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Another good pot slips by, with the ONE uncovered horse in the race! Frustrating, but we're knocking on the door just now, and it will turn for us soon. I'm up to Worcester tonight to cheer home geegeez syndicate horse, Priceless Art, so we'll take the placepot roadshow there.
5.50 - Leg 1: It all starts with a novices' handicap chase. Finch Flyer is the one that catches my eye. He was rated a stone better than this over hurdles and hasn't been running badly on the flat lately. Off a mark of just 79 here, including the jockey's claim, he might challenge.
At the top of the market, Echo Dancer is hard to catch right, and I prefer Youm Jamil, who might just get a bit of pace against which to rally. Watch House has been well backed and it's easy to see why. He's taking a big step back in trip for the first time over fences, having run pretty well over minimum distances on the flat and in hurdle races. Might have been 'jobbed up' for this.
If we get a non-runner, there will only be two places, so let's hope we get one in those two spots!
A - 5 (Finch Flyer), 7 (Youm Jamil)
B - 4 (Watch House)
6.20 - Leg 2: This one is already down to seven runners, and thus two places. Basoda loves this sort of trip and ground, and he's value against the pair at the top of the market, both of which are bidding to prove there was no fluke about their last day wins. Of the two, I favour McCoy and Whistling Senator despite the step up in class.
A - 2 (Basoda), 6 (Whistling Senator)
6.50 - Leg 3: Very little to go on here, so the percentage call is to bank on G'Dai Sydney, and lay for a place as insurance. Just watch the non-runners though, as two would drop placepot places down to two while place layers would still be duffed up on the first three home.
A - 1 (G'Dai Sydney)
7.25 - Leg 4: A rarity: a wide open maiden hurdle. Bahira returns from two years off and will be fit enough for this most likely; while Nurse Ratched was never really put into the race last time and, if given a chance (I'm not saying they might be playing for a handicap mark or anything, ahem), would have a squeak.
Scarlet Whispers' connections are respected but I'm not sure this daughter of Sir Percy wants fast ground for her hurdling debut. She did run well on it once as a flat maiden, but I'll look elsewhere. Crazy looks a really interesting recruit from Germany via France. I love David Bridgwater as a trainer, and I think this lass could go close if not being prepared for the handicap route.
Drombeg West actually ran well for a long way over a half mile further on her debut, and might not be out of it.
That's the punt with plenty of these in fact: that they're expected to do better in handicaps in due course.
A - 1 (Bahira), 9 (Crazy), 10 (Nurse Ratched)
B - 4 (Drombeg West), 11 (Scarlet Whispers)
7.55 - Leg 5: Saga De Tercey is the key. First time visor is the angle (or excuse when pulled in by the stewards for winning half the track), and this fellow was winning off 125 just a year ago. Here he is, running off 95! A thirty pound drop in a year. He ran his best race in higher class at this sort of trip and ground two starts back, and he looks like a plot. I'm on!!
Dune Shine is well in too and goes on a skinny looking A ticket. Bizarrely, I'm confident of moving through!
A - 1 (Dune Shine), 2 (Saga De Tercey)
8.30 - Leg 6: Rally The Troops needed it badly the last day, and will be sharper here. He's value against more exposed rivals ahead of him in the betting. And Billfromthebar is a consistent sort who should at least give us a run. I reckon God's County has prospects if on a going day, but is yet another that might be a handicap sort in a race or two's time (when the mark has been massaged).
A - 1 (Billfromthebar), 6 (Rally The Troops)
B - 3 (God's County)
Just A's - 2 x 2 x 1 x 3 x 2 x 2 = 48 bets
All picks - 3 x 2 x 1 x 5 x 2 x 3 = 180 bets
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