Uttoxeter 4.20 11 Henlann Harri @ 8/1 / 10 Relentless Dreamer @ 14/1 - 1 point each way each horse - all Bookies odds to 4th / PP + SkyBet odds to 5th place
Mention - Uttoxeter 4.20 9 Another Hero @ 16/1 (WH + Lads) 14/1 generally - 1/2 point each way
The start of a new month and I can't say anything other than I am glad to see the back of June. It started very well; especially week 2 when we fired in big double figure priced winners of 4 successive days; but from Royal Ascot onwards it has been a real hard slog. Understandably, that has led to some consternation in places, and if you take a short term view over those 2 weeks; then I certainly get that, but it is vital to keep stressing; that this is a medium to long term project, consistent profit over any period of 3 months or more; has always been very respectable, and whilst we are NOT complacent and will work tirelessly to get back on track, hopefully the new month will see a return to our usually consistency with a smattering of big priced winners.
An ability to find winners on firm Going is our Achilles heel; as I have pointed out a few times, so the rain mats will come out, and if we have fewer tips until it does rain a bit, take that as a logical and common sense view, that if you know you have a weakness, best to sort it, rather than make it worse. The days of heavy ground in the winter and relentless 20/1+ winners are on the long term horizon, but we have plenty of winners to find before then.
There is racing today at Windsor on the Flat; at The Curragh in Ireland and at Cartmel and Uttoxeter over the Jumps; a very decent prize on offer and the race of the day is at Uttoxeter, so Michael will review and analyse that race below, as it certainly qualifies for his "Showcase" Billing. One thing Michael and I have discussed is THE GOING - it is officially "Good" frankly that alarms me, it is my local track and it has been BAKING HOT here for a considerable period, that means they must have watered it continually, hopefully; they have not over-done it, but it does apply a note of caution and we can only watch and see. I know Michael has sensibly I think assumed it will be Good / Good to Firm.
Here is his analysis
"A cracking race with 18 runners over 3 miles and 2 furlongs and some of the market leaders look vulnerable to me. Virgillio would appear to be a far better horse right handed and at Aintree than elsewhere and therefore I want to take him on. Winter Lion has Irish form that is hard to quantify and despite a good win at Cheltenham; a niggle about the trip and also about a lack of Course form makes me think the price is a little skinny. Ballyalton has no form at the trip despite being a classy horse and I will reluctantly oppose him for that reason. Georgie Des Champs is another I think a bit too skinny price wise, could be a progressive horse, yard finished the proper NH season is better form than at any point during it, but hard to quantify where that form is now with few runners and I'm not sure a Class 4 win at Hereford quite stacks up in the context of this field.
I think that BEEVES who is very consistent, may be too consistent for its own good and THE ROMFORD PELE who has surely been laid out for this will be huge dangers, the former though is due "a poor race" and the latter has a welter burden of weight, although it always seems to run best fresh; I see those filling enhanced place positions in 4th and 5th type of range. The others I left out at the end of deliberations was Drumlee Sunset, I think that is a progressive type who can pick up a race but may be not quite this deep.
My selections therefore are-: HENLLAN HARRI is something of a "marmite" horse that sums up the Yard, preciously brilliant or inexplicably poor, he is though above all a Spring and Summer performer at best and gets ideal conditions here. He has a Course win and a Distance win, ran very well last time and gets a meagre 2lbs penalty for that and unless he is on one of his "throw the toys out of the pram" days, which all of these Chasers are prone to have, looks to be one likely to run a very big race. RELENTLESS DREAMER was one who ticked all of my boxes in terms of Going, Course; Trip and further; summer form in the past and can handle if over-watered or not, he strikes me as the better of the Curtis runners and a nice each way price.
I can't leave the race without a formal MENTION and smaller stake on ANOTHER HERO, if Bowen is a "marmite Trainer" then I suppose you'd have to say Jonjo is double strength "vegemite"; inconsistent to the point of ridicule but his horses have been running better of late and this one is a horse who just strikes me as being a summer jumper, likely to be primed who has enough form and scope to be of interest at a slightly better price.