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Back in the winning groove yesterday at Brighton, and a nice little dividend all things considered, too. I'm having a dig at the super-trappy Newbury placepot today. A new strategy for the first two races, both big field juvenile maidens...
1.50 - Leg 1: They're mostly unraced or once raced. They're babies. This is usually a high class race (Listed or better winners, Ektihaam and Montiridge, have prevailed in the last three years). So I'm going to use the market as a guide. Captain Bob is the market leader, well backed, and he is clearly expected to be wiser here after missing the kick at Windsor over six furlongs last time. He got the idea late on there, and a level break and this extra furlong should combine to positive effect.
It's a deeply risky strategy but, in a race where the favourite has a pretty good place record, I'm banking on the jolly, as I need the bullets later. Gulp.
A - 4 (Captain Bob)
2.20 - Leg 2: This time it's an even bigger field of unraced and once raced young ladies. Crikey. The favourite, Autumn Sunrise, ran a blinder over seven on debut, and drops back a furlong here, having been outstayed a smidgen there. A ticket banker.
As well as Richard Hannon, trainer of Autumn Sunrise, Mick Channon also has a good record in this, winning it in 2005 and 2011, and saddling the fourth last year. She's included, alongside the Johnny G debutante, Terhaab, and the brilliantly named Mendacious Harpy, who was green as malachite on her first run and should be a lot straighter here (not hard).
A - 2 (Autumn Sunrise)
B - 7 (Isabella Baird), 11 (Mendacious Harpy), 18 (Terhaab)
2.50 - Leg 3: If we're still rolling, good job! Because next up is a seven runner fillies handicap for three year olds only. Oh. Dear. Regular readers will know of my 'affection' for such races. Still, at least they offer a prospect of chaos, which is what we love on placepot tickets!
Pace is key in small field handicaps, and the fact that Wall Of Sound may get an uncontested lead as well as having strong form credentials makes her an instant A pick. Perfect Haven also likes to go on, and she's a Ralph Beckett filly, so will have been both well conditioned and well placed for this. She completes the A side.
On B will be Rock Choir, the form pick but one that needs plenty of early dash to show her best, I suspect; Sharqawiyah, a prominent Cumani 'capper stepping up in trip; and Invincible Cara, distance winner on this sort of ground.
A - 3 (Wall Of Sound), 4 (Perfect Haven)
B - 1 (Sharqawiyah), 2 (Rock Choir), 5 (Invincible Cara)
3.25 - Leg 4: The odds on favourite could win this, but I don't make Thunder Strike a banker. He's been a strong performer since early season, but there are others in here with prospects, most notably Survived, sixth in the Queen Mary. She's getting eight pounds from the favourite, and might appreciate this extra furlong.
A - 1 (Thunder Strike), 5 (Survived)
4.00 - Leg 5: A poor handicap for the track, but a very open one nevertheless. This has all the makings of a pace collapse, which could be bad news for Swendab (geddit? Use a mirror if you need to!), and also Crimson Queen and Trinityelitedotcom (and perhaps Pal Of The Cat too!)
If it does come to pass that there's a four way go for the early advantage, something could well swoop through from the back, and that might be Triple Dream or Black Cadillac. The former is running into form and might hang most tightly to the shirt-tails of the trail blazers; while the latter has been well backed by wily connections and may well come on for this second run off a break.
I'll risk something from the pace as well, and the pair most likely to hang tough from that brigade consists of Swendab and Crimson Queen. I'd back neither, but I can't afford to watch them place as market fancies either.
A - 2 (Triple Dream), 3 (Black Cadillac)
B - 1 (Crimson Queen), 5 (Swendab)
4.35 - Leg 6: Lord Of The Shadows has dropped a long way in the handicap and his only try at this trip ended in a close second place. He might win today. Icebuster has been running really creditably from this trip up to a quarter mile further, and in this grade and a grade higher, always on fast ground. He's the best each way bet, and a danger back in distance this afternoon.
Gabrial The Great has had plenty of chances in similar races and, while he might make the frame again, there are more robust options in my view. Jack's Revenge is really interesting. After running a couple of blinders in huge field handicaps at shorter trips, he stretches out to a distance at which he's a triple winner, albeit in lower grade. Definite chance.
And those three will do for me.
A - 1 (Jack's Revenge), 5 (Icebuster), 7 (Lord Of The Shadows)
Just A's - 1 x 1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 3 = 24 bets
All picks - 1 x 4 x 5 x 2 x 4 x 3 = 480 bets
Ticket builder optimized perm - see below.
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