Shishkin, Jonbon and a host of racing stars hit the track this weekend, and we have it all covered, with selections for each race below, plus my side of the conversation in text form, for our hard of hearing members.
Tomorrow we’ll see just the ninth running of this but it has gone to decent horses in the past, EDWADSTONE in 2019 amongst them.
Unusually it was won by a debutante last season, NORTH LODGE, who then won at the Cheltenham January meeting before then running third to THREE STRIPE LIFE in the Mersey Novices’ at Aintree’s National meeting.
That was a 14/1 winner of this last year, and we also had a 40/1 winners back in 2018 but five of the eight previous winners were front two on the tissue and that’s where I will be looking for my Podcast selection.
PLEASANT MAN catches my eye. Pulled up on debut last season he used to be trained by Roger Charlton and beat PIED PIPER on the flat back in September 2020. He then ran NEW MANDATE less than five lengths in the Royal Lodge so if Nicholls has got him tuned up, he’s arriving with quality flat form.
He’s since had a wind op (don’t they all down there!), and Nicholls has only sent a pair for the previous eight of them, winning one, hitting the frame with another.
The front pair on the tissue Sean very kindly sent me are STRONG LEADER and ETALON so my selection will have to be one of that pair and I’m going with ETALON.
Only two of the eight winners arrived having won last time out, and that stat disqualifies STRONG LEADER.
I’d definitely not put anyone off a little e.w. bet PLEASANT MAN because as I’ve said before, I’d always prefer a good flat horse to a good NH horse over hurdles but stats say ETALON.
RON – ETALON
SEAN – STRONG LEADER
This is a bit like spitting into a wind really. All 3-y-o’s, three having had just one run over hurdles. The first four of the last 10 running’s of this went to the favourite but only one of the last six jolly’s have succeeded….however, the winners of four of the other five were 2nd, 3rd or 4th favourite.
Sitting second favourite is an intriguing runner, ISALINE DE CHANDOU, who travels over from France. What his form is worth I couldn’t even begin to tell you but you’d be thinking they didn’t send him here just for a passport stamp. They’ve booked Brian Hughes to ride and I imagine James Reveley will have a had word in his shell-like about this horse, as he has ridden him in all bar one of his seven runs, winning on him in May.
Typical of French NH racing, all his runs to date have been on a bog so maybe they are here for better ground?
The Paul Nicholls runner DIXON COVE was purchased for 190,000E from the Arqana sales in July, made debut at Hereford in early November and bolted up getting not quite £5.5k back
I’d back him to be the seventh winning favourite in the last 11 running’s but no fancy bets because of the French runner.
RON – DIXON COVE
SEAN – DIXON COVE
Only six runners but this is some race!
I’ve been watching this market since it opened and if those runes speak true, AHOY SENOR is back to his best after a very weird seasonal debut, when he went out like a light!
He opened 5/2 and is now 5/4.
Could you bet money on the real CHANTRY HOUSE turning up? I couldn’t. As likely to pull up as he is to win and having opened 6/1, he saw support, hit 9/2, now 5/1. He’s had a wind-op and is a CD winner, one run here, one win, when he beat SHAN BLUE BY A DISTANCE and has won six of his nine starts over fences.
The Grand National winner, NOBLE YEATS comes over from Ireland and on official ratings is nearly the same horse as AHOY SENOR but this is not his trip….he is 0-4 over it and something will have the legs of him here.
I am not a fan of backing horses with question marks over them and with that applying to the three named above, I’m going to suggest a sporting 20/80 SOUNDS RUSSIAN.
Obviously he has to improve on anything he has done before but in the five races over fences, since he was fourth on debut over then, he has won four and finished second in the other.
He’s officially rated 8lb behind AHOY SENOR and if that horses arrives on blob, he wins….but will he?
RON – SOUNDS RUSSIAN – 20/80
SEAN – SOUNDS RUSSIAN
Four going to post but Post Racing members will be sick as a parrot if JONBON doesn’t win this. I should add, I will be, too.
It is 12/1 bar two and since the market opened it’s been all JONBON.
Harry Fry’s BOOTHILL is second favourite and comes home second.
JONBON was ultra impressive on debut at Warwick, which is a proper test of a jumper and Nicholls has sensibly taken out MONMIRAL, who was mullahed that day and wouldn’t beat JONBON if he gets around. I do think he would have been second again though so in a clean run race, JONBON wins and shortens again for the Arkle!
RON – JONBON
SEAN – JONBON
This is now a division lacking a champion!
SHISHKIN….is he over whatever it was?
GREANATEEN….good on a going day but he has finished unplaced in four of his 15 starts over fences.
EDWARDSTONE….King had him entered for a handicap recently! He looked like a horse that had definitely had enough for the season at Aintree, when slamdunked by GENTLEMAN DE MEE, who made seasonal debut recently and was well beaten when he got rid of his jockey, that race going to a horse rated nearly 20lb his inferior. He has also never won this side of February and it could be he only wins good races when other good horses are going over the top.
Stats say the favourite wins this in a normal year and if they have got SHISHKIN back, he’s the winner. Rated 6lb superior to GREANATEEN and the market likes him….11/8 > 11/10, with GREANATEEN 5/4 > 15/8 and drifting.
RON – SHISHKIN
SEAN – SHISHKIN
Ideally I’d want 10 or more previous running’s to get a proper handle on it but I’ll crack on.
Profiling it, we kick off with age groupings.
Seven and eight year olds have taken five of the nine previous running’s of this race and carrying less than 11st has been an advantage as five of those eight winners again, fit that bill, as would three of the last four.
Only two horses fit the bill:
- ÉCLAIR DE GUYE
- IN REM
Priced 6/1 & 12/1 respectively, I’d happily dutch for a profit but for a 20/80 I’ll put up IN REM.
The winners of three of the last four winners arrived having raced this season and ÉCLAIR DE GUYE is making seasonal debut.
IN REM is having just his third run over fences tomorrow and they now put him up in trip, wearing cheekpieces first time, and sits in the front six on the tissue, as have seven of the last eight winners, three of them actually sixth….a good sign, if he’s still 6th best at the off!
I’m dutching, but for Podcast purposes, IN REM for me.
I’d be really pleased to Harry’s REVELS HILL win but those stats for favourites are really off putting.
RON – IN REM – 20/80
SEAN – REVELS HILL
When I saw this in the list I went peeeoooo….a juvenile race, on all weather, with just five previous running’s to work with.
What did I do to deserve this>
I’m using tongs, and holding it at arms length as I tell you, not a winning favourite yet, and only one has placed. However, all five winners have been front four on the tissue and if LOOKING FOR LYNDA is front four tomorrow night, that’s my 20/80.
I’m putting that horse up purely and simply because Karl Burke has only send one for it previously, and won it last year.
A no bet for me though I’m afraid and I’ll be in the kitchen when this goes off.
RON – LOOKING FOR LYNDA
SEAN – SHAQUILLE E.W
- HUBERTS DREAM – 16/1 > 4/1 – WON 2/1F
- THE WIZARD OF EYE – 40/1 > 16/1 – WON 20/1
- LISLORAN – 40/1 > 15/2 – WON 10/3
SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
RON – DIXON COVE, JONBON, SHISHKIN – TREBLE
SEAN – WALKING ON AIR (Aintree 3-15)