Sandown and Mussleburgh

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Photo: Rex Features

I think it’s only fitting to dedicate the blog to another brave hero whop died what he loved doing best. RIP Many Clouds, what a horse! The way he won last Saturday typifies the horse he was. So sad but we have to remember these brave horses and celebrate what enjoyment they gave us and how they love doing what they do.

On to today and a few cracking races to get my head around.

The Edinburgh Handicap Chase at 205 is having its inaugural run and there could be a few national clues in it. ALVARADO has to win or run very well to give him a chance of getting in there big one but he’s a bit long in the tooth now I feel. JUST A PAR is no doubt being targeted at the bug race but he has to shoulder a big weight but this is a race he could certainly win off this mark and he will appreciate the ground. GONALSTON CLOUD has missed his chance I feel, he should have won last time but was given too much to do. He stays forever though and could be in the mix. AZURE FLY is one who has been very consistent at shorter trips and if he stays he could run another cracker and is a value each way bet in a competitive affair. I am opting for DANCING SHADOW though, he caught my eye when finally getting his head infront at Doncaster last time in a race that I really fancied COURT BY SURPRISE in. He will love the ground and Noel Fehily on board is a huge plus and I think he will run a big race.

I have been waiting for DIEGO DU CHARMIL to come out again. He hasn’t shown anything like his true self as when winning the Fred Winter last year. He didn’t cope with the ground last time at Ascot and never really got into the race which STERNRUBIN won before that. He has had a nice break and will really like the ground and I’m still convinced he is a very smart horse and I think he will take this today. A definite win bet.

The Betfred Mobile Heroes Hurdle (3:00) is a belting puzzle to solve. The trends indicate a big weight is a huge disadvantage so forget the first 5 on the card. BEHIND TIME is a worthy favourite and is being very well supported. He ticks lots of boxes but I want to see another run after his flop last time. He could be very decent and if he runs anything like his first outing he should take this but his last run still sits in my mind and casts a doubt. EL TERREMOTO won on heavy at Haydock in November and it will be veery testing today which could suit him. VALHALLA has been very consistent prior to Christmas over hurdles and if he takes to the ground could be a very good each way bet at 22-1. I can’t ignore ROLLING DYLAN though. He’s never been out of the first three and was just pipped by SHANTOU BOB last time when stepping up in trip. An 8lb rise is fair and he will love the ground and should run a big race.

The final chase on the card at Sundown is another little belter. OTAGO TRAIL has shown glimpses of his quality and will love the ground but he has a big weight to carry. ROCK THE KASBAH looks a progressive horse and if he stays, and if being a big IF, he could win this. I can’t get away from SANDY BEACH though, he ran very well behind OUR KAEMPFER and KRUZHLININ last time when I think the ground was a little too quick for him. This softer ground will help, he’s a strong traveller, and a good jumper and I can’t believe there is 14-1 about him in places. He is the bet of the day for me.

SELECTIONS

SANDY BEACH 3:35 Sandown £10 win (14-1 Ladbrokes) (pulled up)

DIEGO DU CHARMIL 3:15 Musselburgh £5 win (9-1 Ladbrokes) (Won = £50)

DANCING SHADOW 2:05 Musselburgh £5 win (7-1 BET365) (Won = £40)

Staked £205

Returns £283.75

Ascot

Not much luck last week on the blog. ZIGA BOY was going well for along way but just couldnt match the others. MIA’S STORM was well in with a chance two out but died away, I think better ground and a flatter track will suit her. THOMAS BROWN was just poor, he was never in it! 

So we move on today. A couple of cracking handicaps at Ascot plus a few at Haydock. My first selection is not in one of the televised races. CAPTAIN CONAN has always been a smart horse and he is dropped seriuosly in grade today. He was third three years ago as favourite in the Tingle Creek behind SIRE DE GRUGY and he is a full 20lbs lower than that race today. His rating of OR139 is fair on what he has, or hasnt achieved since, but potentially that is a very low mark for a horse of his ability. He has won on soft ground and won on decent ground so that shouldn’t be an issue. 

The Long Walk hurdle is an intriguing race snd UKNOWWHATIMEANHARRY is worthy favourite and he looked very good last time. I cant see BALLYOPTIC reversing places. The main challengers come through the French Champion Hurdle form. Both PTIT ZIG and ALEX DE LARREDYA come with winning form from it and are the big dangers to the fav. The former got put in his place by the French horse last time, however, I think PTIT ZIG on a right handed track and on better grond will prevail today and an early 8-1 is a great price.

The last race on Ascot’s card was formerly the Ladbroke and both JOLLY’S CRACKED IT and STERNRUBIN return again after their epic battle. Both are now on higher marks and I’m not sure they can repeat last year’s heroics. Especially with the former being off for a year. The race will be frenetic with STERNRUBIN, RAYVIN BLACK and UNISON going from the front. They could set it up for one off the pace, although STERNRUBIN as we’ve seen before could make all. However, I’m opting for DIEGO DU CHARMIL to bounce back from his disappointing run last time behind a few of these. He was sent out too early according to his trainer and he ran much too freely. He is suited by coming off the pace, like he did when he won the Fred Winter. He is 8lbs higher than that today but is on the same mark as his previous poor run. I think he still has bags of improvement in him and could run a big race at a huge price.

I put up CORRIN WOOD the other week, and he is now over timber today and again, based on his previous form, he is on a very appealing mark. He beat BLACK THUNDER who was running off a mark in the mid 150s to win that day. His mark today is OR128 and could prove a real handicap snip. Last chance saloon today though!

Selections

£2.50 e/w CAPTAIN CONAN 1.50 Ascot

£5 win PTIT ZIG 2.25 Ascot

£5 e/w DIEGO DU CHARMIL 3.35 Ascot

£5 win CORRIN WOOD 2.40 Haydock

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Staked £80

Returns £101.25