Wednesday, 3 April 2013

That Special Time of Year....


It is indeed that special time and this has nothing to do with Religion ;P its GRAND NATIONAL time and the big one will be on Sat but this whole 3 day meeting hosts some quality races and although most are sub Cheltenham Standard there are a few that could easily make it on that card and there will be no shortage of NH Equine stars on show with all the big stables , owners and Jockeys on show , this will indeed be another very interesting 3 days and one that has historically been a very profitable one for me.
One thing that i always look to do is forget winning Cheltenham form and look for those that didnt run or were unlucky as it is quite often ( not a stone carved rule ) that horses arriving here from the Cheltenham Festival under perform for no obvious reason which just adds to the many conundrums and puzzles we analysts must solve.


And of course who can forget that thrilling and unbelievable finish from last year ( closest ever finish in a GN )..
So much excitement with these hard as nails fences , so much fun and true sporting spectacle , lets see if we can enjoy it and win at the same time ;-)
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AINTREE

RACE 1 - 

Matalan Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1)

.A tremendous race to start this 3 day mini festival off and a tricky one for the punters as this race is full of quality group 2 horses but none with grade 1 class ( with the possible exception of Irish Saint ) and you can make or attempt to make a case for just about all of them.....tricky , trappy and good for the bookies.
But im not here all week sitting on the fence and pulling splinters out of my arse so what will win , ..?..well my 3 against the field are ,
1.FLAXEN FLARE
This absolutely destroyed a strong looking field in the Fred Winter at the festival and comfortably holds Ruacana and Zamdy Man on that run and looks to be coming into himself just at the right time, this is lightly raced, improving and getting stronger and will be even better next year but will earn his keep in whatever he does , strong hope, cracking horse and sure to be involved in the finish.

2.IRISH SAINT 
I was very surprised when this got rolled by Rolling Star as this was absolutely cantering hard on the steel 2f out only to find nil when asked and then looked likely to happen...next time up he raced in the Adonis 2m Hurdle Class 1 /Grade 2 in a tight a competitive field and this time found plenty when asked and won well and this showed both improvement and that this ability to travel ( like the great Cab on Target ) is now backed up with some guts , i am a big fan of this strapping son of Saint Des Saints and imvhaho i think Rolling Star has no fucking chance of beating this again...i will be Shocked if this cannot place!.

3.ROLLING STAR
As i have already stated personally i cannot see this beating the improved Irish Saint but should IS decide not to turn up then this has a leading chance as i have these three being a good bit better than the remainder as well as having some major form and statistical advantages , the prices are tight but a 3 way dutch is a possibility as i just will not have it that one of these will not be returning as the winner.

WIN - IRISH SAINT - 3rd @ 4.40
EW - FLAXEN FLARE - 
LONG - ROLLING STAR - 

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RACE 2

Betfred Bowl Chase (Grade 1)

.What a superb line up we have for this only missing Long Run and we could have a Gold Cup! , thats how good this is but what it also is , is a race full of " nearly " horses, the bridesmaids that can can take center stage with the stars taking a break.
SILVINACO CONTI is tho a class act and im annoyed at the lazy journalistic cunts over at both the RP and SL who are writing this off through a lack of stamina !!.....Yes a few flares may have been fired out during the Gold Cup ( just before it rather uncharacteristically fell 2 out when imo holding EVERY chance ) but that was still a good run to that point and this usually sound and efficient jumper will get back to winning ways sooner rather than later and to say his stamina is an issue..utter fucking bollocks , just look at the either the Betfair Chase ( 3m ) or the Denman Chase ( 3m ) races he won in commanding fashion and stayed every yard and wasnt stopping , he has beaten The Giant Bolster twice , Beaten Long Run and looks a Major player in that league and is my humble opinion much better than any in this field and i feel Even money ( 2.0 ) is a steal and you should sell your gran and get it all on in backing this as i think that bar a fall this is bombproof.
First Lieutenant is a bloody good horse but just a wee bit short from top class, The Giant Bolster will never win against the best but is a reliable and very honest runner , Cape Tribulation is a doubtful stayer in a true run race and will struggle to beat FL , and none of the remainder can be considered , NAP.


