Martin Malone

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Month: December 2015

Boxing Day selections

Cue CardThe weather has taken its toll, particularly with the loss of Wetherby today and tomorrow, plus tomorrow’s Welsh National card at Chepstow (transferred to 9 January) but it remains a spectacular day’s racing. The undoubted highlight is the best King George for years with no less than six realistic contenders.

Kempton

12.50 2m Novices’ Hurdle

Altior*** (6/4) is head and shoulders above the rest in this one. Open Eagle could step up from his easy first outing but not enough to see off the favourite.

1.25 2m 4f Handicap Chase

No selection

2.00 Feltham Novices’ Chase (3m)

One of my favourite races but not up to the usual standard. Native River** (2/1) is a deserving joint favourite with Tea For Two and since I’m unconvinced by the latter this is a confident selection.

2.35 Christmas Hurdle (2m)

I am not in the least concerned by Faugheen‘s (***** 1/3) defeat in the Morgiana. There’s nothing wrong with being a bit below par on a first outing and he looked race fit on today’s Morning Line. I really cannot see him being beaten.

3.10 King George (3m)

I cannot support a horse that doesn’t jump straight so, with reluctance, I have to discount Vautour. Don Cossack has won six of his last seven but this is the toughest yet. He beat Cue Card fair and square at Aintree but he apparently favours good ground and I just can’t have him today. Silviniaco Conti is probably my most backed horse over the last four years but was beaten out of sight by the revitalised Cue Card in the Betfair Chase. Smad Place had the race his way in the Hennessy but I don’t think that coming on from that race is ideal and I suspect that the form is not good enough in this superlative race. Al Ferof is a fine horse and this would be a dream come true for Dan Skelton but it won’t happen. So it has to be Cue Card*** at a very appealing 9/2.

3.45 2m 5f Handicap Hurdle

I was going to go with Keltus, an initially promising horse that may yet have his day but 8/1 is too short. I’m therefore with favourite Sugar Baron** at a tempting 5/1.

Leopardstown (selected)

12.45 2m 2f Maiden Hurdle

Vigil*** (8/11) is a good value evens favourite for Dermot Weld. A rare opportunity to oppose a WP Mullins up and comer (A Toi Phil) who ran only four days ago.

1.20 2m Juvenile Hurdle

It’s back to Mullins in this one for the bet of the day in the shape of Footpad***** at an excellent 11/4. This one is currently second favourite for the Triumph Hurdle and will displace Rashaan, who he opposes today. Rashaan is the default favourite having won the Bar One Hurdle.

2.55 2m 1f Novices’ Chase

I’m expecting an easy spin round for Douvan***** (8/15), even against the likes of Ttebob and Sizing John. This is an opportunity to make money on the current 6/4 Arkle favourite.

Lucky 15

2.35 Kempton Faugheen

3.10 Kempton Cue Card

1.20 Leopardstown Footpad

2.55 Leopardstown Douvan

£15 x 2 (£30 stake) including hot pots for a potential £324.59.

Good luck!

Quick Selections for Saturday at Cheltenham

This is a day when one card dominates, and all my selections are through the card at Cheltenham.

12:05 Triumph Hurdle Trial

Adrien Du Pont **** (6/4) should improve loads for his defeat of Sceau Royal in the stewards’ room at Chepstow and is currently 20/1 for the Triumph. Will be shorter after this.

12:40 Raymond Mould 2m4f Novices’ Chase

This is being treated as a trial for the RSA and while there are better candidates elsewhere More of That *** (1/3) really should win this easily.

13:15 Unicoin Handicap Chase

This used to be a significant 2m chase but has slipped off the terrestrial coverage and the field reflects it. I’m making a call with a horse that, in the eyes of many, has not fulfilled his potential but Paul Nicholls has stuck with him. This might be the day for Ulck du Lin * to score a decent win at 16/1. Don’t do a place bet. The horse will win or bomb out. Bold Henry is the saver.

13:50 Caspian Caviar Gold Cup 2m 4f

This was in the calendar as the December Chase so well done Caspian Caviar for maintaining their sponsorship. By the way Montpon-Menesterol is a French based sturgeon and therefore caviar producer, near to our home in France. This is tougher than a Daily Telegraph crossword! It’s not surprising that it’s not yet priced up on Paddy Power. I’m far from convinced that Annacotty will follow up on Paddy Power so I’m going to plump for Mozoltov * for a big return after a long break. If WP thought had he needed a gentle reintroduction he wouldn’t have sent him across the water.

14:25 Albert Bartlett Novices Hudle 2m 7f

Uknowwhatimeanharry * (5/4) has a terrible name but is a good horse. You might see him as a progresser from the lower ranks if it were not for his last wins at Newbury and Cheltenham. I think that these are generally below the best so you could make a case for any of them. I’ll not be betting on this one so that’s a gap in the card for this and the last races.

15:00 International Hurdle 2m

This is by no means a classic renewal but Peace And Co **** should win it and shorten the current 9/1 for the Champion Hurdle (he won’t win that). However I’m going to break my usual rules and bet on two in this one in the shape of Sempre Medici *** (5/1), because he’s surely the reason why Ruby has travelled and he’s back at the right distance. This one could become a major player after this race.

15:35 2m 4f Mares’ Hurdle

The filler. Broxbourne ** delivered last time at Aintree and I see no reason to depart from her. However I’ll only be betting if I’m awash with cash from the previous races!

So, in summary, the placepot is:

Adrien du Pont, More of That, Bold Henry, Annacotty, Uknowwhatimaenharry and Peace And Co.

…and the Lucky 15 is Adrien Du Pont, More of That, Peace And Co and Broxbourne. (I did think of mixing it up with Doncaster but there are no obvious candidates.)

Good luck!!

 

 

Weekend racing

2023817Here are my brief thoughts about a superb day’s racing tomorrow.

Tingle Creek

One of my favourite races. An aperitif before the Christmas bonanza. The defection of Un de Sceaux is a big shame and now I find that Simonsig is out as well. Poor to see that racingpost.com still quotes the latter at 11/4. However it does open the race. I’m with Special Tiara (7/2) and I think that he was still a serious candidate before the defections. The course suits.

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

This is made for Bristol de Mai. The current 13/8 is fantastic value against dodgy opposition (was 15/8 yesterday but still good). This horse was serving his time over hurdles and will be shorter on Saturday.

Becher Chase

Really looking forward to this. Who is giving their National candidate a serious test? Some of them are stayers, being sent out for their big day today. I don’t get the support for Algernon Pazham against tried and tested opponents. I’m with Saint Are (10/1) to win. This is a high quality horse that can deliver today. Buachaill Alainn is a horse that constantly stays on at the end and, if on a good day, is outstanding place value at 25/1.

2.15 Aintree 3m+ chase

This is an outstandingly good race but absolutely made with the small field for Don Poli. The current 5/6 is a simple more or less double your money gift.

Grand Sefton (3.20)

This begs a good odds winner and the market reflects it. However, I take the view that quality will prevail and I’m with Rocky Creek (6/1) to deliver. Nicholls has long thought of this one as his serious National contender but, without having to stay, this is a perfect opportunity in itself.

London National (3.35)

This has long been the afterthought of a big day’s racing and the runners are hardly too impressive. However, I have a little thought for Mountainous for Kerry Lee on soft ground. It’s probably a romantic notion but I have a vision of this 8/1 shot staying on at what many people don’t realise is a draining finish, particularly after a long chase.

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