Well last week must have killed many a pundit and lined the satchels of those bookies. Some very big priced winners didn’t help anyone last weekend. My selections were based on good ground and then the heavens opened, annoying to say the least. That persistent rain also chucked all form out of the window and certainly left me scratching my head. I thought ITV’s coverage was really good and it will only get better; people will never be happy however. They have to ‘dumb it down’ to try and increase people’s understanding and get people involved in racing. Their first Opening Show this morning was again very good and had some good pieces on there. I’m looking forward to seeing how they develop the programme.
On to today:
Ive been waiting for LIFEBOAT MONA to run again and wondering when the years would send her out again with the festival in mind. She was superb last time when waltzing clear of her rivals at Ascot in November. She has been raised a huge 13lbs to a mark of OR140 for that. I think she could and should improve further and she is entered in the mares hurdle at the festival. She up against some better rivals today in BRIERY QUEEN and DESERT QUEEN and they will make her work harder, but she should take this. I would be tempted to go for the other mares race at the festival if it was me and based around the mark she will probably be.
In the 32RED casino chase HOLLYWOODIEN really caught the eye at Wetherby last time on Boxing Day and he will improve again but an 8lb rise in the ratings may slow him down. DE FAOITHESDREAM was hoping up last time before falling and his jumping an let him down but I expect him to be going well from the front again. This is I think will set it up for GARDE LA VICTOIRE, who despite his weight, has the class to beat these. Two miles won’t be a problem and he was just pipped in the HALDON Gold Cup and ran well over behind YANWORTH last time. This is a drop in class and he should prevail.
COURT BY SURPRISE has been running well recently in defeat, both against his rivals. today and young horses. In a form line through LOOSE CHIPS, who beat him by 1/2 a length previously, he is 6lb better off at the weights for such a short distance defeat. He was running well when he didn’t really stay the trip when ROCKY CREEK won last time, this drop to 3 miles will help him. At Doncaster last time, youth and bette ground for me were the cause of his defeat and he was eased once they went away. I can’t ignore his mark of OR128, sandwiched between two previous winning marks. His could be real each way value in this.
£5 win double LIFEBOAT MONA 9/4 (WILLIAM HILL) 1245 Sandown and GARDE LA VICTOIRE 2/1 (WILLIAM HILL) 150 Sandown (WON = £48.75)
£2.50 e/w COURT BY SURPRISE 28/1 (SPORTING BET) 300 Sandown (unplaced)