I am writing this in New York and decided to only cover two races tomorrow - one at Newbury and the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.
I decided not to play at Newmarket and Cheltenham during the week as the form tends to be a bit dodgy at this stage of both seasons. Looking at some of the results it was a good decision.
Berry Bros & Rudd Magnum Spring Cup (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 2.20 Newbury
An interesting handicap with Border Legend being backed to win on his first run of the season and although Roger Charlton is in form the horse hasn’t indicated that level of improvement. Gouray Girl won well at Doncaster on soft going, but that made 2 wins in 24 runs and this is a big step up. The horse has also moved up in the weights by 9 pounds and steps up in trip – not a good combination! Global Village ran well last time out and that was the first sign of a return to form. He will undoubtedly be dangerous here with Kieran Fallon up although I think he is more powerful over 7 furlongs on better ground. Brae Hill was just behind Global Village in the Lincoln and with Richard Fahey in great form he can go better here especially with Paul Hanagan booked which is a strong signal that the horse is ready. Educate is possibly a Group horse in the making and won well at Doncaster and has won his last three moving up in class. This is more difficult but he is one of the few runners which is still improving and can win here.
Coral Scottish Grand National Handicap Chase Grade 3 (CLASS 1), 3.50Ayr
This race is packed full of trends which I tend to use in the big chases and the first one that jumps out is the race is won by horse aged 8-11 carrying no more than 10 stone 9 pounds. This statistic rules out Auroras Encore (weight), Big Occasion (too young), Our Mick (weight and age), Rival d’Estruval (weight) and Godsmejudge (weight and age). The aforementioned all fall down on some other key stats too and when I went through the field using ten key trends I was left with Relax, Neptune Equester and Lively Baron. I ruled out Lively Baron as most of his wins have been in small fields which left me with the two selections. I would suggest either taking the odds on Betfair if significantly bigger than the bookmakers or shopping around for those bookmakers offering 5 places.
Good luck and hopefully we will be back in the winners enclosure prior to Punchestown.