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Saturday was a bit of a blood bath, and you'd have to say four of the selections ran below par. The last two ran with credit, but weren't able to land a blow on the race. It's the hardest days racing of the week, so hopefully you all didn't do as bad as me. Today's racing doesn't look all that great, so just the one selection from me.
A four runner affair but an interesting race nonetheless. I'm sure Mister Whitaker will have all of his punters backing him in force as he is a favourite of many over the last few years when being trained by Mick Channon, but he's not really set the world alight at Donald McCain's, when he's ran over hurdles. SAINT XAVIER caught my eye of the four runners and I think he is the value in this race, especially over this trip which doesn't appear to be suitable for the other three.
In my opinion, Mister Whitaker is better over an intermediate trip like 2m 4f or 5f. The other two who I've not mentioned yet, Cash To Ash and Big River look suited to marathon trips, and will more than likely be aimed for the ‘National' races throughout the season, more focused towards the Northern tracks. Saint Xavier looks the most reliable over this trip, and I thought his run last time out was a good step in the right direction, over a trip which is deemed too short for him. He is well handicapped on old form, now rated 129, when he was previously rated as high as 150 when trained by Paul Nicholls.
The soft ground will be fine for him, as it should be for the other three in the race. It's not a surprise to him as the rank outsider at the time of writing, and it wouldn't surprise me to see him drift even further.