We looked at two runners at Sedgefield on Wednesday and we'd hoped Snookered would go well if his jumping was decent. Sadly we never really found out how good/bad he was as he was never in the race. The leader and subsequent winner was allowed to dictate and got home comfortably/unchallenged. As for Snookered's jumping, it was largely decent, but a couple of mistakes late on put paid to any hope of getting near the winner.
I wasn't too bullish about Crackdeloust later on the card and he finished 6th of 11 starters (8 finished) at 12/1.
Next up is...
Thursday 8th October
Feature of the Day is the Instant Expert option for all races, which is free on Thursdays to all registered subscribers. Register here if you need to.
And the free races of the day are as follows...
And I think we'll take a look at the 7.00 Chelmsford : a 12-runner, Class 3, A/W handicap for 3yo+ over 5f on the Polytrack, worth £7,439 to the winner which looks very competitive, but let's see if we can find a way in, starting with the racecard...
...which tells us Grandfather Tom's yard is in good nick and he's top of our ratings, whilst Daschas, Jack The Truth and Top Breeze hail from yards with good records at this venue. Jockey-wise, Firepower and Amomentofmadness are ridden by in-form jocks with good course records and the riders on Benny And The Jets and Daschas have also fared well here.
Amomentofmadness and Firepower are the only class droppers here today, whilst seven of their rivals (Nos 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 & 12) are all stepping up a grade or even two in Moonraker's case.
Feature of the Day is the Instant Expert option, so I've taken a snippet of the Best of Instant Expert report, showing some of the runners from this race...
and here's how it translates to the Instant Expert tab on the card...
...where Lancelot du Lac is a standout. Overall we have six with 30%+ strike rates on the A/W, although ideally you want more than 1 win as proof, whilst Jack the Truth clearly likes coming here and with 3 wins and a place from 7 visits here, he shares an identical course record with Lancelot du Lac with both of them featuring on the Horses for Courses report.
Now I just want to set the data aside for a moment and share where my mind was at before I started cutting bits from the site. An initial glance at the racecard allied with what I've already seen or knew about these runners, I had four in mind (alphabetically Grandfather Tom, Jack The Truth, Lancelot du Lac & Top Breeze). Nothing I've quoted above has put me off any of them and I still think the winner will come from that quartet, so let's have a look at each...
Grandfather Tom won at Yarmouth over this trip last time out, but this is tougher at 5lbs and one class higher. He has won seven times at this trip and 3 times on the A/W, but has no A/W win in over two and a half years and has never scored beyond Class 4. A positive note is that jockey Hollie Doyle rides for the first time and she's 4 from 10 on Robert Cowell's runners over the last year and as a confirmed front runner heading our ratings has to be in the mix from the inside draw.
Jack The Truth comes here seeking a hat-trick of course and distance wins, but has to carry a 5lb penalty for those two wins, the latest of which was a week ago where he looked like 5lbs might not anchor him. His record on the A/W and at sprint trips is very good but he does tend to fare better with a longer rest than that and this might just come too quickly for him after his best ever effort.
Lancelot Du Lac is clearly not the horse he used to be when competing in Group 1 contests and it's some 17 races and almost two and a half years since he last won, but this very likeable 10 yr old ran well a fortnight ago at Kempton considering he'd been off the track for eight months. He has two wins and a runner-up finish from three efforts over this track and trip, he's drawn right next to Grandfather Tom and if encouraged to get on with it could easily make the frame off his lowest mark (OR) in over seven years.
Top Breeze has been a bit up and down since winning a Class 2 handicap over this trip at Lingfield just before lockdown and struggled for consistency finishing 67492. That said, he's an A/W runner in my eyes and four of those five defeats were on turf. He did, however, go well on the concrete at Bath last time out finishing second, 0.75 lengths behind a horse winning back to back contests. Jockey Tyler Heard takes 7lbs off today, effectively putting this one on his lowest ever mark.
I think the winner of this this competitive handicap comes from Grandfather Tom, Jack The Truth, Lancelot du Lac & Top Breeze and I can find pros and cons about all four without selecting or disregarding any in particular. It's at this point that I take a look at the market and it seems that others agree with me, as I've named four of the top five in the market. The only minor surprise is how relatively short the old boy Lancelot du Lac is.
A watching brief for me, but hopefully there's something of value above.