Graphic (above) gave us a good start to Friday delivering 8.66 points profit at Betfair SP.
Van Percy was backed into 4/1 but was too keen at the start eventually finishing fifth and Chancery led until the final furlong and then his weight slowed him down.
I looked at a lot of races for Saturday and despite liking O'Briens War Command and Oklamhoma City at Newmarket I have decided to give the two year old races a swerve.
This leaves us with selections from Newmarket and York on the flat and our first National Hunt bet of the new season from Chepstow.
3.30 York Coral Sprint Trophy (Handicap) (CLASS 2)
Valbchek has a big rating due to the fact he won two big races in his two year old season. He hasn’t really sparkled this season and it may need another year for him to mature enough to win again.
Pastoral Player ran poorly in a handicap last weekend over 7 furlongs and it smacks of desperation that he is dropped to 6 furlongs this weekend. He hasn’t run over 6 furlongs for about sixteen months and he has been starting slowly in most of his races so may get left in the first furlong before charging late.
Ancient Cross won well at Ayr but this is more difficult especially with his weight rise, however he is likely to go close to a place. He would be a good sign off for Mick Easterby at his home track.
An Saighiur has won most of his races on the all weather track at Dundalk and although he has won on turf is probably just below this level. he has also gone up three pounds for his third behind Ancient Cross at Ayr.
Baccarat is a stand out for me here despite disappointing fifth in the Ayr Gold Cup, as he is improving and has already won at this level. Unlike the majority of these he is likely to be moving up the evolutionary tree into Group races next season. High draws over 6 furlongs at York are also beneficial and he has some pace drawn close by.
3.50 Newmarket Betfred Cesarewitch (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2)
Despite this race being run over 2 miles and 2 furlongs the draw has been important with those drawn below 15 proving the likely winners and placers.
This year that effects many of the top horses in the betting with the following all being drawn sixteen or above:
That pretty much rules out them and then delivers value elsewhere.
Platinum has won his last three races but these have been in a much lower class and has resulted in a rise in rating of 17 pounds. He also has a four pounds penalty which has proven difficult to win with in the past.
Brockwell would have been of interest if he had been drawn lower than seventeen, as runners in the Northumberland Plate have done well in this. He has also had a lot of racing whereas it is important to have a fresh horse for this race.
Smoky Hill has been backed this week which is annoying and he has a higher draw than I would have liked; however his class will shine through plus he will be staying whilst others wilt. He has gone up 12 pounds since the weights for this were set and to get almost a stone in a handicap is a huge boost. His fourth in a Group 3 over 2 miles is excellent form and he can storm home here.
Chiberta King is more speculative but ran well here in a Listed race last season to finish fifth and won a good class 2 at Ascot earlier this season. He has been lightly campaigned, which suggests to me that this has been his target and his low draw will be a help. I have made him each way as I think that Smoky Hill is the likely winner so shop around for price and look at bookmakers offering extra places.
Good luck and have a great weekend.
4.15 Chepstow £25 Free Bet At BetVictor Novices´ Chase (for The Robert Mottram Memorial Trophy) (CLASS 2)
I had actually hoped Dark Lord was going to run for Paul Nicholls here as he had been entered, but he runs Easter Day instead.
Balder Succes deserves to be favourite virtue of his hurdle rating and form, although he has not win for a while and that puts me off. He has had a couple of spins on the flat to freshen him up, but I am not convinced he is suited by much further than two miles.
Double Ross went chasing a couple of years back and then went back hurdling before making a winning comeback over fences recently. That performance was a lot better than his two previous runs over fences and he is likely to make a bold showing here before being tapped for pace late on. Key is he must not be allowed a soft lead or the speed of the top two may not be enough.
Easter Day will undoubtedly be well schooled having seen the facilities at Paul Nicholl’s Ditcheat yard and I would expect him to tuck in behind Balder Succes and Double Ross. If I was Daryl Jacob I would try and kick clear two or two and half furlongs out and use his stamina to draw the sting out of Balder Succes.
If the race is run as described above I think we will have the winner but if things go slowly then Balder Succes is likely to be too quick in the final furlong, however being a novice chase the fences have to be jumped!
Good luck and have a great weekend