WIN - SILVINANCO CONTI ( NAP ) - 3rd @ 2.10*
EW - FIRST LIEUTENANT  - 1st @ 5.50
LONG - N/A - 
*Never jumped with its normal fluency and took an age to get stoked up, 1 too many mistakes.
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RACE 3

John Smith's Aintree Hurdle (Grade 1)

.WOW WOW WOW & WOW thats all i can say here as this race looks utterly delish from the purists point of view....So much to digest, so much to consider so much ability and class on show and they are all pretty much racing over a trip on which they are relatively untried....omg wtf lol ;-)..this is gonna be one amazing race!!...but what will win??..
Personally i think this is a two horse race between the Oscar Whiskey ( looking to win this race for the third time ) and a horse i absolutely lurve!!..THE NEW ONE , i know my write ups sometimes speak more from the heart than my head but this is one seriously good horse after just getting touched off by the very impressive At Fishers Cross this went on to win the Baring Bingham at the festival beating the very good trio of Chatterbox , Rule the World and Pont Alexandre with out really breaking a sweat..that was one scintillating performance , Oscar Whiskey is a seriously good horse and is certainly a few pounds better than anything TNO has currently met but i really think it will be upto the challenge ( unless the Cheltenham curse strikes ) and at the current prices of 4.5 / 7.2 i think a dutch has to be the bet but i really want TNO to win this , forget the rest as a betting proposition as they all have it prove over this trip and Countrywide Flame @ 5.6...fuck me LAY LAY LAY......come on guys , if you cant make some easy money today you never will!!


WIN - THE NEW ONE  - 2nd @ 3.77*
EW - OSCAR WHISKEY - 
LONG - N/A - 
LOTD - COUNTRYWIDE FLAME @ 5.6 - ( LAY OF THE YEAR ) - UNPLACED
**Ran a great race only just being denied by the more experienced Zarkander...This is a monster and will be terrific next year.
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RACE 4

John Smith's Fox Hunters' Chase (National Course)

.Haha now after all the excitement of that last race it is maybe time to sit back , count your winnings, go put the kettle on and chill..this is a forced break however if you really need to be involved here i would suggest GWANAKO , not original i know and the likely favourite but is also in a different league class wise to most if not all of these and a sound round equals a win of the " outsiders " i like Mourne Paddy who could try and make all which is probably the best position to be in a race like this.


WIN - GWANAKO - 
EW - BOLD ADDITION  - 
LONG - MOURNE PADDY - 

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RACE 5

Matalan.co.uk Red Rum Handicap Chase (Grade 3)

.Hmm this is a tough race and one where i will be calling on me " Magic Pin " as there is no real class in this field however it is made up of some damn good and consistent handicappers and there really is nowhere special to start here, you pays your money and you takes your chance and i will be lucky to still be in the Place pot after this debacle!!...Cant really offer any real thoughts or feelings on this as im just rowing in with me gut...


WIN - REBEL REBELLION -  
EW - OISEAU DE NUIT  - 1st @ 30.10
LONG - KINGS GREY - 
PLACEPOT EXTRA - TOUBAB - 

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RACE 6

Betfred Manifesto Novices' Chase (Grade 1)

.Another solid quality race but another where i feel there are two ahead of the rest and the two to focus on here are CAPTAIN CONAN and nemesis Changing times and its the former i expect to win today these have met twice, first time Captain Conan come out on top by 34L in a muddling 4 runner race and i feel that after mistakes were made this was virtually pulled up as its chance had gone and that is not a true reflection of its ability and this was shown to be true as the next time they met the roles were indeed reversed with Changing Times coming out on top but only by a NK, NK as Captain Conan just lost its feet on the run in behind Beneficent in the Jewson and with that i do feel that Captain Conan is the classier horse and will show it this time but it will be close, is there anything to get in and join the party?...Yes is the obvious answer with Tap Night and Fago the leading protagonists but they are not expected to enjoy the quickening ground and have been rather disappointing lately so are easily overlooked....Another monster dutch and dutch double ( with Race 3 ).

WIN - CAPTAIN CONAN - 1st @ 2.38
EW - CHANGING TIMES - 3rd @ 5.80
LONG - N/A - 

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RACE 7

Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

.A cracking race to round off a very impressive looking first day but not one for the " getting out stakes " chasers...i have got my Magic Pin out again and its landed on......


WIN - ERICHT - 
EW - OPEN HEARTED - 
LONG - LIENOSUS - 

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Well there we go , a fab day with some amazing racing on offer, for those of you that can...enjoy , lets hope we can nail a few winners and some profit ( the Lay on Countrywide Flame pays for my day ;-) ) , Good Luck All , TTFN X

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