Friday, 16 March 2007

2 pts win KATCHIT 13/2 ( Betfair) Triumph Hurdle
1 pt win DUTY 11/1 ( Betfair) Triumph Hurdle

With the ground turning against Lounaos ( though she ran Ok' ish behind Tusculum on firm ground on the level), the likeable Katchit will take some passing once he hits the front.Alan King reckons he'll improve for the better ground, and it's futile trying to find reasons to oppose as his credentials look stonewall solid. The value alternative is Duty. He won a hot race at Fairyhouse last time, and had useful good ground form on the level when with Michael Stoute.

Katchit Won + 12 pts

1 pt win HAIRY MOLLY 10.5/1 ( Betfair) Brit Insurances Novices Hurdle
1pt win 28/1 ( Betfair) 1pt place 13/2 ( Betfair) SECRET PLOY Brit Insurances Novices Hurdle

Witchita Lineman is a worthy market leader but not worthy of being so short with so many opponents open to any amount of improvement. Hairy Molly has made a pleasing start to his hurdling career, will improve for the step up in trip, and is expected to turn around Punchestown bumper form with Leading Run, who is very weak on the exchanges at the moment. It's three years since Secrey Ploy won that hot bumper at Newbury. His career has not blossomed as expected but he remains very interesting, and is worth supporting in the hope that the blinkers bring out further improvement in him.

Lost - 3 pts

2 pts win STATE OF PLAY 7.4/1 ( Betfair) Cheltenham Gold Cup

Created a big impression when winning that handicap at Aintree last spring, looking to have a few stone in hand. Has gone on to confirm that he is all quality when settling the Hennessey halfway up the straight. It's still difficult to put a ceiling on his ability - but he looks the real deal and has to be supported. There a not many other alternatives to Kauto Star. Exotic Dancer is a Combs Ditch without the blinds, and, like the favourite, has had a succession of hard races.

Lost - 2 pts

2 pts win WHYSO MAYO 11/4 ( Bet 365) Foxhunters Chase

There are no real stars around in the hunters at present - but this animal has gone on to confirm his standing at the top of the list after winning this last year and has not been given the credit he deserves. He is sure to put in a bold defence of his title and is hard to oppose.

Lost - 2 pts

1pt win DEMI BEAU 11/1 ( Betfair) Grand Annual
1pt win URSIS 17/1 ( Betfair) Grand Annual

Demi Beau's best form over fences up to now has been on right hand tracks. However, I'm confident that connections would not have wasted their time laying him out for this if there was a distinct preference. He is of considerable interest here. If Opera Mundi had gone in yesterday everyone would be pinpointing the chance of Ursis. His tendency to make a mistake is a little concerning, but at his price there are enough positives about him to warrant support.

Lost - 2pts

1 pt win FAIR ALONG 8/1 ( generally available) County Hurdle
1 pt win OSANA 6.8/1 ( Betfair) County Hurdle
1pt win CALLOW LAKE 27/1( Betfair) County Hurdle

If Osana develops into a Champion Hurdle contender next season we could be looking back at how well in he was here. The value of Fair Along's Triumph hurdle form has been well advertised in the meantime, and if he'd been kept over hurdles he would almost certainly be racing off a higher mark here. Callow Lake is only five pound higher in the ratings than when chasing home Acambo at Haydock last May. His in form yard command respect in these events.

Lost - 3 pts