A short post, dear reader, to tell you of a couple of horses I like the look of today and tomorrow. One nearly made the FRP draw selection, one is quite close to me, and I've taken a squint at the Irish Grand National tomorrow.
First up, Night Orbit (in whom I have a small interest) takes his second cut at hurdles today, having been a running on 2nd on his debut over barriers.
Orbit looked far from fluent that day, but will have improved for the experience. Moreover, the booking of a professional jockey, and the stiffer finish at Plumpton (2.00) will be in his favour.
Of the oppo, Alan King's Sam Lord is clear form pick. But he's a tad mulish and has missed a series of penalty kicks prior to today. He'll score soon enough, but I wouldn't want circa evens on it being this afternoon.
There is also a group of unraced former Flat horses in the field: Thoroughly Red, an Irish maiden winner could well be the best of the bunch.
In summary, it's an interesting (though not a hot) race, with a number of imponderables. Night Orbit should certainly be in the places - assuming he jumps moderately well - and he could win if Sam Lord does his usual. Finger crossed, but wagers kept small in this camp.
Over at Musselburgh, I almost nominated Rothesay Dancer (2.50) as a draw profiles selection. She's well drawn (obviously), has won at the track and trip for today's rider (who has won four times on the horse), and comes here in form. The grade is fine for her and, whilst her highest winning rating is 3lbs lower than the 73 she goes off today, she must be in the mix this afternoon.
Tomorrow in Ireland, they race for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. It's a reasonably strong trends race, as follows:
- Eight of the last nine winners were 7-9 years old, so I'll exclude anything not in this age range.
- All of the last nine winners had won over 3m or more, so shorter runners are dropped.
- 8 from 9 lugged 10 stone 12 pounds or less; 7 from 9 lugged 10-08 or less. (Note, 8/9 were in the handicap proper).
- 8 out of 9 were placed in Listed company or better earlier in their career.
This leaves a shortlist of Arbor Supreme, Rare Bob, Niche Market and Emma Jane. Interestingly, six of the last eight winners had had between eleven and thirteen runs over fences prior to winning.
Rare Bob is a six race novice, which doesn't mean he can't win, but I'll side with more experience.
Emma Jane has had nine starts, and is also reluctantly passed over.
Arbor Supreme has had 12 chase starts, and Niche Market the same. So my tree against the field (Arbor is Latin for tree, geddit?!) is Arbor Supreme, and I'll side each way with Niche Market, who has some strong form in better races.