Saturday, 28 February 2009

2 pts win STARZAAN 10/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Totesport H'cap Chase
1 pt win NEW LITTLE BRIC 33/1 (Generally available) Totesport H'cap Chase

This is wide open and the front two are worth taking on. The chief reason for The Package's current odds are a piece of novice hurdle form from over a year ago, while Hold Em seems best suited racing clockwise.

Starzaan is preferred. He's a highly talented individual and has been mixing it in with plenty of big names down the years but as well as encountering setbacks his record as also been compromised by him being best suited to this in between distance. He's returned flying from longer absences than is the case today and hailing from a set up that can boast of some incredible examples of having horses spot on after long absences even in an age when such feats are expected; he'll surely be ready to run to his optimum today.

Of the big prices starters New Little Bric is worth a point. They've been trying to find the key to get him back to form and the blinkers, tried once before without having much effect, are tried for the second time today. He's still only eight and the fact that the yard still have him indicate that the ability remains, and if he were to return to something near his best he'd go very close as he's now fairly handicapped.

New Little Bric won + 31 pts

3 pts win GUNGADU 9/1 (Generally available) Coolfun Grimthorpe Chase

This has a messy look to it and the front two in the market do no more than win in turn and are not getting any better. Preference is for Gungadu who has so far not continued last seasons progression into this period and is now unlikely to get any better than the ceiling he reached last season. However, he was looking as though he'd play prominent role before unseating at Sandown last time and a return to form would give him a major chance in view of the opposition he faces today. He's irresistible at his present odds.

Lost - 3 pts

Saturday, 21 February 2009

1.5 pts win HOLD EM 13.5/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Racing Post Chase
1.5 pts win OEDIPE 27/1 (Betfair) Racing Post Chase

This is wide open but worth getting stuck into and taking a couple aboard. Big Fella Thanks is too short considering the number of dangers - that is unless you are convinced that he really is going places.Nacarat has good prospects of getting the trip around here but the handicapper has given him a big hike for wining a race that in hindsight did not take too much winning.

Hold Em and Oedipe make far more appeal at their respective odds. Admittedly, Hold Em will have to jump better than he did at Cheltenham on New Years Day but he'd previously been running well against championship standard novices, including around here on Boxing Day. He is consistent and genuine, has further improvement left in him, and freshened up after a break after two races close together must surely be thereabouts.

Oedipe has his ground and his course, and down to a mark only 8lb higher than when winning authoritatively at Aintree last spring under todays rider, and with his yard remaining in good form there is every reason to believe that under todays conditions he'll run near to his best which would make him outstanding value at the prices currently available.

Lost - 3 pts

2pts win IWILLREMEMBERYOU 8/1(2 firms and exchanges) Totesport Eider Chase
1 pt win TOY GUN 27/1 ( Betfair)Totesport Eider Chase

Novice Iwillremember you ran an accomplished race in a Haydock handicap last time and there is every reason to believe that he'll last out over this extra half mile. A three time winner in heavy ground, he comes from a stable that has had a couple of winners in the last few days and in a field full of run of the mill sloggers it's only him, Jass and Toy Gun who are on the upgrade.

Toy Gun is well out the handicap but there are only going to be a few finishing here and as he acts in these conditions,has prospects of getting this trip, has been in top form and on the upgrade, it's worth binning the pounds badly in line and having a point on him.

Lost - 3 pts

Sunday, 8 February 2009

1.5 pts win ALBERTA'S RUN 25/1 (Ladbrokes)Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup
1.5 pts win WAR OF ATTRITION 40/1 ( Betfair and Betdaq) Totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup

It's now the time to get involved in this. There have been around ten progressive, exciting chasers that have taken the crown over the past 35 years but who have not been able to maintain the career momentum after looking to have chances of dominating the scene and it's just the way things are and demonstrates how hard it is to keep these animals on song. It's very unlikely that a return to racing left handed at Cheltenham will bring back the Denman magic.As for the course characteristics; well, we are forever reminded by riders and trainers that Kempton is more galloping that it appears and that Cheltenham is sharpers than people realise. Nichols has confessed that Denman was pretty straightforward yesterday and it's just as well that the Pipe horse was in the race or we would have been none the wiser. However, as impressive as the winner was he's always appeared better on flat tracks and the one to take out the race is Alberta's Run, who has hopefully come out of the race OK. He was very close to being pulled out on account of the ground and his run can be safely ignored. With his yard having returned from the doldrums he had previously returned to form in the King George and with the ground almost certainly going to be ideal, and with Cheltenham being his ideal track he has realistic chances of turning the form around with Kauto Star who has been a little in and out over the past twelve months and does not produce his true brilliance at the venue. The 25/1 with Ladbrokes is too big as it's not hard to see him going very close on the day.

Of those at fanciful odds Nozic and Thyne Again get you dreaming and are very tempting though it's unlikely that any of them will line up and a better alternative is to side with a definite starter who has been trained for the race all season in War of Attrition. The stats about crowns being retained or regained mean only show how difficult these animals are to train and nothing else. Forgive N'Forget would very likely have regained his crown after a three year gap had he not broken his leg coming down the hill in 1988, and the likeable War of Attrition will have his ideal conditions come March and is capable of surprising.True, his form since his last absence has been a good few lengths of what he showed in the springtime three years ago but he is still very,very useful and granted the conditions. he could just be capable of producing the same level of performance again - the level of form Imperial Call displayed in his second coming encourages this view.In fact the more you delve into and dwell on this gelding's chance, the more you like him.

Lost - 3 pts