It was another decent day for anyone following in with my selections yesterday. After a disappointing start with Mister Bells finishing second and Castlebrook not turning up to the races, I was glad that Chez Hans could get the job done for Paul Nicholls and Ben Bromley. This amatuer rider has built up a good rapport with this horse and I’m glad to see that the rider is being rewarded for good work by keeping the ride on this progressive horse.
It’s another new week for us to get stuck into now and looking through today’s cards, I think it would be prudent to keep selections to a minimum and focus on quality over quantity. Between Cartmel and Ballinrobe, I have two selections to go to war with today.
I’m starting off with the 1.20 at Cartmel, which sees a novice hurdle with 9 runners going to post. I think these novice hurdles in Britain at this time of year are always a decent chance to find winners at not massive prices, but perhaps prices that should be shorter given the size and quality of the field. Chez Hans was the winner of a similar event at Stratford yesterday and I’ll be looking for a bit of luck with a similar type this afternoon. Bright Eyed Eagle looks to be the one to be on in this heat, having come very close on his last two starts over timber.
Having been narrowly denied two starts back at Perth, he went off a short price to collect on handicap debut. He was given an overly patient ride that day and lost the race to an excellent Bryony Frost ride from the front. There is scope for this horse to be winning races very soon, and this is as golden an opportunity as any of them. His main market rival, King’s Proctor, had been very regressive on the flat before a decent effort on hurdles debut last month. It is hard to surmise whether he will be able to repeat that sort of performance, and he is quite a short price for an inconsistent sort.
Bright Eyed Eagle looks the solid conveyance in this race, and with his jumping bound to keep improving from race to race, should take all the beating in this heat. At a best price of 7/4 with Bet365, I am hoping he can break his duck over the obstacles today.
From the first race at Cartmel to the final race of the day at Ballinrobe comes our second and final selection. These flat maidens over staying distances in Ireland are another race form that I have had some decent luck with during the last few weeks. We’ve had some get up close home like Florence Camille, while Cycladic was agonizingly denied at Leopardstown last week. This race has brought up a few of these National Hunt scorers such as He’s a Hardy Bloke and Jungle Junction, and as a rule, I am not a massive fan of these horses going back into flat maidens as an angle. I prefer siding with flat horses who are here to do their job, and in this case, that is Kihavah for Ken Condon and Billy Lee.
This gelding was obviously a bit backward as he wasn’t seen on the racetrack until earlier this year, when he had already turned 4 years old. His first effort was at Down Royal, over this distance, when running a superb race to finish third behind Kalapour and Stormy Ireland. That was a performance full of promise and you would have thought that a maiden win was just around the corner on the back of that. Therefore, it was probably a backward step when finishing third at Sligo last time out when dropping back in distance two furlongs. I am prepared to let that effort be put down to a number of contributing factors including the distance and the track. At a best price of 15/2 with Paddy Power with 3 places available, I make him a solid each way bet.