Friday Fun & Saturday Preview: O's and E's
First of all, I opened a significant can of worms by reviewing unfavourably the Lay 51 Operation manual. In fairness to both Stephen Brookes and Steven Lee Jones, both of whom have been in touch with me multiple times this week, as far as I can tell they have ceased promoting this product (which was penned by neither of them).
This was followed by a funeral down in Dorset for a dear aunt in midweek: she was old and it was coming, but these things are never savoury experiences. May she rest in peace.
And now, I finally have a chance to pause for breath....
Ok, so perhaps I could have just done that metaphorically... No matter. For, as I regroup my thoughts, its onwards and upwards to the weekend's equine action. Aside from the Group 1 Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes at Newbury tomorrow, there's a hatful of hardcore handicapping h-action to challenge our minds and our wallets into submission.
But what are we, if we shy from risking ridicule and lampoonery - as well as pounds and pence - by attempting to solve the insoluble, impenetrable conundrums with their myriad unfathomable imponderables?! (Excuse me, while I change my dentures!)
So let's use the draw and the stats, for that is the game, to try to tease some profitable insights. (Incidentally, after Blue Bajan leapt off the shortlist last week to land the Swinton Hurdle, and some hefty wagers having been backed from double digits to 4/1 jolly, the record over the last few weeks is pretty impressive, though I say so myself).
The Lockinge first, as we should start with a race in which we at least have a feline in Hades' (that's a cat in Hell's) chance of trapping the gold medallist.
Twelve runners to post, and the ten year trends say this:
10/10 were either seasonal debutants (9/10, excluding Nad Al Sheba runs) OR won only start
This halves the field at a stroke
9/10 were 4 or 5yo (7/10 were 4yo's)
It's cheerio to the Cesare, the favourite
9/10 had previously won over a mile (the distance of the Lockinge)
Two of these haven't, so we're down to a trio already
10/10 had recorded a triple digit Topspeed figure
Phoenix Tower has not and is reluctantly scratched (reluctantly, as it may not be a fast run race, and therefore proven end-to-end speed may be irrelevant)
9/10 started at odds of 9/1 or shorter
Astronomer Royal is around a 16/1 shot, and is therefore eliminated
A single runner remains, and a very interesting one at that. Haradasun may be an unfamiliar name to you, even though he's 7/2 second favourite. The reason? He's having his Northern Hemisphere debut for A P O'Brien, having previously run exclusively in Australia.
Phoenix Tower is worthy of a saver, though this does represent a fair step up for Henry Cecil's unexposed (and still unbeaten) Chester House colt (ideally bred for a mile, being out of a Zafonic mare).
So that, then, is the easy bit! (Or so time may tell)
Let's move to the handicaps... firstly, at Thirsk, I'm a little wary of the draw this season, and will pass up the opportunity for a punt in the 14 runner 6f race. However, if I was playing, I'd want something drawn within two of either side. From the six candidates that have this location, these conditions look optimal for Valery Borzov.
Not the most inspired selection, but one that won't be far away.
At Newmarket, I'll be siding with TFS stalwart David Elsworth. So, watch out for Viva Vettori in the 2.25 (assuming the going has the word 'soft' somewhere in the description); Silver Waters in the 3.00; and, Aggravation in the 4.10 (though he might prefer a mile, he won't be far away on softish ground).
The wily Elsworth rarely leaves HQ empty-handed, and I'll be empty-pocketed if he does tomorrow!
If you're still alive punting-wise by Sunday, Ripon offers draw followers a couple of chances. High draws are often favoured in the sprints.
In the opening juvenile seller, well drawn (11 of 12) Rose of Coma may never win if she doesn't here put her best hoof forward in this company.
The subsequent 2yo maiden is the only other race of note from a draw perspective, and Dispol Mulofky (14 of 14) is a reasonable each way wager. But I recommend you spend time with the family or in the garden / pub / bed as its predominantly uninspiring fare.
Last, but by no moans loast, timo for somo customary Friday Fun.
Tho wookond starts horo!
Labels: Friday Fun