A GOOD start to the week although we hit the bar a couple of times with Sizing John, Diego Du Charmil and Don Poli. Diego was particularly frustrating getting 4th when we needed 3rd for a nice return at 10s. I had a nice win for the big bet of the day though with On The Fringe at 4pts on the nose and also a nice each way return on Shattered Love at 10/1.
More quality racing again for Friday with some competitive handicaps mixed in with short priced ‘good things'. Let's see if we can turn it into some more profit…
1.40 Alder Hey Children's Charity Handicap Hurdle
Competitive stuff here so you need to look for something that could be a bit ahead of its handicap mark. TYCOON PRINCE was a horse that Gordon Elliott was massively excited about and he hasn't quite fulfilled those expectations although his form has been decent enough. Crucially he has now had a wind operation which should bring about some improvement and I suspect he could be way better than his current rating of 139.
The price of 8/1 could look him huge value in hindsight because he looks like the one horse in the field who could have some big improvement in him. Blazer is the other one who might have plenty of improvement but Tycoon Prince has the benefit of being fresh having not run at Cheltenham.
- Recommendation: 1pt e/w – Tycoon Prince at 8/1 with RaceBets
2.15 Imagine Cruising First In The Frame Top Novices' Hurdle
This race revolves around 3 candidates for me. Agrapart took the breath away in the Adonis Hurdle and now comes here fresh having swerved Cheltenham. Buveur D'Air looked like he had more to offer at Cheltenham and LIMINI won the mares' hurdle with broadsheet and Cuban cigar in hand.
If you are the sort who looks for value then Agrapart at 10/1 looks like the obvious each way play and I couldn't argue with that. However, Limini looked so impressive and is also so well thought of that I think the 7lb weight concession that she gets from the boys could be huge. On level weights she would have a shout but with extra weight all round the short price looks attractive.
- Recommendation: 3pt win – Limini at 5/4 with RaceBets
2.50 Betfred Mildmay Novices Chase
This really should come down to Blaklion, the RSA winner versus Un Temps Pour Tout (UTPT), the winner of the Ultima Handicap Chase against more experienced horses. The official ratings have UTPT 5lbs better than Blaklion and that would be my view too. UTPT won that Ultima race which was hugely competitive on paper but he won like it was a stroll in the park. I think he will improve again and in my opinion the form of that Cheltenham win is higher than the RSA chase that Blaklion won. UTPT had Holywell behind him in 2nd who is a top class horse in his own right.
- Recommendation: 3pt win – Un Temps Pour Tout at 7/4 with RaceBets
3.25 JLT Melling Chase
It's not hard to tip Vautour to win this but he will do so. Far and away the class horse in the race, reinforced by his procession of a win in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. Only odds of 1/4 now so I can't tip that but I also won't tip anything else. Vautour wins and I'm not sure who will follow him home.
- Recommendation: No bet
4.05 Crabbies Topham Chase
There are some great horses in this field but the idea of past experience of the course and fences is worth plenty as far as I'm concerned. BENNY'S MIST always seems to save his best efforts for the National fences having been placed on a number of occasions in the Topham and the Grand Sefton. He might not be the best handicapped horse but that experience is priceless and I'm keen to have an each way bet on this lad.
- Recommendation: 1pt e/w – Benny's Mist at 12/1
4.40 Doom Bar Handicap
This is massively competitive. If we can forgive Bellshill his last run he is the best horse in this race and the price of 8/1 with RaceBets looks very big indeed. Others such as Balko Des Flos, Ballydine and Gangster all deserve to win a race at some point but Bellshill is a good bit ahead on form and the official ratings so the 8/1 seems very good value to me.
- Recommendation: 1pt e/w – Bellshill at 8/1
5.15 Weatherby's Private Bank Champion Standard National Hunt Open Flat Race.
This is a competitive bumper with plenty who have gone to Cheltenham and then come here. Ballyandy was impressive in winning at Cheltenham but I don't think I can recommend a bet given the strength and depth of the field. I think I will keep a watching brief for this race.
- Recommendation: no bet
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