Saturday’s cards see some quality jump racing at Ayr and some high class flat racing at Newbury
Some brief thoughts below with my best offerings for the day:
The main event
Scottish Grand National 3.45 AYR
I have some doubts about effectiveness of Gallant Oscar over this extreme trip and if ground maybe on the quick side for him.
My two against the field are Sego Success and Trustan Times
Sego Success is having a very similar preparation to Alan King’s Godsmejudge who won this 2 years ago. He looks all about stamina and will be much better suited by the pace here than at Cheltenham last time where it all developed into a bit of a sprint. I can see him reversing form with Broadway Buffalo from that run here in race that will be run at a true gallop from the off
Trustan Times has also had a similar preparation to when he came here last year and finished 3rd behind Al Co (latter reopposes but a negative for me that he was probably trained for the Grand National instead last week where he fell at the first). He ran well to a point at Cheltenham and when it was clear he wouldn’t be placed the foot was taken right off the pedal
Both horses should be effective on this ever drying ground in Scotland
I could see Harry the Viking running into a place on this ground as well as he’s been very consistent of late and I have a lot of time for his trainer. He keeps going up in the weights without winning which just puts me of him as a recommendation but wouldn’t put anyone off at 25/1+
1pt ew each
Sego Success 14/1 (take ¼ odds 12345 with 365, Coral or Betfair Sportsbook)
Trustan Times 16/1 (365, Coral)
The preceding race has the best bet of the day for me in Duke Of Navan.
He looked a really good recruit when winning on his debut this season but then seemed to disappoint when beaten at odds-on on the last two occasions. Those defeats don’t look bad at all now as his conqueror Just Cameron easily won a handicap off 140 at Haydock since. That makes Duke of Navan’s mark of 139 look very workable now and he is back on ground that suits him so much better now.
There should be some pace in this race with Strongpoint and Dunraven Storm in the field which will suit his hold up style. Nicky Richards could have upped him in grade at Aintree last week but I think has kept him back specifically for this.
A very competitive handicap but Buckstay is so consistent in this grade I have to have a nibble at 8/1 with 5 places being paid out by some.
Lincoln winner Gabrial should be his chief opponent and at bigger prices I give ew squeaks to Santefisio and Mister Music who both have performed well on higher marks. The latter was behind Buckstay last time but travelled well into that race and could have just needed it
1pt ew Buckstay 8/1 (365, Paddy Power both paying 5 places)
Not recommending a bet directly in this race but it’s going to make very interesting watching. Last season’s brilliant two-year old Tiggy Wiggy has stamina to prove and a very interesting rival in Jellicle Ball who had time analysts in raptures on her splits on her debut.
With Ryan Moore booked I wouldn’t be surprised to see the latter run very well and there could be something in 365’s 50/1 for her to win this race and the 1,000 Guineas for those who can get on with that firm
Thanks for reading and best of luck
Saturday’s recommended bets 9pts staked
Duke of Navan 1st 7/2 ( +10.5 pts)
All went beautifully here once the selection just managed to avoid an early disaster with two fallers at the first fence
Buckstay unplaced (-2pts)
A fairly exaggerated hold up ride here and he was ultimately on the wrong side of the course anyway. Never involved in finish
Trustan Times and Sego Success both unplaced (-4pts)
Trustan Times made a few too many jumping errors – he had an outside place chance at the home turn before running into a faller and then it was race over. Sego Success was a disappointment, travelling well until the final circuit and then unable to compete as the heat was turned up
This leaves the blog with a 4.5pt profit on the day and a running balance of 67.48 pts from the initial 50pt bank
There’s a further bet for me to be had now after watching today’s Classics trials.
Despite narrow defeat I was very impressed with Estidhkaar‘s effort from the front in the Greenham. Paul Hanagan was probably aware others may have had more pace in behind over this 7 furlong trip but he beat them all off comfortable except Muharrar and wasn’t done at the finishing line at all. A course record shows the result in very good light and I can see him doing far better over a mile in the Guineas where he should be able to sit just off a decent pace. Improvement must be expected from today and he wouldn’t be the first to be defeated in the Greenham and to come back and win the colts classic. The one thing I wouldn’t want to see is soft ground at Newmarket in 2 weeks time on which he seems to be less effective. He seems definitely to be going for the race from what I have read since and this also leaves the owner’s Zawraq to be free to be aimed at the Derby now he has another bona fide contender for the race.
I would expect Paul Hanagan to be riding again and think he should be a single figure price now. Hence I’m happy to take the 14s generally now offered
2pts ew Estidhkaar @14/1 2,000 Guineas
(Tote/Betfred, Boyles, BetVictor. Corals, Betfair Sportsbook, SportingBet)