Apologies for the lack of blogging action but the NH racing has been dire and I am deep into profiling for the new Flat season.
I will blog again later today looking at Aintree for Thursday and beyond. However my enthusiasm is tempered by our friend Uncle Willie Mullins. In attempting to win the British Trainers Championship, an amazing feat if he succeeds (and something 49SimpleSimonSays… was ridiculed for when I floated the idea eighteen months ago!!), he has brought his ‘A’ Team to Merseyside. That means a bunch of odds on shots but that concerns me as he is asking his big guns to do it again with just a three week break and that isn’t the normal Mullins mode. I can see an upset or two but as a punter you can’t back them at odds on but you don’t want to take them on. I can also see small fields in Championship races just like we’ve had at the Punchestown Festival for the past couple of years. Add to that On The Fringe, Thistlecrack etc. and it will be quiet on the betting front. Another concern I have is the ground. The weather at the moment is heavy showers. How many will Aintree get, if any, because the going could change very quickly and if it went worse than Soft I could see carnage. So my money stays in my pocket! Well most of it. The upside of all this is that the Punchestown Festival could be a real cracker as surely Mullins wont ask his superstars to do it thrice in six weeks!?
You didn’t come on here to hear my ramblings, it is winners you want. So to avoid cries of after-timing here are a couple who will be in the new #startracking Flat list that I am currently working on. Across The Stars (Lingfield 3.10) will be there but he is no bet today at 2/7 in a four runner race. Street Duel (Kempton 7.45 Two star** win @ 2/1) will be on the list, as will Fluff (Leopardstown 4.30 One star* win @9/2) and probably Hot Sauce (Leopardstown 4.30 Watching Brief).
ACROSS THE STARS (Sir Michael Stoute) OR – Peak – LWM – RPR 83
This £600K son of Sea the Stars was a real talking horse all last year, supposedly lighting up the gallops. “Another name to bear in mind for next week is the unraced Sir Michael Stoute-trained Across The Stars, set to make his debut at Nottingham on Wednesday. He has been exciting everyone at Freemason Lodge for a few weeks now and looks an exciting prospect.” Catching Pigeons 2/10/15 He was given an excellent introduction when a staying on second to a much more forward Mengli Khan over Nottingham’s 8.5F on Soft ground at C4 level. Disappointingly he was also turned over on his second run, on Tapeta over a mile at Wolverhampton when made to look one paced by Daily Bulletin (Godolphin/Gosden/Buick). Both bits of form could look useful in time. He reappears early for Stoute (had 3yo winner Pontefract April 5th) in a C5 maiden on the AW at Lingfield over 12F with Ryan Moore riding. He has entries in the Dante and the Derby and has quotes of 33/1-50/1 for the latter.
STREET DUEL (Mark Johnston) OR80 Peak 80 LWM – RPR 77
A cheap Johnston buy, $60K, who showed real promise on debut at Newmarket. Disappointed as runner up three times before hacking up in a C5 7F Southwell maiden. This son of Street Cry should appreciate stepping up in trip and starts handicapping at Kempton over 11F off a workable OR80 at C3 level with SDS on board.
FLUFF (A.O’Brien) OR – Peak – LWM – RPR 99
Lightly raced 4yo filly who has had Group 1 written all over her since she showed an electric turn of speed in winning on debut as a 3yo over 8F at Navan. She made an early reappearance this season when 3rd in an 8F Group 3 on the Curragh’s opening day card, staying on but not beaten about. Considering she is a daughter of Galileo it is no surprise to see her stepping up to 12F and taking in this Listed race at Leopardstown, she is O’Briens only runner and Jamie Heffernan rides. She could have a big future.
An update on one of my favourite jockeys, George Chaloner, from Tom O’Ryan sportinglife.com “After spending just over seven months on the sidelines, George Chaloner has been passed fit to resume his career. The Malton jockey, who shattered his foot and ankle in a freak fall while riding-out for Richard Whitaker last autumn, has worked hard to get back as soon as possible. “It’s been a long haul, and although much of the time I was off was over the winter, which is far better than being off in the summer, it’s been frustrating to be on the sidelines for so long,” said Chaloner, who has been receiving plenty of help at Jack Berry House.”Without the facilities and treatment I had there, I wouldn’t have been back so soon.”A high-flying apprentice two seasons ago when he won the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot on the Sir Robert Ogden-owned Baccarat and the Northumberland Plate in the Dr Marwan Koukash colours aboard Angel Gabrial, likewise trained by Richard Fahey, Chaloner, who rode 20 winners last season, deserves a slice of good luck as he picks-up the threads of his career.”