Saturday, 2 March 2013

Michael Flips


Micheal Flips (right): Worth a bet at Newbury
Micheal Flips (right): Worth a bet at Newbury

You know what I'm going to say. Those good-ground horses that have been trying to run through treacle-like conditions all season are now of interest after being dropped in the handicap.
Spring is in the air, Doncaster has 'Firm' in the going description and it's drying out at The Racecourse, Newbury, too where they're 'Good to Soft' ahead of Saturday's card.
In the case of I'm happy to apply the theory given that he is available at 11/1 for the StanJames Supporting Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase.
Look at his form this time last year. Second behind For Non Stop here at Newbury, then fourth in the Jewson behind Sir Des Champs, Champion Court and For Non Stop again.
That day he was 14 lengths ahead of Duke Of Lucca, Philip Hobbs' horse who was third in the Racing Plus Chase last weekend off a mark of 140.
It's form that makes him of real interest now the handicapper has given him a chance.
Micheal Flips was rated 146 at the beginning of the season, but he hasn't had his ground all winter, has now been dropped nine pounds to a mark of 137 and he looks attractively handicapped considering his form on a better surface.
The crucial thing is, he hasn't been running too badly in the softer ground. He was only beaten eight lengths by Ulck Du Lin off a 6lb higher mark at Newbury on Hennessy day and battled on for fifth behind Unioniste in the big handicap at Cheltenham in early December.
Fourth in a jumpers' bumper at Kempton last time, I'd expect a big run from Andy Turnell's horse and the 11/1 looks worth taking.
Up at Doncaster the advantage to better-ground horses is even more pronounced and though it's a good renewal with a whole host of in-form contenders I think is worth an each-way bet at 14s in the William Hill Grimthorpe Chase.
Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge has had 78 days staying away from bad winter ground since he unseated the trainer's son, Sam, at Cheltenham in December and back on a sound surface he's of real interest.
Seven of his nine career victories have had that word 'Firm' in the going description with the other two on good old plain 'Good' and he will surely have hated the heavy ground last time.
He's been dropped to a career-low chase mark of 129 and Adam Wedge takes a further 3lb off, making him a well-handicapped big-priced horse that I can't resist.

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