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The last couple of days have been nothing short of disappointing, and I'm hoping it's not going to be a long drought without winners which can usually happen after having a good run of form.
Selling races, like this, are bottom of the barrel races, normally filled with horses who haven't shown much in their career (at all) or are on a downward spiral, which you'd have to say a lot of today's candidates are. On paper, this race should be decided between PURE CHARMER and Vaunted, unless one of the others springs a small surprise. I like the chances of Pure Charmer, and I was hoping he'd be a shade of odds against, which he is, and I think that is a fair enough price.
Pure Charmer has shown more than what Vaunted has in my opinion, and I think his recent run was a fair enough effort after a little time away from the track, as it looked like it was needed as his efforts in the final half furlong deteriorated. That race was much tougher than this, and the form looks quite good. The winner was a clearly well handicapped horse, and the 2nd won yesterday at Wolverhampton.
In a small runner field like today, and being drawn in stall 2, I think this known frontrunner can make use of his good draw and grab the rail and make all. If this was a handicap he would have 1lb less to carry compared to Vaunted, but the fact that horse hasn't shown much since his debut run I think the weight he has over him is massive and I think he will do well to run to anywhere near his current handicap mark of 69. Benoit De La Sayette takes the ride, which is noticeable that they really want to win this, as it puts him on a extremely low weight.
Going back to Vaunted, it's strange to see this horse running in a Selling race on debut for a new yard and new owner. The owner has had one previous horse to my eyes, which won 3x from around 30 runs, but it took a while for that horse to win and drop down to a winning mark. Not to sound direspectful but I don't think he's bought a well handicapped horse, going off his previous purchase, so might follow the same road as his other and might need to see his horse drop down the handicap before winning a race in a handicap. Also, he hasn't ran in 222 days, so fitness could be an issue.
To see the Clive Cox head the market in this race doesn't surprise me. Southern raiders normally are strong in the market when they head north, and I do think he has a decent chance. Personally, I think he is held by Outsmart who was ahead of him last year on the AW, and I think he would struggle to reverse the form. Outsmart is another who has a lively chance in this, and I would say those two are the ones to beat, with my preference being Outsmart being the main danger to my selection, ANIMATO.
It's nice to see an each-way price on this horse, as I was expecting a much shorter price due to a David O'Meara/Danny Tudhope combination at a track they do well at, and for the powerful owners Cheveley Park Stud. There are questions to be asked about this horse who did show promise in his juvenile season, as the last two runs have been poor. I'm not quite sure what happened at York where he finished 10th/14, but for his seasonal reappearance there is a strong chance that the run was needed. The market vibes were strong, as he went off at 100/30, but he just bombed out. That was also his first run after a Gelding operation, but we've seen it before where it can take a couple of runs before we see the improvement from that operation. This step up in trip from 7.5f to 10f is an unknown, but based on his pedigree I think it could bring out improvement. He is by Ulysses, who stayed this trip and has produced horses who stay this trip well, including similar types who have a similar pedigree being out of a Pivotal mare. He has been dropped 2lbs for his recent run, which was in a much higher class race (Class 3), which will help in this, and I think he could be a lively outsider.
As for Gibside who seems to be strong in the market, I'm not convinced. He was well behind Outsmart on seasonal reappearance, before he finished 2nd and ran a big race. However, the race where he finished second was a Class 6 and was full of low tier horses, so I don't think he finished ahead of much, so I think his price is terrible.
I tipped up KOOL MOE DEE a couple of weeks ago at Windsor, and I really liked his chances that day. Those chances were ruined when he reared as the stalls opened and he lost ground at the start, as well as ruining any chance of front running which I was hoping for. He has been dropped 1lb for that race, and I think he is worth another chance. Chepstow is more forgiving than Windsor for horses who don't break well as they tend to run all over the track, as opposed to Windsor where the rail is the place to be. In hindsight I think he ran a huge race to finish 4th that day, and the way he stayed on towards the finish suggests an attempt at 6f is well worth a try. If he breaks well, I think he has every chance and will be bang there at the finish. He is another who sits at a decent each-way price, at the time of writing.
A Class 6 0-55 handicap sprint, with my eye drawn to THEGREYVTRAIN. This horse is getting on a bit now, aged six, but his current handicap mark of 48 is tempting. He's not been seen for 85 days, which is a concern, but not as much as it normally would be. This horse has been campaigned relentlessly over the last couple of years, which has seen him have no long term break since June 2020, so I think the time away from the track was needed as he could recharge the batteries and have a crack again at the start of the turf season. The jockey booking of Rossa Ryan is eyecatching for his return as Rossa Ryan is probably the best jockey at this track. He has a cracking strike rate of 24% from 142 rides, with a profit of +59.90 to £1 level stakes, so the fact they've got him booked suggests a big run could be on the cards. He is currently double figure odds, and I think he is worth a small each-way bet when you consider he has won off marks like 57 and 60 last year.
19:25 Downpatrick - Race: 7
19:35 Worcester - Race: 7