I have already placed one bet for this race at the time of writing and I've pretty much ignored the trends of recent years.
The typical approach to this race is to look for a young horse, 4 or 5 year old with a progressive profile that looks capable of developing into a group winner later in the season. Concentrating on horses 9st or below has proved to yield better returns. Ignore any horse older than 6.
Having said all that, my chosen bet is 2008 winner of this race Smokey Oakey. It traded at 50-1 over at Bet365 on Sunday evening and at those odds I could not ignore it. It is almost guarenteed to be SOFT ground on Saturday with bad weather looming later in the week up north. This horse won this race as a 4yo rated 95 and then subsequently went and won a Group 3 race to show its capabilities. Rated only 97 now after a disappointing 2009 season and back on soft ground it has the qualities of an "unlikely" winner. Trainer reports the horse to be in fine form after a recent gallop and in my view BET365 were abit slow in reducing its odds. Best available now is only 25-1 but that is still decent each way value as I expect it to be 16-1 on the day.
The other horse to note that is guarenteed to run is unexposed 4 year old Mull Of Killough trained by J L Spearing and ridden by the adequate Adam Kirby. This horse has had success in 3 of his 6 career starts with most notably a win over Light From Mars and a runners up spot behind Firebet. Rated only 96 still, the soft ground will be a new experience but the course is guarenteed to suit as its a flat galloping track. The best price available at the moment is 14-1 and I think I will be nibbling at this one at some stage this week.
Selection(s): Smokey Oakey (1pt EW) and Mull Of Killough (1pt WIN)