Friday, September 26, 2014

Rum and Rasen

The 40th Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Perthshire may be the focus of attention for many this weekend but for this observer Perth's two day midweek meeting held as much interest.

In the past I have found the meet has proved a reasonable guide to the well-being of Nigel Twiston-Davies' horses.

This year Blacklion took the opening race of the meeting at odds of 4/9 but there were some notable disappointments in between before five-year-old mare Kilronan High built on her impressive win at Towcester last May with victory in the meeting's concluding bumper.

2/5 chance Ballyboley was beaten some 33 lengths by 80/1 shot Last Supper while Splash Of Ginge, winner of last season's Betfair Hurdle at Newbury, didn't appear to appreciate the larger obstacles in the latter stages of the novice chase, finishing some 47 lengths behind David Pipe's game four-year-old Ansi Fideles.

Tomorrow's opener at Market Rasen (1.45) was won by Barizan in 2009 (went on to finish second in the Triumph Hurdle) and Nicky Henderson's Royal Irish Hussar obliged last year (went on to finish sixth in the Triumph).

Twiston-Davies saddles course and distance winner Goodbye Dancer (rated 139) and I've no doubt he'll hope for similar things for his charge but stable form isn't convincing and the price looks tight enough. In the past the gelding has made all but may not have things all his own way with the filly Full Day in the field while David Pipe's French import Unanimite looks interesting on his debut in this country.

Those looking for a wager may want to consider trainers in form including:

Charlie Longsdon - six winners from last seven runners;
Kim Bailey - seven winners from eleven runners in past month;
John Ferguson - four winners from seven entries in September;
Dr R P Newland - three winners from six in past month;
Neil Mulholland - three-timer at Worcester earlier today.

The listed hurdle at 2.15 looks very difficult.

John Ferguson's Mijhaar is priced up favourite but in the past he hasn't been the most consistent.

A couple of 'old friends' (I use that term advisedly) try their luck again.

Peter Bowen has declared Dineur in this hurdle (rating 126) rather than the following handicap chase where he was set to run off 134. He's a talented individual but this is his first run for over a year and his first run in a hurdle for over two...

I tipped Solaras Exhibition as an each-way outsider for this race last year but he ran an absolute stinker; in the past he was described as a 'lively outsider' for the Fred Winter at Cheltenham but he's not one to trust implicitly.

Purple 'N 'Gold narrowly failed to bring home the bacon when carrying my money three weeks ago but he has failed again since and looks up against it.

The listed handicap chase at 2.50 isn't any easier but Rum And Butter is a young horse with time on his side. He failed to show in the Galway Plate in July and lacks chase experience compared to some in this field but he has won around here before.

McCoy prefers Dursey Sound so Rum And Butter can be no more than a speculative each-way suggestion, priced up at 14/1 this evening.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Back in training...

Having been sent out to grass over the summer, I've only recently 'come back in' and as result will need  a few more weeks before coming to hand...

At a Warwick midweek meeting last March Nicky Henderson's mare Polly Peachum caught my eye while King's Tempest claimed the concluding bumper for the Twiston-Davies operation; both will be of interest when they re-appear.

Since then Warwick has held its final Flat meeting (Bank Holiday Monday, August 25th) as the course pursues its aim of becoming 'a top quality small jumps course.'

A few miles down the road Towcester has sold off seven of its NH fixtures deeming the decision  to diversify into greyhound racing a commercial necessity.

And Peddlers Cross, the 2011 Champion Hurdle runner-up, has been retired.

At Stratford tomorrow I'm tempted to chance David Pipe's Purple 'n Gold in the 3.55 provided the tissue price of 5/1 is available on the day. This one was beaten by Roman Flight over course and distance in May but held every chance before making a mess of the last. Although racing from out of the handicap here, at the weights he holds a chance of reversing the form and jockey Kieron Edgar claims five.

That said, having just returned from the summer vacation, I'm racing some way off the pace.