LAST Saturday we had a good each way return on Castle Robin who stayed on remarkably well to finish 3rd at 14-1. Yorkhill my only other selection was a non-runner so that topped off a cracking January for the column. We staked 66 points which returned 101.29 for a ‘return on investment' of 35%.
This weekend we have great stuff in the UK on Saturday and the Dublin Racing Festival over in Leopardstown on both Saturday and Sunday with some of the big races covered on ITV4. At the time of writing Wetherby has just been cancelled but it looks like Sandown, Musselburgh and Leopardstown will all survive.
Have a listen to this week's Gambla Racing Podcast where we discuss my selections for the weekend:
To summarise, the selections are as follows:
First up is BLAKENEY POINT in the Scottish County Hurdle, a competitive handicap hurdle which attracts some good horses from southern trainers. I do like the favourite Christopher Wood but I think the each way value is Blakeney Point at the prices. He won nicely last time out but has only been raised 2lb in the weights and despite a lengthy career on the flat (rated an impressive 94) he is still unexposed over hurdles. The 4th paced horse that day (Miranda) has since won a graded race very nicely indeed. With the assistance of the peerless Brian Hughes on board I expect him to go close again at a big price.
The old boy DOITFORTHEVILLAGE isn't one you would expect to have bundles of improvement in him but he returned to some of his old form with a win last time out and has only been raised 2lb for that. At his best he was competitive at the Cheltenham Festival and was winning races off a rating the 130s. He is only rated 123 today and if he is still in the mood he can make his double figure price look silly.
I like the chances of THE FERRYMASTER here where most will have no interest in the 4 mile trip in soft ground but I think he will enjoy it. It's his first try at a trip over 3 miles but my theory is that this sort of test will be perfect for him.
I am keen on a win double bet on ASK ME EARLY (3.30pm Sandown – Saturday) and MELON (3.40pm Leopardstown – Sunday). Ask Me Early looks a rock solid favourite to me in his 3 mile chase. He is unexposed and improving with each outing. His win in heavy ground at Chepstow demonstrates that today's potential mud bath will present no concerns at all and I expect him to take the rise in the weights in his stride. Melon looks really good value too given the change of jockey (with no disrespect to Patrick Mullins) and probable change of tactics to make sure he sees out the 3 mile trip a bit better. He did so much of the work last time out that allowed A Plus Tard to lunge late on and nick the race. I can have Minella Indo as short priced favourite, Delta Work is out of form sadly and The Storyteller is just slightly below the level needed here I think. That leaves Melon v Kemboy who are evenly matched and I think with a change of tactics and jockey Melon will edge it. It promises to be a cracking race regardless.
Good luck to everyone this weekend and enjoy the racing!