Sunday, 22 February 2015

Won like an odds on shot

A convincing winner for us yesterday after two setbacks when Comeonginger led from start to finish and ran the legs off everything else in the opener at Kempton and bring our recent record to five winners out of the last eight.
  There are plenty of odds on shots who are nowhere near as convincing so to have secured 9-2 or 4-1 was most gratifying. In fact, once he jumped the first two and was looking so fresh and fluent I went in again myself at just over 2-1 and apart from when Richard Johnson gave him a breather going to the final bend there never looked to be a danger. It was a perfectly paced ride from a man who will be eyeing the jockeys' title next year with AP no longer around.
  I was very impressed with Beltor's win in the Adonis Hurdle and it must be fantastic for Robert Stephens to have such a horse in his small yard. The going was soft and sticky but Beltor made it look almost like good ground as he skipped clear. The Triumph Hurdle always takes a lot of winning and Peace and Co and Hargam have already shown their class but Beltor will be going there with a live chance, I would think. He is currently a 10-1 shot and at that price I won't be going in ante post but definitely one to bear in mind on the day.
  Here's to a good week's punting ahead!
M of the Market Examiner Team

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Four out of Five

Cresswell Breeze has just blown in for us at Taunton and while not a great price - 5-2 adv and SP - she maintained our great run since Saturday with four of the last five selections going in.
  A slow week ended in great style on Saturday with Lie Forrit putting in an incredibly gutsy performance to win the National trial at Haydock. Put up in the morning at a readily available 12-1, Lie Forrit went off at 8s and was in the firing line throughout. He took it up three from home and saw off all comers apart from a resilient Harry The Viking who then took the lead on the run-in. Our old boy, trying 3m5f for the first time, knuckled down though and in a stirring finish got back up on the line to win by a head, with Monbeg Dude back in 3rd beaten by 19 lengths. The Scottish National is now the target for Linda Russell's rejuvinated 11yo and he must have a chance if he maintains his enthusiasm. It made for a special day, with my son taking his 5yo daughter for her first match at our club, Plymouth Argyle, and the three of us watched them win 2-0 having seen the Haydock race via the mobile.
  Sunday brought us back to earth with Macetown Gale well out of it at in a slog at Ffos Las but on Monday we shot back to form with both selections going in at Carlisle. Gold Futures (7-1adv, 6-1SP) looked to be out of it coming to the last but with half a furlong to run Brian Harding had him gunning down the leaders and he won going away from the well backed favourite Upswing, with AP on board. Then came Knock A Hand and Sam Twiston Davies had him ahead from the start and he won with something in hand at 4-1, having been put up at 6s in the morning.
  With Cresswell Bay winning easily at Taunton we are on a good run and let's hope it can continue!
M of the Market Examiner Team

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Thursday, 12 February 2015

Different jocks

In the week when AP McCoy announced his imminent retirement we saw a performance from a jockey which epitomised  the McCoy spirit and another in the same race by a jockey which showed why someone like AP is head and shoulders above the average.
  Unfortunately the latter jockey, Noel Fehily, was on our selection while James Best was the former who showed a never-say-die attitude to get Strawberry Hill home at Fontwell. By contract, Fehily seemed resigned to Attimo becoming detached well out and only when the horse started running past tiring rivals approaching the second last did he think that perhaps it was worth getting him to make an effort but by then it was far too late and he came home third behind Best on Strawberry Hill and amateur Tabatha Worsley  on Sitting Back.
  Would a McCoy-style rousting along of Attimo have given him a chance of victory? Difficult to know but to my eye the horse was far from a no-hoper when Fehily appeared to go easy on him from some way out.
 A decent run from our selection Dainty Diva on Monday, with Matt Griffiths biding his time and sitting in behind as Pembroke House, the subject of a late plunge in the market, set a very strong pace. Unfortunately the SP favourite Catchintime was also conservatively ridden and as that one and Dainty Diva took over approaching the last, it was the favourite who stayed on strongest to win. Pembroke House faded out of it to foil the late money punt.
  On Tuesday we were on the well beaten third Bryden Boy at Ayr and yesterday we had no selection but a 3-1 winner out of two entrants in the "Of Interest" section so it has been a frustrating and somewhat unrewarding week so far.
  Hopefully some winners to come before too long to bolster the Cheltenham betting bank!
M of the Market Examiner Team

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Goodbye AP

I was sitting in the stands watching my team yesterday when I watched Mr Mole win for me on the mobile. What I didn't know was that immediately afterwards AP had announced his retirement but my dear wife sitting at home had seen it on C4 racing and immediately texted the news over.
  Like all other racing fans I was shocked at the news but grateful to be given the notice so we can relish McCoy's final months all the more. I feel enormously privileged, as I'm sure many others do, to have been about to witness the AP's career. I can well remember standing in a bookmaker's in Hungerford in the early 90s and turning to an old boy to tell him: "This lad is going to be something special," after a youthful McCoy booted one home. I have thought the same of other young jockeys - James Doyle was one - but McCoy was extra special. We will all miss him and just hope against hope that he finishes his career safely.
  A great card at Exeter today but unfortunately I won't be able to keep an eye on it and will have to rely on RUK replays later. Melodic Rendezvous is one of my favourite hurdlers and will hopefully signal his well being now chasing and we also have our one selection for the day going for us at the Devon track.
  Hopefully the cold snap is now behind us and we can get back to a full fixture list in the week ahead so happy punting one and all!
M of the Market Examiner Team

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