From a personal punting perspective (ppp?!) it was a pretty dire race. When 1 of your 2 selections gets fatally injured at the first fence (R.I.P Galaxy Rock) then you know it’s set to be hard going. Galaxy Rock was heavily backed throughout the day and a big run was clearly expected, however, the racing gods had other plans and we were left with another of our magnificent chasing beasts departing to that great racetrack in the sky.
You always feel a bit numb when there is an equine death on the track (or anywhere for that matter) but it is an unfortunate downside of the game we all love, these sorts of incidents are few and far between (despite what some people will have you believe) and you simply have to accept these things will happen from time to time and move on, as harsh at that may seem, we all know the risks involved in the sport when we place our bets.
Anyway, I digress…my other selection, Paddy The Hare, well his cards were marked in the parade ring. He was reported to have sweated up badly and that clearly effected his jumping rhythm as he missed out a couple of obstacles with some sloppy jumping. That all took it’s toll and he faded tamely around 3 out. Was that his real running? Probably not. Can he defy his new 12lbs higher mark? Hard to say after that but the jury must be out.
On the plus side the winner was on my short-list from yesterday’s guide, granted it was a long enough short-list but it was a tricky looking renewal and a long-short-list generally back that assessment up.
Here are the finishing posi’s of my short-list…
PADDY THE HARE – 8th at 6.27 BFSP
KINGS LEGACY – 7th at 17.89 BFSP
ROYALE’S CHARTER – 14th at 18.95 BFSP
PROBLEMA TIC – 11th at 32 BFSP
GALAXY ROCK – Fell (R.I.P fella)
BOBOWEN – 1st at 11.69 BFSP
DINEUR – 4th at 8.78 BFSP
I’ve been a long term fan of BOBOWEN and he bolstered our betting bank here on the blog a few times last summer. I had a very small query over his handicap mark yesterday but clearly I was way out on that score! After his bloodless 9 length victory, however, I now again have a question mark over his likely new handicap mark! He clearly had plenty up his sleeve yesterday but the questions now are does he have more tucked away up his sleeve and will the handicapper absolutely hammer him for this run? A case of wait and see what the bad old Mr handicapper does….
Second placed WOOLCOMBE FOLLY is one who I gave an honorable mention to a couple months back. I said then that “I’m in 2 minds whether he is in the grip of the handicapper from his 150 mark or if he is just at a stage of his career where he will continually find at least 1 too good for him every time. As such he remains in my peripheral vision, without me actually knowing what to do with him…” and if I’m honest the same comments would apply after this run! You would like to think that he will ‘pop in somewhere’ but you couldn’t be confident, could you?
Third placed FINGER ONTHE PULSE ran a cracking race in 3rd and continued what seems to be some sort of rejuvenation of his career at aged 12. He could win again at some stage this summer but probably in a less competitive contest.
Fourth placed DINEUR ran a decent enough race under his penalty but it should be noted that he is yet to score at further than 2m3f in 9 attempts. This probably stretched his stamina to the very limit and the strong suggestions are that he is much better over shorter. He can win again as there should still be juice in his handicap mark but if he is going to be carrying my money it is likely to be when he is racing over a shorter trip.
BOCCIANI ran OK in fifth but he is on a career high mark and the handicapper looks to have his nuts in a vice grip (metaphorically obviously since he has none!). He probably needs to drop a bit in the weights before winning again and certainly before I get involved in him.
Sixth placed DONNAS PALM interests me. He was never really in the race yesterday but his handicap mark is slipping all the time and it is slipping whilst running under less than ideal conditions. On the face of it, it may look like he isn’t loving the game any more and/or new trainer Tim Vaughan hasn’t figured him out quite yet, but consider these facts…
His form over 2m – 2m4f is 9 wins from 27 starts (best RPR figure of 159) compared to his form over 2m5f+ of 0 wins from 6 starts (best RPR figure of 136); yesterday was over 2m6f+.
His form on Good to Soft or worse ground is 9 wins from 25 starts compared to his form on Good or better ground of 0 wins from 8 starts; yesterday it was Good to Firm.
His form from January to July reads 1 win from 14 starts (to be fair you would still consider him in Jan & Feb) compared to his form in August to December which reads 8 wins from 19 starts; yesterday, obviously, was July.
He is better in the latter part of the year – on ground with cut in it – at trips up to 2m4f; clearly fizzing round Market Rasen in July on Good to Firm over 2m6f is NOT his cup of tea!
He has plenty of back class (triple Grade 2 winner) and as already mentioned he is on a slipping handicap mark. He ran off 128 on Saturday but may yet go down a couple more for that run, by the time his ideal conditions come round he could be an incredibly well handicapped beast indeed. If I were Tim Vaughan (which I’m not, I just checked) I would be looking for a 2m – 2m4f handicap chase around September/October/November time and priming his charge for that specific target. The ground should be softening up by then and he will have a horse on a cracking mark who performs to his optimum at that stage of the year.
NTF to follow horse – DONNAS PALM
Conditions – 2m – 2m4f handicaps | Good to Soft or softer | August – December (consider Jan & Feb) | from or around current mark of 128
Happy Punting – Ben (NTF)