We’ve not had much luck since the opening day, with three of yesterday’s quartet beaten without excuses. Two were shorter odds than advised and the other was the same price, but it was the luckless run of Ballyboker Bridge which was most frustrating.
Leading the field for most of the early go, a horlicks at one of the mid-race banks cost him almost ten places. Still, he was good enough to overcome that and was travelling strongly sharing the lead approaching the second last. Alas, there he parted company with his inexperienced rider. The Racing Post comment was “Led until mistake 22nd and dropped to mid-division, good progress to press leader in 2nd before 2 out where fell”.
He had to at least make the frame, with a fine chance of winning. Them’s the breaks.
I mention the above almost apologetically because, despite my reminders yesterday of the value approach this blog takes to finding winners, I did receive a comment last evening from someone who plainly didn’t ‘get’ that. To spare their blushes, I won’t go into detail, but as a further reminder, these are horses I believe have a better chance than their odds imply. That doesn’t mean they’ll win, or even make them the likeliest winners of their races.
No, it makes them – in my opinion – the type of horses which, if backed over the long term, will return a profit. The frustration for me was that the comment was made by someone who has been following this site for an age (and I very much appreciate that kind of support), so should know the way we operate by now.
Right, enough already.
Today’s Punchestown card features a cake walk for the Champion Hurdler, Faugheen; a sticky novices’ hurdle in which Nichols Canyon is the most likely winner but no sort of a bet; a probable further procession for On The Fringe; and, a couple of interesting handicap chases.
Unless you fancy 8/11 for pairing Faugheen and On The Fringe (not the worst 8/11 shot ever), it’s the ‘cap chases for me…
3.40 No bet
Jamie Codd has been booked for Rohans Pride, who has been a well backed favourite. At a massive price, Peter Maher’s Lucky Gold is interesting, though for no better reason than he’s a good trainer and this is a strange slot for a horse with ostensibly no form.
4.20 Tennis Cap – 14/1 (1/4 1-2-3-4)
It’s a race with any amount of horses with chances, and the fact that Ruby Walsh rides top weight Val De Ferbet adds a bit of value to the price of the selection, who will get the assistance of Danny Mullins. The boy Danny has had five rides this week at Punchestown, and already won on Felix Yonger and Avant Tout, both of which were not considered his uncle’s first string entries.
Tennis Cap himself is a lightly raced sort who was good enough to finish second in the 2013 County Hurdle. That was off 141, and he races here from a pound lower perch and on ground that should be just fine. He was an easy winner of a beginners’ chase a month ago on only his second start over fences, but that inexperience is mitigated somewhat by the knowledge that he’ll have been relentlessly schooled back at Closutton.
He looks likely to race front rank, and could be a fair bit better than his current rating.
4.55 No bet
Lily Waugh travels over from Dorset, and connections are hopeful, especially if the ground is on the quick side. Last year’s winner Burn And Turn gives eleven pounds and more all round, but this is a weaker renewal and she has solid repeat chances.
Down the card, both Way Up In The Air and Indian Fairy offer mild appeal.
5.30 No bet
Faugheen didn’t have that much in hand over Arctic Fire, but the latter has had a hard enough race since, and may have been flattered by his proximity to the Champ at Cheltenham. In any case, the chance of the form being reversed is at least accommodated by the price, and there’s no value to be had. Enjoy the race is my advice.
6.05 No bet
This trip might be ideal for Alpha Des Obeaux, who took a crashing fall when selected by this scribe at Aintree last time. Whether he’s over that – he’d been in a race to that point as well – is a moot point, and I’m not sufficiently excited at 13/2 to get involved. There’s a wave of Jiggy (Gigginstown) horses in the field, and second guessing their order of preference is best done by those far closer to the team.
6.40 Theophilus – 6/1 Paddy, Betway
I liked Theophilus’ win on his sole hurdle start, but that was on heavy ground, as was his sole flat win (from two starts). It’s not that slow here, and we’re guessing as to how he’ll cope with the quicker conditions.
However, the horse he beat that last day, Hostile Fire, was subsequently rated 131, and he was beaten an easy six lengths. The top rated here is on 138 and, though it’s likely something will improve beyond that to win, Theophilus would not have to do much more than he has thus far to figure.
It’s a gamble about the ground, but he’s had no racing so is fresh, and could easily be good enough.
7.10 No bet
And no clue…
7.45 No bet
On The Fringe will win if showing the same level of form as at Aintree and Cheltenham, or anything within seven pounds of it. Warne is a very credible each way bet to nothing at 5/1: he had no race at Aintree last time after an uncharacteristic first fence fall when defending his Foxhunters’ crown.
Of the huge prices, Need To Know could run better than 50/1, and might even steal a place, though I’d not risk more than 50p each way about that eventuality.
Good luck with your day four bets.
p.s. How about a competition? The Fantasy Horse Racing League gets underway tomorrow with the 2000 Guineas card at Newmarket, and you can enter – and join the Geegeez Super League – here:
If asked, the PIN you need is 8088755
As well as the main prizes offered by the competition itself (shares in racehorses, VIP race days), I’ll also be offering a LIFETIME SUBSCRIPTION to Geegeez Gold for the Geegeez League winner. Woohoo 😀
Click the link above to join up – it’s dead simple. You choose jockeys and trainers and get points when their horses make the frame in the biggest races this season.
p.p.s. On the subject of competition winners, well done to Applegate1 – a Gold subscriber, of course – for winning the April Tipping League competition. A cheque for £100 will be winging its way to your shortly. 🙂