Here we are again, the weather playing havoc with our beloved racing.
I had intended to do an in depth look at the Betfair Hurdle today but it’s looking increasingly likely that Newbury won’t survive the weather.
That being the case I’ll just give my thoughts on where the value lies and keep my fingers firmly crossed that we get to enjoy what looks like a fantastic meeting on Saturday.
Zarkandar – the likely winner and worthy favourite. Yet I’m slightly put off by Pumpkins repeated assertions that the “target is the Champion Hurdle.” Is the horse fully wound up? Those comments would indicate maybe not and are just about enough to put me off wading in at best price 100/30 (offer me 5/1 and I’ll snap your hand off!) This is a very smart, progressive hurdler (I’m already on him each way for the Champion Hurdle) but at current prices, I will reluctantly let him run unencumbered by my money.
Raya Star – looks like cast iron ew banker material to me. He fits the trends profile nearly perfectly (apart from the poor record of Ladbroke’s winners in the race – a very small sample), he’s improving fast and Alan King has his string in fine fettle (30% win strike rate in last 14 days). I’ve had a large each way slice of the 9/1 generally available
Darlan – This horse could be literally anything but this is a big step up in class, he’s weighted to the hilt on what he’s achieved and I’d want a bit bigger than 9/1 to take a chance on him. Might win but not a bet for me.
Final Approach – clearly a danger and would be no real surprise to see him win. I’m going to let him run however because I have a sneaking suspicion 1) that he may not even get there and 2) he’s best suited by a stiffer test than this. I’ll take a further view later in the week.
Olofi is a straight value call – 14/1 generally available looks a bit too big and I will have a small ew interest.
Empire Levant – again a value call, quite capable of sneaking a place on previous form and I will have a little of the 16/1 available with Sporting Bet
Finally, I can’t let Ubi Ace go off without a little of my money, bearing in mind the excellent record of Bavaria Hurdle winners. Worthy of a small ew at 25/1
Suddenly that’s quite a big book of bets!
Main bet is Raya Star ew at 9/1
Small cover ew bets on Empire Levant, Olofi and Ubi Ace.
Now, I’m left hoping for two things – 1) The meeting goes ahead and 2) Zarkandar is a long way short of full race fitness.
Best case scenario would be Pumpkin withdrawing Zarkandar because of concerns about the going, Raya Star romping home closely followed by Ubi Ace, Olofi and Empire Levant with Darlan thoroughly found out by the step up in class.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
I’ll speak to you again later in the week