 = 288 bets
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