A BRILLIANT performance from Darkanna and jockey Barry McHugh as predicted last Saturday at Redcar. That win takes my column to a profit of exactly 66.68 points since the start of Royal Ascot in June which I'm pretty chuffed with.
This sport is great fun but when you can actually make a few quid at the same time it's just brilliant.
The jumps season is nearly upon us now and there is a cracking card at Chepstow today with some of the better horses starting to make their first appearances of the season. There are a couple there that have caught the eye but the flat season isn't done yet and both Newmarket and York have fantastic cards for us to get stuck into.
Strap yourselves in because I've ended up with a ton of good value bets today.
STAXTON was a good second in July to Hey Jonesy here over course and distance and Hey Jonesy who has since gone on to do well whilst Stanton was fifth in the Gimcrack here which is a better race than this one. We know Staxton is solid over course and distance and I have him a good bit better than the rest of the field here. The favourite Shabaaby looks better than Staxton but at an each way price I'm willing to take the chance that Shabaaby won't be as good on this ground (his two wins have been on soft). Staxton looks a stick on each way bet to me.
Al Qahwa is tempting in this race and had it been soft ground I would have gone with him. Instead I'm siding with MR LUPTON who is a great price given his form this season. Although this is a good race it's a drop in class from the races he has been competing in for most of the season and the handicapper has been lenient with him. He is now below his last winning handicap mark and with a course and distance win to his name I think he looks a great price.
DOLOS is the first one that has caught my eye at Chepstow. He has to carry top weight but that hasn't been a problem in the past for Paul Nicholls horses and he is the class act in this race. He has won twice over this course and distance and he is a nice price.
The Cesarewitch is always a brilliant race where jumps form meets flat form and confuses the hell out of us. This year is no different and our friend from two weeks ago Who Dares Wins is one of those who dares to try to win this. He is tempting as is Withhold who looks like he could be very well handicapped and I might very well have a bet on one or both of them when the race arrives.
The one I am definitely getting involved with though at the current prices is my old pal SNOW FALCON. He was tremendous last Sunday over at Naas in the Irish version of this race finishing second to an absolute plot horse. Snow Falcon gets to run off the same mark today and he just looks to be thriving in his races just now. He is a very consistent horse and although there are 30 runners in this race I just can't see him finishing outside the top 6, 7 or even 8 places that some bookies are offering on each way terms. He may well bump into another well handicapped horse that wins the race but his price is too big and if ever a horse deserved to win a big race like this it's Snow Falcon.
AWESOMETANK was indeed awesome two weeks as she hacked up at 7/1 for us at Newmarket. The argument I made for her that day remains valid enough I think despite a hike in her handicap mark. She is destined for better things and should beat this lot without too much hassle.
THREE MUSKETEERS is a tentative shout for this because I'm taking his fitness on trust and he seems to be the second string for Dan Skelton in the race based on jockey bookings and his price in the market. However, I just can't ignore his previous classy form and this doesn't strike me as the sort of race you would enter the horse in just to get a run into him. If he doesn't go close in this race he'll go close in a similar race this season because he is nicely handicapped and has that bit of class you need to win a race like this.
This is a nice big handicap race with plenty of runners so it looks wide open on paper but when you look under the bonnet there are actually a lot of these who aren't open to much improvement. KHARBETATION hardly has a catchy name and although I can't pronounce it he went straight into my notebook on his debut run when we won easily at Thirsk. He hasn't won since and I think maybe that race wasn't as good as it looked on paper but he has since come down the handicap a good bit.
I won't bore you with the geeky details of the form study but his run over this course and distance in July was pretty good and he has since come down 11lb in the handicap which isn't to be sniffed at. I think he could be ready to win again and I'm taking a chance on him at a nice price with Danny Tudhope in the saddle at a track where he rides as well as anyone. If Kharbetation wins maybe we'll even find out how to pronounce his name.
- 2.40 York – Staxton – 2pt each way at 9/1 with Bet365 and William Hill
- 3.15 York – Mr Lupton – 2pt each way at 12/1 with Bet365
- 3.35 Chepstow – Dolos – 2pt win at 11/2 with Ladbrokes and Paddy Power
- 3.40 Newmarket – Snow Falcon – 2pt each way at 16/1 with SkyBet and William Hill (both paying 8 places each way)
- 3.50 York – Awesometank – 4pt win at 11/4 with Betfred and Bet365
- 4.10 Chepstow – Three Musketeers – 1pt each way at 20/1 with Paddy Power (5 places), Coral and others
- 5.30 York – Kharbetation – 2pt each way with Betfair, Paddy Power and Coral