DONCASTER--MONDAY 13TH MAY
A change of chair, and a change of approach, for Placepot Picks today.
Less history and more current form will be blended in order to try to snaffle one or two more pots, starting today at Donny.
We kick off with a 17 runner maiden, and if we're still standing after that, we'll have half a chance. So let's crack on:
[Incidentally, the racecards are now working, and are about the fastest available on the net, I'm delighted to gloat! They're here.]
Leg 1: 2.10 - This is likely to be about which of the once raced runners has improved the most since debut. Historically, Sir Michael Stoute's runners win 19% on second run when unplaced first time out, but more materially they place 48% of the time. Jeremy Noseda has very similar (19%/48%) stats too. Willie Haggas (17%/40%) and Roger Varian (17%/39%) are the next best in terms of first to second run improvement.
Defendant seems short enough and is worth taking on, on A tickets at least, with the close up Wood Ditton pair, Matrooh and Mutajally, both owned by Sheikh Hamdan.
On B, we'll have Defendant and Evident, the latter a likely big improver from debut.
A - 8 (Matrooh), 9 (Mutjally)
B - 4 (Defendant), 5 (Evident)
Leg 2: 2.40 - Five unraced two year olds here, so we're punting blind again. A non-runner would make this win only, which adds to the 'fun'. Assuming they all go, I'd make Legend Rising banker material. That said, Richard Fahey has a better first time out record with juveniles, so we'll add them both in and move on.
A - 1 (Canyari), 4 (Legend Rising)
Leg 3: 3.15 - A handicap over seven furlongs, and sixteen are scheduled to go to post. Here, we should expect at least one non-runner and therefore only three places to go at. At the very least, it ought to strip the pool funds down a bit!
Red Paladin has a lot in his favour, being a last time out winner over seven furlongs on good to firm ground (same as today's). He ought to run his race again. Richard Hughes is also respected on Hannon's Glossy Posse, and this fellow will be fit enough first time up.
I'm against Knight Owl at the prices, given he's still to show he's effective on turf (granted, the soft ground at Newmarket when he made his debut was probably no good to him), and I'll be trying to get him beaten.
A but further down, Ryan Moore is a striking jockey booking for John Holt's Dutch Gal and implies this lass is ready to step up on her maiden form in this first handicap effort. And Alan Bailey's Go Far could go close too.
A - 3 (Red Paladin), 6 (Glossy Posse)
B - 5 (Go Far), 12 (Dutch Gal)
Leg 4: 3.50 - The 'dead eight' and again, a non-runner will take us down to just two places. Although there's a short priced favourite in Grandorio, there are plenty of potential improvers in against him. But we have to take a banker somewhere, and this fellow looks a likely lad. He's won his last two on different turf conditions (soft and good to firm), and a mile looks spot on. He was only ridden out hands and heels last time time too, so there's the prospect of more to come.
If all eight run, I might look to lay for a place at around 1.33. If they don't, I'll have the prayer mat out to get through!
A - 3 (Grandorio)
Leg 5: 4.25 - Seven furlongs, fourteen runners, 5/1 the field. Tricky. There are actually a few I'd give a chance to at big prices here, including Roninski, Sam Nombulist and Docofthebay, which makes life even harder. I'm actually going to invoke C tickets here, which is rare for me. But first things first.
On A, I'm siding with Able Master and Zacynthus, the top two in the weights seemingly well suited to race conditions/class today.
On B, I'm taking the well-backed Shesastar along with super consistent, Al's Memory.
And on C, I'll chuck in Roninski, Docofthebay, and Sam Nombulist.
A - 1 (Able Master), 2 (Zacynthus)
B - 6 (Al's Memory), 13 (Shesastar)
C - 7 (Sam Nombulist), 10 (Roninski), 14 (Docofthebay)
Leg 6: 5.00 - A tough afternoon concludes with another 'dead eight' handicap, this time for fillies only, run over a mile and a quarter. This is competitive, despite the presence of a filly bidding for a four-timer, Apache Glory. She must appear on the ticket, and I'll take one more besides her in the lightly raced Bob's Her Uncle, whose best trip seems to be ten furlongs.
A - 1 (Apache Glory), 5 (Bob's Her Uncle)
That leaves us with perms looking like this:
Just A's - 2 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 2 = 32 bets
All picks - 4 x 2 x 4 x 1 x 5 x 2 = 320 bets
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