Stat of the Day, 10th November 2014
We beat the market again on Saturday without getting paid out as Jack Dexter was hammered from our early 11/4 into 15/8, but ran a listless race to finish just fourth behind Aetna. He's had a few chances - from me, at least - this season, and Jack now has to go into the 'something to prove' category, even on his beloved deep ground.
I've been looking for 90 minutes for a bet today, and it's very tough. In the end, I'm going with an old friend of geegeez.co.uk in the...
This is a cracking graduation chase - I could actually see any one of the five winning it - and it will be run over three miles and a half furlong on heavy heavy ground. That is the key here, and the reason I'm siding with Alpha Victor.
Nominated on The Shortlist for his heavy ground form when that was a manually constructed post back in February, Alpha Victor scored at 25/1 that day. His record on heavy is now three from three, and he's won the latest two by thirteen lengths and eleven lengths. He stays very well, as shown by his second in the Midlands Grand National over four and a quarter miles (good to soft, would have won on soft, let alone heavy).
It might feel like that far today on this stiff track, and though Shutthefrontdoor won the Irish Grand National last term, I'd be surprised if he's fit enough first time up. Vintage Star won the race last year, so is presumably graduating again in this Graduation Chase (!), and is an obvious danger.
Mickie is making his chase debut having been rated 142 over hurdles, and he's a good horse. But it's a risky proposition backing an inexperienced novice against high class proven handicappers, even with the weights in his favour. And Rival d'Estruval - unfavoured by the weights - may also just struggle in the ground.
As such, it is worth siding with the outsider in the field, who is a 16/1 chance. If that puts you off, keep in mind that three of Alpha Victor's wins have been at 28/1, 25/1 and 22/1, and a fourth was when an 11/1 shot. He hails from an unfashionable yard, but the horse can clearly get it done. One point win is the bold/foolhardy* (*delete as applicable at 3.10 this afternoon) call.
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